Where did I get the idea for Uncle Jake? I wrote a short story years ago when I was working on my storytelling. Enjoy-"UNDER THE OLD OAK TREE"by Laura Beth
Jake quietly sat in the back seat of a cab taking in every inch of his childhood home: the yard, the swing set waiting for future grandchildren, the window he used as his escape to his adventures and the large oak tree in the pasture that no one but himself would ever know its secret. How could he walk through that door and tell his parents and his siblings he would never see them again. He couldn't do that. The cab driver cleared his throat bringing Jake back from his deep thoughts. Jake quickly grabbed a hundred dollar bill, offered it to the driver and motioned for him to keep the change.
“Thank you, thank you”, the cab driver said, as he took the bill and held Jake’s hand with gratitude.
Jake smiled and slowly emerged from the cab. He didn't see his parents’ cars, so he knew they were still out for the day. He would have time to leave his note. Would they understand? He would probably never be sure. His brother Jeremy, who never believed his stories, would also help them understand and probably never forgive him. Hopefully, they would all eventually understand and be proud of him. He had made up his mind.
Jake went into his childhood home through the back door and immediately headed towards the room he had shared with his brothers. He took it all in, touching the things he knew he could not take with him. He studied his diplomas and awards. He moved his hand slowly across all the arrowheads he had collected since he was just 5-years old. He pulled one from his pocket and remembered the day he found it and how it had changed his life at such a very young age. The adventures he had had and the stories he had shared, which were so true, but no one ever believed him or questioned him. As his mom had always said, “you have the best imagination all of your brothers and sisters Jake. You should write a book”.
“This would be a great place to leave my letter,” Jake whispered, as he lifted up the glass top to the shadow box that held his most precious arrowheads and he gently placed his note below his favorite finds.
Jake admired all of his brother’s art awards and chuckled about his brother and their differences. “Jeremy should have been a cartoonist with all of his wit and goofiness."
Next, Jake walked into his closet and pushed aside the clothes his parents now hung there. He opened the hidden door he had designed and glanced over the treasures that he would leave. "Maybe Jeremy, or one of the future grandchildren, will find my treasures and offer them to a museum," Jake thought to himself. Jake placed a list of people and organizations that would pay great money for his treasures from the past. Jake secured his hidden wall safe and slid the clothes back into place.
Jake took one last look around his old room and went down the hall stopping at his sisters’ old room. He left a couple of his calling cards, better known as arrowheads, and then he quickly walked into the kitchen. Jake sat at the table, where they had always congregated to play cards, to watch TV and where the fight for the silver fork took place almost every night. He placed a manila envelope against the salt and pepper shakers that held his other letter stating he would be in touch with them as soon as he got settled at his new dig site. He knew where he was going would never have any cell phone service. The manila envelope also contained lots of money to keep, use or share in case something were to ever happen to him.
“I’ll be so famous, and I will never need this in
my lifetime,” Jake had written on the paper that wrapped around the wad of bills. Another
clue that his stories were not stories. He stood up from the table and went to the silverware drawer. As he opened the drawer for the last time, he pulled out the silver fork he had
found so many years ago. He stared at the fork and remembered all the fights that had driven their
mother crazy. It was one of the many
treasures he had found on his adventures.
Jake picked up the family picture and said his goodbyes to everyone. He grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl, headed to his room and climbed through the window for old time's sake. He took everything in as he almost floated on air towards the old oak tree. He pulled the arrowhead from his pocket and touched the special spot he had marked years ago. The portal door opened wide for him to cross over to his life he had come to love. He stepped towards a world that existed hundreds of years in the past. He was at last free to live out his dreams and adventures. He would be leaving a legacy that he could only hope someone would know.
If you're wanting to know more just read my prequel, "JAKE, The Gatekeeper" and you will love the adventures!- LB