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River Heart excerpt


River Heart Excerpt with Addition:

Close to the moist bank of the creek, my little brother and I enter the forest. We hide a jug of fresh apple cider, wedged underwater between two mossy stones, and follow the river up forest.

   Later it gets hot and we branch off through a stand of stunted pines, past mildewed deer droppings, and ferocious bear tracks. Everything here is dark and still. The winds groan sinister. After an hour of wandering, Bobby gets tired, so we find an old log and sit down to share our only apple.

   “We’re lost,” my brother sighs, and tries not to cry.

         "We ain't lost," I grumble.

   The trees have veins like my grandma’s legs, hiding us under huge hushed skirts. Tons of tree trunks creak above us. All of a sudden the wind dies. Bobby jumps up.

   “I can hear the river a'callin' !”

   Off he runs and finds the creek! It curves and hisses and glistens, a silver snake caressed by the sun. Now we can follow it, racing downstream until we reach the wet place where the jug of cider is still waiting for us. I lift out the jug, dripping, triumphant, an icy throbbing river heart. We drink it slowly walking home, and I feel the river in my bones.