Danny’s Travel Plan

Danny wanted the lightning so badly. That’s why he was on the roof, that’s why he was holding the antenna. The winds whipped every piece of trash that could be carried in forty miles per hour. He counted mississippis patiently, waiting for his moment.

His mother was talking with 911 while his father was being proactive and reckless with an aluminum ladder. Danny payed them no mind, he knew that soon he would be out of their hair. This is how one leaves the world, not in a ship but in a light. The bible told him so or at east the pictures he glimpsed of his father’s illustrated text seemed to say so. Bible school was still on the subject of who makes the flowers grow.

It had all occurred to him so fast, he barely had time to tell them. He wondered if they even heard him say that he was going up to the roof. They were talking quite a bit about Dad’s job and Danny understood this to mean that Father was unemployed. Three couldn’t be supported without a joy but maybe two could. Danny had a place he could go, a place he had always wanted to go to. He knew where the light tended to come down to, he had seen it before.

Three missippis away, the world grew darker but somehow Danny could still see the clouds move, even after the lightning. He was sure that any moment he would rise and leave for where his grandmas had gone before him. It was a good place and surely had cable.

“1 mississippi, 2 mississippi, 3 mississippi, 4 mississippi, 5 mississippi, 7 mississippi, 8 mississippi, 9 mississippi, 10 mississippi.”

Much to Danny’s chagrin, the storm had passed and Dad was on the roof. His father’s face read furious, tired but still loving.

“Danny what are you doing?”

“Going up to heaven.”

“Why did you want to go to heaven?”

“Because you lost your job and I have a place I can go, like Uncle Phil.”

“I’m not getting my bonus this month that’s all and Uncle Phil went to Milwaukee.”

A slight horror filled Dad’s face.

“Danny, do you know what Heaven is?”

“It’s up there.” Danny pointed upwards.

There was a long difficult conversation to be had.


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