“Stop,” grandmother whispered. We have been about three-hundred yard deep in the alley when we approached, strictly speaking, nothing. The brick walls on the side seem to stretch on as far as they eyes can see, and the farther we went, the more dark and ominous it got. I threw my hands on my opposite arms, rubbing them against the chill breeze, quietly observing. Then, grandmother started tapping her feet. Tap… tap… tap…
“What are we looking for here, Grandma?”
I rolled my eyes. Grandmother tapped here and there, and finally at her last tap on the sewer lid, she bent down, opened the lid, and stepped down. I stared at her, waiting for her to finish “the magic” so we could go on with our fatal mission. “Come down here,” Grandmother shouted from a few feet beneath ground level. I rolled my eyes, again. Of course.
I glanced down, and as it turned out, underneath this sewer lid wasn’t a deep hole with no way out like I had always imagined. It was a deep hole with a ladder, and the bottom was invisible from where I stood. The ladder was attached to the wall, worn and moist. Every step that I took was done with great consideration, for my hands were shaking and the ladder was slippery. However, to my surprise, the place did not smell terrible. It smelled like earth after the first monsoon of the season. It smelled like something I enjoyed.
Grandmother was out of sight, but I could rely on the sound of her climbing down. The sound stopped earlier than I expected, and I hurried down believing that she had reached the bottom. I stepped and stepped, until my left sneaker touched something soft, and I heard grandmother let out a scream. A second later, light filled the place, approximately a hundred-something yard beneath where I believed light certainly could reach. I groaned as my eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness.
When I could take back my focus, there were many pairs of eyes stared at me, and my grandmother.
September 1st. The sound of September gives me great ease. I hope things will steer in somewhat favorable direction.