People who have read “First Time – The Legend of Garison Fitch” have often asked me, “What was George doing in that street anyway? He’s eleven, for crying out loud!”
The crazy thing is: I have an answer. The problem is: there was never a good place to put it in the book. Every time I’ve tried, it just interrupted the flow. So, here’s the passage that explains why little Georgie (who was almost 6 foot tall at age 11) was playing in the street that day:
“Wait a minute,” Heather objected, placing her hand on Garison’s chest. “Why was George in the street? It’s not like he was a little kid, too little to know better.”
Garison nodded and told her, “You know, I had that question too, but not at the time.” At her look of skepticism, he explained, “At the time, I was just … freakin’, as your friend Bat would say. I saw a kid playing in the street, I saw the giant dray with the corner of my eye, and I grabbed him. And then, the worst headache in the history of the world hit me.
“It’s rather like my life is bifurcated cleanly: before that moment and after. I’ve relived that moment-the actual moment where I pulled him out of the way-a thousand times, now that I know,” he smiled, recalling some other phrase, “Now that I know what I hath wrought.”
“‘Hath’?” Heather chuckled.
“I don’t know where that came from. Anyway, about a month ago I was going over it all and I asked myself why he was there. I had known him from town-everyone had, it was a small town-and he wasn’t known as a flaky kid or anything. ‘Flaky’?” Garison asked, confused sometimes by where his own various turns of phrase came from. “He was always just this big, rather outgoing kid. Little obnoxious even.
“So I started thinking about it. Trying to picture it all in my mind. I think I’m right in picturing him with rocks and sticks laid out on the ground.” He looked at Heather as if this answered her question.
Finally, she prodded, “So?”
Garison smiled and explained, “It was like a kid today playing with toy soldiers. But I think George was planning out a battle. A military battle.”
Heather hesitated, then shrugged and agreed, “That explains so much.”