CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-SIX
“Testing,” Matthew said.
“Got it,” Seth said.
“We can hear you as well,” Matthew said. “If you need attention, hit the button. It makes a beeping sound so we can pay attention to what you’re saying.”
“But you pick up everything?” Seth asked.
“Everything is recorded,” Matthew said. “And yes, we can hear it. We just might not be listening to you. Try it.”
Seth pushed the small button on the ear bud. There was a bell and Seth nodded.
“That works,” Seth said. “Anything else?”
Matthew shook his head.
With a wave, Seth jumped down into the root cellar. Vince dropped to where he was sitting on the edge of the opening. He tightened his helmet and went in after Seth. Raz stood at the entrance. He caught Alex and helped her into the root cellar.
Seth turned on the video camera in his helmet. With a nod to Raz, he climbed into the square hole and began to move into the mine. They watched his body disappear and then his legs. Vince went next. Alex waited until his feet disappeared before she started down the dirt hole. She belly crawled forward through the dirt. Her legs had just entered the hole when she heard Troy shouting.
She rolled over to look up at Raz.
“Car pulled up outside,” Raz said.
“Mercs?” Alex asked.
“It looks like the official,” Raz said. “The one we’re supposed to meet.”
“I should …” Alex moved to get out of the tunnel.
“No,” Raz said. “We can handle this. Go I’ll wait right here for you.”
The tunnel darkened as he closed the hatch to the root cellar. The team on top shoveled the dirt back into place. Raz sat down in the darkened root cellar and waited.
“Go,” Raz said.
Alex gave him one last look and followed Vince into the tunnel. She belly crawled a little more than ten feet before dropping into the room with the children’s corpses.
“I forgot the camera,” Alex said.
“I have it,” Vince said with a nod. “It’s in my pack.”
He opened his backpack and took out their digital SLR camera. He took a series of videos of the area and followed up with detailed digital photos.
“Together,” Seth said.
He gestured to the children. One child at a time, Alex and Seth moved the corpses away from the tunnel while Vince took copious photos. In the last forty years, the bodies had dried out almost completely. They had to use special care to not to break the tiny children. They moved the bodies from where they had huddled back to the beds.
Their noses and mouths filled with the dust of the dead. The tiny figures brought tears, which fell unnoticed from each of their eyes. Overwhelmed with emotion at the macabre work, they worked in silence. When they finished, they stood over these precious babies for a long moment. Alex bent down to pick up the paper from the floor.
“Order for execution,” Alex said, wiping her tears.
“Fucking Nazis,” Seth said, numbly.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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