The Trail to the Left

The boys were told again and again “Do not go down the trail to the left. It is too dangerous.” But it is exactly those types of warnings that send boys down trails to the left. The left trail is the trail they heard ended at an old abandoned goldmine. Of course they were going to hike down there to see if the stories were true. That’s what boys do.

The weather that Saturday morning was perfect “hiking to an abandoned goldmine” weather. The boys set out early, both having told their parents they were headed over to a friend’s house.

Finding the trailhead was no problem. The hike seemed easy enough. So easy the boys joked about the story being a bust and what would they do for the rest of the day, figuring no real goldmine was going to be at the end of a clearly marked nature trail.

As the two boys continued to walk and goof off, further up ahead they could see the trail split in two. The left trail and the right trail. The left trail’s start almost entirely blocked by a series of signs warning of danger and hazards and cautions of harm. Obviously this trail was in need of closing but had never officially happened.

The boys looked at each other and smiled. Ok, maybe this was going to be good after all.

Now it was a race to see who could get to the mine the quickest. Dodging every warning sign, the boys ran straight down the trail to the left.

Up ahead they could see the rickety old boards that barely hung by rusty nails, the final barrier, the final warning to stop and turn around. The boys easily slipped between the rotted wood and climbed into the old mine.

Cobwebs hung thick in the corners, a sign no one had come through in quite some time.

No longer laughing, the boys grew even more serious as they climbed further into the creepy old mine. Standing in the eerie, musty darkness, the small travel flashlight too dim, walking safely any further was simply not possible.

The boys decided to head back out of the mine vowing to return tomorrow better prepared.

As they turned to go a low and deep whisper hissed at them

“Get out of my mine…”

Instantly both boys ran to the mines’ entrance and out into the fresh air.Excitement and fear kept the boys talking non-stop the whole way home.  They had both heard the voice as clear as day. It sounded like an old man’s voice. They needed to go back. They needed to try to record this voice before they told anyone about what they had just heard.

The next day the story was the same. The boys told their parents they were headed off to a friend’s house. The walk to the trailhead was now a run.  Running and jumping over anything that stood in the path, then down to the split in the trail to the left. Again dodging every warning sign, the boys ran straight into the entrance of the mine.

Armed with a high power flashlight and their phones as a recorder, the boys were confident they could find whoever or whatever had spoken to them.

Quietly they crept further back, deeper and deeper into the mine. Much farther than they had gone yesterday. The larger flash light beaming through the narrow tunnel carved into the earth so many years ago. The soil above now only being supported by rotted wood long since able to adequately hold back the crumbling ceiling. Rocks and dirt fell here and there, just enough to make fear of a collapse real.

Unsure just how far back into this obviously dangerous mine they should go, the boys stopped to discuss what they should do…

…the flashlight went out.

Standing in pitch black the boys franticly tried to turn the heavy flash light back on. But it was no use. Nothing. They reached for their phones. Again nothing. They were at least ten minutes deep into an abandoned mine standing in total darkness.

Pure fear swept through the boys like an icy breeze. The situation so insanely bad at this point how could it get any worse?

A voice much louder and deeper than the day before “…get… out… of… my MINE!” hissed directly into their terrified faces.

Crazed with fear the boys banged into each other as they took off running back the direction they had come. Running blindly at full speed both boys ran face first into the side of the mine’s dirt and rock wall knocking them both out cold.

There they lay on the cold ground unconscious while hisses of

“…get… out…”

hung in the air above them…

 

Days had passed with no word from the boys. Their frightened parents running out of places to look. Volunteers had gone to every friend’s house they knew of. None of the local kids had seen the boys lately. The phones showed no signal. Searches from the sky yielded nothing. No talk had ever been heard from the boys about going to the trail so no one ever looked there. The abandoned mine was too dangerous to send search teams in unless they were absolutely positive the boys had gone there.

Signs hung on every post asking desperately for any information about the two boys who had gone missing, eventually drying out in the sun and blowing away but never bringing the lost two home.

As the years passed stories swirled that maybe the boys had been abducted. Maybe they ran away? The boys’ parents eventually moving. The stares and glares of the suspicious  too much to take combined with such a terrible loss. The pain simply too great.

It was almost 15 years later when the city finally closed the mine for good. It was then the boys remains were found. Horrified workers told stories of finding the two skeletons  just yards from the mines entrance. No obvious signs of foul play, nothing preventing the boy’s from having simply walked out.

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