Vintage Binoculars by Leah Browning
Danny found them on a shelf at the back of the shop. The thin leather strap was worn to a string on one side, and missing its snap, but someone had looped it through and tied it in a knot. They were otherwise in good condition, for their age.
He took them to school the day of the class picnic. His mother rubbed sunscreen on his nose and the back of his neck. She was wearing a skirt even though they were going on a short hike before lunch.
At the top of the hill, Danny turned back. He lifted the binoculars to his face and adjusted the knobs. He could see Greg’s dad, walking alongside his mother. As they walked, Greg’s dad placed his hand on the small of her back.
Wildflowers were growing along the trail. Some other boys started a game of tag, and Danny ran after them, holding the binoculars to keep them from knocking against his chest.
Leah Browning is the author of three nonfiction books for teens and pre-teens and three chapbooks. Her fiction and poetry have recently appeared in Chagrin River Review, Fiction Southeast, Toad, The Blue Hour Magazine, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Mud Season Review, and Glassworks Magazine.