by Tina Stone
Two boys ditch school to rescue a mystery creature.
|The loud, pitiful cry could be heard from a block away. Clearly, someone or something was in dire trouble and nine-year-old Caden and his best friend Parker couldn't resist the temptation to investigate. The two boys stopped their matching Schwinn bikes and focused on where the sound was coming from. It sounded close!
Caden was sure it was coming from somewhere down by the ice cream parlor and took off before Parker could argue. The boys coasted slowly, focusing on the cries, which were getting weaker and not coming as often as when they first started following the sound. At the ice cream parlor, they stopped and listened.
"It's coming from the ally behind there," Parker said and pointed to a shadowy, narrow ally that ran beside the building. It was so narrow, the boys had to peddle a single file. As soon as they turned and headed into the dark shadows, it grew colder and Parker wasn't sure he really wanted to go much further. Then, just when he was about to tell Caden to turn around, the cry sounded again. Really close. Really loud and rather demanding.
Caden jumped off his bike and let it thunk to the ground. He slowly took a few steps deeper into the ally. There were several large, smelly, overflowing dumpsters, boxes, plastic bags and bottles littered the pavement. There were some old broken down buckets, someone dumped a moldy sofa against the side of the dumpster and wooden pallets were stacked in a haphazard heap against the chain-link fence.
"Do you see anything?" Parker asked his buddy. He couldn't help but glance at his Hulk watch. They were going to be late for the first bell and they missed any chance for breakfast. "We gotta hurry!"
The cry came again and Caden zeroed in on an old rusty ladder that had been tossed against the wooden pallets. He was sure the sound came from there. Carefully, he and Parker made their way over and the sound came again, softer and more pitiful than ever. Caden pulled his house key from his jeans pocket and on the chain, he also had a tiny flashlight. He flipped it on and began shinning the light in the dark nooks of the heap.
The light suddenly reflected on something orange and shimmery. It was eyes and they were looking right at him! He let out a startled gasp, then sheepishly glanced at Parker to see if his friend had noticed his no so tough response. Parker was on his knees pushing a wooden pallet weighted down by the ladder. Relief washed over Caden and he quickly helped his friend.
When they finally pushed the wooden pallet from under the ladder, they discovered a tiny 12-week old kitten that had been trapped under the rubble. The ladder must have fallen and trapped the poor creature, Caden thought. The boys quickly took turns holding and comforting the little kitten, that started purring. It was soft and fuzzy and solid coal black with large, orange-colored eyes that blinked at the boys. It was love at first sight, for both the boys and the tiny kitten.
"We can't just leave her and we can't take her to school," Caden said.
"It IS Friday, Friday the 13th and nothing important ever happens at school on Fridays," Parker said.
Caden emptied all his books from his backpack into Parker's backpack and put the tiny kitten into his backpack. Without further discussion, the boys carefully rode their bikes back to Parker's house. His parents had both already left for their respective jobs and they used his key to get into the house and race upstairs to Parker's bedroom. There, they let the kitten explore the room while they raided the kitchen for bowls, milk and a slice of bologna.
The boys laughed and spent the whole day playing with the furry little friend and when she got tired and napped, the boys played Nintendo. They both agreed it was the best Friday the 13th they ever had!
Word Count 677