If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!
I turn the flashlight back on and take another look around. I guess I’m on my own getting out of here. I have no intention of me and Tee dying in some dark, dank hole in the ground. I put Tee down on the ground. I’m reasonably certain no snakes are here and I’m going to need both hands to deal with the situation.
I take stock of how high the hole is from me. It’s got to be at least fifteen feet, maybe closer to twenty. I wonder if the crates could help. I take a closer look. They look like your ordinary wooden crates, who knows how long they’ve been down here. I try to move one. Crap, they must have been down here for years as it just falls apart as I move it. There won’t be any climbing up those. Dammit.
I might not be able to climb them, but the crates will make a great fire. I don’t know how long I’m going to be down here and I need to conserve the battery life in the flashlight. So I start to build a fire right under the hole. I figure the hole will act as a chimney and draw the smoke up. The fire will also give off plenty of light and warmth.
If I’m real lucky the smoke will draw the attention of someone and they’ll investigate. A long shot, but what else have I got?
I build a nice pile of wood from the crate. I search Tee’s satchel. I know there is a lighter in there someplace. I remember putting it in there. It’s my brothers and I ‘borrowed’ it from him last time I saw him. Ok, I stole it. He likes to smoke cigars every once in a while and I hate the smell of the things, so I took his lighter and hid it in Tee’s satchel. Yeah, childish I know, but my brother irritates me sometimes.
I find the lighter and I also find my phone! Why didn’t I think of that before? I’ll just dial 911 and get the hell out of here! I look at the phone. Ah crap. No cell service. I’m too deep in the earth. My luck seems to have deserted me today.
Back to the fire. I light a small splinter of wood and stick it under the pile. It catches quickly and shoots upwards. I sit crossed legged in front of the fire and ponder my situation. It’s not good. I hear Tee digging in the background. Ah, leave him at it. He’ll tire quickly enough. I watch the fire flicker straight up. Without any breeze, it doesn’t dance like most fires will that are out in the open.
I lose track of how long I’m sitting in front of that fire. My eyes watch the flames, but my mind flashes through my short thirty-two years. Is this what knowing you are going to die is like? Remembering odd things like the time my brother Mac stole my crayons and melted them down in some kind of experiment. I remember I cried for days. I was about five at the time. My mom bought me a brand new box of sixty-four Crayola’s. The kind with the sharpener built-in the box.
My mind finally registers what my eyes have been seeing for a while. The flames are dancing. I come out of my stupor fast. The flames are dancing! That means they are getting air from somewhere down here. If they are getting air from down here, that means the air is coming from somewhere other than this hole!
I hear very faint scratching sounds. Tee? Where the hell is Tee?
“Tee!” I try to stand up and my legs feel like pins and needles are stabbing them. Damn, I must have been sitting here feeling sorry for myself a lot longer than I thought.
“Tee!” I yell again as I switch the flashlight on and take a look around. I listen, I hear faint scratching sounds. I sure hope while I was having a pity party Tee didn’t get himself stuck somewhere. I yell his name again and hear his barking from the side of the hole where I haven’t searched. It didn’t look like much was over there but a few more broken crates.
The barking is coming from the other side of those broken crates. I walk to the back side of them and see a hole behind them close to the ground. What the hell? The scratching sound is coming from the hole! Tee? There’s just enough room to kneel down next to the small Tee size hole, so I do and call Tee’s name again. Sure enough, the barking is coming from the hole.
I put my eye to the hole and shine the light through it. I also feel a slight breeze against my face. It’s not fresh air like outside air, but it’s a sight fresher than what I’ve been breathing. That means Tee has dug himself into a bigger space than here! Maybe there was a way out of here yet.
“Damn Tee, you might have saved our asses!” I say this out loud and watch a familiar small body scurry through the hole towards me. I sit up just as he reaches me. He’s filthy, his tongue is hanging out with thirst and he’s the best thing I’ve seen in ages.
I hug him and set him back down. Now it’s time to get my sorry ass to work. First to move these crates so I can get better access to the hole. Second to start digging my way out just like Tee did. Even if I have to use my hands to do it.
“Tee, you are one damn smart dog. Let’s get to work.”
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