The Hole — Chapter 12

A Novel of Supernatural Apocalypse

Aaron Ross Powell

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The house stood alone in a field of wheat. A dirt road cut through the crop to its front door. Elliot followed it as Evajean gazed out the window at the barrier.

The curtain of light came down directly on the house, cutting it in half. Where it should have pierced the shingles and wood, the barrier sizzled a brighter yellow and pulled back, just far enough to see through. Elliot stopped the truck in the small driveway and turned off the engine. He got out, leaning on the open door, and stared at the house.

They’d driven for several hours, heading northwest as the map indicated, taking the tiny two lane roads that split off from the highway. Eventually, they drove away from everything familiar and entered a wilderness of farmland, without houses or towns, gas stations or streetlights. Evajean spotted the house first, a speck of black on the horizon, silhouetted, with its fiery yellow outline, against the orange of the barrier and the brown of the land. Elliot drove toward it and Evajean checked the map again, making sure this was the right place.

Now they were here, looking up at the three-story dwelling, with faded black walls and a black roof, the windows dark and the porch sagging. This was the way through. It would mean abandoning the truck and whatever supplies they couldn’t carry. And it would mean dealing, in their minimally equipped state, with whatever dwelled on the other side of that impossible wall of light.

“Why here?” Evajean said. Hope had jumped out and was running through the wheat, barking.

“I don’t know,” Elliot said.

Evajean shook her head. “That’s crazy, you know? That all this was planned. How could it have been?”

“I don’t know. You a believer?”

“You mean religious?” Evajean said. “No, not really.”

“Me neither. But maybe this is what they’re always going on about. The religions. When they talk about God’s plan or a purpose for the universe, maybe this is what they mean. We’re just part of that purpose.”

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Aaron Ross Powell

Host of the ReImagining Liberty podcast. Writer and political ethicist. Former think tank scholar.