One rickety old bridge lay in the path to the top of the mountain. It was a rope-and-plank setup, sagging with age and neglect. It stretched over a small but swollen river cutting a lazy swath down the side of the mountain. At least, the river seemed small from their perch at the edge of the bridge. It got much bigger the closer they got to its banks.
“Ah, I hate this bridge,” Jason muttered under his breath. Gone was the teasing and levity of the previous moments; no one dated to speak any louder than necessary. Jason wasn’t the only one quite uncomfortable with the trek across the bridge.
They filed one by one onto the roped planks, Brian leading the way. Katie and then Jason followed, with Ashton right on his heels. Maggie and Josh brought up the rear of the group, and they all proceeded carefully and slowly. The only sound for the moment came from the creaking boards beneath their feet and the water rushing farther below.
“Almost halfway,” Brian breathed. Jason held a fleeting thought of breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that the second half of the bridge was at least less worn than the first half, as most people turned back before reaching the halfway point of the bridge. But the idea was gone before he could focus any real attention on it.
Katie didn’t have that problem. “Awesome,” she said, blowing through her teeth as she stepped to the next plank in front of her. “Then we’ll just need to — ”
The board under her foot snapped. And then she was gone.