My arm was getting sore from hammering the rock, so I took a break to eat some oreos. Jay took the hammer from me and went to work on the rock. We had made some serious dents and chips, but we hadn’t found any gold. So far.
“What are you gonna do with your share?” I asked, oreo crumbles spilling from my lips.
CRACK. CRACK. “Uh, I think–” CRACK. “–think I’ll buy a car,” Jay panted. He sat on his knees and swung the hammer in a top-down arc onto the big grey rock. He kept his other hand to his side so he wouldn’t smash it by accident.
“What kinda car?” I asked. My tummy rumbled. We only packed oreos, and I hadn’t eaten anything else since breakfast.
“A jag.” CRACK. WHAP. “What are you gonna do with yours?” CHICK. A big chip snapped off the rock and shot into Jay’s shirt. He brushed it away.
“I’ll get a PS4 and all the games,” I said. “I think I’m good now.”
Jay handed me the hammer, and scooted over to the bag of oreos.
After my first swing, I could feel my hand complain. The vibration from the hammer really irritated my palm.
“Maybe not,” I said.
“I think we’re dulling the hammer.”
“Dad’s gonna be pissed.”
Then I saw the antlers. I thought they were branches at first, until I saw them move on their own. The buck was surrounded by leaves and brush, but he poked his head out eventually. Jay saw him, too. We didn’t say anything, but I was sure Jay felt the same way I did–fear, at first, then curiosity. Maybe the buck felt the same, too.
Gracefully, he stepped through the trees and into the little clearing where me and Jay found the rock. I don’t know if the noise drew him out or what, but he lowered his great antlered head and sniffed at the black crumbles we left behind. He was so close, and so big, I was afraid he’d trample me. But I was excited, too.
I picked up an oreo that had fallen on the grass, and I twisted it. The buck watched me with its dark eyes. I held the half-oreo before him, cream-side up.
One step forward. Then another step. Jay was shaking, but he was looking back and forth between the buck and my hand. Gradually, the buck licked the oreo. Once, twice. Then he seemed to sneeze, turned his head, and disappeared into the trees where he came.
It was the closest thing to gold we found that day.
Today’s three prompt categories were, “Antlers,” “An oreo disaster,” and, “Gold.”
I guess the oreos weren’t a disaster, other than a tummy ache. But oreos are always amazing. They are never disastrous. Did you know that you can make oreo peanut butter? For real.