The wind blew past the windows of Pascal’s car as he hurriedly made his way to the home of the Lionels. Although it was just past midnight, Pascal had been fully asleep only to be startled by his telephone ringing. He had tried to ignore it but it rang over and over until Pascal got upset. The day before had been tiring and all he wanted was to yell at the caller but upon picking up the phone, Pascal heard cries that only indicated a severity to the calls urgency.
Pascal almost drove through the gate of the Lionels but had to control himself enough to alight from the car and open it instead. He then drove hurriedly past the acres of maize on both sides of the farm till he got to the house. He heard cries emanating from the house and almost trips on the front porch.
Pascal opened the door to see Rose crouched in the middle of the living room, holding Little Rebbie, both had been crying. Upon seeing him, both ran almost simultaneously to hug Pascal.
“Please, you must do something”, Rose cried. “Johnny was taken, you must help bring him back, please. I didn't know who else to call”.
“Who took him?” Pascal asked, handing Rebbie over to Rose.
“I don't know. Rebbie woke me with her screams and I couldn't find Johnny in their room”, Rose replied, her voice intermittently giving way to sobs.
“You need to pull yourself together and explain or else I might not know what to do or where to look”, Pascal retorted trying hard to be calm.
Rose took a deep breath and attempted to explain. Apparently she had put them both to sleep at bedtime and after a couple of hours had slept off herself only to hear Rebbie screaming by at exactly midnight. She knew it was midnight because she had checked the clock beside her bed. Rose had hurriedly gone to the children’s room to comfort 7 year old Rebbie, who sometimes had nightmares. Upon opening the door, she saw Rebbie standing by the corner of the room. Aghast, Rose asked where Johnny was and Robbie pointed at the window, which was half-open. Rose had immediately rushed out screaming Johnny’s name but couldn't follow him because she couldn't leave Rebbie at home alone or take her along on the search.
“I called the Sheriff’s office but no one answered”, Rose continued now fully crying, “Please, he is just 10, please...I need my child, please”.
“Stay inside and lock the door. Keep calling the station...tell them what's going on. I'll find him I promise”, Pascal said assuredly. As he walked past the porch, he could hear the clicking sound of locks behind him.
Pascal put on his torch and walked to the children's window. It was still open so he closed it. He checked the area and noticed footprints leading away from the window. It was slightly small but as Pascal followed it, he noticed that it has gotten bigger and bigger till it encroached into the sea of maize.
Pascal pointed the torch at the farm and saw a path carved out by maize that had been uprooted. The more Pascal followed, the more out of place it all looked until he arrived at the old well. The footprint showed that the well had been the destination.
Pascal didn't want to go in but he felt he had to. He called out Johnny's name but there was no reply. He loved Rose’s children and he'd do anything for them.
“I've got my Smith and Wesson”, Pascal whispered, touching the pistol by his side as if to make sure it hadn’t disappeared as he entered the well, lowering and lowering himself till all he could feel was the numbness of his palm and a desperation he had felt just once in his life...during his late wife’s battle with cancer.
At the bottom, he noticed another hole leading away from the well. The further he went, the smaller it got until Pascal could only crawl through while holding the torch in his mouth. He must have crept for 16 minutes before you came out into a cave-like opening.
Pascal begun hearing whispers and a shrieking voice. He remembered the smell. It was the same smell as when his wife died, but this one was more potent, more dominant. After walking for about 3 minutes the corridor gave way to an open space. He could see Johnny laying down atop a bed of what looked like bones. The ray of moon that protruded threw a hole in the ceiling rested directly on Johnny’s still body.
Pascal screamed “Johnny!” but there was no response.
Pascal walked to Johnny and shook him vehemently but to no avail. Johnny looked as if he was in a trance. Pascal lifted him and was looking around the cave for a possible exit when he heard a shrill voice.
“You have come to bear witness”, the voice said as a frail looking creature stepped forward, visible only by the ray of the moon. “Welcome...”, it said with what looked like a smile.
Pascal reached for his gun but noticed his holster was not by his side. He realized he must have dropped it mistakenly while crawling through the hole. He however didn't seem threatened. The creature looked small and Pascal fancied his odds.
“Looking for this?”, the creature's smile grew as he lifted the holster.
Pascal’s eyes widened and his mouth felt dry. The odds were against him. He'd have to rely on the shadows while quickly trying to overpower the lean looking creature. Maybe he'd get a chance at...
The creature tossed the holster holding the pistol to Pascal, “you need it more than I do”, it snorted.
Pascal quickly unholstered the gun, pointing it at the creature. “Get back or I'll shoot”, he threatened.
The creature disappeared into the shadows, but Pascal should hear it's voice.
“Ananké, Ananké...the devourer. I bid your heralds, come forth”.
Pascal could hear the earth beneath him shake as the sound of flapping grew. The cave trembled as the creature laughed, it’s arms stretched out. The roof of the cave cracked and pieces fell to the ground as a bright light shun into the entire cave.
“They’re here”, a shrill voice whispered eerily. The ground burst open as a wild wave of ash engulfed the entire cave.