Fiction Kids

Ezra stepped out of his mom’s mini van and was immediately hit in the face by a gust of wind. He reached back inside and grabbed his hat from the cup holder of his booster seat before pushing the button to close the door. Ezra stuffed his curls into the knit cap and pulled it down past his ears, then zipped his sweatshirt as high as it would go. It wasn’t cold, but he didn’t like wind. 

Once he was comfortable, Ezra turned to look at the playground. He scanned the climbing structure in search of his twin sister, Ada. It wasn’t hard to find her. It never was. She was walking across the top of the monkey bars, while a crowd of children stood below her, watching with awe. Ezra shuffled past the crowd. 

“That’s my brother, Ezra. He doesn’t like to climb,” Ada announced, when she saw him pass by. 

Some of Ada’s admirers glanced in his direction, but most couldn’t take their eyes off of the girl who was walking across the monkey bars. Ezra jumped up the playground steps and slid into the tunnel, grateful for a break from  the wind.

The group of children standing around the monkey bars gasped in unison when Ada jumped down, though she landed safely on her feet. 

“Let’s play hot lava monster. I’m it! Lava monster can’t touch metal!” Ada called to her followers.

The other children scrambled up onto the playground equipment, while Ada closed her eyes and began to count. 

Ezra slipped through the tunnel he had been hiding in and sped down the twisty slide. He wanted nothing to do with the crowd or their fun. Spying a fallen branch beneath an old oak tree at the edge of the park, he wandered over to investigate.

“The ground is lava!” Ada cried when she had made it to 30.

Ezra watched Ada run around the play structure, stretching and reaching until she managed to tag one of the other players. Turning his focus back to the branch, he picked it up, and was surprised by how light it felt. The branch was longer than his entire arm, and just as thick, so he’d expected it to be heavy. A gust of wind blew, stirring up the leaf litter. One leaf drifted up over Ezra’s head, then floated back down to the ground.

Ezra thought about that leaf and how it had flown through the air. It reminded him of a kite. He reached into his pocket and rummaged around until he found what he was looking for. He pulled out a tangled piece of yellow yarn. Holding one end in each hand, he pulled the string tight. After undoing a couple of tiny knots that had formed in the middle, he picked up a big leaf and tied the yarn to the stem.

Ezra experimented with swinging the yarn up and down, back and forth, and around in circles. He hoped that the wind would pick up his leaf, but he quickly realized that the yarn made his kite too heavy to fly. He would just have to pretend.

With the leaf and string trailing behind him, Ezra ran laps around the perimeter of the playground. He imagined that his kite was soaring above him, dipping, diving, and dancing, when really, he was just dragging it along.

Ada and her friends were now sitting in the sand. Ezra saw that they were taking turns dumping scoops of sand into a large bucket.

“Now we have to mix the soup. Give me that big stick,” Ada instructed.

Ezra and his kite ran back to the oak tree before anyone noticed him. He liked playing with Ada, but he wasn’t sure about all the new people. Ada was good at making friends. She liked to talk to anyone who would listen, and she was always doing dangerous things without getting hurt. Ezra was more cautious, and he didn’t like to talk to people he didn’t know.

While his sister and the other children worked together to make their soup, Ezra settled in next to the tree. He found that if he sat on the far side with his back against the trunk, the wind didn’t feel as strong. Ezra spotted what must have been hundreds of acorn caps scattered on the ground near his feet. He began to collect them in a pile at his side.

When his stash was quite large, Ezra peeked over at the playground. Ada was now teaching the others how to hang upside down by their knees from the monkey bars. Ezra picked up a handful of acorn caps and began to stack them on top of each other. He managed to create a tower that was 10 acorn caps tall, but the 11th cap made it topple over.

Ezra grabbed a nearby stick and used it to dig at the ground. The soil below the tree was soft and dark, and the gentle digging soon revealed a small earthworm. Ezra picked it up, and shuddered as its slimy body wriggled in his hand. He studied the delicate creature wiggling across his palm before carefully placing it back in the earth.

Ezra selected a couple of acorn caps. He slipped them into his pocket, then ran over to his mom, who was sitting on a bench near the playground, knitting.

“Look what I found,” he said, pulling the treasure from his pocket.

Ezra’s mom set her knitting project down and leaned over to look at what he was holding.

“Acorn caps! You love those!” she smiled at him.

Ezra sat next to his mom on the bench. Together, they watched as Ada and her admirers held a contest to see who could jump the furthest off the swings.

“Do you want to join them?” Ezra’s mom asked.

Ezra shook his head.

“Your sister’s star shines brightly, but yours is also brilliant. You know that, don’t you?” his mom said.

Ezra nodded. He knew he was different from Ada, but he never felt like his value was less than hers. She needed to be seen, the same way that he needed to hide. Ezra was happy to let her shine, because it meant that he could be exactly who he was, too.

April 29, 2023 02:58

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Roger Scypion
05:35 Dec 19, 2023

A well written story of two siblings that define yin and yang.


Show 0 replies
Mary Bendickson
19:07 Aug 09, 2023

You are such a good children's writer. Love your stories and thanks for checking out mine.


Show 0 replies
Galen Gower
02:13 Jul 06, 2023

Just dropping this here in case me asking for more stories from you is all it takes...


Show 0 replies
21:50 May 02, 2023

This is sweet. I’m glad he wasn’t pressured to be different and mostly that he didn’t pressure himself to change. There are so many delightful things on the playground both social and solitary. I like that Ada announces from the start both that he belongs to her and that she ready to defend his right not to play with them.


Show 0 replies
Andrew Fruchtman
14:38 Apr 30, 2023

Sweet story. I wanted it to continue.


Show 0 replies
Rita Kimak
10:55 Apr 29, 2023

What a nice story. I found myself rooting for Ezra, but I like how he stayed true to who he was and found that was his strength!


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.