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Monday, October 16, 2017

From the SHOWCASE archives...

Fiction: “I, Boy,” by Stone Showers

Henry Newman and I had been friends ever since his parents first brought him home from the yard sale. I didn’t care that he was older, and it didn’t matter to me that he couldn’t swim or speak seven languages. In so many ways, Henry was just like me, and because of that we did everything together.

In the mornings he and I would walk to the bus, or run, depending upon our mood. After school, we’d ride our bikes up Isaac’s Ridge and spend the afternoon searching for slugs and other creepy-crawly things. Sometimes we’d play hide-and-seek among the trees, our laughter breathing life into the forest. Henry and I spent practically every waking moment together. Except when it was raining, of course. On those days Henry’s mother made him stay inside.

The boys in the neighborhood often made fun of Henry—the way he talked, and the color of his skin. Jimmy Martin even suggested there might be something wrong with Henry, and I think he may have been right about that. Unlike the other second-graders, Henry knew nothing of the periodic table and he couldn’t conjugate even a single Latin verb. Whenever he tried to recite Mandarin, the other children always laughed at his pronunciation. I felt sorry for Henry, and tried to stick up for him whenever I could. But for some reason, Henry never seemed troubled by the insults.

“I’m just different from everyone else, that’s all, and I think that frightens them.”

[ the rest of the story...]

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Stone Showers lives in Central Oregon with his wife and two children. His fiction has recently appeared in Fantasy Scroll, Zetetic, and Ember, A Journal of Luminous Things. Two of his previously published stories will soon be available for download on Audible.

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