North Dakota can be a lonely place...
|Andrew turned around and walked out the door to the garage. Tyler got up and followed. After Jared shut down his laptop, he got up and followed too. They all walked around Jared’s house and toward the storage shed. They were walking down a long strip of grass between Jared’s crops and barbed wire fence, separating their neighbors, where a tractor and some fuel tanks were located.
The storage shed was pushed into the preserve to the point where going around it would be a difficult task. Jared ordered to Tyler, “Cup your hands tightly.”
Not really understanding at first, he did it without hesitation. He was surprised when Jared put his foot on his hands and pushed down.
Jared grabbed onto the roof of the shed and pulled himself up. He crawled down it and ducked as soon as he entered the preserve. There were a lot of low hanging tree branches.
To Tyler and Andrew, Jared had just disappeared into the trees. A few moments later, they heard him say over the radio, “There is a path back here! This is so cool!”
Andrew, feeling somewhat anxious, asked into the radio, “How are we going to get over?”
Jared responded by saying, “Who said you were going to get over?”
Andrew and Tyler both looked up at each other in disbelief. He wasn’t the kind of guy that would just abandon people.
Luckily, Jared then said, “Just kidding. Hold on.”
Andrew and Tyler then stood for a few seconds, waiting for something to happen. Suddenly, the front door on the storage shed swung open with a loud creak and rumble of moving wood.
“Surprise!” Jared said with happiness in his voice.
Andrew looked into the shed, expecting there to be tools everywhere. There were, except, a false wall was open on the opposite side. Light was pouring in, and a path was visible, moving forward and uphill for about thirty feet, and then disappearing as it turned right. He walked forward, Tyler following him. When he got to the other side’s entrance, he noticed that there were tools all over the floor, probably once leaning against the wall.
“Look,” Jared said. One of the longer hooks, holding to some tool, was turned ninety degrees, counterclockwise. He grabbed onto it, and rotated it back into place, and a wood bar came down on the other side of the false wall, like it was intended to bar the false wall shut.
Tyler walked forward into the shed while Jared turned the hook again, lifting the bar of wood.
Tyler bent down and picked up the long, slender tools, lying on the floor. Jared bent down to help him. After a few minutes, they were all propped up against the two remaining walls.
Andrew was absolutely stunned. His friends are about to violate the rules they have been instructed since they could remember. But still, curiosity pushed him. As soon as the tool clean-up completed, Tyler asked, “Andrew, you coming?”
Andrew, still very apprehensive, said, “Okay, but turn your radios up. If I get lost, I would like to be able to contact you guys.”
Andrew stepped into the shed, and shut the door behind him. Light was only entering through the false wall, now.
Tyler stepped onto the path, made lightly of gravel. He began to feel a bit anxious again, now that there was apparently some path with an unknown end.
Jared stood on the path holding onto the false wall. He found that if he let go, it closes about halfway. As soon as Andrew was on the path as well, Jared pushed the wall shut, and lowered the wood bar attached to the back of the wall, like a lever, into a wooden hook on the side of the shed.
The three boys stopped and looked at each other for a few seconds, mostly in disbelief that this place actually existed.