The school is boarded up; long unused. Towering weeds reach through cracked pavement. The other boys are all older; high school freshman and sophomores. We’ve just left the theatre where I closed my eyes through the hideous scene in Poltergeist where the fellow peels his face apart.
Kenny gets a boost onto a low section of roof and then shimmies higher and disappears through a high slim bank of windows; the only ones to escape being boarded up. Soon after there is a splintering of wood as Kenny busts out a lower-level window and then helps each of us climb through.
The halls are blackness with occasional razor strips of light, wherever boards don’t fit the windows flush.
We enter a giant void that can only be the gymnasium. Our footsteps slowly shuffle along. The floor is uneven, inexplicably pitted. The deep dark closes upon us and unnerves me. The scary movie is fresh in my mind, but I feel safe enough with the older boys.
The next day I return to the site with a flashlight and my best friend and I lead him through the dark labyrinth all full of bravado.