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by David Henson

One dull white day, same as all t’others, Claude and Maude was sitting out back when Claude got a urge to dig. So he got’im a pickaxe and a shovel and started in.

The going was easy for a bit, but then the ground rocked up so Claude turned to the pickaxe. Deeper and deeper he went. ’Fore he knew it, Maude was yelling for him to come up for eating.

Well, by now Claude was so way-down he could barely hear Maude, but he’d planned ahead good and dug the sides of the hole rough-like so he was able to climb out.

“Why you doing this, Claude?” Maude asked him.

“I think it can be better,” Claude said, not knowing exactly what he meant but figuring he’d know it when he found it. He fed hisself a good bit with Maude then back down he went.

Claude started tiring some, but then he got hisself a vision of what he was looking for. Something that would change the whole world. That thought gave Claude a second wind, and he dug faster than ever. Came to a underground lake and went around. Came to a seam of coal and chopped through. Came to a load of diamonds and even a big ole dinosaur bone, but kept on.

Finally, when the dull white sky seemed like just a dot above him, Claude hit upon a thing that stopped him cold. A small opening in the earth glowing what he’d never seen before. It was a mother lode of blue is what it was, but Claude didn’t know to call it that at the time.

Anyways, Claude slammed down his pick. When he did, all that blue trapped in the ground got freed and started streaming out. By the time Claude climbed back up to the surface, he saw the blue hadn’t stopped there. It was shooting higher and kept at it for days on end till it completely filled the up above.

And that — that there’s how Claude changed the sky from plain ole white to blue.

Now there’s longer to say. See Maude, just like Claude, wasn’t one to just sit around satisfied. She and Claude enjoyed the blue sky a spell, but, one day, looking at the grass, all gray like it was back in them days, Maude says, “Claude, I got a urge.”

David Henson and his wife have lived in Belgium and Hong Kong over the years and now reside in Peoria, Illinois. His work has been nominated for Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net and previously has appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Spelk. His website is writings217.wordpress.com. His Twitter is @annalou8.