Nathan knew the woods and loved them when he was Archie’s age. That was when his family bought the old farmhouse and moved here. This was the place his mother grew up in and she was so excited to be back in it, especially for the winters. She loved the way the snow looked on the trees and across the expanse of their yard. Dazzling, she called it. Nathan was never sure about that, but he did enjoy playing in the woods and, as much he wouldn’t admit it now, he enjoyed taking Archie out there to watch him play, too. Exploring. Climbing. Looking for animals. Pretending to hunt for Bigfoot. He didn’t do the woods much anymore because he would rather be in town with Jane or his friends. Living five miles off the highway was a pain in the ass, especially in winter, and the woods no longer offered their previous allure.
Nathan knew the woods stretched for miles behind their house and one could only go so far before they got deep and dark and easy to get lost in. What was this strange girl doing out there? Who were these people that she said took her and were still out there? He stared out the kitchen window toward the trees beyond. Archie was in the living room playing records for the girl. She had become enthralled by Men at Work. How did she not know about Men at Work?
The woods were silent, uninviting. Nathan wondered what might be out there watching the house.