Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Terrifying Memory

I must have been between 6 and 10 when it happened. I can't recall exactly. But I'll never forget the moment the boy disappeared right before my eyes. And the blood.

We were upstairs, in the hay loft. Moving hay from one side to the other. We were small enough that we could not move the bales by ourselves, so I pushed from one side and he pulled from the other. I don't know why we were moving bales, but that's what we were doing. And it was hot already. Summer was coming. 

The barn was on a campground outside of Marble Falls, Texas and if memory serves, we were there doing service work, preparing for the campers that were to arrive later in the summer. I was too young to attend camp (I did go later), but it seems we made a few trips to help get ready. 

Anyway, this other kid (I don't remember his name) and I were up in the barn moving hay bales. I pushed, he pulled. Then suddenly, he was gone. Vanished. I heard someone slam a stable door downstairs--I thought we were the only ones around . . . 

Panting from the work, I looked up to see where he had gone. Did he get tired and sit down? Where did he go? 

Walking around the bale, I saw it. The hole in the floor.

My friend lay sprawled on the dirt, below. A growing pool of blood spread underneath his blonde hair, seeping from the gaping wound from where his head hit the stable door, below. His foot knocked a slat loose and he fell through. 

I don't remember how I got downstairs, but I remember running and finding an someone--anyone. 
And I remember the yelling . . . 
And I remember everyone running to the barn . . . 
And I remember someone turning my body away so I could not see . . . 

A few years later, I was old enough to attend camp and I went often. Once, I returned a Counselor in Training (too old to be a camper, but too young to be a Counselor). On one of those trips--and I don't recall how the subject came up--but I remember a boy showing me the scar on the back of his head. 

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