003 - The Clubhouse

During the winter months, the river grows shallower in places. Between this and the ice, in the dead of winter, it’s possible to walk across it in places where the ice is particularly thick. During these months, when the weather is thirty below or colder, walk to the very end of The Street, to the cul-de-sac. Between a large, ill kept lot and a house from the early eighties you will find an ill-kept bike path. Though it was once paved, the roots of the trees that line it have rendered the pavement bumpy and impassable for cyclists.

Walk to the end of the path and climb down the rain-water outflow at the bottom, then cross the ice to one of the island-like patches of scrub and small rock. Look for a damaged, dingy little shack made from water damaged wood and corrugated tin. If you fail to find it , move on to the next pile of rocks, and then the next, until eventually you find the small structure. When you do, hold your hand up to the door. It will either be very cold or very hot to the touch. Neither is truly fortuitous, but you’ll be dressed for the cold and so it will be easier to weather.

When you step inside the shack, you will find that it is empty other than a small boy who hanged from the roof by a hastily tied noose. His clothing will not be contemporary, rather it will be aged and ragged to the point of anonymity, unlike the boy’s perfectly preserved body. After a time, his eyes will open, and the rotted out sockets will stare into your eyes. Do not blink, do not look away, do not even move. The room’s temperature will grow more extreme during the hours-long moment you spend looking into those holes. And then they will close.

From that moment on, you will not feel the temperature anymore. Any temperature at all. Nor will you get burns, frostbite, heat stroke or hypothermia.

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