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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2018955
Entry for Writer's Camp. 998 Words.
Shades drawn to block the midday sun, Sam tries to ignore the cell phone vibrating next to him in the bed.

“What?” he grumbles into the phone as he realizes he can’t fall back asleep with the growl and shimmy of the phone making its presence known every few minutes.

“Sam?” questions his best friend, David.

“Yea, what?” he grumbles again.

“Umm, well, I hate to ruin your beauty sleep but thought you might want to hang out now that the rain has stopped and the sun is shining,” David says.

“Errr, auh, I don’t know man I was sleepin’ pretty good,” Sam jokes as he stretches and tries to wake up.  “What ‘ch thinking about doing?”

“I was gonna head to the skate park and practice some moves on my new board,” David answers.

“A’ight, I can meet you there in ‘bout 30 minutes” Sam says.

Pressing End and tossing the cell back on his bed, Sam glances around his room hoping his skateboard will make its whereabouts known.  Seeing the bright orange wheels peaking from under a crumpled windbreaker and pair of shoes, he grabs the board, flops down on the bed and slips on his shoes.

Quietly slipping out the door, hoping to avoid his mother, Sam notices her stooped down and pulling weeds from the flowerbeds.

Smiling up at him from beneath a wide-brimmed hat, she says, “Be still my heart, he’s alive.”

“Very funny,” Sam mumbles as he tries to look innocent.

“Where yah off too?” she asks.

“Meeting David at the park,” he replies.

“Think that will help you find a job for the summer?” she asks as nonchalantly as she can.

“Yah, yah, I know,” he replies as he walks away toward the park.

“You be home in time for dinner?” she calls after him.

“Yep, unless I get a call from Bill Gates to head up Microsoft for him,” he laughingly replies.  Dropping his board to the ground, Sam hops aboard and glides down Magnolia Lane thinking he should find a summer job but preferring to hang with his friends.

Listening to his mother’s voice in his mind,  ‘Life is too short”  ‘Make every day count.’  But in the next breath she’s pushing him to get a job, grow up, be responsible.  “What does she want from me?” Sam mumbles under his breath.  “Grow up.  Have fun.  You can’t do both.”

Hearing his name called, Sam looks up as David dips down below the horizon in the deep bowl that is the highlight of the park.  Moving closer, Sam glides to the inclined wall in time to see David spin and grab as he launches high into the air on the opposite side of the bowl.  The clack of wheels and concrete reverberate up from below as David spins at the bottom of the bowl and sails up the other side.

“Dude,” he yells to his friend as the board teeters on the lip of the bowl and David turns to make a slower yet stylish decent to the center where he glides to a lower area and exits.

“How’d I look man?” David bellows as he coasts over to where Sam is standing.

“Super cool dude.  You are such a showout,” Sam answers with a high five and smile.

“Hey, when you got it, you got it.”

“Yea yea.  I hear ya.  Let’s grab a soda,” Sam says as he motions to the Snack Shack.

“You not skatin’ today?” David asks as he rolls alongside.

“Nah.  My wheels are pinged and worn.  I gotta get new wheels before I jump in The Bowl,” Sam replies.  “Mom says I gotta buy my own this year.”

“That sucks,” David commiserates.

“The joys of growing up.  Mom says I’m 16 now, so I have to start earning my own ‘pocket money’.”  Sam adds, “I mean I get it, but still.  How am I supposed to come up with $50 to replace the wheels and that’s if I get a good deal.”

“You could mow grass like we used to,” David suggests.

“I thought of that but mom thinks I should get a real job.  You know, set days and times that I have to be there and work.  She’s going on about needing to take on more responsibility and showing some stability in my life.”  Sam adds, “Whatever that means.”

Sodas in hand the two boys turn and glide toward the seating area.  “What about McDonalds or one of those,” David suggests.

“I could but that’s such a sucky job,” Sam says, “Messes up your weekends and evenings all summer.  You get to see your friends out having fun while you ask if they want fries.”

“Yeah,” David says nodding.

“I just don’t get it,” Sam says in frustration.  “She keeps going on and on about how I need to be responsible and work a regular schedule but then she tells me to do something I like.”

“Your mom’s nuts,” David replies.  “You either don’t work and do what you like or you work and wish you could do what you like.”

“She says it don’t have to be that way,” Sam mumbles.  “She insists that if I look around, I can find a job doing something I like.”

“Yeah, right,” David snorts.

Gathering up their cups, they make their way to the trash can.  Sam spots the park manager behind the Snack Shack among a pile of roller blades, skateboards and other equipment.

“Hey John.  What’s up?” calls Sam.

“Not much.  What’s up with y’all?” John replies.

“Just hanging.  What ‘ca doing with all this stuff?” Sam asks.


“Working?” Sam asks.

“Yeah.  I’m spending most my day’s just cleaning, oiling and making minor repairs to the parks rental equipment,” John says.

“Really?  Now that’s a job I need,” Sam says.

“Really?” John asks.  “You want this job?”

“Heck yeah,” Sam adds excitedly, “I practically live at the park and I’ve been fixing my own blades and boards since forever.”
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