Too Much Blood For My Six Year Old

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Wyatt and I watched Naruto for the first time. Let us just say that will also be the last time the orange jump suited ninja will be allowed in our home for awhile.

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The line between fantasy and reality is a thin one when you are a kid. Our imaginations go wild in youth. Dreaming big dreams, playing on playgrounds of fantasy. Reality, physical consequence, stalking at the unseen edges ready to pounce.

In one of the Naruto episodes Wyatt and I watched, Naruto accidentally gets clawed by a weapon in battle. The weapon’s tips laced in poison. Naruto decides to act. To get rid of the poison, he jams a knife into his hand. Blood shoots out. At this point, I’m blocking my son’s eyes. I wasn’t quick enough.

Sometime later:

“Daddy, do you remember that ninja guy who shoved a knife into his hand?”

“Yes. You know that wasn’t real but was fiction, right?”

Silence.

As much as my preferences for story surge against the dam of sanity, I made a mistake. Not only that, but that I failed in my role as a guide for my son.

I have to remember, I am the gatekeeper. Not only controlling what walks in past the gate but also for taking my son in hand and beyond the gate. His mom and I are tasked with explaining life to him. Helping him navigate between what is real and what is fantastical.

One of my greatest faults, as a father, that I’m sure I share, is that I am always in a hurry for my child to grow up. I want to share much cooler worlds than those that Garfield inhibits. Age, individual maturity, and even family rules dictate that Naruto stay beyond the gate. For now.

The last thing I want is for him to think that the mature violence depicted is somehow okay to carry out in real life.

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I apologized to Wyatt. Told him that Naruto can’t come over and play for a bit. He wasn’t thrilled, cliffhanger episode, but maybe with time he’ll understand.

Being a dad is hard. The mistakes I make are often centered around me wanting to fast forward time. Contentment, meanwhile, calls.

Story Corner – Greensburg

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Welcome to the first edition of Story Corner. Each and every Tuesday you will find a new work of fiction. Some weeks will feature continuations while others will feature all new works of art. If you have a small work of fiction you’d like posted, please feel free to contact JBG in the comments below.

Before we get started this week, I’d like to introduce our first piece, Greensburg. Written in a time long ago (possibly high school), this detective story begins with a hint of ugliness to it. Read on dear readers and feel free to leave some feedback.

.: Greensburg :.

The gasoline pumps have flowed like water, ever since Joey Boca and his boys rolled into town. Greensburg was a dot on the map, an oasis in the great Mohave Desert; a mere rest stop for weary tourists on their way to the Grand Canyon and other glorified holes in the ground. Off historic Highway 56, this blink-of-an-eye town rested. Flashfloods, lightning storms, and other natural disasters Greensburg had weathered. The day Joey Boca had arrived though,  he had brought a disaster that had taken over many major cities, the mob. Quickly the local police had been paid off and the church minister soon after. The town was infested and rotting with blood money. The stench somehow managed to drift all the way to the California coast, right into my office in San Francisco. I was sitting there at my desk when a dame with red hair entered in unannounced.

“Your secretary said you weren’t busy, mind if I sit down?”

For a dame of such bad looks she sure had moxy asking to sit down in front of me. Being a ladies man though, I motioned with my hand for her to sit.

“How may I help you Miss?”

“Honeysuckle, Mrs. Honeysuckle.”

The more I looked at her the more I could imagine how many times she had been hit with the ugly stick.

“So Mrs. Honeysuckle, how may I help you?”

She sat there trying to look pretty, batting those lash-less eyes at me. I felt sorry for her…but then I also felt sorry for dogs on leashes.

“I need help sir, its about my husband Foster Martino.”

Martino? I thought her last name was Honeysuckle! Things were starting to smell rotten, and I didn’t think it was her breath either.

“What’s wrong with your husband?”

“Nothings wrong, I’m just concerned with the people he hangs out with.”

That mole on her right cheek was really starting to get to me. A plastic surgeon would have a field day with this one.

Trying to focus, I replied, “What type of people?”

She leaned in real close-like and whispered through her crooked teeth, “I think he is apart of the mob.”

The mob huh, this wasn’t making sense at all. Guys in the mob usually pick better-looking dames than this. My interest intrigued, I decided to help her out.

“I think I’ll help you out. What is it you want me to do?”

“Go and snoop around Greensburg and find out what Foster has his hands in. I won’t stay married to a man of crime!”

With that passionate exclamation, she went running out of my office, faking a cry no doubt. At least she had some class not wanting to be married to a mobster. That still did not excuse her bad looks though. With my jalopy humming along, I started my journey towards this haven of crime, Greensburg.

More to come next week!