Let the fun continue.! This is the 81st installment of a continuing fictional story. Before each new segment, the last paragraph from the prior edition will be shown in quotations.,
“Now he too was broken and void of hope. He had aged years it seemed in what had been only months. This all had to end soon. Next to my father, Elden Letters was the greatest man I knew. And now, like Porter, he was being taken away..”
By C.L. Harmon
But he was being taken in a much different way. The worst way I think. It’s death in slow motion I guess is how I would describe it. To watch a man lose his hope, his patience even his mind is a tragedy that no man should witness. And a death no other man should have to endure. I knew I was going to have to do something to end this before it was too late for Elden.
It had nine been months since Porter’s death and Elden looked as though he had aged at least a year for each of those months. Not that he didn’t have a reason too. Within those nine months he had seen more evil than all the evil combined in his career. There had been death, vandalism, unexplained phenomena, weird dreams and even a plot to kill Polk. Elden had been thrust into a world that was far beyond what any small time country sheriff ever thought could be a reality.
Little did either of us know as I was leaving that morning that things were about to get worse. Just a few short hours later an explosion would rock what little foundation that was left keeping our community from falling into a pile of rubble and dust. The hardware store splintered into chaos at around lunch that day. Glass, shards of lumber, nails and tools were thrown hundreds of feet into the streets and atop the roofs of the the nearby businesses. Roy Dunlop, the owner and his employee Paul Hill were having lunch down the street and so no one was in the store at the time of the explosion. Jake Snider was behind the building though loading up lumber for his boss. It had already been paid for and was stacked in the back for Snider to pick up. Fortunately, he had just walked to the cab of his truck to grab a drink of iced tea when the explosion occurred. He walked away with several cuts and a beat up truck, but was otherwise still healthy.
I would not get to witness the damage myself until after school, but I knew it was no accident. Upon my arrival, I couldn’t get close to the building or Elden. There were several men in suits there, along with all of Elden’s deputies and a couple of firemen. The area was roped off with a yellow string and the deputies were not allowing anyone to get close. When I finally caught Elden’s attention, he acted as though he did not see me. I knew he had though. Something big had happened here. And it was no accident!
I went on home and started doing homework. I heard my dad come in from work sometime later. I didn’t go all the way down stairs, but just far enough to hear him talking to my mother. It seemed the rumors had already begun to fly about the explosion. He told my mom that the word in town was that there had been a bomb planted. She responded in her innocent and naive manner, questioning how anyone could do such a thing and what was the world coming to.
In that moment, I realized too Elden wasn’t the only one who had been drastically affected by what had been happening. Not even for a second had I thought as my mother did. I was not surprised or shocked at what had happened. In fact I even expected it…or something like. I had become intimate with evil and my comfort around it frightened me more than the dark evil itself.