The Hazelwood Cave Pt: II (excerpt from 'The Devil's Children)



The flashlight beams cut through the dark of the cave like incandescent blades. A pungent aroma of damp and decay flooded Harry’s nostrils. Bones of small animals littered the ground like snapped twigs, and crunched underfoot. The cave floor descended in a gradual decline, slowly leading deeper and deeper beneath the earth. From somewhere up ahead Harry thought he heard something scuttling in the shadows. He almost found it hard to believe that he and Adam had been brave enough to even venture into the cave at all as kids.
He shone his flashlight on the wall, and watched a spider crawl out of a shallow depression. He stopped and shone the light to the ceiling. The same depressions were there also.
The Hazelwood Cave was manmade.
‘Hey guys, I think I’ve made a discovery…’ Harry said.
‘What?’ Both T-Bone and Adam asked simultaneously.
‘You see those marks there?’
‘Yeah, so?’ T-Bone said.
‘So, they were made from a pickaxe, that means the cave is manmade, and why the hell would somebody go to all the effort of carving a great fucking tunnel in the woods?’
‘To dispose of bodies in the river?’ Adam laughed.
‘You know buddy, that might not be far off. If this really does lead to beneath the old library, and joins up with the tunnels under there, the only reason for it would be something like that, or a getaway route. The entrance to the library site wasn’t exactly subtle, I mean yeah, it may have been hidden a little better with the original building, but I think it’s safe to say that it was definitely meant to be the main entrance.’
‘Yeah, I think you’re on to something man,’ Adam said, rubbing his beard with the hand not clutching a flashlight.
‘Yeah, I think so to, but we better keep going. I like my lunch at 12PM sharp,’ T-Bone said.
‘Alright then. Let’s go.’
The trio continued on their way, deeper into the depths of the Hazelwood Cave.

The cave didn’t vary much; there were no tunnels that branched off to the side, no parts in which the ceiling lowered and they had to stoop to get through. Though, it did eventually level out, the decline of the floor gradually flattened, and stayed that way for as far as they had seen so far.
After roughly twenty minutes, the cave ended at a door. It made from rough wooden planks, and like the trapdoor at the library, an iron ring served as a handle.
‘Shit.’ T-Bone breathed, ‘we were fucking right.’
Harry raised a finger to his lips in the universal gesture for ‘shut the hell up’. He pressed his ear to the dusty wood and listened. He couldn’t hear anything, save for his heart beating double-time in his ears. Guessing that the coast was clear and there was no blood-thirsty ogre waiting on the otherside, starved for days, and ravenous for human flesh, he took hold of the iron ring, and pulled.
The door gave a surprised creak of protest; obviously it hadn’t been used in years, and opened to reveal a cavern.
Or was a room? Harry initially thought of the word ‘cavern’, given the circumstances, but ‘room’ was probably more accurate. Unlike the walls of the cave, that were carved with the aid of pickaxes and other similar tools, the walls, floor and ceiling of the room were made from a rough concrete. A set of steps sat at the far end, obviously leading up to the grounds of the library. In the center of the room, sat a large stone slab. Frighteningly similar to the one in Harry’s dream, though not exactly the same. And a gut feeling told him that this was not the setting of the horrible lucid dream. Maybe it was a representation, but still, he didn’t think so.
The floor was covered with a thick blanket of dust, and footprints dotted its entire surface. Obviously left by Holstein when he discovered the place. Though, he was either doing something, or pacing like a madman. The former made a lot more sense.
‘Fuck!’ Harry cursed.
‘What man?’ Adam asked.
‘There’s nothing here, nothing at all, that fucker Holstein has taken whatever it was that was down here.’
‘How do you know anything was down here?’
‘You see the footprints, Adam, he was obviously busy as hell down here.’
‘Well, we know the cave leads here, so that could come in handy sometime,’ T-Bone said.
‘I just don’t get why Holstein bothered to have security watch over the place if there’s nothing to watch over – it seems a little pointless.’
‘Oh, that fucker will have his reasons, Harry. Whatever the hell they are,’ T-Bone said.
The conversation was interrupted by muffling banging coming from the top of the stairs. ‘Hey! Anybody down there! Better fucking not be!’
‘Shit. It’s Andy,’ T-Bone hissed. ‘C’mon let’s just get the hell outta here, nothin’ to look at anyway.’
‘Very true my friend,’ Harry sighed, defeated.
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