"Today's the day," he thought, regretting the moment when he agreed to mow the the huge tangle of grass and weeds that was his backyard. The size of a small soccer field, the backyard had a playground, oak trees, fir trees, a wide assortment of weeds and small animals, as well as a grove of apple trees in the back of the yard.
David lay in bed, staring blankly at the ceiling, fully awake but wishing that he didn't have to get up. He had been avoiding the task for weeks, finding one excuse or another, hoping that his mother would finally give up and mow the backyard herself. Today however, David had no more excuses left, as just yesterday, he had completed the final exam of his second year of high school. To top it off, none of his friends wanted to hang out today.
Sighing as he pushed himself out of bed, David marched on toward the bathroom. He eased the tap open, splashed cold water on his face, and tried to remember the last time he'd taken the creaky rusted old lawnmower out of the garage.
A month ago, the grass had grown so high that the lawnmower would sputter and die every few meters, its blades clogged with grass trimmings. From what David could tell from glancing out of the bathroom window, the grass had grown back longer then it had been before.
"David! You said you'd mow the backyard today!" cried David's mother.
"I know what I said! I'll do it, just gimme a sec!"
With one last glance at his reflection, David walked out of the bathroom, through the hall, and into the kitchen to grab his cellphone, a granola bar and a bottle of water. It was hot outside and he was getting hungry, so he stuffed the granola bar in his left pant pocket and took a sip of the water before stuffing the bottle into his other pocket.
David walked toward the back door, pulled on a pair of raggedy sneakers that he stopped wearing last year, and stepped outside.
It was almost overwhelming, the heat, the humidity. Even though he'd dressed in a pair of white cargo shorts and matching white t-shirt, David was already getting uncomfortable. Nevertheless, he had a job to do, so he walked around the house to the garage, and yanked on the garage door handle.
The door slid open, revealing the dark and musty interior of the garage. No one in David's family drove, so the garage was mostly unused except for some tools, a few bicycles, some cardboard boxes full of cobwebs, and the lawnmower. David took a minute to let his eyes adjust to the light, and proceeded to wheel the lawnmower out of the garage, sliding the door closed behind him.
After a few hours, David was exhausted but almost finished. The only part of the backyard left unmowed was at the far end of the yard, next to the grove of tangled weeds and young trees surrounding three emaciated apple trees. David could remember when he used to climb the apple trees when he was younger, but now he could barely see their trunks, let alone climb them, due to all the greenery that had grown around the trees.
David blamed himself partly, as the reason the grove was so overgrown was because over the years he'd forgotten to trim the weeds around it. There was no way he was going to tackle that challenge now though, not today.
David continued weaving a lazy spiral around the apple tree grove with the mower, when suddenly he heard a sharp clank. The lawnmower sputtered and died, shooting out what seemed to be a black piece of metal into the grove surrounding the apple trees. With a thunk, the object hit something in the grove.
David cringed as he pushed down on the handles, raising the lawnmower up so he could take a look at what he'd hit. He was surprised to see that there was nothing but half-cut grass and weeds underneath. Confused, David walked around to the front of the mower so that he could look at the blades. One of the blades was slightly dented, but there was no trace of what had caused the damage.
Shrugging, David yanked on the lawnmower's pullcord and while it started up easily enough, it made a horrible noise as the dented blade scraped against the inside of the mower, eventually sputtering to a halt. Unable to continue mowing the yard, David became curious, what was this mystery piece of metal that he'd run over?