Aphelion Issue 277, Volume 26
October 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Slide Ruler

by Joey To

I love the slide. Today, there are merely three others, which is perfect. More and it'll be too much traffic. I climb the ladder, sit at the top, then down I go and--

Great. More children... well, time to introduce them to Harold.

As I walk back toward the ladder, I say, "Look Harold, everyone's here."

The new arrivals all turn their heads, eyeing me. "Who're you talking to?" they ask.

"Don't you see him?" I say.

They frown and shake their heads. I tell them that Harold is very sad, that his fiancée left him and he died alone here when this playground was an orchard. But other than that, he's a nice guy.

I point at the bottom of the slide. "He's standing right there, in his farmer's pants and suspenders..."

Then they all quickly leave.

I smile as I watch them go. Then I turn back to the slide and standing right beside it is a man in brown overalls.

"You shouldn't scare people like that, and my name is not Harold. It's Ronald, you little runt and I'm the great grandfather of the man who built this slide."

"Yeah, but I still want the slide to myself," I answer as I climb.


© 2016 Joey To

Bio: Joey wasn't interested in writing when he was young. However, he was always the creative type, enjoying visual arts. In recent years, he developed a penchant for creative writing, partly to amuse himself. One day, he was told his writing "wasn't that bad" and so he submitted his work. His website is www.joeytoey.com. His last Aphelion appearance was Love Thy Ministers in our March, 2016 issue.

E-mail: Joey To

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