I had been working on a novel on my lap top, for about six months, but with the move, the distraction, of being uprooted from New York, and Jeffrey, being Jeffrey, my writing was on the back burner. I decided to see if I could find some sort of work in the town, just to pass the time. At least until I could get back into the rhythm, of writing. I didn’t believe in writer’s block, so, I couldn’t admit, I’d caught it! Writing usually took up a lot of my time. I couldn’t go any further until I had researched some data.
Gina had mentioned to me, that most of the time, she went to Shawano, to do her major shopping. She said Shawano, wasn’t a thriving metropolis either, but at least, there were a few more stores to choose from.
Clintonville, compared to, New York, seemed like a flea on a hound dog. It consisted of a library, a video store, a deli, 3 gas stations, a McDonalds and a few other fast food emporiums. There was a huge antique barn, several bars, a small grocery store and Gina’s Five and Dime.
I was tired of cleaning and unpacking, so, I got into my red convertible and headed for Clintonville. I loved my Beamer; Jeffrey bought it for me, brand new, on my birthday, last year.
Jeffrey always spoils me, I thought.
“Gina was absolutely, spot on,” I said to myself. “Clintonville, is no New York.”
There was a small ‘HELP WANTED’ sign leaning against the window at Gina and George’s, Five and Dime. I drove approximately, 5 minutes and on the Library window, was a sign, that read, ‘LIBRARIAN WANTED.’ I decided to venture in.
The Library was a quaint, little, one room, book house. It was run down and looked like it had not been redecorated or dusted since the turn of the century. Grey and dingy, seemed to be its decorating scheme. There were books strewn everywhere. It was going to take a long time, to research anything, here,” I thought.
I decided to put my resume in at the library, since I was at a standstill on the literary end of my novel. I drove home with hopes of starting a new job. I needed something to keep my mind off the culture shock.
I received a call from the Clintonville Library, the next day. Mrs. Fitzberg, the Librarian, wanted me to come down for an interview. She said, “she was glad to finally find someone,” so she hired me, over the phone.
The next day, I got in my car and drove to Clintonville, to start the first day, at my new job.
The first thing to do, I thought, to myself, would be to clean this God Forsaken, mess. Where, do I start?
I decided, the stacked-up mess in the corner, where old newspapers and magazines, were piled, this way and that, for what looked to be many years, was worth my time.
“What a dusty mess,” I mumbled, between sneezing.
While moving newspapers around, I happened to glance at one of the headlines from 1995, which read, ‘TWO MORE CHILDREN MISSING IN CLINTONVILLE.’
The article, read, that two children had disappeared in the same day. Sheriff, John Granger, would be investigating the disappearances.
Sheriff Granger, said, “there were no clues, to speak of, and it was too early in the investigation to put two and two together, but Avery Shields and Delores Jenson, would have his utmost attention.
I couldn’t contain my curiosity, after that bit of news, so, after short deliberation, I started to scan all the newspapers.
Every year, since 1994, one or two children, have come up missing, per year.
“Hmm, one or two children per year, appeared extreme,” I mumbled. Now, I have even more research to do,” I contemplated.
I need to check statistics on missing children, in similar size towns, as Clintonville and surrounding areas.
The next day, I asked, Gina, over for more libation, so I could finagle more gossip out of her, obviously, about the missing children. We talked for two hours and I felt like I was stumbling over my own two feet. The story just kept going round and round, with no clues or help. Gina, seemed to disregard every question, I asked, about the missing children. I thought that was odd.
“I was thinking, Susan,” said Gina, we ought to throw a party, so you can meet all the neighbors, around the lake.”
“That’s a grand, idea, Gina,” I retorted.
“Could we talk about it, on the phone, I have a bad headache, and I’m not feeling well. I think I should go home and lie down,” said Gina.
“Are you okay,” I asked. “You look a little pale.”
“I’ll be all right, I just need some rest,” she mumbled.
“Take care of you,” I told her. “I’ll call you later.”
I was shoving the chicken, I’d marinated, into the oven, when the phone rang.
“What’s going on Jeffrey,” I asked.
“I have some important papers, that need signing, and I have to wait until the client arrives, so I’ll be a couple hours late getting home,” he replied.
“Okay, sweetheart, I’ll see you when you get here,” I said, disheartened, and I hung up the phone.
I set the timer, on the oven, and walked down to the dock to check out my new surroundings, on a peaceful level. I spent most of my time these days, dusting, cleaning and unpacking.
Looking down at the dock, from the small hill, where the house stood, I realized, I hadn’t paid enough attention to how steep the land was.
“Yikes” I whimpered, stumbling, on a rock. “I need to talk with Jeffrey about building some sort of steps, down to the pier.”
I continued, gimping down, the hill and stepped onto the dock. The feel of the lake reminded me of Lock Ness; dark and eerie. There were several houses, around the lake and most of them had piers. It's weird, how much I missed the last time, I’d hiked down, I thought. I watched through the glaring sun, as a Loon, dipped in and out of the water and sang an afternoon melody. The Loon sounded like a screaming baby. I giggled, to myself, and thought, perhaps Gina was right, that my imagination was running wild and the noise I’d heard, last Monday, was just, that, a loon!
Standing on the dock brought back memories, of my childhood. I lived on a resort, known as Deer Path Camp. When I was five years old, my Mom and Dad divorced. I was six years old, when my dad, grandfather and grandmother, and six sisters and brothers, drove from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin, to purchase a resort. My father hired a woman, named Mary, who had three children, from a former marriage, to help us clean twelve cabins, bar tend, babysit and wait tables, in the restaurant.
Mary and my dad, spent so much time together, that inevitably they fell in love, which added another sister to the mix, named Kim. The resort had two landings, Big Lake and Palmer Lake and one swimming lake, located in the middle of the resort, known as Dalzell. The first time we drove thru the resort, there was a family of deer standing, in the way of our vehicle. We watched quietly, while the mama deer, crossed the road with her babies, hence the name, Deer Path Camp. That was the first time, I’d ever seen a real live deer, up close. I remember thinking, how peaceful and beautiful they were.