The Amazing Discovery
On one cloudy night Chris and his friend Malik were walking downtown in the historical area of Edenton, North Carolina. Malik was a rather quiet person. He only had limited friends. He didn’t talk much. on the other hand, Chris was a much more curious person, outspoken and talkative. They were both in the same schools growing up and never really talked much, but they began becoming friends when they both joined the JV basketball team in high school.
They walked past St. Paul’s Episcopal churchyard and Chris decided to wander inside the low, brick walls.
“Where are you going?” asked Malik.
“Checking out the church! Stop being chicken. Come on.”
Malik and Chris lurked around the building and just as they creeped in they heard someone talking on a phone.
“Yeah, I’ll be home at midnight. I took the night shift. What you cook tonight?”
“That must be his wife and he must be a security guard,” whispered Chris.
“Why do they need a security guard at a church?” replied Malik.
“I don’t know”, Chris said, “but whatever reason, I don’t think we are welcomed guests.”
“Do you know what this means? There is something inside the church they’re trying to hide. I want it,” Chris said. As soon as Chris said that the man turned his flashlight on.
The boys quickly ducked behind some bricks and hid.
The light of the beam wandered over the bricks. Footsteps boomed as the guard got closer. Malik got so paranoid he froze. Chris nearly cried.
The sound of the guard rattled the ground as he went passed.
The boys waited about five minutes before Malik took his phone out for a light. Carved on the bricks were the faded, eroded initials JW.
“JW?” said Malik. “What’s that?”
“I don’t know,” said Chris, “but whatever it is we have to find out. Maybe it’s government weapons guarded by the Feds being kept in a church to throw us off. Who knows? All I konw is whatever’s in the church, I’ve got to have it. Look. You see that window up there? It’s cracked.”
“Oh, no, no, no!” Malik said. “You’re not about to drag me into your little adventures like you have in the past. Remember what happened last time? Where we ended up? Them beds was hard and the bars was cold. It’s not happening, dude. No way.”
“Come on. Just a quick look in and out. I know th eperfect way to get in there. Just have to wait until midnight when the shifts change. It should give us a little time. What time is it now?”
“Ok. So we have seven minutes to stack these bricks high enough to reach the window and not get caught by the guard. I say no more than 30 bricks will do it. What you think?” Chis asked.
“About a million,” answered Malik hyperbolically. “You see how high that window is?”
“Stop being such a baby,” Chris teased. “It’s 12 o’clock. Are you ready?”
“Yeah, I guess,” Malick said.
“Ok, I’ll go first. Come on, Malik,”
“It’s dark in here,” said Chris, “I need your phone.”
“Hold your horses. I’m coming.”
“Where’s your phone? How do I get to your flashlight?”
“Right here, Chris,” Malik responded. “I swear you’re as blind as a bat.”
“Never mind about the flashlight. I think we’re about to fins out this whole ‘JW’ thing is about.” Malik looked as Chris pointed to a door. “See that door over there? Let’s go in and see what’s on the other side!”
As Chris and Malik walked in, Malik caught a strange feeling. “I don’t think we should be in here,” Malik said nervously.
“There you go with your baby issues again,” Chris responded.
As they entered a large room, the only thing they saw was JW. Everywhere they looked JW covered the walls, like a monument to honor whoever JW was.
“Look here! I found this old book open to his page. JW was a multi-skilled slave named Joe Welcome that lived long ago,” Chris aid with excitement. “He was born right here in Edenton it says. He was a hard worker who worked on this church.”
“What type of work did he do?” Malik asked impatiently. “Turn the page.”
“Look!” Chris pointed to the book. “Joe Welcome was a talented man focused on his bricklaying, stone masonry and his plaster. Is that even possible without an education? I guess so.”
“Man, that’s just like my skills in basketball.” Malik teased.
“Yeah, only he was better,” Chris said.
“Whatever. Now you know what’s in this place so we can leave. I’m hungry,” Malik said.
“Ok, let’s go home,” Chris said. The boys crawled back through the window and slipped back through the gate.
From the corner of the church, an old man smiled and scratched his initials in the bricks.