Photo: An Errant Knight @ Wikimedia Commons
“The sign says not to hike beyond this point.”
“Signs can’t talk,” Jerry guffawed, “and anyway, that’s just legal butt-covering.”
Robert looked at the icy terrain. It looked awfully slippery. It was getting late and they still needed to hike back. He didn’t think they should continue. He also hated being Nagging Grandma. He shrugged.
Bennett elbowed him and pushed to the lead. “Well, I’m no sissy. All the fun’s up there. Road less traveled and all that.”
Robert’s neck warmed at the insult. Bennett always had to make things a competition, including who was Jerry’s ‘real’ friend and who the fifth-wheeler.
“You coming or you chicken?” Bennett sniggered.
“Last one up’s a rotten egg!” Jerry grinned.
The two barreled ahead.
Robert trudged below them, full of dread.
Later he would wonder how to tell their parents that chicken and rotten egg were the last words they ever said.