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(Keep in mind these parts are rough drafts)

The hike back to the waterfall went alot quicker than my solo trek. Before the trip began I had given each of them,(except Larry) a list of things to bring. On each list I had included a machete. My thinking was that only one of them might come through with this item. As luck would have it, three of them showed up with a machete, including Larry. With Larry and Charlie up front hacking a wide swath before them, and Stan following them picking off anything they might have missed, it left little for me and Janie to do, except for walking and talking.

” Did you hear what happened in Mrs. Harper’s 5th period class today? ” Janie asked.

” Mrs. Harper? Oh, you mean Mrs. Harpy! ” I replied.

” Yeah, Mrs. Harpy. Anyway, you know how she likes to give a writing assignment and then leaves the classroom while we write ? “

” Yeah, and ? “

” Well, she did that today and when she came back to the fifth period class something happened. It caused her to leave the school for the rest of the day. “

” Really? What happened? “

” I heard that they were goofing off, and you know that kid they call Moon ? Because he is so pale. “

” Yep, I know him. Come on, just spit it out will ya! “

” I’m getting there, Geez! Sometimes you are so impatient Willy! Anyway, one of the kids yanked down his pants just before she walked back into class. “

” Oh wow, I bet she was shocked! “

” That’s not the worst of it! Apparently, Moon not only matured early but he also matured well and was not wearing underwear! They say she turned so red that her face could of been mistaken for a rose. “

” OMG ! “

” I know right. But that is not the funny part. Everyone is saying she had to leave school because it got her too excited! “

 I spit out a laugh at that thought and so did Larry and Charlie. Seems they had been eves dropping while hacking away. After catching my breath, I added, ” Guess that explains why Moon is always wearing them loose pants. ” This gathered in another wave of laughter which forced a small break from the group. An hour after we left, we arrived at the first small pond and and the looks I began to receive told me, that I should have been more detailed in my telling of what happened on my first trip up here. Charlie was the first one to say something. ” I thought you said there was a waterfall at the end of the pond. I do NOT see a waterfall. ” His stern look told me that I best speak up fast. ” Oh yeah, I forgot, there are two ponds. Look at the end of this one, see that opening? That opening is where the large pond WITH THE WATERFALL spills into this one. We just have to go past that opening to see it. ” He looked at me, as if he was trying to detect a lie, then turned to Larry and said, ” Well, lets get back to it then. ” and almost in unison, they began hacking at the bushes ahead. As we began climbing the small hill at the end of the pond, I began fumbling in my backpack for the binoculars. This time I wanted to have a good look at it before we worked our way around that second pond. No sense in doing all that work if it was some type of optical illusion.

 As Larry and Charlie crested the hill and looked beyond, I noticed that they just stood still. To anyone else, it might appear as if they were in some type of coma or drug induced haze, but I knew what they were seeing and was relieved in a way. Relieved to know that I had not hallucinated the entire thing. Upon cresting the hill I also, for a few seconds, took in the scene once more. The entire scene just had a surreal quality to it. A beauty so powerful and piercing it just took away all thought. Finally, I was able to pull my gaze away long enough to bring the binoculars up to my eyes, and gaze out upon the waterfall.

 Looking through those lens’ I realized that my initial impressions were a tad off. Yes, it was indeed a waterfall that we were seeing but in looking through the binoculars it appeared to be taller than I had judged with naked eyes. It seemed to be perhaps 100 foot tall. One other thing I could see, was that there appeared to be some type of cave behind the fall, and a path leading up to it. Seeing the path gave me an eerie feeling. I was not sure why. Whether it was because I did not expect to find any signs of man or just because it was there, I was uncertain. I knew only one thing for sure… once everyone else saw it, they would want to investigate it and that, I felt, was not a good idea.

 With this thought in mind, I began to put the binoculars away but as I was doing so I noticed everyone was looking at me. Charlie again, was the first to say something, “Dude, why are you putting those away. You got something to hide? “

” No! I, I, ahh, was just…”

” Hand them over, man. I want to have a look. ” Charlie interjected with such force that I quickly handed them to him. After taking a healthy look through them, he passed the binoculars on to Larry and then began telling everyone what had seen. I remained silent not wanting to gather anymore suspicion upon myself. When everyone had taken a look, it was agreed that we should continue on, and investigate the cave. I kept quiet the entire time knowing, that arguing against it would only draw more ire to myself and possibly create, some bad feelings. If there is one thing I learned about arguing it is; if you know you cannot win an argument, then it is better that you shut up, and let them find out for themselves. Once more we began the journey forward.

to be continued…

© 2011- J.B. Thomas

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