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Centennial Trail (More commonly known as the 'Stoner Trail')

I step outside into the brisk Autumn fog of Snohomish, WA. Sauntering down the mossy back steps of my porch in the same dreary way as the other days. Down to that crummy, old hovel of a garage.

"Six, nine, seven..." I quietly mutter to myself as my numb fingers fumble with the combination on the lock, it releases and I twist the rusty doorknob, half expecting it to come off in my hand. There, just like every other morning, my bike is sitting off in the corner, staring at me.

I walk over to the bigger garage door and try to, as silently as I can, open it without disturbing the neighbours. My neighbourhood consists of mostly old people who are up and about at around 6, but I still try not to disturb them.

As I'm wheeling my bike out into the driveway, I see a familiar set of eyes staring me down from the safety of a bush, it was a little grey fox I've seen around my neighbourhood a few times during the Summer.

"Well, go on! I don't have any food for you!" I say in a gruff voice, but he just sat there and stared. I return to getting ready, I shuffle back through the carport to go lock the smaller door, I didn't bother to fully lock it because I knew I was going to be back in three hours and I just didn't happen to give a shit.

There wasn't much worth to steal except for a shitty, old organ, a fridge with nothing in it and a poster of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

I walk back out to the driveway and shut the bigger garage door with a slam. "Fucking thing will cave in, one of these days," I think to myself. Getting on the bike, I look back over at the bush where the fox was studying me, I probably scared it away. I grab my backpack and set the gears on my bike to 10 and ride up the alley to Avenue D. After twenty or so cars and school buses speed by, (Avenue D is one of the busiest streets in Snohomish, next to Highway 9.) one nice person lets me cross the street.

I don't stop pedaling until I'm up to Avenue B, I knew it was "B" because it had two big rows of elm trees on either side of the street. I swiftly rode up the street, past 4th Street, down past the church on to 5th and "A". Through the Stoner Trail, fog always seems to build in this area more, but I think it's also mixed with smoke from the kids who wake and bake, sometimes.

The fog gets even more dense as I'm riding through, the chain on my bike gets disconnected from the gears, the trees are almost gone from view, and I'm sitting five feet from the edge of the woods.

I get off of my bike and push the kickstand out, so I can fix it. Then, things get eerily silent, I start hearing a far off sounding melody. I press the side button on my earbuds figuring it was my iPod playing music, the melody got louder and more distorted.

Suddenly, I feel a force push me from where my bike was facing me and tumbled violently down the hill into the woods. My bike fell on my leg and the brake handle went into my upper leg. I couldn't see anything but the fog and the shape of the tree I was laying against.

There was the distinctly alcoholic smell of cleaning solution, then a wave of calm washed over me. I couldn't fight, I couldn't scream, It felt like my life was slowly flowing out of my body and my heartbeat slowed. Then my eyes closed.

Excerpt from Everett Herald (From 28 years ago.)

Thursday, September 27, 1984 10:37 A.M.

"15-Year-Old Boy Found Dead on Centennial Trailhead"

A young boy was found dead alongside the trail, his bike was found deeper in the woods and looked as if it got ran over, there was a deep gash in the side of his throat, severing the jugular, and two more deep gashes going down his wrists in a vertical pattern, which say otherwise.

The authorities are suggesting it was a suicide, friends and family members think otherwise.