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Canyon of Colorado (Chapter One)
It was a Friday afternoon. The sun was just visible over the glistening, majestic pine trees. The birds were singing, and you could hear the woodpeckers, their beaks slamming furiously into the thick wood of the mighty oak tree. In the distance was the sound of a beaver’s tail slapping against the silent, cool water, and Damian was sucking it all in from a ledge on Hebert Mountain. Because it was a Friday, he decided he wanted to go for a walk to get the steam from the week out, and his aunt unwillingly agreed. You’d want to get steam out too if your teacher always yelled, and I mean always. So here he was, studying his serene and peaceful surroundings. Damian checked his wristwatch, struggling because of the afternoon sun leaving an annoying reflection, and made up his mind that it was time to go back for dinner. He stood up and looked around one more time before he headed off to the south where his aunt’s house was located.
About an hour later Damian reached his aunt’s yard. He strolled up and tried the doorknob but it wouldn’t budge. Next he hit the doorbell and he heard it ring through the house sounding like it was far away, off into the distance. Damian expected to hear footsteps but was alarmed when there were none. He cupped his hands around the cold, smooth glass of the window and peered in. He noticed a slip of paper taped to his shining fridge. He squinted trying to read the miniature handwriting.
Went to market to
get some ingredients
for dinner, be back in half hour.
Damian went behind the small house and lifted up the smooth, gray rock covering up the hole with his spare house key in it. He went back up his steps, stuck the key in the small hole and turned it, unlocking the expensive brass door.
Damian threw the keys on the counter and walked into his living room. His aunt’s living room consisted of two chairs, a sofa, a mahogany coffee table with coasters, a wide screen television with surround sound, a hutch with a few drinking glasses, and a Persian rug. At the moment, this was heaven on earth to Damian. He plopped himself on the red sofa and picked up the remote, leaning back and propping his feet up on the coffee table.
As Damian was scanning the channels he noticed that the VCR was on. He got up and pressed the eject button on the VCR and a little black tape slowly slid out. Damian pushed it back in, turned to channel three and pressed play.
On the television a picture of a chapel popped up. As the tape kept rolling it showed two people strolling down the aisle in a gown and tuxedo. It was a wedding. To be more exact, it was his parents’ wedding. Tears came to Damian’s eyes like lava about to burst from a very active volcano. He turned away as a huge wave of sorrow crashed into him like a tsunami, only hurting people because of some plates in the earth shifting.
Damian slammed his fist down on the eject button before burying his face in his cold and clammy hands.
. . .
Later, by about a quarter of an hour, his aunt came home to find him in the same exact position as earlier.
“What happened?!” Yelled his confused yet worried aunt. Damian just pointed to the tape, half-way sticking out of the VCR. ”Oh, honey, I’m so sorry you had to see that. I should’ve put it away before I left,” she said, gripping him into a bear hug tight enough to actually frighten a bear.
“I’m just g-g-going to t-take a s-s-shower,” Damian stuttered in barely a whisper as he climbed up his wooden staircase to his marble bathroom.
When he reached the room he stepped into the shower and turned the knob, jumping out before the water sprayed down on the smooth and sleek tiled floor. He closed the door and stared into the mirror, studying his face. Damian’s bruised muscles flexed as he pulled off his red T-shirt. He shouldn’t have climbed that tree this afternoon. He pulled off the rest of his clothes before stepping into the mist of warm water completely engulfing the area behind the concealing curtain. Every single one of Damian’s concerns and worries washed down the faded drain with all the water, dirt and sweat right behind them.
The next day, when Damian got up, something was different, yet he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Wait, it was… it was the odd silence. Yes, the odd silence. Thankfully though, a few seconds later he heard a slap of something wet hitting something hard, followed by a sizzle. It sounded like pancakes being cooked. As Damian thought, he realized it did smell like them. Why would his aunt make pancakes? She never did that unless it was a holiday. But right then, the events of yesterday washed over him and he suddenly realized why pancakes were being made. Throwing yesterday’s events over his shoulder he ran down the hall, slid down the banister, and did a grand finale of sliding in to the kitchen, like a baseball player sliding into home base. “Did you sneak some coffee last night or what?” his aunt exclaimed.
“Sorry, smelled pancakes and couldn’t resist a grand entrance,” Damian replied as he slid himself onto a stool at the bar counter.
“Well, they’ll be ready in a minute. So, what do you have planned for today? Are you gonna cause destruction?” his aunt asked, joking of course.
“You bet!” Damian replied, also obviously joking.
After breakfast Damian told his aunt he was going to go down to the pond deep in the woods in their backyard. He went to his room and got his fishing pole, his net, a can of worms, a bucket of water, a box of lures, and a microscope. Damian took his time when walking to the pond, trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to scare any wandering animals. When he got there he got out the can of worms and took one out, hooking it on to the fishing pole and swung it behind his head in a perfect cast. Soon, he realized he had forgotten to add the bobber, so he reeled it in, connected the bobber and let fly another perfect cast. After a few minutes he reeled it back in and did yet another cast. Almost immediately he got a bite along with a hard tugging on his line. He pulled on the line to get the hook stuck in the fish’s jaw, and then waited a while so that the struggling fish got tired. He then reeled in and put the fish in the net. He measured it, 10 inches, and decided it was a Pike. No wonder the fish haven’t been showing up often, this big Pike must have been eating them all. He threw the fish in the bucket and placed it off to the side. He then dipped one finger in the water and placed one drop under the microscope. In class he was studying bacteria and amoebas under a microscope so when the teacher says to study, this is what he goes out and does, and if you don’t think it would work, ask his straight A’s.
After doing that Damian took the net and started hunting for frogs and toads. In a few minutes he saw a huge toad under a dead bush surrounded by brush. He searched for spots without any leaves and placed his feet in them, so as not to make the leaves crunch. He then crept toward the water and made a tall barricade part way in so the toad couldn’t swim away. Then he got out of the water and when he got close enough he pounced. The toad jumped into a bush and didn’t make a noise. Damian stomped around the bush until he saw the toad making a break for the water. The toad jumped in and swam, but soon reached the barricade. Damian saw his chance and leaped at the toad. Right before he landed he swung his net down at the toad and landed before he even knew if he caught it. He looked into the net and saw two huge lazy eyes staring up at him. Damian yelled a whoop of triumph and started to do a dance.
After about ten minutes of embarrassing dancing, he walked back to his house with a smile beaming across his entire face, as it would stay until the next morning, where another event happened, bigger than Damian will ever know.