Dave and Coop’
David throws the backpack into the back seat and shuts the door. He plops into the driver’s seat but leaves the door open – it’s not swelteringly hot out today but the sun is shining, and a shining sun always turns his car into an incubator. His parents warned him that black cars will get like that in the sun, but this one was just so cheap and so available. Besides, it wasn’t like he was going to get another chance to buy a car. At least the air conditioner works.
By the time Cooper comes outside – he changed into jeans and a shirt with sleeves, probably a good move – the car is no longer a hotbox and David’s closed himself and the A/C in. Cooper ducks into the passenger seat and throws a CD into the slot.
“We’re just going up the road, dude,” David says.
“I know,” Cooper says, back on the defensive. “We’ve gotta come back, though. What, do you not like DIBKIS anymore?”
“Nah, album’s great. Never mind.”
They’re off. About forty-five seconds of JL spitting Strange the World plays before the brothers get to the back end of the road where Fricker merges onto a long dirt path called Barnstatter, then they get another fifteen seconds as David swings the car around and pulls up next to the chain gate on the side of the road, the same spot him and Spencer always used to park for their night hikes and daytime powwows. Dave and Coop’ don’t come up here much – not nearly as much as Dave and Spence’ did – but they know the trails well enough. Some crazy dude who used to live on the road carved out the majority of them, but David never got a chance to meet him. His family moved away a while ago. There was a rumor that the guy went missing, but it was probably just a rumor – in small towns like Treeburg, rumors fly faster than the birds.
Cooper offers to carry the fishing backpack, but David doesn’t let him. “It’s not that heavy,” he says, but that only makes Cooper insist more. “Nah man, you’ve gotta save your strength for the casting. I want us to catch something today, something big.”
They take the old logging road – the long and wide trail the crazy dude didn’t carve, although he laid down logs on either side of it to make it look all nice – down to the four-way intersection at the bottom of an excruciatingly rocky hill, then keep right. The trail gets swampier the further they go, and they have to divert through the beech trees lining the trail a few times, but after they take a left at an especially muddy triangle of intersecting trails, the path rises up from the lowlands and plateaus out. They walk between two tall mountains, one named Board and one named Bear, then take a pause where the trail starts to descend again.
“You want any water?” David asks as he slings the pack off his shoulders.
They drink a full bottle each, crush the containers, and store ‘em back in the pack.
“You mind if I sprint it?” Cooper asks before the backpack is even back on David’s back.
David smiles. “Still got some energy left over, huh?”
“Always,” Cooper says confidently, then promptly takes off down the trail. This part of the trail resembles a dried out riverbed; the walls are about two or three feet high on each side, and when he’s motivated to do so (meaning whenever he comes out here), Cooper likes to run it like he’s skateboarding on a halfpipe: going up on one side, catching far more air than one should be catching whilst trail running, and then miraculously landing on his feet to do the other side the same. He doesn’t do any crazy tricks today, but he does run on the walls like Sonic the Hedgehog a few times, and David waits until his brother is out of sight to start walking. He taught Cooper how to run on the walls, how to trail run in general; it does his heart good to see the boy in action. He also tried to teach Spencer, but Spencer was never really into it.
It dawns on David that Spencer was probably never really into their friendship, either. ‘Why else would he just drop me like that? He never cared about money before. Hell, he was the one who’d always ask to borrow money for bud. I don’t think we ever even hung out sober, like, what the fuck?’
Then, after tightening the straps, David begins to run too. And he runs up the walls like he was skateboarding on a halfpipe. And he catches air. And, miraculously, he lands on his feet every time.
Hello Commons, this has been the third subchapter of the fifth 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.
If you like Convenient Incidents and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~