by Jerilyn Dufresne
George hitched his hips to a more comfortable position, and put his hands behind his head as he lay in the tall grass. “Did you ever notice,” he said to his brother Denny, “that we never get clouds that look like cute little animals, or damn cartoon characters.”
“Quit cussing,” ordered Denny. “You know God hears you, and you’ll make Jesus cry.”
“Anyway, look. See those two dark clouds up and to the right from the sun?” He felt rather than saw Denny’s nod. “They look like footprints—malevolent, and scary as hell.”
“Quit using big words unless you’re going to tell me what they mean.”
George loved showing off his knowledge to his younger brother. “Malevolent is from the Latin. ‘Mal-lay,’” he exaggerated the Latin pronunciation, “means ‘evil’ and ‘volo’ means wish. So ‘malevolent’ means someone that means you harm.”
“So the devil is malevolent?” Denny asked.
“Yep, I guess.”
“Well, if those footprints are malevolent, and the devil is malevolent, then those must be the devil’s footprints.”
As gifted as George was, he hadn’t yet taken logic, so didn’t know how to refute his brother’s reasoning.
“Could be, I guess,” George hedged.
Denny continued, “And those white clouds kind of look like when the pond is full of ice, but it’s not quite frozen all the way.”
Denny sat up. “This is history, George. You and me. We’re witnessing hell freezing over right in front of our very eyes.”
“Damn!” said George.
“Yep,” Denny replied.
[Jerilyn Dufresne doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. Currently she does disaster mental health work, performs comedy, and writes.]