The Railroad Tracks

After eight miles of biking, they finally hit a dead end. Rusty train tracks and a ten foot concrete wall stood in the way of going any further down the warped overgrown trail. Hazel dismounted off her bicycle and started to push it forward through the grisly weeds “There’s one only thing left to do now.” He saw that familiar smirk grow on her fair freckled face. That same mischievous smile that he’s seen a billion times before.

“Turn around and go back?” Ryder proposed, motioning toward the direction they just came from from.

“You’re funny.” She retorted, and watched him slink back in defeat. “So, which way are we going to go down these train tracks, Ry? Left or right?” He hopped off his seat and started edging the bike in unison with Hazel.

“Let’s go left.” The two of them dragged their feet and tires through the disfigured thistles, slicing their ankles with each step. Though the scene was quite repulsive, few prismatic flowers blossomed from the filth. The ground was littered with decomposing trash and shattered beer bottles. Through the canopy of trees, a few scarce rays light would reflect off the shards of glass and make them look beautiful — they’d sparkle like precious jewels falsifying hope for this desolate little place.

Hazel stuck her nose in the air, confidently maneuvering through the vines “I’ll lead the way.”

And Ryder obeyed, keeping close behind her. “We should just leave our bikes here,” she prompted, “because I can’t keep carrying this thing all the way down. It’s time to adventure.”

They laid their bicycles down in the brush and stepped onto the dingy ashen stones that held the railroad tracks. Hazel walked in front of Ryder, attempting to balance on the platform as they ventured further down, clumsily leaning too much to the left or too much to the right with arms extended outward.

“What’s that?” Ryder pointed toward an oxidized railing, suggesting that a bridge held up these abandoned tracks. Hazel’s face lit up instantaneously. Her relentless lust for taking risks would make her delirious, as addicted to adrenaline as a druggie to their needle. He was always by her side, Ryder, who too was in love with the thrill of doing only the most quixotic things. They hurriedly paced toward the rails, peering down toward ubiquitous darkness. If they shut their mouths for just one second, which was quite rare for the pair, they could hear the rush of robust waves splashing against rocks and the walls of the tunnel. “What do you think is down there?”

“There’s only one way to find out.” Hazel peered around the scene looking for a way of entry — to her right, she spotted a crude trail that crookedly but surely led down under the structure. “Follow me.” With sneakers gripping the stones and mud, she hopped down onto a cement platform, “Woah.”

Ryder was still standing above her, nervous to make the leap, but mesmerized with Hazel’s enchantment, “All safe?”

“Safe is a subjective term.” She sneered and watched him descend down toward her anyways.

The dim lighting made it difficult to see clearly, but as their eyes began to adjust to the darkness, they started to make out vulgar illustrations scrawled on the walls. Even though she wanted to stay, she knew she had to leave.