Back at the jail, Brielle sat in her cell, visibly shaken over the taking of her children. She faked being sick and called for one of the jailers to come into her cell. Once the blonde, female jailer got inside. Brielle delivered a hard punch and knocked her cold. She then pulled her uniform off her and changed into it. Next, she grabbed the keys to the cell, opened it, and managed to escape. Malcolm, Popeye, and Atticus had visited Brielle in jail that day and plotted the escape. They were waiting at the meeting place about a mile from the jail when Brielle showed up in the jailer’s uniform. She jumped into the dark colored SUV that Alvin had lent them and they took off.
When they arrived at Grandma Bennett’s house, Grandma let them in through the back door and led them upstairs to her personal computer. Malcolm then sat down and pulled up Sheriff Bobby Crabtree’s email account’s and tracked his IP address. He worked diligently to hack into the sheriff’s computer.
As the girls ran deeper and deeper into the woods, Jane held the baby tightly against her to keep her head from flopping around. Further and further they ran until, surprisingly, they ran into Bruce, who was also running through the woods.
The girls came to a sudden stop as did Bruce. They stood there staring at Bruce and Bruce back at them, shocked.
“Bruce?” Jane cried out.
“Where the hell did you three come from?” He asked, astonished that he would meet Jane and her sisters.
“We escaped!” Olivia answered.
“Yeah! Me too! I can’t take living in the same house with those trainwrecks!” Bruce said.
“Same here,” said Olivia, “The Lindsay’s are creepy!”
“Shit! Come on! We gotta get the hell out of here! Just stick with me! Okay?” He said in a voice of urgency.
“Okay!” Jane and Olivia said, frightened, with tears in their eyes.
And the kids ran deeper into the woods.
A few hours later, Bruce and the girls were hiding deep in the woods when they begin to hear sirens in the distance. Next, they heard the chopping drone of a helicopter in the air as it approached with its spotlight sweeping the area.
Running through the Woods
“Shit!” Bruce cried, Hurry! Get under that thicket of bushes over there and they might not see us!”
The girls did as they were told and the helicopter few over, lighting up the entire area around them. Luckily, the bushes the four kids hid under kept them obscured from the eye in the sky. It then grew dark again as the chopper disappeared among the treetops.
Just as they thought the coast was clear, they began to hear the distant sounds of multiple dogs barking. The barking slowly got louder.
“Aw, no way!” Bruce groaned under his breath.
“Dogs! Oh, we are royally screwed!” Jane whispered.
Kennedy began whimpering, her whimpers soon turned to cries. Jane cupped her hand over the baby’s mouth, with one hand and took her other hand to put her index finger up to her lips. Suddenly, they heard the snapping of twigs, then a flashlight came on, right in their faces.
“Well, well! Lookie who we have here! Come on outta there!” Sheriff Bobby demanded as Ashton grabbed Bruce by the shirt and jerked him up. The other deputies grabbed Jane and Olivia.
The Gig is Up!
A van pulled up and they loaded all the kids inside before taking off. Thirty minutes later, the van pulled in front of the courthouse and Bruce, the girls, and the baby were herded out. A second van pulled up and out came Roxie, Brenda, and Andy, followed by more deputies and CPS workers. The sheriff unlocked the doors to the courthouse before leading everyone inside.
One by one, the kids were herded down to the basement of the courthouse, then lead through a trapdoor in the door, down a staircase, and into an underground room that where they could see what looked like arched entrances to several tunnels, each leading in different directions.
“Bet ya didn’t know this town had catacombs underneath it, did you?” the sheriff sneered, “We’ve always had them. It’s been a big secret for decades and decades! Only certain VIPs in this town have ever known about them.”
The kids looked around them to see that the tunnels had arched ceilings. And the ceilings and the walls were of brick and stone. The place was dimly lit, with hanging, forty-watt bulbs that hung from the ceilings at about six feet apart.
Secret Tunnels Under Thomasville
The crooked lawmen led the kids into one of the tunnels, which lead to a paved and lined underground road where another pair of vans pulled up. The kids were instructed to get into the vans and the vehicles pulled away.
The tunnel through which the underground road ran was the same as the tunnel that had led them there, only the lights that lined the ceiling were rectangular fluorescent lights and much brighter. The fluorescents illuminated the tunnel much better, and they lined the ceiling shorter distances apart, approximately at about three to four feet. However, the brighter lights did not make the tunnel look any less spooky.
The kids also noticed that what looked to be roots that hung from between some of the bricks and stones in the arched ceiling.
The entire underground trip took about twenty minutes until the hidden road led outside through a secret exit in the side of a huge bluff. The next thing the kids knew, they were in the bottoms. The vans turned onto a two-lane highway that took them to a large field with a line of trees on the horizon. Beyond the trees looked to be the shore of a lake. The vans slowed to a lurch and a signpost stood to their right. The sign read, “Opaque lake.”
They turned onto a gravel road until some people removed a bunch of scattered hey and revealed an iron platform. Both vans pulled onto the platform, side by side, and stopped before they were lowered underground with the steel platform serving as an elevator. As the van descended lower and lower, Jane held baby Kennedy tighter against her breast as the baby whined, whimpered, and cried. Jane bounced her baby sister on her knee and patting her back to comfort her, then she began to rock her, swaying her upper body from side to side.
Once underground, the van drove down another underground road and down a huge slope. The downward slope grew steeper and steeper until they finally came to a long, underground straightaway and you could see ahead for about a half mile. This tunnel looked the same as the last. There was an underground, paved, two lane road, and had the same arched, brick and stone ceilings and walls. Fluorescent lights also lined the ceiling.
The kids then noticed that the roots they had seen hanging from the ceiling and running down the sides had been replaced by what looked to be slimy green algae and specs of mold.
When the vans finally parked in front of some archways on their left and a set of double doors on their right, the kids were herded out of them.
“Is there a reason you brought us underground? This isn’t normal!” Bruce said.
Underground Cell Block
“I don’t like the look of this place! ‘Gives me the creeps!” Jane cried.
“Shut up! Both of you!” Bobby shouted.
Roxie looked all around her as did Brenda and Andy. They all had looks of terror on their faces.
“Oh God, this place looks like a medieval torture chamber!” Brenda whispered to Roxie and Andy.
When the vans stopped in front of an arched set of double doors and the kids were herded out, a deputy removed a large ring of what looked to be about twenty keys from his belt and unlocked the double doors. The kids were then led into what looked like a huge cellblock. The jingling of the keys and click of the lock produced a loud, eerie echo that seemed to bounce off every wall. The kids estimated the block to be about seventy-five to a hundred feet long. Each side of it was lined with cells. Only two of the cells was occupied.