The GrainA Story by NoelleRash
Children wanting to leave. Very average everyday stuff.
I’ve been a vegetarian for over two years now. My best friend still thinks it’s hilarious to offer me various meat products. “You sure you don’t want a hot dog?” Kara said as she stood over the stove, throwing two logs of pig carcass into the pot boiling water, laughing as we stood in the kitchen waiting. Joey was right on time, thirty minutes after he got off work. Randy was not. We were all sitting on separate white couches, the television on, but none of us watching it. Kara huffed and exhaled,” You think he’s driving from Africa?” Joey and I just shrugged and continued our discussion on my addiction to lolcats.com. Finally Randy shows up, explaining that he had to run to Nebraska, not Africa.
It was time to go. We took my car. We always took my car. I always drive. My car was perfect for out purposes, a black grand prix, with blacked out windows, christened Trixie because of the way I kept mispronouncing prix as “pricks”. We always joked that if we needed to I could fit three whole dead bodies in my trunk.
Driving through town, we thought we were bad. The bass of the radio turned up so high the doors shook along with whatever rap song was on. I could feel my long blonde hair whipping behind me in the wind into Joey’s face. The nerves made us avoid conversation but sing to the top of lungs every disgusting, misogynistic rhyme Lil’ Wayne could come up with.
Laurel was a boring town . It was a town you went through to get to somewhere better. People, who lived here, were here because family ties or lack of opportunity bound them to this very soil. For fun most teenagers acted as if they had never heard Nancy Reagan tell us, “Just Say No” My friends were too scared and dorky to even have the chance to even see pot.
Laurel was full of buildings, left for time to tear down and rot. This was where we played. Mostly it was the seeing who would travel into the dark first, who would climb the stairs that looked as if they could cave in at any moment, who could jimmy a door or just donkey kick it open, that made it so appealing. We liked the danger.
Tonight we were going to the old grain. This is where they took about half the corn that surrounded Laurel and made it into food for the cows that would later become someone’s dinner. About twenty years ago it was all boarded up, grain now being produced in the next town over. Even the corn found its way out.
My wheels crunched the gravel, as I hid Trixie behind some trees. I could feel my hand shaking as we walked up to the front of the building. The building scraped against the sky. We decide to try to get to the top. It seemed as if all the doors were soldered shut, but finally we found a window, the glass already busted out.
Randy was limber; slipping easily through. It was a bit harder for the rest of us. I did a swan dive through, sticking my head in first, placing my hands on the ground, barrel crawling forward till I could walk my feet down the wall onto the floor. Instead of hands bloodied and full of glass, like hindsight tells me should have happened, the damage I did was rip the butt of my Soffe shorts on the top of the window. It was dark. I didn’t care. Kara tried to slide in sideways until she felt like she was going to get stuck. She backed out and told Joey to go. Silently he just shook his head. We all knew his wide hips and broad shoulders would never fit through that window “Maybe we can find them another way in” , Randy said as we looked at our scared friends disappointedly.
We turned to walk around in the dark. We didn't bring flashlights, even though every trip at least one of us had remarked, “we should bring flashlights next time.” Randy pulled out his phone and shined it on the ground. That didn't really help much, so I grabbed his arm so he could lead me around. Although danger could be all around the only thing I was thinking about was how the last time me and Randy were together we had sloppily made out in a sweaty tent as Kara slept beside us. I wondered if he felt the same weird friction right now between us as we walked through a rooms just as stuffy , how my hand was like sand paper on his arm,so hot, it was probably tugging at his arm hair. I prayed he knew my hand meant nothing more than I needed to not run into things. We went around pulling at the same doors that had proved impenetrable from the outside to no luck. Then we turned a corner and felt the summer breeze. We'd found the open mouth of the building. The open garage door was hidden under a shed that from the outside seemed to be just a dark abyss, but from this vantage point the orange moon shown down, illuminating the highly manageable jungle of tall wispy leaves and grass.
“Joey!Kara!” we called out, “get in here, you p*****s!”
“Where are you?” Joey shouted into the dark.
Mysteriously I shouted back, “In here” giggling to myself and Randy held up his phone hoping they could find that light to lead the way.
I can hear them stumbling around until the come in, with the moon on their back , casting shadows over the ground. “What about snakes?” Kara bellows. We all ignore her. There could be a lot worse in this building than the green garden snakes that are rarely spotted around. Snakes are usually in the forest anyway
Finally they found their way up the concrete stairs and we could beginning exploring. They all pulled out the lame little lights on their cell phones, while mine had died long ago. Mostly we were using the moonlight that filtered in through the dirty windows. My heart started to beat faster looking at all the graffiti. Real criminals may hang here, I thought, but kept my mouth shut. We climbed so many levels walking though cobwebs to find rusted stair cases in the corners, behind a door. Just for the hell of it we would throw bricks, that seemed to be everywhere, through windows and listen for it to loudly thud on the pavement outside. One floor we even found a half a bottle of Jose Cuervo and threw it at the wall, letting it's contents dip to the floor and the smell of old alcohol sting our noses.
The last floor from the top though none could summon up the courage or disrespect or whatever it would take, to explore it. All over the walls and on the floors was out lines of bodies, like a bunch of people had been murdered here and the police no longer did chalk outlines, opting for the much more permanent spray paint. We just continued to the top.
The next floor reminded me of a construction zone, 4x4's and old hammers and nails everywhere. We even found a couple of flashlights, that we would need later for our descent. In the middle of the room was ladder and hole in the ceiling.
Randy was the first to start climbing. The ladder shook a little, but I needed to follow him. I was not a wimp. I started my ascend with Joey in tow. Kara stood at the bottom looking up at us.
“I think I'll just stay down here”
“Kara come on. You'll be fine” I instructed.
“No. I'm fine. Just go.”
“Kara” I said intently.
“Noelle my arms are getting tired.” Joey huffed, pulling my attention away from my frightened best friend to him and his frail arms trapped in midair. I just crawled back down around him and let him and Randy beat me to the top.
I grabbed her hand and started to pull. “you are not going to sit down here all alone. Come on.” I ordered. I felt less resistance when I told her “ The rats might get you.”
I pushed her right up to the ladder, but I had no way to actually make her climb. “ Come on Kara. I'm right behind you” I said and she actually listened.
Soon we were at the top. This had to be the highest point in Laurel. I could see the church where the bus would pick me up for school sometimes; the middle school where I met Kara ,and where I hung my bra at the top of the flagpole over spring break; and Brits Dutch Inn where my mom would take me to breakfast on Saturday mornings, before I had better things to do. I could see the library were I spent too many hours alone lost in some book and all the way down main street where every year of my life I'd witnessed a fourth of July parade, my sister almost always in the back of a convertible waving, a crown and sash on. From this point I could see it all, but I was above it.
We all laid down to stare at the stars. I could feel all four of our hearts pounding in time together. This time the pounding was not from fear, but exhilaration. We were so close to the stars, I felt like if I reached out I could thrust my hand into heaven and tickle God’s feet. This moment was perfect, if not for the smell of rotting corn left lingering in the air.
© 2012 NoelleRash
AboutI just graduated high school and I'm taking a year off before I go back to school to major in English and become teacher. I've always been a story teller since I could talk and it feels like the only .. more..