Thursday, September 1, 2011
"There's no way I'm going down there," Ricky told his friend Jake. "I'd rather cut through the cornfield."
Jake looked down at his bike tires. The front wheel was nearly flat. "I don't think I can make it through the cornfield. It's too rough. Those stalk stumps might pop my tire."
Ricky shrugged and turned his handlebars away from Gobblesnort Road. "Do what you want, but I'm not going anywhere near there. Some kinda freak lives down there." He jerked his head toward the house down the lane. "My brother says he saw a goblin down there once."
"There's no such things as goblins," Jake argued. "Besides, we'll go fast. Nobody will even be able to catch us."
"No humans, maybe."
"There are no goblins." Jake pushed off. His bike wobbled onto Gobblesnort Road. Ricky watched as Jake awkwardly pedaled toward the old white house. A patch of weeds blocked a rusty metal mailbox. Ricky supposed it had once read 'Smith' though 'S th' was all that remained of the ancient black lettering along its side.
"You coming?" Jake called over his shoulder.
Ricky shook his head but couldn't bring himself to turn his bike into the cornfield. Jake was right about the cornstalks being rough. He didn't relish trying to make his way through the bumpy, sharp shards of stalk sticking up through the ground.
He watched Jake near the white house and saw a hand move the curtain inside the window.
"Jake!" he screamed. "The goblin!"
Jake swiveled his head quickly, first back at his friend, then toward the window of the house where he saw blue drapes move inside. Startled, he drove into the gravel shoulder of the road and skidded into the ditch. Ricky raced toward his friend, pedalling fiercely as he neared the shoulder. "Are you okay? Come on!"
Ricky whipped his bike back around as Jake jumped up and ran beside him. They turned off Gobblesnort Road and paused, both of them breathing hard. Jake panted a moment, then crouched down to inspect his knee. He'd skinned it up in his fall.
"Man, that was close!" Ricky said as he looked back down the road at the sinister white house.
"I know. I saw him!"
"You saw him? The goblin?"
Jake swallowed and shook his head as he caught his breath. "No. It wasn't a goblin. It was some kind of... monster. Half pig and half human. It was creepy!" Jake backed further away as he told his tale. "I'm never going down there again."
Ricky nodded and stared at the house. Then his eye caught sight of the metal heap near the road. "Oh, man! Your bike."
Jake exhaled loudly and shook his head. "I'm not going back down there. He can keep my bike. I'm not going anywhere near that thing again."
Ricky nodded and made room on his seat for Jake. Then he stood on his pedals and began making his way through the cornfield. "Wait'll I tell my brother."