Trading two for two

January 25, 2012
A cold wind blew that night I was stranded in the forest. The slosh left in my reserve finally burned away until there was nothing but the fumes compressed into the tiny gas tank. I kicked for the life of me, but no matter how hard I stomped on the foot starter, the engine would not start.

Ever so quickly, the sun dropped out of the sky like the confidence I once had to get home. Gloomy nightfall swept my surroundings leaving me to push that stubborn old Honda motorcycle to my house. I spent for what it seemed like an eternity searching for any gas left in the reservoir. As disappointing as it was, there was not a drop of gas left in the miniature tank. Problem solving was the only option, so I spent a fear- filled 20 seconds thinking of what I could do to get the bike and I back to my house. My thoughts were somehow blockaded by fear and for my well being, nothing came to mind, but ditching the rust bucket of a dirt bike and booking it.

I tried to refrain from leaving the motorcycle along a trail in the woods overnight because of unease that someone would steal it. So for a while I laid the bike down on its side and sat on the side casing of the motor to keep my butt off the damp, cold soil and blackberry bushes. When all hope of brainstorming a new idea seemed lost, my brother slithered up to me after walking back from what had happened ahead on the ORV trail. I’m not going to lie, I was more interested in why my brother came back without a motorcycle underneath him, rather than how I was going to get back home before my dad called Search and Rescue. Calvin, my brother then spent the next chunk of the night explaining to me in minor detail of how he tried roosting through some muck, water, and sand, but failed. It wasn’t too far to where he was stuck, so I told him to lead the way while I pushed that Honda motorcycle. I was very determined to get home that night, but ironically I was going the opposite direction.

The walk took a good 15 minutes and as soon as I peered at the buried bike, I froze up with a form of displeasure. I asked my brother what was he thinking like most parents would after their son or daughter does something bad. We couldn’t see the tires or ¾ of the engine on that YZ. Sure as can be, the bike was probably no good anymore because of the water on top of the sand and muck. About five miles was an accurate guess for how far we were away from home and quite honestly I was more scared than my little brother. My voice sounded very husky because of how out of breath I was from pushing the motorcycle in the freezing air, but I told my brother to stick close. Getting my brother’s dirt bike was doomed to failure anyways so I made the decision to leave the bike be until morning. Same applied for that Honda I was riding. I set the handlebars on the ground like I was laying something sacred to rest and began walking home side by side with my brother.

Wind took over the trees, blowing them in whichever direction the wind pleaded. Stray leaves were falling like rain with various hits and misses on my brother and me. The nighttime couldn’t have been any more severe. It was hands down black outside. Owls, out of all the animal noises were what got under my skin the most. To me those creepy looking birds were the cherries on top of the sundae of the worst hours of darkness known to man. There were many strange, unusual sounds that battled with the whistle of the wind and branches. For a point in time, I thought we were being followed, but now I look back on it and realized people get paranoid in situations similar to the one I was in. The walk back went better than I thought because I was expecting some sort of carnivore to come slay me where I stood. Yet again, I was over paranoid.

To avoid the both of us going into mental havoc, I kept a strong conversation going with my brother about school and complete randomness. Time flew fast and when we arrived out of the dense woods and into fields. Our thoughts were the same I’m sure because we both started sprinting at the same time. Stamina didn’t exist because panic did. That mile back to our house from the exit of the woods took a 14 and a nine year old almost five full minutes.

Before I knew it, my beagles saw us out in the distance and began howling and barking trying to tell us there were bad people coming. At the time I was just glad I was alive and ignored the happiness of the dogs that we returned. I body slammed the door open and saw the grandfather clock strike one A.M. My parents weren’t home from the casino yet. So we both had no choice, but to deadbolt every door in the house and try to sleep, after a scorching hot shower of course.

A bright yellow ball in the sky gave me a warm awakening as it peeped through my blinds. I fumbled down the stairs on that beautiful Saturday morning to find eggs, bacon, and pancakes on the stove for me. What passed through my mind was how grateful I was to have food and not be a homeless person inside the woods. It was funny how my “near death experience” was hardly anything to worry about, but it opened my eyes and made me appreciate what I had. Little did I know at the time I was about to appreciate what my dad called an “ass whipping.” Orange juice rushed into my stomach and I made sure to enjoy what would be the last sweet thing of my childhood now that I think back to the moment.

The Rhino fired up and I pointed where to go to retrieve the bikes. My dad was driving and I was holding the gas can. For some odd reason I was uneasy about going back into the woods, not that anything would happen though. We got to where I thought we left the bikes as fast as greased lightning. After realizing I had a bad sense of direction, I told my dad to turn around after there was trail I didn’t recognize. Knowing we were at the right spot where I had left the bikes, it felt like the earth lost its gravity. There was something different about that spot than there was yesterday despite the fact it was only a handful of hours ago that I was there.

My butt hurt when I got back home after finding the not dirt bikes. That is the easiest way to put it. .. The only logical explanation was that the wind carried the motorcycles and dropped them somewhere else, perhaps in the bed of some river looter’s truck.





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