Photo: Sue Vincent
“If you knew where it goes, would you follow?”
Efran peeked down the leaf-strewn stone shaft and rough steps. “I can see where it goes,” he pointed. “There.”
Jerow shook his head. It could be difficult to know with Efran, whose disposition tended to be ebullient to the point of daft, whether the lad was deliberately vexing or totally clueless. “Yes, you see what looks like the bottom of the stairs, but what’s behind it? Where does it go?”
Efran took anther step and leaned closer to the crack between the stones, absentmindedly pushing back the locks of hair that forever escaped out of his braid. “Well, only one way to know.”
“Wait,” Jerow reached for Efran’s arm. He glanced behind him toward the encampment they’d wandered away from. The trees obscured it. Unless others were stretching restless legs while the elders deliberated the day’s route over morning tea, no one would know where they are. “Shouldn’t we tell someones?”
“Why? So they open a whole new round of discussions about who should be allowed to go down there first and at what auspicious hour?”
Jerow had to admit Efran had a point. If the elders knew about this, they’d probably find reason to forbid it, and if they didn’t know about this, they’d forbid it all the more. Probably claim ABC and CBC.
“Advice Before Carelessness” and “Caution Before Curiosity” were endlessly drilled and just as often resented. How was anyone to learn anything new or do anything exciting if inevitable delays always took precedent to investigation?
Still, he wondered if in this particular case there was merit to at least asking before launching oneself into a crack in the ground. They were, after all, in what everyone knew were haunted territories. He looked around again, almost hoping for someone to stop them.
“Forget the ABC!” Efran dropped his feet onto the steps and used his arms to brace against the narrow walls. “I want to see! Stick to your letters or come with me!”