Thomas Mason, Billy Larue, Bob Sanders and Molly Carver stood in a drain pipe beneath the city of Astoria, Oregon, right off the mouth of the Columbia River. They carried flashlights and weapons. After the street lights went out they had all gone to Bob's house to gather flashlights and to arm themselves. They were going after Pretty Penny.
The kids had pulled the metal grate back where Penny had been digging and slipped down into the tunnels. The sounds of dripping water echoed through the pipes. Somewhere in the distance they heard Penny barking and the strange noise that they had been hearing all night. Thomas took the lead as they walked into the tunnel. At first they weren't sure where they were going, but when they saw a street name painted on one wall they realized that the layout was similar to the streets above where they all lived.
"What is that awful smell?" Billy asked.
"It smells fishy." Molly said.
"Dude, it really reeks." said Bob.
"I think I know what it is!" Billy exclaimed. "Maybe it's a sea monster."
"There's no such thing as sea monsters." Thomas said.
"Just think about it! How far is the river?" Billy asked.
"We live in a city that's only a mile across one way and less than two miles the other. I'd say it's not very far." Molly said.
"What if this is something new, like a new species?" Billy offered.
"Dude, there's no sea monsters." Molly said.
They walked for a little while longer until they heard Pretty Penny yelping again. She was much closer to them now and the smell was getting worse.
"What if it is a sea monster?" Bob asked.
They all looked at each other and shrugged.
"I just want Pretty Penny." Molly cried. "I want her to be safe."
"When we see her we're going to grab her and we're going to run," Thomas said.
"Does anyone know how to get back?" Billy asked.
"I do," Molly said. "We follow it back to Kensington Street and stay left."
They moved into anothet tunnel and the sound bellowed out.
"What is that?" Billy whispered.
"I know!" Molly said, "I know what that is."
The sea monster loomed over Penny. It's fins flapped along its side. The group tried to comprehend what they were looking at, but what they saw made no sense to them at all. Down here, below the city, this creature seemed impossible and out of place. The three boys looked at one another while Pretty Penny bounced and jumped and barked and yelped. She was playing with the creature and it was playing with her.
"Is that..." Thomas started.
"It's a sea lion." Molly finished, "It's been missing for two days now. They had that show at the museum and that night it disappeared."
"You mean it's been stuck down here?" Billy said, "It must have found a way in through the water ways somehow."
"We have got to go get help. We need some sort of rescue crew," Thomas said.
"Yeah," Billy replied, "I'm thinking that will cost a pretty penny."
By Beaux Kyle