“Let’s go!” I didn’t have a clue what way she would take it. LauraLai walked on the edge. Either she would laugh me off, or we were were about to take an adventure.
“Fine!”, she stood up and went for the door. An adventure it is then.
I did not understand why then, but the moment I stepped towards the door, I felt as though I were stepping back in time. Like cosmic pieces were fitting into place around me, and I was hungrily satisfied, like starving man presented with his favorite food. I famished and ready to devour!
I’m not quite certain if our subconscious was in play, but checking out a scary property in the middle of the day with a “No trespassing” sign prominently posted worked to our advantage.
“I don’t know. Anyone driving by can see us walking around and get the plate number. I’m not afraid of ghosts and haunted houses, but I am afraid of my dad if the cops haul us in for trespassing.”
“Yeah, no sense being stupid about it. But you know, when we drove up, there was a gravel road leading off that curve that looks like it comes up the back of the property.”
“Yeah, but wasn’t there a gate?”
“Sure, but I didn’t see any kind of sign.” The silence was of their mouths only while their brains worked out the technicalities. “Not scared of a little walk, are you?”, LauraLai taunted.
“Let’s do it.” The drive was strangely silent as both were caught in their own thoughts of possibilities. At the gate they got out and looked around. No signs posted, they were not concerned about trespassing charges, and climbed the gate.
Gravel crunched under their feet as their steps slowly increased in speed as if they required their location quickly in order to alleviate their anxiety. This realization exploded in nervous laughter as they mutually, but in silence acknowledged their lack of breath. Laughter was a much better excuse for a break. They did not need to continue much further to renew their sense of breathlessness.
A few more paces down the path they came to a white two story house, hidden within the woods surrounded by fields. As if each tree were placed with the house’s inhabitants in mind, the woods enclosed the home on three sides with a single tree dominating the front yard.
There was no question that this house had been inhabited since the time of old Ivan. The lawn chairs tumbled across the front porch and yard were recently manufactured, and looked as though they had only recently been abandoned. Abandoned they surely had been, for the seats showed the wear of age with leaves tangled in odd positions.
“I’ve never heard of this house.”
“Just because you’ve never left Circlehallow doesn’t’ mean you know everything about it!”
“Hey! That’s not nice! I’ll bet you’re too chicken to go up and peek inside.”
One look around was all it took. “Done!” It was obviously abandoned and far off the road. Not likely to incur anyone’s wrath, they started forward, first the one, then the other.
Not but a few paces forward they noticed the tire swing. There was no wind. There was only one side from which any wind could come, and that was they side they were one. No tree rustled, not even the leaves on the lawn chairs nearby, and yet the tire swing rocked, back and forth, back and forth.
They didn’t scream. They didn’t consult one another. They just ran.