The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

The Boomerang pt.1

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My local public library offered a writing seminar a few weeks back:  Memoir With Panache.  It was a good opportunity to connect with some local writers and force myself to go in a different direction with my writing and thinking.  I had a bit of fun working on my piece and thought I’d share it here.  ~ Jeff

The Boomerang

by Jeff Burd

One cool, sunny fall day when I was a teen, my friend Joel showed up in our driveway with a boomerang.  He explained that he thought it would be fun to see if we could throw it.  It wasn’t much of a surprise; we’d spent the last two years on my parents’ five acres in northeast Indiana determining the fun inherent in an arsenal of weapons.  It was small-time at first but had escalated quickly—tomato stake javelins to a slingshot to bow and arrow to bb and pellet guns.  Somehow my parents allowed small-caliber pistols and rifles, and then shotguns.  I also had a secret go with my brother’s .223 bolt-action hunting rifle and was left with a half moon scar over my right brow from the scope.  The idea of a boomerang was a huge and unexpected step in the opposite direction, but I couldn’t think of a reason not to give it a few throws.

“Where should we try it?” I asked.

Joel looked around the yard and overhead, where cumulus clouds had been bumping into each other most of the afternoon.  “Somewhere where there’s not a lot of wind,” he decided.  “Or trees.”  It wouldn’t be the front yard because of that last qualifier.  The back yard was too wide-open and windswept, and there was no guarantee we could keep the boomerang out of the pond.  So it was the side yard.

We walked to the other side of the house and down a short slope.  Joel handed me the boomerang.  It was light and flexible, and the wing tips had been painted blue over the natural beech of the wood.  There was a red stamp on one side:  “100% Balsa”.

“This is gonna be like The Road Warrior,” Joel announced, which was enough to get my mind racing.  The film, which we slavered over, prominently featured a boomerang in several scenes; albeit a heavy chrome one with razor edges.  At one point, it is buried halfway into the brain of one of the bad guys; a few second later, another villain loses most of his fingers on one hand trying to catch it.  The differences between the cinematic boomerang and the one we had didn’t register with us.  If we could learn how to chuck that thing, we would be cool like most everything in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of The Road Warrior.  And there was novelty, too.  Most everybody where we lived was shooting guns, but hurling boomerangs?  Not at all.

Joel took the boomerang back from me and found a spot in the side yard.  He put his back to the wind, planted his feet wider than his shoulders, and declared, “Here goes.”

He reached his arm back and flung the boomerang side-armed like a sub-marining baseball pitcher.  It spun in furious clockwise circles three feet parallel to the ground and was thirty yards away within two seconds when for reasons unfathomable to us it cut at a sharp upward angle, practically perpendicular to the ground.  I guess we had expected the boomerang to take a long ovular loop and return to us.  Instead, we watched it climb and then suddenly cut back in our direction.

“Aw shit!” I yelled, ready to run.

“Wait,” Joel commanded me.

I froze.  The boomerang whirred over our heads and landed safely behind us with a soft thud.

Joel exploded.  “Holy crap!  Did you see that?”  He wore a grin so wide it was falling off the sides of his face.  I was mystified.  Joel was a bulky, vague mass of a kid, but he was a decent wrestler, could run a few miles, shoot a basketball quite well, and suddenly seemed to have instant facility with a boomerang.  How was all that possible?

continued tomorrow…


Written by seeker70

August 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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