Her brother Mikey said the hole wouldn’t lead to China, but he was frequently wrong. Besides, Maya felt something above the dirt, like a wiggle in the air. The shovel too felt different when she held it over the spot, like the wood on a piano after you slam your hand on the keys.

Anyway, everyone knew a hole wouldn’t go to China, but that was beside the point. A hole could go somewhere, anywhere, and why not have an open mind?

So it didn’t surprise her, not in the squeaking way of other girls, when the hole she dug wound up revealing a second hole, a kind of tunnel lined in burlap. Maya tied her shoelaces tighter, tucked her yellow tank top into her brother’s old jeans, and climbed in.

The hole smelled like mud and river water, like algae in fish tanks. She crawled into the burlap tunnel, and it led down, down.

People on couch
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