Happy Friday! As 1st February launch day approaches for ‘A Sinister Six,’ I present another segment of one of its stories. Today it’s the turn of ‘Into the Scar.’ A pair of boys skip school to investigate the caves beneath their homes. Something is already down there…
His phone lay a short distance away, and he reached for it. The screen was cracked, but as he pressed the power button, it lit up illuminating them both. Billy took a sharp intake of breath as his friend’s face came into clear view. There was fresh blood running from a cut on his head and tears had left lines down his muddy cheeks. Blood ran from the side of his mouth where at least one tooth appeared to be missing.
He had never seen George crying before. He had always imagined it was a thing that other boys did. It was something he did, but not George. Now, George’s screams had changed to sobs, and he rubbed his eyes with balled fists. His chest hitched with every sob as he spoke.
“Wh-what are we gonna do n-now?” The pain was etched on his face. “You’re not gonna l-l-leave me, are you?”
Billy had never had to make decisions before. Other people made decisions: adults, parents, George. His brief pause set George off again.
“Oh, God!” He covered both eyes with his blood stained hands. “Don’t leave me B-Billy!”
Billy had made his decision. It was as much for him as it was for George; he didn’t want to be down here alone.
“I’m not going to leave you. Come on.” He stood and grabbed George’s arm, hauling him to his feet. “Please stop crying.” He talked to George the way he had when his sister had been a baby. She had not been a good sleeper, and Billy lay awake many nights listening to her screaming. George made an effort to stop the tears and after a few more hitches of his chest, he fell silent.
“Hold this.” Billy handed the phone off and ducked under George’s arm, draping it round his neck. “Can you walk?”
“Yes, but go slow.” His chest heaved as he moved.
The tunnel here was tighter, and the boys had to stoop to make progress. George took a sharp intake of breath with every step, as he tried and failed to stay off his throbbing foot, but for the most part, they moved in silence. In the dark, it was hard to judge distance, but after walking for several minutes, the tunnel opened out into what Billy assumed was a large cave. Its walls were hidden in the darkness somewhere in the distance. He drew to a stop.