May 10, 2017
By , San Marcos, CA

What was that?

The boy looked over his shoulder. There was nothing there, just the broken bus, stranded in the middle of a deserted road. He continued his trek up the steep cliff face. The bus driver had said that it would take a couple of hours to repair the bus, so it would be fine for the passengers to take a break walk around a bit. No one had taken up his offer, except the boy, for who would want to stand outside on a blistering hot summer day when they could be sitting on a bus with working air conditioning.  It had only been a half an hour though, the driver couldn’t possibly be done already.

The boy continued to scale the cliff face, sweat dripping down his neck. His shirt already soaked in sweat. He pulled himself up onto an outcropping finding a shallow indention providing little shade. He decided it was a good time to stop and rest before he reached the harder slopes. He pulled out his water bottle from the worn bag strapped to his back. He took two long gulps before returning the bottle to its safe refuge in his bag. He leaned back on the rock face, wiping his wet bangs from his eyes. He loved it up here. It was free of people, it was free of noise, it was free of all the problems. He had the birds for company, the wind was whistling it usual tune, and the sun was shining brightly down on him. What more could he ask for?

He closed his eyes. Feeling the coolness of the shade crawl down his face as a cloud blocked the sun. There it was again. He jerked up. Could it be? No. The bus couldn’t possibly be fixed...could it? He rushed to the edge to find the driver packing back up his tools, readying the bus for departure. Oh no. He quickly lowered himself from the ledge and back onto the rocky cliff face. He scrambled down as fast as possible, causing pebbles and dirt to cascade towards the ground. He was near the bottom when the rock he put his foot on collapsed on him. His legs gave away. He slid downwards. He reached out with his hand, trying to grab for anything. He caught something.

His arm jerked as his hand tore into a sharp rock. He had hit the rock with such force that the rock stabbed straight through his hand, which at the moment was the only thing holding him up. He shrieked in pain as blood dripped from his hand onto his face. He painfully reached up with his other hand. He grabbed the rock with his good hand while he yanked with all his might to pull out his hand. On the first try he barely managed to move his hand, he yelped again from the pain. On the second try he loosed it slightly, now the tip of the rock wasn’t pointing out of the top of his hand. He was running out of strength fast. His vision was going blurry, the pain was so excruciating that his vision was going blurry. Was it just his mind or was the world getting darker? He gave his hand one last tug. The rock released his hand just as he lost consciousness, and fell towards the Earth down below...

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