Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Abandoned Lot

By Jennifer Ojilere

 

The abandoned lot.

The boy yearned to spend the rest of his life in this abandoned lot. One of his favorite places to do whatever. Some people like their room, others like their empty basement, where the sunlight tries to seep through the cracks of the trees and make its way inside.

He liked the lot.

One day, on the way home from school, he came to a gradual pause in his daily trek. Itching for something to make his walk a little more enjoyable, he searched. The nearest pinecone, a crumbly gray rock, a chunk of hard snow. Anything to mess around with. Anything to curb his boredom. Scanning his eyes left and right as he slowly resumed walking, there it was. An empty soda can. Sure, to anyone, an empty can was just another symbol of the neighborhood’s inability to recycle. But, to the boy, this can could be anything.

Maybe a nice soccer ball.

He kicked it around. Left foot, right foot. It was a little dance he did, adjusting to the rhythm within each move. Kick, shift, kick, shift. Suddenly, the next move took a wrong turn.

Kick.

Into the lot.

The abandoned lot, where rusty and worn-down cars and trucks lie behind a metal fence, where the brown crumbly leaves have not been raked since last fall, where the wet grass from last month’s rain showers grow just to lay limp and await their end. The boy never saw people in the lot. Maybe they came during school, he thought. Still, his curiosity and somewhat drive for adventure led him to what he thought would be a big mistake. But it wasn’t just his baffled self.

The soda can rolled slightly into the lot, waiting for its next dance step. He couldn’t just leave it there, especially since that can was the only entertaining thing on his walk. He walked in to kick the can out with a swift sweeping kick. Surely, it was the wind, he thought. The boy couldn’t admit it was his horrendous aim. But, for some odd reason, the can rolled the complete opposite of where he had intended. Instead, it only rolled further and further. Deeper in the abandoned lot. Trying to retrieve his only object of joy, he ran towards the can and kicked it towards the gate. A little harder this time too. Still, the can’s peculiar shape made it impossible for it to roll in the direction he wanted it to. Maybe the can was enticing him, making him want to come in deeper into the lot.

And maybe, it worked.

He kept at it for a little while, before suddenly, becoming accustomed to his new dance. Kick, run, kick, run. A new routine, he thought. Each step, taking an unpredictable turn. Would the can jerk left? Would the can make a sharp right? The boy ran, with no control. No limits. No worries. Wherever the can went, he followed, and so did his inquisitive nature, as its intensity grew greater and greater. The boy laughed with every new move he made, adding more and more steps to his little jig.

Then, he came to a halt. The can, however, did not. It rolled, and rolled, and rolled, under the abandoned white truck in the abandoned lot. The boy ran toward the car and quickly dove to the ground, hands, and knees on top of the wet limp grass. His arm stretched underneath the car, in an attempt to bring back the can. Yet, all he could see was an empty dark space, surrounded by gears and engines, and no can in sight. No use. It was gone. He got back up, defeated and stained from the moist soil underneath.

The boy walked out of the lot, not even noticing how dark the skies became. The sunlight within the blue skies, turned into a mellow purple and orange swirl, with the sun setting into the horizon. The boy turned around and looked into the lot. Draping the cold metal with his fingers, he slowly walked around the fence. The boy finally left. Until next time, he thought.

Until the next dance.