I moved to the right and dug beside my first hole. Once it was as deep as the first, I removed the thin wall of dirt between the two holes to join them. I expanded the hole this way until it was satisfactorily wide, and roughly circular.
I deepened the hole. I dug on the left side and then I dug on the right side. I wanted the base of the hole to be flat.
When I could no longer reach the bottom from the edge, I stepped into the hole.
The dirt I tossed out of the hole formed piles. The farther I dug, the larger the piles grew. The hole appeared quite deep from the inside.
After another few feet my shovel hit something hard, and I, suspecting a rock or a tree-root, tried to find the edge of the object with the shovel. Each time I tried, the shovel struck the object again, and at the same depth, as if I had come upon a floor.
I climbed out of the hole and retrieved a spade from the shed. Upon my return, I used the spade to clear away the layer of dirt covering the surface. It appeared to be bone.
I climbed out of the hole and retrieved a pickaxe and chainsaw. I splintered the bone with the pickaxe, and managed to puncture it in one location. It was about four inches thick. There was no blood.
Beginning at the punctured part, I used the chainsaw to cut out a square. The section of bone fell downward into an abyss. I bent down and looked intently into the hole. I could not see inside. Getting on my knees, I stuck my head into the hole.
Once my eyes adjusted, I could make out an incredibly large picket fence. The fence extended into the darkness.
I pulled my head out of the cavity, and shifted into a sitting position on the edge of the bone, letting my feet dangle inside. I placed the heels of my hands on the side of the opening. I stretched my feet out until they found a crossbeam on the fence, and shifted my weight onto it. I slowly entered the cavity.
I descended the fence like a ladder— first lowering my left foot to the next beam, and then my right. It did not shift at all under my weight.
The air was still, and it was very dark.
After some time, I looked back up to the surface. The square of light had become very small. Through it I could make out the blue of the late afternoon sky. The square of blue light seemed to be hanging in a void of infinite depth.
I descended further. I did not jeopardize my balance by twisting to look around the cavity behind me. I descended further still without reaching the bottom, and then I stopped to look.
With small movements, I carefully turned enough to look around the cavity. There was a square of light below me, not far out from the fence. It seemed to be very far away. It was a dull red, and it shimmered like liquid.
I reached one hand out from the fence, palm downward, wanting to see the light shine up onto my palm. I slowly waved my hand through the air to find the spot, but when I passed through it, the light vanished for a moment. I moved my hand back to be directly over it, and again it disappeared.
I wondered if the light was a reflection of the sky, now red with the light of the setting sun, off of whatever lake lay below. But neither side of my hand was lit as I held it there. I looked up, but I could not find the square of light shining through the entrance I had made. With horror, I retracted my hand. The light above immediately returned, as if it was a reflection of the light coming up from below.