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Excerpt for Hollow Woods Confidential by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Hollow Woods Confidential


AT Davidson


(Author of “The Murdoch Files”)


Hollow Woods Confidential

Text copyright (C) AT Davidson 2014

Smashwords edition (C) 2018


This ebook remains the copyrighted property of the author. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of study, research, criticism, review or as otherwise permitted under the Copyright Act Australia 1968 and subsequent amendments, no part may be reproduced, copied or distributed by any process for commercial or non commercial purposes.


This satirical story is written in the tradition of B-Grade stories, complete with all the stereotypes, creativity and effects.

The characters are purely fictitious. Any similarities with any person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

The story is not meant to offend. If you may be offended, please don’t download it.


Contents


Chapter One: Blair

Chapter Two: Reed

Chapter Three: In the Hollow Woods

Chapter Four: Sheriff Carcsarker inquires

Chapter Five: Return to the Hollow Woods

Chapter Six: Phillip

Chapter Seven: Brooke

Chapter Eight: The Hollow Woods—again

Chapter Nine: Deputy Rip Curtis

Chapter Ten: First fight

Chapter Eleven: At the Vampire Nest

Chapter Twelve: The Wolf pack

Chapter Thirteen: A ride to school from Brick

Chapter Fourteen: Scotty

Chapter Fifteen: Blair’s encounter with Sheriff Carcsarker

Chapter Sixteen: Blair, in her room

Chapter Seventeen: Cecil’s story

Chapter Eighteen: Brad and Marilyn

Chapter Nineteen: Brad and Deputy Rip Curtis

Chapter Twenty: News of Brad’s arrest

Chapter Twenty One: Blair tells Reed about Brad’s arrest

Chapter Twenty Two: Werewolves, Zombies and pure lust

Chapter Twenty Three: Brad’s release

Chapter Twenty Four: Popkin and Skip

Chapter Twenty Five: Deputy Rip Curtis encounters Blair in the woods

Chapter Twenty Six: Of Vampires, Werewolves and deputies

Chapter Twenty Seven: Rip Curtis takes charge

Chapter Twenty Eight: As Philadelphia, Susskind and Trevor frolic . . .

Chapter Twenty Nine: The next day, at school

Chapter Thirty: Sheriff Carcsarker in hospital

Chapter Thirty One: Blair and Brooke approach the Hollow Woods

Chapter Thirty Two: Rip Curtis visits City Hall

Chapter Thirty Three: Hollow Woods encounter

Chapter Thirty Four: Brick’s most unpleasant discovery

Chapter Thirty Five: Reed searches for Blair

Chapter Thirty Six: Blair and Brooke at Mickey D’s

Chapter Thirty Seven: Reed visits Blair’s house

Chapter Thirty Eight: Nocturnal admissions

Chapter Thirty Nine: The town meeting

Chapter Forty: Blair readies herself for her mission

Chapter Forty One: Brooke, in anguish

Chapter Forty Two: The emergency meeting in the Hollow Woods

Chapter Forty Three: Rip Curtis, on the town

Chapter Forty Four: Blair and Brooke, so totally scared

Chapter Forty Five: Fun with Rip and Sal

Chapter Forty Six: Meanwhile, back in the Hollow Woods . . .

Chapter Forty Seven: The search of the Hollow Woods eventually begins

Chapter Forty Eight: Another visitor to City Hall

Chapter Forty Nine: Pairing off the posse

Chapter Fifty: Everything needs sustenance

Chapter Fifty One: Reed goes missing

Chapter Fifty Two: Mischievous Phillip

Chapter Fifty Three: Brooke collapses and Phillip prowls

Chapter Fifty Four: While the posse searches . . .

Chapter Fifty Five: Rip, losing his grip

Chapter Fifty Six: Osszeffogva

Chapter Fifty Seven: Reed encounters Brick

Chapter Fifty Eight: Walking through the woods with his gal, Sal

Chapter Fifty Nine: Brad, the reluctant saviour

Chapter Sixty: Reed lurks

Chapter Sixty One: Back at the monster’s temporary camp with Blair and Brooke

Chapter Sixty Two: The “rescue party”

Chapter Sixty Three: The Last Temptation of Reed

Chapter Sixty Four: Brad hides out

Chapter Sixty Five: Brooke, alone at the monster’s temporary camp

Chapter Sixty Six: The totally separate adventures of Blair and Brooke

Chapter Sixty Seven: The “Rescue Party”— continued

Chapter Sixty Eight: Rip and Sal’s parting of ways

Chapter Sixty Nine: A most nasty reunion

Chapter Seventy: Enis speaks

Chapter Seventy One: Fugitives

Chapter Seventy Two: The great escape

Chapter Seventy Three: Strangers in the night

Chapter Seventy Four: A nice reunion

Chapter Seventy Five: Raging Carcsarker

Chapter Seventy Six: Fellow Vampires approach

Chapter Seventy Seven: Popkin’s release

Chapter Seventy Eight: The enemy approaches

Chapter Seventy Nine: Reinforcements

Chapter Eighty: The confrontation

Chapter Eighty One: Back in town

Chapter Eighty Two: Phoebe confesses

Chapter Eighty Three: Blair and Brooke go for a fly in the sky

Chapter Eighty Four: City Hall, by flashlight

Chapter Eighty Five: Brad reflects

Chapter Eighty Six: The gang’s all here

Chapter Eighty Seven: The events concerning the trial of Phillip Corduroy III

Chapter Eighty Eight: Rip meets an old ally

Chapter Eighty Nine: Something evil this way comes

Chapter Ninety: Curtis in Monsterland

Chapter Ninety One: The search party prepares

Chapter Ninety Two: Sal’s scorn

Chapter Ninety Three: A new search begins

Chapter Ninety Four: Something evil arrives

Chapter Ninety Five: Terror in the Hollow Woods

Chapter Ninety Six: First sighting

Chapter Ninety Seven: Survivors reunite

Chapter Ninety Eight: The Search Party approaches

Chapter Ninety Nine: Area “secured”

Chapter One Hundred: Brooke comes over all weird

Chapter One Hundred & One: The grateful dead

Chapter One Hundred & Two: The Peacemaker

Chapter One Hundred & Three: Die, you bastard—die!

Chapter One Hundred & Four: Getting it together

Chapter One Hundred & Five: Keeping the Hollow Woods confidential


About the Author


Chapter One:

Blair


Blair Winningham skulked towards the hallway and Brad Smillington came up from behind, grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her around. Around them, the party was still in full swing. In the living room A Walk through the Black Forest was playing on the stereo.

‘You are so, like, outta it, Blair,’ Brad said.

Blair shook herself free of the jock and scowled. ‘Like, you should know. You are so, like . . . not with it, Brad,’ Blair smiled, displaying her twenty grand dental job.

Brad shook his head. ‘Whaddya mean, not with it? What are you, some kinda cheap ho . . .?’

‘You’re, like, calling me a ho, Brad?’

Brad frowned and then smiled. ‘I was, like, asking, but yeah, I guess I am.

Blair threw back her arm and slapped Brad’s face. His hand flew immediately to the area she’d struck him and he frowned.

‘The cheap ho that you’re, like, fooling around with now must be, like . . . like, a really expensive one, who’s, like . . . not as . . . cheap, I guess,’ Blair said, her heartbreak profoundly affecting her sensibility.

‘That is so it, Blair!’ Brad said, pointing at her with his free hand in that James Dean imitation he did so badly, yet had always melted her thighs in the past.

Blair’s shoulders hitched and she turned and ran as best she could in her five inch-heeled, four hundred and fifty dollar Versace’s, down the hall to the front door. Before she approached it, and seemingly out of nowhere, a strong hand clamped her upper arm and she turned. It was the party’s host, Brick Sandhurst.

She spun her head around, her dark, silky, full-bodied hair bouncing elegantly as she accomplished this, and looked into his face.

‘Blair, dear, where are you going? The party is not over yet. It is so darned early.’

‘I know, but the night is over for me, Brick.’

‘Huh? I do not understand this. What is the problem?’ Brick asked, a concerned look on his face; the edges of his eyebrows drooping pathetically. Blair turned and looked down the hall at Brad. He had a cigarette clenched in his mouth and a girl—that Marilyn Filbert ho—clenched to his arm.

Brick Sandhurst followed Blair Winningham’s gaze. Brad Smillington smiled, puffed on the cigarette and then, smiling, nodded his head insolently.

‘Oh,’ Brick said, ‘I see. It is Brad again. You should not let him worry you so, Blair.’

‘I can’t help it, Brick,’ Blair shook her head. ‘You, like, give a man the best years of your life and he fools around with skanks behind your back. Two months we’ve been going steady now—two months!—and what have I to, like, show for it?’

‘You are right, Blair,’ Brick said. ‘You do not deserve him . . . No, I mean, he does not deserve you. Well . . . however that works and is said correctly and in your favour.’

‘Oh, Brick, am I supposed to just grow old, and therefore ugly, wrinkly and useless, waiting for him to notice that I’m, like, the only one for him and always will be?’ Blair pleaded. ‘Hell, I’m, like, eighteen already . . . Well, seventeen and two thirds, anyway,’ Blair corrected. ‘Like, how much longer can I be expected to keep my looks and this fantastic figure?’ she shrugged.

‘I do not know, Blair,’ Brick said and turned, considering Brad. ‘But I think that he is surely a bastard.’

Brad smiled and sarcastically waved to them. Marilyn Filbert had removed her blouse and skirt and was now only wearing only a gold lamé bra and thong. Blair turned away, folded her arms across her large perky breasts and looked down at the floor.

On the stereo, Casino Royale, by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass was now playing. Brick bobbed his head slightly in time. He thought it a splendid number.

‘I must go, Brick. It’s, like, so not my scene here now,’ Blair said.

Brick stilled and then sighed. ‘Alright, Blair, I will open the door for you.’

Brick excused himself and Blair moved aside. He opened the front door of his parent’s lavish home and turned, considering Blair.

‘I am sorry that things have turned out this way, Blair,’ Brick said. ‘I know that you have been looking forward for months to this party at my house, in the absence of my parents. It is such a pity that Brad—that unwashed female genitalia—has ruined the evening for you.’

He straightened the lapels of his dinner jacket and moved closer to Blair. Then, placing his hand under her chin, he lifted it. He moved closer and they gazed into each others’ eyes.

Blair sighed. ‘Yeah, like, he so has. Thanks for, like, having me, Brick. You’re, like, such a good, safe, trusted and so-o-o extremely platonic friend.’

Brick withdrew his hand and Blair smiled and nodded. She turned away and walked through the door, then, stopping on the steps, turned back to face him.

‘Why can’t all guys be as, like, safe and non-threatening, as you are, Brick?’ she smiled. ‘Why, we could both be naked and alone for months—no, years—with no one else around for miles and I know that you wouldn’t, like, hit on me and coerce me into having sex with you. You’re, like, such a sweetie.’

Brick forced a smile and shrugged. ‘That is precisely what friends are for,’ he said. Blair turned and walked down the front path, hips swaying. He watched as she disappeared into the darkness beyond. He closed the door then struck it with his fist. This hurt his fist a good deal and he cried out, bent forward and placed the injured hand between his knees. ‘Darn!’

One of the party goers approached; a boy whose name, Brick believed, was Thorn.

‘Hey, man, can we, like, put some real music on now?’

Brick sneered. ‘The party is over.

Chapter Two:

Reed


Blair had decided not to call her dad to pick her up. Because she was so upset, she’d decided to rough it and walk the half a block to her impressive house in the quaint, Middle American town of Bixby Heights, just on the on the edge of the Hollow Woods. Maybe the walk would help her to forget her anguish?

One hundred and twenty yards and three inches before reaching her house, Blair stopped, alarmed by a sound that she’d heard off to her right. She turned quickly, covering her eyes. Gradually peeking through her fingers then sliding her hands away, she peered across the road and into the darkness of the three a.m. morning.

There was nothing there.

Blair sighed, smiled and, swinging her arms, strode onwards. Then, this time, from behind her, she heard a sound like sneakers slapping onto the road’s pavement.

She quickly spun around and saw a guy wearing a tight black T shirt and ripped Levis standing at the road’s centre. Under the T, she could see the faint outline of some really heroic abs. He wore his hair in a well gelled pompadour, had his thumbs hitched under his belt and, with his head angled down slightly, looked up at her through an insolent expression. He smiled then, and immediately Blair knew that she was in love. He began to swagger towards her. She frowned and acted nonchalant as he approached.

‘Hey, babe,’ he smiled.

Blair looked away. Her heart was beating ten to the dozen, and she could feel her crotch already growing moist. It had been so long—nearly six hours—since she had last had sex.

‘Go away, boy,’ Blair said, haughtily. ‘You, like, bother me.’

The hunk chuckled and briefly turned his head. He had a spectacular chiselled profile. Then, facing her again and stepping forward, he said, ‘I like bothering babes like you, don’t you know?’

She noted that he, like all the guys she knew—in fact, every guy in town—was a head taller than her.

‘How could I, like, know that? We have so not been induced,’ Blair retorted and turned her back on him, placing her arms over her excited breasts, their nipples like bullets, her short pleated skirt swinging due to the sudden movement.

‘Well, of course I like bothering babes like you, babe,’ he said. ‘I’m a Vampire, don’t you know?’

Blair spun around on her heels. ‘You are so not,’ she said and shot him a smug smile. She hoped she wasn’t overdoing the nasty bit. Perhaps it was time to swing those hips and approach him? God, being young, sexy and so totally in love, was so confusing!

‘Hey, sure I am, babe,’ the guy said. ‘Wanna see my choppers?’ he grinned, his head still angled down slightly.

Blair gasped. ‘You, like, have two?

‘Two? Hey, I got lots of ’em,’ he said and grinned widely, somehow managing to show every tooth in his head. ‘See?’

‘Oh . . .’ Blair said, trying not to show her disappointment.

‘But don’t worry, babe, I won’t put the bite on you.’

‘You . . . won’t?’ Blair frowned.

‘No way will I, like, do that,’ he smiled.

‘If you’re a Vampire and you’re not going to bite me, then why are you, like, stalking me this way?’ Blair asked.

He folded his arms over his marvellous chest. ‘I like to be noticed too,’ he said and turned his chiselled profile slightly to the right.

Blair sighed deeply. ‘Rack off, Bitey.’ The crotch of her panties was by this point, soaked.

‘My name’s not Bitey,’ he said, indignantly. ‘It’s Flaps. But you can call me Reed.’

‘Why should I?’ Blair said, wondering again if she should perhaps lighten up a little on the bitchiness.

He frowned momentarily. ‘Coz that’s my name.

‘No,’ Blair said. ‘No, it isn’t. You said it was Flaps . . .’

‘Hey, you wanna call me Flaps?’ he said, frowning and gesturing wildly.

Blair considered this. ‘No, I guess not.’

‘Good,’ Reed smiled. ‘So now I’ve induced myself, what’s your moniker, babe?’

‘Beulah,’ Blair lied.

Reed shook his head and looked down, his hands on his slim hips. ‘No way is that your name, babe,’ he said. ‘That’s some kind of, like, Hungarian dish.’

‘Sally, then,’ Blair smiled, coyly.

Reed shook his head again and kicked at a non existent stone. Then he looked up at her, his head angled to the left now. ‘Try again, babe.’

‘My name’s Casey . . .’

‘Stupid damn name, babe,’ Reed said.

Blair frowned. ‘Rhonda . . .?’

‘I, like, ride a Rhonda, babe. A good bike, sure. But I’m hanging for a Chopper . . .’

‘You’re, like, quite filthy, aren’t you?’ Blair said, smiling.

Reed straightened, threw his arms behind his head and dragged off his tight black T. ‘It’s, like, hot in here, babe,’ he smiled. He had perfect six-pack abs, marvellous pecs and a smooth, hairless chest. Warmth escaped from the edge of her panties and trailed down her upper thigh.

‘Okay, my name’s Blair,’ Blair said.

Reed tied the black T shirt around his waist then extended his hand to her. Blair swallowed hard.

‘Come on, babe. Let’s, like, agitate the gravel. I know this little dark place just over there in the Hollow Woods where we can be totally comfy . . .’ He gestured ahead to the darkened Hollow Woods, which were just a stone’s throw from her house, if you were extremely good at stone throwing.

Blair placed her hands on her lithe hips, outlining her equally lithe waist. ‘Yeah, like, I am so totally gonna do that,’ she said, shaking her head so as her hair tumbled gracefully, caressing her shoulders.

Reed was suddenly upon her; he moved so fast!

He grabbed her upper arms and pulled her closer to him. ‘Yep, you so totally are,’ he said.

‘Like . . . okay then,’ Blair breathed.

Chapter Three:

In the Hollow Woods


‘I, like, haven’t seen you around town before,’ Blair said, making conversation as she walked next to Reed, her hormones raging.

‘Oh, I mostly, like, hang in the woods, you know,’ Reed explained.

‘You going steady?’ Blair asked. ‘I mean, it’s not that I, like, care, or anything . . .’

‘I know. You just thought that you’d, like, ask—right?’ Reed said.

‘Yeah,’ Blair nodded as they entered the Hollow Woods. ‘I’m, like, totally cool with it if you are. I mean I, like, really so don’t care.’

‘Score,’ Reed smiled then said, ‘No, I’m free . . . for the moment.’

Then he grabbed her hand and Blair gasped. Not because he’d grabbed her hand—Blair had had many parts of her anatomy grabbed before, and had come to expect that it would probably continue to happen a great deal into the future—but due to the fact that Reed’s hand was so very cold!

He pulled her over to the right, into an especially dark area of the Hollow Woods.

‘This is, like, an especially dark area of the Hollow Woods,’ Blair said, a little frightened now. ‘And your hand is, like, so cold . . .’

Reed smiled. ‘Cold hand, warm heart,’ he said. Then he frowned. ‘Actually that’s not warm either,’ he amended.

Reed found a spot and sat, dragging Blair down after him. After adjusting and smoothing down her skirt, she asked, ‘Like, what are you then, some kind of freak? You got low blood pressure or something . . .?’

‘No,’ Reed said, appearing as just a solid dark outline in the gloom, the top of his pomaded pompadour glistening in the available light.

‘Acute dandruff?’ Blair offered and Reed chuckled.

‘No, just acute face.

‘Then, like, what?’ Blair asked, fluffing her auburn hair.

No blood pressure,’ Reed explained. ‘Like I told you, I’m a Vampire.

‘Oh, that is, like, so a lie,’ Blair said. Then Reed grabbed her hand and held it against his heart. Her fingers immediately began caressing his chest of their own accord; her own heart was now racing.

‘Well?’ Reed asked.

Oo-o-o-h . . .

‘Stop that! Hey, Blair, are you, like, with me here?’ Reed asked.

‘Oh, like, yeah, baby,’ she breathed. Then she suddenly gasped and jerked her hand away.

‘See. I told you, didn’t I?’ Reed whispered. ‘I’m a Vampire; the Undead . . .’

‘I know that you’re not like, dead, silly. If you’re Undead then that means that you’re, like, alive,’ Blair reasoned. ‘You just told me that.’

Reed sighed loudly.

‘But how come you so don’t, like, have a heartbeat though?’ Blair asked, ‘I mean if you’re, like, Undead . . .?’

‘Listen to me, Blair,’ Reed said, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her so as her glorious wavy locks swayed provocatively. ‘I am dead . . . I, like, don’t live; don’t take food for nourishment . . . I – am – a – vam – pire . . .’

‘You’re, like, what?’ Blair exclaimed, pushing herself away from him.

Reed sighed and raised his hands. ‘I, like, knew it. This happens every time. But I thought that maybe you’d be different. I find a pretty girl, take her to my dark place, tell her that I’m a Vampire, and poof, she, like, suddenly loses all interest . . .’

Blair frowned. ‘Well, it’s, like, so . . . unusual.

‘Is a Vampire bat unusual? An honest cop . . . is he unusual?’ Reed sighed.

‘Around here, like, pretty much both of those things are,’ Blair explained.

‘Like, bah, humbug!’ Reed exclaimed and lowered his head. ‘Go away, Blair. I want to be left alone, okay?’ he said with a dismissive wave of his hand.

‘Oh,’ Blair breathed. ‘Don’t you like, want me any more . . .?’

‘Huh?’ Reed’s head rose. ‘Whaddya mean, want you? Oh, God, yes, I want you, Blair,’ he said. ‘I am, like, so quickly approaching the school of thought that I totally need you.’

Blair rose on her knees and spread her arms. ‘Then, like . . . take me, man . . .’

Reed lunged at her and covered her lips with his; his hands trailing down her spine to her backside. He lifted her skirt and began to caress the smooth cheeks of her bottom, under her thirty dollar DKNY silks.

‘Eek!’ Blair exclaimed, ‘those hands are, like, so cold down there!’

Reed pulled away, smiled then raised one finger in the air. ‘I can, like, remedy that.’

He turned, reaching behind him for something that Blair could not see. She ached.

He lifted a pair of thin kid gloves in the air and proceeded to struggle them over his hands. Then he resumed where he had left off.

‘Ooh . . . Re-e-e-e-ed.’ Blair writhed and moaned. ‘I’ve, like, never done it with a Vampire before.’

Reed hesitated. ‘Um, define . . . “It”,’ he said.

‘You know,’ Blair giggled. ‘It; the horizontal rumba . . . The Dance that climaxes in The Sticky Squirt . . . The Genital Joust . . .’

Reed ceased in his caresses and straightened. ‘Well, don’t get like too discouraged, Blair,’ he began. ‘But you see, I don’t have any, like, blood flow, and coz of that, I can’t get an erection, see?’

‘Erection?’ Blair frowned. ‘You mean you, like, can’t get a chubby?’

Reed sighed. ‘Yes, Blair, I’m afraid that I can’t. I hope that it isn’t, like, too much of a turn off . . .’

‘I like, so don’t believe you,’ she said and smiled. ‘You’re being, like . . . silly. You are, aren’t you . . .?’

‘Believe me, Blair, I would so love to be able to . . .’

Blair pulled back and frowned. ‘Are you a fag? I mean, like, just look at me, willya?’

‘No,’ Reed said, shaking his head. ‘I’m so not a fag.’

‘A Communist . . .?’

‘Look, so big deal I can’t get a boner. Lotsa guys can’t. Those guys even have a name for it. They have to. But no Viagra; no treatment I could like receive—operation, or, like, whatever—could, like, cure me. I’m a Vampire, Blair. Like I said; just a plain, simple, young adult Vampire.’

‘This really blows!’ Blair frowned, shaking her head.

‘No, Blair. It’s true that I, personally, can’t hope to gain anything other than your, like, love and trust, from this relationship. But—’

‘Look, Reed,’ Blair interrupted. ‘I already, like, have a guy who gives me love and trust. His name’s Brick. The schmuck, like, adores me. But I’m a healthy, oversexed teenage girl. I need more, Reed. More, I tells ya . . .’

‘—But you see these?’ Reed continued, lifting his gloved hands before him. Blair looked up from her mirror as she applied lipstick. ‘These hands . . . Man, these hands can, like, work so good. They know where to go, babe . . .’

Blair dropped her lipstick and mirror. ‘Then, like, glove me, baby . . . Glove me . . .

Chapter Four:

Sheriff Carcsarker inquires


Sheriff Sam Carcsarker climbed out of his patrol car and walked towards the man who, back turned to him, watered his front lawn.

‘Mr Winningham . . .?’

Roger Winningham turned and nodded. ‘Carcsarker . . .’

Huh?’ the sheriff started, then nodded his head. ‘Oh, yeah . . . right.

‘What can I do for you?’ Roger Winningham said.

‘Well, it was some information I was hoping to get.’

‘Information?’

‘Yeah, you know. That means stuff that you might know that I don’t.

Oh? Why, Carcsarker, you’re a man of the world. What could I possibly know that you don’t?’ Winningham smiled.

‘Yeah . . . Well, we’ve gotten some complaints, you might say, from some of your neighbours down the street a way. They’ve been sayin’ that there’s been a lotta hootin’ and hollerin’ over in the Hollow Woods, as of late.’

‘Mrs Doggerty says that she seen one young fella who she swears was “nekkid”, runnin’ around there, one night. Damned near sent her into a faint, she claims. I was just wondering if you might have heard some such thing . . .?’

Nekkid, you say?’ Winningham smiled. ‘No, Sheriff, I can’t say that either I, or my wife and daughter, have seen any nekkid fellers hootin’ and a hollerin’ about the woods, as of late. Sorry.’

Bastard! Carcsarker thought.

‘Okay, Mr Winningham, have a nice day then.’

‘Oh I sure will, Carcsarker,’ Winningham smiled.

The sheriff got back into his car and drove off down the street.

Well, that’s about all I’m good for, he thought, aware that a younger man than he as sheriff would surely garner more respect. At thirty, he was seriously considering a new line of work.

As the sheriff drove off, Blair Winningham came through the front door of the glorious double-storied Cape Cod-style mansion. ‘I’m, like, going out, Dad,’ she said.

‘Where are you going, Sweety?’ Winningham asked.

Blair came to an abrupt halt. She spun around, threw back her head and raised her hands. ‘Like, always the third degree with you, isn’t it . . .?’

‘I was just asking, Sweety, that’s all,’ Winningham whined. ‘Sheriff Carcsarker just drove off. He said that there have been a couple of disturbances in the Hollow Woods. There’ve been ki . . . er, young adults running about naked, and hootin’ and a hollerin’, as the sheriff so eloquently put it. Do you have any idea who these young adults might be, Sweety?’ Roger Winningham frowned. ‘I’ve a strong suspicion that alcohol may be involved.’

‘Oh . . . my . . . God!’ Blair exclaimed. ‘Now you think I’m, like, some stupid young adult who hangs around the woods drinking . . .?

‘No, Sweety.’ Roger Winningham shook his head. ‘I just wondered if you might have heard it from the guys at school, that’s all. Golly, I know you’re more responsible than that.

‘Man, even a, like, way cool school like Justin Bieber High, doesn’t have random psychos like that!’ Blair sighed then shook her head.

‘Sweety, I was only asking,’ Winningham whined again.

‘Don’t you dig anything? You used to be so smart when I was little,’ Blair shrugged. ‘Like, what the hell happened to you, man?’

‘There was just an off chance that you might have heard others talking. That’s all I meant. You know that I just want what’s right for you, Sweety.’

‘Like, man . . . Who are you, Adam Hitler? And am I, like, in Bosnia? Downtown Afghanistan, or, like, living with cannibals in Australia, or something . . .?’

At that, Blair strode off in the general direction of the Hollow Woods. Roger Winningham smiled after her and shook his head. Ah . . . young adults.

Chapter Five:

Return to the Hollow Woods


Blair began to walk quickly. Then that walk became a jog, then a run. She crashed through the trees, frowning because she wasn’t quite sure now, in the light, where Reed’s dark place had been. Nothing ever seemed quite as dark in the daylight!

And what was all this about disturbances in the Hollow Woods? Was Reed mixed up in it? And if he was, then why hadn’t he told her about it? Why hadn’t he invited her to the next party?

But he was such a hunk! God, the things he did with those fingers! He’d have to burn those gloves. He’d assured her that he had a generous supply of them, so that was all way cool. It was a pity about his wiener not working, though. God, it was like one of those Monty Python’s! But a guy wasn’t just a wiener alone. She knew this and was mature enough to accept the fact. He was a tongue, lips, a nose and . . . fingers too!

She was exhausted. Already she’d run five yards into the woods. She leaned against a tree to catch her breath. Then she looked down and put her fist to her mouth, to stifle her scream. Her five grand, suede, top-of-the-range Nikes, were covered in grass and burs! The woods were merciless! Nature was so crap! Why did Reed have to hang here? she wondered.

Blair decided that she wasn’t going to continue running around like a Laplander, or some other savage, dark-skinned native. It was okay for them; they carried blowguns, spears and .22’s. Instead, she cupped her hands beside her mouth and called.

Reed . . .! Re-e-e-e-d . . .!

‘Hello, babe. So cool you could, like, come.’

Blair jumped then turned towards the sound of his voice. Reed was leaning against a tree behind her, one leg bent at the knee, ankles crossed.

‘You, like, scared me,’ Blair said, adjusting her short halter top so that her flat belly and navel ring showed to their best advantage. Then she threw back her hair in that sexy way she adored. There was nothing she could do about the sneakers but hope that he wouldn’t notice.

‘I’m a Vampire, remember? I’m, like, supposed to be scary.’ He grinned and pushed himself away from the tree trunk. ‘Hey, those are way tight jeans, babe. I think I can, like, just make out the cleft of your vagina.’

‘Um . . . look up, look up! You like my top? It’s a great top, huh . . .?’ Blair prompted. As long as he didn’t notice the sneakers!

Reed placed his thumbs inside his belt. God, he was hot!

‘Wow, like, I can see so much cleavage there, babe,’ he nodded approvingly. Blair only hoped that he hadn’t spied her ruined sneakers. They’d have to be thrown out! Could you remove dried grass and burs from suede . . .?

Reed was upon her quickly and they embraced. Their mouths clenched, and for the duration of four, or perhaps even five minutes, they kissed passionately. Her hands kneaded his strong back; his hands caressed her sides then dropped to fondle her hips, then her stretch denim-sheathed buttocks.

Their mouths unclenched, allowing each other time to breathe. ‘Hey Reed,’ Blair said, ‘how come your teeth aren’t, like, pointy?

Reed smiled. By some means, the mechanics of which were unknown to Blair, his T shirt had disappeared. ‘They only grow at night, babe. And only when I’m angry or excited.’

‘Oh? Kind of like your dick should, you mean?’ Blair said, innocently.

Reed pushed himself away and Blair lost her balance and fell to the ground. Lifting herself up onto her elbows, Blair now sadly realised that there was no point in trying to hide her soiled sneakers. It would be an exercise in futility. Then Reed turned away.

‘Perhaps you should go home, babe,’ Reed said, his marvellous back turned to her. ‘This was wrong. I, like, so know that now.’

‘No,’ Blair protested, pushing herself to her feet. God knew what condition the seat of her jeans would be in now! ‘That’s not true. I need to, like, be with you, Reed. Need to be with you forever!

Reed turned and Blair sucked in her breath. The skin on his face was pulled tautly across his strong, chiselled features. His irises had changed colour and now they glowed a faint orange; his torso was lightly sheened with sweat.

‘You’re a rich chick, Blair. Look at you and then, like, take a look at me . . .!’

Blair did this. In her observation they were both glorious.

‘. . . I’m a kid from the wrong side of the tracks,’ Reed finished. Then he frowned and shook his head. ‘Hey, from the wrong side of life, too, now that I come to think of it.’

‘Oh, Reed,’ Blair pleaded, ‘I’m not that shadow. I don’t care if you’re dead. You’re just so . . . vibrant and so, like, full of life!’

Reed drew a deep breath and Blair marvelled as his heroic chest expanded. She positively pulsated.

‘I, like, so don’t care about any of those abovementioned things, Reed,’ Blair continued, moving towards him. ‘All I know is that I must, like, so have you . . .’

Reed looked down and angled his head a little to the left. He looked up at her, those slightly orange-glowing irises peering up at her under that magnificent brow.

Blair tentatively reached one hand out and ran one thumb across his chest. Reed, reflexes like those of a cobra striking, grabbed her hand, brought it to his lips and kissed it.

‘I know that you do, Blair. I know that you do,’ Reed breathed. ‘And I must, like, have you too.’

Blair frowned. ‘Then, like, what was all of that shit about you being from the wrong side of the tracks and me being a rich chick and us not being right for each other then?’

Reed smiled and gently eased her down onto the ground so that she lay beneath him. ‘I don’t know, Blair. It just, like, seemed the right thing to say at that particular moment.’

Blair looked up at Reed as he loomed over her, one muscular arm supporting him. His other strong, manly hand gently caressed her cheek; his firm, muscular thighs were placed either side of her perfect waist. The juices were flowing.

‘Oh, before I forget,’ Blair smiled. ‘The sheriff was at my house just before and he told my dad that there’d been reports of lots of noise and what my dad said was like, drunken behaviour, coming from over here in the Hollow Woods. He even said that there’d been like, sightings of nakey people! Do you, like, know anything about that stuff, Reed? It just so reeks of a drunken orgy.’

Reed frowned. ‘I don’t partake of alcohol, Blair,’ he explained.

‘Good for you,’ Blair smiled. ‘Then you don’t have any like, wild parties here that I should know about then?’

As he loomed overhead, Reed shook his head. ‘Uh ah, I don’t. But some of the others do. I’ve said to them: Hey, guys. Cool it a little, willya? But most of them, they, like, don’t listen to me. Coz, after all, what am I . . .? Just a lonely, teenage dead guy.’

Others . . .? Are they like, bums and old alkies?’ Blair frowned. ‘Yeww, how unsavoury . . .’

Reed pushed himself to his feet, his pecs straining. Blair frowned, following him with her eyes.

‘There are, like, more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of inside your beautiful, immaculate and, like, well maintained head, Blair,’ Reed sighed, his thumbs hitched in his belt. Blair pushed herself up and adopted a cross-legged position, after pulling her jeans up over her knees so that they wouldn’t stretch and bag.

Blair frowned. ‘Huh? What does that, like, mean, Reed?’

‘These woods,’ Reed explained, ‘are a veritable microcosm, containing all of the dark and, like, slimy places and creatures that most of the Living could hardly ever hope to, like, know of, or even to imagine, except in their most vilest of, like, dreams.’

‘Huh? Like, Reed, I am just so not following you,’ Blair said, shaking her head.

‘Oh, come on, Blair!’ Reed suddenly shouted, raising his hands to the sky. ‘Do you really think that I am, like, the only spook in these woods?’

Spook . . .?

‘Yes, Blair, there are, like, other unworldly creatures who lurk here in the Hollow Woods, other than, like, just me. Yes, there are other Vampires too. For instance, there’s Cecil, the Vampire who, like, turned me into one of the legion of Undead . . .’

Cecil?’ Blair screwed up her face. ‘You mean you were, like, bitten and drained by a guy? Not by some sexy chick with long black hair, wearing a gorgeous figure-hugging chiffon gown with a plunging neckline and, like, huge boobs nearly bursting out of it?’

‘No, Blair,’ Reed said. ‘Cecil was an older, like, mature aged, man.’

Yeww . . . That is, like, so-o-o gay, Reed . . .’

Reed shrugged. ‘He was famished. Like, what else could he do? But there are other, much . . . darker, like, creatures in these woods as well, Blair. They’re creatures that just so don’t even bear thinking about.’

Zombies? I’ve like, seen movies about Zombies! Eech . . .

‘Uh . . . yeah, that’s it . . . Zombies. How did you know?’

Reed nodded and, walking over to Blair, reached down and lifted her to her feet. She stood there and frowned as she reached behind and noted that fallen leaves and grass had adhered to the backside of her jeans. She brushed them away as best she could with one quick sweeping motion of her hand.

Then she suddenly gasped and looked up at the sun, which had moved overhead, free of cloud cover, to beat down on them. ‘Oh, man!’ she screamed. ‘Reed, run! You, like, have to take cover . . . it’s the sun!

Reed lifted his head and squinted up at it. Christ, even squinting, he was an Adidas; a Greek god!

‘So what?’ he asked and nodded his head insolently.

So what? What do you mean . . . so what?’ Blair frowned. ‘I just remembered that Vampires can’t come out during the daytime. They, like, melt down into, like . . . bones, then dust and this breeze springs up and blows that dust away. That’s so what . . .!

‘Oh, babe,’ he said, ‘that’s only what you see in the movies. That’s, like, so Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Herman Jones . . . They’re so full of shit. As long as I don’t go and try and catch a tan on the beach or on an airbed in your swimming pool, I’ll, like, be just fine.’

‘Oh? Those movies so lied to me! And hey, how’d you, like, know that I had a swimming pool?

‘It was an educated guess, babe,’ Reed smiled and lifted his arm to caress her hair. ‘You rich dudes always have a swimming pool.’

‘Uh-huh. It’s, like, in ground and Olympic sized and huge,’ Blair smiled. ‘We got five airbeds.’

‘Yeah, well anyhow, babe,’ Reed smiled, then placed one hand behind his back, and produced it again wearing a glove. ‘Let’s have us some—’

ARRR-O-O-O-O-O-O . . .!

Blair jumped and her hand flew up to her mouth. ‘What was that, Reed? It was, like, so-o-o scary!

‘It was a dog. Yeah, babe, that’s what it was; a howlin’ dog. People just let them, like, roam free around here in the woods and they like, become feral. Yeah, that’s, like, what they do . . . Become wild dogs.’

Just then, something crashed through the bushes behind them and sprang out into the clearing. Blair pushed herself against Reed and Reed placed his arms protectively around her shoulders.

Blair peered around and suddenly the wild dog that had been crouched there, teeth bared and growling, just moments before, morphed into a guy who, like Reed, sported a magnificent physique. He pushed himself up from all fours and proved to be quite naked. Placing his hands on his hips, he smiled, showing perfect white teeth.

‘Reed, you greedy fellow, you have not introduced me to this sweet young lady . . .’

It was then that Blair’s jaw fell open and she drooled.

‘Hello there,’ the Werewolf smiled, addressing Blair, ‘My name is Phillip.’

Chapter Six:

Phillip


‘Rack off, Phillip,’ Reed snarled. ‘And, hey man, for Christ’s sake, at least put some, like, shorts on!’

Phillip looked down at himself. ‘Yes, that is the disadvantage of shape-changing. Ordinarily, I would have stayed in my lupine form and avoided this happening,’ Phillip smiled.

‘But that, more likely than not, would have involved me tearing you both to pieces. You see,’ he said, addressing Blair, ‘one finds it hard to remain civilised in that form.

‘And, of course,’ he said to Reed, ‘it would certainly not be the gentlemanly thing for me to do, after having just met this delightful young lady . . .’

Now Reed’s arms, rather than just being wrapped around Blair protectively, were all that was keeping her on her feet, as her legs had turned to rubber. The Werewolf, Phillip, smiled and sauntered over to a nearby tree. Blair tracked his movement. His rippling muscles and the flexing of his tight backside caused a quivering in the pit of her stomach.

‘Ever thought of stretch clothing? Reed called.

Phillip shook his head, tore a portion of a densely leaved branch from the tree, and turned, holding it in front of him. He walked back towards them, smiling.

‘Allow me to introduce myself, my dear,’ he said to Blair. ‘The name is Phillip Corduroy III.’

‘Like . . . wow!’ Blair gawped. Reed turned her head to face him and pinned her face tightly against his chest.

‘Get lost, Wolfey,’ Reed threatened. ‘We don’t want any fleas. Me and Blair want—’

‘Ah . . . Blair, is it? What a delightful name!’ Phillip interrupted.

‘Like I was saying, Dog Boy, me and Blair want to be alone. Can you, like, dig that, man, or do I have to have you neutered . . .?’

‘Ah, yes, I understand it all too well. And I must certainly not be in your way. And in this state of undress too . . .’

Pressed against Reed’s chest, Blair struggled and tried to speak. ‘Mmph-mmph, Mphm. Mmwah-mmphh . . .’

‘Then you’d, like, better get lost, huh, Fido?’ Reed smiled.

Phillip grinned back. ‘It is always a delight to come across you, Reed. This time, it seems, you have me at a disadvantage. I had no idea that young Blair here was about.’

‘You wanted to talk to me about something?’ Reed asked, Blair struggling like a wildcat against his chest now.

‘No, actually I wanted to slice your face off and perhaps feed it to our dear Abbey. She has this liking of you. But, that can wait . . . for now.’

‘Then hit the trail, Fido,’ Reed sneered.

Phillip smiled and bowed his head slightly. ‘Adios, my tragically anaemic friend.’

Then Phillip sauntered over to a tree, cocked his leg, peed, then he ran off into the woods. Reed let Blair free. She pushed herself away from him and frantically looked around. Her normally perfectly maintained hair was a mess.

‘Where did he, like, go . . .?’

‘Back to his kennel,’ Reed smiled and walked towards her. He grabbed her arm. She tore it free and backed up a couple of steps.

‘Why did you, like, do that to me, Reed? I’m, like, not a child, you know?’

‘He’s bad news, babe. All of those Werewolves are. You think that you know them. Then’—he clicked his fingers—’they change on you.’

Blair was thoughtful. ‘I so believed that they only turned during a full moon . . .’

‘That’s those movies again,’ Reed scoffed. ‘Hairy guys like Lon Chaney Jr. and Benicio Del Torro . . .’

‘Well,’ Blair said, ‘this whole thing has, like . . . thrown me, you know, Reed?’

‘Yes. I know Reed. He’s, like, a top guy,’ Reed quipped.

Blair shook her head. Oh, I don’t know what to think anymore. It’s, like, so unsettling to see a Werewolf that way. Just a day ago I only knew human guys . . .’

‘Well . . .?’ Reed stepped in front of her, and smiling, waved his gloved hand around like one of those old Black and White Minstrels. ‘Shall we . . .?’

Blair smiled, trying not to laugh.

‘You’re not gonna let that stinky old mutt upset our plans, are you, Blair?’ Reed asked, angling his face so that his sculptured features showed to their best advantage.

Blair really was unsettled and confused. That wolf guy, Phillip, was a hunk. But so was Reed! In her mind, she retained a mental picture of Phillip in all of his glory. This, for reasons that weren’t fully clear to her, put her in mind of when she was only a kid. Her pet dog, “Woofy” had gotten all excited and had gotten himself a huge boner.

Being a kid, she’d panicked and had run inside to tell her parents. Woofy definitely needed to be taken to the vet’s, she’d decided; either a part of his insides was poking out, or he’d somehow gotten a frankfurter stuck between his legs!

Her mother had smiled and had then assured her that later Woofy’d be okay. And he was.

Now, almost seven years later, Blair still had the image of Woofy’s boner in her mind. Actually, it had been quite huge!

She thought of Phillip and wondered. Again, that odd comparison . . . Why?

She turned to Reed, who was now looking down and somewhat dejected. ‘Okay, Reed,’ she said. ‘How about we, like, get this show on the road then . . .?’

Reed looked up and smiled that insolent smile she had grown to love. Though she had known him less than twenty-four hours, she could now never imagine life without him.

He placed his arm around her and they headed for the bushes. Blair turned around once and surveyed the immediate area, then sighed.

Chapter Seven:

Brooke


Blair sat at the lunch bench with her new best friend this year, Brooke Smythe. Blair held a bottle of Evian water in one hand and sipped from it. In the other she nibbled, bird-like, on a rye cracker spread lightly with cream cheese—her lunch. Brooke munched on a stick of celery, occasionally sipping from a bottle of Evian also.

‘Oh – come – on!’ Brooke urged, turning. ‘Like, tell me. It’s a new guy, isn’t it . . .?’

‘Well . . .’ Blair smiled. Her cracker finished, she was now filing her fingernails. Outwardly she appeared calm, but inwardly excitement welled in her, now almost at bursting point. She looked at Brooke, sighed then jumped to her feet, shaking her fists up and down by her sides and beaming. ‘Yes, it so is! she squealed.

Yes! I, like, so knew it, Blair. I’ve been like, looking at that smile on your face all morning. It is, like, so obvious! And those shoes—I knew that they were new!’

‘Yes, they, like, so are, Brooke,’ Blair enthused.

‘Well?’ Brooke smiled, pushing herself up and down on the bench, hands waving about.

‘Well what?’ Blair asked, sitting back down, a wry smile on her face.

‘Huh? Well what? What’s his namethat’s what? How old is he? Is he loaded? That’s, like, also what! And, like, how well hung is he . . .?’

Blair closed her eyes. ‘So-o-o-o-o well hung,’ she smiled.

Brooke squealed. ‘What kind of car does he drive? Where does he, like, live?

Blair frowned. ‘Brooke, don’t you think that’s, like, a bit . . . artificial of you?’

Brooke screwed up her face. ‘Huh?’

‘Like, I mean, it doesn’t matter where he lives, and it so doesn’t matter if he drives a car.’

Brooke’s face lit up. ‘He’s got a showfur?

Blair shook her head. ‘No. Look, Brooke, it’s like this: He’s just so not your normal type of guy. He doesn’t, like, have a house and he doesn’t drive a car.

‘He’s like, a . . . communist, or something?’

‘No, Brooke. But I think he has a bike though . . .’

‘He drives a Chipper? He’s an outlaw biker?’ That is so-o-o way cool, Blair!’ Brooke enthused.

Blair sighed. ‘No, not exactly . . .’

‘Then, what exactly?’ Brooke frowned.

‘Well, he’s . . . different than any kinda guy you’ve met before, Brooke.’ Blair answered. He’s just so not like any other guy we, like, know in the neighbourhood. He told me what he was. He told me that he’s . . . Nosferatu.

Brooke jumped up and squealed, clapping her hands together. ‘He’s Italian? How, like, Continental. Is he, like, some rich Italian account’s son . . .?’

‘No, Brooke. He’s a Vampire.

‘Oh,’ Brooke said, frowning again. ‘Um, like, yeah . . . that’s different.’

Just then, Brad Smillington, passed by with Marilyn Filbert—that slut—on his arm. Brad smiled and Marilyn smiled too. ‘Hi, Blair . . . Brooke,’ she said.

Blair and Brooke turned their heads, totally ignoring her. Brad stopped walking. Marilyn Filbert, offended and a little embarrassed, came to an abrupt halt with him. She tried to urge him on, but Brad pulled her back. They approached the lunch bench.

‘What is it? You two, like, have a hearing apartment, or something?’ Brad said.

Blair looked at Brooke. ‘Brooke, did you, like, just fart, or something?’

Brooke giggled, her hand covering her mouth. ‘You said fart . . .

‘Let’s go, Brad,’ Marilyn urged. ‘It’s okay.’

‘No, Carolyn, it is so not okay,’ Brad retorted.

‘You mean, Marilyn, Brad. Not Carolyn,’ Marilyn said.

‘Yeah,’ Brad nodded, not shifting his stern, jock’s gaze from the two girls on the bench. ‘That’s what I said, hon—Marilyn. And there’s, like, no way that these two douches are gonna treat you that way.’

‘Oh, so come on, Brad,’ Blair said, still not looking his way, ‘It’s the way that I’m treating you, not the slut, that so pisses you. And you, like, know it.’

‘Oh, yeah, is that right?’ Brad returned. ‘Well, Little Miss Poopy Pants, I got a message for you and the message reads: I am, like, offended by the way you’re treating her.’

‘Who?’ Blair said, turning to Brooke. ‘Brooke?’

‘No,’ Brad shook his head, slowly.

‘Then who? Miss Brill, the Math teacher . . .?’

‘Ha-ha,’ Brad sneered.

‘Then who . . . the slut?’

‘Yeah, smarty, the slut! Like, who else?’ Brad exploded. Marilyn Filbert tore free from Brad’s arm and ran off across the lawn, sobbing.

‘No, babe, wait . . .!’ Brad pleaded after Marilyn. She disappeared behind a building.

Brad seethed then turned to Blair. ‘Now look what you’ve done, you total bitch!

He adopted his James Dean imitation (the one that used to get Blair so-o-o hot) and pointed at Blair. ‘I’m so gonna get you for this, Blair.’ Then he rushed off after the sobbing girl.

‘Like, that was so-o-o intense, Blair,’ Brooke said.

‘Yeah, it, like, so was, wasn’t it?’ Blair admitted. Then the bell rang for the end of lunch.

The two friends picked up their lunch wrappers and threw them onto the lawn. ‘Like, we must so totally continue our talk about your way unusual new boyfriend after school, Blair,’ Brooke said as they walked towards their respective classes.

‘Yeah, I guess it is pretty interesting,’ Blair admitted.

‘Interesting? Like, it’s just so way out there, Blair. Do you think when you, like, get married and have babies they’ll be, like, half Vampire and half normal . . .?’

‘Brooke!’ Blair frowned. ‘I’m so not into the whole marriage thing yet. We’re still too young.’

Brooke nodded. ‘Oh yeah . . .’

The two continued across the lawn.

‘Blair . . .?’

‘Yes, Brooke.’

‘Does he, like, have a friend? I mean maybe we can, like, double date, or something.’

‘I’ll ask,’ Blair said.

‘Blair, what’s his name?

Blair smiled and breathed the name. ‘Reed.’

‘Like . . . wow, Brooke sighed.

Chapter Eight:

The Hollow Woods—again


Ten-year-old Billy Schmuckhauser tossed his Frisbee through the air. It hit a high branch which sent it off course. It went hurtling downwards and disappeared into the thick dark shrubbery.

‘Shit!’ Billy cursed and ran after it in hopes of retrieving it. He looked around, lifting low lying branches and searching through bushes, but couldn’t find it anywhere. He sighed and pulled something wrapped in tissue paper from his pocket. This he unwrapped and then threw the tissue paper away. It was a battered cigarette; one of the three he’d pilfered from his father’s packet and it was his last.

Damn it!’ he said.

He often came to play in the Hollow Woods and to have a quiet smoke.

Billy thought again of his Frisbee. Where the hell could the pus-filled shithole of a thing be? he wondered. He straightened and smoothed out the cigarette, placed it in his mouth, then pulled his Zippo from his other shirt pocket and lit the end. He took a deep drag, exhaled, placed his lighter back into his pocket then sat back against the trunk of an elderly oak.

After throwing back his head and blowing a series of perfect smoke rings, he heard a sound come from behind. Something was moving around back there in the bushes!

It had better not be some douche bag kid grabbing my fucking Frisbee! He fumed and got to his feet.

‘Hey, you!’ he said. The rattling of the bushes ceased. Billy gingerly crept towards the place where he’d heard the sound. Who the fuck’s there?

With the cigarette perched on his bottom lip, little Billy bravely entered the darkened area of shrubbery where he’d heard the rattling.

‘Hey, you useless piece of shit!’ he screamed. ‘That fuckin’ Frisbee’s mine! Hear me, you son of a syphilitic whore . . .?

Then the Frisbee, which was somewhat the worse for wear, hit him on the crown and then plopped onto the forest floor. Billy frowned, looked up and his mouth opened wide, the smoking cigarette falling from it and dropping onto the ground. Then his attacker burst through the trees in a spray of leaves and onto him. It dragged him, kicking and screaming, into the bushes.

Chapter Nine:

Deputy Rip Curtis


Sheriff Carcsarker sat at the kitchen table. His wife, Mimi, hovered around him, delivering toast then coffee, while he read the sports section of the newspaper. He finished eating his toast, folded the paper then took a sip of his coffee.

‘You know, Mimi, I’m thinking of packing this job in. I just can’t get any satisfaction out of it any more . . .’

‘Why, Sam,’ Mimi said, ‘Your father and his father’s father, were law officers. It’s a tradition in the family that the men always become law officers. I thought that you wanted so badly to uphold the Carcsarker tradition . . .’

‘Oh, I know all of that, Mimi. Don’t you think that I’ve thought this thing over and over in my mind? It won’t be easy not wearing the uniform. But, damn it, I have no authority in this town any more and you know it. They laugh at me. I’ve tried so hard to be like Dad, and to do his memory proud by being both a good law officer and a good Carcsarker. But I’m afraid it’s not working out too well . . .’

Mimi placed her hands on her hips and gave him a reproachful look. ‘You are a good law officer, Sam, and a damned fine Carcsarker, to boot! You must stop feeling so sorry for yourself. If you let them run roughshod all over you, then that’s like giving up and . . .’

Giving up is admitting defeat,’ they both said in unison. Sam smiled.

‘Come here, Mimi,’ he said, opening his arms. Mimi came to him and he knocked his cup of coffee all over the table and onto his uniform pants, burning his legs.

Jesus!

Just then, as Mimi ran for a tea towel, there was a knocking and Sam looked across at the back screen door and saw that young Deputy Rip Curtis stood outside peering in, his hands on his hips and a toothy grin on his face.

‘You, like, spilled your coffee, Sheriff,’ Rip Curtis said as Sam patted his sodden thigh with the tea towel.

‘Yes, I did, Rip,’ Sam said. ‘The door’s open. What brings you here, and so early?

Rip Curtis swaggered into the room, letting the screen door slam shut behind him. As Mimi Carcsarker bent for a cleaning cloth under the kitchen sink, he looked her up and down appreciatively. Damned if she didn’t have a fine figure for a mature aged woman!

Rip pulled out a chair from the other side of the table and dragged its legs across the polished floorboards creating a sound that caused Sam to wince. Sitting down, he nodded his head insolently.

‘There’s, like, been a report of a kid missing. The last his parents seen of him he was, like, headed towards the Hollow Woods.’

‘When was this, Rip?’ Sheriff Carcsarker asked, as, after handing Sam a tea towel, Mimi leant forward over the kitchen table to mop up the mess with a damp cloth. Rips eyes stayed at level of her chest. She then walked back to the sink.

Rip leaned the chair back and looked over his right shoulder. ‘Think I can have a cup of coffee, Mrs Carcsarker . . .?’

‘Sure, Rip,’ Mimi turned and smiled.

‘Lots of cream, lots of sugar,’ he said, because he heard Mr. Wolf in Pulp Fiction say that. Then he faced the sheriff again, and, letting the chair fall forward, folded his arms on the table in front of him and rested his chin on them, peering up at Sam and still grinning.

The sheriff placed the neatly folded, coffee stained tea towel on the table. ‘When was it, Rip?’ he repeated.

Rip smiled and slowly nodded his head, then said, ‘How’s that, Sheriff?’

‘When was the boy last seen?’

‘This was, like, yesterday afternoon. Just before suppertime. The little shit never came home for supper. The mother claims that he eats like he’s been livin’ in one of those dump countries where they don’t, like, have no TV and food and throws it down like he’s been hanging there for a month. When the little garbage disposal didn’t show, she got worried. Like, you know . . .’ Rip then affected a silly, high-pitched voice: ‘Boo-hoo, where’s my little eatin’ machine?’

Sheriff Carcsarker frowned. ‘And you say he was heading in the direction of the Hollow Woods?’


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