Even taking his time on the snow covered roads, it had only taken Frank a mere fifteen minutes to get to the long forgotten driveway. He parked his Bronco in the clearing at the top of the steep incline. Leaving the engine running he stepped outside into the chilly air.
His heart began to race.
It was a long time ago, he reminded himself.
Nearing forty, Frank Adams had lived in the small town of Creekside all of his life, and had been the sheriff for nearly ten years. His hair was thin and prematurely grey. His eyes were the color of cobalt, his skin was marred from years of teenage acne. He had taken an oath to uphold the law but if he had to be totally honest with himself, he certainly would have avoided this confrontation. He had not been anywhere near the old Henderson place for too many years to count, and he had hoped to keep it that way.
The unpredicted snowstorm had finally come to a halt sometime in the early morning hours, leaving behind a thick carpet of white, littered with leftover leaves, and limbs that had been torn from safety.
He stood looking at the recent tire tracks that led beyond the clearing. He knew he would have to go down there eventually. He wouldn't let what he saw when he was a teenager keep him from doing his job.
The sky was a deep blue in color and the sun was shining bright, and although there was still a chill in the air, Frank could feel the mild warmth of the sun beating down on him. The silence that surrounded him didn't go unnoticed. It was an eerie silence, one that caused his heart to resume acceleration. And it was penetrating...deeply penetrating. He could feel the heaviness of it.
"Jesus Christ!" he muttered.
Trying to relax, he took in a deep breath of air and immediately began choking. He grabbed for his throat and desperately tried to free himself from icy claws that were squeezing the life out of him, suffocating him, killing him. He could hear the beat of his own heart loud in his ears and could feel tiny beads of sweat begin to cover his forehead. He tried to scream out, but his throat was parched. Unable to withstand the pressure around his throat any longer he dropped to his knees, and like a cloud of fog slowly creeping in, an icy black vapor enveloped him.
Francine stood silently at the front door to the diner, watching in the distance while Frank's Bronco disappeared down the street.
She didn't want to talk anymore about the old Henderson place. She had said too much already. She would just have to change the subject she'd decided, if Brooke decided to bring it up again.
Better to leave the past buried, she decided, then turned away from the door.
"How bout I whip us up something to eat?" she offered, in a cheery voice.
"Sure." Brooke said, but not because she was hungry. It was because the diner had been empty all morning and she desperately needed something to do. If she ate something along with Fran, at least she would have a couple of dishes to do to keep the unanswered questions out of her head.
"Two breakfast specials coming up!" Fran declared.
Brooke could only watch, confused, while Fran disappeared into the kitchen area of the diner.
What did she mean about the old Henderson place? she wondered. Before she had a chance to answer herself, Fran bolted from the kitchen and nearly ran into the main area.
"I'm sorry, I have to leave for a while. You bacon's cooking as well as your home fries. I'll be back shortly." Brooke heard the ding of the front bell and knew that Francine had quickly departed.