Dad shook his head, “no, not now, it’s too dangerous.”
“Then go without me, because I’m not leaving until every one of those assholes are lying face-down in that pit.”
“You’re as stubborn as your mother, and I could never say no to her either.”
“So, are you going to help me?” I asked.
Dad sighed, “do I have a choice?”
“Yeah, you can leave, but I’m not going anywhere.”
“So… I guess I’m staying then. But, if we are going to do this, then we need a plan,” Dad said.
We gathered up our belongings and quietly walked out front.
I peeked my head around the corner and could hear no footsteps or voices, but then again, these guys were quiet when they brought us here.
Dad pointed to a rotted oak tree, and I scampered to get there unnoticed. Dad was close behind me and still ran with a slight limp from the fall down the stairs. I was just relieved that he hadn’t broken any bones.
“I’m going to hide behind that tree over there,” Dad said, pointing to an oak on the opposite side of the house, “and I want you to remain over here Don’t move, or say a word, and don’t fire a single shot unless you hear me fire first.” “Do you understand?”
“Yeah,” I said nervously.
“We still have time to back out of this, Rabbit.”
“I can’t dad… I need to do this, because I couldn’t live with myself, knowing those degenerates were out there preying on children. I'd rather die trying than live with the guilt.”
“Okay,” Dad said, as he hugged me, and kissed my forehead.
“I love you, Rabbit, and if things start to go South, and you see that we have no chance of winning this fight, then you run like you never ran before, and don’t look back. Do you promise?”
“I promise,” I said, knowing full well that I would never leave him behind.
We waited silently for well over an hour, before they showed up at the cabin.
Diablo, and Doughboy were nowhere to be found, as the other three walked like soldiers, all clutching their rifles close to their bodies. I started to panic, and cupped my hand over my mouth.
Dad gave me a signal to stay calm, and pointed his pistol at the tall lanky clown with the razor teeth.
The sound was instant and sliced through the silence of the night. “POP-POP-POP,” Two of the clowns fell to the ground, as the third ran for cover behind a tree.
His head was about 20ft from me. My hands shook, as I tried to steady my aim. My breathing became intense, as I tightened my grasp around the handle of the pistol.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and then fired the gun into the night. His body fell promptly to the ground, as I cried silently.
I had never killed anyone before, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I looked over at Dad, and he waved me a thumbs up, and then a gesture that meant: stay put.
Where was Diablo and Doughboy, I wondered. They had to be close behind.
We waited for another thirty minutes, before dad walked over to me and said, “It’s time to go.”
“Fine,” I said, “but let me do one more thing before we leave.” I grabbed the matches off of Dad, and walked back into the cabin--determined not to let this place exist any longer.
I lit the match and tossed it to the clothes on the floor, igniting them in flames. I ran out through the door, as smoke followed behind me.
I collapsed into my father’s arms, as I cried uncontrollably.
“It’s ok,” Dad said, as he gently combed his fingers through my hair.
I looked back and the place was ablaze, with flames shooting out across the black sky.
I smiled, knowing that nobody else would be a slave to that dungeon and that the souls that have died there, could finally rest in peace.
“Time to go,” Dad said, as I leaned up against him.
“Wait,” I said. I rushed over to one of the clowns and picked up his rifle. “Do you want one?”
“Yeah,” Dad said, as he limped his way over to the one of the lifeless bodies.
I sat there staring at the clown with the smiling face and vampire fangs for a moment, and then reached down and removed his mask. He wasn’t as scary as I imagined.
He looked normal, and that was more frightening to me than some silly mask, concealing the monster within.
TO BE CONTINUED…