3.4 Pronounced “Par-Tay”

by Matt P.

Very few things can drown out the concentrated musical explosion that is a high school party in a house absent of parents. Antigone had to admit that a Kansas summer with a bumper crop of cicadas was doing a rather good job of it.

It had taken them twenty minutes to walk to Lacey’s house, including a brief detour through the High School. Now, having been there an hour, they stood in the expansive back yard. It backed on to one of the heavily wooded areas in and around the city, and the gate between large cypress trees seemed more a formality than a barrier.

Antigone had taken a pop for herself when she entered that she was still nursing, while Siobhan had been greeted very differently. The moment she had walked in Lacey had walked over with a can of Budweiser, and pressed it in to her hand. She was nursing it as well, occasionally staring at it in bewilderment. Annie knew she had stolen drinks at parties before, but she was treating this one like it was made of tissue paper or gold. Or poison.

After a few more minutes of debating who to talk to and about what, Antigone walked over to Lacey. “Hey, Lacey.” She said, her tone a bit more sheepish than she intended. She swallowed a bit of pop to cover her nervousness.

“Oh, hey.” The blond girl said, as she drank her own beer.

Going great so far… Annie thought to herself. Say something else, dummy!

“So…” She said, all of her planned conversational topics leaving her mind as she bit her lower lip. She looked around quickly, and saw another group of people coming back in from the woods with their cell phones in hand, speaking in quiet excitement. “Why do people keep going in to the woods with their phones?”

Lacey looked over toward the woods, her eyes concerned for a moment before growing bored and affected again. “Oh, that. There’s a spot a little bit into the woods that doesn’t have any cell phone coverage, and its treated as a kind of local attraction.”

Antigone looked at the dark woods with a healthy dose of skepticism. “It’s the woods. I thought ‘not having cell coverage’ was kind of the point of the woods.”

Lacey paused for a moment to consider that. “Well…yeah, ok. But it isn’t like it fades out or comes in patches. When you get there it just stops.”

Suddenly Siobhan was by her side, curiosity shining in her eyes. “Where is it?” She asked, eagerly. Lacey blinked, as if surprised that someone would be that interested in it. “I like ghost stories and spooky shit.” Siobhan offered by way of explanation.

Lacey took this information in and considered it for a moment, as if she was deciding whether or not it made Siobhan de facto un-cool. “Its about a fifteen minute walk into the woods. Look for the stone circle.”

Before she could say anything else, Siobhan was dragging Annie by the hand toward the gate. “Come on.” She said quickly. “You can figure out something else to talk about while we’re walking. Besides, maybe we can catch some people boning.”