by: Dennis R. Humphreys (the Dream Writer)
“Hi Mrs. Corbin!” the young girl called out as she came through the screen door allowing it to slam shut, loudly.
“Hi Tink. Wade's upstairs yet, brushing his teeth,” Mrs. Corbin informed her as she went about cleaning the kitchen.
“Can I ask you something Mrs. Corbin?” the eleven year old girl questioned her.
“Well I guess it depends on what it is. Go ahead,” the woman around thirty told her.
“Does Wade ever say anything about me? I mean we're friends and all but... but...” she stumbled with her words asking.
“He doesn't really say much to me but I know he likes you. He talks about you quite a bit,” she told her smiling.
That was enough to make the girl smile.
“I'll sit on the porch then.” she told Wade's mother.
About a minute later, her son came into the kitchen carrying his metal detector.
“Are you two looking for gold again?” she asked. “Where's Ty... is he going with you guys?”
“Yeah, he and Tink should be here any minute,” he told her.
“Tink is already here, outside. Hey, come here,” she asked her son. He came over to see what she wanted then, “you know I think Tink is developing quite a crush on you. Watch how you act with your girlfriend there.”
“Mom! She's just a friend,” he announced as he headed for the door perturbed.
“Be careful out there and watch where you crawl around the rocks. I don't want any snake bit kids to rush to the hospital,” she warned.
Wade took a seat on the back porch with Tink. They had known each other since they first started school. She, Ty and him were inseparable and did everything together. They preferred being together and running around outside, rather than staying indoors watching television or playing electronic games. It just wasn't as interesting. They all shared a love for rock collecting and since Wade's father gave him a metal detector for his birthday last year, the three of them were constantly prospecting for gold.
The had found a little which was split between them and put into their college fund. The area had a few gold strikes over the last one hundred years, so it was around but like most gold searches, you spent ninety percent of your time just looking for it.
Finally, they saw Ty wandering down the dusty road to the Corbin farm house. Wade's parents had bought the farm to get out of the city when he was first born with some inheritance money his mother had gotten. They felt it was a better place to grow up. It wasn't an active farm but his parents grew enough food his mother canned for the winter, so they'd had good food and they had plenty of it.
“Hey guys,” Ty greeted his two friends as he approached the porch.
“Hi Ty,” responded Tink.
“You're late,” informed Wade, who was obsessive about being on time. You'd always hear about it whether you were a minute or ten minutes, he expected to go on their journeys at whatever arranged time they planned.
Wade led the way. It had been two days since they were out but they had planned on going to a hilly area nearby that had a lot of basalt rocks jutting out of the tops of them. Walking, it was about twenty minutes away.
The whole way, they talked about what they would do with all the money when they struck gold. Ty busied himself along the way throwing stones at the ground squirrels that nervously scurried around them as they proceeded. It was dry and dusty out, not having any rain for about three weeks. It was hot too but it was a dry heat and it was bearable. The three carried old army canteens that Ty's dad had gotten as military surplus. They came in handy when they went out like this and carried just enough water for the day.
The three finally reached the area they planned on prospecting. There were large, dark brown boulders all over, piled with others jutting out of the hillsides. Some were probably thirty feet tall. Wade got excited because they found lots of Indian arrowheads around the area. Many of them, the tips were gone, indicating they had been used. If an arrow missed its mark and hit the ground it was typically broken, so often times they were used only once. Having as many broken arrowheads in the are indicated some kind of altercation or battle here. The three wondered what had transpired.
As they looked around, exploring the ground, and Wade turned on his detector, the three were distracted by a low rumble in the distance. It became louder and more perceptible as it got closer. Then the earth shook. They were experiencing an earthquake. It was a strange sensation. It wasn't unusual to have them in the area but they weren't normally this pronounced. Ty always freaked out with even the smallest of tremors which elicited joking from Wade and Tink, but this was larger than normal and Ty's friends were a little frightened.
As they stood there experiencing the jolt some of the rook just below the crest of the hill broke loses and rolled across the earth attracting their attention. As they looked, it appeared some rocks had dislodged themselves from a large opening that had been covered. When the shaking subsided Wade led his two friends over to it and looked at the opening the quake created.
“This is an old cave!” Wade remarked.
“Was it just made with the quake?” Tink asked her friend.
“I don't think so. It looks like it was here and someone plugged it up. The opening was sealed up with rocks, dirt and old limbs. These rocks even have some writing on them,” Wade observed. “It looks like some of those old petroglyphs I've seen online.”
“So Indians sealed it off?” Ty asked Wade.
“I guess so. At least that's what it looks like,” Wade told him.
“Maybe that's why there are so many broken arrowheads around,” Tink decided.
Wade steeped towards the cave opening and Tink immediately stepped in behind him.
“I'm not going in there,” Ty told them both,” the place is probably filled with rattlesnakes.”
“I have a couple of cherry bombs in my knapsack. I can always set one off that'll scare them out of there,” Wade informed him.
“Or just piss them off,” Ty answered.
“Don't be such a wuss. I'm going in there,” Tink chided him.
The comment got the better of Ty who wouldn't let Tink get ahead of him, so he reluctantly followed. Wade had a few short candles and a LED flashlight in his back pack he carried with him all the time. He kept matches too and a knife and several other things including zip lock bags for their adventures. His two friends had backpacks too and they carried a few of the same things plus other items they felt could be used in a pinch.
Wade turned on the light and illuminated the tunnel deep inside. It was a large opening, maybe twelve feet high and five feet wide. They had found smaller caves out in the area before but had been warned by their parents never to enter them. This was a special case though. It was the largest one they had ever scene it represented a curiosity under the circumstances.
“Wade, it is kind of scary in here,” Tink confided to him, backing up Ty's trepidations.
“It's a pretty solid cave. All the walls are solid rock and it rises to a point. If it survived that earthquake we had, I think it's stable. Nothing to worry about,” he told her.
“Do you see any snakes?” Ty asked since he was the last of the three.
“I don't see any snakes,” Wade responded but as they moved ahead and had gone about two hundred feet something glimmered in his light ahead.
“Did you see that?” Tink shouted.
“A snake?” Ty about screamed and stepped back.
“No. It's something metallic,” Wade replied.
As they got closer he realized what it was. It was gold! And not just gold rocks, there were items made of gold... bracelets, necklaces, small figurines and small bars often used for barter many years ago.
The three of them ran to the spot. The area had enlarged quite a bit into a large room. The spot where the gold was a hemispherical area carved from solid stone. There was quite a pile of gold there and it excited the three friends enormously, looking at it.
“I wonder whose gold this was originally?” Ty asked.
“It doesn't look like Indian stuff. The figures are weird and they have faces. Indians didn't usually paint of carve things and put faces on them,” Tink explained.
“Wade, I agree... these aren't Indian artifacts,” Ty responded.
About that time Tink took hold of Wade's hand carrying the flashlight and guided it above them a few feet.
“Wade, look... what's that?” she asked both scared and excited as she looked to where the light was illuminating things.
“Oh shit,” replied Wade.
“This is worse than rattlesnakes,” espoused Ty.
As they looked, accustoming their eyes to the light in the dark area, they realized what they were looking at. It was a mummy... a giant mummy, sitting crossed legged on a rock ledge. It was eerie to look at. His skin looked like leather, but other than that he appeared alive, only asleep.
“This is so weird,” Wade admitted. “He only has one eye in the middle of his forehead.”
“It's a cyclops like in the old Greek stories,” Tink told him. “He had red hair too.”
“It has six fingers and six toes too,” Ty responded shakily. “Man he's like eight feet tall!”
It was then they noticed bones lying on the ground on the ledge behind him... and human skulls.
“That's so creepy,” Tink told them as thy looked at the figure in amazement.
“Didn't the cyclops in those Greek stories eat people,” Wade asked in general.
“Yeah, they sure did. They were giant too. Seems like they were offspring of the gods and some human women weren't they?” Ty asked but he didn't get an answer.
“Should we say anything to anyone about this, like a museum?” Tink asked.
“Maybe after we get the gold out of here. We found it. I'm not about to give it up to someone that didn't do anything to find it. Some museum guy can do whatever he wants with this mummy,” Wade told his friends.
“I agree. Let's load the gold up in our knapsacks and get it out of here. We can come back tomorrow and check around to see if anything more is here somewhere,” Ty suggested.
So the three prospectors loaded their bags with gold, at least as much as they could carry back. They had to leave a little but they could get that tomorrow when they came back. They left the cave excited about their find.
“Let's not say anything to anyone yet... no one. Got that? Let's hide everything near my house but not in the house. If word gets out on this people might try to take it away,” Wade recommended.
“We can dig a hole in that soft ground near that big old elm tree,” Ty suggested.
“Exactly where I was thinking,” Wade answered.
“Perfect,” Tink added.
When they got to the spot to bury the gold they all looked around making sure no one was around to see. Even the wandering cows nearby made them paranoid now. Like the old prospectors, it was hard enough finding a treasure trove, holding onto it was sometimes three times worse.
“How does that look,” Wade asked his friends.
“I can't tell anything is there,” Tink answered.
“I can't either. We're good!” answered Ty.
The three separated as they got to Wade's home. Both Ty and Tink walked back down the dusty road to go home while Wade went into his.
“I wish you wouldn't let that screen door slam like that,” Wade's mother admonished him. Tink and Ty did it all the time but they didn't live there. “How'd you do prospecting?”
Wade had gone to the refrigerator to get something to drink other than the water from his canteen he had been drinking for the last few hours.
“We just found some pyrites and chalcedony, nothing special,” Wade told her as he drank out of the milk carton.
“I wish you wouldn't do that honey. Other people are going to drink out of there,” she warned him.
“Yes mam,” he replied, slamming the refrigerator door and scrambling up the narrow stairs to his room. Once there he got on the Internet and began looking for items similar to the ones they found. They weren't American Indian. They were different... they had kind of a middle eastern look about them, or at least that's what Wade thought. He spent some time searching for similar items and finally found something. They were close to some ancient Turkish items.
The three of them agreed to meet at eleven in the morning to go back for the rest of the gold. That way, Wade could get his chores finished and they could spend the afternoon looking around the cave for more things.
It was the first time Ty got there early... before Tink. Mrs. Corbin noticed the punctuality too.
“Ty... you must be excited about something, I've never seen you this early for an arranged meeting,” she commented to Ty as he came into the kitchen letting the door slam behind him.
“I was up really early this morning and got all my things done,” he told her as he sat at the kitchen table looking at the batch of chocolate cookies cooling on the table Mrs. Combiner had just laid out there.
She watched him staring at them hungrily, waiting for an invite. She had to laugh it was written all over his face.
“Would you like some cookies Ty?” she asked him. “Go ahead take a few and put a couple in your pocked. Gold mining makes a man hungry.
“Oh yes mam, it does. Thank you,” he told her as he filled both of his pockets with the large cookies she made.
As he was filling them Wade came into the room with his metal detector. He grabbed a couple of cookies off the table and went out the door as Tink was getting to the porch.
“Hey I'd like a couple of those,” she said as she ran in the door to grab a couple off the table. then ran back out the door to catch up with her friends.
“Be careful you three,” Mrs. Corbin yelled from the porch after she came out to see them off. “I wonder what's gotten into those kids. They seem awfully excited about something.”
They got to the cave faster then the day before ready to move the rest of the gold out and anything else they might find. The three walked down the long tunnel more sure of themselves than the day before but when they got to the gold they left behind... it was still there but the mummy wasn't
“Shit guys, the mummy isn't there now,” Wade alerted them, flashing his flashlight all around the area looking.”
“Wade, where is it?” Tink asked.
“I know as much as you do. Don't ask me,” Wade responded.
“I don't like this. I don't like it at all. I'd rather have the rattlesnakes,” Ty quipped.
“Let's get the rest of the gold and get out of here. I don't feel like hanging around exploring the rest of the cave,” Tink suggested.
“I'm with you,” Wade answered.
“Me too!” cried Ty. He was genuinely scared. His eyes were the size of silver dollars and he was jumpy beyond his normal self, in a place like where they were.
Every little echo in the cave they made clearing the rest of the gold about had Ty jumping out of his boots. They made it out quickly into the light and felt more calm.
“Tell me someone came in and got that mummy,” Ty threw out to his two friends hoping to get some kind of assurance.
“Whoever in their right mind would do that and leave the gold there we didn't get yesterday?” Wade told him. That spooked Ty more and he about turned all colors when a rabbit ran by. As the three of them watched the rabbit zigzag off into some bushes they noticed large foot prints in the fine dust on the ground.
“Look there... and they come from the cave. It sort of drags its feet the way it's walking. Look!” Wade told both of them.
“It's heading towards your place Wade,” said Tink, and sure enough it was. Wade wasn't sure what to do. They never crossed paths with the mummy on the way to the cave. How could that be? That made no sense.
“Maybe we should follow it after we get rid of this gold, unless it's at my house. I just don't understand why we didn't see it,” he told his friends.
“I wonder what it wants?” Ty told them.
“Do I have to spell it out? I think where it was it was the guardian for that gold. We took it and it came back alive to find it,” Wade told them.
“Maybe we should give it back,” Tink suggested.
“Maybe we should go to the Indian reservation and see what we can find out,” Wade thought.
“That's a really good idea but it's ten miles away,” Ty said.
“We can leave early tomorrow on our bikes. I'll get up extra early so I can finish early. Do you think we could leave by nine o'clock?” Wade asked, and both Ty and Tink agreed they'd be there.
As they went home, they followed the creature's tracks. However, it veered towards the farm next to them that raised cattle. That was why they didn't see the cyclops on the way to the cave. The three wondered why he had gone there but decided to continue home and spend the rest of the afternoon there after they buried the rest of the gold.
“Thank goodness you three are back. The Pearson farm had two of their cattle half eaten. They think there's a pack of wolves in the area. I don't want you three going anywhere. Ty... Tink, you two stay for dinner I already called your parents. Mr. Corbin can take you home afterwards. I don't want you two walking that distance. No more prospecting until all this is settled,” Mrs. Corbin told the three of them.
“Mom, we were planning on riding our bikes over to the Indian reservation to get some information about where we were prospecting. We found tons of broken arrowheads there,” Wade told her.
“I hope you didn't keep any. That's against the law,” she told her son.
“No mom. Can we still go over to the reservation tomorrow on our bikes?” Wade asked her.
“Absolutely not. If you can get someone to drive you over that's fine. Your father will be at work and we're down to one car right now so I can't drive you,” she told them and went back inside.
“Do you think your brother can drive us over there?” Wade asked Tink.
“I think he will. When your dad takes us home let's ask him. We won't have to leave quite as early,” Tink told them.
“If he needs gas money, I have a few bucks I can give him... now that we're rich,” Ty suggested.
“Unless we have to give it back to that mummy,” Wade considered.
Wasn't it like that all the time in the movies? The spirit or the monster was unsatisfied when some living person interfered with them? They didn't rest until things were set back to where they were. Hopefully they didn't have to do a reset and put the gold back.
That night at the dinner table Mrs. Corbin made beef stew and fresh baked yeast rolls. Tink and TY were happy they were invited top dinner. Everything was fresh and tasted incredible. Ty was ready to roll out of his chair with three bowls of stew and five rolls. He was skinny as could be and no one understood where he was able to put it all. But a lot of time that was the case with skinny people. They had high metabolisms which was understandable with Ty because he was so high strung.
Afterwards, they all climbed into Mr. Corbin's car and he dropped Tink off first. Everyone went inside since the three of them wanted to speak to Ray, Tink's older brother. Mr. Corbin took the opportunity to sit and have a cup of coffee with Tink's parents, Dorothy and Flip.
“Ray... do you think you could take us over tomorrow to the Indian reservation?” Tink asked her brother.
Now her brother loved driving but he didn't have a car. He'd have to borrow his mom's car which she rarely drove anywhere in... he looked for any excuse to drive but he would still negotiate to get a few bucks probably.
“I can Tink, but I'll have to put some gas in the car,” he told her though her mom always filled the tank and Ray never put any gas into it himself.
“I can give you eight dollars,” Ty offered. I'll have to give you the money in the morning though,” he told Ray.
“Alright, I can do it for that. Besides, it gives me a chance to stop and see Carol Button over there,” he told them. Tink forgot about her. Ray had been going nuts over her the entire school year. Last summer she went home for vacation as a young kid for three months and came back to school that September completely changed into this really hot woman. Tink figured if she had remembered that she could have probably negotiated so Ty wouldn't have to pay him anything.
At ten in the morning, the horn beeped as Ray pulled up in his mother's Honda to pick Wade up.
“Hey guys,” Wade said jumping into the car.
“What are you three going over to the reservation for anyway?” Ray asked.
“Just doing some research,” Wade told him.
“Did you hear about that horse over at the Benson's Horse Farm? They found it's head in the field last evening, late. Something ate the rest of it but the only thing found were the hooves and a few bones. Frankly it doesn't sound like wolves to me like everyone's saying,” he told them as he pressed hard on the accelerator, sending lose stones all over the place, clinking off the side of the car.
As they drove into the reservation they went through the center of town.
“Just let us off at the hardware store. There's always a bunch of old people hanging around there. That's who we want to talk to,” Wade asked.
“Alright... you guys have two hours. It's ten thirty now I'll be back at twelve thirty. Call me on my cell if you need me earlier but if it goes well with Carol I may not be able to get you until later,” he told them.
“Alright, then you'll call us if you're going to be later?” Tink asked her brother.
“Yeah, yeah...” Ray responded as he tore off, sending stones into mid-air again.
“Do you really thing he's going to pick us up on time,” Ty asked. “I mean Carol Button really turned into a hottie last summer.
“That's the problem, he's got a lot of competition now, and he wasn't very nice to her before she changed, when she had a crush on him,” Tink answered.
The three of them went into the hardware store. It was probably unchanged since it was first built. It looked like one of those old ones from the wild west days and it was run by a skinny old Indian that was probably around ninety.
“Hi Mr. Lightfoot! Tink yelled from the front of the store as they entered. He was always at his counter in the back. In the winter he had an old Franklin stove, putting out the heat. He kept his rocking chair next to it and a few other chairs around it where he would sit and talk with some of his other old pals all day long, sipping pots of coffee.
“Hi kids... what brings you down here?” he asked them.
“We have a couple of questions for you. We're doing some research,” Tink began and then turned it over to Wade.
“If I can help you out, I will,” he told them.
“That hill where all that basalt sticks out of the ground just north of the Pearson farm... did anything of importance happen there?” Wade asked him.
He thought for a moment thinking before he answered.
“Well not anytime recently. I recall some stories among the tribe about a race of giants that lived back there maybe five or six hundred years ago. Is that what you mean?” he asked them.
“Yeah, that's what we're interested in,” Wade told him but all three were eager to hear what the old Indian had to say.
“Let me think for a minute. I want to make sure I get things right. So many of our stories aren't told over and over like they used to be. Most of the kids would rather play video games than listen to stories,” he said as he went over to his coffee pot and slowly poured a cup, taking his time, then walking back to the counter. “Sure... there was a race of giants that lived up there my ancestors considered evil. They ate human flesh. They had voracious appetites and they ate everything but they really enjoyed eating men. My people killed them off whenever they could. They were terrible to fight because they were so strong and large. They would often come at night and steal women and children to eat making it very hard to fight them. The natives would hunt them down during the day but often several braves would be killed in the encounter. The last giant told about was up where you are talking. They drove him into a cave and set fire in there. They were deadly afraid of fire. Then they sealed the cave off with rocks, stone and dirt to smother him. If he tried getting out he knew he would be killed. They say he guarded a fortune in gold his people had fashioned into different things. My people would not trade with them,” he told the eager listeners.
Wayne and the others were excited by the story. It definitely sounded like the mummy they found.
“Did the stories you heard describe these giants?” Wade asked him as a final proof he wanted.
“Yes... they stood eight and nine feet tall. The had one eye in the middle of their forehead. They had red hair, with much covering their bodies. They had six fingers and six toes,” the shop owner told them. “They were descendants of the sky people who came to earth and laid with the women of men.”
That was that. As far as the three friends were concerned that cinched it. The mummy they found was one of these descendants of the sky people.
“Is there anything about them coming back to life after they died?” Ty asked the Indian.
He thought for a moment and then shook his head.
“Not that I recall. That might be a curse, but I do not know who would put such a curse on one of these people. Certainly not one of my ancestors. They were bad enough the first time around,” Mr. Lightfoot surmised. A curse like that would be as much a curse on the Native Americans that had been trying to get rid of his kind.
“If one of these giants were around today, would there be a way to kill them?” Wade asked the man.
“They weren't indestructible. They could be killed like other normal men. They were just harder to kill. Now you asked before about them coming back to life after death. Such a curse would make it impossible to kill them unless you could lift the curse first. You would have to have a medicine man do that,” he informed them.
“Could you do that?” Tink asked him.
“I am not a medicine man. My older brother is,” he told them.
“Your older brother!” Wade exclaimed.
He couldn't imagine him having an older brother since he looked so old himself. If he told him he was a hundred it would be perfectly believable.
“Where can we find him?” Wade asked.
Mr. Lightfoot looked at his watch and replied.
“This time of day he's at the gym down the street,” he informed Wade.
“At the gym? He still exercises? Ty asked.
“No... he just mainly goes there to look at the babes,” the shopkeeper answered. “If you go there looking for him just ask for Fred,” he told them.
“Ty you stay here and wait for Tink's brother in case we're a little late getting back. Tink and I are going to see if we can talk to Mr. Lightfoot's brother in case we need him,” Wade instructed his friend.
“If you can peel him away from the babes,” Ty joked.
The gym was about two blocks down the street. It was full when they went in and stopped at the front desk.
“Is Fred Lightfoot in here today?” Wade asked the teenage boy at the front desk.
“Oh, he's here alright. He's in the back by the free weights hitting on all the women back there,” the boy told them. “I can call him up here but he won't want to leave his spot. It's alright if you want to go back there.”
Wade and Tink found him in the back sitting on one of the benches lifting ten pound dumb bells. He was showing more attention to his surrounding then to what he was doing. The two friends went over to him.
“Mr. Lightfoot?” Wade asked him. He immediately looked at him for two intense seconds, up and down.
“Well... you don't look like government agents... so yes, I'm Fred Lightfoot at your service. What can I do for you?”
“I'm Wade and this is my friend Tink. We just talked to your brother up the road...” Wade began.
“Now, would that be Howard or Spanky?” the man asked as he watched one of the ladies bend over to lift a barbel.
“It was Howard.” Tink offered since Wade didn't know the guy well enough to know his first name like Tink.
“We need some help with what looks like a curse. He said you could give us something to help,” Wade filled him in.
“Is this curse on you or someone else?” he asked the boy.
“Someone else,” he told him.
“Living or dead?” the Indian asked.
“Now why would you ask a question like that?” Tink interjected amazed by the question.
“Because I've had visions while I was smoking a joint two nights ago about someone coming through the veil between life and death. There is someone like that isn't there?” he questioned Wade but stopped doing what he was doing to look at both of them up and down.
Wade and Tink looked at each other like they had just been caught doing something they shouldn't. The old Indian smiled at his ability to see things and knew he had nailed it on the head.
“Yes there is,” Wade owned up to it.
“Come out to my truck. Let me give you something,” he suggested as he headed towards the door, looking at every woman along the way and saying 'hi' like they were all best friends.
They followed him to an old red Dodge pickup. It was loaded with dents and some bad rust spots. It had seen better days. He reached under his driver seat and pulled out a package.
“I'll give you each one of these to wear. They will protect you against this thing but it won't get rid of it. You need more powerful medicine delivered by a medicine man... like me,” he informed them both as they put on their pouches.
“Would you help us then?” Wade asked. “Could I have another for a friend?”
“Why don't you begin by telling me the whole story of this undead person,” the medicine man recommended.
Both Tink and Wade couldn't talk fast enough and what one didn't say the other did. The old Indian looked at each of them back and forth feeling like he was at a tennis match. His head was spinning from the ordeal.
“I had not heard about the dead cattle but you are talking about the offspring of the sky people and humans. They are very evil and they eat the flesh of men... especially women and children because they are more to their liking. It is important you wear those pouches. Do you know where this being is?” he asked.
“No. Do you think he's looking for the gold?” Tink asked him.
“I don't think he is. I think it was because of the gold he was cursed. Perhaps he stole it from the person that cursed him. I feel as long as he possessed the gold he could not spend it. He was most likely killed by my people long ago. Now that you have the gold, he is free to spend it, so he has reanimated to spend the life he was unable to live long ago under the curse and his entrapment,” he told them.
“So we actually took away the curse by taking the gold?” Tink asked while Wade was busy absorbing what he just heard.
“What happens if we give him back some of the gold? Would that make him dead again?” Wade asked the man.
“No... the curse is lifted now... gone... kaput,” he motioned with his hands. You might just piss him off. He doesn't know he's dead which is often the thinking of these undead. Many spirits are that way too that haunt the living. They think they are alive and they pester everyone,” he told the two.
“What do we do?” Wade asked.
“What is your cell phone number... do you have one?” he asked. As Wade told him he dialed it on his phone. When Wade's phone buzzed him, the medicine man continued.
“There now you have my number. When you know where he is at, you call me. I will be there as fast as I can. Follow him, so when I get there, you can tell me where you are. Remember to wear the medicine pouches and you will be safe even if he sees you,” he told them.
When Tink and Wade got back to the hardware store, Ray was leaning against the car waiting with Ty.
“Where have you two been? I've been waiting for half an hour for you to show up,” Ray complained.
“No he hasn't. He just got here a minute before you did,” Ty enlightened them.
On the way back Ty was dying to find out what happened but neither Wade or Tink wanted to say anything around Ray. He acted like he wasn't paying attention but he listened to every word, so he could hold it over his sister's head, if he could.
“Shit, what the hell's that,” Ray yelled as he hit the brakes.
There was the eight-foot cyclops running in front of the car dragging half of a steer behind him. Moving as he was, the mummy was a horrible scene. Then he looked with his large one eye in his forehead at the car as he passed , sending chills up everyone's backs.
“It's like one of those cyclops out of those old Italian movies,” Ray commented. “Did you guys see that thing?”
“Hey, we're almost home, Ray let us out here,” Wade asked.
“Not on your life. Mom, will shoot me,” he replied.
With that Ray sped down the road. The three watched the cyclops running across the field trying to get a line on where it was going so they could try and find it later for the medicine man. Wade wanted to call right away but Ray wasn't cooperative letting the three of them out of the car.
“Mom, is it alright if Wade and Ty come home with us and stay over. Sure... I'll tell them,” Tink asked her mother on her cell as they headed home. “Mom says that's fine but it's spaghetti night.”
“That's fine with me,” Wade said and Ty seconded it. At their age who didn't like spaghetti?
“We can talk about things tonight,” Tink recommended in an unobvious way.
That night they sat down to dinner, six in all and the object of discussion was the wolves.
“Did you hear what happened over at the Stanley's?” Tink's mom announced at the table. “The UPS man found their bodies this morning when he delivered a package. They were half eaten along with one of the cows. They're bringing in some professional hunters now to go after all the wolves around here.”
“Mom, I don't think it's wolves,” Ray spoke up then, “coming home we saw one of those things like they have in those old Italian movies... a cyclops. This thing was eight feet tall and it was dragging part of a cow behind it. Talk about ugly. It had one eye and tons of red hair not just on its head but all over. It's skin looked like leather.”
“Ray stop story telling,” his dad told him.
“I'm not making it up. Tink... you guys tell him,” Ray suggested.
“Aw, it was just a guy in a suit,” Wade responded kicking his friends under the table and winking at them.
“Yeah, it was a scary costume. I think it was Steve Prescott pulling one f his pranks,” Ty added.
“It wasn't any costume you idiots. You know that... creeps,” Ray remarked taking another bite of spaghetti and losing half of it in sauce down the front of his shirt making him madder.
“Now Ray stop calling your friends names,” Tink's mom warned.
“They aren't my friends. I don't even think that's my sister over there keeping her mouth shut,” Ray insulted them.
After he took his last bite, Ray excused himself and announced going to his room. He was pissed.
“Why did you do that?” Tink asked Wade when they three ended up in her room after dinner.
“If we admitted seeing the same thing we'd never get out of here to stop that thing. Plus, they'd probably send in the National Guard or something to hunt it. If they'd couldn't kill it they'd just get it cranked and killing worse,” Wade informed them. Ty and Tink saw the wisdom in his thinking.
“Just how are we still going to get out of here,” asked Ty. “Your mom's not going to let us go anywhere.
“I already thought of that. That's why I wanted you guys to stay over. Mom and Ray have to go to his school for a meeting tomorrow for his new school year... like a PT meeting or something. They'll be gone all morning,” she informed them.
“Good thinking Tink! Will she leave us here alone?” Wade asked.
“Sure. She has no reason not to,” she told her friends.
“I just hope we can find that thing and then call Fred Lightfoot in time,” Wade told them. “Make sure our phones are all charged. Let's get some videos of this thing too,” Wade told them.
“Now I want all three of you to stay in the house while we're gone. We'll take the two of you home after we get back. Understood?” Mrs. Aspen told the three.
“Yes mam,” they replied.
“They watched out of the window until the dust trail dissipated down the road and then left in a hurry to where they saw the thing disappear yesterday afternoon. It was headed towards town down the hill where there was a creek. It probably stayed there the night or was even hanging out there for the fresh water. At eight feet the thing could cover a large area.
“I'd better call Fred Lightfoot and warn him we're out looking in case we need to get hold of him quickly,” Wade told them as he pulled his phone out and made the call.
“HI there, Wade. What's up? Fred answered.
“We're out looking for that thing now. We don't have a lot of time so I thought I'd warn you,” he told the man.
“You're in luck. My brother and I came down last night in his camper so we could start tracking it,” Fred told him.
“You brought Howard with you?” Wade asked.
“No... Spanky. He's the best tracker around,” Fred told him.
“We saw it yesterday afternoon. We're going there now to see if it's still there. It's near the creek off Orchard Road where it goes down that hill outside of town,” Wade informed them.
“I know where that's at. We'll meet you there in fifteen minutes and maybe we can pick up its trail. We'll wait for you if you're late,” he advised them.
“See you then,” Wade told him and disconnected. “We need to move fast to meet them in fifteen minutes. They're nearby. Fred brought his other brother Spanky who's supposed to be a good tracker,” Wade told his friends.
The three ran part way and walked fast the other, to get there in time. They were a few minutes late but true to his word the two Indians were waiting, drinking coffee and sitting on the steps of the camper as they approached.
“This is my brother Spanky... that's Wade, Tink and Ty,” Fred told his brother.
“Pleased to meet you. So you guy resurrected one of the demon gods of our ancestors?” he asked.
“I guess we did,” Wade replied looking guilty as could be.
“Ahh... don't worry about it. It was bound to happen sooner or later,” Spanky told them. “show me where you saw him.”
Spanky pulled out what looked like a walking stick and followed the three. They took both Indians where they spotted the cyclops on the previous day.
“It was right about here,” Wade told him as he watched the Indian scout around. Spanky was aware Wade was looking close at him.
“This is a tracking stick. Most things walking, follow a straight path. Once you find tracks if you put the stick up and then follow the tracks further down and line them up you kind see where they're going. It's simple but it makes tracking easier,” he informed him.
“Here's his tracks. Man they are big... bigger than Sasquatch. I wonder who would win in a fight?”
“Have you ever seen a Sasquatch?” Ty asked wide-eyed.
“Better then that, I know a family of them east of here,” Spanky told him. “My brothers know them too. We've eaten together.”
“Is that true?” Ty asked Fred.
“It is,” he told them. “We don't tell white men though. We're afraid they'll hunt them and they're friendly.”
“We're white men,” Wade corrected him, “except for Ty.”
“I sense we can trust you,” he told them.
They followed the trail down to the creek. It was pretty much in a straight line like Spanky told them using the tracking stick. There was what appeared to be a makeshift bed there by the bank. It consisted of many smaller tree branches covered with leaves and then a canopy over the top of branches intertwined, with globs of moss.
“This reminds me of a Sasquatch bed,” he commented.
But inside and behind were piles of bones... animal and human with a couple of skulls. More people were missing than had already been reported dead. Wade and his buddies wondered who they were.
“We'll wait here. When he comes back tonight we can perform the ritual and return him to the realm of the dead. If the three of you want to return home so you do not get into trouble, you can. You can't do anything now,” Fred told them.
“I'd like to stay but I guess we better not,” said Wade.
“Me too” Tink replied.
“I'm outta here,” said Ty.
So the three left, headed along the creek to go home which was the quickest way after saying good bye to the two Indians.
“It seems creepy out here,” Ty told his friends.
“You've been here a dozen times with us before, it's just because you know this creepy guy is around,” Wade suggested.
As they walked, Tink heard a sound and put her hand up for all to stop. They listened and heard distant footsteps, so they hid around a tight group of three wide pine trees, and waited. They quietly watched to see what it was. It could be a deer but with something like this cyclops around it was hard to imagine deer or anything staying in these woods.
As they watched something large came closer down the hill among the brush. Then they saw the cyclops emerge from the brush and come into view. He was carrying something over his shoulder. It was a person... limp and not moving. Perhaps they were dead. As the three looked on, Ty was the first to speak.
“It's your mom, Wade... it's Mrs. Corbin!” he whispered loud enough it caught the cyclops' attention. He stopped and looked around. He sniffed the air but saw or smelled nothing.
Wade had no idea what to do other than let him continue until he got back to his home where the two Indians would be waiting. His mother wasn't moving so he had no idea if she was alive.
“Wade why don't we just go over there. These pouches we have around our necks are supposed to protect us. Maybe he'll drop your mom and run away if we go to him,” she suggested.
In theory that sounded good but they might only protect them since they were wearing them. Then he had an idea.
“I'll get behind him but you two have to keep his attention by going up to him face to face. I'll slip this around my mother's neck real quick. He should drop her then... right?” he questioned his thinking as he spoke to his friends.
“Yeah,” Tink answered for herself and Ty.
Wade crept around behind the monster and as he was getting close the other two got up and walked towards the giant making a lot of noise to attract his attention and cover any sound Wade made trying creep up on him.
The creature stopped to look at the two intruders and stared.
“I hope these pouches work,” Ty spoke out loud.
As they got closer, the creature seemed to be confused. Then something was bothering him as he stepped back closer to Wade as he was creeping up on him. Carefully when he could reach her, Wade slipped the necklace over his mother's head. He no sooner did when the creature let out a large grunt and dropped her onto the floor of leaves. He turned angrily and spotted Wade who was now unprotected by the medicine man's magic.
“Run Wade!,” Tink yelled as loud as she could. So Wade began running as fast as possible back down the creek towards the Indians they had just left. They cyclops began running after him. He stride was wide, twice that of Wade's, so Wade had to run twice as fast. It was good the mummy's legs were stiff.
Wade ran as fast as he could and began yelling to the two Indians to warn them. Ty and Tink were running fast too, towards Mrs. Corbin.
“Do you hear someone yelling? “ Fred asked his brother.
“I think it's the kids that just left,” said Spanky. “The undead one must be after them.”
“Lets' deliver this potion by way of one of your arrows, brother. That should work as he grabbed one quickly and tied a small bag over the end of the point. That way when he got struck by the arrow, the potion would be injected. Give me another arrow to make ready in case we need it,” he told his brother.
They waited, standing low and out of sight as the second arrow was wrapped.. The medicine man said his incantations over the potions.
“There's Wade and there's the monster right on him,” pointed Fred. You have to be careful firing your arrow.”
He waited longer than normal until he was plenty close. Then he stood to aim which made the monster stop momentarily to look as Wade continued to run. At that moment Spanky let his arrow fly. It struck the monster in the chest but embedded itself into his sternum so there was mainly bone and cartilage. The potion needed to hit softer tissue. The creature became enraged and pulled it out and started to run towards the Indians. Spanky notched the second arrow as his brother pulled a third to begin treating that in case it was needed, but the second arrow hit the creature's rib cage, between the ribs and sunk deep into its flesh. They watched and Wade turned to watch as the creature slowed, turning back into a mummy, and fell face first to the ground.
The Indians hi-fived each other, grateful for their success, otherwise they could have been his next meal. Wade looked to see his friends walking into view leading his mother.
“Mom!” Wade shouted as he ran to her and gave her a big hug.
“Wade, didn't I tell you not to be outside while all this was going on until things got better,” she told him returning the hug.
“Yeah mom, you did,” Wade responded as Tink took the opportunity to come up behind him and surrender a hug.