Kickoff written by jaycee04

THE TOWƎЯ (part 7)

Every small town hides a secret...

Luke and Christopher stopped by many houses, occasionally laughing about the poor quality of candy the home owners offered. Luke especially felt bad about doing this after the people, complemented him on his costume. The purple, overcast sky above soon faded to midnight blue, (Although it was not midnight yet). Luke’s candy bag grew heavier to hold and plum at its bottom as the night continued. Luke and Christopher walked by one of the houses, a sprinkler systems went off. Luke yelped from surprise as the cold, foul-smelling well water sprayed him across the shoulders and onto Christopher. He laughed, putting his hands in front of him so his face wouldn’t be next in line. The sprinklers immediately cut off and an older woman rushed from the side of her house, profusely apologizing because she didn’t see them. They laughed and remarked that it was fine, before turning onto the fractured pavement which led up to the next home.

“She seemed generous with her givings.” Christopher mentioned,
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as the two made a right onto AshDale Road, approaching several more houses on the left. They're backyards and sides between each other, engulfed with trees with crushed leaves scattered around the front steps. Luke shuddered as the cold breeze tugged at his sleeveless ski vest.

A rental truck was parked in a driveway, inside a white picket fence that surrounded the property. It was a two a story home with exterior walls of faded red with two bushes on each side of the front A young-looking couple stood by the entrance to their home shaking hands with an older man. “This is our first home. We wanted to live in a town that was small and intimate. And well, this place seems to check off all our boxes.”

The older man chuckled, continuing to shake the husband’s hand. “Well, friend… You won’t have to worry, Everyone knows everyone in this small town, intimate, like you said.”

Luke watched the man’s smile widen.

The sound of wheels slowly approached they boys from behind, but Luke didn’t
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notice. Christopher looked behind him and grabbed Luke’s shoulder, guiding him to the side of the road. A black and white police car with blue lettering, “ASHBOURNE POLICE” on both sides, slowly pulled past the two with its windows down and lights off.

Christopher waved at the police car, “Excuse me, Officer, there was a man over at that house…”

The cop behind the wheel, blankly stared past Christopher to Luke, as if Christopher was invisible. Luke returned the stare, brows knitted together, and head tilted ever so slightly.

The police officer was silent, as he drove past.

Luke watched the police car with a confused, sour look on his face, and the grip on his candy bag tightened.

Christopher thought hard and squinted toward the police car as it continued down the road disappearing into a cluster of trees. He turned away before doing a double take… It was difficult to distinguish if it was really there because of the night sky and how far away it was from him. But in between the
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trees, looked like a figure, half hidden behind a tree. He couldn’t tell if it was looking straight at him because it was too far away. But he felt an intense gaze, making his stomach twinge…

Luke turned toward the tower, where dark clouds began to circle it. Standing on each side of the tower, extending above the trees, stood two metal electrical poles.

The sound of old, rasp laughter made him turn back the other way where, illuminated by the porch-light, an older couple dressed in yellow and green comfy attire, rocked in chairs on their wooden front porch talking and watching the by-passers. Parked in their driveway, was the outline of a shabby van with paint that looked like it was slowly peeling away.

The elderly woman made eye contact with Luke. Her talking ceased and she smiled faintly at him, whilst her husband continued to speak. Her eyes seemed to follow Luke as the boys passed her house and onto the next one.

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