Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Mile and a Half up the Road

I don’t know why I said okay. I was never exactly the life of the party, and people spoke without the slightest bit of sarcasm when they called me a wet blanket, a Debbie Downer, etcetera, etcetera. On that day, though, I was something different. I said okay.

We were just going to peek around, they said.

We walked about a mile and a half to get there, and the place looked more like a precarious pile of rubble than a house. Paint that looked blue at its origin was now pale and peeling; the metal shingles plagued with coarse rust. The porch steps sagged, tired with decay and the weight of a thousand past footsteps. Prickly overgrowth covered the yard in a thick snare and vines snaked around the sides of the house like barbed wire; nature’s way of saying KEEP OUT.

Of course we didn’t.

The four of us ventured to the back, where a huge metal sheet was propped up against the house at the perfect angle for us to climb up and squeeze through the open window. Midsummer heat pulsed inside the walls like a rampant fever, but none of us seemed to mind. There were places to go; things to see.

All of the rooms upstairs were empty save for one, where a lone wooden chair sat in front of an ancient television fixed with antennas and knobs. I stood at the threshold with my best friend, keenly aware that we both felt the same unease; the feeling of having invaded something so long undisturbed, of having tiptoed uninvited into the sterile wake of a stranger’s life. We left it behind, never stepping inside.

Down to the basement; down to the dark. Here was where the heart of the fever panged the hardest; here is where the traces of my sweat still sit crystallized in the dust. We shuffled wide-eyed and wary on the gritty cement floor with nothing but cellphones to guide our way. Here was a jukebox, here was a pinball machine, here were glass Coke bottles; here were countless other orphaned treasures.

It was so much more than those things. My friends and I had strayed into a secret world, one that could’ve come crashing down upon our heads at any moment; one that could have held hideous monsters in its dusty corners. Nobody would have known either way.
I didn’t know it then, but exploring that old house a mile and a half up the road was the last great experience of my childhood, a time where risk is called adventure. Time has passed and our directions have changed, and as I look back I can’t help but wonder if any of them remember that day; that secret world a mile and a half up the road.

Now it’s time to grow up.



Join the Discussion


This article has 1 comment. Post your own!

CammySThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 4, 2012 at 9:49 am:
I loved this! I can't think of a single thing wrong. Great, great job! I love the description and the plot. Hope you get your scholarship!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback