Today, we learn the fate of Major and Jett introduced to you in yesterday’s Micro-Fiction Monday.
By: Rachel A. Carrera
Several hours later, Dad and Jett unloaded the car. When they finished, Dad stretched his arms over his head and smiled. “This looks like a good spot, boys.” He checked his watch. “Wow, it’s nearly four o’clock. I’d hoped we’d have been here and had camp set up by now. I was looking forward to having fresh trout for dinner.”
Jett rolled his eyes. “Well, we would’ve been here on time if Major Pain didn’t have to make so many bathroom stops.” He picked up a stone and threw it at a tall pine tree behind the car, hitting the tree’s trunk.
Major frowned. “I couldn’t help it.” He picked up a rock and threw it toward the pine, then grimaced when it bounced off the car’s hood.
Dad swiped his hands over his face. “Jett, that’s enough! Look, why don’t you take your brother and show him around while I set up camp. Be back in an hour, and we’ll go fishing.”
Jett smirked and nudged his brother. “What Dad’s saying is that you’re a major pain in the butt, and he can set up camp faster if you’re not here.”
Dad huffed. “Jett!”
Jett chuckled. “Well, it’s true. You always let me help you set up before he came along.”
Tears welled in Major’s eyes. “I want Mommy.”
Jett rolled his eyes. “Good grief. You’re such a major baby.”
Dad opened the cooler and grabbed a beer. “Jett, cool it! If you can’t be nice to your brother, we might as well pack the car back up and go home.”
Jett huffed loudly. “Fine. Come on, Major Loser.” He started jogging.
Major panted as he raced to keep up with Jett.
Jett looked over his shoulder and laughed. “What’s the matter? Can’t you keep up, Major Slowpoke?”
Major pushed forward and fell. He grabbed his knee as tears welled in his eyes. “Owwiee! You made me fall!”
Jett rolled his eyes and helped Major to his feet. “Get up, Major Baby. If you couldn’t keep up, you should’ve stayed home with your mommy.” He ran then jumped on stepping stones as he crossed a shallow branch of the creek.
Major sniffled as he followed his brother. As they rounded a corner of the mountain, he gasped and screamed. “Ack! A snake!” He jumped up and down and flailed his arms.
Jett huffed and picked up the snake behind its head. “Shut up. It’s just a baby corn snake. You’re such a Major Doofus.” He thrust the snake toward his brother.
Major jumped backward, and his chin quivered. “Stop being mean to me, or I’m gonna tell Daddy.”
“Oh, really? And just how do you think you’re gonna find your way back to camp, Major Tattletale? Maybe I’ll just run ahead and leave you out here for the bears to eat.”
Tears spilled down Major’s cheeks. “You’re a meanie! I hate you!”
Jett chuckled and looked at his watch. “Oh, crap. It’s been thirty minutes. We’d better head back to camp.” He released the snake and wiped his hands on his pants.
“No! I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“Major, come on. We’re gonna be late.”
Major folded his arms and glared at his brother.
“Fine. I’ll go without you.” Jett started jogging toward camp. Moments later, he looked over his shoulder as Major headed the other way. He groaned. “Major Butthead, camp’s this way. …You better come on. …I mean it!”
Major made his way under a rock overhang and grabbed a vine hanging from a dead tree on top of the rocky projection.
Jett gasped. “Major, no! Don’t touch that! That tree was struck by lightning. You might cause it to fall and start a rockslide.”
“You’re not the boss of me!” Major stuck out his tongue as he jumped and swung on the vine.
Jett gasped and lunged for his brother. “Major, nooooo!”
A loud crack and a sound like rolling thunder pierced the otherwise quiet air. The large tree trunk split, and rocks, dirt, and debris fell to the ground below.
* * *
Dad closed the tackle box and checked his watch. “Where are those boys? They’re almost a half hour late.” He picked up a fishing pole and inspected the lure, then spun around when he heard Jett’s voice.
“Dad!” Jett was covered in dirt and had scrapes on his face. A large tear was in the arm of his shirt, and his left elbow was bloody. His face was ashen, and his eyes were large. His chin quivered as he panted to catch his breath. “Come quick!”
“Jett, your arm!”
Jett shook his head. “No time for that.”
The hair on the back of Dad’s neck stood on end. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s Major. He’s hurt. Follow me.” Jett spun on his heel and started sprinting without waiting for a reply.
Dad threw down his fishing pole and followed Jett. His strength ebbed, and his muscles burned as he surged past the creek. As they got to the overhang, he gasped and clutched his chest when he saw the broken tree that had fallen on the large pile of dirt and rocks.
Jett pointed to the closest edge of the pile. He held his side and breathlessly said, “Major’s under that rock pile… right there!”
The color drained from Dad’s face. He fell to his knees and started digging with his hands, throwing rocks over his shoulder. “Run back to camp. See if you can find any other campers, and send them here to help. See if anyone can drive down to Turtle Creek and phone for an ambulance. Hurry!”
Jett spun on his heel and raced back toward camp.
A short time later, two men joined Dad. One of the men plunged a shovel into the dirt and rocks. “Your son, Jett, told us what happened. How long’s the other boy been in here?”
Dad wiped his forehead on his sleeve and struggled to toss a large rock to his side. “I don’t know. Not more than an hour, I guess.”
The other man grabbed a hefty stick and positioned it under the tree trunk. “Here, help me. Let’s use this as leverage. We’d better hurry. If he’s still alive, he won’t have air for long.”
The first man thrust his shovel at Dad and helped lift the tree. “My brother drove to Turtle Creek to use the phone. We should have some help soon.” The men rolled the tree to the side as Dad shoveled.
Nearly a half hour later, as a helicopter landed, Dad uncovered the long sleeve to Major’s red shark shirt. He threw the shovel to the ground and frantically dug with his bare hands. As he uncovered the boy’s face, his heart lurched into his stomach. “Major! Major, it’s Daddy! Are you okay, son?” He was frantic as he scooped up the boy’s limp body and clutched his son to his chest.
Moments later, Major started to cough, then he gasped and opened his eyes. “Daddy! You’ve got to help Jett!”
Tears mixed with dirt and sweat and streaked Dad’s face. “Major, oh, I can’t believe you’re alive. Don’t worry about Jett, son. He’s back at camp.”
Major wriggled out of Dad’s arms and desperately shook his head. “No! You have to save him!” He struggled to stand as he pointed at the center of the rock pile. “He’s in there! He pushed me out of the way so that tree wouldn’t fall on me.”
A medic ran from the helicopter and placed an oxygen mask on Major’s face as two more men brought large shovels and started digging.
Dad hugged Major as the medic assessed him. He turned his head as he heard, “We got him. The poor kid didn’t make it. It looks like he died instantly. His skull was crushed on impact.” A man stood with Jett’s limp body in his arms. Dad’s knees went weak, and the color drained from his face. Jett’s black and blue plaid sleeved arm fell to the side. There was a tear in the sleeve, and his left elbow was covered in blood.
Time to chat: Have you ever been camping? Do you know what you’d do in case of an accident during an outdoor adventure that was miles from civilization? Do you believe in such supernatural happenings?