A Murder In The Boondocks

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Thomas MacLaine- An F.B.I agent arrives at a small town deep in the woods to investigate a mysterious, occult murder.
Henry Hardman- Local sheriff who knows more than he admits.
The two become partners as they investigate a series of odd crimes, which leads to the discovery of something dark in the small town of Sycamore Crossing.

Submitted: October 29, 2018

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Submitted: October 29, 2018

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A Murder In The Boondocks
By Joshua Webster
 
Part 1
 
Chapter 1
The following story took place in the November of 1999. It is set in a small town, hidden between the trees, lost to the ages, where it was usual for a group of burly bikers to enter a diner and then select a Bing Crosby song from the jukebox.
Those woods were home to a grim sight on that day, a sight first beholded by an elderly man named Earl Brownshade.
Earl Brownshade was the forest ranger, he had been for many-a-decade. He was now 86 and very healthy. He would sit in his ranger station and occasionally request one of the young volunteers to run to the diner and grab him some food. He didn't live in the station though, he lived in one of the usual, cosy suburban homes the town was used to- the town of Sycamore Crossing.
He was up, doing his usual rounds with a group of the young volunteers. He didn't like most of them- city slickers from a college in Seattle who came there purely to get out of a seminar. He lead them to a clearing, while most of them took to sitting on the benches, he and two of the preffered volounteers noticed what had taken centre-stage.
There was a wizened oak tree in the centre of the clearing, it had been originally planted there in 1968 and was still going strong. It wasn't the incredible tree which took their attention though; it was the thing propped against it.
Lana Harving had her back propped against the ancient bark of the old tree. She was wearing her prom dress her boyfriend Blake Carter had bought her a week earlier. She had no make-up on, that was except for the crimson balm rubbed against her young lips, surrounding her mouth. The Lana Harving they once knew was not breathing and was very much dead.
She had a tree sapling growing from her mouth. She had no stab wounds or any blood. But that sapling growing from her mouth was truly disturbing. "You two, go an get help, the telephone in my station; use it to call Sheriff Hardman." Earl said, he watched the two run to the station, eventually the other volunteers caught notice and were as truly as horrified as the three who first layed their eyes upon her.
 
Chapter 2
Sheriff Henry Hardman soon arrived at the scene, Earl spotted him coming up the hillock to where the unfortunate Lana was dead. Hardman knelt-down in front of the young girl and a long, great stare at the tree growing from her thoat.
"By the size of it, it was probably planted in a place such as the aorta." Hardman said.
"How can you tell?" Earl asked.
"Well, look how long it is, the poor thing must have been through so much pain, and when the thing bloomed- it killed her." Hardman took off his sheriff's hat, forcing his coat to make a rustling sound and then beginning to itch his side-burns and moustache. "It also means that somebody must've... planted the thing inside her..." He finished speaking and worked his way aroud questioning the volunteers, everybody in Sycamore Crossing trusted Earl with their life. In fact, everyone trusted everybody with their life, the killer must have been an outsider.
Deputy George Mannox soon emerged from over the hillock and joined them in the clearing. He walked Earl to one of the benches, giving him a flask with hot chocolate in, comforting him. Earl was payed enough, but not enough to deal with this on a Tuesday morning.
About an hour later, Hardman and Mannox had returned to the sheriff's station, they went up to Shelley Greenwood, the receptionist and told her the situation. "Is that true?" Shelley asked, with a concerned glance over her face.
"I'm afraid to say that it is, Shelley." Hardman said.
"Do we need someone to come in?" She asked him.
"No, I wanna solve this on our terms, not with some smart-ass from the F.B.I." Hardman responded. Shelley took a clipboard from behind her desk and flipped a couple pages over.
"I'm sorry sir, but it looks like in our town policy that if a murder under ritualistic, cannibalistic or occult circumstances should occur here, then we have to." Shelley said.
"It didn't happen under any of those circumstances." Hardman said.
"Well, I'd say it's pretty close to being ritualistic, I mean how many killers turn their victims into a freakin' grow bag?" Asked Deputy Mannox.
"Deputy!" Hardman said.
"Sorry sir." Mannox said.
"Listen you two, I'm just panicking. Nothing like this has ever happened before. My mind's racing." Hardman said.
"We know sheriff; me and George appreciate that, but don't underestimate us. We're the only three members of the police force here! Please, I know you'd like to think that this is a nice cozy crime, but it isn't. We have a real problem here. Please, can we just call an agent. Just one, to come and assist us." Shelley said.
"George?" Hardman asked.
"I agree with Shelley, sir." He said.
"I appreciate what you said Shelley, and you George. We need to work together and when then person comes to town, we need to work with them." Hardman said. "Who's available for call, Shelley?" Hardman asked. Shelley was browsing through her dosier for crimes and agents specialised in solving them.
"What kind of murder d'ya think this would be under?" Shelley asked.
"Erh, ritualistic I guess." Hardman said. "If that fails try occult." He said.
"Hold on." Shelley said. "There's an agent who crosses between the two fields." She said.
"What's his name?" George asked.
"F.B.I Special Agent Thomas MacLaine" Shelley said.
"Call him." Hardman said.
 
Chapter 3
F.B.I Special Agent Thomas MacLaine, 32 years of age, he was a fine man. He was driving through the misty, rainy woods which made up the majority of the town's city limits. He thought he saw a deer through the window of his Buick Lassabre. He could soon see the neon glow of dangling traffic lights in front of him. He was driving over the bridge which took him into the heart of a small town in the boondocks, the town of Sycamore Crossing.
He knew that Sheriff Hardman had requested to meet with him at the sheriff's station and that was where Thomas was headed. He knew the details of the murder, in fact; he had the dossier wide open over his dashboard, along with a map of the local area and numerous crime scene photos sent to him by Shelley, which he took upon himself to print off. He loved investigating a good murder.
He pulled up to the carpark and parked his Buick, quickly pushing up his tie and doing his top button. He grabbed his blazer and threw it on, he then grabbed the file, left the car, closed the door and entered the station.
He was greeted by Shelley. "Hi, are you Thomas MacLaine?" She asked him.
"I am indeed."He said, winking at her cheekily and getting a happy smile and giggle in return. It was then that Sheriff Hardman came from the planning room and approached Thomas.
"Hi, I'm F.B.I Special Agent Thomas MacLaine, but please; call me Tom." He said.
"Nice to meet you, Tom. I'm Sheriff Henry Hardman, call me whatever you want to." He said. "The lovely lady over there is Shelley and this fine man who just turned up for work is George." Henry said.
"Sorry sir, I was called to Rose Harving's house, you know- Lana's sister. She wanted to ask me about the investigation. With her being her sister, I thought it was best to see her." George said.
"Please, follow me." Henry said to Tom. Shelley and George were with them as well. They were entering the planning room. They had much to discuss.
The planning room was large, possibly the largest room in the station it was a standardly decorated room, with a water dispenser, chalk board and a huge table with fancy leather chairs being the items differenciating it from the other rooms. They all sat down at the end closest to the chalk board, which was also the end closest to the door. George got up and closed the blinds, Hardman turned off the lights and turned on the projector. "I assume you looked over the crime scene photos, Tom?" Henry asked him.
"Yup." He said, rather chirpily. He noticed the flickering images of the poor Lana, with the sapling emitting from her neck. "What is your current hypothesis?" He asked Hardman.
"Well, I think it's safe to assume that it grew from a place such as the aorta. It was also planted inside her before she was killed, she must have been under so much pain in the weeks leading up to her death." Hardman finished. "Could you expand upon that?" He asked Tom.
"Well, she more than likely checked into the hospital, or at least somebody trained in the medical profession to find the source of her pain. Due to the nature of the problem they probably couldn't find anything. How old was she?" He asked them.
"21." Shelley said.
"Was she dating anybody?" Thomas MacLaine asked.
"Blake Carter, he's 18." Said George. Agent MacLaine repositioned himself, so that he sat upright in his chair and re-folded his pocket square into a quirky pattern and then placed it back into his top pocket.
"Well then team, we have a starting point, someone medically trained, we'll need records pulled out and obviously the hospital checked-out. And then we'll have to interview her boyfriend. We'll start on this tonight. We need a town meeting first." Tom said. "Is there a place?" He asked.
"We could arrange a place at the Eat & Go Diner." George said.
"Yeah, and I can go up to the hospital, I borrowed a book to my cousin Mia, she works there." Shelley said.
"Yeah, I'll be with you at the meeting." Hardman said.
"And I'll stay here and search through medical records." George said.
"Good work team." Tom said.
 
Chapter 4
Henry got everyone sat in the diner. He arranged a kind of space where he and Tom could walk.
"People, friends, I am sure you have heard that Lana Harving has been killed, this is a tragedy and I wish to give all of my condolences to Rosie. I know how difficult things already were for you." He said. "This here, is Special Agent Thomas MacLaine. He will assist us in finding the killer." Tom stepped forward and began walking aound the space.
"I am sorry to be here in such tragic tidings but I promise to find whoever did this. Now, I would like to say that anyone with any knowledge of this must step forward, if you have even the slightest inkling then please tell us. We may not know the exact detail of this crime, but it occured at night. Be sure that younger children are kept indoors. Thankyou." Tom said. Hardman ended the meeting and walked out with Tom.
"Well done." Hardman said. "That was pretty good." He said.
"Thanks, Henry." Thomas said. A muscle car pulled up beside the two men. Inside was a young man, with his blonde hair blowing in the wind.
"Hey, Blake. We need to speak with you." Hardman said. Blake stepped out of the car, he had his salmon sweater tied over his shirt.
"Yes, sheriff?" He asked.
"This is Agent Thomas MacLaine. He'll be helping us find Lana's killer." Hardman said. "We'd like to interview you sometime." He added.
"That's fine. You'd better find that bastard who killed her." Blake said. "Sheriff, Special Agent." He walked inside the Eat & Go Diner, the retro jukebox music temporarily being audible and the scent of food being briefly smelt in the air.
"You have a place to stay right?" Hardman asked.
"Yeah, I believe it's at the Salmon Lake Motel." Tom said.
"Lovely place." Hardman said.
"What shall we do know?" Tom asked.
"I'll show you." Hardman said.
Hardman rook him to Slim's Curtain, a nightclub. It was early evening know. The two of them sat at the bar. Tom took off his tie and undid his top two buttons, while Henry took off his hat and coat. The woman singer, the male guitarist and the female drummer were bathed in a blue light, making the place seem fresh. She sung away and the people inside were lost, in a world of blue.
I can see you know,
Now the mist has past,
And I'm all too far.
Away from you,
If you had seen me,
On that tragic night,
I would have ran to you,
And cried in fright.
The woman sang on into the night, the two new friends at the bar were lost in the mysticism of the her vocals and the essense of the instruments. "Excuse me." Lloyd the bartender said. "Are you Thomas MacLaine?" He asked.
"Yes, I am." Tom said.
"A woman who just left told me to give you this." He passed Tom a slip of paper. Tom opened it and a strange red powder, above were the words 'He Sells These'. Tom got up, and grabbed his things, quickly running outside. He saw a woman in heels walking away.
"Who are you?" He shouted in her direction. She didn't turn around. He went to run after her. But a logging truck drove in front of him. And when it had passed, she was nowhere to be seen.
 
Chapter 5
The next day, Tom woke up early in his motel room. He jumped up out of bed and walked over to his telephone. He needed to call Shelley.
"Hello?" He asked.
"Agent MacLaine, how was your sleep?" She asked him.
"Good thank you, erhm, what did you find at the hospital yesterday? I would have called you earlier but something came up." Tom said.
"Well, when I got my book back from Mia, my cousin, I asked her for appointment records and guess what?" She stopped.
"What?" Tom asked.
"Lana made several appointments there with Doctor Steven Roundtree." Shelley said.
"Good work. In that case you'll have to get George to stop looking for people with medical connections. We've found our person." Tom said. He hung up the phone and began getting dressed. He pulled back the blinds, revealing the misty Salmon Lake the motel was built in front of. He swore that he saw a deer emerge from the trees and a take a drink. But the mist was that thick, it could have been anything.
He grabbed his room key from beside the telephone, and left his room. When he left, he saw Mrs. Grimsby, the owner of the motel walking by with a trolley full of fresh towles and duvets.
"Hello there, Mr. MacLaine." She said.
"How do you do Mrs. Grimsby?" He responded. Her husband had been gone for a while now. They were out fishing round the back, her husband got dragged in by a fish, and he never came back out.
He walked past her to his Buick, flashed the car keys and entered the maroon car. He made himself cozy in on the gray seats, with information on cases littered everywhere, turned on the engine and began the drive to the sheriff's station.
The woods around the town were truly magical, the woods of the misty, rainy, Pacific Northwest. He swore that he sore that same deer come up to the speed sign, see his car and then run back into the woods. It was a doe, beige in colour, with small white dots around the ears. A true beauty of the forest. But his mind was transferred from the deer to the details of the murder. A tree planted inside the 21 year old blossomed through her throat and killed her. It must have been planted a while back, something must be at the hospital, this powder someone had sent to him last night at the Slim Curtain must have been something to with the crime. He just had to solve it.
He parked his car in front of the tiny, timberline building which was the sheriff's station and went inside.
He found the three of them sat around the reception room, with Shelley busy behind the desk and Henry and George talking.
"Hello." Tom said, approaching them.
"Agent MacLaine." Henry said. "We have somebody you need to speak with, they're in the planning room." Henry said. Tom walked into the planning room and spied the middle-aged man in the tweed jacket sat at the far end of the table, ocassionally sipping from a cup of coffee he had in front of him.
"Allow to me introduce myself, I am Doctor Steven Roundtree." He said.
"Ah yes, I have heard about you." Tom said, sitting himself beside him. "Nice to meet you." He said.
"Thank you." Steven said. "I am here because I wanted to clear the air, I in no way had anything to do with Lana's death. She came to me when she was concerned about her health problems and I simply agreed to give her a check-over. I found nothing." The doctor finished.
"Doctor, I have something here, if you know anything of it then you have to tell me." Tom said, handing him the piece of paper with the powder inside.
"I have no idea what this is. It's clearly unnatural, I can take youto the hospital and we can check it there." The doctor suggested.
"Yes, I also wish to view the victim's body and her autopsy report. May I ask who conducted the autopsy?" He asked.
"I did sir." He said.
"Was there anything, unusual?" Tom asked.
"Well I erh, I'd rather you see it for yourself." The doctor said.
"Fine with me." Tom responded. The two of them left the planning room and met up with the other three in the reception.
"Oh, agent Tom!" George said. Tom approached him, and took him to a side of the room.
"Is everything okay, George?" Tom asked him.
"Well, Agent MacLaine, I wish to say something; we have overlooked something; the crime scene. We should examine the scene, there is currently a crime scene set up there. Whaddaya say we check it out?" He asked. Tom looked him in the eyes.
"Listen, George. I have to go to the hospital now, why don't you come with me and Doctor Roundtree, we can go after?" Tom suggested.
"Thank you, Agent MacLaine." George said.
George entered Tom's Buick and Tom drove him there, closely following the doctor.
They drove up the steep drive which led them to the Mournsgate Hospital, est. 1878. They parked up and entered the building.
At first the three of them walked down the grey carpet, Tom spied Mia, Shelley's cousin as the receptionist at the hospital. They carried on to closely follow the doctor. They then entered the morgue. The three approached the only body in there- the body of Lana.
Dr. Roundtree removed the black plastic sheet from over Lana's body. The young girl was nude (as usual in a morgue). Her body was completey untouched, that was until one looked at her mouth, which seemed to be torn apart. The tree sapling had been removed and placed on the bed adjacent to her's. Tom looked at the tree, it was skinny, dry and rather crooked. He then looked back her mouth. 'Poor thing, must have had to live choking, coughing, struggling to breath and panting for days. Suprising that the doctor couldn't find it sooner' Tom thought, producing a pen from his blazer pocket, tapping it so that the light at the top came on and then he flashed it down her throat. He leaned in, closer and closer. A snake hissed from her mouth, he jumped back and grabbed a pair of prongs from the tray beside him, picking up the reptile and bringing it to the attention of Roundtree.
Meanwhile, George took the light-pen for himself and inspected the young girl's mouth. It had several scars and cuts on the gums, the thing must have dug into her gums. "I'll go and test this powder." Roundtree said. Leaving the room with the snake and the folded paper.
"Tom." George said. "You didn't let me finish. I wanted to show you something, I did it by myself and officially being a deputy, I would have to hand it in." George produced a series of photos from his jacket pocket and showed them to Tom. "Look." He said.
Tom watched as George briefly flashed each picture to him. The first couple showed Lana being chased by somebody and kneeling in front of the tree, hiding. The second couple showed the tree emerging from her mouth. And the last couple showed a figure watching as the sapling blossomed.
George quickly put them back into his coat pocket when he heard the door open, it was Dr. Roundtree. "The powder came from a seed, the seed it known as the Chipeeka. It's compounds are a combination of shrubs and small trees. How did you get this?" Roundtree asked.
"Oh, a woman left it for me at the Slim Curtain." Tom said.
"Shall I test the paper for fingerprints?" Roundtree asked.
"Yes, please." Tom said.
"It will take a while, do you think a deputy could come and pick it up tommorow morning, I only do the morning shift tommorow, you see." The doctor said.
"Of course." Tom said. "Oh, before you go; what was the unusual thing about the body?" He asked Roundtree.
"Two things." The doctor said. He pulled over a crate with her clothing in. From it he pulled a locker key, he handed it to Tom. It read; "The Lagoon".
"What's strange about this?" He asked.
"There ain't no place in town called The Lagoon." The doctor said. "I don't mean to intrude but I'd personally start at the Slim Curtain, it's where all the gossip I hear comes from." Roundtree said. Tom and George said goodbye to the kind doctor and left the hospital, getting inside the Buick and starting the drive through the rain, to the Slim Curtain, where they would find the details of this mysterious "Lagoon".
 
Chapter 6
Agent Thomas MacLaine had been sat inside the Slim Curtain for a little over half an hour. Lloyd used up most of the whiskey bottle just on Thomas. In fact, he had to take the damn thing off of the optic- he was beginning to get concerned for Thomas's health.
Thomas was lost in the world of the singer's vocals, she always seemed to choose some mystical, surreal song while occasionally tapping her blonde perm so that it appeared perfect. She wore a pink silk dress and red lipstick with cream-coloured make-up which made her look like Marilyn Monroe.
It was getting late, soon only Thomas himself, the singer and three others were there. He then asked Llyod (in his drunken state) about the Lagoon. "Llyod?" He asked.
"Yes, Agent MacLaine?" Llyod responded. Tom leaned towards Llyod, who took note and did the same.
"What is the Lagoon?" He asked Llyod, who motioned a finger which meant that Tom should follow him. He did just that. Lyod led him behind the bar, to the function room, then to a door hidden by a curtain which lay in plain sight beside the snooker table. Llyod brought back the red curtains and revealed the sight to Tom.
Tom saw a hot tub, sunk into the ground, blue strobe-lights emitted from the floor of the tub and clouds of steam seeped away from the water. Inside the tub was a man with women in both of his arms. "Who the fuck are you?" The man asked him, as Tom approached him he ssaw his olive skin and swept-back hair, if Tom was to guess the man would be 36 years of age.
"So this is the Lagoon?" Tom asked.
"Correct you are, sir." The olive-skinned man said, wiping the sweat off of his forehead.
"I am Thomas MacLaine of the F.B.I." He said, flashing his badge. "I demand to know any information the three of you may have involving the late Lana Harving." He said.
"Lana?" The brunett-haired girl wrapped by the man's right arm asked.
"Yeah, did you know her?" He asked.
"She isn't really dead you know." The other girl said.
"Well what the hell is she doing not breathing in the morgue then?" He asked, frustrated. The man stood up, and stood directly in front of Tom.
"My name is Rico Balmano, the beatiful women on the right is Cindy and the beautiful woman on the left is Jordan." He said.
"Nice to meet you, girls." Tom said, in response the two of them giggled. "Listen, I have been here for a couple days now, and all the answers I've been recieving have just been making more questions; just answer my fucking question." Tom said.
"Listen buddy." Rico said, aggresively. "I make the fucking rules in theis neck of the woods." I'm sorry, he said. Calming down. He went towards the curtain, pinched it and began sucking on the red material, making sexual noises while he did so. He had calmed down.
Tom learned what he wanted to know, he left the Slim Curtain, seeing it in a complete different light and returned to his motel room.
He locked the door, turned on the lights, shut the blinds, lay his case file onto the desk and got ready for bed. He then sat down on the motel chair and looked over his case file. Roughly an hour later; he went to sleep.
At 6:30am the following morning, he was awoken by a call.
"Agent MacLaine, this is Sheriff Hardman; I need to meet you at the diner A.S.A.P." He hung up the phone and drove through the woods, past the meadows and through the mist to the diner, where he found the sheriff.
He entered the diner and took off his overcoat, going over to the booth Hardman had chosen to sit in. As he did so, a perky young waitress appraoched the table. Tom admired her face, noticing that it was made from pure beauty.
"I'm Thomas MacLaine." He said.
"I know, I saw your speech the other day." She said.
"Oh." He said, proceeding to laugh at himself, which the waitress responded to by performing a light giggle.
"I'm Sandy, Sandy Pitcher." She said. "Are you two ready to order?" She asked.
"Yeah erhm, I'll have just a regular breakfast and a cup of coffee." Hardman said.
"I'll have the same please." Thomas said, winking at Sandy. Who progressed over to the jukebox and gave it a dime; causing it to blast out a peaceful tune. "What was it you wanted to tell me Henry?" He asked the sheriff. Hardman didn't respond, instead the two of them just listened to the clanging of plates and the sweet rythm of the jukebox. Tom admired the retro 50's look the diner upheld; it was beautiful. Photos of John Wayne, Marliyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth and James Dean decorated the sides of the diner. Tom was notably impressed by the photographs of James Dean- of whom he was quite the fan.
Soon, Sandy returned with the food. "Here you go gentlemen." She said, placing down the food and leaving.
"I'll grab the salt." Tom said to Henry, standing up and subtly following Sandy. "Sandy; would you like to go out for a drink later?" He asked her. "Well, of course; it's just that nobody has ever really told me that before." She did her light giggle again and returned to the kitchen, where the owners Charlie and Norma were making each other laugh- the two were married and were possibly the finest ever example of a happy married couple.
"The salt?" Henry asked.
"Oh, they erh.. they've ran out." Thomas said. "So, didn't you hear me; what was it you want to tell me?" He asked Hardman.
"Early this morning, someone called and admitted to the murders." Hardman said. "They were an anonymous caller. They are making a mockery out of us!" Hardman said, banging his fist down on the table.
"Fellas?" Sandy called. "Is there someone you asked to come for you?" She asked.
"No. Why?" Hardman asked.
"Because we just got a call saying that somebody is outside and waiting for you." She said.
"Thanks Sandy." Thomas said, finshing his breakfast and leaving the money. Him and Hardman left the building. And the song ended.
 
Chapter 7
Thomas and Hardman headed outside, the weather was grey and tainted with droplets of rain. The two spotted a figure walking towards the them. They were wearing a rain coat, with the hood pulled over their face. Streaks of lank hair could be seen trickle down either side of the coat. The figure got close to the two men and then looked up. Once the two realised who she was, they took her to the sheriff depo, and sat her down in the prep room, with Shelley and George.
The hooded-person sat with their back to the board, to their right sat Thomas, to their left sat Hardman, one up from Hardman sat George and one up from Thomas sat Shelley.
The person took off their hood and layed out their hair. It was Rose, Lana's sister. She was 19. According to the neighbours she hadn't left her home since the day her sister was found. The two lived together. The two truly loved each other and could never live without the other. Rose stretched her arms out on the table and began rubbing them and down the wood. "She was taken a few years ago, you know?" She said. The three looked confused.
"What do you mean?" Thomas asked her, looking at his colleagues. "Didn't the police know of this?" He asked.
"No! This is news to me!" Henry said.
"She said that she went to this place called the 'Lagoon' and that she needed to meet somebody there." Rose said, grabbing a tissue from the box beside her and wiping away her rain-stained make-up, revealing her pale, pale skin and light freckles around the nose and under the eyes.
"The Lagoon? Did she say what happened there?" He asked.
"She said that it wasn't it's own place, instead it was within a place and that once she took back the curtain, she saw a kind of pool, and lying inside it was a handsome foreign man and two local girls, she said that she recalled seing the two girls walking to school when she set off for her job at the diner." She said.
"Did she say what year they were in?" Shelley asked.
"No, but I'd guess that if she was there when they were; maybe finishing their senior year." Rose said.
"And then what?" George asked, impatiently.
"Well, she told me this story of people in the woods, and that she couldn't remember anymore; but when she woke up; she was back home." Rose said. Hardman discreelty passed a note over to Thomas while Rose was oddly staring at the trees from the window. Thomas opened it and it read; 'Wrap this up, send her home.'
"That will be all for today, Rose." Thomas said, watching at George stood up and led her out of the room. "Is something wrong, Henry?"
"Listen, Thomas; before I begin, you must believe everything I say, for it all happened here during the same year that Lana was 'taken'." Henry stopped.
"So you knew?" Thomas asked.
"Hold on, listen; It was 1995, we had a visit from Senator James Rourke, he stayed in a room at the motel; the same one as you actually. We were all excited to here that a well-known member of the law came here from D.C and chose to stay in our town. Now here's the thing nobody ever saw him for the time he stayed here, that was except for on the last day; the day he was arrested, on charges of abduction. You see, he came here to our small town because of something occuring in the woods. Residents who live on the edge of town reported odd noises coming from the woods, we went out there, me, Earl and Dr. Roundtree. We saw a group of people circle a huge ceramic traingle, praise it and then kiss each other. We then watched them bring forward a young girl. They raped her. One by one. They wore these, animal-looking masks and well they saw us and dispersed into the darkness of the forest. The following day we went to her and her sister's home. Rose was the only one in there. She was taken on multiple occasions. Eventually we requested an agent from the F.B.I to come down; Agent Colin Weaver. Well, Weaver went to the location the following day but quickly returned; he was spooked. He told me that he saw two shadowy figures approach him. And then he returned here and told me." Hardman said.
"Wait, what happened to the Senator?" Thomas asked.
"We arrested him and he was transferred to some penetentiary in D.C." Hardman said.
 
Chapter 8
From The Drawer Of F.B.I Director Edwards
October 14th, 1995
M.I.A: F.B.I Special Agent Colin Weaver
Weaver was sent to the small town of Sycamore Crossing to investigate allogations of conspirers and trafficking. He was last reported to have met with Mrs. Grimsby, the owner of the town's motel. The following morning, the local sheriff; Henry Hardman opened his way into his room and found nothing but a mask resembling a deer placed centrally over a pillow. His clothing was found inside, along with his badge and gun.
Sycamore Signs, issue #567, article No. 54:
October 14th, 1947
The land north of our great town known as Honeydew Farm has been purchased, however the purchasers wish to remain anonymous. Who knows what is happening up there.
October 14th, 1973
Sycamore Signs. issue #1087, article No. 54
An odd object described as a 'flying saucer' was spotted by Margarett Milswood, an elderly resident of our town. She claimed that it was hovering over the Honeydew Farm area.
We began unpacking our things, and gradually our caravan became our home. Will was outside, he was obsessed with finding the Golden Knocking-Bird, it was native to that area of Wyoming. I had known him since 1st Grade.
When we both left school we both found ourselves hired by a journalism firm. They sent us here to write a "Traveller's Guide To Wyoming".
Out here in the vastness of nature, darkness fell rather quickly. The valley was soon entirely black.
Luckily, I brought my V.H.S of the first season of "Twin Peaks". It's an instant classic! We both watched two episodes and then fell asleep.
The heat woke me. It radiated through the caravan's window and leaked, slowly into the rooms. It eventually landed itself onto my eyes, it was then when I woke up.
It was early enough for the morning sun-rays to be spotted, so I stayed outiside for a solid twenty-minutes and watched it, as it cooked the very soil of the valley.
The blue of the lake ahead of us made me thirsty, so I went inside to get a drink, it was also a good excuse for waking-up Will.
He responded with the usual abusive language one gets for waking someone else up at 7am, but  was used to that. After his performance had ended, we began the hike to Red Rock; a local destination of interest. The path was simple, follow the lake until a river appears and then trek-north and follow the river.
When we crosses it, the sand was red and damp. The reeds and tufts of grass gave the area a refreshing colour palette. We could also see an array of footprints around the edge of the river.
One of them was of a huge, striking barefoot. Bigfoot? Maybe? Possibly? I called over Will to hear what he had to say. It was the general "You still believe in that ****?" It reminded me of our Prom Night in Santa Monica, everything was downhill from there.
We arrived at Red Rock and took a picture Will, it was you're usual; contemplative-looking young-man sat on a rock in hiking-gear. You know, the stuff you see printed onto the walls of Outdoor-Gear stores.
On the way back I snapped a picture of the "Bigfoot" footprint. The alarming thing about the footprint was that the river was only a stones-throw away from out caravan. Speaking of the caravan; when we returned; the van's door was wide open. Hungry raccoons maybe?
We searched the perimeter, only to find nothing. But then, "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" blasted-out of the van's radio. I ran bakc and found nothing. That night, we heared scrappings against the walls of the van. I watched Will shoot the thing, whatever it was it was dead.
The Above Document Was A Journal Entry Found Inside The Home Of One Of Sycamore Crossing's Residents In 1989.
*The following year the author took his own life as a result of battling a metal-illness.
THE FOLLOWING TIMELINE WAS MADE BY THE USE OF CAMERAS, WITNESSES AND DOSSIERS:
1. Weaving leaves F.B.I headquartes
2. Weaving begins his journey to Washington State
3. He enters Washington State
4. He enters Sycamore Crossing city limits
5. He stops for coffee at Little Joe's Truck Stop
6. Weaving gets a room at the motel
7. He gets a briefing from Sheriff Hardman
8. He sets out into Honeydew Farm but is scared off by masked figures
9. He tells the sheriff about what he found
10. Hardman enters his room when he doesn't answer and finds a deer-like mask on his bed, and all of his items still present such as his car. His car has the words 'Kain' written on the side in a black marker pen.
11. A missing persons case is issued, he has never been found.
 
Chapter 9
Agent MacLaine was driving to the sheriff's department, he was in an odd state of mind. He was bewildered that Hardman knew of what Lana had previously done and not told him. But soon, his deep thought was soon interrupted. His car radio went off.
"Hello?" He answered.
"Tom, it's me Henry. I know that you probably don't trust me anymore and I don't blame you. Something's happened; head to Rose's house now. Please." He ended the call. MacLaine redirected his Buick to the home of Rose, he parked up outside and put his overcoat on; a storm was coming.
He rushed inside and heard loud screams coming from the bathroom, when he went inside, he saw Henry, Shelley and George all clutching Rose; she was in the bathtub. The young, naked girl was lying in cold water, the water was pink and red stains were on either side of the bath. Beside her pale, naked body lay two razor blades in the water; her wrists were crimson and dripping onto the bath. Tom pushed the three aside and climbed into the bath, he picked the girl up and placed her over his shoulders, he then put her in the back of the car and rushed her to the hospital.
Dr. Roundtree greeted him, the doctor rushed her into the emergency room, lying her down onto a freshly layed bed and instantly began appliying antiseptic to her wrists, then proceeding to bandage them. Tom was requested to leave her side.
He re-entered the room half-an-hour later, she seemed to be sleepy as a result of the anestetic Roundtree gave her. But she was alive; that the important thing. Tom sat beside her.
"Rose, what the hell happened?" He asked. Holding his emotions. The young woman gained her sense and began to speak.
"When you returned me home, I went straight to bed. I woke up in the place you said was the Lagoon, this guy there; Rico; he made me strip infront of me; and then he.. he... He tied me to the wall and then he..." She looked down at her wrists.
"Hey, it's okay; it's all over now." Tom said. He left the room when he saw Henry standing outside. "Henry; what the fuck is going on? I need some fucking answers right fucking now." He said. "Can I trust you?" Tom asked.
"Of course you can trust me, it's just that for the safety of Lana I kept the whole thing a secret until now. And now's she's been murdered. This wasn't the way I wanted to explain it to you, but I think there's a chance that one of the people could have done it." Henry said.
"What people?" Tom asked.
"The Watchers." Henry said "That's what we call em'." Henry said, he placed his hat over his head and marched out of the hospital.
 
Part 2
 
Chapter 10
Tom was in his motel room, he soon however stood up and left his room, he was heading for Mrs. Grimsby's office. He opened the door and saw the old, frail lady looking at a picture above her desk. "What's that?" Tom asked.
"Oh, nothing really, Agent MacLaine." She said.
"Listen, do you have any information regarding the late Lana Harving?" He asked.
"Erhm, Lan?" She asked.
"Lana." He said.
"Anna?" She asked.
"LANA." He said.
"Oh right, I never really knew the girl very well. I know her partner Blake though, he occasionally comes and does voluntary work down here." She said. Tom left the room; he heard a car engine. It was Blake's (coincidence?). Tom rushed towards the young man. "Blake!" He shouted.
"Yeah?" Blake answered.
"Come over here." He said. Blake did just that. "Know anything about this?" He asked, flashing the red powder.
"How the hell did you get?" He asked.
"So you know what it is?" Tom asked.
 
Chapter 11
Tom was lying in his bed. he was sleeping, deep in dreams. He envisioned a crimson forest whoich wrapped around him and consumed him whole. The pinkish leaves from the maple trees fell over his face, he could here an odd sound which was akin to the howling of wolves.
He saw a man in his dreams, the man was a huge shadow-like figure. A chill came from the wind and sent shivers down his body.
He saw two angels above him, well they were not really angels; they were Sandy and Rose with halos above their heads, floating away in the wind.
Soon, he was floating too, he went higher and higer, way up above the trees. And then he saw where he was. He was way above the small town, situated in the Pacific Northwest and that small town was called Sycamore Crossing.
 
THE END
 


© Copyright 2018 Joshua D. Webster. All rights reserved.

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