Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Nineteen

Another chapter of my continuing blog fiction...late as usual....

by John L. Harmon

Chapter Nineteen

    The scientific duo’s large white van comes to a sudden halt in the middle of Stickler Woods, nearly causing the law enforcement duo’s generic grey police cruiser to rear-end it.  By the time the Sheriff and the Chief Deputy unbuckle and exit their vehicle, the two doctors stand together, waiting.

    “The energy has dissipated,” Samuel, holding the black gadget, quickly explains before harsh driving words can be exchanged, “but we triangulated the location.”

    “Which way do we head?” Benjamin asks, trying to suppress the tragic thoughts of Tommy Schroder and Tracy Newcastle.

    Sam nudges up his thick black frames, glances at the gadget, and then points to his left.  “This way.”

    “Very scientific,” Clyde mumbles under his breath, slightly disappointed that no one heard his sarcasm.

    Deeper into Stickler Woods the four souls venture on foot.  Christine and Samuel lead the way in their usual unison fashion.  Clyde and Ben follow in unconscious imitation as they turn together at the top of an incline.

    As they move through the dense trees, Ben’s currently chaotic mind hits on a memory that clicks quickly into place.  Before he can explain it to himself or to the others, a name surfaces from his lips.

    “Old Man Stickler.”

    “What did you say?” Samuel stops and turns, facing the Sheriff.

    “Old Man Stickler,” Ben repeats, becoming fully aware of why this name came to him.

    “Who is Old Man Stickler?”  Christine inquires, folding her arms together tightly.

    “The local boogeyman,” Clyde mutters, turning away from what he considers absurdity.

    “His was one of many names an angry crowd spouted off last night at Gordon’s,” Ben explains, glancing at the back of Clyde’s head, at Christine’s doubting face, and finally at Samuel’s understanding eyes because he was there.  “Names of people whom they believed responsible for the disappearances.  Maybe Old Man Stickler knows something.”

    Clyde faces the stationary group, trying to hold back the childhood nightmares spawned from that name, and growls low, “Complete and utter bullshit, Ben.”

    “No, there is…” Sheriff Benjamin Straker reaches and nudges the beige up to scratch an itch.  To scratch the itch clawing at the back of his mind that there is something he is missing or forgetting.  Suddenly another memory clicks into place.  The last gift from Lawrence, now carelessly cast aside and out of reach at Sturgeons Police Headquarters, “…the yearbook.”
Click CHAPTER TWENTY to continue.

Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out,


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