C.L. Harmon

Let the fun continue.! This is the 66th installment of a continuing fictional story. Before each new segment, the last paragraph from the prior edition will be shown in quotations. “Then the words YESTERDAY WILL SPEAK AND VOICES FROM INSIDE WILL SEEK ESCAPE FROM THEIR HAUNTING TRUTH stirred in my soul. I remembered where I had seen it. The problem was that I had seen it in a dream…or at least what I thought was just a dream. ”

By C.L. Harmon

I wanted desperately to just storm in there and tell him to let it all go…let everything go. Porter was dead and there was no bringing him back! But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t take that first step. I thought about all those events in history where people could have acted differently, chosen different, made different decisions. But none of them had. Those people who, like Polk now, stood at the precipice of disaster and destruction and walked, even ran off the edge. I didn’t know it then., not that Polk was going to kill Talbot. But I knew he was harboring a desperation that was consuming him. I knew he was the match. I knew that the rest of us were gasoline. Mostly though, I knew Weathers was the wind that was going to sweep the flames over us until there was nothing left but ashes. Even if I had mustered the courage to go in there and face Polk, it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference. That book was all the proof I needed to know that the events set into motion the night Porter died were going to unfold until the last page was turned. I turned around in that darkness that enveloped me and walked back down the road. I felt defeated. With Sam gone and Letters battling the demons stealing the innocence of his community, it all seemed so hopeless. The only good thought I could find was the gentle kiss Sam had given me before walking away. It wouldn’t last long though. As I walked toward home, I heard a rumbling sound in the distance. Thunder had begun to roll and I could see flashes in the sky off to the southeast. It didn’t feel like rain was coming though. It felt ominous, foreboding and sent a chill up my spine. I quickened my pace only to come to a sudden stop after that rumbling became a explosive ground-shaking lightning strike. It struck in the field to my left where there were a few rusting oil tanks and pumping equipment strewn about. The strike had ignited a few blades of the oil soaked grass on fire and I stumbled over to stomp out the flames. However, the flames shed just enough light for me to see a figure outlined on the ground in front of the largest tank still remaining upright. I couldn’t make out the object, but I felt that whatever it was, did not belong there. I retrieved the matches from my pocket, picked up a piece of pipe and slowly moved toward the silhouette. Upon reaching it, I prodded it with the pipe but received no reaction. I prodded again, only harder this time. Still there was no reaction. I dropped the pipe and knelt down over the object. I struck a match and then immediately dropped it in horror. It was Dobson! Dead! He was as lifeless as Porter had been when I found him hanging from that tree all those months before. He was almost unrecognizable and looked as though he had been beaten severely. I panicked and began to run back toward Polk’s house as it was the closest place with a phone. However, seconds later I realized what I was doing and stopped running. I was breathing so hard I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. I bent over and attempted to pull my self together. After a couple of minutes, I began jogging toward town. I quickly moved up to a full sprint and ran straight to the sheriff’s office. Letters was not there and I asked to use the phone while catching my breath.