A SHORT STORY, PART ONE.
The old man started coming around the day that Billy Clyde knocked me out. It was the end of third grade, right before summer break. School let out early and it was too muggy to take the bus. Burt, the driver, always sweat real bad and on days like this, the stink was unbearable.
I was halfway up Third Street, in front of Cassiel Park, when I saw Billy catching up. I made a beeline for the gate, hoping I could lose him in there. There was a small hole in the fence, behind the horseshoe pits, and nobody else knew about it. Even if they did, most kids were too big to fit.
I thought that if Billy followed me there, I could sneak through the hole and get away. My plan didn’t work though, because he disappeared after I got past the magnolia tree. I didn’t see him again until I was at the east exit, and he was standing there, just waiting for me. I put my head down and raced toward him as fast as I could, but Billy was like a giant – and everything went black.
Billy was gone when I woke up. My ears were ringing and my hair was full of dirt. I didn’t know how long I’d been out, but the sun was hot and it felt good on my skin. I laid there and let it soak into my face, and that’s when I first saw the old man.
His voice was loud, and it echoed in my head, “Let me help you son… son… son.” The smell of orange and vanilla filled the air, and all I could see when I looked up was his old red fishing hat, blocking out the sun. His wrinkled face was hidden behind a puffy white beard, and his blue eyes sparkled as he leaned down and put out his hand to help me up.
I realize that I’ve left everyone hanging, with no ending to my previous short story—Franky with a “y”—but that’s probably a good thing. Final chapters take time!
Anyway, I wanted to get this second story going because, when I wrote it for class, I couldn’t figure out how to end it (seems to be a common theme). Well, I was finally able to come up with it!
So, Lucky Horseshoes, which was actually my very first attempt at writing a short story, EVER, has been pulled from the dusty old—soon to be burned folder—and is being given a new life.
I hope you enjoy it!