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The Adams Legacy -- Fiction Writers Group Flash Fiction for 7/4/20

This week's Fiction Writers Group's 300-word flash fiction prompt this week is:

The Adams Legacy

It was just past dusk and we sat on the front step to avoid the summer heat. Our neighbor, Old Man Adams, had been the butt of our juvenile jokes and pranks for years. He took it all in stride, preferring to bend our ears about the “old days” rather than chastising us. I always thought his stories about voting or even driving his own vehicle all day without a travel pass, were just that—stories. But, when I told Mom and Dad about them, they got upset and told me to stay away from Mr. Adams. It was weird because they looked more scared than mad.

Joey and Tommy’s parents must have told them the same thing because we never teased or even talked to Mr. Adams again. The adults on the street stopped talking to him, too. With the neighborhood turned against him, Mr. Adams became even more odd. He walked around his yard singing strange songs about love and freedom. When Tommy’s dad heard that, he accused Mr. Adams of trying to get the whole neighborhood killed, but Mr. Adams just sang louder.

So it was that on that hot evening in early July Mr. Adams paraded down the middle of our street singing a song at the top of his lungs about red rockets’ glare. He carried a stick that gave off sparks into the dying daylight, and waved another one with a red, white, and blue cloth on its end. My father stood as Mr. Adams passed and his hand fluttered to his chest. Tears streamed from Mom’s eyes.

The Security Force shot him before he reached the end of the block and the flag he carried blew away on the breeze. It is now hidden under the floor in my bedroom.

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