Lonnie looked at Ricky and whispered, “Let’s put something heavy on the trap door so they can’t get out.”
“What if somebody else is down there?’
“Is there another way out?”
“Who cares? Somebody’ll come along sooner or later.”
“Shhh. Wait. I think I heard something.”
Missy and Kevin creaked the front door open and tiptoed into the cottage. They were whispering, too. Kevin checked the box of flashlights that they kept there and counted how many were left.
“They’re all here,” he whispered. “They didn’t know about the flashlights. They’ll probably use their cigarette lighters or one of the candles that are in the cellar.” He handed Missy a small flashlight and she tucked it into her back pocket.
“I don’t think I want to go down there,” she said. “I’m not scared. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Kevin picked up a large flashlight and was about to whisper back when Ricky and Lonnie stepped around the corner. “Well, well, well,” Lonnie said, “if it isn’t little Mr. Jackson, son of big Mr. Jackson. Look, Ricky, the little snot-nosed kid got himself a girlfriend.”
“Down the hatch, you two,” Ricky said, gesturing toward the trap door. Lonnie reached out and grabbed the flashlight out of Kevin’s hand then pushed him toward the opening. “Ladies first,” he said, still pushing Kevin ahead of Missy. Missy followed, but was able to keep facing them so they couldn’t see the flashlight in her back pocket. She said nothing as she climbed down. She didn’t even dare to look them in the eye though she was mad and scared and her heart was fluttering faster than a hummingbird’s wings. When she reached the bottom she backed away from the ladder and bumped into Kevin just as the trap door was closed above them and they were thrust into darkness.
copyright 2010 by Debra Chapoton (excerpt from pages 8 & 9 of Bullies and Bears)