Figures of Speech (short story)

Edmonton Young Artists


Figures of Speech

Azure James

It’s real interesting how some figures of speech can really happen. For example,
the phrase “black sheep of the family” is pretty accurate. Only ’bout ten percent
of sheep are black, so it shows how many family members are “strange” on average.
There wasn’t nothing too strange about Bob Clark when he was ten. He was the same
age as Jethro, and they both went to the same school. Only thing about Bob was that
he worked. He really worked, and he was built like a Dutch Draft horse. Big. Even when
he was only ten.
Jethro was still in his troublemaking days at this time. He liked a girl at school
a lot, and she liked him somewhat as well. ‘Course, Jethro thought he had her ‘in the
bag’. Only problem was that Bob Clark was startin’ to get interested in girls as well.
They had a few fights over her. Not as bad as twins fight, but still enough to show everyone that they weren’t no friends with each other.
One Saturday, Jethro told his ma that he was goin’ out in the woods to do some fishin’.
He brought his pole and hiked along the river until the path started to incline and ended
up purty darned high up. Jethro kept going, though, expecting the riverbank to get low
enough for him to start fishin’. After a while, somehow Jethro lost sight of the river. He was trying to take a shortcut and take some time off the walk, but all that happened was him havin’ no idea where in heck he was.
A minute later, Jethro was nervous. He walked up another big hill to try to figure out
where he was. This hill had one very sharp side that fell fifty feet in steep drop. At the
bottom of the drop, there were a few tons of bushes and brambles. Nobody can see anything
under them bushes.
Jethro stared down into the valley, wondering how he had even found it in the first place.
He felt some strange feeling, though, so he turned arond and got the surprise of his life when
he saw Bob Clark breathin’ down his throat right behind him.
“Jethro, what do you think yer doin’ on my property? Gonna’ steal somethin’?” asked Bob.
“Umm… I was trying to fish,” replied Jethro, real uncomfortable.
Bob narrowed his eyes.
“You ain’t friends with me. Get off my pa’s property.”
The words kinda bounced off Jethro’s head for some reason.
“Go,” said Bob. He didn’t like talkin’, so Jethro was starting to really irritate him.”
“Bob, I can stay here if I want to. Just tell me where the river is,” said Jethro.
“I’m gonna kick your hide halfway into tomorrow if you don’t leave this second,” threatened
Bob. Jethro was so dang scared that he just stood there like a frozen deer. All of a sudden, Bob popped him so hard that he flew up into the air and fell about five feet onto the incline of the hill. He started rollin’ down quicker than a racehorse, and before half a second went by, he was gone.

Well, Ma knew that even though Jethro could spend an afternoon fishin’, he would eventually get hungry and wander back. Once five o’-clock came around and dinner was almost ready, she started getting worried. At first, she would just put it off for a minute and think: “Well, he really should be getting back here. If he doesn’t get back here in ten minutes, I guess we’ll eat without him.” Problem is, this same thought kept repeating all the way until six thirty. By then, Ma was real nervous. She convinced Jethro’s dad to go out and try to find him. Jethro had been out for seven hours.

The two of them went out in the woods, around where they thought Jethro might be. A few neighbors showed up and helped them out as well. They walked around in the woods and called out Jethro’s name for what seemed like an eternity. After a real long time, the sun started to set. Not good news for the family.

They had to give up once it got dark out. Ma thought Jethro might have gotten lost or attacked by something or someone– she worried her heart out about her son.

At eleven at night, everyone except Ma fell asleep. She didn’t have an ounce of tired in her body, so she stayed up and read the Bible. She’d read the entire Gospel of Mark by the time she felt like sleeping. She got up and put the Bible back on the end table. Then- there was a knock on the door. Since it was at least two in the morning, Ma was more than a bit scared to answer it, but she did anyways. Jethro was there, standing in the darkness, all beat and scratched up.

And that is the only time I’ve ever seen someone kick anybody halfway into tomorrow!

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