“Come on now, get out of there.”
Marcus was getting frustrated. As the oldest, it was always his job to protect his little brother, and that seemed to be no easy task. All Marcus wanted to do was curl up by the window and read a book, or play some board games. Danny always wanted to go on adventures.
“Danny, now!” Marcus shouted. But Danny didn’t listen. He never listens, Marcus thought.
Danny and Marcus lived with their parents in the town of Clemenson, on Lincoln Road. It used to be one of the nicer places in the area, when more factories were still in use. Now, people were out of jobs, homes were being foreclosed, and families were leaving, looking for better lives. Their parents stayed to continue running their fast food joint. As long as people still live here, we can keep this place going, their parents would say to them. And so they stayed, as friends, who were more like family than friends really, left town.
One of the big factories left behind used to make cars. Marcus and Danny weren’t around for it, but schoolkids their age were given tours of the building every now and then. Now, it was the unofficial homeless shelter. Its smokestacks seemed to pierce the clouds, and could be seen from anywhere in town. For Marcus, they were the highest structures he had ever seen, and he imagined cities with buildings that touched the sky like those smokestacks did.
The fence around it no longer served its purpose, as portions had fallen with bad weather and time. Therefore, it was no problem for Danny to make his way over to the factory’s walls, a broken window an arms length above him. Marcus called to him from outside the fallen fence.
“Danny! We have to go home! Let’s go!”
“Do you know what’s inside here, Marcus? I’ve never been in there.”
“Danny, you’re really making me mad. I need you to come here!”
“You’re so boring Marcus!”
Danny still didn’t pay attention. He took off his book bag and swung it through the window, turned around, and waved to Marcus in a come here gesture. Overgrown grass and weeds were all around the factory, growing in any crack they could find, as if mother nature was slowly reclaiming her land.
“Fine Marcus, you don’t have to come. I’m just going to go see, and then I’ll come back out and we’ll go home, okay?” And with that, Danny picked up a stick and cleaned off any remaining glass on the windowsill, and then pulled himself up and through.
Marcus had no idea what to do. No one was around. It was his job as the oldest to take care of his brother. He remembered his parents telling him that, and with determination he stomped over to the window. I swear I’m gonna beat him up. With that thought, he vaulted himself through the window, and landed right on top of Danny.
“Ow, get off me! Get off!” Danny whispered. He wasn’t yelling. Marcus rolled to the side, looked up, and saw the beautiful night sky. Beautiful night sky? Night sky? Marcus stood up quick and looked around. The moon was out…wait no, two moons were out? Where were they?
Ahead of them was a barren landscape. Nothing seemed to be growing, and the ground was hard and rocky as far as he could see. Marcus turned around, looking for the window, and found them on the edge of a cliff. He stumbled backwards once he saw the height they were at. Danny began crying.
“I’m so sorry Marcus, I’m so sorry,” Danny said, stumbling over his words. “I didn’t know this would happen, I just wanted to see some old cars, Marcus I’m so –.” Danny was cut off as Marcus pulled Danny’s head towards his chest and hugged him tight.
“It isn’t your fault. You’re gonna make an awesome explorer one day, you know that?” Marcus said to Danny. Danny smiled a little.
“You’re right, this is an adventure!” Danny exclaimed. As if on cue, the sound of a plane engine suddenly passed by overhead. Danny and Marcus looked up to see a vehicle, completely lit up by what must have been headlights, flying over the rocky, barren land ahead. And as they followed the lights of the aircraft, Marcus and Danny realized there were a few lights in the distance, the sort that would come from a house or a small village.
“I think that’s our only option,” Marcus said. “We’ll have to walk to those lights, because that probably means people.”
“And I’ll lead the way!” Danny said, standing up and placing his hands on his hips. “Come on, let’s go!”
Marcus rose, and he and Danny walked side by side towards the lights in the distance.