It had been a hot, long, and boring summer, all lonely days followed by lonely nights. His friends had gone away to summer camps, to vacations, to other countries, but here he was with nothing to do, no one to hang out with. Even his older brother wouldn’t play with him, he would just tell him to fuck off and go back to reading comics or talking to his friends.
Andrew had already spent much of the afternoon shooting at cans and bottles, to the point where he had riddled the few cans and bottles they had with so many holes they looked like a pieces of a modern art sculpture. He was bored. He looked around hoping to see someone, anyone to relieve the tedium of late August.
The snow had come in thick and dry that year with the texture of cotton. It lightly covered the mountainous landscape and the rough hills making the scraggly pines seem soft, even mystical, in the moonlight.
Magdalene leaned her face against the cold glass of the Suburban’s window as they headed up the steep incline that led to her family’s new house. The move from town had been rough for her. The house, though at first had seemed creepy and unique, now seemed to be nothing but hard work and misery. She was not built for a wood heated dilapidated house, preferring her mother’s upscale city apartment which had a small knob that one could turn to make the house hotter or cooler. It had none of the chopping wood in the night cold, none of the piling wood in her arms, getting scratched by the spiky wood, no having to carry loads of wood inside to the foyer of the old mining mill.
The city place also had none of the weirdness that the ancient house her dad bought seemed to possess. With the old mine sitting less than 200 feet from their front door, Magdalene shivered. The gaping hole led down into a black world that no one alive knew about any more; only the dead miners could remember those paths through the great mountains. Her father never failed to remind her.
“Stay out of that mine, Maggie, it isn’t safe.”