General Fiction posted March 31, 2017


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An Ancient Myth with a Modern Twist

Lost in Los Arboles

by ParkersPath


Hello?

Mr. Thesnier?

Yes.

Hi, this is Adriana Sumner. I'm the Principal at Los Arboles Elementary School.

Oh, hi—what can I do for you?

I'm calling about Vincent. We can't find him anywhere. He's been missing since lunch recess.

Gee, I'm sorry to hear that. Who’s Vincent? Tell me what he looks like and I’ll keep a look out for him. 

But Mr. Thesnier! Didn't you hear what I just said? Vincent—your Vincent—is missing! We can't find him anywhere.

My Vincent? What in the world are you talking about? I don't have a Vincent!

You are Alexander Thesnier, right?

Yes, this is Alex Thesnier.

You live at 404 Fallen Leaf Lane. Correct?

Yes, that's right.

Well Mr. Thesnier, I'm looking at Vincent's school records and you are definitely his legal guardian. In fact, I see your name, phone number, and address here. You enrolled Vincent at Los Arboles just three months ago. You remember THAT don't you?

I am? I enrolled who? What in the world? Is this a prank or something?

Mr. Thesnier?

Yes?

Are you feeling okay? Why don't you come down to the school so we can talk about this in person?

Hmmm. I'm really busy right now. But, yes, I suppose I can stop by. What school is that again?

Los Arboles Elementary School—9203 Myrtus Avenue. It's near the intersection of Asterion Way.

Actually, that's not too far from here. I think I can be there in about 30 minutes. Will that work?

Mr. Thesnier?

Yes?

On second thought, maybe you shouldn't be driving right now. Can you ask a neighbor or a co-worker to drive you here?

Oh, I'm fine to drive. This is no big deal—I'm quite familiar with the principal's office. I was sent there a lot when I was a kid. I'm sure we can work this out.

Okay then, I'll see you in about a half-hour.


- - - - - - - - - - - -


Hi, I'm Alex Thesnier. I'm here to see Adriana Sumner.

Oh, hello Mr. Thesnier! Ms. Sumner is expecting you. She's in her office at the end of the hallway on the left. Just push open the swinging door and go straight ahead.

Great, thank you. Can I ask you a question?

Sure.

Have you seen me here before?

Yes, of course I've seen you before, Mr. Thesnier! You've come here several times to pick up Vincent after class. We really enjoy having him here at Los Arboles. I'm so sorry he's missing.

That's the thing. I don't remember coming here. This school sort of looks familiar. But I don't have a kid named Vincent.

I understand you are anxious and concerned right now, Mr. Thesnier. Just try to relax a bit. Can I get you a glass of water?

Glass of water? No thank you. I'm fine.

Okay then. Please go see Ms. Sumner right away.


- - - - - - - - - - - -


Hi, Ms. Sumner? It's me, Alex Thesnier.

Oh yes, Mr. Thesnier... hello! Please, come in. It's nice to meet you. You can call me Anne.

Nice to meet you, Anne. You can call me Alex.

How are you feeling, Alex?

I'm feeling fine. But I am really confused. Why do you think I'm not feeling well?

Well, as I told you on the phone, Vincent is missing. Our staff has been looking for him all afternoon. Aren't you at all concerned?

I really have no idea what you are talking about. I don't know who Vincent is. But I'll be happy to help you find him.

Alex, please sit down. I know this is difficult. YOUR Vincent went missing during lunch. Do you understand?

No, I do not understand! You say this Vincent kid is missing. Where was he last seen?

Two of his classmates saw him heading toward the grove of trees near the back of the school yard. I'll be happy to take you there.

Sure, that would be fine. By the way, that artwork on the wall behind your desk... is that a maze?

Yes, something like that... it's a labyrinth. I embroidered it myself. I've always been pretty good with thread.

You definitely are! Great job!

Thanks. Are you ready to take a walk?

Okay, let's do it. This office is starting to look a little too familiar...


- - - - - - - - - - - -


See that grove of trees over there? That's where Vincent's friends last saw him during lunch recess. Has he ever wandered away like this?

Uh, no. Like I've said, I've never even seen the kid. But that grove of trees looks familiar.

I'm glad some of this is coming back to you. Let's keep walking.

I have to admit. It sure seems like I've been here before.

Of course you have, Alex! You were here about two weeks ago to watch Vincent play soccer. Do you remember that?

No, that doesn't ring a bell. But those trees. I know I've seen them before.

Watch your step, Alex. There's a big ledge coming up. This is about the spot where Vincent was last seen. Are you okay? You are looking very pale.

Um, well yes. I mean no. I'm feeling out of breath right now. I'm also a little dizzy. Maybe it's just work. I've been stressed out lately.

Why don't we sit down and take a break? This is a lot to take in. Why are you so stressed at work?

Everything has been so crazy—tight deadlines, unhelpful co-workers, angry customers. It feels like I've been wrestling a bull. Then you called me about this missing kid, Vincent. This is just as crazy as work.

I'm sure we can work our way through this, Alex.

Hey Anne, what kind of trees are those? They smell familiar.

They are eucalyptus trees. They sort of smell like mints and honey, don't they? This tree grove has been here for years—long before I got here. How's your dizziness?

It's almost gone now. This is kind of a fluke, but my middle name is Vincent. When I was a kid, everybody called me Vinny.

What happened? Why did you change your name?

I didn't want people to call me Little Vinny anymore. I was about 13 years old. I wanted a grown-up name. My first name, Alexander, sounded much more grown up.

Strange, isn't it? When we’re kids we can hardly wait to grow up. But when we’re adults, we wish we were kids again. If you are feeling up to it, why don’t we wander around in the trees a bit? This is about where Alex’s friends last saw him during lunch recess. 

Wow, this quite a maze of trees in here. I feel lost already. But if I was a kid I know exactly what I'd do.

What's that?

I'd climb straight to the top of the tallest tree I could find. Has anybody looked up in the trees for this kid?

I think so. But with all those branches and leaves, it's hard to see much of anything. It's possible he could be up there somewhere.

When I was a kid, I loved to climb trees. How about if I a climb one and take a look around?

Be careful, Alex. You aren't a kid anymore.


- - - - - - - - - - - -


Hey Alex, are you okay up there?

You were right, Anne—I'm definitely not a kid anymore. This is tough climbing!

Take it slowly!

Hey Anne! I see somebody! He's just a few branches up! He’s wearing a blue jacket.

Really? Yes, that must be Vincent! Is he all right? 

Yes, I think so!

Be careful, Alex!

Whew, this is quite a climb! Hey there buddy... any chance your name is Vincent?

Ummm... yep, that's me.

Hi Vincent. My name is Alex. Mind if I join you?

Sure, come on up. You can call me Vince. I don't like being called Vincent.

Is everything okay, Vince? People have been looking for you all afternoon. They are really worried.

Everybody is always worried about me. I'm fine. I like being up here—nobody can bother me.

Bother you? Is somebody at school picking on you?

No, nobody's picking on me. I just don't like all that schoolwork—and I really didn't want to go to math class this afternoon!

I know exactly how you feel, Vince. I've got a ton of work I don't want to deal with either. Sometimes I'd like to leave it all behind. It's a great view from up here, isn't it?

Yep, it sure is! This is the tallest tree around. You can see the roof of my house from up here!

That's pretty cool. If it's okay, with you, let's just hang out here for a while and enjoy the view.

Hey Alex?

Yes?

I'm really glad you found me.

I'm glad I found you too, Vince...

Uh... Vince? Vince? Where did you go? Anne...? Hello?


Dialogue Only Writing Contest contest entry


A nod to Theseus, Ariadne, and the Labyrinth...
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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