Sam went first, then Mack, then Johnny, and they continued their cycle long into the night. Johnny saves the best tale for last, the unanimous favorite – the time they went dam jumping.
The local park rangers and police officers are very, very strict about what civilians can and can’t do on the Monksville Dam. One cannot fish, but one can loiter and take pictures and clog up the walkways like plaque in an artery just fine. One cannot bike, but one can roll down the concrete walkway with rollerblades all they like. One cannot swim in the mighty Monksville’s murky waters, although the boat launches have become sandless beaches for folk who don’t speak English in days of late, and one especially cannot jump off the dam, even though it’s a dope as hell twenty foot drop. The gang didn’t let that stop them from doing so in their teens though, and one time, they actually got caught.
Johnny took the fall, as Johnny would have the easiest time getting off. Local law enforcement hates anybody who’s caught jumping where they should not jump, but they usually show a soft spot for their fellow locals. Mack and Sam were both in the water when the rangers rolled up in their SUVs, so they just swam to a far shore and hiked through the woods, barefoot and dripping wet, until they hit Stonetown Road where they crossed and doubled back down Fricker to wait for Johnny to get home. George though, George did something legendary: George jumped at the moment he saw the flashing red and blues, he swam down half the length of the dam to the point where it spills over a massive staircase-lookin’ thing, and he climbed down the stairs. In the dead of night, with water falling all around in him in troves and torrents with the force of fired torpedoes, George climbed down over one hundred feet of slick, slippery cobblestone stairs until he splashed down in Monksville’s lower neighbor, the Wanaque Reservoir, a body of water in which trespassing is not only illegal, but extremely illegal. Fucking legendary.
The ranger boys let Johnny off with a warning, as he lives within walking distance of the dam and is about as local as one can get ‘round these parts, and didn’t offer him a ride home, which was fine. If they did, they’d have been able to question him about the wet footprints crossing over Stonetown Road and leading up Fricker Drive to his house, but they didn’t, so they just shook their heads as they drove their way up the hill which Fricker sits at the bottom of. Johnny got back to his house to find Mack and Sam waiting for him in the backyard, and as if by clockwork, as soon as Johnny sat his soggy ass down on the patio chair – the same one he occupies tonight – good ol’ George emerged from the woods like a sasquatch, his body covered in leaves and mosquito bites, smiling brighter than the glowing moon.
“I will never forget the smile on that boy’s face,” Johnny says, shaking his own smiling head. “There will never be another like Georgie.”
“You’re damn skippy.”
They hold another moment of silence for George, though this one is impromptu. It gets harder to do this every year, the gang would be lying to themselves if they said they felt otherwise, but it’s important that they do it. They have to keep George’s memory alive, because nobody else will. Nobody else will do it right, at least, and that’s reason enough.
For George, that’s reason enough.
Hello Commons, this has been the third subchapter of the fourth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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Be well Commons~