Peril at the Falls, Round 2

In case you missed the first episode of the story, follow this link catch up on the previous action:  Peril at the Falls, Round 1.

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And the story continues . . . more trouble awaits the threesome of adventure-seeking brothers.

The charging water from the falls nearly drowns out Pete’s warning.  The trio of boys has ventured far past the safety zone.

Craig stares straight down at the bottom of the deep canyon.  His eyes fill with frightened trauma.  The angry river below, with the deafening sound of the falls, is too much to bear.

He grows more and more terrified, and his eyes are locked on to the danger below.  With his eyes no longer watching his step, Craig feels his feet sliding on the steep ground, surrounded by prickly pine branches.  He doesn’t see a protruding tree branch.

Colliding with the stiff branch, Craig’s body spins around as he is knocked to the ground.  No longer on his feet, his body propels down the slippery slope like a missile.  Closing his eyes, his hands miraculously grab hold of a stout pine branch above his head.

Craig lets out a scream, “Help!  Help me!”

Pete and Gene can’t believe what has just transpired.  Somehow, they have managed to stay on their feet.  As Craig tumbles towards the canyon’s rim, he narrowly misses taking both of them with him.

Hearing Craig’s continued screams for help, the brothers need to come up with a rescue plan . . . immediately!  They are too far from Mom and Dad for any help to arrive from them.  They need to deal with the situation on their own.

Cautiously, the two boys slowly move down towards their brother.  One misstep and one of them (or both) could be taking a plunge.  The prospects of all three brothers making it out of this jam in one piece grow dimmer by the minute.

Gene steps gingerly, closer and closer, to reach his stricken brother.  He sees Craig’s grip growing weaker as the pine branch appears to be breaking loose.  Pete follows close behind, ready to help Gene rescue their brother.

The two boys stop just inches away from Craig’s hand, which has a death grip on the weakening branch.  Pete anchors himself to a larger pine branch with one hand.  His other hand reaches out to Gene.

The boys attempt to create a human chain to bring Craig back to a safer place.  Suddenly, Pete’s hand slips away from the pine branch, and he tumbles into Gene.  Both boys nearly join the river below, but Gene finds another branch to grab as well as more solid footing.

Pete’s hand replaces Gene’s hand on the branch as his other hand connects with Gene’s hand.  The boys know this might be their final attempt to save all of them from the pickle they are in.

Craig continues to shout for the boys to save him.  His impatience only makes the situation even more precarious.

Gene and Pete anchor their feet on the firmest ground they can find.  Their feet dig in for balance and stability.  With their human chain stronger than before, Gene reaches towards Craig’s hand.

The three brothers  have reached a final destination, without any more chances.  Gene calls to Craig, “You need to be ready to release your hand from the branch as I grab your hand.”

Craig nods in silence.  He is much too petrified to say anything.

The rescue line is ready to make one final attempt.  The wild river waits below as well.  The next few seconds will decide everyone’s fate.

Gene reaches for Craig’s hand while Pete provides the anchor to hold all of them up.  In an instant, Craig feels his brother’s hand and grabs hold.  Together, Gene and Pete carefully pull Craig up the slope . . . one step, then two, finally three.

At last, the brothers are united again.  They slowly and cautiously crawl and walk back up from the treacherous canyon rim.

In a few minutes, they emerge from the pine trees.  Their arms and legs bear several scratches, abrasions, and bleeding from the spiny tree branches and the hard ground.  Their dirty faces are topped with matted down hair full of pine needles.  This disheveled threesome of thrill-seeking comrades is finally safe.

Mom and Dad turn around.  They have been oblivious to everything until now.  They both say in unison, “Were you boys playing again?”

Here is a final note.  This story is based on a real situation many years ago.  My family was vacationing in Yellowstone National Park, and we stopped at one of the vistas overlooking the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.   My brothers and I went exploring a bit too close to the edge of the canyon.  Thankfully, we made it back to safety and our waiting parents.  I don’t remember them asking, “Were you boys playing again?”

Peril at the Falls, Round 1

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The three brothers are excited about the family’s vacation to a faraway national forest.  Being an adventurous trio, they always seem to be finding themselves in trouble, and this vacation trip may just punch their ticket once again.

The family makes a stop on their first day out.  There is a gorgeous canyon with an incredible waterfall.  All of this waits for the family, nestled and hidden in the tall pines of the dense forest.

While Mom and Dad are gazing at the spectacular scene and taking photographs with their new high-end digital camera, the brothers three take an excursion to discover more about the waterfall.  The sound of the cascading water can be heard for miles.

Gene is the youngest brother, and the biggest risk-taker.  Nothing ever seems to frighten him.  He leads the way through the thick pines as the boys find themselves closer and closer to the roar of the falls.

The oldest brother, Pete, follows close behind.  He tries to be alert because Gene usually marches straight into harm’s way.  Trailing behind, follows the middle brother, Craig.  Barely noticed by the boys, the terrain begins to slope more and more, downward towards the dangerous canyon.

The pace of the brothers walk quickens, and their excitement grows with each step.  Gene shouts over the noisy falls, “Let’s see how close we can get to the water.”

Little does he know how prophetic his words may soon become.

Craig’s steps even more tentatively through the challenging terrain and the pines.  He notices the steep drop through the trees to the rushing and roaring river below.Pete calls out, “Keep your eyes looking up.”

Oops . . . too late!

Stay tuned for the final chapter, coming soon to a national forest near you!

Experience Counts

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Traveling back to Montana, Phil and Phyllis arrive from back East.  They’ve brought their teenage grandson along to fish the Gallatin River.

Staying at the Rainbow Ranch, they plan to fly fish right along the river, which runs along the property.  The Ranch employs a fishing guide during the summer months.  Bert knows all of the best spots to fish on the Gallatin, and he is always bragging about his fishing prowess.  As he always reminds people, “experience counts.”

Complaining under his breath, Bert takes the trio of fishing pilgrims to the river.  He always frowns upon city folks who come out to the Gallatin to fish.  All novices . . . they have no clue about fishing a river.

Bert sets up Phil and his grandson, and they begin making tentative casts on to the river.  Each has fished very little, and their inexperience offers a bit of amusement to Bert.

Meanwhile, Phyllis moves down the river a few paces from Bert.  She shouts out to Bert, “I wonder who will catch the first fish?”

Bert replies, “A piece of ‘rainbow trout’ cake my dear!”

Bert begins to cast several times with little luck, not even a bite.  He glances down the river bank at Phyllis, and reminds himself he has plenty of time to catch the “first” fish.

Phyllis spies a perfect hole in front of two rocks.  She casts her line perfectly into her chosen spot.  Hmm, Bert didn’t even see her awesome cast because he is too busy with his own fishing.

Strike!

Phyllis’ line goes taut.  She has a “granddaddy” rainbow trout hooked on her line.

Bert looks over at her with dismay.  Phyllis laughs and continues reeling in her prize catch.  Calling over to Bert, she shouts, “Experience counts, you know.”

As she lands a hefty, beautiful rainbow trout in the tall grass along the river bank, she tells Bert more of her story, “I fished these same waters years ago as a little girl.  My daddy taught me well.  I practically grew up on this river.”

Bert realizes he has been had.  If he does catch a trout today, it will likely taste more like crow.

 

Can a Typewriter Fly?

 

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A trio of boys is always up to mischief at school.

Mrs. Hall is the very strict, no nonsense, typing teacher up on the second floor.  She runs her classroom like a well-run military operation.  She adores reading about General George S. Patton.

The typing classroom consists of the latest manual typewriter models.  (Sorry lad, no electric ones yet.)

The delinquent boys intend to surprise and shock Mrs. Hall this morning.  After all, there is nothing wrong with conducting a small science experiment from her classroom.

Have you ever seen a typewriter fly?

The boys sneak an old typewriter into Mrs. Hall’s classroom before the school day begins.

With a lookout posted near the classroom door, the other two boys open a window and place the typewriter on the ledge.

Just as Mrs. Hall walks into the room, her ever-alert eyes see the boys at the open window with the typewriter.

“Hey Mrs. Hall!  Have you ever seen a typewriter fly?”

The typewriter is launched from the window ledge, precisely on schedule.

Thinking the boys are dropping one of her prized Olivetti typewriters from the window, brings a shocking look of surprise to Mrs. Hall’s face . . . Priceless!

 

Vacation Paradise

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Pete has been planning a well-deserved, solitary fishing trip for months.  His actual plans have remained a secret—especially from his nauseating cousin, Wilbur.

Wilbur always meddles in Pete’s affairs.  So much so, he even frightened away the love of Pete’s life.

Pete is ready to make his “secret” trip for some rest and relaxation.  He anticipates fantastic weather, superb fishing, and time all to himself.  Paradise awaits!

As Pete enters the lobby of the sleepy, little motel in a tiny, isolated town, he agonizingly hears, “Good Buddy!  How ya doin’ cousin Pete?”

Vacation paradise . . . Never!

 

Dang Jack Rabbit

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Bill runs into his neighbor Fred at the local feed store.  In conversation, Bill tells Fred, “I noticed that there back tire on yer truck is a mite bit low on tread.”

Fred replies back, “Ah, dat there tire has quite a few miles left da go.”

The men depart and finish up their business in town before heading back home.  As Bill drives down the road, he comes upon Fred’s truck, rolled over on its side, off of the road.

Bills stops and surveys the situation.  Fred appears okay, much of his cattle feed is scattered on the ground, and the suspected tire has blown nearly clean off of the rim.

Bill calmly asks Fred what has happened.  With eyes growing bigger by the second, Fred excitedly tells him, “A vig jack rabbit nearly ran me self off this here road.  Look vat he did to ma perfectly good tire.”

I appreciate you stopping to read another of these very short stories.  If you missed my previous micro short stories, you can find them from the links below.  Enjoy!

Grandpa’s Doughnuts

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Grandpa snuck away from Grandma one morning.  She was busy with her quilting, and he felt an urge to satisfy his sweet tooth.

Just down the street, a little doughnut shop waited with the hottest coffee and the most treasured, sweet creations ever made.  Without Grandma nearby to fuss at him, he could enjoy coffee, doughnuts, and some conversation with whomever dropped by the shop.

He orders the usual:  coffee with his two favorite doughnuts.  Boston-cream and maple-covered long john, each looks mouth-watering and delicious.

Behind him, the shop’s door opens, and two little children bust in with giggles and way too much energy.

“Grandpa, Grandpa!”  His grandchildren, Ben and Lydia, just happen to discover where Grandpa is hiding out.

A moment later, Grandpa is enjoying coffee, spending time with two very special children, and sharing his doughnuts.

There will be another time for enjoying doughnuts, but loving Lydia and Ben . . . Precious!