Then The Moth Showed Up

Did you ever have to hold the flashlight for your dad while he worked on something? Man, I hated that! I’m not kidding, flashlights seem to have a mind of their own; they won’t stay still, and seem to want to point everywhere except whereyour dad wants you to point them.

I remember one time when I was about twelve, and my dad’s truck broke down. He had a friend tow it to the house, and he was determined to have it fixed before morning,so he wouldn’t need somebody to give him a ride to work.

So there we are, the old man cussing and twisting bolts, while I tried hard as I could to keep the flashlight aimed where he was working. It was like the darn thing would get heavy, and just start drifting downward away from his hands. Naturally, he always noticed before I did, and his bark, which sounded sort of like my name, would cause me to come off the ground about a foot and a half. It also made it even harder to keep the flashlight still, since at that point I was trembling like a leaf in a wind storm.

Now he had two things to cuss about—the broken-down truck and my inability to hold the light still. Like I said, I hated flashlight duty!

Then the moth showed up. Without giving it a thought, I began to chase the fluttering creature with the beam of the flashlight, failing to notice my dad had stopped twisting on the bolt, and was no longer muttering to himself. I was entranced by the moth. Round and round, zigging and zagging, gone for a second then back; me, grinning like a possum, as I chased it with the beam of light.

“BOY!” the old man bellowed. I think my heart stopped, and I know for a fact my brain ceased to function, because what I did next will live in the annals of boyhood blunders for eternity.

“What!” I screeched as my feet came back to earth, and I pointed the flashlight right at my dad’s eyes. The look of sheer rage on his face almost made me wet my pants! I dropped the flashlight beam quickly to his hand, and watched it move slowly toward me. I deduced I was about to be strangled, but an angel saved me from my certain demise.

“Roy,” mom sang in a voice as sweet as any I’d ever heard. “Supper’s ready.”

I shot the beam back up to the old man’s face, and watched as he blinked rapidly then raised his trembling hand to shield his eyes. I dropped the beam to his mouth where one side of his lips began to curl into what could have been either a grin or a vicious snarl. I clicked the flashlight off, dropped it in the grass, and bolted for the house.

Copyright © 2011 C. Mashburn


  1. terri0729 said

    Attention spans of kids!! lol! I’m sure I have done similar and use every ounce of patience with my 13yr. old doing this homeschooling. I am about ready to break her cell phone in two!! I told her last evening to put it down or I would sic Mark on her. She put it down pretty quickly after she looked at his face! Great story Charles! Peace and love, Terri

    • Thanks, Terri! I’m sure all of us have done things like this and then suffered our kids doing them to us!
      Send me the link to part two of your story, please!

  2. terri0729 said

    Here’s both:

    Hopefully I did that right, lol! I am about 70/30 on that, lol!

    • Thanks! I’m in the middle of something right now, but I will read them and get back to you soon.

  3. Sherry Mashburn said

    I can just see the picture of that entranced little boy chasinng a moth with the beam. Great story, and I ‘m glad mom saved the day!

  4. terri0729 said

    That’s fine, whenever. I put you on my The Versatile Blogge Award list. If you wish to accept it, just see the related blog post and follow the same steps that I did. Peace and love, Terri

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