Elijah, age thirteen.
“I was up late last night. Some woman was screaming outside, and I couldn’t sleep. Mammy and Pappy weren’t home yet, and it was getting late. Everyone else was asleep, but I was scared.”
There are secrets on the mountain. Things adults know but don’t tell their children. The young hear bits and pieces of conversations and become intrigued. They want to explore. Discover.
Without knowing all the details, they can’t make good decisions. Their curiosity takes them on journey’s they later wish they never went on. It shows them things they wish they never saw.
Some places on the mountain are haunted by those who lived before. People who died violent deaths, or those who did the killing. Bad things do not only happen to adults on the mountain. Children are not safe either. Sometimes, a fabled monster turns out to be real.
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We decided to sit on a nearby fallen tree to have our lunch. “Do you ever think about him,” Carl asked.
“Who?” I asked.
Everyone was quiet for a minute. “I think about him, sometimes.” He said quietly. “I wonder what it was like when the Boogie Man got him. Was he scared? Was he killed quickly, or slowly?”
“I hope it was quick,” I said. “I wrote about it in my diary right after it happened, but I try not to think about it.”
“I wonder what the Boogie Man looks like?”
“I don’t know. I hope I never find out. We better get back to looking for that camp, so we can get back to the big camp before dark.”
We walked deeper into the woods. The trees seemed taller, somehow spookier. There were ferns growing in the underbrush. In the small clearings, we could see the tracks of deer and racoons. Even some of a bear.
We walked for about an hour before the woods seemed to get even darker. It felt so thick in there. Breathing was a bit harder all of a sudden. Then Jenny said, “Look! Over there. Is that a camp?”
“Wow! I was beginning to think that it really wasn’t real,” Carl said.
We had stopped when Jenny pointed out the camp, but we started walking again. More slowly this time. We watched the camp and its surroundings closely as we neared, ready to run back to safety at the first sign of movement.