Once Upon A Weekend 1
     The week had been murder.  Everyone, including Sam's younger brother, Ricky, who was a veritable bundle of energy, was exhausted and sluggish. 
     It was hard working in the growing cold of mid-October.  Construction work was getting more difficult, but Sam and Ricky had taken what work they could get to make as much money as they could before the weather was too inclement.
But the past week had been harder than usual, what with the boss bellowing at everyone every five minutes because he was in a bad mood due to his imminent divorce.  Sam decided a break was what was needed and when a friend offered the use of his mountain lodge for the weekend, he pounced on it.  He invited anyone who wanted to come, but as it turned out, only he, Ricky, and their friends, Ken and Brian decided to make the trip.
     The four were in good spirits as they drove from the city to the mountains, Sam piloting the borrowed van while Brian rode shotgun.  They cranked up the oldies radio station full blast and sang along at the top of their lungs. 
     Due to his cigarette smoke, Sam's best friend, Ken, was relegated to the back seat where he could open a window.  He was stretched out with his head propped on his overnight bag, the smoke curling around him as he moved his foot in time with the music. 
     Ken and Sam had been best friends since the first grade.  An only child Ken had spent a great deal of his time over at Sam's house where the two brothers and their parents made him feel like one of the family.  Six years older than Ricky, he and Sam had played on the baseball and basketball team at school, double dated with their girlfriends in high school, and when it couldn't be avoided, babysat the energetic Ricky, or did their best to get out of having to take him with them.  Even so, Ken adopted Ricky as his little brother.
     Ricky hooked his legs over the middle seat and leaned back until his head was just an inch above the floor.  He dangled his arms to either side and felt several vertebrae pop back into place.  Never one to be able to sit still for any length of time, he was finding the long ride wearing on his nerves. 
     Sam was watching him in the rear view mirror.
     "Hey," he scolded, "sit up before you fall in the floor."
     Ricky stuck his tongue out at him and started doing pull ups.
     At twenty-one, he was still a big kid, always fooling around, always finding ways to drive his brother to distraction.  Hyperactive from birth, he had a difficult time staying put in any given place for any given period.  He was a good-looking young man, 5'10" in height with a slight build, black hair and dark brown eyes.  When he graduated from high school, he'd gone with Sam to work in construction to earn enough money to attend college in the coming spring.  Ricky loved the work.  It kept him outside and being naturally athletic, he had no trouble climbing around on the high places or doing heavy work.  
     "Don't make me pull over," Sam warned.
     Ricky had always been a thorn in his side, and although he'd never admit it, he loved him anyway.  He'd had to be his brother's watchdog from the time Ricky could walk, and though he complained often to his parents about it, he had kept a close eye on his unpredictable brother who was likely to disappear or climb to the top of a tree or do a million other things that made their parents nervous wrecks.  
     In looks, the brothers weren't that different, same height, but Sam was huskier built.  
     "Ricky, I'm warning you," he said.
     Ken laughed at them and used his long leg to flip Ricky over.
     "Whoa!" Ricky yelped, landing on his head before tumbling off the seat into the floor.  He righted himself, crawled into his seat rubbing the back of his head, and pretended to pout.  "Are we almost there?" he whined.
     "Oh, for pete's sake," Same scolded.  "Just sit there and be patient.
     Less than a minute later, Ricky was squirming again.  The trip was taking entirely too long in his opinion.
     Totally oblivious to Ricky's antics, Brian played air guitar and slapped his thighs in percussion with the blaring music.  He was a few months older than Ricky, but a little taller and sturdier, with sandy brown hair and bright blue eyes.  Immigrated from Australia five years before to live with his aunt after his parents were killed in a car accident, he'd met the brothers while working on the construction site.  He, being somewhat of a kidder, and Ricky had quickly become fast friends.
     A few hours later, Sam found the turn off he'd been told led to the lodge.  He drove through a gate and across a cattle guard onto a steadily inclining graveled road.  The tires of the van slid in the gravel causing it to fishtail slightly now and again.  Sam had a tight grip on the steering wheel and hoped that the lodge wasn't much further.
     They were about halfway up the road when they all heard the pop, felt the bump, then heard the pshhhh of a tire going flat.  The van wobbled to a stop and the four men exited to take a look at the damaged right rear tire.  Cursing under his breath, Sam went to get the jack while Brian went to take the spare off the back of the van.
     He had to struggled with the stubborn bolts holding the tire in place and, finally giving up, called for Ken to give him a hand.  They wrangled the tire loose and rolled it to where Sam, the jack held loosely at his side, and Ricky stood staring at the tire that had gone flat.  The tire was fully inflated.
     "Where'd you get that tire?" Brian asked, irritated that he'd fought to get the spare off for nothing.
     "It's the one that was on the van," Sam said.
     "But that tire was flat," Ken said.
     Sam and Ricky gave him a 'duh' look.  He looked back at them, then at Brian, who was staring at the tire as if he'd never seen one before.
     "I know that tire was flat," Sam muttered, then turned, threw the jack into the van, and climbed in.
     The other three exchanged confused glances, shrugged, and joined him.  Maybe, they decided, they were more exhausted than they thought. 

SapphireCat   SapphireCat wrote
on 2/13/2009 10:30:01 AM
I really like this. I did notice that you used a lot of passive verbs throughout the beginning, but other than that, great job. ;)

Novel / Novella
writing shwangltd
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