The shadowy grass made a wet squish with each step. Thomas followed Rocky as they crossed the soccer field. “So,” Thomas said. “Where exactly are we going?”
“Hold on, hold on.” Thomas stepped in front of Rocky, placing his skinny hands over Rocky’s broad chest. “That’s all locked up. What do you propose we do, break in?”
Rocky kept walking, forcing Thomas to walk backwards. “That was the plan.”
“Where else are we going to get a shovel and a trash bag this late at night?”
Thomas put his hands down and Rocky went around him. “You have a point there.” The runt stood there and contemplated his criminal action. He quickly assessed the level of danger and risk involved. “You’re right…” Thomas looked around, only to notice that Rocky had not missed a step to wait for him and was already so far ahead that he was nearly lost in shadow. “Hey, wait for me.” Thomas ran to keep up with his friend. After ten or twenty seconds Thomas caught up with Rocky. “Okay, so we know what we have to do. How are we supposed to get in. I mean I can’t pick locks. Can you?”
Rocky shrugged. “Yes and no.”
“Yes and no? What does that mean?”
Rocky said nothing as he continued on his seemingly endless trek.
The shed was painted blue with white trim, with a painted horse emblem. The school’s mascot. Rocky circled the abandoned building until he got to the wide door. This side of the school was near a bicycle path and the shed was half illuminated by street lamps. Rocky looked at the padlock on the door intently. “Okay, now how hard can it be?”
“How hard can what be?” Thomas asked, jumping up to try to see the padlock over Rocky shoulder. “Haven’t you picked locks before?”
Rocky’s mouth formed a thin straight line. “I have. But this time I don’t have a sledgehammer.”
“I’m sorry to make such a nit picky distinction, but that would be breaking the lock. Anyone could do that.”
“Oh shut up, Tom.”
Thomas looked around. “Maybe we could find a really big rock…” With that he took a few steps toward the bicycle path.
“That’s not going to work, you dolt.”
Thomas squinted into the inky river and spotted a patch of rust, half illuminated by the street lights. In his excitement Thomas stumble-ran to this new discovery, and nearly spilled himself into the black river. A rusty old bar stuck halfway out of the mud like the sword in the stone, waiting for the future king. For a few seconds he stared in reverence of his discovery, then pulled it slowly from its muddy resting place and held it triumphantly aloft. “I think I found something.” He proclaimed.
“Well, bring it up here.”
Thomas considered the ‘Excalibur’ pipe for a few seconds then ran back up the sloped, grassy hill, across the bike path and back to where the shed resided. “The lady of the river hath given us a great gift this eve.” he said as he placed the rusty pipe in Rocky’s large hands.
Rocky just shook his head. “Alright,” he said as he placed the pipe in the metal loop between the padlock and the door. “I may need some help prying this open.”
Thomas walked over and grabbed onto the end of the bar. “On three?”
“One … two ... th—“ Thomas heard something behind him. Quickly he spun around to see a man in sweat pant and a sweatshirt jog by. Thomas and Rocky turned around quickly, hiding their instrument behind their backs. Each placed an unassuming expression on their faces.
“Nice night, eh?” The jogger said, almost more to himself.
“Umm … yeah …” Thomas managed to say.
“Well, have a good ‘un.”
“Thanks.” Thomas and Rocky both said and waved.
“Who the hell jogs this late at night?” Thomas asked.
Rocky just shrugged his shoulders. “Okay, on three.”
“One … two … three …” Rocky and Thomas began pushing and pulling as hard as they could. The door made a cracking noise and the lower end of the bar made a hole in the door without damaging the lock in the slightest.
“So much for your magic pipe.” Rocky leaned up against the door.
Rocky jumped nearly five feet in the air as the door to the shed exploded in a rose of scarlet fire. Quickly he patted the small fires out of the sleeves of his shirt. “What the hell was that?”
The two nearly jumped out of their skin when Hana materialized before them, aura crackling with a frustrated sneer gracing her blood stained lips. “You were taking too damn long.”
“I-I thought you couldn’t leave the field.” Thomas said.
“No, you idiot, I can’t leave the school grounds. Geez, you all go to this school and you didn’t know that.” Hana Madison crossed her arms tightly over her translucent chest.
Thomas cowered a bit from the angered spirit. “Umm… right.”
One of Hana’s red eyebrows raised to them, then her eyes narrowed. “What are you waiting for? Get the stuff.”
Obediently, Thomas and Rocky gathered the needed equipment for Marie’s master plan. Thomas knocked over a stack of rakes reaching for the shovel and Rocky nearly dropped a gasoline can on his head reaching for a trash bag.
“Get two. We may have to double bag her,” Thomas suggested.
“Are you calling me fat?” A ghostly voice came from behind him.
“No!” Thomas insisted.
“No, not at all.” Rocky placed a cheesy grin on his face and pointed it in the direction of the voice.
The two boys and invisible specter headed back to the practice field where Jason Nakayama, boy shaman, and Marie Ortiz, the newly-psychic new girl were awaiting their return.
“So ..” Rocky said as he shoved the head of the shovel into the grassy earth, “…what now, fearless leader?” He picked up the garden bag filled with the part of the practice field he had recently unearthed.
Marie wrapped her hands around her knees. Even in Rocky’s coat she still looked cold. “Now we go to the sight of the accident.”
Thomas and Rocky nodded, then Thomas slowed to a stop as he realized a problem with their plan. “—And we’d be driving in whose car?”
Jason placed his fingers to his chin. “I never thought about that. Don’t you have a car, Rock?”
“Naw, man. You forget, we’re so poor we can’t pay attention.”
“Don’t look at me.” Marie shrugged. “I’m only fourteen. I can’t even drive a car.”
Rocky thought for a moment. “That only leaves…” his heavy gaze fell on Thomas. “… the soccer-mom-mobile.”
“Nonononono! No!” Thomas shook his palms in a universal ‘stop’ way. “If my parents found out I took their car at close to three in the morning to drive up to godknowswhere they’d kill me.”
Eyes of no mercy swarmed around Thomas and the unyielding weight of peer pressure fell upon him. He pointed a frantic finger at Jason. “HIM!” He shouted. “What about Jason?”
“I’ve never really had need for a car. I like walking.” he said with a half-lidded smile. “Look at it this way, we’ll probably be back before your parents wake up anyway. So there’s nothing to worry about.”
“No matter what you say. No matter what torturous techniques you devise. I shall not give up my stance.” Thomas stepped back from the onslaught of open stares. “Stop looking at me.” a few more steps. “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” he screamed as he stabbed the half-rusted pole into the ground.