The Ghost of Alma Matterson
Chapter 3: [ctrl-z]

"I don't care about your erosion or leaves. Last one to the water is a rotten egg.!" Tad challenged.

And they were off! 

When Alma wanted to run, he could run faster than the wind. He swept down the slope, and in no time was a good twenty paces in front of the group.

He breezed over the trails and rocks, but a root reached out and grabbed the laces of shoes. Alma tumbled down the mountain.

Head over heels he fell. He crashed against stumps and sharp stones. He flipped no fewer than three times. If he had not grabbed a passing log, he would have fallen off the fifteen foot embankment into the sharp rocks of the creek.

The world had a strange way of punishing you whenever you stepped out of the social norm. Punishment never came from the fingers of an adult, but the world itself could be very cruel.

There was a large gash on Alma's right shoulder. It was a warning. They should stop their play. They should return to home. Maybe they could join Mary in the church project. They could return to Sunday school, or do their home work. Make no waves and the world would be kind.

But Alma had already gone too far. His stubborn streak was stronger than a simple bruise. He double clicked on his shoulder. He could see the laceration. He could see the dirt and blood in its gory detail. He right clicked on the center of the wound and selected zoom. He hit [ctrl-z], He hit [ctrl-z] again. The cut was too deep to simply back out.  

If he went to the doctor, it would require stitches—perhaps twelve or more. He right clicked and hit zoom again. He could see the torn blood vessels in the skin. He could see the white and red blood cells trying to repair the would. Mixed within the dirt were some foreign bodies. Perhaps this was the start of an infection?

Alma right clicked and hit zoom again. He could now see the cell structure of his skin. He could see the membrane and nucleus. The next zoom level would show the DNA structure. No, this wasn't the right approach.

Alma had healed some of his smaller cuts and bruises by simply rebuilding the cells of his skin. But this bruise was too large. What he needed to do was to delete the entire damaged area, and restore from backup.

Of course, That's it! Alma had come across a backup of himself several months earlier while checking out the archive log. He only wanted to restore the shoulder. He would need to perform a delete, a select and insert. Since they would all have the same where clause, it would be cake.

Alma began executing commands. Examining the quick repair job, he hit commit and popped back on his feet as good as new.

"Are you okay" asked Todd.

"Not a scratch." Alma smiled.

"I really think we should go home," added Martin with a worried tone.

Alma smiled. "It was just a tumble. It didn't even break the skin." Alma pointed to bright shiny peach colored shoulder. There wasn't even a mark. "We came to swim, and there is the swimming hole. It's right past those bushes."

Tad and Martin looked toward the creek. The boys had found their childhood paradise. They was a swinging rope, a beach, and even an old box for a fort. Tad was just about to crash through the undergrowth, when Alma let free with a final warning: "Hey, watch out. Those green leaves are poison sumac."

The boys worked their way around yet another trap of nature, then forgot their worries and fears and began to search their new playground. This swimming hole needed to become the second home of the Free Body club.

Tad and Alma made a flag pole from a dead branch, and a flag from a discarded piece of yellow linen. "I claim this pool and all surrounding lands in the name of the the Free Body club. We are the noble savages!" 

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