ABOUT THE BOOK…
Blending Adventure, mystery, supernatural, Romance, and Suspense, author Patty L. Fletcher weaves a tale of fiction, all readers are sure to enjoy.
James Landing Tennessee was a peaceful little town just trying to keep up with its neighbors, which seemed to always be growing by leaps and bounds around it. Then one day Roy Dingus took over Friedman chemicals, a lady of unknown origin known only as Miss Mazie bought the old house on the outskirts of town and as the heat of August blazed with no end in sight, what was once a city with no promise came to life.
Follow the adventures of three small-town boys, Joe, Ronnie, and Jake, and their newfound friend Billy Ray as they try to unravel the mystery that surrounds the newcomers and all the strange goings on before James Landing is no more.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to Kingsport Tennessee and its people, places, and things are simply that Similarities.
Before I begin with the next part of the tale, I’d like to thank you for reading. When I began this thing back in July I had no idea how hard it would be to write by the seat of my pants. As a writer I’ve learned tons.
This story was to have ended at Halloween, but as usual I made plans and the Universe laughed.
That having been said, I think/hope if you’ll be patient and come along with me a bit further you’ll be glad you did.
And now, we continue as Joe, Ronnie, Jake and their friends band together to put an end to the monstrous beast which is terrorizing their town.
CHAPTER TEN: GATHERING WEAPONS
Joe lie huddled in his sleeping bag shivering with the sounds of sirens echoing in the distance. He couldn’t know for sure, but he had a bad feeling there had been another attack.
It had been nearly impossible to get his parents to agree to let them campout in the woods at the edge of their property but finally they’d come to an agreement that everyone could live with. The boys had agreed to leave the flood lights on in the backyard and to keep a small campfire going all night. Everything that had been learned about the animal stalking the town said the thing didn’t like bright lights or fire.
They had readily agreed to this for on this night the object of their campout wasn’t to have an adventure of roughing it in the woods, but rather to have a way to make an early escape so they could once and for all take care of the business of ridding their town of the hideous creature running amuck leaving bloody destruction in its wake.
They’d crept close to the house when his parents had come out onto the porch to talk after they’d thought the boys asleep, and Joe still felt sick when he thought about what his father had said concerning little Mark Sims.
“Cindy, I don’t know what we’re dealing with. I can no longer go along with the opinion that this thing is some kind of oversized bear or wolf. The damage done to that child’s body was horrific. His arm was torn clean off. I’m talking about shoulder and all. The doctors have decided as soon as he’s able they’re going to fly him to Saint Jude. If he lives the reconstruction that’s going to have to be done to replace his arm with an artificial one alone will take months. He also lost an eye, and part of his side was ripped open as if the thing just took its hands and scooped him out. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. My father took us boys hunting when I was a kid. He showed us kills animals had made in the woods when they were feeding. He wanted us to realize the power of the beast. I’ve seen some bad shit in my day, but nothing compares to that.”
The swing creaked as Cindy had snuggled closer into Eddie’s arms. “Sounds like Old Dog Bubba’s very lucky to be alive.”
“Absolutely.” Eddie replied. “Honestly I wasn’t too thrilled when the boys asked to sleep in their tent outside, but I’ve been checking on them and they seem to be OK. The light is shining directly on their tent and their fire is going fine. We’ll keep the monitor on tonight and if I hear one noise out of place they’re coming back in.”
“Eddie, honey, much as I worry about them we cannot let this thing make us afraid to live our lives.”
“I agree, but we don’t have to leave food out for it either. But, you cannot help admire their courage. I couldn’t help but be a little proud of Jake when he said, ‘I ain’t fraid of no monster’”
Just before sunrise Joe shook the others awake. “Let’s get a move on. I don’t know what happened last night, but I heard sirens around 2 and I’m afraid there may have been another attack. If we don’t get going before mom and dad wake up we’ll not get away. They’ll have us down to the park helping with the decorations.”
When the boys had eaten and made sure their fire was out, they quietly made their escape from the yard. As they walked toward Uncle Harvey’s house Jake wondered, “You think Janey will show?”
“I don’t know.” Joe answered. “Her papa Sims is pretty strict. If he catches her sneaking out he’ll blister her good.”
“He’s a mean old cuss.” Ronnie allowed.
“Yeah.” Jonny agreed, “Once I accidentally let my ball roll into his backyard and when I came in to get it he came charging out of his garage hollering at me like a crazy person to get off his property and to never come back.”
“Well, we cannot wait for her if she’s not there by the time we’ve picked up Joe’s arrowhead.” Jack said. “We’ve got to get up to Hawk Cave and find this damned thing and get rid of it once and for all. Mark Sims wasn’t my favorite kid on the block, but he didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
“Did you hear what dad said about how broken up Old Man Sims was?” Ronnie asked.
“Well,” Joe observed, “he may be a hateful cuss and maybe he’s a bit heavy handed with the switch or strap, but I know he loves Mark and Janey. He’s very protective since his daughter and son in law died a few months ago. I don’t know if he’s really mean or if he’s just scared to death something will happen to Janey and Mark, and now that Mark’s been attacked he’ll be half crazy with worry, so Janey best be careful. I overheard Billy Ray and Miss Mazie talking the other day while I was out there helping Billy Ray do some painting. They said the circumstances around his family’s death were strange. Said they were killed in an accident at Friedman’s.”
“Yeah.” Jonny agreed. “Happened right before yawl moved here. Pretty sure it’s what made Mr. Dingus call your dad and ask him to come back.”
“Well, I’m glad we did. I like this town. New York was nice and all, I mean lots of things to do but here, people are friendly we all know each other and when something happens like what happened to Mark, everyone pulls together. In New York, it would’ve just been one more headline.”
Just as they rounded the corner onto the road where Uncle Harvey lived Janey popped out of the bushes from the side of the road.
“Gees! Girl!” Joe demanded in a hoarse whisper. “Do you always go sneaking about in the bushes? You scared the crap out of me popping out of there like that.”
“I’m sorry.” Janey said, covering her mouth to stifle a giggle. “I was trying to stay hidden. Papa sims left in the middle of the night with a group of men and I don’t know where they went. There was another attack and a bunch of men got together to go hunting the thing. Didn’t you know? Your dad went with them.” She said, pointing a finger at Joe.
“No. I guess he left after I dozed off. I heard the sirens, but I didn’t hear him leave. Who’s hurt?”
“Ellen Raymie.” Janey answered, falling in beside Jake. “Clawed her up right good when she went out to look for her cat sometime in the night. Told the doctor she heard it yowling and thought it had gotten stuck in a tree. Said she didn’t think, just ran out in her nightgown to see if she could get it down. Least that’s what I heard one of the men telling my papa when they came to pick him up. This thing is killing animals and hurting kids.” She said emotion filling her voice. “We have to end this thing. We have to, and I have just what we need.”
With that all the kids stopped in their tracks and turned to her. Jack the oldest of the group demanded, “Let’s see it!” Janey, a bit taken aback by his stern tone hesitated a moment. Then Jake stepped up beside her and said, “Take it easy there Jack. You might be older and bigger than we are but you ain’t got to be mean.”
“Easy everybody.” Matt advised. “Won’t do any good to go fighting amongst ourselves. Janey let’s see what you brought.”
Janey smiled gratefully at Jake then reaching into her backpack she drew out the silver bow and arrow. For a moment no one spoke. They could only stand and stare in amazement at the thing glittering in the sun.
“Gees.” Jack breathed, reaching out a finger to touch it. “Honestly, I thought you were putting us on, but this is the real deal. Where on earth did your Papa get such a thing?”
“I don’t know, but if we don’t manage to kill this thing and we get out of this with our skin, I’ll not keep mine much longer than it takes me to go home and get caught. All I can do is hope we can do what we need to and get home before Papa and the other men get back.”
“Oh shit!” Ronnie declared. “Do you think Uncle Harvey went with them? What if we cannot get Joe’s Arrowhead?”
“Mayhap we won’t need it.” Joe allowed, but we’d best go see. Mom will surely be checking in on us soon and when she sees we’ve left without letting her know where we’ve gone off to she’s liable to send people hunting for us.”
Reaching Harvey’s front porch, Joe stepped up and knocked on the door. When after knocking a second time and still he’d not come they were just about to leave when Janey spied a note stuck to the inside of the glass. Reaching in and plucking it up she read, “Hi boys. Sorry I missed you. I’ve gone with the others to hunt that evil creature. I’ve left your arrowhead round the side of the house in the shed. I don’t know what you’re up to, but I don’t believe for one moment your story of needing this arrowhead simply to complete your costume. My advice. Turn around and go home. You’re just liable to get your fool selves killed. If though, you’re like I was when I was a boy I’m doubtful you’ll take my advice, in which case I’ve left something else for you in the shed. Be careful when you use it. The affects of its use can have everlasting changes that you don’t want if it’s used incorrectly.”
“What in the world?” Jack asked.
“Don’t know.” Joe said, but there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go see.
TO BE CONTINUED
ABOUT PATTY L. FLETCHER
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer and Social Media Promotional Assistant.
She is the owner and creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, and is the published author of two books, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, and Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye.
She can also be found in two anthologies which are, December Awethology Light
And A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales
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