Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Tale of Lawrence Stokes, Chapter 2

The Tale of Lawrence Stokes, Chapter 2

Chapter 1: Here

The words hung in the air and the children shifted the weight on their feet as they wondered what the old storyteller meant. Never found his body...what did that mean?

The old man continued, the trepidation coming from the kids causing no effect in his delivery. "Lawrence was into sports," he said and a dry smile crossed his lips. "He loved sports more than anything else. He wrestled. He boxed--used me as a sparing partner until I got tired of getting beat up..." The children looked at each other as a laugh from the old man turned into a cough that stopped the story. But only for a moment.

"Back in those days, schools had boxing teams and Lawrence wanted to get down to a lower weight class so he'd have a better chance of winning, although, truth be told, he could have beat kids twice his size. He was so strong and so fast..."

The old man stopped rocking and he looked directly in the afternoon sun, but only for a moment. He then looked at the children. "One day after he spent the morning working at his father's dairy, he told me he had found something, something that would guarantee he'd not only make his weight, but that no one--and I mean, no one..." the old man said almost in a whisper. "No one would be able to touch him...not then, not ever."

The storyteller began again to rock on the chair that appeared as old as the one forcing it back and forth. "So, what happened?" said one of the children. Usually the kids never had to participate in the conversation--things changed on this particular day after school at a small house halfway up the hill. The other kids looked at the one who spoke and were glad he was brave enough to ask the thing they all wanted to know.

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