By the time I was 10, though, I’d grown tired of playing games in the street. I wanted to explore The Abyss. My friend Mackenzie did too.
One summer morning, we stole into the woods. It was overcast, and under the thick canopy of trees, our eyes strained to see. We followed an overgrown trail and stuck together.
A mile or so in, we came to a big ravine. The trail stopped there. The ravine was wide, and the terrain ascended steeply on both ends.
“What should we do?” Mackenzie said.
“Want to keep going?” I said, hoping she wanted to turn back.
“I guess,” she said, peering over the edge.
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll go first.”
I was scared, but I wasn’t about to show it. I got down on my belly and scooted back toward the edge.
“Be careful,” Mackenzie said, as I began to lower myself down.
The descent was so steep, the ground so loose that I had to hang onto roots. I struggled to find footholds. My arms shook. I had to constantly wipe dirt from my face.
When I was almost down to ground level, I spotted something wedged into a crevasse. The light was quite dim, and I wasn’t sure what it was. I leaned in for a closer look.
Now inches from the object, finally realizing what I was looking at, no longer feeling brave, I screamed.
“Cole?” Mackenzie shouted. “What’s wrong?”
“What is it?”
“Go back!” I cried, clambering back up.
I used to love Halloween, but I don’t go out anymore. I’m afraid I might see a kid dressed like a skeleton.