NaNoPrep 2015 Day 5: The Box

by Robin de Voh on October 15th, 2015

"I told you we shouldn't have buried it out here," I whispered. She didn't respond at all, just kept walking through the dark. We were weaving between the trees in the small park. It was late but not late enough that there wouldn't be people we could bump into. We weren't doing anything illegal, but I know myself, I'd get awkward and nervous if anyone looked at us a little too long.

She stopped walking and sighed, then turned to me slowly.

"Look," she whispered at me, "you didn't. You said there might be better places but you also said you couldn't really come up with any specific ones. So stop being so incredibly negative and just help me look."

She was right. I did and I hadn't.

"Fine, you're right."
"I know. Now let's just get this over with," she said while turning around again. She started pushing bushes out of the way.

It had been months, and while I had a feeling I should still know where it was, I just didn't recognize any of it. When I closed my eyes I could see us go to a certain spot, dig a hole, drop it in and fill it up again. We didn't completely cover it, it needed to still be visible, but I remember it being hard to find even in daylight.

"Why do we have to do this now, again?"
She sighed, "because during the day people might be looking for it and that would be weird."
"And why did I have to come?"
"Because I'm a girl in a park at nighttime and you're a gentleman. Also, I just didn't want to go alone. Now shush and find that damn thing."

A flash of a memory. Two bushes and a low-hanging branch. I looked around and saw several similar places. I started checking them out and at the second place I looked at I found what we were looking for.

"It's here," I said while dropping to my knees. With my hands I started digging it out.

It was a small metal box, with a laminated sticker on it that said 'GOAL'.

"Open it up," she said while rummaging through one of her coat pockets. "And hand me the notes."

It was rusty and opened with a pop. There were all kinds of pieces of paper in there, covered in thank yous and other, more creative words of appreciation. I gathered the notes and handed them to her.

"Thanks. Here," she handed me a handful of miniature plastic animals, "put those in there and close it, would you?"

The miniatures made a clanking sound as they dropped in. I closed and buried the box again, making sure a corner was still visible. Getting up, I dusted my knees off and tilted my head to signal we should get out of there.

She nodded.

As we walked out of the park, I felt the tension lessen.

"So, hey, I know you like this stuff, but don't you think you're taking it a little far?"
"No, I don't. And neither do the people who go looking for and find this geocache. I'm a part of giving people a puzzle to solve on their days off."
"I guess that's a good way of looking at it."
"Damn right it is."

We were walking and she lit a cigarette. I was thinking about what she'd said.

"So, okay. Do you want to do a geocache tomorrow? I'm interested to see how these things actually work."
She grinned, then exhaled a cloud of white smoke.

"I thought you'd never ask."


Author's note: This one was more an exercise in dialogue, which I've always felt was a weakness of mine. But you know what they say, practice makes decent!