Saz looked down, a slight frown on his face, not quite as jubilant like the other boys,
"Garlyn, I'm not sure this is oil."
"What do you mean it ain't oil? Of course, it is. If it ain't oil, then what is it?" Dolyn piped in, supporting his brother.
"I'm just saying that I've read about oil, and from what I read, this seems to clean. Is all," Saz looked down at the substance, a bad feeling growing in the pit of his stomach.
He knew there would have been dirt, grass, debris, and the substance itself would have been a brownish slime with a rainbow sheen seeping into the ground around the hole. It would have had a smell that could turn your stomach if you weren't used to it. Still, none of them had ever seen oil; they'd only heard about it. He could be wrong. He hoped he was wrong.
Loring bumped his arm and shook his head; Saz sighed and looked at the others. He could tell that he'd have to put his theories on the back burner until they'd worked out whatever they'd wanted to say.
Galyn looked around at his friends, his gaze focusing on Loring, "right then, what should we do with the money?"
"I think we should help Loring first," Adan said; his quite even manner of speech belied the seriousness of what he'd said.
"What? Why me?" Loring stammered his voice, unused to speech.
The other boys nodded their heads; a few quiet "yes's" could be heard. Their faces somber, the jubilation of a moment ago gone.
Emlyn looked down at the glossy black substance-free of impurities, and she had the overwhelming urge to touch it. She bit her knuckles and held back the desire; looking around at her brothers and their friends, she wouldn't want to get anyone into trouble.
The urge to touch the glossy substance grew more intense, almost as if something were calling her to touch it, asking her, begging her. She shook her head.
That can't be right. Emlyn thought, was she imagining things? It was like she could hear a voice. Emlyn wanted to look away. She felt the thick handle of her basket between her fingers, felt the dense fibers bite into her hand as she squeezed. She tried to turn her head to look at her brothers again, but this time it was as if something was stopping her.
She couldn't move her head, couldn't move her body; her heart sped up. She wanted to call out but couldn't open her mouth; she could hear the boys and their chatter, but it was as if it was far away from her even though she knew they were only a few feet from her.
Her hand reached out beyond her control and touched the thick oily substance, then she felt a sharp prick. It was as if time started again. She squeaked from the pain and dropped her basket before she realized that she couldn't pull her hand back; that part of the substance had anchored itself around her wrist like it was feeding off her. She felt a strange pull from deep within her body as if something long-dormant had found its first meal.
Her already weak body was soon teetering from the strain, of drawing and draining, and trying to keep from being pulled even further towards the creature, for she realized now that this is what it was; it wasn't oil at all, but a monster of some kind.
Adan was the first to realize that something was off with Emlyn. He'd heard her squeak. His eyes hardly left her for more than a minute, and in that minute, something had happened; Adan, unlike his usual quiet and stable self, sprinted towards her and grabbed hold of the thing on her wrist, ignoring Saz, who shouted out not to touch it. He had to get the damn thing off of her; he didn't care about the consequences.
The rest of the boys followed suit behind him. He then felt a prick in the palm of his hand and a consciousness invade him that was foreign from his own. Nothing in his almost 16 years of life could have prepared him for this moment.
Having captured two of them, the black mass writhed and seemed to lift from the ground. Loring stood a distance from the others, his body half turned away for half a second before he also joined in and tried to pull them free he knew that they would do it for him. They were his only real family, this mess of tumbling boys and knocked-kneed girl.
The ones further back didn't have a chance to escape; the mass gave up all pretense of being an inanimate object, and spikes shot out, impaling each of the boys who hadn't willingly touched it.
It held them up in the air until all six teens formed a circle around it, then it slowly enveloped them until they were completely engulfed in the substance; it hardened into a glossy shell, now a silver sheen turned to black the world around trembled, and the kids vanished.
The only evidence that they'd been there an over-turned basket of herbs scattered across the ground and the scuffle of booted feet.