“Hey, new kid!” Marcus yelled across the hall as the new student tried to squeeze through the crowd. He looked around, eyes wide as though expecting something bad.
“Yeah, you! Come here,” Ethan motioned him over to their group.
“Hi,” he said once he’d reached them. “I’m Kevin.”
“I’m Marcus, this is Ethan, Ben, Lacy, and Sammy.” He pointed to the group. “How was your first day?”
“Uh…okay I guess.”
“Where’d you move from?” Lacy asked.
“Cool. I’ve been there,” Sammy said.
“Wanna come hang out with us?” Ben asked as they started moving towards the exit doors.
“Sure… There’s a pond by my house, we could go swim-”
“Nah,” they collectively cut him off.
“Huh? Why not? It’s so hot out, swimming would be nice.”
Their eyes shifted around uneasily.
“The water’s dirty.”
“There’s weird fish.”
And a few other mumbled excuses.
“We can go explore the fields instead,” Ethan offered. “We can drop our stuff at my house, it’s on the way.”
They agreed and began to walk down the sidewalk. Lacy and Sammy hung back, discussing a fashion magazine while the boys led the way. They stopped in at Ethan’s house and piled their school bags in the front hall.
“Is it always this hot?” Kevin asked, pulling off his overshirt and throwing it over his shoulder.
The others laughed.
“You don’t even know what hot is,” Marcus said.
“Yeah, wait ’til August when it’s so hot you feel like your skin is melting.”
“So why’d you move here?” Ethan asked as they began to cross the open lot into the field. Lacy and Sammy were picking flowers and tucking them into each others hair.
“Well, my dad has family here. They said they wanted a ‘change of scenery,’ whatever that means.”
“They didn’t ask you about it?” Marcus asked, grabbing a large tree branch from the ground to use as a walking stick.
“Not really. They just brought home a bunch of boxes one day after they had a conversation about moving. I thought they were kidding.”
“Hey, guys! Come look over here!” Ben had wandered away and was waving them over. They started to run towards him. “Slow down!” he put his hands up and they stopped. “Look.”
A gaping hole in the ground lay before them, the edge was just feet away from where they’d stopped.
“Ugh, what’s that smell?” Sammy covered her nose.
As the wind shifted, they all got a whiff and made similar disgusted noises. It was a combination of wet dog and decay and it made the children draw back from the hole.
“Something’s down there,” Marcus said. “Something dead, I think.”
“Should we tell someone?” Lacy asked.
A sudden rattling noise made a response impossible. It seemed to be coming from the hole. As it faded back out, the kids were looking at each other in confusion and fear.
“Cicadas?” Ethan suggested.
“I think it’s going to rain,” Ben was watching the sky now as clouds rolled in. Dark angry clouds.
Thunder rumbled above them to confirm his suspicions.
“We should go.”
“Back to my house, yeah.”
The first drops of rain began to fall as they started back across the field.
“Ow!” Sammy squealed, wiping a spot on her arm.
“What?” Lacy was looking at her with concern.
“The rain. It stung me.”
More was falling now, at a more rapid pace.
“Ouch! Stung me too!”
“Let’s get out of here!”
They took off at a run.
Tornado Alley Post
Yesterday’s thunderstorm rolled in quickly and dropped several inches of rain on the town. During the night, several children were reported missing. Their last known whereabouts were near Lemon Ave. If you’ve seen any of these children, please alert the authorities.,