|THE END OF ALL THINGS GOOD (standard:drama, 2705 words)|
|Author: Anonymous||Added: Jan 04 2003||Views/Reads: 2224/1258||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|This 3500 word story is about the destruction of the Quincy Quarries outside of Boston for the Big Dig highway project interwined with a challenge to teewnage immortality set in the 1960s.|
THE END OF ALL THINGS GOOD by peter nolan smith This last Fourth of July I deserted my East Village apartment for my brother's cottage on the Cape. My father met me at the 128 train station and we drove down to Cotuit. My niece, nephew, and I swam in the ocean, barbecued with the rest of the family, then oohed and aahed at fireworks over Hyannisport. Around midnight my brother walked me to the guest room and, upon hearing my father's snoring, asked, "You really can sleep through that." "No problem," I answered, sticking two wads of wax in my ears. Within seconds I drifted into a stupor, yet I had underestimated my father, for near dawn a rumbling set of snorts served as a wake-up call to all, but the dead. If I was going to be up, then he was too, so I shook his bed, until my father demanded, "I wasn't snoring, was I?" "Like a truck stuck on ice." "Anyone else awake?" he grumbled, squinting at the rising sun. "Just you and me, Pop," I replied, helping him out of bed. "Then let's go get some breakfast." Arriving at the local restaurant slightly before 7am, we read the papers, while waiting for our eggs and bacon. Both the NY Times and Boston Globe confirmed nothing really happens on a holiday weekend, but then I pointed to an article. "Says here they're using the rubble from the Big Dig to cover the Milton Dump." "Yes, the town wants to build a golf course, so they're filling the Quincy Quarries." "They can't do that!" "When you have as much money as the Big Dig, anything is possible. Besides what do you care?" He knew damn well why I was concerned. The first railroad in America had been built to transport granite in Quincy, but more importantly I had spent countless glorious summer days in their emerald waters, so their destruction horrified me. "Those quarries are national monuments!" "Someone should have closed those death traps long ago!" My father jabbed a finger at the newspaper. "Says sixteen people died there since 1960." Undoubtedly the quarries had been a magnet for accidental drownings and drunken mishaps, though many of the stories about the bottomless pits were urban legends, the most famous being of a kid jumping off Shipwreck's craggy prow and landing on a submerged car, whose antenna pierced his arm. This gruesome tale was retold every summer, as if the accident had occurred last week, yet its origins were lost in the haze of time. "People die on the highways every day, but no one's talking about closing them down!" "People use the highways." "And I swim at the quarries!" "Someone your age shouldn't be doing that." My father had never fathomed the beauty of the Quarries and he slammed the table. The salt and peppershakers bounced in the air and the people at the next table turned their heads. They were vacationers who had no interest in a heated debate about the Quarries, so I raised my hands in surrender. "You're right, but I still can't believe this. "Read it again and weep." My father returned to his Scrabble puzzle, while I scoured the article. There was no mistake. The towns of Milton and Quincy were burying my favorite swimming hole with the excavated dirt from the nation's largest highway project. After breakfast we returned to Boston. Saying we needed some OJ, I dropped off my father and drove to the other side of the Blue Hills. At the entrance to the quarries water gushed over a granite block into which QUARRY HILLS GOLF COURSE had been carved. I groaned in anguish, for only pumping the pits dry could have created this fake waterfall, yet the first tee-off was still years away, for a Mack truck groaned uphill. And this was on a holiday. Praying the over-laden truck was heading someplace else, I drove up to the old footpath leading into Granite Rail, where a chain link fence bannered with NO TRESPASSING signs zigzagged through the woods, but no fence and certainly no sign could keep me out. Scrambling over gigantic granite blocks I finally slipped through a hole cut in the wire and ran to Rooftop, hoping for the best. Since before I was born, Quincy city officials had been always coming up with ways to stop us from swimming at the quarries. They dumped old telephone poles into the water, but we used them for logrolling contests or wired them together for sunning rafts. Back in Spring of 1963 a selectman suggested polluting the quarries. Three oil tankers lumbered up the dirt track and were parked overnight, intending to unleash the foul liquid into the main pool the next morning. Later that night I lay in my backyard, observing a meteor shower. A whooshing boom shattered the suburban silence and a flaming mushroom cloud roiled over the woods to be joined by two more fireballs. The morning papers reported vandals had torched the trucks, however those who loved the Quarries regarded these unknown arsonists Click here to read the rest of this story (148 more lines)
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