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Summer Song Challenge: The Start of Summer

Title: The Start of Summer
Fandom: Original
Prompt: “Up around the Bend” by John Fogerty
Medium: Fic
Size: 1198 words
Rating: PG 13
Warnings: nudity
Summary/Preview: Bernd hears a song that heralds the start of summer for him…
Author’s note: Please note that Amber and James belong to Kat; I’m just mentioning them in this fic. Also thanks go out to Kat for pinking this for me.




Bernd paused, spoon in mid-air, when he realized it was playing on the radio. It was an old song; Vati said it was from when he was a kid. To Bernd, it heralded the start of summer. He finished eating his breakfast and quickly washed the dishes.

He hurried up to his room. Bernd took off his t-shirt and stood there in his boxers in front of his dresser, trying to figure out if he should wear jeans or shorts. Jeans won out, since he was planning on riding his horse, but he grabbed a pair of shorts as well. He stuffed those in his messenger bag along with the book he was reading. He pulled out his favorite t-shirt, an old faded green one with the Heineken logo on it. Bernd quickly got dressed.

Grabbing his messenger bag and his iPod, Bernd headed back downstairs to the kitchen. He rummaged around the cabinets, and finding the peanut butter, he made a sandwich. Bernd stuffed it, a bag of chips, and a thermos of lemonade in his bag.

Bernd poked his head into his father’s study. “Hey, Vati! I’m going riding!”

Wolfgang looked up. Marking his place in the book, he was reading, he said, “Will you be back for lunch?”

“No, but I have a peanut butter sandwich and a snack and a drink. I’ll be up by the creek.”

“Have fun.”

“Bye!” Bernd quickly left the house. He practically flew to the stable. “Let’s go riding, Blitzkrieg!” he called out as he entered the cool interior. His horse, a big black Friesian, whinnied in reply. Bernd headed to the tack room and returned with the saddle, bridle, and a handful of horse treats he stuffed in his pockets.

Setting the tack down, Bernd opened Blitzkrieg’s stall. He entered and the horse walked over to him. He chuckled and fished a treat out of his pocket. He offered it to his horse. Blitzkrieg’s soft velvety lips tickled as he ate the treat. He blew warm horsey breath at Bernd as he nosed around for more, which Bernd fed him.

Grabbing on to his halter, Bernd led the horse out of the stall. He attached a lead and tied it to the metal ring in the wall. He sang softly as he put the saddle pad on, “Bring a song and a smile for the banjo… Better get while the getting’s good...We’re going to ride the wind… We’re going to ride the wind…” He put the saddle on Blitzkrieg and tightened the girth. Bernd put on the bridle. “Come on and ride the wind… We’re going up around the bend… Ooh!”

Leading his horse out of the stable, Bernd sang the first verse, “There’s a place up ahead and I’m going… Come away; come away if you’re going…” He mounted and sang, “We’re going up around the bend… We’re going up around the bend…” He hummed the tune, not knowing the lyrics, as he urged Blitzkrieg into a trot. By the time he had passed the house, he was cantering towards the meadow where the creek was. They may not have really been riding the wind, but it always felt like it to Bernd, another reason he liked the song. “We’re going up around the bend…”

Blitzkrieg jumped over the low hedge that grew along the meadow’s edge. Bernd’s father had said it was there to probably keep the cows from invading the house. Bernd always found that funny as they never had any cows, but one of the places he liked to explore when he was younger, was the remains of what could have been a barn on their neighbor’s property, before it was torn down and the property further divided. He raced through the meadow to his favorite spot, a shady area under an old willow tree, near the creek.

When he was close enough, he slowed his horse to a walk. Bernd dismounted and taking off the saddle and bridle, he let Blitzkrieg loose to graze in the meadow. Setting the tack down, he made himself comfortable under the tree and pulled out his book. He read, while keeping half an eye on his horse.

After a while Bernd got tired of reading. It was hot under the tree and the creek looked so inviting. He had often swum in it, so he knew it was deep enough, but he had forgotten to pack his swimming trunks. Shrugging, Bernd stripped down to his skin. He could have pulled on the shorts he had brought with him, but skinny-dipping would leave no evidence of swimming alone, something his father warned him against. Bernd figured he could put them on, after he was done swimming. He padded out to the bank, walking gingerly as he was not used to running around barefoot yet. He stepped into the creek. It was cold, but refreshing, especially since the day promised to be a hot one.

Bernd walked out to where his lower half was covered. He splashed some water on his upper torso, before getting completely wet. He swam just long enough to get it out of his system, before heading out onto the creek bank. He used his hands to help get the water off himself and dry off. Bernd walked back to the willow. Afraid of getting badly sunburned as he was very pale, he reluctantly got dressed. His only consolation was that he put on the shorts instead of his jeans. Bernd left his feet bare. He read another chapter, while wriggling his toes in the grass under the tree.

Feeling hungry, Bernd reached for his messenger bag and took out his lunch. Opening the thermos, he drank from it. He also ate his sandwich, while his read his book. Without even realizing he was doing it, Bernd hummed along to the snatches of song playing in his head. Normally, that would have been annoying, but he so engrossed in his book, he ignored everything around him including his humming. When it finally did intrude on his consciousness, Bernd pulled out his iPod and listened to it.

The afternoon sped by almost as fast as the pages in his book were turning. By the time he had finished it, it was late afternoon. Bernd put the book and his iPod away, and changed into his jeans. He whistled for his horse.

Blitzkrieg lifted his head. He came trotting over to his young master, hoping he had treats. The horse was not disappointed when Bernd fed him a few as he saddled him up. One last treat and the bridle was on. Bernd found it a bit harder to get on his horse without a leg up, but somehow he managed. They slowly made their way home.

“There’s a place up ahead and I’m goin’… Come along, come along with me…” As far as Bernd was concerned, today was the perfect start to his summer. The only thing could have made it better would have been hanging out with his best friends, James and Amber, but sadly they had summer jobs that started today. So he made the best of it and he was glad he had.

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