the short story project


Benjamin Mailloux

The Unexpected Cave 

R and G Excavation gave us the go ahead into the Rocky Mountains. The reason was Corporate wanted another road built from the HQ to one of our new satellite locations, which was going to be in rural Washington State someplace. I was not too excited about building another road, when any Corporate official could go around the Mountains themselves, but that would damage their nice, expensive cars for some reason. There was already a road, but members of Corporate wanted it straight, instead of going north and then circling back around to go west. They wanted a straight shot, and the company that I worked for was going to do it. 

Ever since we were bought out by Triple C Inc, everything was a mess. I, Carter Richards, have worked with R and G Excavation for years, when it was owned by my friend, Mike Stuart, and his father, Tommy Stuart. It started off as the three of us, but then it grew and Tommy retired. Mike and I have worked together for almost twenty years, building and knocking stuff down in the rain and in the snow. After Mike took over, we did more than just excavate. Building houses, paving highways, and other things. Even some snow plowing here and there. Mike was all about keeping work and money coming in and that was what I liked about him. He kept me busy and I did the same to him. Mike was tall, had brown hair, with some patches of gray, and brown eyes. I was almost the same height as Mike, with black hair and brown eyes. Thankfully, I didn’t have any patches of gray just yet. Triple C Inc. paid for the flight out from Montana to HQ, which was in upstate Idaho, in Sandpoint. It was the only city that was around up here. The road that we were going to build was going to go from Sandpoint all the way into Washington State, to the new satellite location. The road was going to be a straight shot. Mike and I sat next to each other on the plane and when it arrived in Sandpoint Airport, we met one of the people from Corporate. He was a tall man, blonde hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a red tie and a business suit. Mike and I got the idea that he wasn’t the CEO of Triple C, but he sure as hell looked like he was. He stretched out his hand.

“Dan Teller, nice to meet you. I am going to assume that you are Carter Richards and Mike Stuart from R and G Excavation?” Dan said.

Mike shook Dan’s hand.

“That is right.” Mike said.

Dan released and shook my hand.

“Carter Richards, nice to meet you.” I said.

“Come with me to my office, we have much to discuss.” Dan said.

Mike and I grabbed our luggage from off the plane and followed Dan, who pulled up in a nice lincoln. Dan sat up front in the passenger seat, while Mike and I sat in the back. Our luggage bags were thrown in the trunk of the car and the driver drove us into Sandpoint. The traffic was not too bad and by the mid afternoon, we got to HQ. I have never seen Triple C’s Headquarters before until now. It was not as big as I would have liked to imagine it, but it was a decent sized office building that towered over a lot of the other buildings in Sandpoint. The driver stopped the car and parked it in the lot that was next to HQ. Mike and I followed Dan out of the car and into the Headquarters. I thought that for a weekend, that this place would be busy, but it wasn’t. Dan, Mike, and I were the only ones in the HQ, besides for a few receptionists up in the front of the office building. Dan led us in silence up a flight of stairs that was off to the left. After going up a couple of flights, the three of us were in Dan’s office. His office had one large desk, with papers scattered on it, a lamp, a mini fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. Dan went over to the corner of the office and brought over a couple of chairs for Mike and I to sit in. Then he sat in his office chair and looked at the both us.

“So there is business that we have to talk about.” Dan said.

“What is it?” I asked.

“It’s about the road and the way we are doing the excavation.” Dan said.

“Is the route that we are taking bad?” Mike asked.

Dan tensed up a little bit.

“What is it?” I asked, raising my voice. 

“The route that we are taking is going to be a hard one.” Dan said.

“Why?” Mike asked. 

“There is a cave up in the Mountains that the over companies are afraid to go to.” Dan said.

“Why is that?” Mike asked.

“The cave itself is known to have strange things inside, things that no one has ever seen.” Dan said.

“So like a time capsule thing?” I asked.

“Not really. There have been sightings of computers, lunch boxes, and other things stuck in the cave.” Dan said.

“Do you think someone is living there?” Mike asked.

“I wouldn’t be surprised, but I was told to keep it on the down low. Our CEO doesn’t want any press coverage.” Dan said.

“Then what are we supposed to do?” I asked.

“He wants you to build the road from here to Coolin. The cave is very noticeable from here. Fill the cave and get to Coolin. That is all the Corporate cares about.” Dan said.

“Why Coolin?” Mike asked.

“It’s a small town and the road would help the people out here anyways.” Dan said.

“Good, then we can get started tomorrow and fill in that cave.” I said.

Dan nodded.

“Good, now get some sleep. There are some corporate owned apartments for you two to stay in until the road is done. Already paid for.” Dan said.

“Got to love the big companies.” Mike said. 

The three of us laughed a little bit, then Dan said goodbye to me and Mike. The both of us grabbed our stuff, which was on the first floor of HQ. The apartments were right across the street and our rooms were located on the second floor. I had room 12 and Mike had room 13, right across the hall from me. The both of us said our goodbyes and went into our rooms. I put my luggage on the second bed, took a shower, brushed my teeth, and went to sleep. Tomorrow would be a lot of work.

The next day, I woke up early and ate some breakfast. Mike and I joined up together and ate at the some table. Thankfully, the food was already paid for by Corporate and the two of us had as much as we wanted. Mike and I then went back to our rooms and got ready for the day. When the both of us got outside, R and G Excavation was already heading towards the end of Sandpoint. The crew was ready to build the road. Dan came up to the both of us. He was wearing the same business suit as yesterday, but with a green tie instead.

“Good morning Mike, Carter.” Dan said with a smile.

“Morning Dan. Today is the day.” Mike said.

Dan nodded.

“Yes it is. Here are the plans for the road. I gave a copy of it to Corporate and your foreman as well.” Dan said.

I took the blueprints from Dans hand. The plan was a simple road from here to Coolin. Then that would be it, hopefully. I was excited to get this road done and to get paid. That was the best part of work. 

“I shouldn’t keep you two. Get to work and report back to me soon.” Dan said.

“Will do.” I said.

“Good luck out and remember what I said about the cave.” Dan said.

Mike and I wished Dan a goodbye and walked to where the rest of R and G Excavation was. The walk was long at first, but then the foreman, who was named Tim, came and picked us up. Mike and I didn’t know him because he was new and he was also good at his job. Tim, Mike, and I arrived on the outskirts of Sandpoint. Tim took the blueprints, studied them, and then was the first one to bark orders.

“Ok, we need a straight road from here to Coolin. No stopping for breaks unless I say.” Tim said.

All together, we only have a crew of fifty men, mostly in their forties and fifties. The other part of the crew were young and inexperienced. Building this road was going to be harder than we expected, especially if Tim was going to give us a hard time. Thankfully Mike and I were in charge of Time, so once when he showed us to the field office, the work on the road began. The area outside of Sandpoint was all forested land that’s stretched far into the Mountains. Coolin was somewhere beyond all of these trees. It was not long until the men began to cut down the trees to make the road. There was no way that the asphalt guys were able to get in where we were in order to begin paving the actual road. None of it was even laid out yet, but Tim wanted it already paved. Mike and I said no and Tim went away grumbling to himself.  Mike and I did not have to do much work out in the field, but the both of us tackled the loads of paperwork, which included all of the permits to knock down the trees, payroll, and other things. The workers, under Tim’s leadership, continued to work on the road. The workers dug up loads of dirt and moved it aside, rubbing it down to make the road smooth. The plan was to get beyond the limits of the forest and into the Mountains. The beginning work was slow progress and before I knew it, the day was over. Tim and the rest of the workers went back to the hotels, paid for by the company of course. Mike and I stayed a little later to catch up on paperwork, then went back to our rooms. 

The next few days and weeks was more of the same. Trees were chopped down, dirt was dug, and the road was finally beginning to take shape as it sloped upwards into the Mountains. Coolin was far, but with this road up, the community would be better, at least I hoped. The asphalt would not start for another week, but at least the men and Tim laid out stakes and dug a decent trench that would become the road. More paperwork arrived from Corporate, along with payroll and other things. Mike and I got everything done on time. Tim came around and became a close friend of ours and soon was helping me and Mike with the paperwork. The asphalt and pavement guys were going to be a couple days late, but that was ok. It gave everyone else time to lay out the road and get it ready for them anyways. Row after row of trees disappeared and soon the foothills of the Mountains came closer to us. In order to continue the road, I ordered the crew to use dynamite and blast through the rock of the foothills. There was no other way to get through the foothills without blasting, unless I wanted to scrap the whole project. Corporate would not be happy with me if I did that. I was eager to get to the cave that Dan was talking about. I don’t know where it was exactly, but I knew that it was somewhere up in the foothills, waiting for us to find it. Then it came to us. Mike and I were both out in the field, overseeing the progress of the road. The land rose high around us as the progress into the Mountains continued. Then Tim came back running towards us.

“We ran into a problem.” He said. 

“What kind?” Mike asked.

“There is a cave up ahead and I was ordering some of the workers to blast it, but when the charges went off the cave stayed the same. You might want to check it out.” Tim said.

Mike and I nodded and we both followed Tim towards the cave. It was right in the path of the road. The land around both sides of it was steep. Trees were rooted around it and the three of us were able to get to it only by a single path. The cave entrance was wide open. From a distance it looked like it would slowly slope down, but when the three of us got closer, it was a sheer drop down. Tim wouldn’t go any further and most of the workers gathered around him. 

“Get us some climbing gear. I’m going down.” I said.

Mike looked at me weird and then shouted the same thing. A couple of workers brought over some harnesses and ropes. Tim came over and helped me secure a rope onto my own harness, then helped Mike. I grabbed a flashlight and tossed one over to Mike. A couple of workers came over and helped me to be lowered to the cave bottom. It was really dark at the bottom of the cave. Mike and I turned on our flashlights and pointed them around. There was a lot of stuff at the bottom. The both of us unhooks our harnesses to see what was on the floor of the cave. It was everything that Dan said it would; lunchboxes and computers. Mike and I were amazed at what the both of us saw. The computer was something that the both of us have not seen at all. It was strange, as if it came from somewhere else. The lunchbox was definitely from someone passing by and it was probably thrown down into the cave. The computer itself was propped up on one side of the cave and it was on. Mike and I went closer to the computer, then it turned on and it flashed a blue light. Mike and I stumbled back as the computer turned itself on. The cave rumbled and another light went on further down.

“What is going on down there?!” Tim yelled.

Mike and I ignored him and followed the blue light. More of them sprang up, leading us deeper into the cave. Then at the end of the cave, was a large cavern that was full of people. Mike and I went up against the wall of the cave and hid behind it. I peered around the edge and was shocked. Lots of people ran around the bottom of the cavern, yelling and running some kind of society. Signs of dwellings were up at bottom of the cavern. Lights lit up the whole space itself. I strained my eyes to see what was happening at the bottom, then it came to me, Every single member of Corporate was in this cave. Mike and I slowly backed away from the cavern, but we couldn’t get back up. Our harnesses and ropes were gone. I got icy chills down my back. I almost screamed when Tim’s body came flying down to the bottom of the cave. It landed right in front of Mike. I turned around to see Dan coming towards Mike and I.

“I guess this is the unexpected cave.” Dan said.

I then threw up at the sight of Tim’s body and was then taken away. Mike was also grabbed and my eyes were covered in darkness.

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