A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

A Day at the Quarry

It was a balmy summer morning as Billy sat on his front porch. The ten-year-old was small for his age and had a head of chaotic auburn hair. He looked out over his yard and into the street beyond. Two boys of questionable character stood on the pavement. They were both the same age as Billy but stood more than a head taller. They were dark-haired with a complexion to match. They reminded Billy of the dark villains you see in all the movies. Jason, the taller of the two, said “Oh, come on Billy. Don’t be chicken. You never go anywhere with us. You will have fun. The quarry is not far and there is so much to see there. There’s nothing wrong with watching the guys work.”

“But Mom says it’s dangerous and we shouldn’t play around those big machines,” whined Billy.

“You always gonna do what Mama tells ya?” This came from Seth. He was the real rebel of the two. He always wanted to see what trouble he could get into.

“Fine,” Billy said. “But we better be back before sunset. Dad will be home then and I don’t want him yelling at me again.”

“We won’t be long – just a couple of hours,” Jason promised.

Billy grabbed his backpack and took off after the boys. All too soon they reached the entrance of the rock quarry. Billy could usually hear the rumble of machinery and the shouting of workers. Today, though, it was unusually quiet. “I thought you said there would be workers.”

“I don’t know what is going on. There’s usually all sorts of guys here workin’,” said Jason.

The quarry stood like a huge open mouth in front of them. The front gate, usually closed, was hanging wide open. “I say we go on in. I wanna get a better look at that backhoe,” said Seth. He then ran through the gate and disappeared around the side of the backhoe.

“We have to go on in, you know. Seth will get into trouble without us. We have to look out for him,” said Jason as he walked through the gate. Billy stood in thought. Did he really want to go in there? This place was scary. But he couldn’t let the guys know that he was scared of a bunch of rocks. So, he trudged through the gate after Jason.

The boys caught up to Seth as he was approaching the cliff face. “There you are guys! I was beginning to think I was going to have to climb this all by myself.”

“Why do you want to do that?” asked Billy.

“Because it’s there, that’s why. I bet the view from up there is amazing. Besides, there are little cliffs along so you can stop if you want to,” agreed Jason.

Billy finally gave in. “Fine. I bet I could see my house from up there.”

Slowly, the boys began to climb. Seth was in the lead with Billy bringing up the rear. Every now and again, they would pause on one of the small outcroppings in order to catch their breath. Rocks would give way every now and again, causing small avalanches as they went. Finally, they made it to the top, each boy helping the other over the ledge. As Billy stood upright, he found that he really could see his house from there. He could make out the black roof that Dad had re-shingled last year. He could also see Mom’s minivan in the driveway. Suddenly, there was a loud popping sound from behind him. He turned to ask Seth if he heard it just as he saw Seth falling backwards. Billy reached for him but was too late. Seth fell over the cliff and onto an outcropping below.

“Seth!” Jason yelled as he ducked over the edge. “Are you OK?”

“I think I broke my leg. I can’t move. It hurts!”

“I think he might need some help,” said a voice from behind. Billy turned to see who had spoken. It was a tall auburn-haired man dressed in black jeans and t-shirt. He had a backpack and looked about the same age as Billy’s dad.

“Where did you come from?” asked Billy.

“You won’t believe me but I will tell you anyway. I am William Anderson. I am from the future and I am here to tell you that you must save him. Our future depends on it.”

“Yeah, right. And I am the Easter Bunny. Who you tryin’ to kid here?” asked Jason as he stood up.

Billy grabbed Jason’s arm. If he can help us with Seth, I don’t care who he thinks he is.” Then he turned to William. “You got any climbing gear in that backpack of yours? Or maybe a splint?”

“I do but I really can’t get involved…yet.”

“What do you mean you can’t get involved? Are you gonna help us or not?” demanded Jason.

“Anything I do can and will change the outcome of the future. I can help but only in very limited ways. I don’t expect you to understand – but you will. There are things that happen today that will have repercussions for many years to come. Jason, you must climb down to save him.”

“Well that is what I was going to do until you showed up. Then, I was hoping you could help me out a little.”

Billy turned on Jason. “Wait a minute! You are going to go down there and leave me here with this sicko? You don’t know who he is or if he is gonna hurt us!”

“I do think he is OK. I mean look at his backpack. Look familiar? And his name is William Anderson – just like you. He even looks like you if you look hard and squint one eye. I am going down there to help Seth whether anyone helps me or not.”

Billy glowered at Jason. Why was he always so quick to believe everyone? Slowly, Billy looked at William. “Show me your right leg.”

William rolled up his right pant leg. There was a long scar running down his shin. “I got that when I was stuck on the roof. I got down but I fell in the process. Dad grounded me for a week after that. I wasn’t supposed to be up there.”

“ I didn’t tell anyone about that. Dad was the only one who knew and he didn’t want to tell Mom any more than I did.”

“Do you believe me now?”

“Jason – help Seth.”

“Well, it’s about time.” Jason laid down and looked over the cliff. “You still OK down there Seth?”

“I’m still here. You gonna help me or spend all day talking?”

“I am coming to get you. Just hold on.” Then Jason inched his legs over the edge and scooted out so that only his chest and arms were still on the ground. The rest of his body dangled down the side of the cliff. He scrambled until he could get a foothold, then he took a huge breath and moved his right foot downward. Suddenly, the rock under his left foot gave way and he felt himself slide even further downward. There was only air under his feet. Then, just as quickly, there was a pressure round his right wrist. Jason looked up into Billy’s eyes. “Gotcha. I won’t let you fall,” promised Billy. “Just hang on.”

“I can’t find a good foothold.”

Billy looked up at William. “Still can’t help eh?”

“I will go down another way and see if I can catch Jason. At least I can hang out with Seth and keep him company. I have to tell you something. I am not supposed to tell you but you really should know this. In the future, Billy, there is an invasion. Jason is the one who stops it. You have to save him. You have to find it in yourself to save him. Be strong and hold on. This is why I didn’t want to get involved. You have to be the one who saves him. It is important. You have to!”

“Whatever. Just get down there OK?”

William walked to another part of the cliff and began a slow descent to Seth’s outcropping below.

“Don’t let go, Billy!”

“I said I wouldn’t and I won’t. I gotcha. I just wish you weren’t so sweaty.”

“Hey, it’s hot out. Hey, I’m slipping! Don’t let go!”

“I can’t hang on. Don’t squirm. Don’t –“

Billy felt Jason’s hand slip through his fingers. He reached down to get a better grip on his friend but he was already falling…

Jason awoke to the sounds of battle. He slowly opened his eyes. He did not want to get up and face what was out there but he had to. He heard a voice at his ear. “You gonna get up or do I have to pull you up?” It was Billy. He was dressed in black pants and a shirt. He had that stupid backpack with him. He looked just like a man he had met years ago.

“Hey, Billy. Do you remember that guy who helped us out all those years ago? He caught me as I fell off that cliff in the quarry.”

“I remember. Seems like a few minutes ago.”

“He said I would stop an invasion.”

“I know. I was that man. And those bombs you couldn’t detonate because of your bad arm that you broke…”

“But I didn’t break my arm.”

“Exactly.”

Seth appeared in the doorway. “You know what else? I never told you guys this, but he talked to me down there. He asked me if I was always going to be a punk. He said I had two choices. I could use my leg as a crutch or I could be strong in spite of it. He said I really had it in me to be good. I guess I got tired of blaming things on other people. I am glad I have had you guys there for me and now I have something for you.” His face broke into an enormous grin. “I have the detonation codes.”

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Flash Fiction

I looked into Flash Fiction upon the recommendation of my best friend. I looked it up on Google and I found the Flash Fiction Chronicles sponsoring a contest called the String of Ten prompt. So, I took their 10 words and began to write with the intention of entering it into their 250 maximum contest. Well, after writing more than 1000 words, I decided it wouldn’t meet their criteria. But that is fine. I have a cool story anyway. So what do I do with it? For one, I am going to post it here. It will serve as a place holder until I figure out what to do with it. Please feel free to read it and post a comment. I can use some thoughts on it. I will post it in a separate posting here.

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