by C.J. Colburn
Revised Contest Entry-Thank You to everyone for their critique...it helped.
|YOUR STORY: #16 THREE BOYS: JANUARY 10, 2009
MAX WORD COUNT: 750
PREMISE: Three boys decide to go have some fun at the local swimming hole. Shortly after they arrive, something terrible happens.
“Look,” shouted the youngest Callahan brother. Excited, Ben races to the edge of the frozen lake, pointing out into the darkness. “It’s here Jack, the shanty is exactly where you said it would be.”
“Calm down Ben; stop shouting.” He said. Gasping, Jack takes two quick puffs off his inhaler as he comes up along side of Ben. “You’re loud enough to wake the dead.”
“Wasn’t that the point?” grumbled Joe. “I still don’t understand why we’re out here in this bitter cold freezing our nuts off.”
Neither could Jack, but something just told him he needed to get them out of the house. Going to the fishing shanty was an after thought.
“Why exactly are we out here?” Joe rounded on him so Ben couldn’t hear them talking.
“Listen, let’s just do a little ice fishing.“ He picked up the fishing polls from the ground and handed each of his brothers their poll. “Ben, you go on and I’ll be right behind you.”
Joe grabbed his brother’s arm, stopping Jack. “What going on, Jack? Why are we out here tonight?” He bobbed his head to their favorite swimming hole that was covered with a glacier of ice. “It’s not exactly the best time of the year to go swimming.”
He glared at his brother and shook off his hold. “I told ya. We’re going ice fishing.”
“You’re lying or hiding something.” Joe shouted back at him. “I can tell.”
Jack didn’t want to hear it so he followed after Ben. The snow was making each step harder and tougher to see right in front of his face. He could barely make out his brother’s chubby little figure. The snow and wind were picking up wrapping them in its Arctic embrace; Jack knew they shouldn’t stay long.
“Ben, wait up.“ His voice was muffled as he wrapped his wool scarf around his mouth and nose. “You’ve got ten minutes whether you catch a dang fish or not.”
“Oh. My. God.” Been cried out. He jumped back hard, trying to escape but fell right into Jack busting his brother‘s nose.
“What the f…!” Jack shouted, dropping to his knees. He covered his face grasping his nose as he tried to staunch the blood.
Joe fell with a thump, slamming his head against the ice, giving him an abominable headache. “What the hell Ben.”
Ben just stood there shaking with tears flowing down his frost-bitten cheeks. He swiped at them not wanting his brothers to think he was a big baby, but he couldn’t help it.
Joe got to his feet and walked over to where Jack was kneeling. He haunches down to see if Jacks nose had stopped bleeding. “Here use this.” Handing Jack his scarf Joe helps his brother wrap it around his nose trying to stay the bleeding.
“Thanks,” he said. “Go see what freaked Ben out, would ya?” Jack got to his feet and followed after Joe to where Ben stood shaking..
“What? What‘s wrong, Bud?” Being compassionate wasn’t Joe’s strong suite , but he tried.
Ben points to the shanty and watches his brothers walk to the opening. Upon entering the boys spot their four- years-old ginger snap Dachshund…Bullet, lying barely breathing on the frozen floor.
“Is this why we’re here, Jack” Joe accused. “Did you know he was out here, alone and freezing to death.”
Jack shook his head as he bent down to enfold the dog into his arms. “Let’s get him to old man Withers." He told him as he tucked Bullet into his winter jacket. “Maybe, he’ll know what to do.”
The brothers walked to the old man’s shack at the bank of the lake. They arrived with in minutes and Old Man Withers wrapped the frozen pup in a blanket and placed him in front of the roaring fire. Each boy kept a vigil for hours to make sure their dog wasn’t another casualty of their grandmother’s cruelty. The boys knew their grandmother had drove out to the lake and placed Bullet in the shanty to die, she was just that evil.
Jack had told his brothers about the “feeling” that they needed to go to the lake, tonight. Ben and Joe were thankful that Jack had listened and that Bullet was racing around the shack like a young pup.
Word Count: 718