The Waterfall

The Waterfall

A Story by NoblePariah
"

Just something I came up with out of the blue about two brothers and an abandoned waterfall.

"

   

      Pete adjusted the strap of his satchel, gently double checking its contents as he walked through the abandoned town. Most of the buildings and pavement had been overtaken by plant life since its abandonment after the mine closed down. He made his way up the decaying road of rubble until he reached a long, yellow gate, that kept cars from going further.

      There were several warning signs under vast growths of vines; their yellow paint worn down by countless neglected years in the rain. He smiled, picking a small piece of vine from the sign, revealing a large, red, letter “D.” Never stopped us then; never stop us now, he thought.

      “Petey!” came a familiar, robust male voice from behind him. “I didn't think you'd come.”

      Pete stood up and turned around, “Of course I came, John. I wouldn't miss something like this!” John looked exactly like he had the last time Pete had seen him, a mass of brown facial hair with two green eyes staring out. He wore a tattered leather jacket that was fading with age and a pair of jeans that were patched too many times to count. “You never changed, eh?”

      “Naw, I can't change,” John replied. “Not that I've ever really wanted to. . .by the way, did you bring everything?”

      Pete nodded and tapped the satchel before turning around to the path behind him. “So we're back, huh? It's been a long time. I feel like a kid again. Coming here to skip out on school and hide from Dad when he got drunk. Last time, I hadn't even gotten into business school.”

      “Yeah, I distinctly remember it was before you got boring and I got sick.” said John, stepping around the gate.

      “I'm not that boring, I'm here aren't I?” asked Pete, as he followed John. He took a breath. He had missed that musty smell of dirt and fresh rain that only came from a forest.

      “Yeah and look what it took to get you here, man.”

      “I was in Japan. I couldn't get here. Besides, there's no way you could've made the climb when you were sick.”

      “I'm just busting your balls Petey, don't be so touchy. . . but seriously, when's the last time you had an adventure?”

      Pete cursed silently as he tripped on an exposed branch before replying, “last week. I went out with my pirate crew and we plundered the shores of the Americas.”

      “Oh yeah?” John asked, increasing his pace up the hill.

      Pete laughed, slightly, picking up his pace as well. “Be serious, an adventure? We're not ten anymore.”

      John increased his pace to a run, yelling behind him, “life's always an adventure if your doing it right Petey!”

       The hill began to curve up as they ran, causing Pete's breathing to start growing heavy.

      The trees grew thicker around them, but Pete could hear the waterfall, shushing the world with its light colliding torrents as they neared the top. He could already detect the faint smell of fresh, running water.

      Finally, they reached the decaying brick bridge. Underneath it, water poured down into the river causing a constant rainbow. Pete felt nostalgia and sadness at the sight.

      They slowed pace to walk over to the bridge. Pete never found out how old it was, but it had been worn even since his childhood. Now, however it was on a different level. The once tall arches had collapsed either into the river, or into the trees behind. Several bricks were missing from the sides of the bridge. Luckily, the bottom of the bridge seemed to be intact apart from some light cracking in the surface.

       Pete stopped at the entrance and leaned over to catch his breath.

      John looked over the side of the bridge, “You're a bit out of shape compared to the last time we were here, huh? Did you forget we made a promise to come back together?”

      Pete started walking toward the middle of the bridge, and said, “No I�" ” but was interrupted as the bricks under his feet gave way and he fell. He managed to grab the nearest sturdy brick and struggled to pull himself up. His feet dangled dangerously close to the moving water. Each time he struggled to pull himself up, another piece of the bridge would crumble, making him switch his hands just to keep from falling. “Come on, John! Help me out here!”

       John continued standing on the ground behind Pete and said, “Come on, little brother, you can do this. I can't help you this time. You've got this.”

      “I can't, John! I can't do this by myself, I need your help!”

      “No, Pete, you don't. You know I can't help you anymore, pull yourself up! Do it!”

      Pete clawed at the bricks, nearly getting hit in the head as another one fell. Finally, he found a solid portion of mortar and managed to get a hold of it. He slowly pulled himself up, first his arms, then his torso, and, finally, his legs. He rolled over onto his back breathing heavily. He laid there for a minute before he stood back up and carefully crossed what was left of the bridge.

      Eventually, he reached the other side where “Petey and John Kings of the Waterfall” was carved into the stone. He looked out over the waterfall, then back at John. Tears began streaming down his face. “I'm sorry I couldn't keep my promise sooner, John.”

      He reached inside the satchel and retrieved a bronze urn with a sentence written across it in black lettering that read, “life's always an adventure if your doing it right.”

      He opened the urn and extended his arm out over the waterfall towards the sunset.

      John was next to him now. “I'm proud of you, little brother. Always was. You go out and have a great life.”

Pete turned the urn upside down and watched the ashes fall into the flowing water. “Goodbye John,” he whispered. Pete didn't need to look around to know John was gone. For the first time, he was alone at the waterfall.


© 2014 NoblePariah


Author's Note

NoblePariah
First draft so any opinions welcome.

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Reviews

This is well written. I love the ending of letting go of someone that at one was so close to your heart. A few wording changes can be used, but this is a first draft. Good writing!

Posted 6 Years Ago


This is well written. I love the ending of letting go of someone that at one was so close to your heart. A few wording changes can be used, but this is a first draft. Good writing!

Posted 6 Years Ago


John continued standing on the ground behind Pete and said, “Come on, little brother, you can do this. I can't help you this time. You've got this.”

“I can't, John! I can't do this by myself, I need your help!”

“No, Pete, you don't. You know I can't help you anymore, pull yourself up! Do it!”

As soon as I read this, I knew that Pete's brother, John, was dead. As this was not apparent to me from the beginning, I'd have to say that's an expert bit of writing there. The depth of story in this instant reaches all the way down into my heart. John is assuring Pete that he can go on living life without John's help, much as it may seem impossible to do. Grief is like this. You're sure you can't go on, losing your grip one crumbling brick at a time. Just as Pete found he could pull himself up and continue, so do we all.

I really enjoyed The Waterfall, and chose it as the 1st runner up in my Flash Fiction Writing Contest 3. Congratulations, NoblePariah! I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Posted 6 Years Ago


I too expect something good when I see your name. As usual, the twist at the end caught me by surprise. I am terrified of heights and the whole dangling from a crumbling bridge had me on the edge of my seat. The only thing I can add is that I found the word "Naw" a bit out of place. Nothing else in the story matched that colloquialism; he didn't continue speaking that way.

Posted 6 Years Ago


NoblePariah

6 Years Ago

Thank you, the whole idea of this story (particularly the part where he falls) actually came from an.. read more
Very good for a first drafe. I caught the word "coarse" when yu meant "course", but nothing major. Good story as always. I expect something good when I see your name.

Posted 6 Years Ago


NoblePariah

6 Years Ago

Thank you much, I was caught in writing non fiction for a couple of months and couldn't seem to fini.. read more

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Added on February 2, 2014
Last Updated on December 9, 2014
Tags: waterfall, brothers

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NoblePariah
NoblePariah

About
I am a writer trying to better myself in the craft. I'm 22 and in college, pursuing a degree in creative writing. Please don't add me and send me a read request without reviewing a piece of my work. .. more..

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Harmonicas Harmonicas

A Story by NoblePariah