The believers took a few days rest after team two blew up the sink hole. The rain had stopped, but the sky was still overcast, and high wind tugged at anything that braved the outdoors.
On the third day, they regrouped. Annie held her door open as everyone came in to sit down. She watched the sky, not noticing who said hello to her. The clouds had grown darker throughout the afternoon. She was waiting for any sign of rain.
“Okay, everyone, let’s get started,” Drew said from the living room. “Annie?”
She turned away from the sky at last and joined them.
“It’s time for another hit. We don’t want it to have enough time to bounce back. It’s hurt, we know that much. It hasn’t been able to try anything. We need to kill it this time.”
The group nodded at Drew’s words.
“We have one more bomb. A bigger one,” Bradley said. “We need to get it as close as possible before we set it off. We also need to be precise about the area above ground. We don’t need any innocent people caught in the blast.”
“But where is it now?” Ryan asked. “I’m sure it’s not hanging out in the sink hole anymore.”
“The apartment building,” Stephen said after a pause.
“Yes! The wine cellar,” Drew clapped his hands. “It has a cave down there. I heard the landlord talking to it that night. I’d bet that’s where it’s hiding!”
“We’d have to evacuate –“ Denny began.
“No need,” Stephen said. “It’s empty. Under investigation. We were the only ones that survived his attack on the building.”
“Oh, that one.” The cops nodded at each other.
“Okay, team three?” Drew asked, looking at them. They nodded. “Let’s do it then.”
Lawrence led the team to the black SUV and they piled in. Annie sat by a window so she could continue watching the sky. Drew was talking to Lawrence about the layout of the building as the first fat rain drops began to fall.
A short time later, they pulled up to their destination. Caution tape crossed over the door and flapped in the wind. The team climbed out and looked to Drew and Lawrence for direction.
“There’s a side door,” Drew pointed. “Then there’s a staircase on the left that will take us down to the basement. Across the basement is the entrance to the wine cellar.”
“Everyone have their flashlights?” Lawrence asked. “Good, let’s go.”
Into the building and down the creaking steps. The lights bobbed along the walls and floor and no one spoke. They crossed the basement to where the door stood ajar to the wine cellar.
Drew looked around at his team before opening the door and descending lower into the earth.
They followed behind him, Annie at the back of the group. Her teeth were clenched as she tried to listen hard over the sounds of their feet and rustling clothes.
The wine cellar was damp and empty. Bare and dusty shelves lined the walls and a single chair was in the center of the room. The team spread out to find another door. Annie stared at the chair, then up at the support beam crossing the ceiling where a shred of rope was still tied.
“Over here,” Stephen whispered, and the team went to him. He pulled on a shelf and it came away from the wall as though it had hinges. Behind it was a hole just big enough for a grown man to fit through.
“Good work,” Drew said.
One by one they filed in and looked around. They were now in a cave. Water dripped from the walls and the sound echoed around them.
“Come on,” Lawrence said, leading the away across to a tunnel on the other side. “Watch your step.”
Time passed by as they crept deeper and deeper under the ground. It was silent other than the sound of their shoes on stone and the drip of water. Annie was watching the walls and above them, but there was no sign of the monster.
Drew and Stephen stepped closer together. “Should we go back? This is starting to feel wrong,” Stephen said.
“It’s gotta be down here though…. If we don’t do this now, when?”
“I just don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
“They knew what they were signing up for.”
“Guys, over here,” Lawrence said, interrupting their whispers. He was pointing to a small opening in the wall. Black slime was dripping out of it. “What do you think that could be?”
They gathered around for a better look, Annie hanging back. She was still watching the walls as something slithered along the floor after her. A black tentacle wrapped around her ankle and tugged.
Annie screamed and fell, her flashlight clattering against the rocks. The team reacted quickly, grabbing for her hands as the monster dragged her backwards. A tug of war ensued.
“Anyone have a knife?” Stephen said with a grunt. “Cut that thing off her!”
The monster pulled harder and Annie’s legs disappeared into another tunnel they hadn’t noticed.
“Damnit!” Drew’s hands were slipping.
“Give me the bomb,” Annie said, feeling a stronger tug on her other leg now.
“Give it to me! Then get out of here and blow it up!”
“Annie, no!” Stephen said.
The monster pulled again. A crack echoed out of the tunnel as Annie’s ankle snapped. She screamed again but held tighter to their hands.
“Just do it.” Tears streamed down her face, but she looked as determined as ever.
“Annie…” Drew said.
“She’s right,” Lawrence said and pulled the duffel bag over his head. “This is our best chance to kill it…” He tied the strap around Annie’s arms and she nodded up at them.
“Thank you two for everything,” Annie said to Drew and Stephen. “Be safe.” Another tug and she slid from the grasp. She hugged the duffel to her and she was pulled out of sight.
“Let’s go,” Lawrence pushed and grabbed at the team to get them moving back out of the cave. They ran, not worrying about making noise now.
Back into the wine cellar, up into the basement, and back out to the street. The team loaded into the SUV and drove away.
“Detonate when ready,” Lawrence said.
Drew pushed the button.
They barely felt the ground shake, the bomb was so far under the ground. They watched out the windows as the apartment building shifted and then began to collapse.
Tornado Alley Post
Out with a Bang
The rainy season is officially over! But it didn’t end quietly. An unconfirmed earthquake shook us down late last night. One building collapsed and there are no known casualties at this time- the building was empty.
So let’s celebrate the weatherman’s prediction of clear skies and sun.
We’ll be ready for you next year Mother Nature!
Drew set down the newspaper on his new desk and wiped tears from his eyes.
“Drew! Let’s go! You don’t want to be late to Annie’s memorial, do you?” Stephen said from the hallway.
“One sec!” Drew turned back to his bulletin board. He didn’t glance over the faces hung there this time as he added the last missing poster he’d ever hang. Annie smiled down at him as he turned away at last.
Thank you all for reading. This was fun to write. It was also only a first draft, which is something I hardly ever expose to the public. I will be revising and rewriting this in the future and if anyone would like to read it after I make it as close to perfect as I can get it, just let me know. Thank you again 🙂