How long was I out?

Hi, kids. I know I haven’t blogged or made a podcast in quite a while. Well, you can probably forget about the ol Podcast. It’s hard to get a lot of the stuff I need to get in as it is, and dedicating an hour or two a week to the podcast and it’s negligible returns (although I appreciate those of you that did tune in!) just wasn’t working out.

I’d post more blogs entries if I thought I had more to say. I’ll see if I can’t fix that here soon.

The biggest reason for nudging this blog with the heel of my boot is to share something that came to me last week. About a year ago or so, I read an interview with Steven Moffat. For those of you that don’t know, he’s the current head writer and exec producer for both Doctor Who and Sherlock. Mister Moffat was asked how he goes about writing an episode of Doctor Who. He said they all start with a, “What if?”, followed by a twist, and an ending. I’m paraphrasing and can’t find the exact quote, but that’s the gist.

Granted, most stories (should) start like this. But for some reason, when Moffat said that it rang a bit more true. Anyhoo, last week I had what I think is a great “What if?” starting point. I have nothing to follow it up with, but I’m pretty happy with it so I thought I would share it all with you.

            The day was long and the sun was hot on their backs. The summer that had been predominately overcast found this particular day remarkably clear. Bobby actually wished that there were a few clouds to occasionally shield his back from the blistering heat or perhaps a bit of a breeze to take some of the edge off. He should have been at Carol Brinkley’s house sitting at poolside or at Kevin Dinklage’s cabin on the lake where his teenage head could think so many impure thoughts about his female classmates in their swimsuits dipping in and out of the water. Or, at the very least, he could be at the city pool basking in the cool waters.

            But instead of sitting in a pool, he was digging one.

            His parents had talked for the better part of the winter about getting a pool. No one had championed this cause more than Bobby. It meant so many things for a teenaged boy: a place for his friends to gather, a place for girls to gather, and perhaps most importantly less grass for him to mow. He thought his position as the Prince of Summer was secure.

            Until he found out that he and his father would be doing the bulk of the work themselves. His joy, and most of his summer, were soon squashed and buried in a hole as the deep as the one he was being forced to dig.

            He was at least grateful that he wasn’t the only one upset about it.

            “I still don’t understand why you couldn’t just pay someone to do this, Harold,” scolded his mother from above.

            “Because it’s cheaper, Margaret!” his father bellowed beside him as he dumped a shovel of dirt into a wheelbarrow. “How many times do I have to explain it to you? Do you know how much contractors charge? I’m probably going to save us a thousand bucks here easy!”

            “But look how long it’s taking you. I mean, does that really make it worth it?”

            “Sure it does! Right, Bobby?”

            His father gave him a firm clap on the back of the shoulder. Bobby forced the bile from his throat and the sneer from his face and simply made a noncommittal grunt as he continued to move a small bit of dirt around with the nose of his shoulder.

            This is my grave, thought Bobby as he looked up at the top of the hole they’d been working on by hand for the entire week. It’s big enough for me and my whole family and it is mine for when I finally snap the next time Dad says how rewarding it is to do a job yourself.

            He picked up the shovel and stabbed into the earth as hard as he could. It didn’t go very far.

            The impact of the shovel blade with…something radiated through his whole body and he stumbled backwards, leaving the shovel forgotten on the ground. He toppled over his father and they both collided with the ground.

            Harold shoved his son off of him with a great shove and a flurry of stifled expletives. He scrambled to his feet and pulled his son up to his own.

            “What’s wrong with you, boy?”

            “Bobby? Harold? Are you alright?” shouted Margaret from above.

            “We’re fine, Maggie,” scowled Harold. “The boy was just goofing off.”

            “No, I wasn’t! I hit something!” Bobby cried.

            “Hit something?” shrieked Margaret?

            “Hit something?” echoed Harold. “What do you mean you hit something?”

            “Like, I hit stuck my shovel in the ground, and I hit something,” said Bobby with a shrug as he rubbed his sore elbows.

            “You see, Harold?” scolded Margaret, then tenuous fiber of their twenty year marriage becoming painfully aware to their son. “This is it pays to have to someone do this for you. That way you know it’s all done properly. You’re supposed to check for underground cables, sewer pipes, and gas lines.”

            “I did check for all of that crap, Margaret.”

            “Then what did you hit?”

            “I don’t know. Come here, Bobby.”

            Harold thrust the shovel back into his son’s hands and together they resumed their dig at the strange impact point, albeit more carefully than before. Within moments, they had cleared a two feet by two feet area, revealing a stark, white surface. Father and son stared at each other and shrugged. Without a word, they nodded to each other in their agreement to carry on.

            Predetermined depths were soon forgotten and soon the two men found themselves digging eight feet below the surface in an area meant to be the six feet deep area of the pool. Before long, even Margaret was in the man made chasm, hauling barrow after barrow of dirt from the hole to expedite their efforts.

            After two hours, the trio stood above what was supposed to be their summer oasis. None of them smiled with pride over the fruits of their shared labor. They stared down with mouths agape and wonderment in their eyes as they shook their heads in disbelief. Harold breathed in to speak but all that came out of his mouth was flubbed consonants and spittle.

            They continued to stare downward…

            At the unbelievable…

            The impossible…

            The cargo bay doors of a United States Space Shuttle.

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1 Comment

  1. I have to admit that I’m very impressed… I have been wanting to read something of yours for awhile but never really got around to it…this kept me wanting to read more sir..I’ll admit that I expected something more sinister…grave, coffin, dead midget….so I ended up surprised to say the least


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