not intended to be a spooky story
This is not intended to be a spooky story, but as there is a supernatural element to it I can see how it might end up being a bit creepy.
I am a college student and I help make ends meet by babysitting.
On this particular night I was sitting for a couple of new kids. Their names are irrelevant but I will divulge their ages; the boy is eleven and the girl nine.
After dinner, while they watched TV in the living room, I poked around the house, killing time before I buckled down and continued work on a paper that was due in my History class. I was doing my paper on the importance of the Battle of Kettle Creek, which shows you right there that this story isn’t intended to be a spooky one. If that were the case I would have been researching the Battles of Lexington and Concord or the Battle of Bunker Hill. Obviously.
It was during this poke that I entered what appeared to be the home office or den and spied a large book sitting on a table in front of a well-worn couch; The Battles and Campaigns of the Revolutionary War.
I couldn’t believe my luck. I scooped it up and retreated back into the living room to give it a look.
“What a stroke of luck” I announced to the kids.
“You’ve been in the den” concluded the boy.
“That I have young man, and look what I found” I replied, holding up the book for inspection.
“It won’t help you” he said.
“Au contraire, mon frère, it’s exactly what I need.”
“That’s not what I mean” the boy said, “I mean it won’t help.”
I was puzzled by his comment but wrote it off to the large amount of soda that he and his sister insisted on drinking before, during and after dinner. Undeterred I plopped down and opened my backpack to remove my notebook and a pencil. All signs pointed to a productive evening.
I began to flip through the large and seemingly comprehensive tome. It was easily a thousand pages and appeared to be exactly what the doctor ordered.
It was all there, the Siege of Yorktown, the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga, the Landing at Kip’s Bay, the Battle of Musgrove Hill.
As I perused the book I felt the eyes of the two children watching me.
Having made my way from the beginning of the book to the end without stumbling upon the Battle of Kettle Creek I headed back to the Table of Contents to look it up.
It wasn’t there.
“I told you” said the boy.
“Told me what?” I inquired.
“The book. It wouldn’t help you.”
“It never helps” added the girl before returning her attention to SpongeBob SquarePants.
“How can a book on the Revolutionary War not include the Battle of Kettle Creek?” I asked no one in particular.
The boy stood up and walked over. “It does, just not for you” he stated matter-of-factly. To make his point he took the book from me and said “Watch this.” With that he closed the book. And then he opened it. I looked down to see the following sitting in bold typeface atop the page; The Battle of Kettle Creek – A Summary Perfect for Inclusion in a College Paper.
“Now look at the page number” instructed the boy. I did. Page 548. He closed the book and handed it back to me. “Your turn” he said.
I opened the book to page 548. It was discussing the Battle of the Assunpink Creek, also known as the Second Battle of Trenton. It took place January 2, 1777 and resulted in an American victory.
There was no mention of the Battle of Kettle Creek. None.
“See what I mean?” asked the boy.
“Not really” I wanted to say but my mouth was too preoccupied with hanging open. Priorities I guess.
I didn’t know what he meant then and I don’t know what he meant now. Now all I can make of it is something I once heard David Lee Roth say; a guitar just won’t sound right until it spends a night in a Memphis pawn shop.
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