A Different Headline
“Listen Kid, we all read the same story and write a different headline,” Oscar says. Steam from his cup of joe swirls between us. He flicks an ash from his Lucky Strike and looks at me. “The Common Council killed Urban Renewal tonight. The Feds asked Saginaw to clean up her act. That’s what my paper and I want our readers to know---”
"The newspaper reported my family’s boating accident as a 'Lake Superior tragedy.'” Her eyes are deeper green than the lake that laps at our feet. She smiles and edges toward me. “We lived on Madeline Island. Now I'm alone. Would you dive into the lake with me?"
Act I Scene One - Truck Stop
Server: “You ordered the same soup for lunch last week.”
I’m thinking: How nice to be remembered.
Server: “You sat at the table by the door.”
I’m thinking: I’m flattered by her attention.
“Hurry up, Richard, or we’ll miss the trolley.” Mother tightens her grip on my hand and tugs me up the hill on 68th Street. “Imagine the fun we’ll have.”
A fly drops from the morning sky onto the mirror surface of a lake. Twitch, twitch, concentric ripples expand with each movement. She flips right, moves left, circles right, and dances left. A fish appears under the fly. He sucks water through torn lips. Each gulp brings the fly closer. He examines the fly only to swim past to deeper water. She wiggles and begins to lift from the pond. He returns, lingers, and swallows the fly.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.