Chapter 5: Burning Tears

Ethan Renoe
4 min readDec 17, 2019


Start with Chapter 1 here!

As I thought about Mr. White, I felt a blob in my throat. I got nervous because I felt like I was going to cry, and Mr. White always told me not to cry. I bet that this angry man also doesn’t want me to cry.

But then I thought about him getting angry at me for crying, so that made me want to cry more. Apparently my face gave it away and I looked like I was about to cry.

“Aw, kid, don’t cry,” said the angry man.

As you know, when you say that to someone it makes them want to cry more. My lips pulled back really tight and my eyes squinted closed as tears started to pour through.

“Ahh, kid…” he didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what happened when I cried either. It’s the reason Mr. White always told me not to cry.

I leaned forward in the seat of the truck and put my hands on my face. Tears began to pour through them and down my arms to my elbows. They burned holes in the blanket which was still wrapped around me and little clouds came up from it.

“Wh — ” the man looked at me and slowed the truck down. “Kid, what the hell — ?”

He was getting angrier at me which made me cry harder and my tears kept burning through the blanket. I felt them dripping down through the blanket to the seat I was on. The man had stopped the car and reached over to unbuckle the strap around me.

“You’re gonna destroy my — AGHHH!” he yelled and pulled his hand away from me. I looked over and through my tears I could see the skin on his hand melting away and heard a small sssss as clouds came up from his hand. My tears were burning through his skin and he stared at it in shock.

After a few seconds of staring at it, he opened his door and ran out of the truck, angrily screaming a bunch of bad words. He bent over and tried to wipe my tears off his hand. Finally he got them all off by dragging his hand on the ground, but he had already lost a lot of skin. I had stopped crying because his yelling startled me, so now I just stared at him.

I remembered when Mr. White had first told me not to cry. He was holding me, carrying me back from one of our trips and I was having a bad day. I didn’t have fun. I started to cry and some of my tears got on his shoe and burnt two of his toes off. Ever since that day, he told me not to cry even if I didn’t feel like crying.

The man was bent over outside the truck, holding his own hand and yelling a bunch of bad words, mixed with “kid.” I should have told him not to touch me when I’m crying, but I forgot.

My tears were still running down my face and dripping onto the blanket and seat. I heard the little ssss sound as they burnt through them and down. I got worried as they went through those things and down toward the tubes the man wouldn’t tell me about. I don’t know what they were, but they looked important.

“Mi — mister?” I said as I stopped crying. “Mister, my tears are going to get on your tubes.”

He looked up from his hand and looked into the truck by my feet, where the tubes were. His eyes got big. “Kid, get outta there!”

I pushed the blanket and the strap off of me and opened my door. I heard the hiss as my tears hit the tubes and burned through the plastic.

“Run away, kid!” I didn’t know why he was telling me to run, but I suddenly got nervous again. I looked around me and saw a lot of green grass and trees. I ran toward them as fast as I could. After a while, I looked back and saw the man still bent over next to the truck, holding his hand.

“Mister!” I yelled, but he was too far away to hear me. He probably knew what he was doing, so I turned back and continued running for the trees. I felt the crying lump come back up my throat, but pushed it back down this time. I was almost to the trees when I heard the bang.

I actually didn’t really hear it. It was so loud it blocked up my ears and I couldn’t hear anything. A second later a big, hot wind blew me off my feet and I hit a tree. That’s all I remember before I woke up later, and I still couldn’t hear.


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Ethan Renoe