He came running in the back door, wet track marks and globs of snow all over the hardwood floors I’d just mopped clean.

“Joey, for chrissakes,” I whined. “Take your boots off at the door.”

He was oblivious. “Mom, you gotta come. Mom, get dressed.”

I was still in my bathrobe watching old Abbott and Costello re-runs. I was cozy, wrapped up in grandma’s pashmina, a family heirloom that Mom gave me after gram’s recent passing.

“What is it honey?” I hadn’t moved. Not one iota. I paused the DVR.

“There are these tracks, Mom. We were sledding out back on Rebel Hill, and Tina saw them. Tracks this big!” He held his hands out and indicated about two feet of space between them.

I smiled. He is adorable, of course. He’s my baby, my pride and joy. Such a good boy, and his entire face lit up with possibilities, with that magic of the unknown.

But, not on a Sunday morning. I wasn’t about to freeze my ass off, sauntering across the Artic northern regions to investigate what animal might eat me for breakfast.

“What do you think it was?” I asked. But Joey was distracted by the fresh Tollhouse cookies, still warm from the oven. “Honey, how about some cereal? A banana?” He ignored me, devouring his second one. “You’re gonna make yourself sick.”


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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9 Responses to Tracks

  1. Rontuaru says:

    Rebel Hill!



  2. Shari says:

    Adorable, you write women characters so well. I love this mother and son scene, very real. Could go on forever, frozen in time.

  3. Don says:

    Awww…this is really a sweet story. I like that I get to wonder what kind of animal prints those might be. Artic north? Moose? Bear? Hmm.

  4. david says:

    What? An animal?? Do we need to know when there are cookies, TV and a comfy pashmina? Did we get the pashmina for Grandma on a hurried trip around Manhattan? Isn’t that where all pashmina should come from? Not the nasty acrylic ones from in front of the MET but the secret finds on say around 26th Street with real animal wools, perfect for a winter’s day…

  5. Angela says:

    I really want Mom to get up and go check it out…join in the excitement and wonder of her son – participate, share an experience, while he still wants to share every special moment with her.

  6. Dez says:

    I like how the mom is watching Abbott & Costello re-runs. I was just watching the Three Stooges this morning! Too funny of a coincidence. I like Andrea’s comment about the Yak…could be Yak Tracks, although they would have to be living in someplace in Asia for that to happen. Nice story though Robert. My mouth was watering for those cookies at the end.

    • Gloria says:

      So real and my heart was a little sad for both cause Mom didn’t want to be bothered when it was so big in his life right then. I know the tracks had to be Big Foot, couldn’t be anything else that size. LOL! I can relate with the Mom because of all the times I was too busy, couldn’t or didn’t. That’s why women get do-overs. Grandkids are wonderful: that’s all we do is live in their sweet worlds’ and play.
      Love, Mom

  7. Betsy says:

    Such a sweet little story….

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