The old railway kids
“You reckon she will follow us tonight then?” Callum asked in his naturally laid back voice.
“Knowing her, yes, but I really don’t care, she has got me into enough trouble with the rents!” Scott had a tone of bitterness in his voice, describing the local nosey gossip, although he didn’t need to act like he didn’t care. After being grounded for drinking (amongst other things) off his parents several times they had given up much hope with him. Lucy however remained silent – she promised she wouldn’t go there again. Scott, still quite annoyed at the thought of being grounded noticed Lucy’s uncharacteristic stillness.
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It was the ultimate in stereotyped Halloweens’. The moon casting eerie shadows through the bare branched trees that moved in the light yet chilling wind, onto the straight, slightly cracked, concrete path, the street lights glared out a dim orange light onto faces of the young kids dressed up, in old bed sheets and bin bags holding a carved pumpkin to the best of their ability, while a parent who had been given the job of escorting their child around neighbourhood houses walked grudgingly alongside. They weren’t young kids anymore though.
The usual gang of ‘youths’ had given up any hope of generating money off people for their efforts in dressing up for the occasion with a pathetic mask bought from the local newsagents, and had gone to do what the stereotyped ‘Halloween’ also associated them to do. Armed with a bottle of stolen vodka from the local corner shop, they set out to do just that.
The three young rebels clambered, and fell hastily down the steep, muddy hill to the shadowed darkness of the wood. Past the houses and roads. They went to the place in the shadows of the small, yet shockingly intimidating forest they knew only too well; It was out of the way of everywhere and used to be the host of a small railway line that used to run to the neighbouring mining towns’, that had since been ripped up. All remained was a natural path covered with a thick mud at the slightest hint of any moisture in the air. A popular route for dog walkers in daylight. Along each side was a cliff face of chipped and jagged grey rock than ran up to at least twenty-five foot high, in a few odd places the rock had once been enforced with cheap looking red bricks cliffs to sustain the rock from the trauma of common railway works. At some parts were the cliff face itself was a towering red brick wall with an odd bit of rock overhanging or a tree root showing that managed to appear trough the bricks from the odd few trees stationed on the top of the cliffs, that swayed in the chill wind.
The teens meeting place; along the hidden path down past the nearest estate that brought them in a small cove in the rock, made when the rock was first blasted away to make room for the railway, now equipped with little log seats and a circle of blackened stones where on several occasions they built a fire as the centrepiece of their drunken nights there. Scott, Callum and Lucy all took their usual seats around the charred ground enclosed by the stones. Callum broke the silence as he piled sum partially dry leaves together and searched for his lighter:
“What’s up with you tonight?” He asked sounding fairly concerned as he passed the bottle to Scott. Lucy, her arms crossed, shivering with the cold opened her mouth to explain how she promised her parents she wouldn’t be where she was. Something stopped her immediately. It was like an icy wind except it was like nothing they’ve ever experienced anywhere ever before. Whatever it was shot directly through them all sending leaves flying swiftly into an invisible vortex above their heads to the cliff tops.
“What was that!” Callum said in a whisper as if something was watching them, daring not to look around, especially not to the cliff-tops where the few trees stood forebodingly over them. Deadly silence prevailed.
“The sight of drink sending you spinning! You lightweight!” Scott laughed at him, not letting his pride go flying with the leaves into the darkness beyond.
“You can’t say you didn’t feel that!” Lucy exclaimed in a scared murmur, linking arms with Callum.
“Its Halloween, you’re letting yourselves get too carried away! Now sit down and help me with this bottle!” Lucy and Callum, now standing gave Scott an anxious look and Lucy was already attempting to walk off with Callum.
“OK then don’t!” Scott snapped remaining seated, bottle still in his pocket.
Callum gave a look of disgust turned with Lucy, and made swiftly back the way they came
Back at the hill Lucy and Callum had already scrambled up half way, while Scott came running up behind without a word, dazed and out of breath, falling over the air, and proceeded to collapse with his back on the steep, muddy slope. His trousers were muddy and his face scratched. This wasn’t an ordinary Halloween any more; it was like something you expect to find in a low budget horror film.
“What’s happened to you now!” Lucy said in a laid back tone as she went back down the muddy bank, expecting a reply of ‘I fell over’. Scott was silent apart from the heavy and forced sound of him breathing.
“Callum, I don’t think he is putting it on” Lucy looked worried as she kneeled down beside him and looked back up holding up the bottle of Vodka that she pulled from his pocket towards Callums face with a look of terror on her own. Scott went sliding back down the first few feet of the muddy hill and without effort coughed up what looked like his lungs, in a bloody mess, covering his face, and jacket smearing his hands unconsciously trying to clean himself up, his light brown hair now looked like it had black-red tints in the darkness, that matched his ripped and already mud splattered white trousers that once gleamed in the night. The blood dripped from his face like sweat. He lay unconscious and silent on the foot of the hill.
Just over two years later, Lucy sat curled up, hands around her knees, motionless, yet snivelling with nerves. Her music was blearing around her darkened room. The lamp beside her bed at the other end of the room shone a weak yellow light across the floor. But Lucy just sat, as she had done for hours. The same thought was running through her mindless head over and over and over, as she listened to the same repetitive noise. Everything she had worked up to, or rather, from, had miserably gone sliding rapidly back down the same steep, muddy hill.