There were three of them, all boys. They lived on the same street in the same town and had known each other since their diaper sporting days. Fourteen years later, they are a little older, not much wiser and still inseparable.
During summer vacations the boys spent their days at the local swimming pool cooling off and ogling girls in skimpy swimsuits, which revealed more skin than they ever saw in school. Yes, they were normal healthy hormone riddled boys.
It happened that year when the swimming pool closed mid-season and left the boys to find some other way to occupy their time. So Sam and Elliot met Brady at his house to put their heads together and come up with a plan. Quite a few schemes were tossed out on the table, each more outlandish than the last.
“I have an idea,” Sam blurted out. “What about the caves along the bluff down by the river?” The other two looked at him like he was totally nuts. Sam was the mischievous one of the trio, a good kid, and never afraid to take a risk, even if it landed him in trouble. But this idea was intriguing, so they fell silent to stew on it for a bit.
Elliot, who had the most common sense of them all, was the first to break the silence, and he didn’t like the idea. “I heard that cave is haunted,” he said softly, sure that Sam would laugh.
“Ha, ha, ha” Sam chided. Elliot knew he would laugh. “Chicken?” Sam shot at him. “Who you calling’ chicken” Elliot snapped, but slunk back down not wanting to push it.
“Hey, I’ve heard about that cave,” said Brady, he was the in-between kind of kid, not totally wild but not meek either.
“I guess some of the high school kids used it as party central last year. But then a girl died there, and that’s when the cops closed off the opening so no one could get inside.”
“Well that sounds a lot like an invitation to me” Sam mused.
“Wait there’s more,” Brady cut in, “some say it was used for rituals and mystical stuff long ago. It’s been called “the dwelling of the Great Spirit” or something.” Brady trailed off he could see his friends were over the history lesson.
“Ooooo” taunted Sam, “I’m going there and I double dog dare you guys to come with me.” He goaded.
“It could be trouble,” said Elliot.
“Yeah, which makes it just about the best idea I’ve had all summer” Sam grinned and lifted his eyebrows in an unspoken challenge.
Jeez, Elliot thought, he was a guy after all and when another guy throws down a dare you have to take it or be labeled a wuss for the rest of your life, so he conceded. Then Brady agreed to it too and so it was decided. They made their pact, swearing an oath to follow through with it no matter what happened.
The boys headed out of the house to start the mile long trek to the bluff. They were excited about the adventure, even Elliot. Causally they walked along the trail, laughing and joking in the hot afternoon sun completely unaware of what they were about to unleash.
To be continued …..
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