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July 7th Thursday, 04:00 a.m
"Hey Mr. Bradford. What are we digging here for so late at night? I mean you never really visit us or get your hands dirty in anyway. " One of the workers speaks out as they stand outside looking in.
"These mines are a part of our town and city's success and foundation. A real part of history for the Bradford family and our ancestors. They stopped digging here because of the old people that owned this land long ago, but now we have the deed. This could spark a major rebuild in our town and our city's futures and lead us to a better path. It is far too important for me to let you do it by yourselves with no supervision or real chain of command.
" Mr Bradford breeming with ambition and strive seeping from his broad shoulders and tight blue suit.
"But sir, the rumours about this town and the Bradford's are..."
"are what?" Mr Bradford asks,
"...they are weird and unexplained. I mean the library has its own spin on what happened but when you ask the elders around town, the little that are left, they tell you something else. Something dark and creepy that happened in those mines. You sure we should be digging in there?"
"Don't worry I asked my brother, everything will be fine." Mr Bradford responds.
"Hey Grant! We found something." One of Grant's men shouts out from the dark hole waiting and looking at the two men.
"Alright let's go," Mr Bradford picks up his gear and Grant does the same.
Mr Bradford and Grant walk into the cave ever so slowly, their flashlights insignificant and smile shining only at the spots they point to. The darkness swallowed their shadows, the silence was louder than the tiny footsteps they took through the cave and the gear they sent the men in with was nowhere to be found.
"Hey! Where are you guys?" Grant screams through the pitch black only hearing his own voice being echoed back to him.
"Call them again." Mr Bradford looks to Grant as his swallows his saliva and starts to shake with the darkness pulling them further and further into the unknown.
Grant pulls out his sat phone with the cave seemingly stretching endlessly to the nothingness that was ahead of them,
"Hey Willy, Barns, Lily, Tran, Karl... Can anyone hear me?"
"Give me that!" Mr Bradford pulls the phone away in a panic,
"Look, if you guys don't tell us where you are... You will all be fired! I don't care if it's some sick joke or a stupid prank. You will all be fired!"
Mr Bradford smacks the phone against Grant's chest and they continue to walk even deeper.
"What the hell is that?" Grant's flashlight spots a mark on the walls, a red mark high up close to the celing.
"There is more..." Mr Bradford spots another on the opposite side,
"Look there too!" Grant yells out,
"Fuck..." Mr Bradford's shock stops him in his tracks.
"What?" Grant shines his light on him looking at his bulging eyes and still face.
"Look at them..." Mr Bradford shines his light around the walls from the ceiling to the floor and all around.
"It's a giant circle of markings..." Grant sees the markings form an entrance or warning from the top to the bottom, forming a giant line, "we need to get the fuck out of here..."
"No... This could be your friends..."
"My friends! This is what the elders were talking about! We need to get the fuck out of here!"
"Fine, I will report this and my brother will maybe give me more men to work with."
"Good..." Grant turns around and starts to walk back,
Mr Bradford stares a bit, analyzing the circle and turns away with failure ozzing from his lowered shoulders.
A strong wind blew inside the cave and a whisper came with it,
"where are you guys going?"
"What the fuck!" Grant turns around quickly flashing his light around,
"What?" Mr Bradford looks at Grant,
"You didn't hear that?"
"No, let's just go,"
Mr Bradford walks away and Grant still looks around behind him unsettled and shaky.
Grant turning around to Mr Bradford,
"Hey! Mr Bradford!" Sees that he is alone, "What the hell!"
Grant starts to shine his light everywhere, left to right, back to front, up and down, everywhere that his light can reach. His breathing starts to build up, his body starts to sweat, his heart starts to pound and his hairs start to stand all over his body. A strong wind blows again knocking his cave helmet off and slapping his flashlight away from his hand.
The light starts to flicker, but he quickly spots the source of the glimmer and follows it.
"What the hell..."
As he walks closer to the light, the further away it seems. He starts to increase his pace to it but its still backing away from him. He starts to run to it but its still backing away from him. He stops and the flashlight stops,
"What's going on?" He rubs his eyes and blinks a couple of times,
"okay... This isn't real... This isn't real, Grant..."
He opens his eyes and sees nothing but pitch black darkness, the light is gone and he is stranded all alone.
Mr Bradford continues to walk with his flashlight leading the way through the murky, dark cave. A wind blows and pushes him forward almost causing him to stumble on the rocky surface.
"Whew, that was close right?" He smiles and looks back and Grant is gone.
"Grant! Grant!" He screams to the darkness as it silently watches his panic,
"I got to get the fuck out of here..."
He starts to walk away with pace and hears a creak behind him,
He flashes his light behind him and nothing is there, turning around the creak sounds again,
"Who the fuck is there?"
He turns around slowly and spots a woman a few feet in front of him,
"Who are you?"
The woman is unresponsive.
"Look, if my family cheated you out of the deed. I am sorry but I was sent here to do a job, okay? If you have any problems take it with my brother,"
The woman stays unresponsive.
Mr Bradford just stares at her breathing out slowly and looks closer at her.
"Your dress is torn... Are you okay?"
Mr Bradford's heart starts to slow down as the blood from her dress drips to the ground,
"if you need help I can-"
She immediately points behind him and her eyes start to bulge and twitch glued to the back of him. Mr Bradford's breathing starts to race and pound as he turns his head and his flashlight follows. A creak echoes through the cave and his head twitches into his shoulders. He stops himself from turning and closes his eyes just for a moment taking deeper breathes and twisting around his neck.
He jumps and turns in one swoop and sees the woman behind him opening her mouth wide, ready to bite his head off like an apple. His fear turns him into stone, staring at the wide woman's mouth and bulging eyes right above his head. She closes her mouth and stares directly into his eyes, Mr Bradford wills his mouth to move,
"What are you?"
She says nothing and directs her eyes behind him again, he turns to look and nothing is there. He looks back to the woman and she is gone. His body starts to move again and his heart starts to beat again.
"What the fuck was that?" He lowers his head to breath in deep, "I have to get out of here."
Mr Bradford starts to hear footsteps in the distance and shines his light to the sound. He squints his eyes and sees someone wearing cave gear running towards him. The figure starts to grow in size as it draws near with speed and zest.
Mr Bradford's light flickers a few times shining towards the figure and his vision starts to blur. He blinks his eyes a few times and it only gets worse with each blink.
The light dies out and the footsteps grow stronger and stronger in the pitch black darkness.
His light flashes again and a horde of men are running behind Grant with clothes drenched in black oil and skin pale as pearl.
"Run!" Grant screams to Mr Bradford and he turns in an instant to follow suit.
Grant catches up to Mr Bradford in a heap and he stuggles to keep up his pace in his tight suit. He throws his blue blazer to the one of the horde's men and it does nothing to hinder their chase. The darkness is relentless as it swallows them with every footstep they take to run away from the horde. The markings start to reappear again, bit by bit and step by step they grow in numbers.
"What the fuck are they?" Mr Bradford asks, drawing his breath,
"I don't know just keep running!" Grant shouts back to him.
Grant looks back and trips, falling and tumbling like a wheel rolling on a bumpy road. His head crashing into the rocks, his back bouncing on the hard surface and his arms skin being ripped off and torn apart, leaving a bloody trail by his wake.
Mr Bradford reaches to stop the momentum of his unconcious body from flipping and rolling but its too fast for his grasp. He looks back and the horde is gone, running to catch up to Grant by following the bloody trail and spots the bodies of others. He stops and shock runs through his spine and blood. Grant lying in the middle of the severed bodies of his co-workers as they form a circled with their dismembered, lifeless bodies.
Mr Bradford throws up on the side leaning on the marked wall looking away in dread. The markings painted all over red and dried lead his eyes to the circle of bodies.
"A pattern seems to run from the inside of the cave all the way to here," he sighs, "I should have listened..."
Lowering his head to look at the ground seeing a symbol or giant marking on the ground. He closes his eyes for a moment and looks back but the bodies have disappeared, leaving the giant marking empty and bloody.
"The fuck... Grant?" He stands up and looks around, "Grant!"
He turns to the sound and spots Grant putting his boney, stripped finger on his severed, hanging lips. He points to the side of him and turns his head, Mr Bradford slowly arches his head following Grant's bloody arm's direction.
Mr Bradford's head detaches from his neck and flies in the air spraying blood in all directions as it flew through the air and smashed against the wall, cracking itself open like a coconut splitting in half. His brains pouring out of his exposed head and his eyes cold and dead looking to the horde standing around his severed head.