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from A Test of Loyalty by Laurie Stewart

Part 17
Samantha and Ashleigh

Ash pushed, then tugged on the piece of metal mesh fence that ran across the opening to the old mine. I felt sure this was a dumb idea, but it was easier to just go along with it. Besides, I wanted her off the public path, she looked really stoned. I wondered what she’d taken at Carrie’s. I felt insulted and left out. I felt relieved that I wasn’t about to smoke it.
“They must’ve made the hole smaller.” Ashleigh grunted, tugging hard at the wire mesh. Sure they did. Lord knows you couldn’t have gotten bigger. Couldn’t have like, developed tits or anything.
Okay, so I was starting to feel a bit bitchy. The mosquitoes were out this close to the water. And I was late getting home, my mom would be pissed. Somehow I’d figured this whole thing would only take an hour and we’d be back at the building before anyone noticed I was gone. My parents were really freaked out at the thought of my being outside after dark in our neighbourhood, like I was going to be murdered ten feet from our door.
Of course, I was way more than ten feet from the door now. Parliament Hill was fifteen to twenty minutes away by car, but the bike path was shorter…. I was late. And itchy. And now Ash had disappeared. Fuck!
Of course, I knew she had just squeezed into the mine. But she was gone so fast.
I tried to be gentle and dignified climbing in, but I had a hard time getting through the broken gate without ripping my shirt. There was a piece of the crossbar broken right at boob level, like it was on purpose. But I finally made it, and while my shirt had rust flakes on it, I didn’t think I’d ruined it.
I heard Ashleigh call me, but I was still trying to get up the nerve to do this. It wasn’t like she was going anywhere without me, how hard could it be to find her in a cave?
I turned and peered out into the lengthening shadows. Five-ish, I thought. I needed to be home in an hour for dinner. Should be ok, a few minutes to smoke the stuff in the baggie, get a little mellow, then head home. If I can manage to look, and smell, okay maybe Ash can stay overnight.

I turned to follow Ash, but it was pitch black after the brightness outside. Really black, like total black. I put my hands out and started shuffling my feet, looking for a wall to follow. I was afraid that if I tripped, I&r...

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