“You ready?” Rose asked Ally. The two girls were standing before the green, locked cattle-style gate. Ally nodded.

The girls threw themselves onto the gate, climbing up the tubed metal like a ladder,giggling as the gate swungon its hinges beneath their bodies.  It was tethered by a chain so all it could do was buck feebly . They leapt down onto the other side, a trail lay before them, stretching out farther then they could see. Trees covered them on either side, but they could still see the highway on their right, a wooden fence on their left. On the other side of the wooden fence, several suburb houses stood in a long row. The grass was matted in some places, swaying in others, but all around it was brownish-gold.

Rose and Ally began to walk, talking of everything as they went, from music to horses, boys to buffalos. They inspected a creaky, falling-down barbed wire fence, deciding cattle must have been here at one time. Sometimes patches of tall foxtails would reach out and nip them, their spikes digging into the girls shoes and socks. They walked on and on, traveling to see where the lane would take them. Once, they came to a section of fence where children’s laughter could be heard on the other side. A dog began to bark then, a deep, warning sound. Rose and Ally froze, their hearts ceasing to thump.

“Get down,” Rose whispered. They both crouched in the tall weeds and prickers. The barking continued, the children stopped laughing. A low growl slid out of Rose’s teeth, Ally stared at her with wide eyes. The dog fell silent listening. Ally began to snarl too. After a minute, the children started to laugh and play once more, so Ally and Rose stood, and continued on their journey.

Sometimes the girls sang, sweet melodies pouring forward.

Then, they could see it, the ned. It was a silver gate, smaller than the one they’d clambered over to enter. It overlooked a steep drop onto a highway. Ally and Rose looked down, smiling broadly. They’d done it, they’d made it to the end of the line.

The girls turned to leave, bubbling with excitement at their adventure. Ten minutes into the long walk back, they spotted a man. An instinctual nervous fell settled over them, and they quickened their pace. The man took a step forward.

“Run!” Ally cried. The took off, leaping through prickers, foxtails and sharp weeds. They did not look back.  They did not slow until they were very far away.

The girls stopped to rest, Rose pulling prickers from her jeans, Ally plucking them from her denim skirt. She could not belive she’d been able to run like that in this skirt. She smiled shakily to Rose.

An hour later, they were scrambling back up the green gate, into the old oak grove in which they’d came. Out of the trees they walked, onto the sunny grass, where they collapsed. They spent the next hour soaking up sun and gushing of their adventure. How many times had they looked up that gate with a long gaze. Tried to force their eyes to see down the sun-baked land, to its end? And now they knew. Ally wondered if two kids had ever braved the steep climb of the bank of the highway, and shimmied over the silver gate, and walked just to see where they would go. She hoped so.