The Swimming Hole

We knew the swimming hole was nearby, but where? We passed the Esso station and that's when we spotted the boys. Lounging in the shade. Suzy whipped her Volkswagen into the driveway. Laura Jane ducked between the split rails and sashayed over to them. In her white bikini and short shorts. 
            "Well, now,” the biggest boy said. “What have we here?  I seen that same sorta swing on a back porch once."
            Laura fiddled with her long, almost black hair.
            "You boys familiar with the secret swimming hole?"
            "You mean the filled-up strip mine?" the smallest one said. He was cute. Kinda resembled John Denver.
            The older guys all squinted and I sensed a crackle in the air. Little John Denver grinned up at Laura Jane and pointed toward the woods.
            "See that rusty oil drum over yonder?  When y'all get to it, keep your eyes peeled 'cause the turn's soon after."
            The biggest boy shoved Little John. "Aw, man!  Why'd you do that?  We don't want no girls up there."
            "Says who?" John said. He turned back to Laura. "I’ll take y'all up, if you want."
            His name was actually Danny.
            "Why's it called the strip mine?" I said from the back.
            "'Cause that's what it used to be,” Danny said. "When the coal ran out, they flooded it." He turned around. "Wait 'til you see it. The water's the coolest color ever."
            Danny led us up the peanut butter fudge path. Held back brambly branches so we wouldn't scratch our shaved that morning legs. All of a sudden we stood at the edge of a sandstone cliff, twenty some feet over opaque, Mountain Dew-looking water.
            I gulped. "How do you—”
            And then I was hurtling through the air.
            “Dang it, Danny!”
            I backstroked over and over. Tried to . . . I don't know . . . Make it back to the cliff's edge?
            When I hit the water my mouth slammed shut. When I opened my eyes I spied white through the neon murk. I aimed my efforts at the light. The air. Moments later I broke through the surface like a baby being born. Spun around trying to locate the three of them. They waved from way up there.
            I cupped my hand and circled it over and over toward me. "Come on! Jump! What are y’all? Chicken?"
           

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