A scene from Horror – A Supernatural Thriller

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Cooper and Heather stood together, looking at the body hanging upside down from a tree branch, tied at the ankles.
“Recognize the rope?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“Yeah, it’s my dad’s, from the storage compartment in the motor home,” he said.
“You okay, honey?” Heather asked, looking at him.
“I’m not going to break down again,” Cooper said. “Knew this was coming. Don’t want to look closer, if that’s okay.”
“No problem here,” Sheriff Henderson said. “Sorry for your loss, Cooper.”
“Want me to take pictures, Sheriff?” Deputy Brewer asked.
“Yeah, you do that, but don’t touch anything. Don’t forget the ground under and around it. Get good detail.”
“Will do, boss.”
“And don’t get too close to the edge,” Ranger Norman said. “I don’t want you falling in.”
“Don’t worry,” he said.
“Wonder how far that opening goes?” Cappy asked.
“I wonder too, but you know what I wonder about more?” the Sheriff asked.
“Yeah, I know,” he said. “The girl.”
“The girl or whoever did that,” he said, eyes darting around. “Look at how high that rope is. In my mind, it took more than the girl to do something like that. We might find her body somewhere around here.”
“It’s the woods,” Cappy said, sitting on a fallen tree. “Something took over. She might have been a whole lot stronger than normal when she did that.”
“She’s pregnant,” Heather said.
“What?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“Sorry, they told me,” Danielle said. “On the way back. She’s barely showing.”
“Doesn’t matter,” the sheriff said.
“Okay, Sheriff, got plenty of pictures,” Deputy Brewer said. “Looks to me like he was dead long before he was strung up there.”
“Pretty obvious to me after what we saw in the motor home,” the sheriff replied. “Okay, let’s see if we can find the girl.”
“Kilroy isn’t pulling anymore,” Cooper said. “Maybe we need to get past the body. Any tracks around it?”
“No, not that I could see, but the dirt is covered with pine needles,” the deputy said. “Hard to see anything.”
“Let’s take the dog past him and see if he picks anything up,” Ranger Norman said.
“Okay,” Cooper said. “C’mon Kilroy.”
He walked the dog past the body, looking the other way. Kilroy whimpered but kept going, no longer pulling hard.
“What’s up this direction?” Heather asked. “Any structures or roads?”
“Not for several miles,” Ranger Norman said.
“I had an incident up here,” Danielle said. “A scary one.”
“Don’t go into that now,” Ranger Norman said.
“Why not? It’s relevant,” she said.
“You know why not,” he said.
“Let her talk,” Cappy said. “Or I will. This is a bad place. We all know it. Cut the crap.”
“You think we’re stupid?” Cooper said. “Something killed my friend and hung him from a tree. I saw the look on Shelby’s face when we found her out here, too. We know there’s something in the woods, so be honest.”
The group walked along silently, the tension building.
“Okay, okay,” Ranger Norman said. “Go ahead, Danielle.”
She took a deep breath. “All right. I was out here, chasing down a lost dog for an old couple who had their motor home in that same clearing. It was mid-morning. I’d been out here quite a few times by then, so I knew the area well enough to keep from getting lost.”
“How long ago was this?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“Several months ago. I’ve had other incidents since then.”
“Keep to this one,” Ranger Norman said.
“All right,” she said. “Anyway, I walked in deeper and deeper. I could hear the dog barking. It was a small yippy dog. After a while I couldn’t hear it anymore, and everything changed.”
“Changed how?” Deputy Brewer asked.
“I didn’t recognize the area anymore, and it got darker. Not completely dark. More like dusk. I got disoriented.”
“Been there,” Cappy said. “I don’t hunt out here by myself anymore.”
“I didn’t hear that,” the ranger said. “Go on, Danielle.”
“Well, that was it for a while. There’s a missing period of time. I can’t remember anything until I woke up. I was lying on the trail naked. It was late afternoon by that time.”
“Care to reenact that?” the deputy asked.
“Shut up, Brewer,” Sheriff Henderson said. “So what happened next?”
“Nothing much,” she said. “I knew where I was again. My clothes were strewn along the trail. I got dressed and went back to the RV clearing.”
“What about the dog?” Heather asked.
“Never found it,” she said. “That poor old couple was beside themselves.”
“So you were out from mid-morning to mid-afternoon,” Cooper said. “That’s several hours. Do you think you were just sleeping during that time?”
“No,” she said. “I was sore all over, and scratched up like I’d been climbing trees naked. I had sap on me a few places.”
“You weren’t abused or anything, were you?” the deputy asked.
“Not that I could tell,” she said, looking embarrassed. “Nothing wrong down there.”
“Why didn’t you report this?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“I did. I told Ranger Norman.”
“Dammit, Norman,” the sheriff said.

Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

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