We used to call it the construction site. A thoughtless name. Very simple. To the point. It was what it was. We climbed fences to get in at night. We watched for lights in the neatly arranged homes nearby to make sure that nobody would see us enter. I helped Ell over the fence. They had a harder time climbing than the rest of us. They lost their balance easily. I did too. I could always catch myself when I did. They couldn’t.
It was dark. We could see the shapes of the machinery. They were bigger than us. Fun to climb on. But we couldn’t ever quite see where we were going. We had to use flashlights. I stepped into one of the vehicles. It had a steel claw hanging from a long, bent arm. It was both sharp and blunt somehow. The door was unlocked. I tried to start it. I couldn’t start it. I looked for a key. There was no key. That was for the best. We kept walking.
We came to a hill. It was made of dirt and rocks piled up very tall. All displaced from other corners of the construction site. All of these machines, all moving around dirt and rocks. Like little ants. Ants in the construction site. Just clearing space before they build a colony. The construction site. At least, that’s what we called it. I was sure that it had a name. We didn’t need it. We climbed the hill.
Climbing was easy. Even easier than the fence. It was more like walking with longer strides. I was tall. My body was mostly legs. It was easy for me. It was harder for Reese. I helped him climb too. The moon had come out now. We could see without the flashlights. That helped.
We sat at the top of the hill. There was grass here, somehow. There wasn’t much. But enough. Any was enough. We looked at the moon. The sky was black, but illuminated. We could see stars behind the clouds. We could see the clouds. I thought one looked like a bird. Not an eagle. Something smaller, like a finch. I thought it was flying. Ell saw a shooting star. They swore they did. Reese didn’t believe them. That was fine. I believed them.
There was a big tire at the top of the hill. We pushed it down. It bounced off the rocks and knocked dirt free into the air. I don’t know why we did this. It was satisfying. We didn’t get caught.
We climbed down the hill. We kept walking. We played with more construction equipment. We kept walking. We hopped back over the fence. We kept walking. We didn’t get caught. We didn’t get caught. We didn’t get caught.
Kerry Lloyd is a nonbinary creative writing student lurking in the hidden and elaborate cave system under Manchester, New Hampshire. You can find them mumbling to themselves over at @razzkerry