"ADAM!! YO ADAM!"
Adam Park looked up and saw Aisha Campbell and Rocky DeSantos flying down the street. Rocky was riding his bike and Aisha was hanging onto the jump rope for dear life behind him on her skates. Rocky slammed on his coaster breaks leaving a black streak on the sidewalk, while Aisha skated past, trying desperately to remember how to stop. She slammed into the concrete stairs Adam was sitting on and ended up in his lap.
"Thanks for the save,"She grinned at him as she tried to get her feet underneath her.
"What's up with you?"Rocky asked as he laid his bike on the grass and sat down next to Adam.
"Nothing," Adam whispered, his head in his hands.
Aisha gave up on the skates and plopping down on the grass on Adam's side. "Yeah right. Spill it, boy."
"Nothing, okay?!" Adam snapped, standing up.
"Fine! C'mon we're gonna be late!" Rocky announced.
"Where are we going?"Adam asked suspiciously.
Rocky got on his bike."You'll see. Come on!"
Adam gave him a look before he glanced back at his house."I can't. I gotta wait for my dad to come home."
"Why?" Aisha asked.
Adam shrugged. "Mom said he had something to tell me."
"Well, what time does your dad get home?"Rocky asked.
Adam shrugged again."I don't know. Later, I guess."
"So let's go! We'll be back before your dad gets here," Rocky decided.
Adam gave them a half smile as he tried to decide what to do. He looked at his house and then back at his two best friends. "Where are we going?"
"Rocky and I are gonna go to my house so I can get my bike," Aisha said giving her skates a dirty look.
"We could play the Dukes. Aisha can be Daisy," Rocky announced.
"How come I gotta be Daisy?I wanna be Bo," Aisha demanded, carefully getting up and putting her hands on her hips.
"Because you're a girl, and Daisy's a girl. Besides, Adam's Luke and I get to be Bo,"Rocky declared.
Aisha and Rocky looked at Adam. They could tell he was wavering. He might be the shyest one of their little trio, but he rarely wanted to be left out. Besides, they needed him if they were going to play their favorite game of make-believe. They needed three people and Adam was the best one to actually get one of Rocky's nutty schemes to work.
"Well...okay. But only for a little while. I gotta be here when my dad gets home." * * *
"How come we need all this stuff?"Adam asked as Rocky tossed him a length of rope and he obediently stuck into Rocky's A-team backpack. They had ridden over to Rocky's and Aisha had told them to meet her at her house once they got everything.
"Well, me and Aisha were thinking--"
"Should I be worried?" Adam asked with a smile.
"Hey, who are you?My sister? Anyway, we was thinking that the Dukes are way out in the middle of Hazzard County, right. And well, Stone Canyon really isn't close to Hazzard so we were gonna go somewhere else and play."
"Where?" Adam asked. Rocky had that look on his face. The same look that usually got him and Rocky in a whole heap of trouble.
Rocky grinned at Adam. His best friend was wearing the same look Adam always did when he was imagining the grounding they were going to get after one of their escapades."You'll see when we get there. Come on, it'll be fun."
Adam felt a shudder run down his spine, but he did not know why exactly. Just something about the way Rocky said it made a chill race down his back. He also had a feeling he was going to regret this. It was not the first time that the two more outgoing people of the group talked him into doing something he really did not want to do. Like not telling his mom where he was going before they had left. Rocky had convinced him that his mom had seen Aisha and Rocky come up to the house, and since they were always together anyway, his mom would call Rocky's or Aisha's mom and find out where they were.
Adam obediently followed Rocky around the house as Rocky stuffed more and more stuff into his backpack. Finally, they were ready."Bye Momma." Rocky yelled as he and Adam raced out of the house.
"Rocky espere!" Mrs. DeSantos called back.
Rocky froze in his tracks, and rolled his eyes as a pregnant Mrs. DeSantos came into the room."Where are you going?" She asked.
"Visitamos a Aisha, Momma. We'll be home before dinner, I promise."
Mrs. DeSantos frowned, but she knew that Adam would keep her oldest son out of trouble. Adam had a good head on his shoulders. Not that her Rocky did not, but sometimes he just did not think things through."Before dinner, mi hijo. Don't forget."
"Have fun, and Rocky...stay out of trouble."
Rocky nodded, a huge grin on his face, as he and Adam raced out the door. He was half way down the block before he slowed and let Adam catch up."This is so cool. I can't wait for you to see this place."
Adam slowed to a stop."I thought you told your mom that we'd be at Aisha's house. I've seen Aisha's house, it's not all that great."
Rocky shook his head."We're just going to pick up Aisha. Then we're gonna go play. I told you this." He told his best friend with a mock sigh.
"I don't know about this Rocky. I don't like lying to your mom. Especially when she's gonna have a baby."
Rocky rolled his eyes."Momma isn't gonna have the baby any time soon. I heard her and my Aunt Teresa talking, and Momma said that the baby wasn't coming until September. So, we got lots of time. 'Sides, nobody asked me if I wanted another sister or brother. I got enough now!" This was a major bone of contention with Rocky and his parents. He was already the oldest of four kids, he did not want anymore. His mom and dad had not bothered to ask him if he wanted any more brothers or sisters before they asked God for another baby. So now he was stuck.
Rocky snuck a look at his best friend. This was the main reason that he had not told Adam where they were going yet. It was not that he did not trust his best friend, but Adam was not very good at keeping information to himself sometimes. He was not a tattletale, but Adam was not very good at lying either. Not that Rocky had lied to his mom; he just had not given her all the information. Information that Adam would have readily supplied and gotten them both banned from where they were going. Besides, if Adam knew, he might not want to go, and that would screw up the whole game. Therefore, it was just better all the way around if Adam did not know until they got there.
"It's about time you guys showed up!" Aisha yelled from her driveway, where she was sitting on the top of her father's old navy blue Ford licking a Popsicle. She hopped off the car, with a couple of quick bites finished off the Popsicle, and threw the stick in the trashcan. "Let's go," She declared as she hopped on her green bike with its banana seat and metallic streamers coming from the handlebars.
"Hold it right there, Daisy Duke. Just where do you think you're going?" Terrance Campbell asked, as he came out of the garage.
Aisha rolled her eyes."I'm going out with Rocky and Adam, Cooter,"She told him in no uncertain terms.
"Where exactly,"Terry asked again. He bit back a sigh. He could never figure out what exactly those three saw in the Dukes of Hazzard. He did not mind the show; but those three were obsessed. Why had they decided to make him Cooter? Could not he have at least gotten a better name if they were insistent on giving him a nickname from the show?
"Hi, Cooter"Adam said, with a shy smile.
"Hey Adam, Rocky. Aisha, you're not leaving this yard until you answer my question," Terry told her.
"I did answer the question. Just because Mom and Dad aren't here doesn't make you the boss of me,"
"Don't even go there, girl,"Terry warned."Don't forget the last time Mom and Dad went away for the day. You don't wanna tell me fine. I'll page Dad and you can tell him,"
Aisha's dark eyes grew wide. The last thing she wanted was to interrupt Daddy's meeting just to ask if she could go play. 'Specially since Daddy said they were only suppose to call if they were in trouble."Okay, fine. I'm going over to Rocky's and play."
Terry nodded. He like Rocky and Adam and did not have a problem with his little sister hanging with them. He just did not want Aisha to get hurt. She was the apple of both the Campbell men's eye. He smiled as he took in the sight. Rocky was on his blue and white Bike of Death. That was Adam and Aisha's name for it, since only Rocky seemed to be able to ride the bike and remain unscathed. Adam was on his five speed orange and black bike, and had a backpack full of stuff on his back. Aisha was sitting on her green girl's bike raring to go. "Have fun, you guys and try to stay out of trouble."
"Why does everybody say that?" Rocky asked as they headed out. * * *
"Well, here we are,"Rocky announced as he and Aisha skidded to a stop.
Adam coasted to a stop and stared. All around them were high bluffs and a small stream trickled through. "Where are we?"He finally asked.
"I told you it was cool!"Rocky crowed as he got off of his bike and turned to his best friend.
"We're way out in the middle of nowhere," Aisha added as she too got off her bike.
"How did you find this place?" Adam wondered, as he followed his friends' lead.
"Terry showed it to me one day coming back from Angel Grove. I just remembered how we got home."
"But we're not even to the best part yet," Rocky announced as he started to walk.
Reluctantly Adam followed his two friends. He just knew they were all going to get into a heap of trouble for this little adventure. He just knew it. That was probably the absolutely last thing he needed right now. He didn't know why his dad was coming home early from his business trip, but to Adam it couldn't be good. Dad never cut his business trips short.
"Adam?Are you okay?"Aisha asked as they walked. Adam was even quieter than usual and she knew that as much as Rocky was Adam's best friend, Adam was not always comfortable talking to him.
Adam nodded."I'm just wondering why my dad's coming home. It's almost three whole days early."
"Maybe his trip was cut short," Aisha told him.
"They're never cut short. I can't think of anything I did wrong that would make him come home,"Adam told her miserably.
"How do you know it was you?Maybe it was Katie. Maybe you did something cool. Aren't you and Rocky in the State Little League championships? Maybe he came home to see that."
Adam shook his head."He's never come home to see one of my games before. I just can't figure it out, Aisha. I have to get home though. If I'm not there when my dad gets home, I'll really be in trouble."
"We'll be home. We won't let you get into any more trouble," Aisha promised. She felt bad for Adam sometimes. He usually got stuff before she did and way before Rocky, but he didn't really care about that. Half the time he would give Rocky the new toy to have because Adam wasn't really interested in it. tyle="mso-spacerun: He was more interested in having his dad around. In Aisha's mind, that was why Rocky and Adam were such good friends. Rocky's dad loved Adam almost like another son, and Rocky liked having a brother around his own age.
Plus the three of them were all the social outcasts in their class. Stone Canyon was a predominately white community, and she, Rocky and Adam were the only minorities in their class. The kids in their class just didn't want to hang out with someone that was different. So the three of them had banded together. Which was just fine with Aisha, the two boys were a hoot to hang out with. The three of them had a lot of fun, and got into a lot of trouble too. It was all right, because they all stuck together, even when they knew they were going to get in trouble.
"Thanks, Aisha,"Adam replied quietly. He gave her a small smile.
"Here we are!"Rocky announced.
Adam looked around. It didn't look any different than where they had been 10 minutes ago."Where's here?" He asked.
Rocky turned and gave him a look. "Here. It's the coolest place. Besides, I thought we could go up there,"Rocky said pointing.
Adam looked up and gulped."Uh& I don't know about that, Rocky. I thought we were going to play Dukes. And we really don't have the technology to do that."
"Sure we do, what do you think we brought the ropes for?"Rocky demanded as he went behind Adam and opened the backpack. Adam froze as Rocky rummaged through the bag.
"I don't know. I've got a bad feeling about this."
"Me too, Rocky. Why can't we just play Dukes?I'll even be Daisy," Aisha offered.
Rocky rolled his eyes, but consented. Adam seemed to always know what wasn't a good idea and they had followed his advice more than once and managed to stay out of any major trouble. "Okay, so how do you want to play? Hey we could pretend that Daisy was kidnapped by Boss Hogg."
"And you guys could save me!" Aisha added, "Not that Daisy can't save herself."
"Of course she can, but the Dukes always stick together," Rocky replied, waving Aisha's argument away.
"Yeah,"Adam said, letting himself get swept away in the excitement of the game."Hey, maybe Boss Hogg tied her up so that she couldn't tell the Bo and Luke where the stolen money was so that they could get Cooter out of jail."
"Sounds good to me,"Aisha grinned.
The three of them split up as they looked for a suitable place to hold "Daisy" up before the Duke boys saved her."Hey, what about here?" Rocky yelled.
Adam and Aisha both came running from their various places. "Yeah. That's cool," Adam said, looking at Aisha.
"Well, it's kinda dark in there, don't you think?" Aisha asked, as she hesitantly poked her head into the black cave.
"It's not that bad, and you don't have to be in very far. What are you, chicken?" Rocky asked.
"I'm not chicken. I'm just wondering if you boys will be able to find me is all."
"Is that a challenge for Hide and Seek?"Rocky shot back.
Adam rolled his eyes. His two best friends were always competing on who was better. Frankly, he didn't care."So Aisha goes into the cave and you and me save her, right?" He asked his two friends.
"Yeah, basically. But we gotta get around Rosco first."
"Right,"Adam nodded; glad his friends had stopped fighting for now. "What about tying her up?Don't Rosco and Boss Hogg always tie Daisy up?"
Rocky thought about it for a minute before he looked at Aisha."Oh yeah. Adam, turn around," Rocky said as he unzipped the bag and went to get the rope.
"Hold it, Rocky. Ain't nobody tying me up. You wanna tie somebody up, you can tie up Adam. He can be Daisy."
"I'm not being Daisy. She's a girl,"Adam protested.
"Oh fine. Then we won't tie Daisy up. We'll just have to save her is all,"Rocky looked at Aisha and she nodded.
She didn't mind being saved; she just didn't like being tied up in the dark. Aisha watched as the boys scurried off to find their bikes. She knew that they would be back, but they would take their time, since they had to get around Rosco first. She turned back to the cave and with a gulp went in.
Aisha sat down with her back against the wall. She watched for Adam and Rocky and wondered briefly if there were any wild animals in the cave. She hoped not. Idly, Aisha looked out at the scenery when a sound made her whip around.
"Is anyone there?" She called, cautiously creeping deeper in the cave. "Rocky! This isn't funny,"Aisha yelled. She didn't want to admit it, but she was afraid of the dark. It was all Terry's fault. He was the one that had her listen to the Invisible Man before going to sleep one night. Now all she could think about was the stupid guy that was invisible and he coming to get her.
As she continued to walk deeper into the cave, she wished she'd asked Rocky for a flashlight. It was really dark in the cave, but she wanted to make sure that there weren't any wild animals to eat her. She checked over her shoulder, hoping Rocky and Adam would show up, but they hadn't, they were probably still trying to get around Rosco P. Coltrane III. Never mind that Rosco was an invisible character, which just made it all that much harder to get around him.
She kept going deeper in the cave, not noticing how far she was to the entrance of it. Aisha strained her eyes in the dark and tried to tell herself that there was nothing to be afraid of. She felt something brush her ankle and she screamed before she tripped and fell. And kept falling. Aisha screamed again as her arm slammed into the side of whatever she had fallen into and then with a splash she came to a stop.
Trying hard not to panic, she swam to the surface and gulped in some air, tears rolling down her cheeks as the fiery pain shot through her arm. She tried to look up and figure out where she was, but all she could see was black on black. * * *
Adam skidded to a stop."Hey did you hear that, Rocky?"
Rocky slowed and frowned."No. Come on, we gotta save Daisy and my name is Bo."
"Rocky I'm serious. I think I heard someone scream."
Rocky cocked his head and listened for a moment. "I don't hear anything. You're hearing things."
Before Adam could retort another screamed pierced the air. "See?"
"Come on, let's go get Aisha and help that person."
"Aisha!"Adam yelled when they got back to the cave."Aisha, where are you?"
"I wonder where she is," Rocky said as he looked around. Aisha usually did not just take off without telling them first.
"Maybe she went deeper in the cave?" Adam asked hesitantly.
"Yeah, maybe she decided to explore it without us," Rocky agreed as he turned Adam around and grabbed a flashlight out of the backpack. He flipped it on and the two boys cautiously worked their way deeper into the cave. * * *
Aisha grabbed onto the wall and prayed she was not hearing things. "Rocky?!"
"Aisha?Where are you?" Adam yelled.
"Adam?Get me out of here!" Aisha screamed, trying to stop crying. The boys would just make fun of her if they saw her cry.
"Aisha, where are you?"Adam yelled again. Aisha sounded really scared; he hoped nothing had happened to her.
"I fell down. Adam, get me out of here,"Aisha cried. The water was cold and she was getting tired. There wasn't anything to hold on to so that she could just stop for a minute. Boy, was she glad that Terry took her to the Quarry to swim all the time. She could see the light bobbing above her before it shone in her face. She flinched as the bright light hurt her eyes, but when she opened them, she saw for the first time where she fell.
She was in a hole, and it was at least as tall as her daddy was, if not taller. It was wide enough for two people if just barely."Rocky?Adam is that you?" She whimpered.
"Yeah it's us. How did you get down there?" Rocky asked as she saw both Rocky and Adam's head appear on top of the hole.
"I fell. Please get me out of here. I don't like it down here,"Aisha was trying hard not to cry, but both boys could tell how scared she was.
"Hold on, Aisha,"Adam said as he disappeared from view for a minute. After a few moments, Rocky did as well, but they left the flashlight where it was so Aisha could see.
She could hear them talking quietly, and she shoved the panic away as they reappeared and threw something down to her. She reached over and grabbed it, and realized that the boys had taken the rope, made a loop and threw it down to her.
"Put it around you and we'll lift you up," Rocky yelled down to her.
"Okay,"Aisha replied, softly. She slipped one arm through the loop and then her head. But she screamed in pain as she tried to move her other arm through the loop.
Immediately the boys' heads were over the edge looking down at her. "Aisha? Aisha, you okay?"Rocky's worried voice floated down to her.
Aisha didn't care if they saw her tears now. Her arm hurt. "I hurt m-my arm when I fell. It really hurts."
Adam grabbed Rocky and they went into another conference. They appeared a minute later."Aisha, get out of the rope," Adam told her.
"O-okay,"Aisha said, the fear once again taking hold. The walls were starting to get to her, and the dark too. She eased her arm and head out of the loop and watched as Adam grabbed the rope and half slid, half climbed into the hole with her.
"Hi,"He told her with a grin as he put his arm around her. Aisha clung to his as she let her tired legs rest a bit. * * *
"DADDY!!"A little girl screeched as she launched herself at her dad.
John Park swung his little girl up in his arms as she came running to him. "How's my little princess?Have you been good for Mom?" He settled his 6 year old on his hip and walked up the rest of the way to his modest house, Katie chattering happily away. He frowned briefly as he got to the door. Adam must be out with his friends, or in his room with a time out. Usually both of them charge him when he came home, each one wanting to be the first to tell him all about their day.
"Nomi?"He called as he came into the house.
Naomi Park came into the living room and smiled as she kissed her husband. "How was the trip?"
John just shook his head."I don't even want to think about it, right now. How are the kids?"He asked.
"They've been angels, just like always," Naomi replied giving Katie a smile. "Adam was outside waiting for you. He'll be so excited when you tell him you came home to see his big game."
John frowned."He's not out there now."
"Rocky and Aisha came over,"Katie piped up, eager to help her daddy. "They said that they was gonna go to Rocky's."
John smiled at his little girl. "Well, then we should call Rocky's and get Adam. Then we can go out to Chuck E. Cheese. What do you think?"
Katie squealed in delight. * * *
"No, I'm positive, Mrs. DeSantos. Aisha told me that the three of them were going to play over at your house. I didn't question it, no. I wasn't expecting Aisha to lie to me. Of course, Mrs. DeSantos. I'll be here," Terry hung up the phone and stared into space. Aisha wasn't at the DeSantos or the Parks."That little brat is gonna get it this time,"He muttered as he picked up the phone off the receiver and paged his father. * * *
"Aisha?Aisha, are you awake?" Adam asked, worriedly. He'd been treading water for a while now, holding on to Aisha so that she could rest.
"Yeah,"She answered, sleepily. Aisha reached up to rub her eyes only to dunk herself under the water. "My arm really hurts, Adam," She whispered, tears making her voice husky.
"I know. We'll be okay though. We're the Dukes, and they never lose. You just wait and see, okay Aisha?"
Adam looked up to see Rocky peering at them from the top of the hole. He was sticking close by, trying to figure out a way to get them both out of the hole."Hey Rocky?"
"Yeah Adam?"Rocky replied. His eyes were on Aisha.
"We gotta get some help. Maybe you should go back to the road and see if you can find someone that could help us?"
Rocky bit his lip. He didn't want to leave his friends. It wasn't right. Besides, he was scared for Aisha. He remembered something his dad had said about the cold and it making you sleepy."I don't wanna leave you guys."
Adam nodded."I don't want you to go, but we need some help. You gotta go, Rocky. It's really cold down here."
Rocky nodded, his fears screaming through his stomach, much worse than any butterflies."You gotta keep Aisha awake. My dad told me one time that the cold will make you sleepy and if you go to sleep then you can't stay warm and you die. So you guys gotta stay awake."
"Okay, we'll stay awake. You gotta get some help, Rocky. I'm getting tired, really tired."
Rocky took a shaky breath, and stood up. He looked around and found a decent sized rock close to the hole. He took his end of the rope and circle the rock before tying a square knot like in Boy Scouts. He went back to the hole."Okay, I'm gonna go, but I'll be back. I tied the rope around a rock so you can hang on it and rest sometimes. Just remember you guys gotta stay awake. I'll leave the flashlight here too." * * *
"I can't believe this," Steven Campbell snapped as he drove back from Angel Grove.
"I'm sure they're fine. They're kids, they want adventure," Rachel Campbell replied. Secretly she was as worried as her husband, but she wouldn't let them get loose. She knew her daughter and her friends. They all had a good heads on their shoulders. Their only problem was that they didn't know their limits.
As he slowed down to take the curve by Douglas Bluffs he spotted a lone figure on a bike speeding toward the road. He grinned slightly, remembering the days when he would race down the bluffs with his friends. "I'm sure they are dear. I'm just worried about our little girl." * * *
"Aisha?Come on Aisha, wake up," Adam said as he shook as best he could without sending them both under the water.
"I awake, I'm awake," Aisha muttered, as she dragged her eyes open. "Where are we?"She asked.
Adam swallowed nervously as he hung onto the rope. The two of them had managed to get Aisha's good arm through the loop and she was sort of floating in the water. From the weak light from the flashlight above their heads, he could just make out the fact that Aisha's face was really pale. "You okay, Aisha?"He asked.
Aisha nodded, "I'm tired, Adam. I'm gonna take a nap."
"No!"Adam yelled, shaking her. In his haste, he managed to dunk himself under the water. He came up spluttering and coughing. As he was splashing around, he managed to hit Aisha in the face with a small wave of water. That seemed to rouse her a bit.
"Hey!Knock it off,"Aisha grumbled.
Adam grinned and then splashed her again. "Come on. Make me."
Aisha pouted for a minute, before she started to spray him back."No fair. You have two good arms," She said as she turned her face away from the water that was coming from the other side of the small hole.
"Well, at least you don't have to try to stay floating and splash at the same time," Adam retorted, not stopping in his splashing, a laugh escaping from his throat.
Aisha giggled as well as the two of them tried to see who could get each other the wettest. . * * *
Rocky rode his Bike of Death as fast as he could, hoping to flag down the car that was driving past before they rounded the corner and were out of sight. "HEY!! STOP!!" He screamed at the top of his lungs as he flew down the small hill. pan He barely managed to stop in time before flying out into the highway. The car, which looked an awful lot like Mr. Campbell's car, was out of sight.
Rocky threw his bike to the ground and vainly searched for another car that was coming down the road. His friends needed help, but he didn't want to get too far away from them. He wasn't sure he could find the cave again if he left the area. Aisha was the one that had led them here and he wasn't even sure he knew how to get back to Stone Canyon. >
"Please let someone come and save Aisha and Adam. I promise I'll be good. I'll do everything my mom says. Please,"The Hispanic boy muttered as he briefly gazed up at the sky. * * *
"So we have no idea where they are?"Steve Campbell demanded as the parents of the three missing children convened at his house.
"That's the basics, yes,"Nomi replied as she sat next to her scowling husband. She sighed quietly, John wasn't exactly happy about this turn of events. He was a stickler following the rules and this definitely went against them.
"Where could they be?"Mayra DeSantos asked. For a moment all the parents were silent, each trying to come up with some place the children would be.
Terry frowned; there was something he was missing, something he should know. Something about their game, Dukes, and Aisha. He cast back in his memory, trying to remember or at least get a hint at what he was supposed to know."I know this. I do,"He muttered, totally ignoring the skeptical looks from the gathered parents. Vague impression from Angel Grove came to him and suddenly it was all there.
"I think I know where they are!"He exclaimed. * * *
Rocky looked worriedly up and down the deserted highway. He had never thought of Route 34 as deserted. Every time he went to Angel Grove with his parents it was always full of other cars. Of course the only time they went to Angel Grove was during a holiday, so he supposed that was why. Adam and Aisha needed help, he knew that, and he was sorry he had ever lied to his mom about where they were going. He just didn't want to be banned from coming.
He hopped from foot to foot, trying to decide what to do. He couldn't leave Adam and Aisha alone, that much he was certain about, but he could exactly help them without leaving. It was a no-win situation and he didn't like it. In fact, he couldn't think of a worse place to be in at the moment. Rocky would gladly be grounded for the rest of his life if it meant that Adam and Aisha would be okay.
Rocky turned and slowly headed back to his bike. Maybe if he down the road just a little farther, there would be more cars and he could get some help. Maybe. * * *
"There!"Terry Campbell cried as he pointed to the lone figure on the road. The boy was about Rocky's age and was up righting a bike that looked a lot like Rocky's. Mr. Campbell pulled off the side of the road, and the boy looked up.
"Rocky!Where are the others?" Steve Campbell demanded as he bounded out of the car and to the young boy. Mr. Park and Terry weren't far behind
Rocky looked up, a strained smiled on his face. Of all the parents to find him, Mr. Campbell was the worst. He always felt intimidated by the older black man. "Hi," Rocky said weakly.
Terry took in one glance and sighed. Rocky was terrified, he could see that, only his father was too worried and angry to notice. "Rocko, where's Aisha and Adam?"Terry asked, making sure that he didn't demand the answer.
Rocky swallowed, but he knew he was going to have to face the music. It wasn't his fault that Aisha fell down the hole. It wasn't anyone's really. He saw another car slow and stop and realized it was his dad, Mrs. Park and Mrs. Campbell. "They're in the cave and they need help,"He cried, as he grabbed his dad's arm.
Mr. DeSantos bent down and grabbed his son's shoulders. "What happened, Rocky?"He asked, looking straight into his son's eyes.
Rocky trembled a bit, and couldn't meet his father's gaze."We were playing Dukes, and me and Adam were gonna rescue Aisha. So she waited in a cave for us. But she fell into this hole, and her arm's hurt, cuz me and Adam were gonna pull her out, but since she hurt her arm, we were worried and so Adam went into the hole with Aisha, and there's water in there and its really cold and I left the rope and the flashlight, but you said that if you're cold you could get hy-po-therm-ia and they really need help."
Mr. DeSantos nodded, and went to his car. He had figured something had happened to one of them, so had brought the first aid kit from the firehouse. That and a walkie-talkie. "Steve, don't you have a couple of blankets in the trunk?"
Mr. Campbell nodded and quickly grabbed them."Rocky lead the way." * * *
"Hey hey we're the monkees, people say we monkey around, but we're too busy singing, to put anybody down!"Adam and Aisha yelled at the top of their lungs as they sang to Aisha's favorite group. It was probably the fifth or sixth time they had run through the words that they knew, while making up the ones that they didn't.
"How about Pretty Woman?"Adam asked when they fell silent. Adam was running out of ideas to keep Aisha awake. She was in a lot of pain, but he remembered what Rocky had said and was trying his hardest.
"I don't think we're gonna get out of here, Adam,"Aisha said quietly. She was gripping onto Adam pretty tightly and he knew the walls were getting to her. If not, they were getting to him.
"Sure we will; we're the Dukes. The Dukes always win,"Adam panted, as he gave her a slight squeeze. He grabbed onto the rope and stopped kicking, trying to get his breath back. He had never been the strongest swimmer, but he was now seriously considering trying for that swimming badge the next time he went to Boy Scout Camp. He'd been treading water since forever. "Come on, Aisha. Rocky won't let us down. He's kinda goony but he's never let us down."
"I know, I'm really scared, and I want my daddy,"Aisha said quietly, her voice husky with tears.
"Me too, Aisha." * * *
"There in here!"Rocky yelled as he ran ahead of the adults. The men slowed and Mr. DeSantos grabbed his son as he clicked on a high-powered flashlight. "We don't want you to fall in too."
Rocky thought about it and shuddered. "Yeah," He let his dad lead the way into the cave. Soon after entering the cave the group was greeted by the horribly off key singing of Aisha and Adam's favorite song.
"PRETTY WOMAN, WALKING DOWN THE STREET! PRETTY WOMAN, CAN I SMELL YOUR FEET?"
They found the flashlight and the frayed jump rope not far from the entrance. Mr. DeSantos laid down on the stone floor and shone his flashlight down the hole.
"Adam?Aisha?How are you guys doing?" He asked as he took in the situation. The hole was barely big enough for the two of them, and by the pained expression on Aisha's face and the exhausted one on Adam's they weren't going to last much longer without help.
"Mr. DeSantos?"Adam asked, not believing his eyes.
"Yep, it's me," The older man replied with a grin. "You two hang tight and we'll get you out of there,"He slithered back to the group and frowned.
"There's good news and bad news. The good news is that they seem ok, except for Aisha's hurt arm. The bad news is that the hole they're in is a good ten feet down and will barely fit one adult. We'll have to lift them out with the rope. The problem is that they're clinging to that jump rope pretty tightly. I'm afraid that if it snaps they're both go under."
"Then we get them out before that. Tell us what to do,"Mr. Park replied. * * *
It took them a good hour before they pulled both kids from the hole. Aisha fell sobbing into her parents' arms, before they all headed to the hospital. Mr. DeSantos radioed in the rescue and the hospital was waiting for the small herd once they got there.
The doctors saw both Aisha and Adam, which left Rocky alone with his parents. "Mi hijo, you are in trouble. How could you lie to me like that?"Mrs. DeSantos told her son, sitting down next to him, her husband on the other side of their oldest. "I was terrified when Terry told me that you weren't at Aisha's. Please, never scare me like that again! Do you understand, mi hijo?"
"Si Momma," Rocky said quietly as he tried to fight back the tears that threatened to spill down his cheeks.
His father took pity on his son and pulled the boy into his arms. "Rocky, you have to understand. This is exactly why we want to know where you are. If something really bad had happened, what would you have done?"
"I know. It was really stupid, but I thought Momma wouldn't let us go. And I really wanted to," Rocky told them.
Mayra and Ramon shared a look over their son's bent head."Mi hijo, if you thought your mother would forbid you to go, then there was probably a good reason. Never ignore your instincts, son," Ramon tipped his son's face up so that he could look into the dark eyes so much like his own. "Sometimes your instincts are all you got. Okay?"
"Si, papa," He whispered. * * *
Aisha tried to stop shivering as the doctor put the plaster cast on her arm. She watched curiously, and she wondered how she was going to get her t-shirts over her new cast.
"Adam and Rocky can sign it right?" She asked.
The doctor nodded, smiling a bit."Once the cast dries, sure. But you have to keep your arm still while this dries, okay?"
"Okay,"Aisha nodded, still shivering. A blanket was curled around her shoulders, and she had changed as well.
Terry fidgeted in his chair as he waited for the doctor to finish up. His parents were taking care of the paperwork, but he wanted a few words with his sister before they came back.
The doctor smiled once more at Aisha and Terry before he left. "Now remember, keep that arm still for about 20 minutes. A nurse will be in and check on it."
They both nodded and then Terry frowned. "Aisha, do you have any idea how scared I was when you weren't at Rocky's? Or when we found out you had fell down that hole?Geez, Aisha, I swear I almost had a heart attack."
"I didn't mean to," Aisha said softly.
"Don't give me that. You did too. You deliberately lied to me, and what's worse, Dad doesn't trust me anymore. You broke that trust Aisha, not me. Not only that, but you destroyed my trust. I don't trust you anymore Aisha. It's going to take a long time to build that back."
"I'm sorry," Aisha said quietly.
"Good, but that doesn't change things. You're not going to charm your way out of this one. Not with me at least. You're going to have to earn my trust again."
* * *
"You do realize you're grounded, right?" John Park said as he sat down next to his son on the bed. Adam had changed into his warmest sweat suit and was huddled under a blanket.
Adam kept his gaze locked on his lap. "Yes sir."
"Adam, I'm disappointed in you. Your mother said to wait until I came home before you went anywhere. At the very least you should have told your mother you were leaving. You worried us."
"I'm sorry,"Adam said quietly, not looking up. He blinked back tears as his father berated him. He hadn't meant to get into any trouble. He didn't want to worry his mom; he loved his mom."I didn't mean to."
"You didn't think, Adam. Aisha could have been seriously hurt. She almost was; what would you have done then?"
"I don't know! But she wasn't, so why are you all mad at me?" Adam cried, looking up at his father.
"I'm not mad at you, Adam, but what you did. You have more intelligence than this. You need to learn to use it and not be dragged along for the ride. Do you understand me?"
"Yes sir,"Adam nodded, his eyes back on his lap.
John Park sighed."Adam, the issue isn't if Aisha was hurt. It's that you lied to your mother and went somewhere without telling us. Next time I expect you to use better judgment."
"I know,"Adam whispered.
Before John could continue, Katie bounded in. "Daddy, Mommy wants to talk to you," She told her daddy before she climbed up on to the bed.
"I'll be right back."
Adam nodded miserably.
Katie frowned and then flung her arms around her brother's shivering form. "I think you're a hero,"She told him before kissing his cheek.
"You're the only one,"Adam told her.
lang=FR style="mso-ansi-language: FR">"Nuh uh,"Katie retorted. "Aisha's daddy thinks yous really brave too, cuz you went inta the hole with Aisha but he's really mad too, cuz you shouldnta been there."
Adam smiled a little, and hugged his sister back. "Thanks Katie."
problema," She told him, a bright smile spreading across her face.