Inside the Mine
Lily leans against the wall, trying to get into a comfortable position to sleep in. But really, who can sleep in a dark, dusty, little room? She should try, though. Her eyes slowly close.
The door opens. Lily's eyes shoot open as she sees two shadows. REOWR! A third shadow jumps down and runs away. The bigger shadow utters a curse and throws the other shadow inside the room before shutting the door. Lily has enough time, though, to see the shadow is actually a girl maybe a few years older than her.
The girl groans. Lily pictures the girl sitting up slowly and putting a hand to her head. "Mmnh, my head," she says. "Wh-Where am I?"
Lily says, "I don't know."
She hears the girl jump. "Who's there?"
"My name's Lily. I woke up here, too."
"But you don't know where we are?"
The girl moans.
"Do you have a cat?"
"Yes, her name's Mittens. Why?"
"I think she ran out."
"I hope she's okay." She sounds worried.
Lily reaches out until she feels a shoulder, then she awkwardly gives the girl a hug. "I'm sure your cat will be fine," she says, though she really doesn't know.
"Thanks, um, Lily, right?"
"Yep. What's your name?"
"It's so dark in here," Kevin whines. It took several minutes before they all decided Kevin and Trevor would sneak into the mine, leaving Charlie with the Slenders in the forest. "What exactly are we looking for, anyway?"
"Anything to do with those kidnappings," Trevor says. "Hopefully we won't find anything to do with death." Kevin shudders.
"...the arrival," a voice says from a branching hallway.
The boys freeze. "We need to hide," Trevor whispers to Kevin.
He nods and frantically looks for a place to hide. The closest place he sees is underneath a table. If anyone who passes by looks down, they will be able to see the boys, but it is the closest and easiest place to hide that Kevin can see. He grabs his friend and pulls him underneath. "Tuck your legs in," he hisses, and Trevor complies.
Two men can be heard (and their shoes seen) rounding the corner. "Did the boss pick a place yet?" one of them asks in a gruffly voice.
"Not yet," a nasally voice replies. "I wish he'd hurry up, though."
Trevor can smell something as the men pass by. The scent makes him think of rotted pine needles. What would thugs like the Black Circle be doing in a forest?
"D'you think our boss is just being a nutcase about this?" the gruff voice says.
"What do you mean?" asks his nasally companion.
The shoes come to a stop a few feet past the table. "Well, he says he's spent all his life since that 'incident' trying to catch that monster. But instead of going for the monster, he's going for random people. It doesn't seem like he knows what he's doing at all."
"Is that so?" a third voice hisses. Kevin presses himself and Trevor against the wall, Trevor clutching his stick to him tighter. A third pair of shoes makes its way casually to the other shoes. "You think I don't know what I'm doing?"
"No, I didn't-"
"Do you have so little faith in your leader?" the third voice spits. Judging by the following sounds, the boss must be choking the gruff-voice person. "I promise you, if you fail me or try to leave, I will have you killed."
Mr. Gruff is released and gulps in air, coughing a couple times. "I'm sorry, sir," he breathes.
"Sir," a fourth voice says, another pair of shoes coming into view. "The tech team found something very interesting. One of their cameras caught four people appearing out of nowhere and then running into the forest."
Trevor and Kevin freeze. When Margareta told them about the cameras, not once did it cross their minds that they could have been spotted.
And now, the Slenders are in danger of being found.
"Really?" the boss says, sounding intrigued.
"And one of the people looked like that Charlie boy."
The boss starts hurrying down the hallway, calling out orders to gather as many men as possible and to bring guns. When the coast is clear, Kevin crawls out, pulling Trevor behind him. "What are we gonna do now?" Kevin asks, helping his friend stand up.
If Trevor had any control over his eyes, he would narrow them in determination. Instead, he stares into space as he says, "We have to get to the forest first and warn James and Margareta."
"But how can we? We'll be spotted by those stupid cameras. Plus they have guns. We have nothing!"
"Calm down," Trevor hisses, trying a few times before laying a hand on his friend's shoulder. "We'll figure something out."
Trevor feels something brush against his leg. "Mittens?" Kevin says in disbelief, scooping up the cat. "What are you doing here?"
Mittens gives him an annoyed look.
"Okay, so we have the two of us, plus a cat," Trevor says. "So far, so good."
"Good? How is this good? We still don't know how we're gonna go up against a bunch of scary guys with guns!"
An idea pops up in Trevor's head. "I think we might've found a way to warn James and Charlie and Margareta of the Black Circle."
"And what's that?"
"We send Mittens."
"Who's there?" a voice calls out. Kevin grabs Trevor's elbow and leads him away and down a hallway.
After the man passes by, Kevin harshly whispers, "Are you out of your mind? You can't send a cat on a mission like this!"
"Do you wanna take her place? Besides, the Black Circle's looking for people, not cats."
"You're insane. And I'm not risking Jenna's cat for-"
Both boys shut up. Kevin glances around and Trevor strains his ears for any sign of people. Mittens jumps out of Kevin's hands and looks up at the nearest door. MEOW.
"Jenna?" Kevin presses an ear to the door.
"Kevin? What are you doing here? Did they get you, too?"
"What? No, I'm just looking for - hang on. How'd you get here?"
"Some creep broke into the house and knocked me out with chloroform. I woke up in here with Lily."
"Lily?" Trevor makes his way to the door. "As in, Charlie's friend, Lily?"
"You know Charlie?" another female voice says.
"Yeah. He's in danger."
"What?" the girls say.
Kevin feels around the door. "There's gotta be a way to get you guys out. Wait! Here's a lock!" Pause. "Um, does anyone know how to pick a lock?"
Trevor feels something cold touch the back of his head. "Don't move," a deep voice says, "or I'll pull the trigger."