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Rated: E · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2321092
Siblings ride their bikes through a forbidden forest.
Manistee Woods

The sky is turning a murky purple.

“Let’s get out of here!” I say to myself.

My brother will call me a chicken if I say that out loud. He makes fun of the fact I am only twelve and afraid of everything. He is sixteen and fearless.

We ride our bikes down the winding dirt road through the forbidden forest. Our parents have told us stories through the years about Manistee Woods. Monsters lurk, waiting for kids to enter this frightening place; children have gone missing. Dad made us promise we would never, ever come here. And yet, here we are.

The icy wind stings my bare calves. My tears freeze on my cheeks as my heart ricochets in my chest.

“Hang on, Julie,” Eddie calls back as he peddles his Schwinn through the gathering dusk. “If we fall, we’re toast.”

I should be happy he realizes the danger, but I’m too upset with myself for saying “yes” when he suggested this trip.

I’m watching for the clearing when I hit a rut in the road and fly off my bike. I figure I’m as good as dead. I can hear my bones crunching in a monster’s mouth. Eddie jumps off his bike and helps me back onto mine. No monsters are in sight.

“They must be asleep,” Eddie says, voice quivering, as we head for the clearing.

“Or, maybe, there aren’t any!”

“Well, I don’t want to find out!” Eddie says. “Let’s get out of here.”

I could have said it out loud, just not when I did.

We peddle through the murkiness toward home, vowing never to tell our parents we survived riding through Manistee Woods.

It was exciting, but I won't do it again.
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