Saturday, March 7, 2015

The 13-year-old badass

True story, written by me at 13, with only a couple of spelling/comma errors corrected. John is my younger brother, Jennifer and Jeffrey were our next-door neighbors. Our backyards were adjacent, bordered on the far end by railroad tracks, and bisected by a creek that, at the time I wrote this, did not have a bridge over it.

Earlier in the year, when the clubhouse was still standing, John, Jeffrey and I were walking along the creek watching for turtles or beavers or anything we could go home and brag about. Jennifer had permanently enclosed herself inside the house as soon as school started.

Well, we were walking along, minding our own business when we heard voices. Now since we couldn’t get to the other side of our property it wasn’t unusual that someone would be over there. I was curious. Jeffrey ran back and got a very reluctant Jennifer to follow him. She was not pleased at being invited on our investigation. Not pleased at all. But after several minutes of walking along that overgrown terrain that caused so much trouble the first time,* we did locate the source of the voices.

Directly ahead of us were about seven teenagers, all about the same age and actually I couldn’t tell which were boys and which were girls from the way they were dressed. I just stood there for a minute, but when a rock whizzed by my head I was shaken back into reality. Jennifer broke the world record on running however far it is from the creek to the house with Jeffrey and John close behind.

But I, being the stupid person that I am, did not run from these people who were throwing large rocks at me. No! I had to investigate. So I walked a little farther toward these potentially dangerous kids and next thing I know, they’re talking to me. Still not close enough to tell who was who or even how many ‘cause they kept moving around. “Hey you!” one said, definitely a male voice.

And then a thud as another rock was hurled at my head. “Stop throwing rocks at her!”, this time it was a girl talking. “Shut up,” the first boy said. Then he turned back to me. “Wanna sink ships?”

When I didn’t answer, I was a little scared and shocked and confused all at the same time, he got sort of mad and said, “Look, I’ve gotta gun!”, and he pulled up his shirt to reveal it.

John had quietly stepped into place behind me. But one look at the situation and he was gone once again. This time with me with him. We ran all the way back home and told our parents what happened. They called the police and soon the four of us were back together again. Unfortunately, a train came rumbling down the tracks before the police came. It was unlikely a bunch of kids are going to remain on a railroad bridge while train is heading straight for them.

Once again, we failed.**

* Earlier in the notebook, I recounted a tale of being scared by a monster cottonmouth on this same stretch of creek bank. In true Becky fashion, I took care to berate myself for being frightened because "I've never been scared of snakes!"

** I'm not 100% certain what I thought the "failure" was here. I'd call it success that I didn't get hit in the head by a damn rock. Or, you know, shot.

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