The teens continued running around, chasing each other through dehydrated corn stalks, while Danny, Bri, and Vincent continued to search for Justin. Bri whipped her head around when she heard the sound of shuffling feet. "What's wrong?" Danny asked. "I think there's someone or something following us." Sweat gathered at the palms of her hands. "It's probably the leaves." Vincent reassured her. But the same tree she had seen at the hayride was no longer dropping leaves, the leaves she saw falling were a maple brown color, and they were falling faster.
"No, I think it means something-" Bri's foot smashed into a wooden platform that had once been covered by leaves. She suspected that the wood had been weathered by the constant rain and the heat of the sun from the cracks running across its surface. "What is it?" Vincent asked. Bri knelt down, feeling the fuzzy green mold held deep within its crevices. Her hand traveled along it for a few seconds until it stopped on what felt like a hole. Her hand drifted along the outskirts of the wood that had been cut into a perfect rectangle, finding three more holes of the same size. "Uh," she hesitated, "I think that we might've found a hidden passage."
"A hidden passage." Danny mocked. "This is so cliche that it's funny." He immediately choked back his laugh when Vincent's humorless face convinced him to stop.
"I suggest that we find whatever is under there." Vincent said while wiggling his eyebrows. Bri could already see her death certificate being signed. Danny shrugged.
"I guess so. It's worth the suprise that we won't find. This 'hidden passage' is obvious."
"Why haven't you found it before now, then?"
"Well, I-" Danny mumbled.
"Exactly, you didn't." Vincent turned around, focusing his attention on the wooden platform.
"It's going to take all of our strength to lift this." Bri exclaimed.
The flesh on their fingers peeled off like oranges as chips of wood jumped into them, burrowing further into their skin. Danny held his bloodstained fingers to his face, yelling, "Vincent! This isn't worth this much pain." Vincent continued digging, blowing Danny off. He didn't respond until he felt the searing pain of the yellow wood glue on his fingers. "If you'd just shut up, we might be able to get this off." The wood began to lift, and before Danny could say anything, an empty rectangle in the ground stood before them. "So, who volunteers to go first?" Vincent asked. Bri chimed in,"Me!"
"You?" Danny's eyebrows shot up in suprise.
"Yes. Push me in if you have to."
"If you say so." Vincent said, pushing her in.
Darkness enveloped Bri as she fell for what seemed like hours. Fear pushed itself up her chest, crawling up her neck. It placed itself in her glottis, causing her throat to swell. Her sobs turned into screams. Hearing this, Danny jumped in. He placed a hand on her shoulder. "Who's there?" She screamed, lunging towards him. "It's me, Danny." She grabbed him as her chest began to loosen.
"How long have I been falling?"
"You hit the ground in a few seconds."
"It felt like longer."
"You let your emotions get the best of you." Danny paused. "I love you, Bri."
She sniffled more, saying, "I'm sorry that I always ruin all of your shirts."
Ruining the moment, Vincent plopped down next to them, shining the flashlight in their faces. "Oh, thank God. I almost thought you guys were kissing." Realizing a pair of grimy shoes, Danny clutched his hand to his face, saying, "Aren't those Justin's shoes?"
Vincent grinned. "I don't know, Danny. Maybe you can tell us how and wis shoes are here, but he's not. You're the one who was arguing with him in the car."