Of course they would have closed them up, he thought as he knelt by the old church. In retrospect, he supposed they were pretty dangerous. He recalled the cool, dank air that used to drift out of the basement through these open vents and into the summer heat.
The old church that served as his playground, had four vents just inches above the sidewalk on both sides of the building. They were just tall enough for a child to squeeze through. Although he was generally afraid of the vents, his fear did not prevent him from climbing through them and into the basement.
He supposed they must have closed them off years ago in favor of a more modern ventilation system. In doing so, they closed off the possibility of danger for the children that played near the church. For the child who still lived in Brian, however, they closed off much more. It had been a gateway into a forbidden underworld where a forgotten secret threatened the peace of this quiet little antebellum town. He never considered sharing what he found, until now. The ugly truth that lay buried in the basement of the church had spread and twisted it’s roots through the foundation of this town and was now beginning to crack the surface.