Secret World by Walter Bjorkman

There is a fortress not made by man that holds a place where I hid the most, formed by four fallen trees still growing in a place called Bliss. The limbs arch out over a grassy hill hanging over the harbor – statues, tugboats and dogs being walked, all unaware of the space between the convergence of the trunks. I crawled in there over childhood worries whenever I needed to be alone, but never did I cry so much as that day. The thick growth of summer muffled even a nine-year-old’s most intense sobbing.

That day my swift, mad rush to my secret world started after my approach to the bed in pure but nervous joy, as my hero – his also, hit the game-winning homer to beat the cross-town rival Jints in the bottom of the ninth. I always shared the tidings at his bedside since opening day; we would rejoice or bemoan together over dem Bums’ triumphs and defeats. That day I received no reply and I realized he was sent home to die, not live. After a few hours hidden, I emerged from the wooded burrow, crawled out to perch on the outstretched limbs as the harbor lights dimmed, looking out in stony silence beside the craggy slope just to the north, known as Dead Man’s Hill.

Three months later the Dodgers fled to the west coast, leaving a young boy with no heroes at all.


Return to This Week’s Flash


Filed under Walter Bjorkman

8 responses to “Secret World by Walter Bjorkman

  1. Oh, Walter, this just about broke my heart. I wasn’t prepared–as I suppose none of us are.

  2. oh man Walter, ya got me on this one…the places we go when young to try and slow it all down

  3. len kuntz

    yes, i had a place like this.
    loved the desperate, lonely crush of nostalgia here. way to go, walt.

  4. Childhood heartbreak achingly well told.

  5. Alexandra Pereira

    What a sad and powerful story.. crying in a place called Bliss.. unexpected.. moving..

  6. Michael Parker

    Walter, this is very moving. And a wonderful tribute to your “hero”! Through all of the pain and heartache, this is very life-affirming. Thank you for writing it, and sharing it. Best always,

  7. Deborah A. Upton

    So sad, and oh, so true.

  8. Pingback: Week #46 – Another world | 52|250 A Year of Flash

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s