It was off limits. We could hear its tantalizing noises coming from beneath the floor.
There were sparks and hisses. Loud clangs. Jolts. Saws. Chains. And drills boring through all sorts of things.
We lived in the apartment above grandfather’s shop.
It was a forbidden land of splendor and curiosity for me and my brothers.
True to form, I was the one who envisioned our mission.
The adults were gone.
I don’t recall what prompted them to be gone on this occasion. It was rare, if not a first.
There were some mystical Garden of Eden vibes going on.
We suited up like Ninjas. We had holstered swords and used our white tube socks for gloves. We got as closely matched as we could get.
We admired ourselves in the hall mirror.
We trudged down the stairway in a rhythmic march.
It took the three of us to push the massive shop door open.
We found a light switch.
Before we emerged in the kingdom of our dreams. Everything was big, solid, and cold to the touch.
We split off in the direction we fancied and pretended the machines were monsters.
We slew them with our swords.
My younger brother went behind what appeared to be a sheet metal cutter.
He had tangled his sword.
I stepped on a lever on the other side and it accidentally cut off the tip of his finger.
Blood spouted everywhere. We all screamed in fear. I was already thinking this was not a good idea.
We ran out of the shop and onto the sidewalk. It seemed fortunate at the time that Dad drove up.
He looked at my brother’s bleeding finger. Applied pressure and noticed it was missing its tip.
We directed him to the sheet cutter. Blood on metal is not a good look.
He found the fingertip and off we went to the hospital where three of our aunts were nurses.
He got stitched up. There was a lot of bandage for a finger.
We got home and fessed up about the entire mission.
The punishment was severe, but it was worth it for the two of us.
We never went into the shop unaccompanied or uninvited again.
To this day, I don’t know how we found the light switch or his fingertip.