It was packed full of people at the Hutcherson farm on October 20th, 2013. It was a Sunday, meaning each family had their children out and picked apples for the day. The line to get in wasn't that long, having due to a traffic guard right in the middle to guide each of us. Once parked, everyone would leave their vehicles and head straight toward the orchard.
The orchard went on for miles. If you continue driving, you could go for at least over two miles, and there would still be curvy apple trees threading along the side of your viewpoint. People called it the endless apple valley, rumor has been that you could never get to the end of it. Or at least no one's been spoken to that has. There's a myth that a few people have, but they remain silent about the experience like it's just any other orchard in the end.
My mother, her boyfriend, his daughter and I were there. We were going to do the corn maze and then pick apples after. I decided to skip the maze, though, has been that I did the same one last year. I went straight for the orchard instead, getting a head start on picking the apples, while the other three went and explored the corn maze.
I traveled along the orchard pathway, having each tree guide me straight forward. I kept going for at least ten minutes until I decided it was best I wait for the rest of them. I sat on the grassy ground and picked up an apple that had fallen from the tree.
"You've gotten far." Someone suddenly says. I look up, and there's a boy there. He seems to be around my age, the same height, with light brown hair and green-hazel eyes.
"Have I?" I question, not seeming to have noticed the exact distance I'd already gone.
"Yeah. I don't usually see many people this far out here. I come every year because the first time I came I got lost. Now I seem to get lost every time, but now by choice. There's a mystic to getting lost out here. You never tell anyone until you find someone. I guess that's one of the pieces to the whole puzzle altogether, though."
"So that's what the whole buzz is about? Just the aspect of getting lost?"
"It's not about getting lost; it's about what you find when you are lost." He tells me.
"So, like us finding each other?" I ask but get no reply. I look up, and the boy is now gone. I decide to get up, look around, and see each of the trees to see which direction he has gone. He is nowhere to be seen. Almost as if he's vanished.
I decide to head back the way I'd come and eventually run into my mother, her boyfriend, and his daughter. They each have bags full of apples and ready to leave. We head back through the long orchard, but I remain silent about the boy I'd seen. As we are at the checkout, I see a poster with the boy's face on it.
"That's him!" I finally speak.
"Yeah, that's Bradley." The woman behind the table says sadly.
"Why am I just now hearing about this?" I question.
"He went missing from the town back in 2001. They're still searching for him. One can only hope he's alive and safe." She tells me.
I don't say a word but instead nod my head at the woman. We continue checking out and start heading back toward our vehicle. We pass by a family, the parents, two young twin daughters, and an older son.
"Are you going back to the orchard again, Tomas?" The mother asks the son.
"Yeah. Got to keep an eye out for Bradley." The son says. I take quick offense; not sure if the boy is making a mockery out of the situation. I look towards him and see him looking straight back at me.
"Tell Bradley I said bye," I tell him and then continue walking towards the car.
About the Creator
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
I love this story, so true to the point.
I want to praise you
Thank you for sharing, great write up!
Thank you for sharing, great write up!
Nice article, worth reading.
Really liked this article
Great writing, thanks for sharing
Awesome, I loved the text.
I really enjoyed this read! The words flowed smoothly and I'm hoping you continue this story as it would be a great series. That said I do agree with Jacob. I would read your work aloud as you write it to see how well it flows. There was a line I noticed "The orchard went on for miles. If you continue driving, you could go for at least over two miles." I would have worded this a bit differently. Using one word in the same sentence twice doesn't always flow, in my opinion. "The orchard ran over two miles." I feel would have been more appealing to read aloud and doesn't have the reader "tumbling" over the sentence structure. With that said reading is a very intimate thing. Writing is a very intimate thing. Take our comments with a grain of salt as this is ultimately YOUR craft and you just have to tell your story to the best of your abilities.
I thought it was decent. But I think you would benefit from reading your story out loud to yourself to see if it sounds natural. Some things could have been shortened, like saying "My mother, her boyfriend and his daughter" twice is unnecessary. You could just say, "My mother and the rest". either way, it's seasonal and I appreciate your story.
This is also great
I like your article I want to give you credit