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The Backup

we were happy they did - ideal for hiding behind. Matt, as Point, made the first assault. He was at the
house in no time flat. Matt was on Track and Field at school. He waved me over. I ran. I felt my heart
beating against my chest. It felt good. The physical effort - the fear.
There was a storm cellar door that looked prime for picking and the perfect entry point. We both
rushed over. Matt took a look at it while I kept watch.
“It’s locked,” Matt whispered after a few tries on the latch.
“No way.” I couldn’t believe it. Thwarted already. “Can you pick it?”
“I don’t think so. I don’t have any tools.”
We didn’t plan this out very well and we both realized that fact at once.
“We’ll have to come back.”
“Yeah. But at least we made it this far.” Matt was always positive.
“It was a good reconnoiter.” I had just watched an old war movie and was eager to use that
word.
On our way back to the fence, I took a spill. My foot hit a rock and I went down hard. Matt ran
back to me immediately.
“You okay? What happened?”
“I hit my foot on this stupid rock.” I pulled up it to throw it against the house in a kind of
punishment against the whole property. When I did, I noticed something strange. The soil where the
rock was sunk-in had another rock right below it. Maybe the rock was a bigger one and it broke in two.
I dug a little and pulled up the one underneath. Something was stuck to the bottom of it.
We pulled it up and it was a small cloth bag, like a potato sack only smaller.
“What is it?”
“I dunno. But we better not stay here. Let’s take it.” I grabbed the package and we both ran for
the fence. A dog barked nearby and that got us going even faster. Up and over.
We ran a small ways, around the corner, then stopped. “We better not run anymore. Someone
might see us and think we did something wrong.” People were always watching.
“Yeah, you’re right. Where can we go?”
“The power lines.” It was a stroke of genius on my part. We both knew the way by heart. Past
the gas station and up behind the empty lot. There was a path that ran behind the houses and you could
easily see if anyone was following. Then, about 1/4 mile further, the power lines cut through the trees
just past the country store parking lot. There was a lot of underbrush and an old shed where the workers
kept tools when the lines were going up years ago.
We sat down behind the shed and looked at the package.
“Maybe it’s a kind of buried treasure.”
Don’t be silly, if it was treasure it’d be heavier. This is heavy, but not heavy. It’s feels a little
like my father’s Blackberry only bigger.
“Wow. Wouldn’t that be cool if we found somebody’s Blackberry?”
“Well let’s find out.” We both pulled on the wrapping, which was very tightly wound around the
small brick. Layer after layer - it was wrapped up like a mummy. Finally, the object fell out of its
winding sheet.
“What is it?”
“I dunno. Some kind of weird thing with writing.”
“Can you read it? Is it a foreign language? Chinese? Egyptian?”
“No. It’s English. I can read it.”
“It must be important if somebody buried it, don’t ya think?”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t look too important. It looks kind of like junk, or somebody's garbage.”
Matt leaned in. “It smells weird.”
“Yeah, like mushrooms or old clothes, but different.”
“What should we do?”
 
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