The boys race back, crawling over the rotting downed tree, and through the woods. They can see the house through the barren limbs of the trees, branches that stick out, their branching fingers trying to block their view of home. They push through those branches, some twisted in odd directions, misshapen bony arms that were broken and healed to grow that way. They focus on the house through the trees. Home.
They break free of the woods into the sudden freedom of their yard. Their boots slip on the snow, sloppy wet from the early spring melt.
A discarded bike lies on the ground, half buried, sticking out of the snow like the skeletal remains of a man fallen in an odd position.
“The grass,” Kevin calls breathlessly as they run for the house.
“We must have imagined it,” Jesse pants.
They charge into the house again, kicking off their boots, racing past the comic and discarded socks, to the kitchen again, calling.
She isn’t there. They search the house again.
“She’s not here.”
“Come on,” Kevin urges.
They head to the back door again, pulling their boots on, and going out. They go around to the side, heading for the front.
“Kevin! Kevin!” Jesse cries.
Kevin blinks, disoriented. It’s hard to breathe, a crushing weight is pressing down on his chest. He tries to move and can’t. He’s pinned down.
Kevin is laying on his back in the snow. He stares at the bare branches of bushes pushing up through the snow around him and the bare branches of trees above.
“Jessie? What’s happening?” His voice is cracking with fear.
He is pinned beneath the rotting fallen tree they had climbed over earlier.
“How?” he croaks.
“Kevin?” Jesse’s voice is shaky.
Jesse takes a step back, staring fixatedly ahead, stopped by a tree behind him.
“Kevin, what’s happening?”
Before him is the rotting old stump, its sharp splinters and points of shattered wood sticking up, soft and crumbly with rot. He feels vertigo, the world seems tilted, and he feels the sickening sensation of falling. Falling on the sharp jagged edges sticking up from the stump. He imagines himself impaled and his blood oozing out to drip down the stump, staining the snow and rotting leaves.
He turns and staggers away, looking for Kevin.
He takes four or five steps before he spots him.
Jesse runs and falls on him, clawing at the snow and the downed tree, his fingers scratching at the rotting wood, trying to dig at the ground still hardened with the winter frost.
He’s sobbing as he frantically tries to dig his brother out.
* * *** ** *** ** *** **
Summer is here, and with it another year of every night busyness running around officially ends with the closing ring of the school bells.
This weekend we celebrate Canada Day here in the Northern part of North America and it is a big one inspiring a more intense round of both celebrations and protesting the act of celebrating the country.
This year Canada celebrate’s 150 years of Canada’s anniversary of confederation. Whether that is good or bad depends on which side of that argument you are on.
Across Canada, people are asking, “What is Canada to you?” in an effort to determine that hard to pin down intangible thing, the Canadian identity.
In our new world, this 150 year benchmark celebration also brings the (no surprise) never ending threat which hangs a darker cloud over the world: ISIS’s war against the world and threats of attacks during the celebrations.
While our police and military will stand on guard for us against all threats, including terror, drunk drivers, and possibly the occasional summer spider; and scores will celebrate hugely this weekend; I will have a nice quiet summer weekend with friends, deep fry, wine, and a small local book signing.
Go Canada! All of us who make Canada what it is: the indigenous celebrating more than 150 years of making this country what it is today, the immigrants and refugees from around the world who add so much diversity, whether they are new first generation people welcomed to our country, or second or third or older generations, and the generations born here whose ancestors colonized this great country. For better or worse, we are all a village. Together, we are Canada.
What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions? Find out in Where the Bodies Are.
Take a step back in time to learn the secret behind the bodies in Where the Bodies Are: The McAllister Farm reveals the secrets behind the man who created the killer.