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Thursday, February 5, 2015

A New Post! Chapter 6 Continued...My First Week of School...The demons that follow us... (Chapter 7 is in the works and almost done!...)

The first few days of 4th grade were pretty uneventful. I started getting my first assignments right away as I had a little catching up to do. I started to get familiar with the students in my class. And as usual there were some strange kids in this class. There was this girl that sat to my right. She had glasses and long hair. She seemed pretty smart. And there was this strange kid named Frank who sat off to the side. He had a strange nasally voice and he was always raising his hand with numerous questions. Many of the kids seemed to know him from other classes as they almost always let out a big groan when he raised his hand. And then I noticed behind Emily was that kid that I saw hanging out with her in the neighborhood that day I saw them on their bikes. He was the tall kid. Now that I saw him closer I noticed he had Red hair. His name was Eric. He was tall and had a big warm smile and freckles on his cheeks. His eyes were a brilliant green color. There were a couple kids from my neighborhood in the class, Frank the strange kid being one of them and George was another. I sure hoped they were cool with me and maybe, just maybe I could make a friend or two? Mrs. Willard was a really nice teacher. She seemed to really care about teaching, which was nice. I always loved school. My favorite subject was math. At the end of the week I was so excited that it was Friday! I was collecting my things out of my locker which I shared with George when I heard Emily’s voice behind me, she was standing next to Eric.. So Eric, do you want to hang out this weekend and maybe go bike riding to the park? Yeah, I guess, what else is there to do around here… What about you George? George was standing next to me waiting to get his stuff next. George looked at her and kind of gave a lopsided shrug of the left shoulder. “I guess so”, said George. George was a shorter kid with a stocky build and blond hair with striking blue eyes. I was a little taller than George and had a slim build with brown hair like my mom and my eyes were brown like hers. “So John…” said Emily with a long pause in-between… “Do you want to hang out with us after school? I looked up at her from inside the locker. Me? Hang out? Of course hang out John. I was caught a little off guard as I didn’t really know these two kids she was with at all? They could be crazy! Or worse yet! They could be into sports of something and I knew I could not handle sports! I don’t even know how to hold a football let alone throw one! I had a bike, but I wasn’t that good at riding it yet. All kinds of thoughts were racing in my head in what seemed to me were like nano seconds. Emily obviously was growing inpatient as she asked me again. Well John are you going to answer me? Do you want to come riding with us? Before I could think more about it I said… “Sure.” Oh god, I said sure? Couldn’t I come up with a better thing to say than that! I imagine Eric and George are thinking that this is some loser standing in front of them… “Well okay”. Said Emily. Let’s meet at my house after we drop our school stuff. So we went our separate ways. I walked to my aunt and uncle’s house which wasn’t too far. Each step I took I was thinking to myself… Well now what? I hope I don’t crash my bike that would be really embarrassing… At least I did practice some over the summer. I dropped my stuff off at the house and asked my aunt if it was okay if I rode my bike with Emily and a couple of her friends. She said okay, but be back by dinner time. So off I went to Emily’s house.

As I approached the house I saw Emily, George, and Eric sitting on their bikes in front of Emily’s house. I rode up to them and Emily turned and noticed me. Hi John. Hi Emily, I said. I discovered that Emily was the leader of this pack and had a plan in store for us. And I believe they knew exactly where we were going. But I did not have a clue? So Eric, George, should we give John any warning or should we tell him where we’re going? “No way”, said Eric. “Let him find out right George?” George just kind of looked back and forth at Emily and Eric and said, well I don’t care, whatever, he’s going to find out eventually isn’t he? With that they told me to follow them. I thought we were going to the park, but I was wrong, so very wrong...

They took off fast peddling like mad and it was all I could do to keep up. They bounced up and down the curbs, zipping around parked cars. Their bikes would cross paths with each other and look like they were about to collide, and then at the last second they would miss and continue down the street. It was like watching a ballet with dancers moving with great precision and grace, each move choreographed. I was just happy to keep the bike pretty straight and keep up with them.

The continued on for a number of blocks as we wound our way through the neighborhood towards town… As we got closer we took a left on this small road that led to this older neighborhood down bu the river. They told me it was called Peaceful Valley. We started driving down the streets and I noticed how different these houses were from the one I lived in. They were very old, and a number of them were run down. We continued into the neighborhood until we stopped at this one lone house on a large fenced lot. We pulled up our bikes in front of this old house. “So why did we stop here?” I asked. Eric looked and me and said. “Do you really want to know?”. “Yes”.  George, meanwhile, was looking nervously around. “Just tell him Eric”, He said, “And then we can get out of here.”, “Well this is the house of a serial killer.” “What are you talking about?” I said. “You do know what a serial killer is don’t you?” “Yes, of course I do.” Emily was getting annoyed.“Knock it off Eric, just tell him what happened.” “Well, around three years ago there were a bunch of kids that went missing over a span of around 2-3 years, mostly around our age I guess, and the whole town was upset. The police department was trying to figure out what was happening to these kids. They found the bodies of a couple of the kids down in the river, their bodies had washed down stream and were found by some bums. At first they thought the bums were involved, but they were later let go. They helped the police track down the killer. It took them 3 years to solve it. My mom & dad told me not to go out after dark and to always stay with friends. That is why we always hang out together. I was standing there in shock. I stared at the house. Other than being run down, it didn’t look much different than any other house in the neighborhood, except that a killer that lived there. I felt a knot in my stomach like someone had punched me in the gut. I thought I was going to throw up… “God you guys, you really don’t want to quit talking about this?” Was George’s reply. It was an especially sensitive subject for him as he had a close call with a stranger about 1 1/2 years ago and he told his parents about it. The scary thing is the stranger matched the description of the killer from pictures of him in the paper. So naturally he was a little spooked. He was riding his bike alone down by the river. He was taking a different route then normal back to his house from school and he almost rode right into this man who was walking down by the river… He swerved to miss him, but the man turned around and tried to take a swipe at him and then shook his fist at him and told him to watch were the hell you are going! He didn’t know what he was doing down by the river… After that he always rode with friends and took a different way.

Emily also said she had noticed him up in their neighborhood. She said when she went to the park with her parents she would sometimes see him at the park just sitting on a bench watching the kids play on the swings. No one was with him, he just sat there, staring and smiling. It really gave her the creeps and her parents even asked him to move on as the children were uncomfortable with him there. He complied and smiled and left.

Eric never had the chance to meet the man, but what he had to say sent chills to my bones. He was quiet when he told me, his voice softened… John, sometimes life can change so quick! He stared off to the side… One of those kids that got killed. It was my little sister Sarah. She was one of the ones they found in the river… I remember that day about two years ago. I was at a friend’s house and my little sister was home with my mom. Dad was at work. My sister was too young to go to school yet so she was playing in the yard, my mom said she just took her eyes off her for just a second to answer the phone, There yard was fenced, but he must have been watching the house and when she was alone he reached over the fence and grabbed her. She was playing with our puppy outside. By the time my mom came out she was gone.. I will never forget her screaming in the neighborhood. They didn’t find her body for about 2 weeks. I had always wished I had been there and maybe I could have prevented it from happening. His eyes welled up with tears, but he stood straight and strong. I swear someday I’m gonna be a cop and catch people like that. Emily went over and put her hand on Eric’s shoulder. “I’m okay Em.” “It’s just hard sometimes.” Eric got off his bike and went over to the yard and found a rock and he pitched it with all his might at the house… Not satisfied—he picked up another even bigger rock and broke a window… It was like he was trying to get rid of something, maybe the hurt inside that he couldn't get out... The feeling that maybe things could have been different--if only... We each went over picked up a rock and threw it at the house… It was a simple gesture of defiance. Some type of closure for a terrible thing, a terrible awful thing that no child should go through or family for that matter…

We walked into the yard and looked around… I finally got up the courage to ask… Are there still kids missing? Yeah, said George. They never found the rest of them. They even dug up the yard and looked in the house. They say the ghosts of the missing children haunt this old house. I looked at them with bewilderment? Haunted? How do you know? Just come out here at night some time… Can we go home now? Cried George in his best whiney voice… Yes, let’s get the hell out of here was Emily’s response… With that we got back on our bikes and went back to Emily’s house…

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