Sampler: Boone and Jacque: Saddleton’s Secret by A.G. Flitcher

Review: “The action is fast paced and chaotic, emphasizing the emotions the young boys feel during their investigations of the strange happenings.”

Two boys, Boone and Jacque, discovered a strange underground bunker in Boone’s backyard on his tenth birthday.

This curious discovery led to history repeating itself.

Schisms, secret societies, old foes and kings resurfaced.

Hiding then pouncing at the right moment. Adults, foaming at the mouth for power and respect, could be the end of Saddleton.

Boone and Jacque is in the finals for the OZMA Award. Given by Chanticleer Reviews.

A.G. Flitcher

Sampler: Saddleton’s secret

This story’s end was rightfully falsified by Jane G. Wallace, who read it to her son, Boone, until he was six years old. His skin had been kissed by the sun since he was born. His wavy light-brown hair that went down to his shoulders had always bothered Jane because it was a headache to comb. She taught him how to do it so she wouldn’t have to. Lastly, he was a skinny yet doughy and scarred youngster who loved to build and fix things. His mother loved how creative he was. Nevertheless, the decision made to stop reading to him was forced on her by her husband who felt boys shouldn’t be told such “Sad, sappy, crumby, fairy, dozy, ruddy tommyrot.” She only agreed to stop because the true ending would’ve traumatized her son. Instead, she always told him a cavity-giving sweet ending, essentially saying no one knew how the man got off the island—just that he was safe and sound. Boone, although happy to know the man was okay, never felt satisfied with that ending.

To Boone, July 5, 1994, was not only his tenth birthday but an early pinnacle in his life. When it came to his birthdays, they were either uneventful or unwantedly noisy for him. So this one was quite the change for him, because what happened on that yucky, yellow-street-light-lit night would tire the eyes but not the mind. Boone stood solemnly at the small and only window of the basement that faced his backyard. He could see the late afternoon sun shine off the wet grass as the mouldy cardboard box of books and a single newspaper creased under his feet.

He could feel the weakness of the box beneath the heavily worn soles of Boone & Jacque 6 his shoes. Humidity from the rain and warm heat from the window hit his chest, since his shirt had holes from getting caught in blackberry bushes overgrown and through perimeter fences that he ran along at school. His parents couldn’t afford to buy him much of anything. He was given one pair of socks on his birthday, one shirt and sweater on Christmas, and one pair of pants whenever a child from one of their friends outgrew them. Same went for shoes but there had been times where he’d gone home from school barefoot. Not a pleasant moment when the sun baked hot asphalt on his heels.

Even more agonizing, he’d occasionally be pricked by a hornet’s sting, digging in like a dirty needle. Sometimes he’d pray that whatever pricked his soft feet was a hornet’s stinger. Though none of that ever took hold of Boone for longer than he’d wish to think about it. He never liked to think of familiar pain for too long. When he felt pain, physical or emotional, he’d occupy himself by getting into an alpha state where his absolute absorption of information would numb him from pain. Having nowhere to go where he felt happy and safe, he made the best of his time in the basement. The fireplace, as his father once drunkenly said, was out of order. That was later clarified by his mother, who said that the city only permitted one fireplace per A. G. Flitcher 7 household.

Therefore the one upstairs in the living room was the only active one they had. In front of the dormant fireplace was a toy chest full of board games, a green lightsaber, and miscellaneous objects he used to fix things or even build something. Those objects were things like balloons, tape, superglue, scissors, sandpaper, and any junk he could find. Next to it was a bookshelf that held family photo albums at the bottom and books covered in dust on the top two shelves.

He hadn’t looked at any of this for quite some time. The rest of the basement was quite grungy. A heavily used and stained mattress rested near the door that led to the front entrance. As Boone stared out the little window on his birthday, he could hear a rat skittering away, having left a fresh and putrid smell of urine on the mattress. He gagged, keeping his gaze forward to not throw up at the sight of rat urine and possibly feces. There was only one piece of furniture that wasn’t disgusting, that being his plushy blue chair. Despite the filthiness and age of the basement, there was something about it he couldn’t leave. He always wanted to leave when the heavy foot stomps, shouting, furniture crashing, and his mother’s crying tremored above his head.

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