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BY: RClayton



After a trip to the town doctor, I got a ride back up to the cabin.
There were cars and SUV's on both sides of the opening to the dirt
road that led to my cabin. The man who sat beside me, Elmer,
happened to be heading up here anyway with a truck-bed load of water
and snacks from his mini mart.

"I always knew bad would come from that place." He looked out the
front windshield closely. His large coke-bottle glasses slipping
down his nose and the sweat soaked his face. "I knew your
grandfather way back when. I told him the land was bad but he
treated me just like everybody else always has, acting like I'm some
old nut. Hell, they were treating me that way when I was in high
school. But you know what boy, I was right. I knew the shit was
going to hit the fan sooner or later." The man went on with his

"What happened there that was so bad, anyway?" I asked. I turned
my head to look at him. My neck and head hurt from the minor
concussion I had received from the force of the blast. I had a few
cracked ribs and a sprained ankle but otherwise I was intact and in
a hurry to get back to the search.

"Way back in the `70's, the 1870's that would be, there was a family
living on this mountain. They were a bunch of inbred idiots to begin
with but they had to go and mix up that gene pool over the decades.
Hell, there are a few of them still running around up there.
Anyway, back in the 1870's sometime there was a fire that swept the
mountain killing everything human and plant alike. There were a few
survivors here and there who took to the caves and hideouts they had
been keeping for most of their lives."

"When the fire burnt out the mountain was uninhabitable. The
townsfolk went about cutting down the dead trees and removing what
human and animal remains they could find. About three months into
the clean up several kids went missing. They were right there
working alongside their fathers and brothers and then . . . gone!
Just like that, the search went into high gear and nobody ever found
any of them children.
"For years the townsfolk swore the mountain people took them. For
more than one hundred years now, around about the same time, a bunch
of folks will disappear; usually teenagers out goofing off, but
sometimes hunters and more than a few government people looking for
moonshiners went missing."

"Have you ever seen anything strange up there?"

"Yeah, my baby brother Grant dropped out of sight on a hunting trip
back in 1945. My daddy and I looked for my brother for the better
part of a year."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said. I didn't know how much of the
tale was true but I could tell he believed it to the last word.


I excused myself once the truck came to a full stop and got out of
the cab. Terry was standing by the open cabin door talking
animatedly into his cell phone. I wondered what had happened now,
as I approached him.

He looked at me and smiled, pulling the phone away from his
ear. "You feeling okay," he asked.

"I'll live," I replied.

"Good news. Harry is inside. He's asleep on your bed." Terry
said. He brought the phone back to his ear and went back to that

I moved through the cabin door and across the wood floor to my
bedroom door in record time. I looked in a saw Harry with his
perfect round butt sticking up under the sheets. His head was on a
pillow and he was snoring. The boy's face was bruised in a few
places and I saw scrapes along his bare back. All I could think of
was to rush over and take him into my arms but I restrained myself,
deciding to let him sleep for now.

"Are You Mr. Harris?" A man in a cheap suit and tie said as he
waited for me to pull my attention away from Harry.

"I am," I answered. I waited to see what the man had on his mind.

"My name is Drake Whitmann. I'm with the FBI."

I took a deep breath, feeling the pain of cracked ribs.

"We were called in by the Sheriff's office earlier today. By the
time we arrived the working search party had found the boy out cold
in the middle of a bush. I was told there is still another boy

"That's right, his older brother, Ryan." I said.

"Mr. Harris, how did your youngest ward wind up nude and hiding in
the center of a very thick bush?"

"I don't know. I was injured in an explosion last night and it
wasn't until this morning that medical help arrived. It was also
during this time that the two boys went missing." I said. I could
see the doubt and suspicion in the FBI agent's eyes.

"You say you have custody of both boys," he asked.

"That's right."

"Where are the boy's parents?"

"I don't know. I never had a chance to meet the mother and the last
time I saw the father was about six months ago."

"What relation are you to the parents?"

"None. I'm a friend of their father." I told the lie with as much
resolve as I could muster.

"What are his parent's names?"

"Frederick Michael Little is their father. I don't recall their
mother's name. She left the family when the boys were much younger."

"I have to say this is a strange situation to say the least. Could
there be a custody dispute about to erupt between you and their

"I seriously doubt it. The man was in a great deal of legal trouble
the last time I spoke with him. He's probably not even in the
country anymore."

About a minute later a blue and wood trim Buick station wagon pulled
up in the front yard. A man of about sixty years stepped out and
closed the car door. In his right hand he carried a black doctor's
bag, a very old one. In his left hand was a black enameled cane.

"Doctor Huggins," The Sheriff said as he walked past us from the
trail entrance that led to the lake. "I appreciate you getting here
so quickly."

"Oh, no problem, I was just watching The Price Is Right with
Rhonda." The man said. His small, silver framed glasses sat over a
veiny red nose and a bushy white mustache. His face, wrinkled and
age spotted, he looked like a very thin Santa Clause without the

"The boy is inside. I'll escort you in. I have a deputy stationed
just inside the bedroom and he will give you privacy while you
examine the boy." The sheriff looked in my direction. He did not
have a good expression for me.

The two men entered the cabin.

"What's this about an examination?" I asked the federal agent.

"We just want to make sure the boy hasn't suffered any serious
injury from his experience last night." The man-made notes in a
pad, glancing up at me from time to time as if to gage my
expression, looking, I was afraid, for some sign of guilt.

I stood with my left arm in a brace and my right hand rubbing my
left while I waited. The thought of wasting so much time playing on
my mind, Ryan could be anywhere by now. He had gone missing long
before Harry.

Terry exited the woods a moment later and smiled briefly at me
before walking over. "Nothing yet, Greg," he said.

"Thanks for trying. What is the situation with Harry?"

"I wasn't there when he was found," Terry said. "I see the doc has
arrived," he added.

"He's inside examining Harry." I looked over at the cabin door.

Terry looked at me, knowingly, but didn't say what had to be on his
mind at that moment. He knew that Harry and I had been sexually
active together the night he had met Ryan.

The sheriff stepped outside of the cabin and spoke quietly to the
FBI man. The agent followed the sheriff into the cabin a moment

"I have a feeling that all hell is about to break lose." I said.

"I think you might be right," he agreed.


The sheriff and the fed came out of the cabin continuing their
conversation. The men went silent as they approached us.

"Mr. Harris, there seems to be a situation here." The Sheriff
said. The man looked everywhere but at me.

"Mr. Harris, what the sheriff is trying to say is that there is
strong evidence of sexual molestation. I am going to have to place
you under arrest until things can be sorted out." The large man
reached to his belt and removed a pair of handcuffs.

"Wait a minute!" I stepped away from the agent. "What exactly do
you think I did?"

"I think that you have been molesting the boy for some time, in
fact, probably molesting his brother as well."

"That's insane," I said excitedly, granted, I had been having sex
with the boys for over a year but it was hardly molestation.

"It's possible that you killed the older boy because he was going to
go to the police, then, with him out of the way you decided to knock
off the younger boy just for good measure."

It took every ounce of restraint I had to keep from jumping the
oversized officious prick standing in front of me.

Terry grabbed my arm and spoke softly. "Don't do it. You won't help
anybody by assaulting a federal agent."

I calmed slightly but still had an urge to wipe the smirk off the
man's face.

"I can't exactly handcuff you with that arm in a brace so I guess
I'll just have to secure you to the door handle for now. Who knows,
maybe we'll find the other boy's body so we can tie this up
quickly. You wouldn't want to point us in the right direction, now
would you?"

I looked into the man's eyes without saying a word.

"I didn't think so," the man said. "Come on, then," he went on.

I had no choice but to follow the FBI agent to his unmarked Ford
Taurus. He cuffed me to the door handle and left me standing there
as he walked away.

Terry moved over to me. "I'll find Ryan, I swear I ...

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