by Nikki McBride Spencer
Jonathan kicked at the pebbles that were scattered across the dirt road. The road was more like a path, really, weeds springing up on the edges and some daring ones even took root in the middle of it, between the tire tracks. The road led to nowhere for most people, yet for Jonathan, it led everywhere. This was his world.
He hummed as he walked, kicking a stone here, pausing there to admire a jackrabbit family darting in the bushes. The little ones were so cute. They'd make good eating when the time came.
The sky was perfect today; huge pure white clouds floated by gracefully. They exuded laziness and sunshine all at once. Jonathan felt good. Really, really, good.
He noticed his shoelace had wiggled loose, untying itself. He crouched down to fix it, and as he did, a bit of sparkle caught his eye. He squinted at the thing in the dirt, and then moved closer to it. Red and gold, it glimmered and beckoned to him.
Jonathan picked up the bit of sparkle. He turned it over and over in his fingers. It was smooth over most of its surface, like a river rock, except for one side. That side had a curious ridged area. He thought about this. It could be a piece of something that had broken off of a bigger thing, but he didn't think so. The ridged edge looked important, as if it had been purposely carved into place. He turned it again, inspecting it with his short, stubby fingers. Then he shrugged. The thing was pretty, no doubt. He hadn’t the faintest idea of what it could be, but he didn't care much. The thing was pretty and interesting, and colorful to boot. The thing made him happy.
He slid the red and gold bauble into his pocket and continued on his way.