I’m new to this, so I’ll start with a question: How do you tell a story when you don’t have the words? Is it with the poignant, yet misguided hope that after a thousand words, your descriptions, however vivid will have matched the intensity of a single picture? I’ve never bought into that. Sure, I believe that you can make the recollection of facts and feelings heartfelt. You can imbue it with as much power and emotion that it’s reasonable to believe that you can put into printed words. But I’ve always felt that, however skilled the writer, the story itself always lacks the intensity and immediateness of the actual events. Of course, I won’t lie and claim that nobody has ever accused me of being a skeptic.
Why then, you may ask, am I writing this? It’s simple. I’m perfectly fine with the idea of you walking away having only experienced a fraction of what I myself did. The true ramifications and impacts of my life’s narrative are my own, and I’m glad to be able to keep them as such. That being said, I don’t mind allowing you to skim the surface. By means of introduction, the name of this particular body of water Peter Locke. I would offer you a handshake, but the limitations of the form of communication which I’ve selected have rendered that rather impossible. I can’t offer you any promises as to how deep into the waters of “Loch Peter” I’ll let you dive, or even how deep the waters actually are. I can, however, provide you with enough information to hopefully allow you to come to your own conclusions on that matter. I’ll start at the beginning.
I was born in the small town of Youth Springs, Illinois. As hackneyed a way as any to start off a story, I know, but I feel that the word “small” fits the quaintness of my little slice of the world to a tee. It’s a small place, full of small minds. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way. The people who live here are by no means stupid, but most of the time I feel as though their outlooks don’t do them the good courtesy off allowing them to see past the city limits of a town where the most interesting thing that happens all year is the lighting of the community Christmas tree. That’s the type of environment I grew up in: one wrapped assuredly in its blanket of near-uniform blandness.
I wish that I could say my family was the exception to this rule, but they abide by it just as well as the rest. There’s my father Martin, who’s a deputy to the town sheriff. He’s a good man, but more often than not, he comes home with a defeated look on his face. I can only assume that being the deputy in a town where nothing ever happens is sort of like being paid to watch paint dry. He never complains, but I can see that deep down he longs for something interesting to happen for once. I think that I can relate to him more than anyone else in Youth Springs.
Then there’s my mother, Elaine. Her days are spent as a stay-at-home mom, keeping the house in order, and taking care of the things that need to be done in order to ensure a comfortable life for her family. Unlike my father, she seems perfectly content with this existence. I think that she feels safe in knowing that nothing interesting ever happening means that nothing dangerous ever will, either. I don’t know whether she’s always been that way, or if she became that way after the births of me and my younger sister, Cady.
Cady, who at the age of fourteen is two years younger than me, is my eternal confidant. While I don’t think that she’s any less content with the way that things are around here than anyone else in the town, she at least makes the occasional attempt to understand me. Granted, she does so with all the charm of a swarm of angry bees, but beggars can’t be choosers. It is in her that I confide my desire for something more, for excitement, adventure, anything so long as it would break this unending cycle of monotony.Wish as I might though, nothing in Youth Springs ever changed. The people would continue to go about their lives unperturbed by anything that anyone in their right mind would see fit to deem even the slightest bit interesting. For sixteen years, this was my life. It was, that is, until the day that this story begins, the day that changed everything. After all was said and done, I can assure you that never again did I think of Youth Springs as boring.