Netta heard footsteps rushing up the pathway from the lower chamber, and she ran, trusting her footing would lead her straight.
“Not her too!” Netta heard her momma call out before she pushed aside the vines covering the cave’s mouth and ran towards town. She couldn’t understand how her momma and the council members got to the cave. As she ran, she figured there had to be a pathway from the City Hall.
It was late afternoon and the townsfolk were heading home, some in cars, but most walking along the street as if their whole world had not been snatched from them. Netta stood in the middle of the heaviest trafficked intersection with her hands raised high, causing heads to turn and horns to bleat.
“I need everybody’s help!” Netta yelled out in her loudest outside voice. People turned toward her and others stepped out of their cars, concern overtaking their initial anger. More people gathered around the intersection, the crowd quickly growing. “The council members lied to everybody, and they’ve got my momma and sister in a cave in the Baring Woods!” Tears spilled down her face. She feared they wouldn’t believer her, some knowing the trouble she could get herself into. “They’ll make us all slaves or kill all of us if we don’t stop them now. Eva might be dead already. Please help me!”
Netta heard murmurs in the crowd, scared whisperings of “The Baring Woods?”, “They couldn’t have lied to us!”, and “Kill us?”
Netta saw her science teacher and said, “Mrs. Ramsey, help! Just go to the City Hall and you’ll see that nobody’s there. But there’s got to be a secret way to get to where they have my momma and Eva.”
Holding everyone’s attention, Netta began walking toward the City Hall, while saying, “Come on everybody. I’ll show you. Come on!”
Everyone followed her, then passed her child’s legs pace. When she got there, probably the whole town was at the City Hall. Netta pushed her way through the crowd inside.
“Well, where are they, Netta?” one of her neighbors asked.
“They were all in here when my momma told me to go on to school. There’s got to be a secret way to the caves.”
“I don’t see anything,” Mrs. Ramsey said. Then she looked at the only possibility – the closet door. When she opened it, a swooshing sound and cold, musty air escaped. They stared inside the darkness, not understanding why they weren’t looking into a small closet.
“See,” Netta said. “They’ve got to be in there. You’ve got to help them!”
In a single file, the crowd entered the closet in silence, each new person going in giving a soft shriek of surprise that they could walk in and keep going. Mrs. Ramsey took Netta’s hand and went in near the end of the line. “We’ve got to hurry,” Netta told her.
“Alright, people!” Mrs. Ramsey called out. “We’ve got to pick up the pace and find out what’s going on here before it’s too late.”
The line quickened, a few people with flashlights passing them out to the front, middle and end of the line. The path soon became a wider dirt and stone walkway. The single line grew thicker and moved even faster, until someone in the front yelled out, “Oh my dear God. I see them! I see Eva and Peyton! Dear God, please don’t let them be dead.”
on Thursday, May 22, 2014 ~