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The Hole

We found the hole when I was about eight, I think. Jimmy Hill fell in it while we were playin' cowboys in the woods and when we yelled to him we didn't get no answer. Even when his dad climbed in on a rope tied to his pickup he couldn't find the bottom so we figured Jimmy was dead.

After a bit we decided that, heck, if there's a hole behind our house, might as well fill it up. So we started tossin' our yard waste — leaves an' sticks an' such — down in it. It never seemed to fill up. When I was nine I saved up some and bought a thousand-yard spool of thread. I tied a rock to the end and lowered it down but I never felt it hit bottom.

When I turned sixteen, ma said I had to either move out or start makin' money, so I bought Jerome Levinson's old pickup truck and painted "Hank's Waste Disposal" on the side, and started haulin' trash away for folks. It brought in a steady dime, and it all went right down the hole. It was like a big mouth, always hungry. Seemed like even when the trash was too big to fit — old sofas, or even rusted out old automobiles — the hole would open a little wider to swallow them, and down they'd go. We never heard 'em hit bottom.

I've been doin' waste disposal for pritnear twenty years now. Back in aught-two my pa up and died, and since he said he never wanted no fancy funeral or nothin', we decided the easiest thing to do would be to toss him in, so we did.

Last year I was emptyin' a load out of my pickup and the black vans drove up, and the men in the suits an' sunglasses got out and asked me about the hole. I showed it to 'em, and they looked down it, and then offered me a good chunk o' cash if they could dispose of some stuff every now an' then. So of course I said okay, and now every month they bring a truckload o' crap over and dump it in the hole. I don't ask no questions.

I figure as long as the hole's hungry I'll keep feedin' it. And when I die, I expect they'll toss me in there too. Maybe then I'll find out what happened to Jimmy.

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rfreebern
Sep. 8th, 2004 10:03 am (UTC)
Thank you!

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