THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER, BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
"My Best Friend Is," consists of two short stories about best friends. Stories about sharing and discovery. Laughter and tears. I wrote about times in young lives in both Jamison and Joey, when a hike becomes a big adventure, and in Three Strikes, baseball becomes more than a game for young Eddy.
Below the first chapter of Jamison and Joey. The book will be available on November 1st.
JAMISON AND JOEY
Today began like any other summer day at the farm. However, Joey did not want, like any other summer day at the farm. Not today. He sat on the lowest step of the wooden porch occasionally looking up for any sign of Jamison. In this position to ease his mind, he picked up a couple of pebbles from the ground and absentmindedly tossed them back in the dirt.
This morning Joey got dressed and was out of the house early. He finished his daily chores, ate his breakfast, and now sat on the porch waiting impatiently for his close friend.
"Where can he be, Jamison is usually here by now," murmured Joey to himself, craning his neck hoping to spot his best friend. Today boredom would disappear because Jamison and Joey would have a great adventure, at least, according to Joey's plans. Joey knew of only one person in the whole world he could share a great adventure with, his friend Jamison.
He looked up and smiled. He knew the day would be great. Off in the distance coming up the road was Jamison. Of course, it was at Jamison's own leisurely pace, and as usual, he was daydreaming. Joey's friend was off somewhere, lost in his thoughts, his imagination taking him to places others seldom explored. For Jamison, castles, jungles, wild animals, and hostile worlds were normal.
Earl, Jamison's father, worked on the farm with Joey's father and friend Michael Cody. Often Earl Longman, not one for daydreaming, would scold his son and accuse Jamison of wasting far too much time thinking of nonsense. However, Jamison’s grandmother was the young boy's biggest ally. She always defended and encouraged her grandson to have big thoughts and far bigger dreams.
Today would be a beautiful day if the morning were a good barometer. The summer sky was awash in the deepest bluest color Joey had ever seen. The only exception, a pair of small clouds lazily drifted across the otherwise seamless blue sky.
They were floating together over the tall mountains towards Lightning Lake.
Joey saw this as a sign. Two clouds beckoning the two young explorers. On this warm perfect day the boys, like Greek sailors, would follow the wispy call of the Sirens. Their adventure would take them up over those same mountains to Lightning Lake.
Joey had it all planned in his head. It would take two hours to reach the mountaintop, leaving them three hours of exploration time around the lake, and another two hours to return, just in time for dinner. The plan was perfect, and he knew Jamison would think so too.
“Hey Jamison, how you doin,” asked Joey, as Jamison came within earshot of his friend.
“Hi Joey, doin okay how about you? Hi Mr. Cody, how are you?”
“Hi Jamison, I’m fine thanks.”
“Jamison, your father’s out by the barn if you need to see him.”
“Thanks, Mr. Cody, but I’ll see him later. I was up early and had breakfast with him before he came over here today and I’ll go home with him tonight.”
As Jamison reached the porch, Joey grabbed his friend and pulled him up the three wooden stairs. "Hey, why are you grabbing me," asked Jamison, but Joey was so excited he ignored Jamison's question. He could hardly wait to tell his best friend his idea.
“Do you know what we’re going to do today Jamison,” he whispered.
“No, but I hope it’s fun.”
Barely able to contain his enthusiasm Joey pulled Jamison off to the side, away from the opened front door. “We're going to have an adventure, a big adventure! We're going to hike to Lightning Lake.”
At first, the statement did not register with Jamison, but when it did, he looked at Joey and said in disbelief, “Are you crazy, we can’t do that. You know my dad won't let me do that, and yours won't either. Do they know? No, Joey, the idea is too crazy. Do you know how long it will take? What if we get lost, no, let’s do something else, something safer.”
"Shhh, not so loud," said Joey squeezing his friend's arm.
"Ouch, that hurts."
"Jamison, I've got it all planned out. If we leave in fifteen minutes and go straight there, we’ll be back before the sun goes down. We have to do this Jamison, it'll be the greatest adventure of the summer. Heck, school starts in two weeks, and we haven't done anything great during the summer. If we don't do it, soon we'll be too old."
"Joey, we're only ten. Why would you say that?"
"It's what I hear grown-ups saying when they want to do something. Please, you’re my best friend and who better than you. C'mon you know I'm right, and you want to do this with me. What if we go up there and find gold?"
"What if we go up there and find Indians or ghosts?"
Together, the two small boys stood on the porch and staring up at the tall mountains. One squeezing the porch rail with fear and apprehension, the other rubbing his front legs with excitement of the upcoming adventure.
"What if we find gold up there, come back with it, and give it to our folks," said Joey. How can they be mad if we bring back lots of gold? Jamison, if you had a kid, and he came back with gold, and gave it all to you would you be mad?"
"No, I wouldn’t be mad I’d be happy."
"That's right, if you were a parent you would be happy and ours will too."
"Okay, but what about food, we’re going to get hungry?"
Joey raised his hand, signaling for Jamison to stay put, and went inside his house, only to return seconds later carrying a backpack and two canteens.
Jamison rolled his eyes and said, “You had this planned, didn’t you? I don’t know Joey,” having second thoughts.
Joey stepped closer to Jamison and said, “You’re my best friend, and I thought you would be as excited as I am. The two of us climbing the mountain and finding buried treasure. C'mon, isn't that exciting?”
"If we don't bring back gold, I can only imagine how excited my dad will be."
Joey's friend thought for a long moment before replying, "You’re my best friend too, and yes it would be exciting to bring back gold, but I don't know. My dad and grandma could sure use it. Okay, but you have to promise we'll be home before dinnertime."
"Of course, I promise."
Jamison thought for another moment, then smiled and said, "Okay let’s do it."
Joey's face lit up then just as quickly became serious as he glanced past Jamison.
"Shhh," Joey sounded.
"Stop shushing me."
Joey swiftly looked around to make sure no one was listening to their conversation. Like all great explorers, the two boys shook hands and began making preparations.
"We can leave now everything we need is in that bag."
Jamison said, “Before we go let me use the bathroom.”
He left Joey standing on the porch mapping out the detail of their journey in his mind. Jamison entered Joey’s home, said hello to Mrs. Cody, and headed for Joey’s bedroom, not the bathroom. Minutes later Jamison walked out of his friend's bedroom, said goodbye to Joey’s mother and returned to where Joey was waiting.
"Ready to go," asked Joey.
"Let's go," said Jamison.
Together the two ten-year-old boys set off for the lake. Suddenly Jamison's father, a medium-sized muscular man walked out from the barn and shouted, "What are you two boys up to?"
Joey answered first, "We're just going up to the tree line Mr. Longman, just exploring that's all."
Jamison's father said firmly, "You boys come back here; I want to talk to both of you. Still got work needs to be done and you two can help. Joey, you need to help your father more around this farm."
Indecisive, both boys stood looking down at the ground hoping to find an answer hidden in the dirt. Mr. Longman's voice was rigid when he next spoke, "Now I know you boys have ears because I can see them. And I know they work, because you stopped moving and even replied to me when I first spoke to you. Now, I bet you can make those legs work too because I want both of you to march over to me, right now."
Hearing voices outside, Laura Cody appeared at the front door to see about all of the commotion. Softly pushing open the screen door she stepped out and watched the two boys drift slowly back to Jamison's father.
With a mother's instinct, she asked, "Hey boys, Earl, what's going on?"
"The boys here are going gallivanting, while there's still work needs to get done. I'm helping Michael, but an extra two helpers wouldn't hurt."
Compassionately, Laura looked on as the two boys walked towards Earl, heads down as though too heavy for their shoulders. She stepped further out onto the porch and looked up at the sky. She closed her eyes as the sun's warmth kissed her skin and took a deep breath of the fresh morning air. It felt as pure as a winter's snow surrendering to a new spring. For a long moment, Laura allowed her imagination to drift to another time.
In a sweet and melodic voice she said, "You know Earl, look at all of this. What a beautiful day, don't you think so boys?"
Joey and Jamison stopped in their tracks and glanced at each other. Joey smiled, "It sure is mom it's a great day." Captivated by the weather and the mountainous scenery there in her front yard, Laura smiled back and asked, "Now what would you two boys do on a day like today?"
"We're going to the tree line to explore, maybe find some old Indian arrows or something."
Earl sensed what was happening and tried to put an end to the conversation, "There are no Indian arrows up there, boy's there's nothing but trees and a steep mountain."
Ignoring Earl, Laura said, "Indian arrows, wow that sounds exciting. Better than chores which you'll do tomorrow won't you?"
The two young boy's faces lit up, the corners of their mouths turned upwards, their eyes brightened. The mayor of the town just gave her blessings.
"Yes, we'll do chores tomorrow."
Laura looked over at Earl who rolled his eyes. He knew he'd been outmaneuvered.
"Tomorrow okay with you Earl?"
Accepting defeat Earl says, "Spoiling over responsibility. Doesn't look like I have much of a choice Laura, but it will be chores tomorrow, all day. We'll start right after breakfast, and there’ll be no complaining."
"We promise, chores tomorrow and no complaining," chimed both boys.
"Be home before dark, and be careful," said Laura as she glanced over at Earl.
Joey and Jamison both replied, "We'll be careful," as they marched off to their adventure.
End of Chapter 1
#friendship,#best friends,#safe harbor,#meaning of friendship,#my best friend is