Personal Narrative

October 5, 2007
By Mikey Barthelemy, Albuquerque, NM

My uncle, Gerard, used to live in Oklahoma because that’s where the

National Park Service decided to locate him. The roads were long and winding and the

roadside was filled with oil wells while the road itself was littered with dead amarillo

carcasses. It was one of the most interesting drives my family and I had ever taken. My

uncle lived in a luxurious house on the north side of a lake. In my opinion, this was one

of the stupidest ideas ever! The mosquitoes grew to the size of quarters and would swarm

around not only people but any animals attempting to come near the lake. It was quite

similar to a scene taken from the Divine Comedy. After viewing my uncles house and

the park in which he worked, my family decided it would be an excellent idea it take an

afternoon stroll around this mosquito infested lake. I was seven at the time and my older

brother, Andre, pleaded with my parents to let us stay near my uncles house. This

decision was made only because my brother didn’t want to walk around with, in our

opinions, “boring adults.” I was allowed to stay behind as well.

When my family had left for their walk Andre and I were left to entertain

ourselves. My brother took to skipping stones while I found a good hardy stick I could

lift and, as many boys of seven do, was swinging it above my head like a mad man

fending off imaginary foes. Then, in my opinion at the time, I had the most excellent of

ideas. I came to the conclusion that while my brother was sitting on the shore of the lake I

would take a rock, throw it over his head and in the process would get him soaked. There

was a litter of stones near the stick I had found and began deciding which would be best

to complete my task. I found a rock that I could easily throw, but no! I needed a rock that

would create a humongous splash and would do the job of successfully getting Andre

sufficiently wet. I then decided upon a rock I could hardly lift but figured it would get an

elephant drenched if thrown with the right arc. Meanwhile, Andre had retired from his

stone throwing and sitting on the shore right where I wanted him. I positioned myself

behind a rotting ponderosa log. This concealment would help me in the long run. I

couldn’t outrun Andre, I knew this for sure. I obtained this knowledge from years of

Andre playing his continuous game with me of seek and destroy. My only option left

would be master of camouflage. I was taking my life into my own hands, but first I must

lift the rock. As I took the rock into my grasp my small arms were shaking due to the

shear size of it. I began rocking it back and forth. Just when I felt I had built up enough

momentum I released the rock into its aerial voyage. To this very day I can visualize that

rock sailing into the air. I ducked behind the log to take up the position of master of

camouflage. But there was no splash, no gigantic wave of water created by this mass into

liquid; only a dull thud piercing the silence of this riparian environment. I slowly and

cautiously raised my head above the log. Andre was lying on the ground. “Oh my God!” I

muttered to myself. A small voice in the back of my head began chanting these words,

“You’ve killed your brother”. Slowly at first, only as a mere thought but the voice

continued into a crescendo. Soon the noise was pounding in my ears and the realization

of what just happened hit me. Cain and Abel came to mind, I was Cain, I slew my own

flesh and blood. I looked at my hands, blackened with dirt; they were filthy. I had

committed the supreme evil. No!! It was an accident!! I tried to reassure myself but the

voice in the back of my head was relentless. Suddenly a groan was expelled from Andre’s

mouth and I returned to reality. Andre sat up rubbing his head. “O my God, He’s alive!”

When I saw him there returning to consciousness I wished he was dead. “Oh hell, I’m in

for it now!” I was standing up still behind the log. Andre turned toward me and looked in

my eyes. I returned the favor and gazed back, awestruck. His eyes were very watery and

off focus like he couldn’t keep his eyes on me without blinking continuously. He then

spoke, voice cracking, like a man doomed to solitary confinement who is not accustomed

to something as simple as speech. I can’t remember what the first words from his lips

were. I could feel the water filling up in my eyes and soon the pain of the lump in my

throat had to be released. But my howl of despair never came. I blacked out.

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