Short Story: There’s a Hole

There’s a hole in the swamp where you can toss anything and it’s gone forever. Most people know about it and have used it one time or another. It’s behind Clarke’s Bait Shop on the levee road right before you get to the turnoff for LA 96. You’ve been there. We used to go as kids.

Behind Clarke’s the ground slopes down into the swamp and the soil begins to turn to mud. That’s where the hole is, about 15 feet in diameter, near the water. Even on a sunny day if you look into it there’s nothing but blackness – as black as you can imagine. Blacker than black. We used to throw rocks into the pit and listen. We never did hear them hit the bottom.

A while back they say Martin Theriot threw his wife down there. She went missing. Never was found. Some say she moved in with her mother in Shreveport, but no one’s seen her, even Dr. Kyle who goes to Shreveport on the regular. He said he even knocked on her mother’s door once and no one answered. She’s in that pit – in that hole. Still never hit the bottom, I’d bet.

But mostly people throw trash in there. The dump only takes construction waste and no one wants you dumping trash on their property. They used to do that in the old days, before they found the hole, I think. I don’t know. Maybe it’s been there forever. Anyhow things like paint buckets and big pieces of furniture and mattresses are a pain to leave out for the trash trucks. You’ve got to put them out on certain days and who can keep track of which day. If you miss it you’ve got a mattress sitting out in front of your house, junking up the curb, probably getting wet. It’s a lot easier to just toss those things in the hole.

Or at least it was. Last weekend Joel Lang was walking the levee with his dog. I don’t know what happened – a squirrel or something caught the dog’s attention and next thing you know it’s down the hole. Joel just moved here last year. He doesn’t know anything so he called to the dog. He got some treats and hung over the edge. Next thing you know there goes Joel.

Now they’ve put up barricades all over behind Clarke’s Bait Shop. No one can get near it. There’s a backhoe and some other equipment. All week they’ve been trying to fill the hole in but of course the dirt goes in and it’s gone forever. I heard the plan now is to put plywood sheets on top then cover those with two feet of dirt. That way no one can fall in. Of course if you need to get rid of anything you’ll be out of luck. The trash trucks come on Monday but next week is a holiday. Anything you put out is gonna be there a while. 

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