‘One more go Joe, one more. This time it will fly buddy, betcha is does.’
Joe summoned his final reserves of belief and slowly nodded his head. He stood, patient, determined, hands clasped tightly over the plastic reel.
The open field was awash with hungry wasps, darting from scone to cake and weaving their way through furious hands. The hoard of picnickers watched as footballers played and ramblers rambled.
The man ran again, faster this time, almost falling. Joe held tight, feet anchored to the ground. He blinked as the sun caught his lifting gaze. Hope became joy as the beast finally soared. Joe remained rooted to the spot, his wide blue eyes consuming the sky.
‘I knew it! You did it Joe, you did it!’ The man lowered his triumphant arms before returning to the boy.
The line twitched and slackened. The kite began to fall, teasing at first before falling exhausted at the boy’s feet. It was over all too soon, but it didn’t matter to Joe. The man placed a soft hand on Joe’s shoulder.
‘Well done, buddy, well done.’
Joe smiled. It was a smile to lock away and treasure.
They walked away, hand in hand. The kite followed closely behind, bumping along as it brushed the dry grass.
She appeared from within the crowd moments later, her white cotton dress flowing in the soft breeze. She moved slowly at first, glancing around, looking, searching. Her pace quickened as she moved left, then right, forwards, backwards. And then she began to shout, to scream, a guttural sound carrying one word: