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Sam (standard:mystery, 717 words)
Author: MaryGAdded: Jun 25 2002Views/Reads: 2425/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Two boys befriend a friendly, old drifter in the woods, who shares his intriguing stories of travel and adventure. The boys yield in mystery and wonderment.


It was a chilly, windy October night when Thomas and Randy met at the
edge of the woods. They hid their bikes in the thick underbrush that 
still bore Autumn leaves. The year was 1962. Urban development had not 
reached their secret patch of woods. They played there often and 
planned to make a clubhouse one day far back in the woods. The boys 
could not wait to hear the rest of Sam's story. Armed with flashlights, 
they set out, looking for Sam's temporary home. 

Sam was an old black man, a drifter who set up camp near the railroad
tracks in the dense woods. The boys met Sam while playing in the woods. 

"Whatcha boys want?" Sam asked. He was sitting on a log in front of a
tree. On the tree hung a mirror, in front of him, on the ground was a 
metal bucket filled with water. Sam had seen the boys in the mirror 
while he was shaving his face. He continued to shave, not turning to 
face the two boys who invaded his mirror. 

Randy and Thomas stood there, not sure if they should answer or run back
to their bikes. They looked around the campsite. A small tent was 
pitched in the middle of the clearing. Something was cooking in a cast 
iron pan where a campfire was started. The coals underneath it were red 
hot. Varies eating utensils were scatter about on a wool blanket. 

"You boys chicken or sumthin'?" asked Sam and he turned to look at the
boys. He wiped his face with a cloth, stood up and walked over to where 
his food was cooking. 

Sam was a tall, thin man. His hair was scattered with gray hair and the
back of his head possessed a bald spot. Sam had light brown eyes that 
shined and smiled back at you. Soft wrinkles graced the side of them. 
He was dressed in an old blue flannel shirt and blue jeans. 

"Shame though, I caught a bunch of fish in that pond past the tracks and
there's plenty to eat here," Sam said out loud. He knelt down and 
flipped the fish with precision. He smiled to himself. 

"My mama use to say, if someone comes a-calling, invite them in." 

Sam served the fish on three plates, placing two plates on the blanket
next to him. He placed two forks next to the dishes and sat down to 

The boys looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and walked over
to the blanket. They sat down and began to eat the tasty fish Sam 
prepared. Sam smiled and began telling Randy and Thomas stories about 
himself. He filled the boys imagination with tales and adventures of 
his travels around the world. 

That is how they first met Sam. It was summertime and the two boys spent
many nights listening to the stories by the campfire. When summer ended 
and school began, Randy and Thomas would spend their time with Sam on 
Saturday nights. 

The two boys ventured through the thick brush, thinking of the story Sam
had told them the night before. 

"I wonder why Sam didn't turn into something else when he touched that
statue?" asked Randy. 

"Maybe the King didn't seem him do it," answered Thomas. 

Randy and Thomas were thinking of the story Sam told them and both had
lots of questions to ask. They hurried through the woods. 

Sam told Thomas and Randy a story about his adventure in Africa. He met
a Zulu king, who invited him to stay in his village. The King showed 
him a golden statue that was made in honor of his wife who had died and 
warned anyone who touched it will be cursed. 

"I heard someone touched the statue and turned into a crocodile," Sam
told them. I didn't believe the story so when the King wasn't lookin', 
I went and touched it. See, nothin' happen... so far." 

The boys made it to the campsite but Sam and his belongings were gone.
The wind and familiar noises in the woods lay still. Then a gust of 
wind separated the branches in the trees. On a thick branch perched an 
owl; it's big eyes peering down at Randy and Thomas. They watched as 
the owl flew away. 


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