The question is, how long?
I'm Bill Carlson. The only reason I'm writing this is cuz my brother, Nick, who's a cop, said we should. I guess I'm writing this cuz I feel a little guilty about the way a lot of this all started. It was my friends and me that cut the lock and left that gate open the night it all started in again. Although, thinking back, maybe it never ended.
We live up right outside of Omaha, NE. Everyone says theres nothing to do around here, but I'm never bored. There's this place about 17 miles out in the country near my grandparents. It looks like a real small town or something but nobody lives there. The road goes around it and there's no roads into it but there are roads in there. All of them are in good shape even though no one drives on them or fixes them. There are buildings there too, but no reason since no one lives in them. There's an old drive in, gas station and even a bar. A few houses too, but like I said, no people. Around it is this big fence with barbed wire on the top like a prison.
One Saturday, my friend Nels Olson says that we should go play paint ball and he drives us out there without asking if we wanted to go. When we get there the gate is locked so he opened it with his dad's bolt cutter. Someone said not to—Brady, I think—but Nels just said that YOLO.
We walked through some weeds to the pavement. We walked in there, looked around and sat down on a bench by the drive in. Everything looked in real good shape but there wasn't any advertisements or prices on the window. We sat there, Nels, Brady Sanders, Thom Berle and Rick Melon. We looked around and left since Brady was getting a little nervous about it all. Thom, who lived around there said, “No one's out here at night or close to it.” I felt weird in there. I kept like hearing something. I guess we left the gate unlocked. Big mistake it turns out.
Nels said that we should hang around and see what it is like at night, after all YOLO.
I said no along with everyone else. Something was messing with me. Really deep down inside messing with me.
I had nightmares that night for the first time, in a long time.
Brady told me he wet the bed that night. He didn't just tell me right away. I found out a few days later when I stopped by his house. His mom was glad I was there and sent me up into his room. He was sitting there on his bed trying to open this bottle but his hands were shaking. He told me then. That and his parents had the doctor give him these pills to help calm him down. Sometimes, he said, he couldn't stop shaking at what had happened out there. Brady was pretty tough since he had this A-hole for a brother. But what happened out there, really messed him up. But that day..... that day he just started to bawl. I didn't know what to do but hold him as he cried and keep asking, “What were they?” I never held a guy before while he cried. But that day, I just had to no matter how strange it felt.
I wondered if it would be the last time. Something told me it wouldn't.
YOLO, right, but for how long?
Nick told me what happened. I also talked with Linda Soderquist who told me about what happened so I think I got it all right. I might add a couple of things about how I felt when she told me what happened. I wish Nick would write some since writing this is kind of making me sick inside. Like I need to puke or something.
Linda's grandparents live out there by the place. She and her finance Doug Boerger were out there visiting. What happened, happened when they were driving back. Linda told me that her and Doug were back to Lincoln, NE where they lived. It was almost dark when they drove by that place. They had been out to see her grandparents and were taking the back way home.
Linda said, “When we came to the curve, you know the one with the fence, Doug slowed down because he was curious. 'Why'd they make this big curve here? Nothing around here is there? Look at this fence,' he said as he slowed down. 'You hear something?' he asked.”
Linda paused and continued, “I told him, 'Just keep diving, okay, its an old farm or something that they build the road around. No one goes out there since I can remember.'”
(Linda was shaking like she was afraid of something. I never seen an adult shake like they were afraid like that as they talked.)
"What? Is it haunted or something?” Doug asked with a laugh as he slowed down even more. “Look, over there is a gate or something,” as he pulled off the road across from it.
“I have a really bad feeling about this. Lets just keep going. We need to get back.”
“Just a minute, Linda,” he says as he jumped out of the car and ran across the road to the gate. “Who would put up this prison fence around an old farm any way? You know that there are some other buildings in there?” He started to look around.
(Linda kept on talking, almost crying,) “I got out of the car to stop him but he was already through the gate. I grabbed my phone out of my purse and dialed 911. Why? I don't know, I just knew I needed help.
“'What is the nature of your emergency?' is what she said or something like that. I felt like an idiot, not knowing what to say so I said, “My boyfriend doesn't know any better, he went into the place, you know the fenced in place on the....
“'I'll have someone out there right away. Just stay on the line.' I was so relieved that she knew, but I had to stop Doug. Doug was standing there looking about half way to the road in there. The sun was going down. I ran out after him but I was wearing those damn flip flops and couldn't run that fast. It seemed to take forever for me, like something was trying to push against me. Like I was in slow motion while Doug was almost there. He stopped at the edge of the pavement. He said, “Do you hear anything?
“'Stop', was all I could say and I tried to run faster but it felt,” (she stopped and took a couple of deep breathes) “but it felt like I was walking through mud. But I had to try anyway. I got through the gate when I saw the flashing lights. No siren just the lights. The cop must have been close. He was driving so fast and then hit the breaks really hard to stop. Doug was already on the pavement.”
“Linda, there's like this little town in here. Its got lights and everything but it looks really old,” Doug said. He was on the pavement, walking in further.
“Oh, God, why didn't I stop him!” she said looking at me, crying. Really hard. Ever feel helpless like you should say or do something to help someone but don't know what to do. I felt like that the whole time talking with her.
Linda states again, “By now the cop, was almost up to me running really fast and both of us were yelling at Doug to stop. I wish I hadn't worn flip flops, maybe I could have caught him.” She starts crying again. “It was almost dark when Doug looked back at us but I guess I was wrong about that, it was dark.”
Doug saw him and said, “Hi officer, is there any trou.....”
“Thats when all of a sudden there was like this whirl around him and he just, just. (She was crying again, really hard.) The officer held me and pulled me back in case I ran in. He called for back up and held up his phone. I heard the lady say help was on the way and what was all the noise. It was Doug screaming, screaming 'No,' in pain, in fear, crying to let him go. 'Merciful Mother of God, just to let him die' was all I could think as I heard his screaming.”
“I cried and held on to the officer and others came, two or three and a couple of other cars, people I think I knew.”
One old man just said shook his head and said, “I thought that it was all over.”
Only it wasn't. It never stopped. I wrote that, it never stopped as far as I can tell by the time I got done talking with people. Why didn't people talk about it? Why didn't any one try to stop it?
Nick just isn't able to write about what happens. He sure is a pain in the butt about my grammar but he just can't seem to write anything so I guess I will try and do it all.
The next morning, Nick walked into headquarters the next morning and Jon Burke the dispatcher motioned for him to head back to his Captain's office. He walked right in and sat down. Highway patrol Captain Harold Wilson stood there, leaning on his desk talking to a retired police officer Nick recognized right away, Olaf Hildebrand. Barry Cartway, a new officer who had just been assigned to that area was standing there, too.
Nick looked around and nodded at everyone. “I heard the report,” started the captain, “so I called in Olaf here, he was around when the fence was put up and dealt with the last big event out there. Nick, you know that spot better than any one else here. The sheriff's people spend a little more time there but you're from out there. Olaf, when was the last time something this happened?”
Olaf took a deep breathe before he began, “That would be in 1980, during the election, a couple of college kids went out there on a frat hazing or something. They lost their fingers that had rings on them. Like normal, their fingers and rings ended up on that tree. The boys drove their car into a semi, no seat belts two nights later. We called it an accident but,” he shrugged and shook his head.
Barry who looked puzzled asked, “Didn't any one pursue it further?”
Olaf answered him, “No, there was the presidential election and the hostages in Iran, so no, the event just got lost in the news. Before that time, as far as I know, you have to go way back, right before the fence. Nick, you know.”
“No,” Nick answered shaking his head.
“Dad never told you about that?” I shook my head no again. “I'll let him tell you, I wasn't there.”
“How did the gate get opened?” asked the captain. “I thought that the sheriff kept that gate locked.”
“My brother might know. Some kids have been hanging out there in the daytime. Paint ball and all. I can ask him tonight,” I said.
“Can your mom have one more for dinner?” asked Olaf.
“Yeah, sure. Why?” asked Nick.
“Get your grandparents there. Some how, it seems that your family is always involved with that place,” he replied as he handed Barry a file filled with papers. “Barry, here's some reports on it and my personal notes. Nothing official since we really don't have anything to go on. Read it and then go with Nick tonight. Listen and learn. Don't worry about believing it, I still don't think I do. You two will split the night shifts out there. I need some people who know what's happened out there keeping an eye on things.”
On the way out, Barry looked at Nick and asked, “Nick, what is going on?”
“There's this place out in the country near my grandparents. Things happen there that are kind of abnormal. So far I have been able to handle it all but the captain must be worried about something. Just follow the captain's advice. Hopefully after listening to my grandparents and parents, you'll have a better understanding.”
I was sitting there with Papa and Grams, my names for grandpa and grandma, don't ask, talking about a lot of nothing. I liked talking with them since they always seemed to know something about here no one else does. Papa is quite a story teller. He has been in the Korean war and stuff. Janis, Nick's girlfriend was there already. She's real nice, cute too. She is about 5' 9” and what mom says is a size 6 which my mom says looks real nice on her. All the guys think she's hot. Nick and this other cop, Barry came in. Nick sat by Janis after he introduced Barry and he gave her a kiss.
Papa starts it off, “We heard about last night.”
“Just how bad was it this time?” asked Janis.
“Guy died,” said Nick looking down at the floor.
“When is someone going to do something?” Janis asked in her no nonsense voice.
“First we need to figure some things out. Grandpa, Captain said that you know some things and should tell us. I need to know everything you know,” Nick said matter factly. Mom asked if anyone wanted something to drink and took the orders. She brought them back in with a little help from me. She gave me that “help me” look so I went. She gave grandpa that other look, “don't start until I get back” look. He didn't.
When we all settled down, grandpa looked at us. I noticed that mom brought papa a beer, and dad his infamous three fingers of Grey Goose vodka, and one finger Jack. Mom never liked to give him that unless, it was, u know, a rough time. She had a glass of wine, full too. Something told me this was gonna be bad.
Papa started, “I guess you need to know. I really don't know how it started, I was young but I'll tell you what I heard from my father and mother what it was like way back. Is that where you want me to start?” Nick and Barry nodded.
“Like I said, I don't know exactly how it all started. My dad just told me one night after an event as he called it, what he knew. Back in the early 1900's when my dad was a kid, there was a saloon out there. Always there, with a road and a store coming later. A guy named Jacobson ran both places. He sold all sorts of stuff but there was this understanding, 'you weren't there at night' unless Jacobson took you out.”
“Rumor was that when people went there, if they behaved they would be alright. If they got rowdy, then things happened. Dad said he heard about how some cowboys came through and tried to do something to Jacobson. Dad said they just disappeared. There was a guy who beat his wife and kids, spent all his money on booze dad said. He came there one night and ended up dead. Some how, there was a lot of money in his pocket that went to his family. His body was like eaten on. Dad said word was his oysters were gone.”
Grandma rolled her eyes but grandpa ignored her.
“During prohibition, Dad always said that you could get a drink at Jacobson's. Him and Nels used to go down there,” He looked at me, “Not your friend Nels, always been a Nels in that family, your friend is just one of them.”
Grandpa took a drink and a deep breathe before he started again. “One night, your grandfather said this woman walked in and demanded that Jacobson stop selling moonshine. She said that she had come with a group of temperance workers and they had axes and would use them unless he agreed. Jacobson said that he wouldn't and they needed to leave. The woman yelled at Jacobson and finally a couple of people told her to leave. When she left your grandpa said all they heard outside was a little screaming.”
“Tell it all if you're going to tell it,” said grandma who had gone out and gotten herself a beer.
“Their fingers, every one that had a ring on it, ended up that small tree out there. And if they were wearing ear rings, they were on the tree too, still on their ears. All tied up and hanging down like a Christmas decoration or something by their hair. Don't know what happened to them.”
“During Prohibition, Jacobson always had beer and whiskey, good stuff, he sold cheap dad said. So people went there,” grandpa stopped for a moment. “Odd thing was that when something happened to someone, dad said every one said they should do something but no one seemed to care enough to do anything. Thats the creepy part, every one knew, but no one seemed to try to stop it. Its like you wanted to but just couldn't get it down.”
“Then one time, dad told me how some mob guys showed up. These three walk in and the big guy opens his coat to show his gun. He threatened Jacobson that unless he bought from them, he'd be sorry. After they tasted his stuff, they demanded to know who was supplying him. The way the story goes, Jacobson told them it was out back and he gave them some money so they left. He told everyone else to just,” grandpa slowed down here, “stay inside. I guess there was some screaming, and then, nothing. In a little while, Jacobson went out and came back in with the money and their guns. Every so often the mob would send someone, always at night, got to the point dad said they never made it inside.”
“Didn't grandpa do anything?” asked my dad of papa.
“No, not really, they were the mob so every one said they deserved what they got. People just kept on going out there eating and drinking, whole families.”
“That doesn't make any sense,” said Barry who had a couple of beers by now. “Didn't the sheriff do anything?”
“Well, that's where it gets weirder,” grandpa said who now really looked tired as he talked. “There was these couple of guys dad said who showed up after the market crashed. They would beat people up or rob a hobo or a family passing through. No one could really prove anything. So one time, the sheriff came and picked them up. He took them out there, left a couple of bottles of whiskey with them. When they got liquored up enough, they started to threaten the people at Jacobson's. Jacobson said to come with him outside. I guess the story goes that Jacobson came back in a few minutes later and they disappeared. Sheriff just sat there eating his supper. Everyone knew for sure after that you had to be on your best behavior out there. People warned strangers to stay away, but they never listened. Always like something was drawing them out there.”
Nick started to ask “Why?” when dad and mom gave him a look. He stopped. But that look didn't stop Janis who said, “That doesn't explain why no body tried to shut that place down.”
“Didn't know what to do, still don't. Dad tells how a preacher went out there to do what is it, an exorcism. Left and never came back.”
Grandpa took a drink and just looked up at us all over his glasses. Nick and me, and Barry were all kind of just, weirded out. Janis just stared. Mom and Dad just looked like they had heard it all before. Grandpa started in again.
“When I was about eight, Mary Beth showed up. She was a mongoloid...”
“Dad, they're Down Syndrome!” said my dad.
“We called them Mongoloid, whatever, I'm telling it. She ended out out there when she was only three or four,” grandpa said, kind of mad like since he got interrupted “Things just calmed down after she got there. She could talk out there real good like...” (Dad rolled his eyes). Gramps looked at my dad, “What? You forget, they never did nothing with those kids except stick them in the state hospital. Out there, she had a life and seemed to be able to keep things calm. So she stayed with Jacobson from then on. Nothing happened after that for quite a while. You could come and go at night without any problem but you still had to behave. War came, war ended and nothing until that night when I was about 19, in '51. My dad was there with Nels and Nels, father and son duo. Mary Beth was there. Some hunters showed up for a late meal. They had four deer in the back of their trucks. We figured it must have been the fresh blood that set them off.”
“Mary Beth tried to stop the hunters from staying. But they started drinking and they stayed. Jacobson didn't have a phone or anything so someone went to get the sheriff. Most of the locals left. It was right before dark when Mary Beth looked at us and told us to go. We just drove out to the edge of town, where the pavement got bad and sat there. Sheriff came and blocked both ends of the place with his cars.”
“Word nothing,” as grandma started in. “We stayed there, my folks and us kids, just sat there eating while it all happened. I don't know why we did but we did. Noise out side like some animal crying and yelling out, chewing the deer when the hunters saw it they went out. Mary Beth tried to stop them but they went out anyway. There was screaming and shooting. Oddest thing was that we didn't worry about the bullets, we just sat there and ate. No one ever got that upset about anything that went on now that I think about it.”
Grandpa started again, “We saw it, er, them. Black blurs moving this way and that. Bullets hit them but nothing seemed to change it. Mary Beth though, came out and was calling them and finally they, it, what ever the hell they are, just swarmed around her. Didn't hurt her though.”
“Sheriff looked on and finally drove in there and collected the hunters. They weren't hurt or anything but they didn't seem right. They drove off. We heard that they ran into a train, one after the other going about hundred miles an hour. Sheriff said we finally had to do something. Next day, everything was fine. But a couple of new houses were there.”
“What did you do?” asked Nick.
“What every good folk like us do. Never talked about it again,” papa said as he took a drink and sat there, silently.
“Thats the odd thing about it,” Grandma started, “its not like we wanted any one to get hurt, just that we didn't seem to care. All the girls knew what the boys were after when a guy took you out there since girls would say 'what the heck' and not care anymore and give it up. Not that your grandpa...”
“Whoa, whoa, too much personal information,” Nick said.
“What? It worked, how do you think your father was born after 4 kids.”
“Ma!” dad said. “Just stick to the place, please.”
“Alright, I don't see the big deal about it. Alright, back to the story, the only way we seemed to handle it was we just didn't seem to care after a while. Like we were cold to it. So by the time your Grandpa went to the war, Korean, people didn't care any more. Any plans to some how make it so no one every could go in there, were forgotten. We were more worried about the communists and who lost China. One day there was a drive in there. Mary Beth was there, and people slowly started going back there like before. Nothing happened for a long time. No one disappeared. Just thought that it was the deer thing and the blood. Word was that you had to be on your best when you went there.”
“Except for..” mom said.
“Yes, that couple. Salesman and a hooker came in and went back out to their car after having a drink or two. They were having sex out back of the drive in. In the morning, they were found. Car was all scratched up. They were eaten, just the organ meat......”
“He was still inside her, oysters gone,” added grandpa. Grandma looked at him but he just smiled. “It was funny when you thought about it too. Black humor you guys call it. Rocky mountain oysters, you've had them.” I noticed by this time, grandpa had a refilled glass of whiskey on the rocks. “Maybe thats how we handled it. Jokes, alcohol and tried to stop anyone from going out there. It became our work after a while.” He took a sip.
“That got the road around build though, gravel mostly and plowed through the field since people thought that Mary Beth was losing control. Jacobson still lived there until........”
“I remember that,” began dad. He took over the story. “I was what, 13? We were at the restaurant eating, having a nice pre-dark dinner. Like always, Mary Beth waited on us. When these six girls came in. All made up with lots of rings and earrings. Going to California they said. Mary Beth took their order, full meals each. Mary Beth never wrote anything down and never got anything wrong.”
“When they were done eating, one of the girls asked for coffee and sugar. Mary Beth brought it and gave it to the girl. Thats when she started yelling at Mary Beth about how she had asked for cream. Mary Beth said sorry but the girl kept on yelling at Mary Beth about how she had messed up all their orders. Steak was rare when it should have been medium and so on. Final straw was that she couldn't even get the coffee right. The girl said she wanted coffee and cream, not sugar. They weren't going to pay for a meal that wasn't right because of some retard.”
“Thats when you opened your mouth and said 'you never asked for cream',” Grams added. “I was about to but you did.”
“Girl said I should mind my own business but I just kept on going about how Mary Beth never made mistakes and was nice to everyone. Dad just sat there smiling like, 'thats my boy' so I didn't stop.”
“It wasn't dark when they went out so we thought they were safe. I didn't really care. Jacobson just told them to leave and get lost. Mary Beth looked mad like I had never seen before. They didn't have to pay. We didn't hear anything, until we walked out, then we saw. The tree was decorated with all their fingers that had rings on them, earrings and ears, like a Christmas tree. Car was gone, girls were gone. First time it ever, it happened in the day time. They were found over by Lincoln, head on into a semi.”
“How come there wasn't any news of it?” He took one of many drinks.
“Kennedy got shot and the Sheriff put out all the right calls. No INTERNET. No family came but what would you tell them anyway?”
“It was right after that, they finally put up the fence with the barbed wire on the top.” Grandpa continued, “Nels and me were standing there the day that Jacobson and Mary Beth came walking out, the same age as he ever since I remember. He died within a few days. Mary Beth asked to go in there every so often. She did until the day she disappeared. Rumor is she died in there.”
Janis, Nick, Barry and me looked at them. Barry looked like he didn't believe it. Nick like he was pulling it altogether. I was stunned.
Janis said, “So no one has been able to move in and out of there at night since?”
“Not quite,” said Grandpa.
“What?” I asked.
“Rumor has it some colleges try to use it for hazing once or twice, never heard of anything about what happened to them.”
“After that we went in to eat dinner. Like all good folk, nobody said any more about that place. I don't know which was stranger, what we heard or we just went in and ate like nothing ever happened.”
After that day, Nick started sleeping over at the house during the day when Janis wasn't around. He had nightmares too. Papa, Grams, Mom and Dad took turned sitting in there with him to try and calm him down. I never knew Nick to be scared of anything. And he was tough. He even did a tour over there in Iraq. But what was out there, that changed something in him. Grandpa and grandma were the nicest people I know who would help any one they could, but that place changed them in a different way from the way it changed Nick but it changed them. It changed me too.
For the first time, I was afraid. Really, really afraid of what was going on and knowing that we were going to be part of it. I just knew it.
Barry and Nick left to drive back to the station. Barry looked at Nick and talked about how it couldn't be but was. Barry was going to take the day shift for the first week while Nick took the night. Between them and the sheriff, they would keep track of what was going on out there. One night, some big shot from Lincoln came out and looked at the place. He stood there for a while, talking about how he thought this was all BS and we shouldn't have officers hanging around here so much. After a while, he got in his car and left. Nick didn't see anything but he did. Never heard from him again. Never do when they come out to complain about the amount of time that is spent out there. Nothing ever gets written down officially either.
The first filming
We're writing this story based on what Nick and Janis figured out and the talks we had with the people involved. That is if he doesn't drive me nuts with all his corrections about my grammar and stuff. LOL. I knew someone would find out some time.
Sitting in their apartment on a Thursday evening, Marilyn Davis was reading with the TV on for noise while her husband Colin was working. Marilyn was a retail manager, twenty-four, dark hair and a small tattoo on the back of her neck. She didn't like a lot of make up and had an athletic build she maintained by jogging three miles, four times a week and swimming twice.
Colin was the computer geek who worked for the city. He had short, brown hair, was about six feet tall, lean and muscular that he maintained by lifting and cross training at the local club. He was in the middle of reviewing some files when two of their friends, Dougie (Doug) and Nancy Andrus knocked and came bouncing in.
“No interrupting anything are we? If we are, you should have locked the door,” said Dougie. He had long brown hair tied back in a pony tail with a silver napkin holder he had some how modified. Dougie had a stocky build that was more muscle than fat due to heavy laboring in his dad's construction company which he helped manager. He had a full sleeve tattoo among several others, plugs and some other piercing Colin would rather not think about where.
Nancy was a little taller than him with a full figured build. She had dark hair. While she did not look it out of work, she was a CPA for a local company. She had diamond stud earrings and a matching set for her nose plus a tongue stud which Dougie reminded people what it was really good for and a few more she never wore to work. All her tattoos along with her other piercings were well hidden.
“What's ya doing?” continued Doug as he landed on the couch next to Marilyn.
“Working,” said Colin as he closed his laptop.
“More like stuck. What's up?”
“Did you hear about what happened out in the country?” asked Nancy.
“No, where and what?” asked Marilyn.
“Northwest of town about 30 minutes out. Supposedly, this guy stopped at this place thats all fenced in and something got him. They say he died of a brain hemorrhage. The place is like haunted or something. Wanna go see it?”
“No,” said Marilyn who didn't like that stuff when Colin turned it on TV let alone spend an evening looking for what didn't exist. “Where did you hear about it?”
“At work, one of the farmers we handle had come in and told us.”
“Wanna film it?” asked Doug to Colin.
“Film?” asked Colin who liked to do that, now sounding interested.
“You know, get all that equipment you got and put it out there. Put it up on the web and see if anything happens?”
“How about Friday night. We go out there, set up and then sit back on the outside and see if anything happens over a few beers.”
Marilyn began to say “no” while Colin said, “Why not? Wait a second,” as he flipped his lap top. In a second he said, “We got coverage out there. Lets do it, bring a bottle of that honey flavored Jack.”
“Me?! You got it since its my turn as you would say,” responded Doug. The conversation drifted over what they needed from food to equipment and they went from there.
Friday night, with sunset about nine, they got out there about seven-thirty and started checking it out.
“Look man, there's like a prison fence around the place,” said Doug as he looked at the locked gate.
“How we going to get there?” asked Nancy.
“Lets check the fence, maybe we can crawl underneath it some place,” said Colin, the practical one of the group. The group walked around the fence and sure enough, about hundred yards from the road they found a place that they could easily get through under the fence. Once inside, they immediately set up the camera and wireless set up. Once it was up and running, with they stopped to look around at the buildings to see what they wanted to look at exactly. Colin and Nancy walked up to the bar. After looking in, Colin tried the door and it opened. As they walked in they stopped as Colin yelled “Hello.” No one answered.
“Look at this!” Nancy said. “The bar is completely stocked with everything,” as she walked around the bar. “What can I get you big boy?” she said in a mock sexy Mae West voice. It was then that they both jumped at the noise from the back room. As they tensely watched, out came Marilyn and Doug.
“Whoa,” said Doug, “I'll have a whiskey on the rocks. Jack please, no well stuff.”
“No ice,” responded Nancy as she looked around, “but plenty of glasses and how about some Talisker?” as she pulled the bottle of scotch and a couple of glasses up and put them on the bar.
“This is weird,” said Marilyn as she looked around and at the bar.
“Strange that someone would leave all that booze out here all fenced in and no body here to drink it we can see. Man, that is top of the line stuff,” said Doug as he took another sip.
“Strange,” said Marilyn.
“Pour me one too, if you don't mind, what's strange?” said Colin.
“Don't mind if I do, big boy” said Nancy, again in her Mae West voice. Her favorite character since she was built like her, although not quite as big all around.
“No, you'd never notice it since you don't do it.”
“What?” asked Doug who was motioning for another scotch which Nancy poured for him. “What doesn't little Colin do for his good wife?”
“The dust or LACK of it. There should be dust around here. Its like it has just been cleaned.”
“Yeah, you're right,” said Doug. “The only thing weirder is that tree out back. Take the bottle, or two and we'll show you.”
“No,” said Marilyn but Nancy already had a couple in hand while Andy threw a twenty from his pocket on the bar muttering “tip”.
Once outside, they all looked at the tree that stood about twelve feet high with a lot of small branches. Colin and Nancy immediately understood what the other two meant. Colin began, “What are those things on all the twigs and stuff?”
“Rings,” said Marilyn. “On the twigs are rings and there are ear rings pierced or attached to the leaves. Some of them are really old by the looks of them. And a lot of them are expensive.”
“Strange,” said Colin. “Lets aim the camera over this way and get back to the van. This place is kind of starting to give me the creeps. We can check the tree tomorrow or some other time.”
As they left Doug asked, “How long will the batteries last?”
“Six hours,” Colin replied as they headed back to the van making small talk, ignoring, for some strange reason Marilyn realized, what they had just learned.
Once in the van, Colin flipped on the camera and got the feed. He used his remote shut the camera off and sat back, “We'll save the battery and wait until it gets dark.”
Doug who poured a glass of whiskey in one of the plastic cups they had and put some ice in it from the cooler, reached into his back pack and pulled out a couple of joints.
“No thanks and why not light up out there (pointing outside) since I can get drug tested,” said Colin.
“Alright, alright, we'll stick to the booze,” as he put the stash back in his pack and took a good swallow of the whiskey.
After about thirty minutes of sitting, talking and sipping with some chips, Colin flipped on the camera and they began to watch as nothing happened for about till about 11 pm. Then something went in front of the camera.
“What was that?” asked Marilyn.
“Don't know,” said Colin as another set of black swirls moved across the screen in and out of everything. He watched as the swirls moved in organized fashion and suddenly the camera went black.
“You lose the feed?” asked Doug.
“No, crap, the camera went out. I should go out there and check.”
“No, I'll go,” said Doug. “I can get the camera going again but I don't know what to do in here. You stay here.”
“Marilyn, nice you're worried but nothing is happening, I'll be right back and besides, nature's calling.”
“I'll go too, on both accounts,” said Nancy and off they went.
After a quick nature call, in a few minutes they were in the fenced area and walking up to the paved road towards the camera. Colin saw the camera come on again and suddenly began to hear screams as he saw the blurs on the screen. Marilyn was out the door as Colin followed.
What they saw was Nancy and Doug in a dark swirl, screaming in pain or terror, waving their arms and trying to run towards the fence. They fell and got back up again only to have the swarm cover them again. Blood stains started to show up on their clothes in various places which Marilyn realized was where their piercings were. Both Marilyn and Colin ran towards the opening in the fence. By the time they got in there, Nancy and Doug were in the grass with nothing on them. Except, they were covered in blood and crying in pain, holding themselves where they had pieces of their flesh torn off.
By the time they got them back to the van, a police car with sirens blaring, was roaring towards them from the road.
“How the hell?” asked Colin as he was beginning to look around, not seeing anything, trying to calm down so he could drive to the hospital.
I had stayed home and gone to bed early since I had gotten up early to work all day with my dad. I came out of my room, breathing hard having woke up in a cold sweat, not knowing why. I saw my dad coming out of his room in his boxers and T shirt.
“We need to call Nick,” I said.
“I did,” said Dad. “He's on his way there.”
How he and I knew what was going on out there, I didn't know. That scared me.
As Dad, Nick, Janis and I sat there looking at the place, we saw the tree. It was newly decorated with what ever they had gotten from the couple plus the flesh parts. The camera had been aimed at the tree right before it went down. It didn't show really good but most people on the net posted that they thought it was the best special effects they had ever seen. Sooner or later though, someone would come out thinking it was real.
“Dad, how did you know about it as it was happening?” asked Nick.
“I can't tell you.”
“Can't or won't?”
“Can't, I just can't,” as he walked away and got in his car, white as Casper the ghost.
“We need to do something,” Janis said. “Let's tell the governor, maybe he can just have the national guard blow it up.”
“Won't happen, whenever someone from Lincoln comes out, they walk out here, look and never come back. Never say anything to any one. I say we just let it be. Maybe things will calm down. I'll check the fence and make sure no one can get in.”
“Nick, that won't work. Bill, tell him!” Janis yelled. But Nick got up and walked away.
“Nick can't do anything right now. Its really hard, harder than you know since it doesn't seem to affect you that much,” I said.
“You know something else is gonna happen,” Janis said. “Its not over. Wasn't then and isn't now.”
“When it does, then we'll do something,” I said. “Maybe we can get Nick to do something before then. Doubt it, but we can try.” Realizing that I was sounding a lot like my grandpa and great grandpa.
“Can I count on you when it does?” Janis asked. “And to keep on working on Nick or your dad? I can only do so much, I don't want to lose him over this. But I know he will listen to you. I just have the idea that you will be able to do something.”
“Yeah, you can count on me,” as I thought of Brady. “We'll do something.” Maybe we will won't even wait I thought as I remembered Brady crying against me.
“Fine,” said Janis as she went to Nick. I realized that I would need to work on more than Nick. I need to work on me too, so I didn't, we didn't end up like my parents and grandparents.
I'm so tired.
I don't know if I can do it.
Maybe, this will help you figure it out why we did what we did--or didn't do.
*You Only Live Once