When in Shiningbal-A Work in Progress

    Author: Ey Wade Genre: »

    This is a work in progress as part of a series to The Fishing Trip. In The Fishing Trip, Shiningbal, Texas is a town  thriving on perversion, drugs, and abuse. Three boys decide it's time for a change. Life Demands Action-

    From the WIP- WHEN in SHININGBAL


    Tipping down the stairs while trying to blend in with the shadows, Sammy Quinn moved as fast as he could to follow Roman and Mason. He’d heard their whispered plans while hiding under the bed the two shared, and he wanted to be a part of their mission. As usual, neither noticed him. His presence was never noticed. Everyone always saw him as ‘Little Sammy’, too short, and quiet to cause harm. People always equated his age with his size, their mistake, sometimes a mistake which became detrimental to their health. Truth of the matter, he happened to be two years older than Mason’s twelve and eons smarter. He had become adept at using his diminutive size to protect his ass and his years of wisdom to remain a step ahead.

    Pausing just inside the screen of the door, he squinted and peered out into the dimness of the night. The illumination from the single poled streetlight clearly showed Mason standing in the bushes, throwing something which hit The Monster in the back of the head. This was an obvious strategy to give the younger and much slower Roman a head start on his run down the street. Mason, always the hero, had to endure an evasive dance with The Monster. A huge man, equally as round as he was tall. Arms as thick as trees and hands heavy as steel, he would use his enormous body to subdue, torture, and abuse a child of any age. While welding his stature and respect in the community to get away with whatever crime he committed. Getting rid of The Monster had been a no-brainer.

    Wincing as if he physically felt the stinging slap Mason received across his face, from the thick leather belt The Monster was swinging through the air, Sammy quickly slid behind the huge potted plant sitting at the side of the window’s frame. The whistling sound before the whap as it connected with the boy’s skin scared the hell out of Sammy and he thought he would pee his pants. If Mason couldn’t handle the pain, the mission would be over and The Monster would drag them all back into the house and beat the life out of them. He, for one, wanted no parts of the ass beating or what would happen afterwards. The remembrance of the leather upon his own flesh almost made him run back up the stairs to hide under the blankets, but this mission needed to be completed.

    From his vantage point at the window, he could see Roman break away, dart around the trees in the neighbor’s yards while avoiding trips over obstacles, before managing to out distance The Monster and run down the street as if the hounds from hell were at his heels. Hell, in reality the biggest hound really was. The Monster was worse than Satan himself. Sammy cringed at the idea of ending up in that fiend’s hands. The few times he had been able to get Sammy in his clutches and locked behind the closed doors of the room in the basement….well, death would have been more desirable.

    Listening to the fading sound of The Monster’s heavy tread chasing after Roman and Mason, Sammy slipped through the screen door, fingers holding the edge of the screen’s metal frame until his fingers were nearly squeezed between the screen and the thin wooden edge of the house. It wouldn’t do to be caught by Momma Monster; she would only haul him down the stairs to the basement, laughing hysterically on the other side of the door as she held him entrapped until The Monster returned.
    Crouching as low as possible, Sammy scampered down the few steps, scooted around the bushes, and then ran as fast as he could in the direction of the quickly receding footsteps. He didn’t have to follow too close because he knew exactly where the trio would end up.

    Going to the right instead of straight, Sammy knew he would make it to the area Roman and Mason had designated as their ‘action zone’, way ahead of them. The desire not to miss the ending of the scenario, forced him to pump his legs faster. There was nothing he wanted more than to see someone put an end to the terror that animal caused. Running through the street to the last house on the block, Sammy pushed his way through a small opening in the fence and into the underbrush beyond. This was his preferred entrance into the woods. After a few tangles with the bushes it was pretty clear sailing. The other boys preferred the longer route, but this one was less treacherous. Especially when running around in the dark. None of the root rotted holes or suddenly appearing, enormous trees to hinder his progress. The biggest plus, as always, he arrived wherever they were going, farther enough ahead of them that he was able to secure a hiding place. In the silence he could hear the quick steps of Mason and the heavy thundering tread of The Monster. Roman, who had entered the woods a few minutes before was obviously hiding and preparing the way for the success of the plan. 

    Listening intently, Sammy concentrated on the words Roman and Mason shouted out in a sing song manner, the words of their ‘hero’ mantra becoming a beacon to their location, Life--Demands--Action. At the last word, the unadulterated scream of fear, erupted the silence as The Monster lost his battle with the boys and his wobbly balance before falling over the edge of the cliff into the raven below. His final curses lost inside the deep quiet darkness of Clear Lake Forest.
    Sammy released his breath in a gush of wind. The resounding thump as the 300 plus body hit the ground, made him want to bellow in accompaniment with the shouts of glee from the two boys dancing vicariously near the ridge. Every tingling nerve in his body wanted to join them in their dance, but he held his tongue for two reasons. 1) He wasn’t supposed to be there and 2) he still had something he needed to take care of before he returned to the house.

    Remaining as immobile as possible, he waited patiently while the younger boys did their best to hide the evidence of their presence. They retrieved the long poles they’d used to slap the legs and poke the fat flabby body of The Monster as they guided him towards the edge of the cliff and his death. They argued a bit about using the ends to erase their footprints, but thought better and chose leaf filled branches instead. Walking backwards, a maneuver they’d seen often on television shows, the youngsters swished the branches side to side on the forest floor until them and their make-shift brooms, disappeared into the trees at their back. Once the boys were out of his field of vision, and, he heard their muted whoop of success, Sammy crawled from his hiding place. 

    Pulling the backpack from his shoulder he pulled out a small flashlight. The one thing his dad had taught him before he disappeared was to always be prepared. Scouring the area carefully he spied a pink bandana peeking around the edge of a tree, Roman’s talisman. A remnant from the life he lived before entering the foster home, the only thing remaining from his little sister.

    “Stupid little kids, I knew I would have to clean up after them.” Tipping around the obviously swept floor of the forest, Sammy retrieved the bandana and tucked it into his backpack. His fingers touched the cool glass of the bottle of liquor he had hidden away and he pulled it out. “Time to finish what you guys started.”

    Twice he scooped up an arm full of dried leaves, and scattered them over the grounds, crushing some to make it seem as natural as possible, before retrieving the bottle of liquor and shaking some over the leaves. With each sound of the drops of liquid hitting the dry leaves, Sammy laughed in defiance and cursed softly. This was The Monster’s favorite drink. The bottle he would hold in his hand as he would walk around the house, playing with his private parts and eyeballing the dozen children placed in his care by the Texas Foster Care System. Each child trembling in fear at the approaching night and sometime daily routine and praying they wouldn’t be the one he chose to end the night with. If he had worked himself into a frenzy, he would grab two and drag them kicking, screaming and crying to the lower floor of the house. Lord help them all if there were a family gathering or a holiday. 

    “Well, not anymore. If it were up to me, I would end the life of every creep in Shiningbal. I would burn the town down.” Sammy shouted over the cliff into the darkness below, pouring out the remaining fluid he threw the bottle over the edge. Expecting to hear the glass break on the rocks he knew were scattered on the sandy earth below, he was shocked out of his mind and nearly fell over at the plaintive wail and shout for help that wafted upward.

    “Shit.” Sammy scurried from the edge and back behind the bushes. Terror took over. Closing his eyes he willed his breathing to slow down and his heart to restart. For a moment he thought he would die from fear. Thinking quickly, he moved down the familiar path to the rocky basin. This was a familiar hiding place for him when skipping school after a night of horror or an escape from the possible attention of The Monster. When his feet finally hit bottom and slid a little from the moisture and algae clinging to the rocks, he grabbed at the jutting branches to keep himself from rolling and possibly, tumbling into the rushing waters of Clear Lake.

    The rasping, struggling gurgling sounds emanating from the prone body, lying no further than two feet away, urged him on. There was nothing in the world Sammy wanted more than to snuff the bastard’s last breath, in the same callous manner the monster used on the baby two nights previously. The death of that child had been the last straw and the catalyst for the night’s adventure. The tiny boy, a favorite of Mason’s, had been used as a sort of power struggle between Mason and The Monster. The former using the small child as a tool to get Mason to do whatever he wanted and when that failed the baby had become the biggest loser.

    The unexpected illumination of The Monster’s hand being raised to his forehead caused Sammy to freeze in terror. Squatting and duck walking closer to the semi-conscious man, Sammy poked the nearest shoulder with a finger. The Monster opened his eyes and stared at Sammy through pain glazed eyes. The pain no way masking the promise of retribution in his hate filled soul. Spitting a mouth full of blood in the child’s direction, The Monster moved to grab him and Sammy scooted quickly out of reach.

    “Roman, you snotty nosed little bastard, When I get my breath back and get to the house, you’re going to regret the day you were born, you and that little prick, Mason.”

    “I’m not Roman.”

    Moving so the moon’s light shone directly and illuminated his face, Sammy leaned forward. When it was obvious his identity was known to the injured man and without a second thought, he lifted the heavy boulder he held between his hands, high above his head and brought it down with as much force as he could muster, successfully cracking The Monster’s forehead wide open.

    The thrill of the kill shattered normalcy and fractured sensitivity. Like a high on a hallucinogen. Life would never be seen the same again. He wondered- did serial killers feel the same.
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