|Dominoes clang into one another as an old gentleman shuffles them.
"Are you gonna keep shuffling or are you gonna pass those bones around, Jim?"
"I was just thinking about the old swimming hole. You gents remember it, don't ya?"
"Ah yes. I recall the day we were batting that ball around and got a nasty surprise," Arnie grinned.
Jim, along with thier other companions, George and Frank, laughed.
"As I recollect Frank screamed like a little girl," chortled Jim.
"Hey, you see something like that coming at you, you'd scream too," Frank replied.
The old men sat in quiet memory. The day had been bright and perfect for an afternoon at the swimming hole. A treat allowed once thier chores were done. Meeting at the crossroads, the four friends walked along, tossing a ball back and forth. The water was muddy, evidence of recent activity.
Shirts flew as the boys stripped and jumped all at once into the swimming hole. In the heat of a Texas summer the water was warm but still felt better than the dusty heat surrounding it. Each boy disappeared under the water to completely immerse himself in the coolness. As Jim popped up, George nailed him with the ball.
And it was on. The boys splashed and dove to try to gain control of the ball. They would bounce it off each other's head, laughing. Arnie chunked it at Frank but missed when Frank ducked the attack. The ball sailed past Frank and hit the water near an overhang of trees. Frank took off in pursuit.
Then he screamed. The other boys turned to see what the commotion was about when Frank came crashing through the water with a huge black snake hot on his tail. The friends made for the shore, pushing each other aside in order to outrun the snake.
Frank had taken the brunt of it and was dead last. When he climbed onto the bank, his friends were bent double in laughter.
"What is so all-fired funny?" he demanded.
Laughing too hard to speak, Jim simply pointed. Floating past the boys was an old black hose caught up in the current.
Jim dealt out the dominoes. Artie played the first.
"Snake eyes!" he grinned as Frank scowled.
© Copyright 2012 Nikola~Praying for Oklahoma (UN: nmarshall at Writing.Com).
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