There was a bump.
Barely audible, but even that was a treat to the ears. I froze in my seat, cutting myself off in the middle of telling Mailman about the neighborhood. Then came the most desirable of all sounds:
That was all it said. Help.
I got up from my seat and walked around the corner to where the stairs were. At one point the stairs may have lead upstairs, but now they only lead to injury and frustration. Underneath them was a crevice of sorts, partially obscured by the collapsed infrastructure. I heard the voice again.
I could hardly focus, I was so excited. The fallen lumber was quickly cleared by my hand, and underneath I found a H
I saw him. Inside the hole there was a child. The first child that I’d seen in seven years. He looked so innocent. I’d forgotten that; how innocent children looked.
I reached for my camera, but it wasn’t there. I felt fear. There was a child, the first of its kind to enter Memory Lane, and here I was without a camera.
“Please, help me.”
It was an | IMPOSSIBLE | decision. I needed to get my camera (*snap, click* Forever and always (TIME! A joke? It’s wearing thin, you need to find another- ), but what if he wasn’t here when I got back? What if he disappeared.
“Wait a minute (Forever, did I say forever?), kid. I need to go and get something real quick.” I said, backing away from the hole and making my way toward the door.
“Don’t go! Please don’t go!”
“I’m sorry,” I said, more to myself than the child, almost at the door, “I just need to get this one thing. I need it. I–Just wait a minute (tic-tock, a joke I tell myself).”
“Help me, please!”
I was just about to turn my back to the kid (and leave him (forever? (NO!) ) only for a moment). My anxiety was peaking and I was getting the ~ shakes ~ This was more mental stimulation than I’d had in a long time, and I don’t think my brain was ready for it. Then the child said something that held me in my place.
“Help me, please. Please, David.”
For the first time on Memory Lane, I heard my name.
I felt it in my blood (David), such was the sensation of hearing one’s own name (David?) that I could hardly keep my footing. I returned to the hole and stuck my hand inside.
“Okay, I’m here. Give me your hand, I’ll help you out. Then you can come with me and I can get my camera.”
I waited, but he didn’t grab on.
“No, David, you have to come in here. I don’t want to come out.”
Confusion. That was a refreshing feeling. I was very confused. And conflicted, for I still very much wanted to get my camera. Alas, I climbed into the hole anyway.
(What am I (DAVID) doing?)
It seemed that the hole lead into a basement. It was dark and glum. It smelled like wood; it smelled like a hardware store. The Child came up to me and grabbed my hand. A shiver ran through my body; no one had touched my hand in a long time.
“Come on.” The child led me to a tunnel in the side of the basement. It was obstructed by fallen support beams, but as we moved towards them, they lifted themselves up and pressed against the side of the tunnel. Now they appeared to be holding up the ceiling.
(I wish I had my camer-)
“Let’s go.” Said the child.
He tugged me along toward the depths of the tunnel. I was excited: I hadn’t been on an adventure in a good long while.