(A Short Story)
My friend Tom and I pitched in and bought a twelve foot rowboat.
Tom suggested we take a trip down the river in our boat, taking
supplies and spending the night on an island not too many miles from our homes. I liked Tom's suggestion so we began planning our trip. Tom and I decided to go to our respective homes and gather the supplies needed to spend the night on the island.
When I arrived at my home I remembered Dad had recently bought a brand new five cell flashlight. I wondered if he would allow me to borrow it but I knew how particular Dad is about his things.
Excited as I was about the trip I found it hard waiting for the time Dad came home from work. When I heard dad drive up I met him at the door and told him about Tom's and my plans. Dad smiled
and said it sounded like an exciting thing to do. It was then that I asked him if I could borrow his new five cell flashlight. Dad smiled and told me I could use his new flashlight if I promised to take care of it, I promised him I would.
I gathered up the supplies I thought we'd need for our trip and headed back to the boat expecting Tom to be there waiting for me, I wasn't disappointed; he was there. Together we packed our supplies in our boat and headed for the island. As we approached the island, dark clouds appeared seemingly out of nowhere. The winds increased immensely as we stepped out on the islands shore. Quickly we gathered our supplies and headed toward the middle of the island hoping to find shelter before the rains began.
As we approached the middle of the island we saw an old abandoned house which amazed us, because it couldn't be seen from the islands beach. Suddenly a flash of lightning cracked across the sky. When this happened, we ran to the old house hoping we could find a room in it that would shelter us from the wind and rain we knew was coming.
After we entered the house as expected, rain came pouring down by the buckets. We walked down a hall checking each room trying to find one the roof didn't leak. Finally we found a room that was dry. Together we organized our blankets, food and other supplies in an orderly manner. Tom and I were Eagle Scouts; therefore, we had camping experience which was paying off for us now.
The warmth we felt while rowing to the island was gone, the rains and wind brought cold weather with it. We gathered some old boards conveniently lying around the room and started a fire in the old fireplace. After we got the fire going both of us realized we were hungry so we opened some cans of beans and potted meat and ate supper while enjoying the warmth of our fire.
It had gotten very dark outside, still raining and windy. Both Tom and I were tired after the long row to the island so we decided to turn in for the night. After we snuggled up in our blankets I had just dozed off when I was awakened by what sounded like someone walking down the hallway towards our room. I woke Tom up and asked him if he could hear the footsteps too; Tom said he could. By the time I got those words out of my mouth the footsteps reached the outside of our door and stopped. I hollered out who is there? No one answered so I told Tom to open the door and I'd shine the flashlight into the hallway. When Tom opened the door I turned the flashlight on and it flickered one time and went out. A moment later we could hear the footsteps running away and a spooky voice laughing louder and louder shaking the whole house.
Tom and I were frightened and puzzled! Who or what was at our door? Both of us agreed to gather our supplies and head back to our boat which we did, neither one of us were worried about the rain or darkness. After we had gone a short distance from the house we saw a large bolt of lightning streaking across the sky. The next thing we knew a large limb fell out of a tree almost hitting us when it tumbled to the ground. After this happened Tom and I shifted from a fast walk into a top speed run. We probably broke a world record making it back to our boat which somehow we did.
It was difficult rowing our boat back to the dock we kept our boat in the darkness, but we did it! Both Tom and I were soaked to the bone and cold, but we were happy knowing the island was far behind us.
The next morning I explained to Dad what happened. Dad suggested we take his broken flashlight to the hardware store where he purchased it; I quickly agreed with him. On the way to the hardware store Dad told me the man was experienced at repairing most anything. After we arrived at the hardware store Dad asked the repair man to check his light and find out why it broke. When the man returned from the back of his store he was shaking his head as he told Dad in all his years of repairing flashlights he'd never seen one he couldn't repair until he realized he couldn't fix Dad's flashlight. The man smiled and gave Dad a brand new flashlight free of charge.
The hardware man then asked me what happened to make the flashlight break? After I told him the details about Tom and my trip to the island the man smiled again and told Dad and I the island Tom and I attempted to spend the night on was known as a pirate hideaway a couple centuries ago. He then said many people passing the island in their boats had seen pirates walking up and down the beach, then disappearing before their eyes.
Well, this ends my story, but one thing for sure Tom and I will never set foot on that island again.
Ralph L. Clark © 2005
(My First Short Story)
Graphics © A. Buttigieg 2005