The Project by Faydra D. Fields

Faydra D. Fields
By Faydra D. Fields March 4, 2012 04:59

The Project by Faydra D. Fields


DJ is excited when his dad agrees to help him with his school science project. Father and son have great fun creating the model of the Solar System. The not-so-fun part happens after the project is finished, and DJ finds himself in trouble because of what he does with the project. Who’s to blame? Dad or DJ? You’ll have to decide when you read “The Project.”


“Yes, Dad.” DJ didn’t come into the room. He stood in the doorway holding the door knob as if he was ready to slam it and bolt if things got too scary. Although neither of his parents had ever hit him in his life, their yelling at one another struck him in his spirit and left emotional scars that were sure to take many, many years to heal. Don stopped pacing and looked at his son.

“Your mom says you want me to do this project with you. Is that true?” Don stared daggers into his son, and DJ’s eyes darted between his father and his mother. Lydia nodded encouragement to DJ as if to say, “Come on, baby. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Now’s your chance.”

“Yes, Dad.” DJ tried to look courageous but the shaking door knob under his hand gave him away as the tiny mechanisms inside of it tinkled ever so softly.

Looking hard at his son and finally realizing that the tinkling noise he was hearing was coming from his son’s shaking hand on the door knob, Don finally relented and his heart softened. His face, however, remained as tight as a new drum head.

“This paper says you have to choose between the three categories listed. Which one did you pick?” The edge had come off Don’s voice, but his tone was still hard.

“I want to do the solar system.” DJ relaxed a bit. He was still prepared to zip back to his room if the yelling started again, but he felt the tension dissipating from the air.

“Why not this volcano thing? Wouldn’t that be cool to make this thing explode all over your mother’s spotless kitchen counters and cabinets and appliances?” Don’s face was hard. DJ wasn’t sure whether he was serious or joking. There was pin-drop-hearing silence.

“Uh…,” DJ started.

“Come on, son! Let’s do the volcano! Let’s make a huge mess and leave it for your mother to clean up! What do you say?!?!” Don’s arms were flailing wildly now, the paper making repeated wisping noises as it cut through the air in Don’s hand.

Neither DJ or Lydia knew what to do or say. They just watched the man of the house flailing his arms and turning around in dizzying circles as he imitated what they assumed was lava from a volcano spewing all over the kitchen surfaces. Once Don got too dizzy and too tired to continue, he fell backwards on the bed and burst out in hysterical laughter. DJ and Lydia just looked at him as he rolled from side-to-side on the bed laughing crazily like a closet full of crazy people.

Don continued to laugh as he darted off the bed and rushed towards DJ, who was so shocked by the sudden movement that he forgot to escape to his room. Before DJ could get his thoughts together and make the mad dash, Don was scooping him up and body-slamming him playfully on the bed. Lydia had to duck to the side to keep one of DJ’s arms from clipping her on the side of the head. Before she could lean too far away, Don had snagged her by the waist and he was tickling both his son and wife until all three of them were laughing hysterically. Lydia finally broke away and stood by the bed.

“Y’all are not messing up my kitchen with no darn volcano,” Lydia said with her hand on her hip and a faux attitude in her voice. She was still smiling from the tickle-fest.

“All right, momma. No volcano, but not because you said we couldn’t,” Don said as he caught his breath. “We’re just not doing it, because DJ wants to do the solar system.”

“Yeah, right,” Lydia said with a mirthful smirk.

“So we’re going to do the solar system, Dad?” DJ was trying to get his breathing under control, too, but his excitement over his dad agreeing to do the project with him was making that difficult.

Copyright© Faydra D. Fields. All rights reserved.

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Faydra D. Fields
By Faydra D. Fields March 4, 2012 04:59
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  1. nylne September 27, 22:39

    I anticipate that some how the project will go wrong and that DJ might disappear into a parallel universe.

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