Clay reaches up and turns on the flashing blue lights of his cruiser and they sail off into the night. Driving up the winding road to the meadow Sam and the Sheriff see something that should not be. Blocking the road ahead were several jeeps with Army logos. Standing outside the jeeps was a number of armed soldiers who were motioning for the Sheriff to pull over. Sam looked at Clay and simply asked. Clay, what in the world is going on?”…to be continued
The Return Of The Carolina Knoll
Jim walked with a slight limp in his swagger across the large empty parking lot of the Greenwood strip mall. The store windows that lined the dusty sidewalk were cold and uninviting. They looked like dark eyes on hulking stone giants that were asleep. the only hint of life from these stone eoliths came from green glow of the security lights in the back of the buildings. It was 2am and the world may as well have been dead and swallowed whole by the giants which now sleep. Jim briefly pictured throngs of gullible humans with their children in tow walking through the open doors of the store fronts which in reality were but mere facades of the hulking stone giants gapping maw. Laughing to himself, Jim shook off the musing and looked west down highway 276 at the isolated stretch of highway. No one was out and about this time of the night, they were all snug in their comfy little abodes and completely oblivious to the world after darkness.
The traffic lights at the crossroad on the corner new not the time and continued to perform their task at hand. Jim watched momentarily as they blinked green then red and back to green again as if they were directing a fleet of invisible cars through safe passage. Jim slowed his gait to a stop in front of Save-A-mart and then reached in his pocket for a pack smokes. Fumbling in his pants he pulled out the almost empty pack of Winston’s and slid the silver Zippo from the thin cellophane. He paused momentarily before striking the Zippo and recalled the day that his dad had given it to him to build fires under the molasses kettles for his mom. He was seven.
Looking back now on what seemed like a hundred years ago he held the lighter admiringly in the palm of his open hand. The glow from the half moon which hung on some invisible cord in the sky shimmered on the lighters chrome finish. The lighter triggered the memory of his dad brought back the unpleasant taste of being eight and becoming lost in the woods which lay just on the thin skirt of an old Carolina knoll. He thought about his dad and Sherriff Dobbins and how they had mysteriously vanished when they had come searching for him. He knew little of the events which took place that eventful day, but was plagued by dark dreams that came together like small pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. He remembered chasing a bright light into the woods, he remembered the sickness that he felt as he wandered frightened and alone through the blackness of night, and he remembered waking up in the hospital with his mom by his side…she was crying, crying for her son, crying for the loss of her husband. Jim swallowed hard, and placed a smoke between his thin trembling lips. He then flipped open the Zippo and with a loud click he drug the flint wheel across the side of his jeans. A long pointed yellow flame pierced the darkness and he pulled lightly on the cigarette bringing an orange red glow to its tip. He snapped the lighter too extinguishing the flame and walked over to the curb of the sidewalk to sit down.