The Swing Set

The playground, on Cherry Avenue, always sat empty. Ghosts of past children drifted through and around and up and over the bars and poles. They floated down the slides in blurry, flickering memories, brushing past and swinging on the swings, causing them to sway. Yet, I know some people who would say it was only the breeze.

The wind brought soft, eerie laughter that swirled through my hair, and sifted through the clusters of leaves on the ground.

The place was grey and dusty, covered in pollen and children’s fingerprints. Candy wrappers and small toys littered the ground, and mingled with the weeds and the dead leaves, as though they were hiding, for shame of being left behind.

An ebony cat sat on the rotting picnic table, licking its paw and occasionally glancing up at me, in a haughty sort of way.

“What are you doing here?” It asked. “The living rarely visit.”

I stared at the swings, as they continued to sway. Their movement brought on a sad sort of longing for past days. A wish to be young, and free again.

The cat laughed at my thoughts. “Ah, so that’s why you’re here then?” It smirked, and licked its paw again. “You know it won’t come back. You left it behind all those years ago, and it won’t be found here.”

I smiled sadly at it. “I know…I just thought I might catch a glimpse…”

The cat gave me a pitying, yet contemptuous look, then jumped lightly down off the table. It stalked towards the woods surrounding the playground, it’s tail held high in the usual “I’m better then you” manner.

I watched, as its black shadow self disappeared into the brush, half wishing I could follow it, and never come out. But instead I turned around, and headed back down the road. Back to the land of the living.


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