“Careful. Not too close to the edge,” Danny’s mom said from the safety of the hiking trail.
Danny nodded and stepped back from a large rock. This wasn’t the normal hiking trail he and his mom usually took. This one had a big drop off with a deep valley that looked like it stretched on forever.
“I like this place,” he said.
His mom nodded. “This was one of your father’s favorite places to go, even as a child.” She smiled. “I remember a story he told me once, about a time he went hiking when he was just about your age, eight or nine. He’d dropped something important to him.” She creased her brow, pain in her eyes. “I can’t remember what, now.”
Sadness flooded Danny’s chest. He hated seeing how much his dad’s death still affected her, even a year later. Especially as the memories faded.
He swallowed back tears and glanced down. A small section of flat ground jutted from below the rock he was on with just enough space for a person to get a better view. There were a few pieces of trash strewn about and footprints from previous hikers. “Can I climb down?”
She blinked and looked up. “Are you sure you won’t fall?”
“Yeah. There’s a little spot down here where I can stand. It looks like lots of people have gone down.”
“Be careful.” She pressed her lips together.
He uttered a little whoop and strategically placed each foot until he stood on solid ground, then looked up. He was right. The view from here was so much better.
“Hey, ma! You should come down here, too! It’s really cool.”
His eyes fell on a small rock tucked just under the larger one on which he’d stood. It was smooth and had an odd bluish hue to it. It would make the perfect addition to his growing rock collection he had at home.
He bent to retrieve it but found something else underneath. The object was small, square and looked like it might be leather. He cracked it open. “Look what I found! It’s a wallet, I think.”
Danny climbed back up to the hiking trail. His fingers flipped through old baseball cards and a wooden coin with a stamp of a local business printed on the front.
“Is there any identification?” His mom stood close to inspect his new treasure.
He slipped his fingers inside the front flap and pulled out a yellowed card with a child’s handwriting. “Daniel Harding.”
His mom gasped.
The boy’s eyes went wide. “Mom. I think we just found dad’s wallet.”
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2018