General Fiction posted May 18, 2017


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Short story w/ starting prompt

The Quarry

by frogbook

Short fiction starter Contest Winner 






If he told his mother what he had seen, she would know he had disobeyed her and gone to the abandoned quarry, but on the other hand, if he didn't, someone might die.

It was a daunting quandary for a ten-year-old. To another kid, it might have been an easier decision, but then again, they didn't have his mother.

Stepmother, really, but she wouldn't allow that word. She told him she was his mother now, he was to forget about the mother he had known for the first eight years of his life. He had no choice but to pretend he did, but he had not forgotten and never would. This new 'mother' was a spiteful, mean woman. He could tell, even his father knew he had made a mistake. Billy hoped his dad would come around soon and leave her, but then dad had disappeared on a business trip. His car was found, but he was not. It was assumed he wandered through the forest and became lost. Searches produced no body. Billy and his little brother, Sam had nowhere else to go.

The boys passed by the cemetery every day after school. Today Billy turned into the gate, pulling Sam with him. Not wanting his brother to hear, he whispered, "Mom, I got a big problem. I went out to the old quarry. I know, you didn't like me goin' there. Neither does Gladys."

He could almost hear his mother telling him he needed to listen to his stepmother.

"I know that, ma, but she really is a pain. Anyhow, when I was there this car drove up. I had a bad feeling so I hid behind a big rock. I heard a splash, they were talkin' about that bein' the end of somebody, couldn't hear too well. They started talkin' about somebody bein' next. Now, I don't want somethin' bad to happen to anyone else, but I'm way too afraid to tell Gladys, 'cuz I wasn't supposed to be there. What should I do? Maybe you could, like give me a sign or somethin'. If I see a sign to the left, I'll tell her. If I see a sign to the right I won't."

Just then a pinecone fell smack dab in the middle of his mom's grave.

"In the middle?"

There was no other sign so he decided that meant to wait a bit.

Gladys was at the door, arms crossed. "You boys are twenty minutes late, you missed dinner and now you are gonna have extra chores."

Sam whispered, "See what you did."

"I'll do the extra chores myself," said Billy, but his mind was already somewhere else.

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Sam was snoring as soon as his head hit the pillow, but Billy's mind was racing. He knew he shouldn't do it, but he had decided that he needed to investigate this case further before deciding what to do. As soon as he heard Gladys turn off her radio, he was out of bed putting on his shoes. He was wide awake again.

The house was silent. Billy crept down the stairs and out the back door. When he got to the quarry, he hid behind the same rock. He was drifting off when the car pulled up. Two men got out. He leaned over the rock's edge to get a better look. To his horror, he fell tumbling to the ground near the startled men's feet. A woman exited the car.

"If it isn't my dear son. "Had to snoop, didn't you? Well, now I guess you'll finally be seein' your no-good dad."

She pulled him toward the water-filled quarry. At the last second, anger and fear gave way to strength. He whirled around shoving Gladys into the freezing water.

"Help me boys, I can't swim!"

The two men ran to the car, and drove away. Billy watched as the woman struggled then sank below the surface.

Gladys sunk to the bottom. The last thing she saw was a circle of bodies held down by rocks in varying states of decomposition. The one next to her was her late husband. She opened her mouth in a watery, silent scream.


 

Writing Prompt
Write a story starting with the following sentence:

If he told his mother what he had seen, she would know he had disobeyed her and gone to the abandoned quarry, but on the other hand, if he didn't, someone might die.

Short fiction starter
Contest Winner


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