The following weekend, the believers regrouped. Officer Davis brought two other officers with him. He’d talked to them about the evidence and managed to bring them around to their way of thinking. Best of all, they had a plan.
“Okay everyone, Officer Davis –“
“Please, just Bradley,” he interrupted Drew.
“Bradley and his two fellow officers have a surprise for us.”
“Hey guys, this is Denny and Lawrence. We’ve used our resources to acquire ammunition and explosives to take this thing down!”
The group let out a cheer.
“Phase one begins tonight. Six of us will go out to the sinkhole and let him have it,” Denny went on. “We have an armored car ready, so we can get away fast if anything goes south.”
Another cheer went up.
“Teams are posted on the board. Team one, let’s get loaded up and move out,” Lawrence said.
More cheers as they dispersed to check the boards and grab duffel bags. Drew stepped over to Annie’s seat by the wall.
“Good call,” he said.
“Thanks.” Annie watched team one walk out the door, laughing and clapping each other on the back.
“Anything bothering you?”
Annie sighed and forced herself to make eye contact with Drew. “I’m just worried about something going wrong.”
Drew nodded and gave her a one-armed hug. “Just try to focus on what could go right. That’s what I do.”
Team one advanced on the sinkhole with quiet steps. Bradley was leading them and held up his hand for the halt several feet away from the edge. Everyone gave their guns a final check.
Bradley held up one finger and the three people in the front row tossed grenades into the opening. Everyone ducked as the explosions shook the ground and earth was blasted up.
The hole growled.
Two by two the group advanced and fired down into the hole.
Unnatural squeals of pain erupted into the air.
Bradley held up two fingers and they tossed a few more grenades down. Another growl, another round of shots.
With the third round of grenades, rain drops began to fall on them.
“Last round!” Bradley said as the teams stepped up two by two to the widening hole. The ground shook beneath their feet and the rain came down with more intensity. “Retreat!”
The team took off for the car.
Tim and Chyanne were the last to turn away, the edge of the sinkhole crumbling beneath their feet.
“Oh no!” Chyanne’s foot fell with a clump of dirt and Tim spun to grab her hand, but he was too late. She slipped out of his grasp and tumbled back with the clumps of dirt.
“Run!” she screamed as she fell, but Tim didn’t listen and dove after her into the darkness.
Back at the car, Bradley waited as long as he could. The winds were picking up and he feared for the rest of their lives. A scream tore through the night and he put the car into drive.
“We lost two,” he said into the radio as he drove away.
The pain. So much pain.
They’re all gone. All of his servants perished as they tried to defend his hiding place.
The would pay for this.