Fiction: His Blue Heaven

By Jeff McCrory

When David was four, a little girl convinced him to play doctor with her in the backyard. The little girl might have been his cousin. At the time, David couldn’t remember what his mother had told him.
A kiddie pool leaning against the stuccoed side of his grandma’s house served as a place to hide. They crawled inside the lean-to. The morning sun made the blue plastic glow. Squatting next to his playmate, David showed himself to her.
Heaven was real. His grandma proved it with a book.  David had seen the exact same book in the dentist’s office.  
“Look,” said grandma, her tall boy underneath a dish towel to keep it more private.  
David studied the picture of the little boy hugging the mane of a big lion. The lion loafed on a green lawn while the children of the world -- red and yellow, black and white -- ran with faces frozen in expressions of horrified joy. They were in heaven. Death was not rot and darkness. Heaven was real.
“In heaven, the lions are tame,” grandma said.
About this, David had his doubts. He had never made the acquaintance of anything fully tame. For sure, not in the living world.    
Mr. Logan, who lived across the street from grandma, kept his front lawn lush all year around. 
One chilly morning David held his grandma’s hand and crossed the street with her. Mr. Logan was working the edger, keeping the living world under his fierce control.
“I love your lawn,” grandma said. Smoke escaped her lips as she spoke.  
Tame lions and mowed lawns made up his grandma’s idea of heaven, but David liked his own idea of it better.  It was blue, and a little redheaded girl pulled down her panties to show him what she had down there.

Jeff McCrory lives in California.