I was hanging out in the living room, upside-down on the couch reading a comic book, when I decided that this was a boring day. I dropped my book and thought. What should I do today?
It was Saturday morning, a sunny and glorious spring day. My mom was at work and my brother was at a friend’s house, so I was left at home with my seven-year-old sister and my dad. Many ideas came to mind, but none stood out more than the swimming hole. I was in love with that place, the pond in the middle of the mountains where no one except our family knew about. We had found it while we were hiking a few years ago, and ever since we had called it our own.
“Dad! I shouted downstairs. I was still upside-down on the couch and I was getting a slight headache. “Dad, can we go to the swimming hole?” Finally, with the blood rushing down my head, I sat up and waiting for an answer.
“Sure, why not?” he called back.
“Yeah, let’s go, let’s go!” My sister, Marice, heard our conversation. “I’ll get my bathing suit!”
I followed her to out shared bedroom and got ready to go. Five minutes later we were driving down the road, following the curvy pavement that led to our destination. It seemed to take forever, watching each and every tree pass by. I got more and more excited as we got closer.
“We’re here!” shouted Marice. Yes, it had made it! We all jumped out and raced to the pond, attempting to take our shoes off as we clambered into the water.
Dad started splashing both of us. Marice squealed, I laughed, and we both tamed together to send a huge wave of water in his direction, thus starting a giant water fight that lasted almost an hour. We swam and splashed and had the time of our lives before we finally, drenched and shivering, climbed out of the swimming hole and wrapped towels around our wet bodies.
“What’s that?” Marice asked after a moment of quietness. She pointed to a trail of smoke not far from where we sat.
“I don’t know,” my father answered. “Why don’t we find out? Come on, let’s go!”
We put our clothes on over top of our swim-suits and walked through the trees. Dad kept sniffing the air and mumbling, “Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.” He looked uneasy.
We eventually walked into a clearing, and Marice–being very dramatic–gasped. Okay, I guess it was something to gasp about. There, in the middle of the clearing, was a gigantic pile of small pieces of wood and brush. It was ablaze. There was an old man rushing every which way, throwing sand on the pile and trying to throw water on it but missing. I think it was supposed to be a controlled fire but it had gotten out of hand. It was quite the scene.
Over to the side was a beautifully-made log cabin. To the right of the cabin was a fire-pit with benches around it, and also a little garden with flowers and vegetables. I must admit, it was one of the most beautiful properties I had ever seen.
“Howdy, folks!” panted the old man, seeing us at last. “What brings you way up here in the mountains?” He had a slight Western accent and a crooked smile.
“Well, we saw some smoke while we were swimming in our swimming hole and–“
“Oh, so you’re the guys who often swim at Fisher’s Pond, eh?”
“What? Oh, I guess so. Yeah, we like that swimming place there.”
“So you saw this smoke, eh? Yeah, it’s pretty big. Speaking of that, do you mind helping me control this? That would be mighty nice of you.”
“Sure thing!” Dad rushed over and scooped a big pile of sand onto the fire. I watched them work for a moment until deciding to help them, so I took a blue pail nearby, filled it with water that was in a giant rain barrel, and threw it onto the fire. It sizzled loudly, as if it disliked the water. Marice stood to the side, too scared to get too close to the heat and flames, and watched as we ran to and fro, dumping water and sand into the flames, then running back to get some more. We worked silently for quite a while, slowing down as the minutes dragged on. Finally the fire began to dwindle and die. We stopped to rest.
“Thanks a bunch, you two! I couldn’t have done it without you!” The man grinned his crooked smile.
“No problem. It was our pleasure.” My dad smiled back and shook hands with him.
“Well, have a good day, folks!”
We started to walk away, but he said, “Hey, you folks can come visit me an’ my wife any time. We do get a little lonely up here.” Then he winked at me. I tried to hold back a smile.
It was getting dark by the time we got to the swimming hole, and we were too tired to swim anyways, so we went straight to the car. As I buckled myself in, I looked up to the mountains. I thought I saw a tiny wisp of smoke coming from the trees, but I couldn’t be too sure.
And that night as I lay in bed, thinking about the day and our small adventures, I peeked out my window and saw some orange in the trees. Could it be that fire? Had it gotten out of hand again after we had left? But when I looked more closely, I realized it was just the sunset. We were safe, after all.
* * *
Wondering what this is? It’s part of a series of posts from stories and essays I wrote during school. This particular one is a story I had to write in grade eight using the quote: “Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.”