Go Fish

St. Louis, Missouri, 1988 – From beneath a mop of messy brown hair, determined jade green eyes narrowed as they made contact with curious dark brown ones.

A hand reached out and grabbed the deck of cards set on the ground. Shuffled them. Drew cards for both players. Then set the deck back.

“Youngest first,” the owner of the green eyes said.

“Do you have a. . .” A hand wiped a runny nose. “Five of arrows?”

Eleven-year-old Henry Taylor slapped his forehead and sighed. “It’s spades, Jason,” he told his younger brother.

“But they look kinda like arrows.” Six-year-old Jason replied innocently.

Henry dragged his hand down his face. “Whatever. They’re still spades.” He glanced at his cards. “And nope, no five of spades here. Go fish.”

Jason grabbed a card. “Yay! Five of spades!” He set down his pair. “Your turn!”

“Do you have a nine of hearts?” Henry asked.

Jason scrutinized his cards, then shook his head. Henry reached for a card and Jason shouted, “Wait, I didn’t say go fish!”

Henry paused and withdrew his hand. “Ok.”

“Go fish!” Jason chirped. Henry grabbed the card and his shoulders slumped.

Jason giggled. Henry glared at him.

On the game went, uninterrupted up until the front door opened and a brunet-haired man stepped inside.

“Daddy!” Jason scrambled to his feet, scattering the matches he’d made in the process. Henry rolled his eyes and rearranged them.

“Hi, Dad,” he said as their father came by with Jason clinging to his arm, jumping up and down excitedly.

“Playing go fish, huh?” William said.

“Yeah!” Jason said. “And I’m winning!” He let go of his father’s arm. “See, Daddy! Look at all the matches I have!”

“I see.” William sat cross-legged on the floor next to the boys.

“It’s your turn, Jason,” Henry said.

Jason picked up his cards. “Um. . .” He scratched his head. William reached out and ruffled his and Henry’s hair.

“Daaaad!” They protested.

“I think you two need a haircut,” William said.

“No!” The boys shrieked. They jumped to their feet, but before they’d had a chance to move any further, William grabbed them and started to tickle them. The boys attempted to retaliate but were overcome with fits of laughter.

When the tickle fight ended, Henry sat up and surveyed the scattered cards in dismay. He started to pick them up.

“Come on, Henry!” Jason said as he helped. “Let’s play again with Daddy this time!”

So the game continued…until a tickle fight started a second time.

©H.S. Kylian 2018

(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)

This post was last updated on December 3, 2018

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