The Abandoned Mine!
The bike hit the ridge going too fast, sending it high into the air as the path on Nugget Hill dropped down quickly below it.
The dark-haired boy riding the bicycle gripped the handlebars tightly, squeezing his eyes tightly shut until he and the bike came crashing down onto the path in a tangle of steel and flesh.
Bouncing once, the bicycle flipped front over back, dumping the boy into the middle of a blackberry bush, the thorns tearing at the exposed flesh of his arms as it broke his fall.
When he came to a halt, he was staring at the sky, confused. Tears were threatening to escape his eyes, adding to the sweat already streaking down his dirty face.
Suddenly remembering what had happened earlier, he rolled out of the bush and ran over to his bike. Nervously, he jumped on and started peddling, relieved that it still rolled when he pushed the pedal down.
Pushing himself once again to exhaustion, the sweat flew off of the curly matted hair now plastered to his face from the exertion, the rivulets of sweat running through the thick dust on his face giving him a ghoulish look.
He had never been so tired…or so scared.
Screeching to a stop in front of the house, he jumped off of the bike and took off for the porch at a run. Seeing the older man on the porch smoking a cigar, he let out a loud “GRAMPS!”
Surprised at the intrusion to his thoughts, the older gentleman glanced to his left, seeing a boy running towards him with dirty hair and blood trickling down his arms.
“G-g-g-g-gramps! It-t-t’s m-m-me….J-j-jim-my,” the boy panted out.
Gabriel Celtic Senior would have known that stuttering anywhere.
“Jimmy?” the old man ran to meet the approaching apparition, “What’s happened to you son?”
“G-g-gabe…” he sputtered, trying to catch his breath.
“Gabe? What about Gabe Jimmy?”
Gabriel senior’s heart skipped a beat at the mention of the old mine.
“What about the old mine Jimmy?” he said as he grabbed the young man’s shoulders anxiously, “What are you trying to say?”
“Cave in? Jimmy….where’s Gabe?”