“The Playground” starter

This is story starter 3 of 3 for this week’s Write Off.

Once you have read all three intros, please vote for the story you’d like me to finish next week. Thanks!

Sample of my playlist for “The Playground”:

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“The Playground”

After three moves in nineteen months, Robbie was finally starting to enjoy life again.

The turn of seasons in Morsene sent red-tipped and golden leaves spiraling to earth in chaotic wonder. It happened in every town, every year, but this time Robbie found it fresh, exciting. The crisp air punched his lungs each morning as he stepped outside, a gentle reminder of creeping change. The last of the warmer winds were to be embraced, cherished, before they vanished forever.

Until spring, of course. But Robbie had no warm memories of spring to retreat to. Any pleasant thoughts he might once have fostered had been supplanted by multiple moves—twice in springtime—and constant rejection.

But autumn in Morsene was different.

Three months ago, his family had packed up yet again to move here, a place for which Robbie held little hope. But the town surprised him. Despite its size—under a thousand and then some—it won him over in a matter of days. More accurately, Trent won him over.

Trent was a dark-haired kid who looked surly but spoke gently and took to Robbie immediately. He showed him the best skateboard surfaces, bike paths and hideaways and introduced him to Derek, Jimmy and the few other boys his age. In all previous stops, Robbie hadn’t found anyone so welcoming.

When summer wound down and school began, the bike rides grew shorter and the gang ended up most evenings at the school playground after supper. After the smallest kids had gone to bed.

The boys enjoyed the playground more for the risks than anything; seeing who could climb the rock wall fastest and leap from the top the farthest; who could swing the merry-go-round hardest or, for that matter, hang off backwards longest without falling; who could bring the most smokes or cold ones from their father’s collection without getting caught.

Good times, finally. Even as a chill wiped out the last memories of summer, life for Robbie was getting better than he’d remembered it could be.

All that changed when the slide ate Jimmy.

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Read “The Girl in the Raindrops” intro
Read “Mosley’s Lover” intro