This heartbreaking short story gives some detail to an important event in the life of Bowman Leafwing. Bowman’s later years would be impacted heavily by this, and the emotional backlash would stick with him for a long time. In this story, he is recently nine years old.
Possible trigger: Abandonment
Read Bowman’s story here.
( Part 1 )
He stood up. He was tall, like his dad had been, and like I might be someday. But I was still only two and a half inches tall. When my father was at his full impressive four inch height, I had to look straight up to keep him in my desperate, pleading gaze. I scanned his face, Praying to the Spirit that I’d find something there. Something that’d end this nightmare before it was too late.
“Bowman,” he said, trying for his authoritative, fatherly tone. But his voice was wavering as he looked at me. If this was so hard, then why was he doing it? “Bowman, I’m going to go, and you have to stay here with your aunt and uncle. Okay?”
I glanced aside at Candara. She was still sitting, watching me with watery eyes of her own. Larxe remained by the wall where he’d stopped, after I got away from him. Then, I turned my eyes back up to my father, a determination still burning along with the hurt in my eyes.
“It’s because of my flying lessons, right?!” I blurted, and his eyes widened a little. I latched onto his surprise like I was drowning and it was a low-hanging plant over the stream. “Th-that’s … I’m sorry, dad! I know I haven’t gotten stuff right but I can try harder. ”
There was that wince again. Like I’d physically struck him with something sharp. This, I was realizing, really was difficult for him to do. But I didn’t care. He was doing it anyway. “Bowman, that isn’t it,” he said, his voice even closer to breaking now.
I almost shot back an immediate reply, but choked on a sob instead. I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Candara, trying to comfort me while tears kept slipping past my defenses. When I could finally speak again, I quit trying to hide my tears and my voice was husky and desperate.
“Dad, I’ll be the best flyer in the whole village! Just please don’t leave me!” That elicited a quiet noise from Candara and a step back from my dad.