Everybody is Stealthy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
About 3,000 words here. --- In this story a young man attempts to help a Being he met in a watery sink-hole; actually the Being was the water, and the end result created a friendship.

Submitted: August 08, 2016

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Submitted: August 08, 2016

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Chapter One - "Introducing the Cast"

 

It is a sunny Saturday morning, and Jeff were heading for Buckey Stiber's house. A bunch of Jeff's friends were meeting at Buckey's place and then they were going fishing.

The fastest way to Buckey's place was through one of Carter's stagnant corn fields.

Jeff's neighbor, Tomas Jefferson Carter, 78 years young, believes in rotating his fields; he says he gets better yields.

So he just doesn't till or replant a field when the soil starts showing signs of deterioration; he just lets whatever is growing, grow, then he turns it under and into the earth.

Anyway, Jeff was crossing the field when he fell into some sort of cavern, maybe a sink-hole from the recent rains.

The opening wasn't all that big, maybe six feet in diameter, tops. But it was deep, very deep, and a tad on the cool side.

In one way Jeff was lucky, he landed in an underground Aquifer which prevented him from suffering what could have been terrible bodily injuries, or even death.

The bad news was that he was very wet and it was somewhat cold down there. Hypothermia, or even pneumonia, could follow if he wasn't able to get dry and warm soon.

There was something odd about this Aquifer and the chamber that held it, there was light; not like light bulbs or sunlight streaming in from above. The water was what was glowing and that seemed to light up the chamber enough so that Jeff could see.

Jeff saw some rather large dry areas above the water level and to one side of the chamber. They were a perfect area to dry off, so he swam over there and climbed up and out of the water.

"Who are you?" said an unidentified voice.

Jeff looked around and saw no-one.

The voice asked again. "Are you going to answer, or are you going to continue to be rude?" 

At that moment Jeff realized that the voice was more like a sound vibration than a human voice; maybe a synthesizer of some kind.

"I'm not trying to be rude," Jeff answered shyly because he did not know who he was talking to. "I'm busy trying to dry-off and I'm cold. I'm afraid I'll catch a cold if I don't.'

"We can help with that," replied the voice.

There, you are dry!" It exclaimed in a rather bossy and smug tone.

Sure enough, Jeff and everything he was wearing was dry. The clothing was a tad on the warm side, too, as if they had just came out of a clothes dryer; and that warmth warmed Jeff’s body just enough to ward off any hint of a chill. 

"How did you do that?" Jeff asked with a disbelieving tone in his voice.

"We do not divulge," replied the voice, in an even harsher, reverberating, wave of sound.

Then the voice asked a third time, and not nicely. "Who are you?"

"Oh, sorry, my name is Jeffery Parkhurst Thompson, but everybody just calls me Jeff," was his answer.

The voice returned with still another question, "Are We to understand that We are now an Everybody and may call you Jeff?"

"Ah, sure, why not, I mean if you'd like to," Jeff replied nervously.

"We would like that, We have never been Everybody before and Jeff is easy to pronounce. So it is settled, We shall call you Jeff and you may call We, Everybody," the voice proclaimed.

"O.K., ah, Everybody, a quick question, where are you? I mean, I can't see you anywhere in this cavern."

The voice, We, I mean Everybody, resonated a sound much like laughter and remarked, "You are a very funny individual Jeff! You fell into Everybody and Everybody saturated your clothing, but you say that you cannot see Everybody; That is a good one."

Jeff stammered out an answer, "I wasn't trying to be funny, honest, I had no Idea that I was talking to water. Wait, I mean, you are saying that Everybody is the water that I see in this pool?" 

"To your mind I would answer Yes, but Everybody is not exactly what you might think of as water, although Everybody moves about and is contained in that same manner.

The We were before water and took the form of water for the purpose of having a physical form on this planet.

The collective WE prefers solitude and with that being said, Everybody leached into this cavern for that purpose, to be alone." 

Then Everybody asked, "Is Jeff following Everybody's meaning?"

Jeff was somewhat baffled and perplexed when he replied, "Look, it has been a strange and tiring day, and I am exhausted. I would love to understand what you're saying but all I really want to do is to go home ..." {Jeff was cut-off.}

"Why didn't you say so," Everybody exclaimed, "You are home!"

 

Sure enough, in the blink of an eye Jeff was standing in his front yard. 

At that moment Jeff's Mother came out onto the porch and asked, "Why are you home so early, I thought you and your friends were going fishing?"

To which Jeff replied, "I fell in and Everybody sent me home."

Jeff's Mother replied, "Well come on in and I'll fix you a sandwich, I'm sure that you haven't had lunch, by the looks of you. Oh and there is apple pie, I baked two this morning, and you can take one to Granny after you eat.

Jeff tried to explain to his Mother about Everybody, but she didn't take him seriously. I guess she just thought that he was just pulling her leg, and telling another one of his Tall Tales.

 

 

Chapter Two - "The Request"

 

Jeffery Parkhurst Thompson woke up from a very confusing dream on this beautiful Saturday morning.

The dream was about a steel plate flying through the air and then it landed in a field. In the dream, Jeff went to see where the steel plate had landed, but all he saw was dirt; the plate was gone.

"Jeffery!" Jeff's mother was calling from the kitchen downstairs. "Get yourself up out-ta that bed and wash up, breakfast will be ready soon!"

"I'm up Mom," Jeff yelled back.

Jeff went into the hallway bathroom and did his morning necessities. But as he started to leave he heard a familiar resonating voice, "Good morning Jeff!"

Jeff jumped back and fell against the bathroom wall out of astonishment. Then he looked around and saw water in the bathtub, which wasn't water at all, it was "Everybody", glowing as usual.

Jeff didn't know if what he was looking at was all of Everybody, only in a smaller form, or if it was just some of everybody, but there were more pressing questions to address.

"Why are you in my bathtub?" Jeff asked, still upset from being startled.

Everybody answered, "I am in need of assistance and you are the only human contact that I have had lately. I thought that I would inform you that I have decided to adopt a new name, other than WE and Everybody. I searched your internet for suggestions but am having some difficulty in making a decision. Have you any suggestions?"

"Hmm? --- How about Aqua-WE, the being from below?" Jeff asked, as a joke.

Everybody made a chuckling sound and replied, "That is a good one if I were the featured character in a comic book, I read a lot on line. No, I wish to be identified by my true nature."

"Well what is your true nature?" Jeff inquired and then remarked, "All I know about you is that you are stealthy, look like water, you glow like a glow-stick, you like humor, and that you are able to do mysterious things."

"I like that name!" Everybody replied with a spontaneous burst of glee.

"What name?" Jeff questioned in disbelief.

Everybody made a rumbling vibration and burst forth with the word, (Stealthy!).

"That is going to be my new name, so from now on you may call me Stealthy," Everybody replied.

Jeff looked relieved and a bit confused too, but he dutifully agreed. 

"Well, I guess we are all good here, ah, Stealthy. Was there anything else you needed?" Jeff asked.

Stealthy replied, "I don't think that you would be capable of helping even though it would do you good and possibly warm the cockles of your heart; I read that on-line."

Jeff thought for a moment and asked, "What kind of help do you need?"

"Well, as you once fell into my home in the aquifer, so have others, and it is becoming quite distracting. It is happening very often now, mostly at night.

Just the other night a fox fell in there and wouldn't stand still long enough for me to get a fix on its location; you know, so I could transfer it to another location outside of the cavern. I tell you, that was exhausting.

Anyway, I need to find a way to cover the hole so nothing can fall in there again and to seal it so that there is no further erosion at the surface; every time that it rains the opening gets bigger. If nothing is done then this small hole will turn into a humongous sink-hole. I would have to find another place to live and to preserve my solitude."

 

Jeff's mother yelled up the staircase, "Jeffery, I hear that amplifier humming; you can play with that keyboard later! Now get down here to breakfast, it is getting cold!"

"Right away Mom!" Jeff yelled back.

Then Jeff told Stealthy "Is there anything else? As you can here, I have to go."

"No, and thanks for the name, it is The Bomb; I read that on-line too!

With that said, Stealthy seemed to evaporate from the tub, into thin air.

 

Chapter Three - "Filling in the Gap"

 

After breakfast Jeff took the pie to Granny's cottage and on the way back home he stopped at the Carter's farmhouse.

"What can I do for you young man?" Tomas Jefferson Carter JR., Mr. Carter's son, asked as he opened the door.

"Hi Mr. Carter, I'm Jeff from the Thompson farm just down the road."

"I know who you are Jeff, I was the one that gave your folks a ride to the hospital when you were born. Their truck wouldn't start for some reason; I think your dad got so nervous that he flooded it.

So, what can I do for you, won't the truck start again?" Mr. Carter questioned as he chuckled.

Jeff laughed a shy little laugh and replied, "No, nothing like that. I thought that you and your Dad should know that you have the beginnings of a Sink-hole going. It is out by Carter Road and in the field with the dead oak tree."

Mr. Carter said, "Do Tell? I thought that I had solved that problem years ago, this must be a new hole.

There is an Aquifer that is under that area, it isn't a big one, but it is big enough to cause problems if it were to open up; it could swallow my tractor.

Do you have time to show me where it is?"

"Yes Sir, we can go right now if you want," Jeff replied.

So off they went in T. J. Carter's converted golf-cart with the Harley-Davidson engine in it.

The cart looked really funny with huge dough-nut tires and the engine sticking up out of the body. It didn't have a reverse gear, but Mr. Carter just pushes it backward when he needed to. Oh, and it was fast, real fast!

Bounding along through a couple of fields and then onto Carter Road they went, Jeff was holding on for dear life and laughing so hard that tears came to his eyes. He had never experienced anything like that in his life, and I'm afraid he was hooked.

Jeff soon pointed to an area just off the road and Carter JR., Tee-Jay for short, pulled off and stopped.

"It is somewhere right in this area," Jeff said.

"Did you fall into it?" Tee-Jay asked out of the clear blue.

"Yes Sir, but I got out OK," Jeff stated.

They looked around for some time until Jeff heard a familiar sound, a rumbling vibration.

Jeff yelled, "I think it is over here."

But when Jeff looked, Tee-Jay was already walking in that direction.

"Will you fetch that broken tree branch, Jeff?" Mr. Carter asked as he pointed to a branch that was over by an oak tree.

Jeff pulled the branch over near the hole and Mr. Carter tied his scarf on it.

"There, that will make a good marker," Tee-Jay said, "now let's go back to the farm."

When they got back to the golf-cart Carter looked at Jeff and said, "You’re driving, but go slow until you get the hang of it! OK?"

"OK!" was the obvious answer.

 

It took them three time longer to get back to the farm than it did to get to the field, but that was OK because there were smiles all around. Turns out, Jeff was a natural; at least, that is what Mr. Carter said.

 

"It is time to start old Dozer,” Tee-Jay told Jeff as they arrived next to the rusting hulk of a Bulldozer.

"Here, you climb up in the seat and press on this pedal when I tell you too, don't push on any other pedals. OK?"

Carter got a spray can out from under the seat and sprayed into a big opening next to the engine --- that is when he yelled, "HIT IT!"

Jeff pushed on the little peddle and the engine started right up.

It was noisy, it stunk to high heaven, but Jeff loved every minute of setting on top of all that power.

Carter climbed up and told Jeff to stand behind the driver's seat and to hold on to the roll-bars, and then he sat down.

Within minutes they were chugging along at a hefty pace of two miles an hour. They were heading towards the piles of steel in Mr. Carter's bone yard, (That is what he likes to call it.).

Carter steered Dozer to an area where plates of steel were stacked, thick plates like they use on high-ways when they want to cover an open trench.

With some bargaining, Carter got the plates for next to nothing from an out of state High-way contractor that didn't want to pay to have them trucked home. Now Carter rents them to the county road crews whenever they need to use some; it's a win, win.

Anyway, Carter loaded two of the plates onto the front scoop and tied them down; then off they went towards the hole.

Around and around the Bulldozer went, around and around that hole until the ground was packed hard as a rock from the weight of the Dozer. And when Carter thought the ground was flat and hard enough, he placed the steel plate’s dead center of the hole, and one atop the other.

After that he let Jeff drive and to get the hang of driving the Bulldozer.

What a blast Jeff was having! Scoop a scoop of earth from nearby high-ground and dump it on the plate. All afternoon Jeff did this, all the while getting better and better at driving the Dozer; Tee-Jay said that he was a Natural.).

As the sun started to set over the distant mountains the two arrived back at the farm. They were secure in the knowledge that the hole would stay sealed for years to come and happy that they had become friends.

As Jeff started to head home Tee-Jay asked, "Well, how is WE doing now days?"

Jeff looked surprise and asked, "You know about WE?"

"Oh sure, I met him about forty years ago when the first hole opened up and I fell in it; I was in my twenties back then.

I told my folks about him, Mom just laughed but my Dad said to keep my mouth shut to outsiders. Dad said that he didn't want anybody pocking around the farm and looking for aliens. But honestly, I had the feeling that he had met WE too."

Jeff said, "We has changed his name a couple of times lately, and somehow he can access the internet."

Carter got a smile on his face and asked, "Are either of those names Everybody, or Stealthy?"

"Yes, both, how did you know?"

Tee-Jay replied, 'Because Everybody has been trying to Friend me on Face-Book and I just received a Stealthy tweet."

 

D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  08-08-2016


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