JC said, “Somebody get me something to pry this open with.”
I heard Captain Hook tell one of the kids, “Get that pry bar in the shop.”
The kid ran and came back with the pry bar and handed it to JC. JC pried one edge of the piece of plywood and removed the 2 foot to 3 foot square piece of plywood from the center of the landing and to reveal stairs going down. He looked at me and said, “Get my flashlight out of the truck will ya”.
Me: “You aren’t going down there are you?”
JC: “Just get the flashlight, OK?”
I ran and got it, JC always had a 1,000,000 watt flashlight; he stuck it and his head down the hole and we waited.
JC: “Well, I’ll be damned.”
The rest of us: “What??!!”
JC: “They’ve dug a whole damn room down here, I’m going down.”
One of the kids said, “I’m going too!”
Captain Hook grabbed the kid’s sleeve with his steel hook and said,” Just let JC go, you stay here.”
Me: “Be careful Hon.”
After a few minutes JC’s head appears through the hole in the floor and he hands me a log as he climbs out.
Me: “This is like the logs that are out in the yard, so?”
JC: “and those piles of dirt that were out in the yard?”
JC: “Dirt they dug out of here, there’s a whole room down there, about 4’ deep.”
Me: “Yeah? What were they doing down there? A grow op?”
JC: “Oh yeah, mushrooms”
Me: “Mushrooms?” Naively I am thinking mushrooms like you fry up with a steak. “Why would they be growing mushrooms down there?”
JC: “Magic mushrooms?” and he stares at me waiting for the light to go on.
Me: “Oh, OH, OH!!! OH!! Magic mushrooms shit!”
The group of us is standing there looking at each other, the kids are getting really excited, and saying things like, “I wanna see”, “cool”, “me too’.
Me: “I still don’t get it. why would they go to the trouble of digging a hole why wouldn’t they just grow them in the warehouse.”
We had kinda suspected there had been a grow op because of the extra power box and a few other suspicious signs in the warehouse like venting and power plugs in strange places and wiring in strange places and we’d heard that every second house in the town was a grow op so it wasn’t surprising really. But I still didn’t get why they dug a hole and what the logs had to do with it.
JC explained: “Where do mushrooms grow? In a dark, humid place.”
Me: “But I still don’t get the logs.”
JC: “The mushrooms grow on the logs.”
By this time we had wandered back into the warehouse while Captain Hook argued with one of the kids about going down the hole.
Finally we all congregated in the warehouse and I think it was me who asked what we do now.
Captain Hook piped up: “We’ll all get fired if anyone finds out we found it.”
JC: “He’s right, and really what are the cops going to do now anyway? All that’s down there is a bunch of logs, there is no way to prove who’s set up it was and besides it’s done, it’s over.”
Me: “ Yeah I guess you’re right, damn!! What do you know? No wonder she was so nervous about us recarpeting, she knew we’d find that trap door. I wonder what’s under that old plank floor in that one office, I wonder what’s hiding under that concrete in the warehouse that they obviously patched?” Those Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon books I’d devoured as a kid were coming to life in my mind.
Captain Hook, who was looking rather ill, piped up, “You can’t go ripping up no wood floor, I’ll get fired for sure. This was bad enough but don’t go pulling up planks” or jack hammering concrete,(I think I saw beads of sweat on his brow then he looked at the kids and said, “You guys go put that plywood and carpet back, JC and Carrie and I are gonna have a talk.”
Me: “Is there any way you can get from that hole to the room with the wood floor?”
JC: “Not without digging a tunnel.’
It was getting close to shift change so we assured Captain Hook our lips were sealed and we wouldn’t tear the floor up and they left.
I went back to the cabin and started dinner and JC stayed in the warehouse. A few hours later JC walked into the cabin and I started babbling like I tend to do.
Me: “I’ve been wondering, how much do you think they made? I guess they made enough and just buggered off to retire in Mexico, I made Shepperd’s Pie it’s almost ready, do you want to eat in here or the warehouse?, I wonder if your friend was in on it?, just goes to show you, you never know what’s really going on with people.” JC wasn’t saying anything so I stopped what I was doing and looked up. He looked pale and sick. “What? What’s wrong?”
JC: ‘When we first moved in and we were cleaning up the yard?”
JC: “ Well when I was clearing all the blackberries away from the side of the building I moved a board that was leaning up against the building and there was a hole in the concrete that someone had jackhammered through, I never thought anything of it really I just thought it was venting.”
I sat down at the kitchen table and he joined me, “Go on and what?”
JC: “ I got to thinking about that hole just now so I went and got my flashlight and put it in the hole, the room with the wood floor is directly above where the hole is.”
JC hesitated: “……. there’s two pine boxes down there.”
JC: “Pine boxes? Boxes about 6’ long and maybe a foot, foot and 1/2 across and a foot deep….. two of them…… and one of them is oozing green stuff.”
Me wrinkling my nose: “Green stuff? Like what kinda green stuff?”
JC: “Come look.” And he headed for the door.
Me: “I’m not looking, uh uh, no way.”
JC: “I’m not very hungry, do you want to come with me? I’m going to go over to “B”’s and see what he thinks.”
Me: “yeah I’m not hungry either I think I lost my appetite, just give me a second to change.”
We went up to the warehouse and the two security kids from early in the day had come back and were filling in the night shift about the trap door, they had the carpet pulled back, JC’s flashlight and one of them had his head down the hole. So much for “our lips are sealed”.
JC: “We’re going out for awhile guys, won’t be long.”
Apple Dumpling Gang: :”OK, see ya later.” Not even looking in our direction. This security stuff was more exciting than any of them ever anticipated. They had no idea how exciting it was going to get tomorrow.
JC pulled me close, kissed my hair and in a whispered voice said, “I love you.” I wrapped my arms around his stomach and leaned my head against his chest “I love you too.” He sighed and said, “Let’s go talk to “B”.” and gave me a quick kiss on the lips.
Just a hug, a kiss and three little words and my resolve melted, I knew all I wanted was to spend the rest of my life in his arms, how would I ever be able to leave him? I wouldn’t think about it right now, maybe things would be ok. We climbed in the truck and I gave him another kiss and we went to “B”’s.
Posted by Carrie the Lady Witha Truck