Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | March 8, 2008

Forty-two

Somewhere in Maine. August 16, 2004.
Jump by Number Pyramid

No matter how far we traveled, or where we looked, we’d never find that place again.  It’s hard to keep track of where you are when the roads don’t show up on any map, and the only other creatures around are moose, bears, and mosquitoes.

Isabelle was certain she’d dreamed it all.  “Didn’t I dream it, too?”  I told her, as we turned down yet another logging road leading off into nowhere.  She just smiled.  “All twins dream the same dreams sometimes, Irene.” she said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

The place was a field, somewhere in Maine.  The time late summer two years ago, and the mystery was a smallish pyramid adorned with numbers.  I noticed the “42” before Isabelle did and she said we’d found the answer to life the universe and everything.  It was just a joke, but Isabelle walked around the thing three times before replying.  “1-2-8-3-4-2?  And what the hell is NG?”  Her voice was strained, like she was afraid.

” No-go,” I answered.

“No good.”  Isabelle said.

“Nutty Gobs?  No… Nefarious God!”  I managed to make Isabelle grin.  “Noodle Goop.”  I said.  “Nasty Gum.”

“Nonsense Gizmo,” Isabelle said.

“That’s a good one.”  I had to admit.

The “nonsense gizmo” was cut off from the rest of the field by a collapsing fence.  We’d stopped the car because one fence post had fallen across the tiny road, and instead of just picking it up and going on our way (what way?  Where were we going?  Neither of us can even remember, and that’s one reason Isabelle thinks it was a dream), I decided we should follow the fence.

There were no trees for at least fifty yards on either side of the bedraggled barrier, which was strange.  Fields don’t stay fields out here unless there’s someone to cut the grass.  And this grass wasn’t just cropped short, but pressed short, like hundreds of feet had been walking on it.  And the grass on one side of the fence was identical to the grass on the other.

But at the pyramid, the fence stopped.  Just like that.  And the grass beyond got taller and wavier and full of thorny bushes and saplings until it blended into a forest not too far off.

“Let’s turn around,” Isabelle said.

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