That’s right! Rolen told himself. I had forgotten all about that! Rolen’s breathing became slightly uneven. His eyes darted back and forth as he tried to gather his thoughts as what to do. Going into the shop and ignoring what he had heard wasn’t an option. Removing all but one soda, Rolen put on his backpack again and set out down the driveway debating every step of the way. The mailbox was the point of no return.
The mailbox stood at the edge of the yard where it met the cul-de-sac. Across from the mailbox on the opposite side of the cul-de-sac was a narrow clearing of trees. Rolen and his dad would often take that narrow clearing down to the path that led to the stream. Staring across at it, lit by the Milky Way, he began to realize how much he was missing him…especially since he now knew what his mother believed. Why didn’t she go into more detail? Great, now one more thing to add to the mental list. Why do they call it Type A personality? Wouldn’t a better name be Type Aaaaggghh!?
With his mind made up, Rolen turned and walked back to the shop…where he grabbed a flashlight and his dad’s softball bat and headed out across the cul-de-sac, down the short, narrow clearing where he heard the digging.
The canopy of treetops blocked most of the light, but Rolen decided not to use the flashlight just yet. He knew this path well-enough by memory. A flashlight could be too noticeable. Testing the flashlight first would have been smart.
The trails were heavily used and clear of any sticks and leaves for the most part. If he strayed from the trail, he’d know it. Either side of the trail had plenty of roots, rocks, sticks and briars.
A hundred feet in, the trail lead to a clearing surrounded on all sides by forest and was big enough for a Little League baseball field. The nearest road was a quarter mile west of the clearing. With the exception of a dirt path, barely wide enough for a car, nothing but dense woods was between them. The nine men that Rolen counted weren't concerned about being heard.
Three old pickup trucks, with their headlights on, lit the open field as each of the nine men dug separate holes. Their silhouettes were giant-like flickering against the barrier of the forest. There wasn’t much conversation and after five minutes of watching from behind a fallen tree, not a single one of them ever looked over their shoulders. They had an agenda and they were completely focused.
Rolen, perused his surroundings looking for a closer look-out point. At the moment nine backs were turned towards him. With the clearing, the night sky lit up the night quite nicely, but Rolen didn’t see any other fallen trees he could hide behind to get a closer look. He did notice the grass, or whatever it was, was long. He could sit on his haunches in the middle of the field and never be seen.
Then he realized how much space was under the pick-up trucks.