Optional: A Child’s Perspective

“Oh no, here comes No Legs, run!” I screamed at Melanie.


“Just run!” I yelled over my shoulder as I ran away from the golf cart slowly making its way down the street toward us.

Melanie ran to my side, together we hid behind the back steps, up against the house. The sound of the cart passing the front of the house was now a distant buzz, but still we whispered.

“Don’t ever get caught by No Legs,” I told Melanie.

“Why? What’s wrong with him?”

“Can’t you see?” I giggled, after all, Melanie was only five, and I was exactly 361 days older than her.

“How come he has no legs?” she questioned me.

“My daddy says he lost them at Vietnam, just like Mr. Shumann.”

“How do you lose your legs?”

“I don’t know, but I think they went to Vietnam and someone stole them!”

“Laura, you’re telling fibs, you don’t just lose your legs!”

“Daddy says that when you go to Vietnam you lose lots of things and that no one really cares either!”

“Wait,” Melanie stared wide eyed at me. “Laura, are you telling me that he lost his legs so we can never go near him?”

“I didn’t say that! What I mean is that he is crazy, that is his real name, Crazy No Legs. One time he pulled my brother up into his wheelchair and was hugging and kissing him, telling him that he was sorry for all that he had done.”

Melanie’s eyes squinted into disbelief, “No he didn’t!”

“Oh yes he did, Mommy and Daddy had to call the police. Crazy No Legs told them that he owed apologies to all the yellow children.”

“What does he mean, ‘yellow children’?” Melanie said.

“I don’t know, but Mommy and Daddy were yelling about how Crazy No Legs can’t be trusted with children, and they told us to stay away from him!”

“Wow,” Melanie whispered, “so, let’s go play Barbie’s!”

About Laura

Writing is a passion for me, a healing process from past abuse, and a show of strength to other MEN and women that have endured or are enduring. Happiness is around the corner, reach for it, attain it, and embrace it, even if that means walking away.
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15 Responses to Optional: A Child’s Perspective

  1. freckles says:

    What a sweet, innocent childhood memoir. How, as children, we perceive words as literal truth. I love how you have written this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done.

  2. Jude says:

    This shows how effective dialogue is in recounting an incident. It was a great lesson for me. Enjoyed the underlying humour although No Legs certainly has my compassion. It was fast paced and fun. Loved it.

    • Laura says:

      Thank you, Jude. Yes, as an adult I see the illnesses and addictions that “No Legs” was dealing with, prior to his death he received assistance with those and turned out to be a really nice person!

  3. terrysmith says:

    Great dialogue it tells so much in children’s voices! Keep on writing.

  4. Hana says:

    As everyone else said too, using dialog as you have really tells a poignant story from the eyes of a child. Hits pretty hard on the views of the times too. Well done.

  5. Memoir Writer says:

    Poignant writing, Laura! Buying your memoir, I’d feel cheated if Crazy No Legs didn’t go on to become a major person in the book.

    • Laura says:

      Hi, Memoir Writer, I agree, but I think this will be a separate project from the one that I am working on. Thank you for the encouragement, I now have a lot of memories and ideas for book two!

  6. paige says:

    Good work.

  7. carrieann822 says:

    Wonderful. I’m envious of your ability to find your child voice.

  8. Vanetta says:

    Well written story with layers of meaning that are presented quite subtly. Interesting read.

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