I grew up on an island off the coast of New England called Martha’s Vineyard. It is a special place to me. My earliest memories are of the woods and golden sunlight on green grass that was just mowed. Insects reflect light buzzing in the heavy air. The trees are filled with leaves of dark hunter green. Cookouts and gatherings, fellowship, love, laughter, and song.
When the winter hits there is not a soul around…but silence and the falling of trees.
The house my father built stands strong on post and beam. As a child I imagined it was a castle. It was right around the time Robin Hood was made into a movie with Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman. I fell in love with the art of swordplay using sticks and some times knives. Usually it was imaginary…my mind had a powerful imagination…looking back I see trouble in that little boys eyes that could not have been stopped.
One day the kid is home from school and is feeling like he is ready to become a ninja. At this point I think the kid is obsessed with 3 Little Ninjas, and looked like tum tum. But with no one around to play fight with, the kid searches for something to fill the need for companionship and action and rush and excitement…anything that made this kid feel alive he did.
Before he can even remember the kid is on a scooter headed out of town before his father finds him.
The plan was simple. What was complicated is the consequence…because what is real and what is fantasy to a young boy hopped up off of soda and candy and Hollywood?
The filet knife rested in a brown leather sheath. It was just like a sword and the kid felt dangerous, just like his hero Robin who ran around the hood and made bad into good.
The afternoon sun is laying low before it has to go to bed. The trees still have a look of life. The air was crisp with a bite of cold of air. Enough to see a faint wisp of breath.
He stared across the driveway to the neighbors land. There was a path that connected the two houses. It was worn in and could tell of many feet pressed into the brown earth of dead leaves.
Crouching low, the kid moved in stealth down the driveway that sloped up a small hill to the house.
In his mind, he really has no idea what is going on, and the reason for the target is even more complicated. But nothing was going to change the plan to fix what went wrong.
What did go wrong?