By Grace Frey
While reading Ghostographs by Romasco Moore, I found myself drawn to many of the pieces. Some had pictures that piqued my interest, while some had fascinating titles. Some of these stories had a perfect mix of both. The flash fiction piece that drew me in the most would have to be "Hide and Seek.” I love how the title gives off a childish vibe, but, when you begin to read the story, it creates a feeling of unease. I found myself looking behind my back a bit because some of the sentences gave me chills. Romasco Moore almost makes the "friend group" sound cult-like through word choices like “unspoken agreement,” “dared”, and “betrayed.” However, after the uneasy feeling comes a new perspective, and you can tell the person behind the page is just a kid. For example, the way Romasco Moore describes the intensity of playing hide and seek captures that childlike excitement: “In the dark, we held our breath, stifled coughs and sneezes, hoped the thrumming of our own blood would not betray us.” Romasco Moore describes the game in a way that only children can because the world seems so much bigger and more exhilarating when you are a kid. However, that childlike invigoration is short lived. Quickly I was pulled right back into that uneasy state.
In the last paragraph, Romasco Moore describes the boy Jimmy as if he were an object. In the line "One year, old Mrs. Randolph died, and when her children came to clear out the house, they found Jimmy Hodgkin under her back porch," Jimmy is almost equated to finding something like a lost ball that you haven't seen in a year instead of a human being. As the narrative continues, it tells that Jimmy took the hide and seek game so seriously that it led him to live under a back porch for a whole year. The last sentence, “He was a very dull boy” shines a bit of light on how cruel children and people, in general, can be to others. They forgot about their not-so-dear-friend Jimmy, and the reason for that forgetting was because he was dull. Stating Jimmy was a dull boy makes me feel like if I don't do something extravagant with my life, I will simply be forgotten like poor Jimmy. How does one forget about a person so easily? Especially, someone, you claim to be your friend? Did they intentionally forget about him because he was a bore? Many questions still linger in my head after reading this flash fiction.