Escape from Underground

I actually forgot how to get out from the tunnels, so Lily and I walked around for about twenty minutes before I finally found a tunnel going up towards the surface. When I arrived outside I was surprised at how cold it was. It was night now but it was not dark because all around me were blue and red flashing lights.

Eddie must have called the police.

Since it was rather dark, I had to touch and hold little Lily to make sure she was still with me. I hid the sack of gold behind some bushes and walked with Lily towards the flashing lights. On the road were about twenty police cars. The lights were on but they made little noise. The siren was off. Standing all around the street were policemen and policewomen. I noticed also a bunch of people carrying camera. They must have been journalists. A van appeared and a bunch of men wearing thick body armor walked out. Each of them carried a rifle. A tall man wearing a trench coat saw Lily and me walking on the road. He approached us.

"Where have you just been?" he asked.

"I was just down there," I said.

"Are you Keith?"

"Yes, that's me."

The man shook my hand. "My name's John Silencer. I'm in charge here. Can you tell me the situation down there? Give me as much information as possible."

"They're keeping children imprisoned down there!"

John's eyes widened. "How many people do you think are down there?"

"I don't know…maybe seventy."

The man nodded to himself.

Lily's mother Nancy then appeared out of nowhere and John walked off.

"Lily! There you are!" Nancy grabbed Lily and hugged her even though Lily didn't hug back maybe because she was tired. "Do you know where Ella is?" asked Nancy.

Lily pointed behind her. "Ella is in there."

Nancy remained silent. She seemed to tense up more. I watched as the men with body armor and rifles started to climb down the tunnel I had just climbed out from. I thought about the weapons I saw down there. I hoped Mark and his friends would give themselves up peacefully if the police tried to arrest them.

Mark was sentenced to two years imprisonment. The judge was lenient given Mark's youth and clean history. Ella returned home to Nancy and Lily. Eddie and I managed to smuggle six gold bars out. We lost a few. Neither Eddie nor I told the police or our parents about the gold bars. With the money Eddie was able to afford more pornography. The pressure on me to find a job was no longer as great. I asked Nancy if I could babysit Lily and she said yes I could.

One month after Eddie, Lily, and I escaped from the underground tunnels, it was close to Christmas, and I was in my bedroom using my computer.

On my lap was a newspaper, a one-month old copy of The Age. I diverted my attention away from the computer screen onto the newspaper. On the front page was news about the incident:

EXPOSED: UNDERGROUND DRUG AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION

Police today raided a vast underground hideout where a criminal gang produced drugs and engaged in human trafficking and prostitution. Innovative alternative drugs with total street value of over 10 million dollars were recovered along with more than thirty teenage prostitutes…

I wasn't able to read anymore because the bedroom door opened and Mum walked in with the laundry. She placed on the bed my t-shirt and underwear before looking at me. I had redirected my attention away from the newspaper and onto the computer monitor.

"It's okay, Keith," said my mum. "I don't mind if you chat with your girlfriend."

My face went red. "Mum, I don't have a girlfriend. I was reading this newspaper."

"Isn't that an old paper? Why are you reading an old paper?"

"I just wanted to see."

Mum walked up to me. I thought she was going to look at the newspaper with me but instead she grabbed my face and inspected it before finding an adolescent pimple on my forehead. She started squeezing with her nails, trying to rip the pimple off.

"No, Mum, you're not supposed to…" I tried to get her hands away without seeming too hostile or aggressive.

"You'd look a lot more handsome, Keith, if you let me…"

I released myself from Mum's grip and stared at the computer monitor. I threw the newspaper on the bed.

Mum sat on the floor near me. "Do you want to talk to me about anything?"

I shrugged. "I don't know."

Mum looked around my room. She saw the newspaper article that I had just read.

"I couldn't believe all those things happened underneath us," she said, picking up the newspaper from the bed. "I had no idea."

"When you can't see something, it's hard to know if it's real."

"Yeah…" She nodded while still deep in thought. "Every night I thank God you're still alive, you know? You could have easily died." Mum closed her eyes and looked up to the ceiling. "I've forgotten those lovely girls' names. Is Lily the younger girl or the older one? I keep forgetting."

"She's the little one. The one I'm babysitting now."

Mum smiled at me before getting up and walking to the bedroom door. "You're nineteen now. Don't you think you're too old to be babysitting such a small child?"

I shook my head, stared forwards, and avoided eye contact with my mum. "I'm only doing it for the money," I said. "Nancy said it was okay."

Mum nodded and looked at me for a while longer before walking out.