Andy’s Woodsy Adventure – Chapter 7

Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A: A Gummy Bear!

Hey everyone! Andy here with another entry for my greatest woodsy adventure ever! Oh before I forget, in case you’ve been wondering why there’ve been more “Thought For The Day” entries lately, it’s because Doodyhead is really getting lazy! LOL! Seriously though, I think Andrew’s trying to find more of a balance in life between writing and various other projects and commitments. But to be perfectly honest, I too am finding it exhausting sometimes writing something original and new, which is why I’m going to only be doing two chapters per month now. I guess I’m a slacker too then huh! 🙂 Regardless, hopefully none of this gets your panties in a bunch and thank you for continuing to read both his more serious (boring 🙂 ) articles and my more fun stories. And as always, here’s the links to the previous chapters of my ongoing adventure…

https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/10/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-1/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/18/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-2/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/27/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-3/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2015/01/04/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-4/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2015/01/16/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-5/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2015/01/29/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-6/

 Andy’s Woodsy Adventure – Chapter 7

“Are you really me?” I said to Andy #2 poking him.

“Of course I’m you silly!” Andy #2 said laughing.

“Well if you’re me, then what number am I thinking right now?”

“11!”

“Cool! Ok, so what’s my favorite food then?”

“Peperoni, cheddar, and green olive thin crust pizza well done!”

“NO WAY!!!”

“Andy, what’s going on up there?” My mom suddenly shouted. I could hear her footsteps coming up the stairs. Obviously she had heard me talking to me #2.

“I’ll have to catch up with you later…” I started to say quickly to me #2 knowing I didn’t want her to see my duplicate.

“Gator…” me #2 finished what I would have said.

“Gemini!”

POP…

My bedroom door abruptly opened with a very concerned looking mother now looking in.

“Is everything ok? I heard you talking and laughing in here?”

“Yeah, I’m just trying to get back to my usual weird self Mom. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be ok.” I knew my words weren’t going to reassure her much. After all, she was seeing me for the first time in three years. In my mind though, it had only been a bunch of hours.

“Ok honey, dinner will be in an hour. I’m making your favorite chicken dish, Chicken Marsala. How’s that sound?”

“Sounds great Mom! Thanks!” I said smiling as she closed my door again. I absolutely loved Chicken Marsala and only ever got it on very special occasions.

Hmmm, maybe I should disappear more often I thought with a grin. I looked down at the crystal that was still in my hand and decided it was best to put it in the bottom of my sock drawer for now. I really didn’t want to have anything strange to happen over dinner. I had so many questions and so few answers, but for now, I was happy that a few good things had come out of such a terrifying and overwhelming day. My meal later that night was awesome as always and it didn’t take long after it to fall asleep. I was totally exhausted from all the day’s events and while my bed was not the one I remembered, it was exactly what I needed…

Thankfully, life didn’t throw me any more curve balls the next day or the next week for that matter. I had chosen to keep my magic crystal hidden in the bottom of my sock drawer the entire time, mainly due to the lack of free time. I had spent all of Sunday with my family going to church, having lunch afterwards, swimming in the in-ground pool my new home had, having a barbecue later that night, and then playing cards to end the evening. As for the past five days, I had spent each of them in a YMCA day camp. I think my parents thought that sending me to camp would make it easier for not only me, but for them as well. I usually spent most of my summers in them anyway, so it was fine.

I noticed it was another hot Saturday in August as I set my arts and crafts projects down from camp and opened my bedroom window. Summer was just about over and in just about two weeks, I’d be starting school again. While it was hard to think about all the kids I once knew now being in their second year of high school instead of the 7th grade with me, I was somewhat relieved to realize my former bullies wouldn’t be there anymore either.

The numbers on the clock in my bedroom read 10:15am. I had slept in much longer than I normally did. The faint murmur of my parents taking to each other outside drifted up through my opened window. They had definitely been overly protective of me since coming home, allowing me to only play in the front or back yard where they could see me. I didn’t blame them for being that way though given how long they said I’d been missing. Fortunately, they weren’t asking me anymore what happened out in the woods because they could see how upset I got each time I told them, mostly because they didn’t believe me. I had also learned in passing from my sister that they had moved two years after I disappeared, solely for it having been too painful for them to remain there. And although I had been gone for as long as I was, she told me none of them ever gave up hope that I’d eventually be found.

It was kind of hard for me to understand what they all went through given my perception of time being quite different from theirs. Regardless, I was doing my best to get used to life at my new home, and I was more than glad to have a huge in-ground pool to play in on a hot day like today. Interestingly enough though, the pool pretty much took up the whole backyard and there were no woods to be seen beyond it, just another house instead.

As I put my bathing suit on, I decided to take my crystal out of the drawer for the first time since placing it there. It was still glowing purple, even though it appeared I was the only one who could see that. I was truly looking forward to trying something with it today that had come to me when swimming with my family last weekend. Sprinting down the stairs with it now in hand, I waved at my parents as I ran past them sitting on the back porch. I was told to be careful and slow down while heading down the deck stairs and into the pool area. My sister was nowhere to be found, so it looked like as if I had the whole pool to myself, of which I was glad for. The water was somewhat cool to the touch, but I knew it would be a welcomed relief from the blistering sun. After placing my towel and the crystal on a chair, I took a running jump and did a huge cannonball into the pool.

When I re-emerged to the surface, I noticed my mother and father were now peering down at me obviously making sure I was ok. It took about 15 minutes of me swimming and playing safely in the water for them to stop checking on me, which finally gave me the chance I needed. I silently got out of the pool trying not to draw my parent’s attention and dried myself completely off with the towel just to make sure I hadn’t. After picking up the crystal and making sure all the Zodiac signs were still present and accounted for, I looked for the one I was most curious about today, the “crab”, mostly because I knew the sea creature to be aquatic-based.

“Cancer!” I said just loud enough for only me to hear.

Suddenly I found myself gasping for breath while the symbol abruptly disappeared on the crystal. I couldn’t breathe at all. It was as if the passageways through my mouth and nose were completely blocked. It also felt as if something were now moving on either side of my neck. My gasping grew louder and louder, until it drew the attention and horror of my parents. I never knew what it felt like to not be able to breathe, but now I did, and the only thought crossing my mind at the moment was whether I was about to die of asphyxiation…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Andy’s Woodsy Adventure – Chapter 6

Q: What did Geronimo say when he jumped out of the airplane?

A: ME!!!!!!

Hello everyone! Can you believe it’s already been over a month since Christmas? Pretty soon it’s going to be spring again, which is when my friends Jimmy and Donald will be coming back home to Toledo! Yeah! Let’s just hope their mansion on wheels doesn’t have any more toilet issues between now and then. Ewww! Gross! Anyways, here’s the next chapter in my ongoing adventure, as well as the links to the previous installments. Enjoy!

https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/10/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-1/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/18/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-2/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/27/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-3/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2015/01/04/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-4/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2015/01/16/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-5/

Andy’s Woodsy Adventure – Chapter 6

 I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t imagining what I was seeing. It really did look as if everyone were a mannequin posing in odd ways. For a moment, I began to consider whether I might actually be going crazy. But given everything I had gone through in that cave, finding out three years had passed since leaving it, and learning that my home was no longer my home, I quickly pushed aside any of those thoughts seeing how crazy my whole day had been already.

“Mom?” I said somewhat timidly, hoping somehow she might respond. She didn’t and neither did she when I lightly touched her arm either, which honestly felt no different than what any person’s arm feels like when touched.

I repeated the same process with my father, my sister, and even with Officer Wooten and Bogart, but nothing happened with any of them either. Even weirder were those people in the police station who had been talking just a second earlier. Now their mouths were wide open as if they still were, yet nothing was coming out of them.

I waved my hands, jumped up and down and then screamed at the top of my lungs hoping one of them would make some sort of a difference, except none of it did. Ironically, I wasn’t panicking though and neither was my heart racing. After what I had already gone through so far today, this seemed much less frightening. Somehow this magic crystal was responsible for what was happening, but how? As it continued to glow that purple color in my hand, I saw the spot was still blank where the Libra symbol had been.

“What does Libra have to do with any of this?” I said aloud hoping to get an answer out of one of the creepy police officer mannequins I had just walked up to.

WHOOSH…

“Son, you know you’re not supposed to be back here…” The creepy mannequin suddenly had come to life causing me to let out of blood-curdling scream.

“AHHH!”

Officer Wooten immediately came running over and asked what was wrong and how I had gotten back there. I didn’t say anything. I mean how could I, as it didn’t make any sense to me either. He promptly escorted me back over to my family who were all looking at me now as if I truly was crazy. I looked at the crystal in my hand and noticed the Libra symbol had now re-appeared back in its original spot.

“How did you get over there?” my sister said pointing to where I had just been. “I mean weren’t you just in front of us?”

“Don’t you see the symbols on this crystal?” I said holding it in front of her while my parents and the officers just shook their heads.

“Andy, I don’t see anything other than a gray rock…” Laura said sadly.

“There is! Look closer! This is definitely a Libra!”

WHOOSH…

Everyone abruptly became a mannequin again as the Libra symbol disappeared.

“LIBRA!” I said the Zodiac word again seeing if my hunch was correct.

“Andy, it’s ok, I’m sure you’ve been through…” Office Wooten started speaking. The symbol re-appeared.

“LIBRA!”

WHOOSH…

Mannequins, no Libra symbol.

“LIBRA!”

“a lot…” Officer Wooten finished.

I smiled as I saw the symbol re-appeared once more on the crystal. While I was far from understanding anything that was going on, I was excited about this new ability. For the next few minutes, I continued to mutter the word “Libra” repetitively watching everyone become mannequins and then return back to life. It appeared as if saying the word ‘Libra’ really did freeze time and was somehow tied to the crystal, as the symbol would come and go each instance I said it aloud. I ultimately decided to put it away though when my mother asked me to stop saying the word Libra because from her perception, I’m sure it must have looked like I was just going nuts saying it over and over again.

After what seemed like an eternity, my family was finally allowed to take me home, or at least to my new home that is. I was totally exhausted. After having repeated my story countless times to everyone in exactly the same way, which recounted my entering the woods and then re-emerging a bunch of hours later, it was decided that I was in shock and didn’t know what I was saying. It was obvious to me now that I was the only one who could see the true nature of the crystal, which made me wonder what other secrets I might find contained within it.

As I hopped into the backseat of the Camry, I thought about what Officer Bogart has told me during what felt like an interrogation. He said that the woods had been fully searched for many months after I had disappeared three years ago and that the only thing they had found was the huge rock I was speaking of and nothing else. The thought briefly crossed my mind that maybe they hadn’t been able to see the secret hatch just like they hadn’t been able to see my crystal.             

The car ride to my new home was rather uneventful other than my sister continuing to stare at me like I was an alien. I managed to chuckle once though after making a creepy face at her, which had totally startled her. She looked so much older to me now, and I could tell that three years had done her well. I’d probably never admit it to her, but she did look a whole heck of a lot prettier now. My parents on the other hand both seemed to have aged, more than what three years should have brought them. Each had a ton of gray hair and wrinkles all over their face. By the time we pulled in to the driveway of my new home, everyone had stared at me and smiled in silence dozens of times, all of it having felt so very uncomfortable.

After the car was parked in the garage, I asked if I could go lay down given how tired I felt. I had been so tired I hadn’t even paid much attention to the details of my new home when we had pulled in the driveway. Thankfully my parents agreed to my simple request without any further questioning and led me to the guest room where they told me it would now be my own room. I plopped down on the bed after they closed the door and pulled out my mysterious crystal that only I could see. Its purple glow soothed me and I was thankful that it was proof on some level that I truly wasn’t going crazy, even if I was the only one who could see it.

“I wonder…” I said noticing my Zodiac symbol, the Gemini.

“Gemini!” I said aloud.

Suddenly I heard a “POP” that sounded a lot like a cork coming out of a bottle of wine.

“Hi Andy! How’s it going?” An exact duplicate of me was now sitting on the bed directly next to me smiling.

As I looked down at the crystal and noticed the Gemini symbol was now the one disappeared, I grinned in excitement knowing the upcoming school year couldn’t come soon enough…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Andy’s Woodsy Adventure – Chapter 5

Q: What do you call a story about a broken pencil?

A: Pointless…

Hey y’all! It’s that time again. I hope y’all been anxiously awaiting Chapter 5! If y’all haven’t, then y’all are a bunch of big stick in the muds ok? LOL. By the way, I have no idea why I’m trying to talk like I’m from the south. Maybe it’s because Andrew says y’all sometimes when he talks. He likes to think he has some southern blood in him because he spent a good number of years living in Virginia. But truth be told, he’s a nerdy northerner born and raised. 🙂 Anyways, I’m sure y’all are saying let’s get on with it already, so here’s the next installment of my ongoing exciting adventure and as always, here’s the links to the previous chapters…

https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/10/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-1/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/18/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-2/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2014/12/27/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-3/
https://thetwelfthstep.com/2015/01/04/andys-woodsy-adventure-chapter-4/

Andy’s Woodsy Adventure – Chapter 5

“Three years?” I said in disbelief. “This is ridiculous! I’ve only been gone since 1pm!!!” I said angrily.

“Please calm down Andy, obviously you’re in a bit of shock right now,” Mrs. Sampson said, trying to comfort me as best as she could.

“The police are on their way Mary,” said Mr. Sampson emerging suddenly from the kitchen.

“Andy why don’t you just sit down here and relax. Maybe you’d like something to drink?” said Mrs. Sampson. I knew she was just trying to help me not feel so scared, but it wasn’t working and it was obvious to me now that this wasn’t some elaborate joke either.

“I’m not thirsty! I just want to go to my room and lay down right now and yet you’re telling me this isn’t my home anymore. I’m so confused! I left here at 1pm to go play in the woods ma’am. My mom told me to be back by 5pm, but I lost track of time because of this cave and these numbers on the floor and a door that locked me in, and well…a bunch of other stuff that’s too hard to explain right now. I know I may be an hour late but come on, three years late???”

I pinched my cheek rather hard hoping somehow I wasn’t going to be able to do it or feel it, given that’s supposed to mean a person is dreaming. But ouch! It really hurt!

“Andy, how about watching some television until the police arrive? And try not to worry, I’m sure they’ve contacted your folks by now…” Mr. Sampson chimed in with hope in his voice seeing his wife feeling somewhat helpless.

I watched as this stranger in my home turned on a TV I had never saw before. And as I sat down on a couch that wasn’t the one there when I had left five hours earlier, Mr. and Mrs. Sampson stared at each other with blank expressions making me feel even more uncomfortable. I decided it might be best to not say anymore until either my parents or the police arrived. Thankfully, twenty minutes later, a loud knock on the door broke the tension.

“Evening ma’am. I’m Officer Wooten and this here is Office Bogart. You called about one of our missing person’s cases, an Andy Dawson?”

I quickly sprinted off the couch and ran to the front door hoping to see my parents standing behind the officers, but sadly they weren’t there.

“Well hey there son, I’m…” Officer Wooten started to introduce himself.

“I don’t care who you are! Where are my parents? This is my home! These strange people are in my house!”

“Calm down, calm down…” Officer Bogart said gently.

“I’m Andy Dawson! I live here! I’ve lived here for 12 years! I went into the woods at 1pm to play and got caught up in a cave with some weird numbers and a door that locked me in and by the time I got out of there, I was late by an hour, but these weird people said it’s been 3 years and that it’s not my home anymore!”

I had to take a deep breath because it felt like I was beginning to hyperventilate. I know it probably sounded like I was crazy to all of them, but in my head I just recapped my entire afternoon, which unfortunately was now turning into a nightmare instead of an adventure.

“Andy, do you know your parents names?” Officer Wooten asked.

“Of course I do! Pam and Lewis! And I have a sister named Laura! She’s three years older than me! My room is upstairs at the end of the hallway and hers is right next to mine! What more do I have to do to prove to you that I’m me and not crazy!”

“Andy please, we’re only trying to help you. But we’re going to have to take you down to the station, which is where your family is going to meet you. How does that sound?” Officer Bogart said calmly.

“Fine!” I said storming out of the house.

I so wanted this to be a dream. But apparently it wasn’t. Mr. and Mrs. Sampson weren’t my parents and this wasn’t my house and because of it, I couldn’t even look back at them. In all honesty, I was downright scared, which is most likely why Officer Bogart let me ride in the front seat all the way to the station. Normally, I would have found this to be a pretty cool experience, but given the situation, it felt like an eternity getting there. Fifteen minutes later we finally pulled into its parking lot and there it was, my parent’s silver Toyota Camry. I only recognized it because of the bumper sticker my mother had put on it long ago that said “DeColores”. I immediately raced out of the patrol car once it was safely parked and into the station, not waiting for the officers to accompany me in.

“Mom! Dad! Laura!” I yelled as I burst through the station’s front door, not even knowing where they were.

“Andy???” A timid sounding voice came from behind me, which sounded a lot like my mother’s. I quickly turned around and there was my family.

“Oh thank God!” my mother said wrapping her arms around me as she began crying. I was crying as well, but I didn’t care. I never really liked hugs before, except this one felt long overdue and much needed. My father and sister soon joined in, embracing the both of us and for a brief moment, I completely forgot about Mr. and Mrs. Sampson, the house that was no longer my home, and the three years I had supposedly lost.

“Are you ok son?” I looked up at my Dad who was asking me the question. I honestly had no idea what to say.

“Not really Dad. I went outside to play in the woods like I usually do on Saturdays at 1pm today. Mom saw me leave. I was hanging out at this rock like always and decided to dig for buried treasure. I found this hatch, which led into a magical cave and there were numbers on the floor in there and…”

I stopped talking because they were giving me that same look like both the Sampson’s and the police did, that look like I was making everything up.

“Fine, if you don’t believe me, look at this crystal I found in the cave!” I pulled it out of my pocket to show them and noticed it was still glowing purple.

I hadn’t really had a chance to inspect it up close because of my abrupt departure from there when the cave door was coming down. Ironically, I was able to see now that there were symbols on each of its smooth sides and recognized a few of them as ones from the zodiac.

“Andy, it’s just some rock…” My father said. “You’re obviously just a little overwhelmed right now.”

“It’s not just some rock! Look, don’t you see these zodiac signs on here? Don’t you see how it’s glowing purple?”

“There’s nothing on the rock Andy…” My mom said beginning to cry again while my sister looked at me worriedly.

“Look it’s right here! This symbol is a scale, and I know that’s LIBRA!” I said quite loudly.

Suddenly I heard a loud “WHOOSH”, like the air was being sucked out of something, and then everything became weirdly silent. The scale symbol immediately disappeared on the crystal I was still holding up for my family to see. Except now they weren’t moving, and neither were any of the officers around us who had been listening in on our reunion. In fact, everyone in the room was looking like mannequins stuck in strange poses, faces frozen in various expressions. My heart began racing again as I noticed a stream of coffee was hanging in mid air between a pot and a mug that Officer Bogart was holding nearby…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson