Amazing Kids! Magazine

Life on the Edge

By Lucas Wilner, age 14, Ohio


The sun had risen only an hour before, and I could still see the signs of morning dew on the underbrush. The other mountains appeared above the ridge dwarfing the one we were on at the time. We were like ants climbing the hill to realize our home was miles away. I reached the top of the ridge and stared out at the hues of brown that covered the path in front of me. It was a daunting task to go as far as we had promised to, and we weren’t even half way there. Nonetheless I was the navigator and I kept us pointed in the right direction. As I started over the ridgeline the fresh morning air hit me and I was taken aback by the wonderful smell of the outdoors. I almost had reached down to smell the bright yellow flowers below me before I remembered I had a job to do.

We were in the woods trying to have fun with life. However, what I was really having trouble with was what I really was out there to do. I know that I had been out there to have fun, but I was really out there to learn what I was supposed to do with my life. I mean all I want to know is what I should do, what do I need. I really hoped that nature out here could help me. Maybe I’ll figure that out someday.

It was the 2nd day in my trip for Boy Scouts, and we were only 10 miles into our 50 mile trip. We had walked through rain, fog, rivers, and fatigue to get to this point and it was all paying off. The sore arms, faltering legs, and dizzied heads were finally going to get a break. The rest point was up ahead and all we had to do was walk 50 more feet. As I started down the hill I heard a thud of feet from behind me. I turned in time to see Alex Jensen trying to beat everyone to the rest stop. He jumped in front of me and ran down the hill. I started to laugh as he ran with the 45 lb gear on his back, but stopped as I saw his foot hit a rock. He shrieked and fell, sliding the remaining 10 ft. down the hill towards the cliff edge.

He was dangerously close to the left side of the passage we were on and he could fall if he moved the wrong way. Gabe and I threw our gear to the side and helped him up and away from the edge. The parents crossed over the ridge and saw us dragging a dazed Alex to a seat near the rest point. The rest point was a 20 ft. wide 15 ft. long slab of rock that hung out over the edge of a cliff. From it you could see the waterfalls we had all come to observe. Along with that you could see the forest below and the deer that sat enjoying their food. It was amazing to see, but the blood gushing from Alex’s leg was not in the slightest an amazing sight. So as I stopped admiring the view I rummaged through my bag for the first aid kit. Over the searching I could hear, “He tripped me, he tripped me, he tripped me!” from Alex. My dad lumbered all the way down along with the other adults to help Alex and calm him down. After he had his leg fixed up he was questioned by the adults. They were about to whirl around and lay down their punishment on me, when Gabe came in and told them how Alex had actually tripped on a rock and fallen down the hill. I was saved from punishment and could enjoy lunch in peace.

After the rush from Alex’s fall we had to help fix him up. I took out my first aid kit and handed them whatever they needed, “Ointment”, I handed them ointment, “Gauze”, I handed the gauze over. I watched as my dad meticulously worked with the wound, mending Alex. Then all I heard was screaming from Alex and I had to walk away. I tried to ignore the screams, but eating the sandwich was weird when your friend was sitting there with a huge gash in his leg. It went on for what seemed like an eternity, and I couldn’t bear it anymore. I stood up and walked over to the edge of the cliff and stared out at the waterfall I’d seen before. It was a magnificent sign of nature’s wonders. It was roughly 75 ft. in length and it dropped all the way into a river that streamed to the forest giving it life. The rocks below were shimmering with the fresh water placed upon them. The sight could stun a man, and it did for I looked out upon the waterfall of magnificence for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. The waterfall was like a hundred flower petals falling down into the river, quiet, yet noticeable.

I leaned forward to give my back a break from the long hikes and difficult labor of carrying the 45 pound bag all the way to here. At the pleasure of having to carry less weight I was at ease. For kicks I decided that peering over the edge of the cliff would be a delight. I looked down at the less pleasant sight of the jutting rocks below me. The points that sprouted from the earth looked sharp enough to cut through iron. If you weren’t impaled you would be crushed flat by the sheer force of the fall. It was a sight that everyone wished to avoid meeting in person. All I could think was, “It’d suck to fall here.”  I ripped my eyes off of the unsavory sight below me and looked back out at the woodlands. They almost seemed to be walking the way the wind made them move.

I started to turn when I made my nightmares become reality. I turned, but my foot got caught and I started to fall down into the abyss below me. I remembered all of the things I wanted to do, and watched them flow away through my mind as they became nothing more than a wish. I accepted my fate when the scream erupted from my mouth, and filled the morning air.  That was when the biggest surprise came; a hand had reached out and grabbed me before it was too late. The hand belonged to none other than Dylan, and I had never been happier to see him in my life. I turned and latched onto him, not to let go and have the chance to fall come back.

Slowly the feeling in my body came back and I walked slowly to the path to sit on the ground. I realized that the thing I’d come all the way out here to find had found me instead. I realized what I wanted in life. I wanted to live it to the fullest. I didn’t want to sit back and avoid all the risks to safely make it to my death in the end. I was going to do whatever I felt was worthwhile.  However, for now, I was going to sit down and catch my breath.

Eventually the time came to move on, and the adults wanted everyone to gather around the death trap of a cliff and take a picture. I almost said “no”, but remembered my new life goal.  I went and sat right next to the cliff looked over at the abomination that almost took my life, and spit right at it. Smiling I turned to the camera and waited for it to flash.