The wreckage had created a smoke, and there was rotten wood burning an aroma into the air that had the foulest stench. Mike was face down in the dirt a few meters away from the wreckage and he had been burnt by the blast, but only a simmer on his skin; almost as though he was flash fried. He began to push himself up using what strength he had left in his arms and looked toward the trees they had come from. He twisted his head round to see the piles of wood on the floor, with the little spurts of fire and smoke.
It took several moments before he could bring his mind round to the right state and started to think about his brother. The last he had seen was him in the doorway as the blast blew him back. It was this thought that gave him another burst of power and he almost leapt to his feet, although he didn't know what his next action was going to be. He scanned the area very quickly in search of Jack, contemplating a move for the wreckage to search through for his brother.
He heard a splash, and more movement in the water. He looked down into the small pond to see Jack scrabbling around trying to find land in the mixture of darkness and smoke. Mike couldn't help but laugh, though it was a laugh spoiled by the sigh of relief. "Jack, grab my hand" Mike said while giggling.
"You think this is funny? I nearly got blown up!" Both men laughed as Mike hoisted Jack back to dry land. Mike was looking at Jack remembering his obligation to always take care of his younger brother. He had always been made responsible for his safety, not by force, but for the sake of family love.
"So what's next?" asked Jack.
Mike took a moment to think about it. "Well do we risk going to the other cabin again, when it is probably going to be set up to kill us again?"
Both men were thinking of the possible fact of this killer knowing there every move before they even decided it. It was like he was toying with them; as though he was the puppet master and they were his creations. Mike looked at Jack and pictured him dressed as Pinocchio with a long thin nose. He chuckled to himself and wouldn't share the joke with Jack, who seemed quite annoyed by this.
The men started to hike through the woods some more, knowing that even though they hadn't made a firm decision, they were going back to cabin number two. Jack had been terrified there and Mike had been axed there; it was suffice to say that neither man could see this as a future holiday home. Jack began to shake again and was thinking of running away through sheer terror. Mike was rubbing his hand gently on his fairly fresh wound. This wasn't a place where either of them could muster up a smile let alone a laugh.
"Right, let's go round to the front, barge in and hope we can catch them off guard!" Jack expressed as he planned the tactics to survival approaching the back of the cabin.
Mike was more apprehensive then he was letting on, thinking that the last time he did that, he got an axe to the chest. He said nothing to Jack and carried on leading the way. They crept round to the corner once more; there was no van. They made a break for the door.
Jack yelped out behind Mike as he fell through the decking, his arms the only thing keeping him from falling underneath completely. Mike was trying to hush the noise as he reached his hand out to Jack once more.
"Help me the wood is stabbing into my sides. It's really hurting Mike… Please!" Jack was begging for some relief from the pain of this damp wood ripping the skin from his rib cage.
"Jack, stop struggling now!" Mike bellowed out and for one moment Jack saw a lot of their dad in him. With one momentous heave, Mike pulled Jack back to a standing state; leaving half of the skin from his ribs and chest clinging to the wood.
Jack was in a lot of pain, and had tears in his eyes that seemed as though they were barging out of his eyes rather than falling. The stinging coming from the ripped skin was worse than anything else he had experienced. Mike didn't know what to do as he had nothing to patch him up and no sanitary equipment. Jack's eyes closed and Mike could tell he wanted to scream out in pain. Jack was fighting the urge and was trying to stop the pain at the same time. That look of determination came back to his face and he walked toward the door. Mike went to speak and Jack spoke first, "When we find this guy, we kill him! I don't care what the law says, he dies!"
There was a few moments silence before Mike could bring himself to go inside. "Did you mean that Jack?" There was a sense of fear in his trembling voice.
"Yep" Jack said angrily. Again there was a silence as both men searched the cabin once more. It was strange because there didn't seem to be a fear of the cabin anymore, or what this psycho might do. They had come past all of that into a much darker scene; of course that's the scene in their minds, where Jack kills a man.
They walked toward the same room where they found the chest and Jack placed his hand on Mike's shoulder, whispering as he did so, "Over there!" Jack was pointing toward a little trap door in the corner opposite the door. Mike crouched down and pulled it open looking into the dark abyss that seemed to appear. Jack shone a torch down into it for Mike to climb down and have a look. It was a longer drop to the bottom then he thought and it impacted on his ankles and knees almost buckling his legs completely.
"Oh my god" Mike just about brought himself to be able to say this. The sight that invaded his vision as it was being uncovered by his torch light was something he really didn't expect; perhaps a basement or a ditch or something, but not what he could see in front of him. Jack jumped down after and was just as shocked at the sight that stretched in front of him. The whole time they had been focusing on the woods themselves, when the real threat was underground.
"A tunnel" Jack expressed in disbelief.
"No Jack; a network of tunnels!" Mike's response seemed as though he had known about them but blanked them out. Jack looked toward his brother and asked, "Did you know about this?" His voice came through quite assertive. Mike wouldn't answer at first and had to be practically bullied into releasing his answer.
"Okay Jack, Just shut the fuck up!" He seemed angry but not with Jack; himself. "I heard from a weird guy sitting on the street corner that they were underground, and that's why he was forced above ground… I just thought it was nonsense." He faded into disappointment in himself.
Jack placed a hand on Mike's shoulder, trying to confirm that he shouldn't beat himself up about it. All Jack could think about was the pain from his ripped skin and how he was more than likely going to get infected. He didn't care as long as he lasted long enough to see Mike to safety and see this mad man put down.
They embarked on this journey through the tunnels, hoping that this was going to be the way to their target. There was a stench that was unlike any other known before. It was as though this was Death's corridor, a corridor where people were dragged kicking and screaming, biting and clawing; doing anything they could to could to escape a vice grip. Jack was ignoring patched of blood where people had obviously been subjected to cruel punishments to stop their squirming; it was something he couldn't deal with properly, so he just closed his eyes placing his hand on Mike's shoulder once more so that he could lead him through safely.
They were only a few minutes in, probably less than 100 metres in total when they could hear something. Mike stopped dead causing Jack to walk straight into his back so abruptly that Jack could almost feel the chill going up Mike's spine as he listened out. Mike placed his ear to the air slanting his head sideways to enhance hearing. There was a moment of silence where Jack assumed Mike might be going crazy, but then it happened. Both men could hear a scream, and then a large bang, followed by another scream. It was the scream of a young boy and they came with intervals of around five seconds. Both men couldn't move at first; completely frozen to the spot, wondering what they could do even if they could move. There was one more noise, one that they couldn't really make out at first, then they realised, someone was being dragged into the tunnels behind them. They had nowhere to hide from the madness approaching.