www.whyville.net Oct 23, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Rivers' Kiss: Part 2

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"Earth!" I run after him. Darn river. Darn turtle. Darn Earth.

"Come back, you stinking river!" I put on a burst of speed, though it does no good.

I pant and all of sudden, tears start rolling down my cheeks. Earth . . . he was gone. I don't remember the last time I cried. But when I cry, it's because something's very, very wrong. Like the time when Pa got shot in battle. Fortunately he recovered, but this time, I'm not so sure.

"Earth," I plead. "Earth."

Then as if the creek hears me, it calms, and it's back to it's normal swishing self.

"Thank you," I whisper, though I don't know if it's right or not.

What if the river had taken Earth's life?

I hurry over to the place where I last tracked Earth. Was he there?

He was. Unconscious and near sinking to the bottom of the river. He was drowning, and I had no idea what to do. Maybe Ma is wrong. Maybe country folk ain't as tough as she tells us.

The only thing I can think to do is go into the water myself. Perhaps I could pull him out, and then . . . It was worth a try.

I roll up my the cuffs of my jeans and wade into the stream gently, careful not to disturb to fishies. I yank Earth out of the bottom and roll him onto the grass, which is now shorter (thankfully) than before.

My eyes can't help but cry, cry, and cry. I feel like bawling my eyes out when I feel his heartbeat. His heartbeat is so slow, like he's nearing the edge of death. Which he is, of course. But I try not to think that.

What's next?, I think. How do I help him?

I recall Ma telling me to pump the water out of a dead person's body to bring him back to life. She told me that I probably wouldn't ever use it, but I need to use it now.

I need to.

I push on his chest as hard and as I can, which is pretty darn hard. Water spurts out of his mouth, but he's still not awake. I push harder, and harder, until he starts to cough like crazy. His eyes flutter open, and my heart heaves a great heavy sigh, a wave of calm and relief washing over me.

"You're alive, Earth! You're alive!" I can't help but hug him, tears falling onto his chest, laughing and crying at the same time.

"It's all right, Skye." He pats me on the back. "I'm okay."

"I've learned a lesson," I sniff. "Never try to rescue a turtle again."

He manages a smile and stands up feebly. His eyes take in the sight before us.

The sun is setting, hues of orange mixing together to make something absolutely stunning. The thing that intrigues me the most is the river, though it was the same river that nearly took my brother's life. It ain't one river. It's two.

Two rivers meet to make one perky brook, bubbling it's way to the sun. Personally, I think it's much more gorgeous than the sunset.

"Hey Skye."

"What, you big old pile of dirt?"

He points at the place where two rivers meet. "Do you think it's been named yet?"

I shrug. "Probably."

"Let's make our own name for it. How about . . . Hunter Creek?"

I think for a while, thinking about the way the two rivers meet to share a kiss.

I realize that's the perfect name.

"How 'bout Rivers' Kiss?" I suggest.

"Rivers' Kiss . . ." he murmurs. "Rivers' Kiss." He taps his chin, then smiles. "I like that. I like that a lot."

So we stare at the magnificent sunset and admire Rivers' Kiss together.


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