Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Twenty-nine:

Patrick Mackenzie (Afternoon of September 10, 1994)

We waited until the coast was clear and then we were able to make our next move. In front of the shack, Zack and I both stopped for a brief moment to take a breath and relay the plan.

“You see or hear anyone coming this way, you just open that hatch and holler down it, got it?” I waited for him to nod his head. “I won’t be long.”

Entering the deteriorating building, I tried to look for a switch to some form of lightsource. It was no use. My only option was to open the trap door to the basement. Now if I could just find the damn thing.

I heard a door swing open behind me, making me jump. Thankfully, it was only Zack. “Let’s just get this over with,” he said. While we both looked around the wooden floor, he noticed a door hinge, near the table. “Bingo.”

I opened the door and was nearly blinded by the white light. “This will only take a minute,” I reassured him as I took my first step down the staircase. When my foot hit the concrete stoop, I knew there was no turning back.

The room was twice the size of the one upstairs and much cleaner too. There were a total of four metal tables in front of me as I came in. Two had been placed in the middle, underneath these UV lights and had rows of plants growing on top of them. One had rows of poppies, while the other had another species I couldn’t quite identify. Whatever it is, it smells like roadkill. It smelled like roadkill, whatever it was. Anyway, to my far right, was another table with a chemistry set on it. I wonder what that’s for. I shrugged it off and continued scoping out the room some more, examining a few items.

There wasn’t much else to see other than a couple of barrels filled with a brown sugar-like substance. That was until I got to the fourth and final table, where a large, black duffle layed, zipped closed. That could probably fit a small child or two.

Instantly, flashes of the faceless man from my dreams started appearing in my head. My heart began racing at a thousand beats per minute. I shut my eyes and swallowed my fear as my hand reached for the bag’s zipper. I was about to open it when I heard Zack’s scream.

Quickly, I ran back over to the stairs, accidentally bumping into one of the barrels, knocking it over. The brown powder spilt all over the place. Shit! Nevertheless, I ran nearly halfway up the steps before stopping in my tracks. “What the hell are you doing here?”

At the top of stairs, crouching over the trap door, were Brian and Jake, giggling away. “I could ask you the same thing,” Jake said as he made his way down to me. Zack and Brian followed closely behind him. “Pat, this is clearly someone’s private property. Alright? You’re trespassing, so let’s go.”

“Yo’, Jake, check this out,” Brian intervened before I could even explain myself. He passed by us on the stairs and so did Zack.

Jake turned his attention away from me and began scanning the room. “Holy shit.”

“Is this this place what I think it is?” Brian asked, looking at the chemistry set.

“I believe so,” Jake replied, seconds before noticing the mess I made. “Goddamn it, Pat! Look what you did!”

“It’s not my fault!” I defended myself. “If you hadn’t scared my friend, maybe it’d still be standing up right.”

“And if you weren’t such a klutz, maybe it’d still be standing up right.”

“Jake, it’s alright,” Brian assured. “We can just scoop it back up.”

“With what? Our hands?” Jacob asked, crossing his arms. “Brian, there’s at least five pounds of spilt heroin here. That’ll take forever and we don’t know when these guys will be back.”

“So what? You suggesting we just leave it?”

“Well, I mean, it’s not as if they’d know it was us. Especially if we leave—” Jacob stopped mid-sentence when he noticed Zack standing in front of a tall cabinet of sorts, underneath the staircase. “Right now.”

As the three of us shuffled over to him, Zack opened the cabinet doors, one by one. Inside, were four hunting rifles in the middle and two sets of various knives for each door. Zack instantly gave me a look when he saw those. This all left us both wondering. What the hell was in that duffle bag?

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