Dan knows how to play a record without scratching it, even though he is only nine. The vinyl disc slides out of the paper sleeve and he holds it with his thumb on the edge and his fingers on the label just the way his Dad taught him.
“You need to protect the grooves from dust or marks.”
He places it on the turntable, finding the centre so it slips into position on the plastic circular mat.
He presses the silver ‘play’ button and the disc spins, just like it has done so many times before. The arm moves across. It touches the record with a crackle and the familiar cheering from Folsom Prison rises through the speakers. Johnny Cash introduces himself and the twanging guitar intro to ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ bounces into the room.
Dan sits back against the edge of his bed and a tear slides down his face. It’s a year since his Dad died.
Andy Houstoun has had short stories published in a range of magazines and won ''Best UK fiction on the Net 2021' in the literary journal Ariel Chart Review. He is the author of the novella-in-flash 'Waiting For Lulu at Wuthering Heights'.