The moon was casting shadows of the tall trees on the east side of the clearing. With the headlights facing the opposite directions, Rolen felt he could sneak from shadow to shadow and eventually work his way underneath one of the pickup trucks. He figured there wouldn’t be a problem unless of course there were snakes along the way.
Putting the thought of slithering serpents out of his head, the best he could anyway, Rolen crept through the tall grass while the shuuurrr-if sounds of shoveling continued. Rolen found himself both impressed and curious at how quickly these men were working.
After shadow-jumping, Rolen crouched down like a catcher observing what was in front of him. There seemed to be no conversations, only digging. Five of the diggers were standing in the holes they were making while the others had either not gotten very far on their own holes or were starting new ones. Rolen quickly figured it was the latter.
Taking long, gentle strides towards the truck, Rolen found himself at the bottom of a hole that was four feet deep, only a foot shorter than he was. He must have unknowingly blurted out a yelp because while he was waiting for the dust to settle from around his face her heard one them talk for the first time.
“Quiet!” The digging stopped and every one of the men dropped their shovels and scanned the premises.
Rolen, unhurt as far he could tell, stood up and watched - his eyes level with the ground. The men were circling around. They had flashlights attached to their belts and were now using them as searchlights. His heavy breathing increased even more when a big boot with heavy treading stepped on some twigs less than ten feet away. The man didn’t stay long, but rather continued his searching farther away.
Rolen, sensing the coast was clear, peeked out again over the hole and saw the man as he was walking away lift up the tail of his shirt and pull out a gun. Staring wide-eyed, Rolen gulped. For the first time, a rather delayed thought for someone of his intellect, he realized what these holes could be.