Sunday, August 15, 2010

Haulin' Glass, Oil Painting by Linda McCoy

His eyes were as blue as the cobalt marbles he was playing with. He liked the way the marbles clicked as they bumped into each other on the pebbly, cracked sidewalk. He carefully piled them into the toy truck his grandfather had repainted for him. Once red, now covered with hospital green, the red peeked through every ding and dent, refusing to be ignored. He looked up and saw his mother’s gingham apron through the screen door. “Put your toys away and come in for lunch.” He put the truck and the marbles in the old wood box along with his Hire’s Root beer bottle caps and some real caps left over from the 4th of July; which he was convinced no one would ever find.

He ate little lunch, for the Chicago summer heat was almost unbearable. He let the screened, wood door slam as he ran back down the porch steps to play. He continued to load the truck with marbles, beads of sweat appearing on his nose, even though the summer “crew cut” was supposed to keep him cool.

He looked up to see his sisters playing tug-o-war with their pet mutt “Blackie.” This went on for a few moments but he looked up again when he heard the dog growl. Something wasn’t right. The dog had foam coming his mouth and was swinging it's head back and forth angrily. He heard the screen door slam again as his father came on to the back porch. “All three of you get in the house now!” He was too young to know what distemper looked or sounded like but his father knew.

The shots rang out in the silence of that summer day; loud, piercing. The dog did not stop running. Up and down the stairs, growling, foaming. More shots, until finally the dog lay still. What had just happened? The gray paint of the porch now stained with blood. His mother and sisters crying in the bedroom, his mother’s head leaning against the top bunk bed. Bewilderment clouded his young eyes. He witnessed his father’s sadness at having to shoot the dog, mixed with relief that none of his children or the neighbor’s children were hurt by it.

The next day the morning glories that filled the wood and wire fence were spectacular. The smell of the back yard after the brief summer rain was comforting and familiar. He took the marbles out of the old wood box and put them again into the back of the toy truck. Click, click, click.

10" X 20" oil on gallery wrapped canvas.
The toy truck was made by Metal Masters, 1938 Diecast. Painting and story copyright Linda McCoy 2010
And a cropped view. You can see this painting on a calendar by the Daily Painters by Clicking Here:

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