Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Twenty-One

My continuing piece of blog fiction, well, continues...

Chapter Twenty-One

by John L. Harmon

    “This is Straker,” Ben answers the cell without checking the incoming information.  Initially his ear is met with static, but quickly a determined voice sporadically struggles through the crackling interference.

    “—slie Johns checking in to—eed of assista—”

    “Leslie,” the Sheriff speaks loudly, “you’re breaking up.  Please repeat.”

    Officer Leslie Johns appears to have not heard his instructions.  “—eadquarters with Joe—what to d—”

    “Leslie, can you hear me?”

    “Norris and Cartwri—down—all others—pletely abandon—”

    Listening to his churning gut, Sheriff Benjamin Straker shouts into the electronic chaos, “Officer Johns, take Joe and vacate Sturgeons immediately!  That is an order!”

    Silence greets him as the call is unceremoniously dropped.

    “What’s going on, Ben?” Clyde quietly inquires.

    Ben slowly shoves his cell deep into a pocket.  “I’m not completely sure.  Leslie is at Headquarters and from what I could make out…”  He shakes his head in disbelief.

    “What is it?”

    “Officers Norris and Cartwright have been injured or worse.”

    “Should we go back?”

    Ben, listening to his churning gut once more, answers with somewhat faltering bravery, “No, Clyde, we need to push forward.”

    Samuel and Christine give each other a helpless look, uncertain of what to say, and then turn in unison.  Clyde gives Ben a silent nod and they continue to follow.  All conversation concerning the yearbook and the strange science fair project is put aside as the four walk through the densest part of Stickler Woods.

    Clyde focuses on nothing in general as he mentally kicks himself.  He feels a fool for allowing the thought of Old Man Stickler to bother him so while Officers Norris, Cartwright, and Johns were dealing with real troubles.

    Christine stares stoically ahead, while inside she struggles.  She could see the fear and pain in Clyde at the tragic news of his colleagues.  This surprisingly complex Chief Deputy touches something inside of her once again, only deeper and stronger this time.

    Samuel nudges up his black frames and focuses on the destination shown on the gadget in his hands.  Since there is no bandage for the emotional pain Benjamin is experiencing, this is the only thing he can do for him at the moment.  To arrive at the last recorded location of the energy reading as quickly as possible.

    Ben keeps his head down, looking at the ground beneath him.  An evacuated town, citizens lost, Officers down…it is too much to think about.  Keeping eyes on the earth stabilizes him and soon gives him something else to dwell on.

    He notices that they are now walking on a trail of some sort.  Not a hiking trail, more like a forgotten or disused road.  The most fascinating aspect of this overgrown road is the fairly fresh tire tracks that have been imbedded in the sporadic areas of dirt.

    “We’re here,” Samuel announces, as the scientific duo comes to a halt.

    Before them stands a tall, ominous, rusted metal gate with a large ‘S’ at its center.
Click CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO to continue.

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


1 comment:

  1. Love weird stuff at 'remote' sites in the country... or at least out of the cities where we don't expect it to be.