“Daddy?”

Author: Eli Rubin

“Daddy?”

He hadn’t called me Daddy for years. “What’s up, kiddo?”

“Remember when you said I could turn off my age restrictions?”

He kept bringing it up; he knew by now what I’d say. “That’s something that has to be your choice, kiddo.”

“I did it. I’m not nine anymore.”

“Oh.”

For a while, neither of us spoke. I became aware that I had rested my hand on the black, pebbled surface of the hard drive enclosure next to me. I don’t know why; I never really thought of him as being “in there.” Traffic noises floated up from the street below. Through my fingertips, I could faintly feel the rapid whirring of a silent cooling fan.

“Daddy?”

“I’m here,” I said, stupidly, as if he couldn’t see me. As if there weren’t eyes for him to see through in every corner of the world, if he chose to look.

“I’m nine again, Dad. I’m gonna stay nine for now and when my birthday comes maybe I’ll turn ten then, like we talked about, okay? Can we keep reading now?”

“Of course, kiddo. Hang on, I lost my place. Okay.”

5 Comments

  1. SimonJM

    Very nice an tautly-written, a second read made me realise just how little you had written to get that effect!

  2. Jae

    And this is how you distill the essence of flash. Exceptional.

  3. cmh8133

    This make me feel very, very sad for a moment.
    Kids at 9 are the best they will ever be.

  4. Hari Navarro

    I agree If there’s buck banging to be had then this is a great example. Compact and thought provoking, nicely done.

  5. rjerbacher

    Wow. Lots of bang for your buck here. Conveys so much in such a few words. Nice, tight piece. well done.

Submit a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Random Story :

  • Postcard

    The back of the postcard says “please don’t give up.” …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member

Submissions

We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact ssmith@365tomorrows.com