“ Jarel!” she called “ Get her down from there. You both get down now!”
“ No momma, I want to pick them too!” Jarel answered as he sidled up to his sibling. The twins were at the curve apex of the bridge over which the dangerous waters swirled. Enticing blue lobelias danced out in front of them. Savannah, holding her new flower collection upon her lap, extended little arms out as far as she could, but the remaining stems blew away from the bridge in a teasing game.
“ It’s time to return home!” their mom pleaded again. She picked her way down the hilly incline towards the bridge abutment. Ignoring her, Jarel plucked a beautiful bloom! It’s petals sparkled in the sun from dew drops released from the bud’s inner cache. But now the biggest prize of them twirled only a few short inches away. A white orchid! Savannah watched in wonder as he now took over this clever task. Jarel was not to be deterred. His nimble fingers tickled the edges of the efflorescence, but he could not bring it in. Just a little more... he thought. Savannah noticed their mother beneath the arc of the bridge several feet below trembling near the cool waters. The twin girl frowned and stood up on the trestle. “ I’m coming, mama!”
As Jarel reached in a final thrust of his wrist, the bridge board beneath him snapped. Splinters tore through his shirt catching his body as it dangled halfway through the slats.
“ Jarel!” his mom screamed and she stepped forward to break his fall. Instead, her foot gave way under the uneven sod and she stumbled sideways plummeting down the steep ravine. Her body slid without control crashing into an outcropping of rocks on the banks of the river.
“ Mama!” cried Savannah. Their mother made no movement. Jarel’s eyes flashed in terror as he grunted for control of his grip. His body slid slowly downward; slivers of wood painfully pierced his body. Savannah screamed dropping all the flowers upon the bridge; her eyes wild in panic. “ Mamaaaa!”
“ Ugh” was all Jarel could breath as the last of the strength left his arms. He would fall helplessly through the boards into the raging river below.
Strong hands grabbed the nape of his neck and jerked him suddenly back up through the cracked hole. Jarel’s left shoulder was firmly gripped by someone from behind and he was set squarely upon the wooden platform. Jarel spun around slowly on wobbly legs, but saw no one. Savannah was crying where she stood. In a daze, Jarel reached out taking her small hand in his and trotted them both off the old broken bridge. A shimmer of white light twinkled in the trees and the old mighty span remained silent in the sun.
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