Childhood summers held something magical for us. You could find us on the front porch playing make believe. Sitting on the creaky splintered porch swing, we might be staring across the street and looking beyond acres and acres of leafy grape vines. Some days we could be found walking the country roads tarry from the sun. The heat, the sun bright above in the sky, and the sweat beading our little faces never convinced us to stay inside.
My best friend, my sister, and I had quite vivid imaginations then. One particular day, we sat on the porch watching the train roll by several miles beyond the grapes. We could hear the chugging of the locomotive from the distance and the horn of the engine. For some unknown reasons, trains captivated us at such a young age. What was going on in there-were there people riding? As we were pondering life's great question, we heard a loud "BANG", brakes squealing, and the train slammed to a stop-well as quickly to a stop as a train can.
We jumped, our mouths open wide. We only knew in our overly active minds that whatever happened wasn't anything good. Our thoughts were whirling and our hearts pumping. "I bet someone has been shot!" Wendy, my friend, says, "Bet the train has been taken over by bad guys." Now our minds are in a tailspin. "We need to investigate," I say. From there our plan of action was to arm ourselves with weaponry before the journey ahead of us, so we head inside to prepare. We found some belts and several water guns. After securing our guns in the belts, we were ready.
We headed outside, determined to find the shooter and bring him to justice. We made our way through the grapevines. Twirling twisted wires wrapped in leafy grapes awaited us. We slowly walked through the rows, guns in hand, scoping out for anything suspicious. Suddenly, "What's that?" my sister, Cindy, cries. Several feet in front of us, sprawled on the ground, lay a mound of unidentifiable brown.
"I bet that's the dead body!" exclaimed Wendy. "or the killer crouching," I whisper. Our thudding hearts could be heard throughout the vines. We were petrified to take a closer look, but too curious not too. After all, we had come prepared. Slowly inching towards the figure, we held our breaths. As we came upon it, our breathing released in a thud-or maybe an ugh-as what we saw transformed into a pile of dead grass and leaves. Depleted and disappointed, we headed back towards the house, our adventure over. Within minutes, the train slowly begins to pick up speed in the distance. The horn sounding once again. We started back to the porch swing, no dead body discovered and no shooter captured, but leaving with us a memory that will last a life time.