The Secret Adventurers Club Second Adventure (part 3 of 12)
The Secret Adventurers Club Second Adventure (part 3 of 12) postapocalyptic stories
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ferp2 Old, well, old-ish.
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Into the sewers!

The Secret Adventurers Club Second Adventure (part 3 of 12)

So, Saturday morning came around. Breakfasts were successfully filched away between slices of bread and stuffed under shirts.

Finny left almost immediately, and the boys looked at each other, still not quite sure if she was joking or not about the gun.

While Finny was away, they left the dining hall together and went around the back of the orphanage to the kitchen door.

Edna, the head cook, accepted a variety of knick-knacks and a couple of white chips for four bottles of drinkable water and a small bag of homemade toffee.

Then the three boys found a sunny spot by the fence to sit in and waited for their leader to reappear.

In due course, and only half a bag of jaw-locking toffee later, Finny came around the corner, huddled over and not at all inconspicuous. In her arms was a cloth wrapped something.

Seeing it, the boys jumped to their feet and gathered round.

"Is that it?"

"Let's see."

"Can I hold it?"

Finny hugged the flour sack tighter and twisted it away from them.

"Ssssh!" She hissed. Looking nervously all around, even up at the orphanage windows. "Not here. Foller me."

Finny led them at a fast walk away from the building and any prying eyes to an alley just off Verde Street.

This was where one of the well-travelled manhole entrances into the sewers was, and the boys lost no time in manhandling the heavy lid to one side.

Finny had Casper go first and then she dropped to her belly and lowered the flour sack and its contents into his waiting hands.

"Don't drop it."

She lowered her legs into the hole, found the rungs with her feet and disappeared from view with the smooth movements of someone who had done this many times before.

Onetooth and Worms followed her and assisted each other at the top of the steel ladder in manoeuvring the manhole cover back into place.

Job done, they joined Finny and Casper waiting in silent darkness at the foot of the ladder.

One of the benefits of having young eyes is that they grow accustomed to the dark considerably quicker than those of adults,

something which has probably saved many a kid from a beating or worse as far back into history as you care to go.

However, when you are eight-years-old and impatient and buzzing with illicit excitement, any waiting at all is sheer torture.

It was a whole minute before the feeble sunlight sneaking in through the kerb drains became enough for them to choose from the carefully stashed selection of clubs jammed between the ladder

and the tunnel wall.

Worms turned to Finny, who was testing the heft of a gnarled and bloody tree root.

"What do you need that for? You've got a gun."

Finny slung the flour sack over her shoulder.

"I'm not gonna waste it on shooting rats, am I?"

Onetooth appeared at his best friend's shoulder.

"Let's see it, Finn?"

She was about to tell them no, that she'd get it out later, but Casper moved around her to stand with the others.

Finny wouldn't know group dynamics from a hole in the wall, but she knew what was happening all the same because she was a kid and they were kids,

and this sort of thing happened all the time with kids and gangs. She had only been able to get them to go on an adventure 'outside' because of the promise of the protection of an actual gun.

So far, though, they had only seen a sack.

In no uncertain terms Worms, Onetooth and now even Casper was silently telling her that if there was no gun in her sack, then this was going to be as far as they would be going.

Letting them know with a hard glare that she was making a note of this challenge to her authority, Finny unslung the sack and lowered it to the concrete floor.

"Fine. I'll show you. But no grabbsies."

All four squatted down over the sack and Finny opened the neck and reached in.

Actual gasps greeted the sight of the big, seemingly huge, revolver Finny carefully lifted out of the sack.

She held it up for them to get a good look at it, tipping it so that the oiled barrel pointed straight up, making it easier for her hand, small against the adult-sized mahogany grip,

to balance all the weight of the metal.

Even so, it was a lot of weight for eight-year-old muscles, and it wasn't long before the revolver twisted and she was forced to invert her grip to let the barrel hang pointing down.

"Can I hold it?" The awe in Onetooth's voice was obvious, but he didn't dare raise a hand to take the pistol.

Finny took this as an opportunity to lower the weapon back into its burlap nest before the sheer mass of all that steel forced her too anyway.

"No." The look of disappointment on Onetooth's face was so puppy-like that she relented almost immediately. "Maybe later, once we get out of here.

" The smile this produced reassured her that Finny had made the right decision. The suspicious frown replacing Casper's ordinarily stoic expression was another matter.

"Where did you get it?"

Avoiding the question, Finny quickly rewrapped the pistol into the folds of the sack.

"Doesn't matter." She held the neck of the sack open. "Right, put all the food an' water in the bag an' we'll take turns carrying it."

The possibility of being allowed to carry the pistol was all it took for the two younger boys to quickly deposit their water and their now squashed sandwiches into the sack.

Casper followed suit, but he kept his eyes on Finny and the suspicious twist to his lips never faltered.

Finny ignored it and stood up. She slung the now considerably heavier sack back over one shoulder and the tree root over the other.

"Right. Let's go."

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