Chapter 3

Posted: August 26, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Chapter 3


            Rachel and Daniel burst into their house.

            “Mom! Dad! Guess what?” Daniel shot Rachel a warning glance. He didn’t want her to broadcast the fact that he had been almost killed by a runaway boulder. She caught his meaning.

            “What happened?” their mom replied.

            Rachel started talking. “Daniel … ,” she began but stopped when she saw another warning glance.

            “Yes, what is it?” their mom pressed. Daniel could tell that she could tell something had gone wrong.

            “Uh … umm … Daniel got the winning assist in the soccer game!”

            “Oh, that’s great! Congratulations, Daniel!” Daniel could tell his mom knew she wasn’t getting the full story. She gave him a look that said, “You’ll tell me later what you don’t want to tell me now.”

            During dinner, Daniel’s father tried patiently to listen to Daniel’s account of the soccer game, but Daniel could tell his dad was worn out. He looked haggard and drawn. After dinner, he walked slowly around the house, thinking to himself. He had obviously received some bad news. That or the work pressure had been getting to him lately.

            Mercifully, Daniel was able to escape the questioning gaze of his mother during the night and escaped up to his room.


*            *          *          *          *


            Later that night, Daniel was just about to fall asleep when he heard a knock on his door.

            “Come in,” he mumbled. Rachel walked in. Daniel sat up.

            “Hey, what’s up?”

            Rachel sat on his bed. “You never told me how you escaped the boulder. I mean, you were frozen one second and tapping me on the shoulder the next.”

            Daniel winced. In the dark, she shouldn’t see his expression. He knew she could tell he was uncomfortable. He debated whether to tell her or not. If I tell her, she may think I’m crazy. But she is my sister, and she should trust me.

            He looked at her. “I don’t know,” he said.

            She considered this for a while.

            “You’re lying,” she said.

            Daniel was taken aback. How did she know he wasn’t telling the truth, at least part of it? Fact is, he wasn’t sure what had happened. At least not 100 percent. He had a vague idea of what he needed to do. He just needed a way to put it into action. They sat in silence for several minutes, each harboring their own thoughts.

            Then Daniel broke.

            “Okay, this is what’s going on: I had this weird vision. It was right after Rick Heinwurst collided with me. It involved a few things, like, like …” His voice trailed off. Rachel was staring now. “Yes, go on,” she said, her tone patronizing.

            “And there was this half-man, half-horse guy who leaped down from the cliff, and he stopped the boulder, and then he yelled at me in English.”

            Ouch. Not how he wanted it to go. Rachel stared at him some more and then began to back away.

            “Daniel, are you okay? Do you want me to get Mom and Dad?” Daniel realized she thought he was insane, probably from his close call.

            “I know what you’re thinking. I am not crazy, Rachel. This really happened.”

            She stopped moving.

            “Okay, look,” Daniel said, in as reassuring a tone as he could muster. “Next Saturday, after my game, I want to check something out. Will you come with me? I have to find out if these things mean anything or not.”

            Slowly, she nodded.


*     *     *     *     *

             The rest of the week passed uneventfully. Daniel’s practices went well, and he didn’t notice anything new about the cliff face when he passed it. But he did notice Solomon Marks. He was a constant presence everywhere Daniel went — at school, at soccer, even one night when Daniel accompanied his dad to the hardware store. No matter where Daniel was, sooner or later — and usually sooner — Solomon seemed to wander in. Once, he caught Solomon staring. Solomon quickly glanced away, but after that Daniel felt that he needed to start avoiding him. But Solomon seemed to persist in his presence no matter what changes Daniel made to his routine.

            The breaking point came when Daniel glimpsed Solomon on the street outside his home in the morning. This was getting out of hand. At school, in the hall, Daniel confronted him.

            “Just waiting for you to come out,” Marks offered as an explanation.

            “But how come you were gone by the time I came out?” Daniel pressed.

            “I … grew tired of waiting and almost missed the bus.” It was an obvious lie. Daniel had made the bus with time to spare.  Solomon didn’t even ride the bus — his mom or dad usually drove him.

            “I have to get to class now,” Marks said. Daniel let him go, even though he had other questions, like, Did you see anything odd the other day when the boulders almost crushed me?  

*     *     *     *     *


            Finally, Saturday came. Daniel had been waiting in anticipation the whole week. Today, he would bring Rachel to the cliff face and discover what was happening up there. Right after his game, of course. With the resolve that he could do anything after his close shave, he burst out the door — into pouring rain. Rachel and his mom laughed at his surprised look as he turned back inside the house to grab an umbrella.

            “Why didn’t you tell me it was raining?” he laughed.

            “We thought you knew. That’s why we’re laughing,” Rachel giggled.

            “However,” Daniel’s mom said, narrowing her eyes, “you seem in a big hurry. Where are you headed off to in such a rush?”

            Oops. Daniel thought quickly. Of course.

            “Soccer, mom. Got a big game today.”  He sat back down at the table. His mom nodded.

            “Even in the rain?” she asked.

            “Yes,” he replied. “They don’t cancel unless there’s a hurricane.”

            “Well,” she said, “at least have some breakfast first.”

            As she turned back to the stove, Daniel gave Rachel a kick under the table. She glanced up and gave a knowing nod.  Pleased that his plan was still in action, he leaned back in his chair. Now if only the rain would stop!


Copyright 2009 Santos DeBarros

Fourthmanstanding Publishing

  1. AD says:

    This just keeps getting better.

  2. sp 240 says:

    hey im back… great story so far, keep up the posts!

  3. 1 .8. 5 says:

    this is maddening…how do you expect us to wait? haha

  4. thisoldsoul says:

    I haven’t been able to get on and write lately because school has started up again. High school’s hard!

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