Ball! (500Words Round 2, Week 3, Day 1, 1/29/18)
“Ball! Ball – come back!” Samantha’s urgent plea was completely ignored by the bright red ball rolling away from her down the hill. She pumped her arms and pushed her chubby little legs as fast as they would go in pursuit of her favorite toy. She was hurdling down the hill after it, not paying a bit of attention to where she was going. Leaving home to go down the hill wasn’t allowed and she’d never done it before. Playing on the back porch was one of the best ways to spend a warm afternoon, and bouncing her ball against the garage made it even better. She hadn’t meant for it to get away from her. The ball seemed to be enjoying its downhill escape. It bounced up high every so often, and let the air take it in different directions. Thanks to the wonders of gravity it was gaining speed as it went while Samantha was slowing down thanks to the wonders of exertion.
“Ball!” Her cry was starting to sound tortured as her treasure got further and further away from her. “Don’t leave me, Ball!”
The ball bounced its way down the hill and out of sight, disappearing in a dark patch of trees. Samantha froze for a moment. She’d never gone this far down the hill or away from home. She turned and looked over her shoulder and saw a small smudge of grey at the top of the steep incline. Her home was very far away, and going after her precious ball would take her even further. She turned her back on her house and started walking towards the trees, talking to herself as she went.
“Ball must have stopped. It must be just out of sight. The trees would have caught it and kept it from going too much further away. Ball must be just waiting for me. I won’t have to go all the way into the trees.”
The ground leveled off a few yards from the tall trees. Samantha noticed the change in the incline from the relief in her thighs. She stopped again, just for a moment, and fully caught her breath. That chase down the hill had been a lot of work, and she wasn’t looking forward to climbing her way back up home. “First things first, Samantha,” she said to herself. “First find Ball, then find your way home.”
The trees were much taller than they had looked from a distance, and Samantha could hear many kinds of birds chirping away from their branches. The dark patch she’d seen Ball enter turned out to be some sort of cave tucked in amongst the trees. She put her hand on the tree closest to the cave and crouched down, trying to find her ball without stepping foot inside.
“Ball?” she called out, soft enough to keep from disturbing the birds above. “Are you in there, Ball?”
“Yes, yes I am.”
Samantha tipped back and fell soundly onto her behind out of shock.
* All 500Words are fiction. Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *