The Truth Is Coming


In the woods

I've been missing...The fact is, I feel more and more that I am slipping away from reality.

About three weeks ago G-Pops got a mysterious call. For the next few days he barely made eye contact with me, then
he drops the bomb. He has a job that requires him to leave town.

What? The guy hasn't worked in years - well, he does odd jobs around town, but nothing real - now he's got some gig out of town?

He made arrangements for me to stay with Danger. Great! Danger is the best, but he comes from a strange family...I know. Who doesn't?

Strange because they are always doing stuff together. Every night they eat at the dinner table! Who does that? And they don't have the internet, or a TV. Boring!

It was nice of them to take me in on such short notice, they had a summer camping trip already planned, so I got to go.

That's when I went missing...Danger and I decided to see if we could get to the top of a nearby ridge to see if I could get cell service. Hey! Gotta text...

Night hit us too soon and the story made the news. We got lost and spent two nights alone before Danger's dad found us pretty much where we left off. We must have walked in circles.

Out in the darkness...The night plays tricks on your mind. I felt we were being watched.

Several times I could swear that there were glowing yellow eyes in the distance. I would see shadows turn to men, then to animals on all fours, then back.

We made it out alright, but I still can't shake the feelings I had in the woods.

I'm glad to be back home with my Grandpa...He still won't tell me where he went.


The darkness without her

It's amazing how quickly your world can change...

Danger came over today, and we went to Jerk's.

It's our first week of freedom! School sucks, but it makes the summer that much more fun. Hanging with great friends, no stupid teachers, nothing but the warmth of the sun and memories to build.

Danger, as usual, was talking about nothing, but was making perfect sense...when it happened.

For a brief moment it felt as though the world shifted from it's axis. Time slowed, and subtle sounds faded.

-What's wrong Kade?

I couldn't grasp the meaning of Danger's words. Then a flood hit me...suddenly it felt like I understood everything. From beginning to end. All the knowledge in the world passed right through me, but I couldn't hold on to any of it.

Danger turned toward my distraction.

-Her name is Alexis. She just moved here with her mother.

-How do you know that?

She smiled as she brushed past me, and I felt a charge of electricity.

I sounds stupid. Believe me I know, but it was all too real.

-They bought the old Stevens house, two doors down from me. ~ Danger whispered, trying not to be overheard.

-Where's she from?

-Her father was messed up in some bad stuff, and they came here to get away. That's all I know.

Alexis grabbed a drink and left...same smile, same feeling as she walked past and disappeared around the corner.

For the rest of the night, she's all I could think about. She was beautiful, and mysterious. Two of my favorite things.

I know our encounter was brief, but the night seems darker without her.


Roller coaster

-You'll soon see the world as it should be.

That's the most I could get from my visit with Adam today. He's home from the hospital and his mom thought it would do him good to see some familiar faces.

I called Sara and Danger to see if they wanted to come with, but Danger was at the orthodontist, and Sara made some cheap excuse saying she would go see him on the weekend.

She's still been tough to read lately. In fact when she found out that Adam was back she kept trying to change the subject. I mean...that's what everyone is talking about. How can you not be curious? She seemed very uncomfortable talking about it, so I didn't push the issue.

When I got to Adam's house his mom warned me that he wasn't making much sense since he recovered from the paralysis. The Dr. said it could take some time - and more tests - to find out exactly what happened, but that he expected a full recovery.

She warned me not to bring up Cassidy's death. Why does everyone keep avoiding reality? We all need to embrace our fear...use it. That's what gets me through.

I did as she asked, so we talked about nothing really.

When I left, Adam's mom wanted to know what he had said.

-Nothing much.

-Did he mention anything about where he had been?

-No...he did say over and over how much fun you guys had last summer at the amusement park, especially the roller coaster.

The silence was awkward, and her look puzzled.

-We went to the Grand Canyon last summer. 


Turned to stone

Silence is more haunting than any scream.

Adam came back...well, more like he was found.

Mr. Leher was on his way home from school and there he was, standing, stiff as any statue, staring off into nothingness.

He was on the edge of Sutter's woods - an old logging area - outside of town... it's been abandoned for 15 years.

I guess it became too expensive to get the wood out, because of all the rough terrain. There are so many twists, turns, and dangerous cliffs...most of the area has gone unexplored. A few have tried to map it, but never came out.

Kids make up stories about ghosts and strange sightings up there. Me? I don't know...just one more place on my "don't ever want to visit" list.

Mr. Leher had a hard time getting Adam into his car. When I say's like he's made out of stone. Couldn't call for cell service out there, so old stinky had to do it all by himself. I would have loved to have been there. Adam's not a big guy, but most 5th graders tower over Leher.

Adam is in the Hospital "resting" one's allowed near him for now.

He's got some sort of sleep paralysis. I guess his mind is fully awake...he just can't move. They're trying to find out what happened to him, but at this point he can only blink, so it's gonna take some time.

Must have been one heck of a nightmare.


Bleed for me

Darkness hung in the shadows of my dreams and I fought to wake this morning. I hate nights like that.
Nightmares...half awake.

Impossible to settle into the day...

I was almost ready when he barged in.

- We have a knock rule...G-Pops!

- Are you okay?

- Until you came in...

- There's blood on your pillow. Let me look at you.

Grandpa grabs my head, with his thick hands, and examines me. It's like when I was young and we would go camping in the mountains and he would check for ticks.

- I'm not bleeding.

He releases his death grip and leads me back into my room. I must have been dead to the world to miss that this morning.

My pillow is covered with blood. Now I'm looks like I lost about a pint. I'm weak and have to sit down for a minute. Don't know if it's the loss of blood or the sight of it.

No clue what it's from. I feel fine now, but G-Pops let me miss first period.

Back at school my mind drawn to wild possibilities. All I know is tonight I sleep with one eye open.


Mixed up

It's one of my favorite things to do. Stop at Jerk's, and watch the beautifully tragic.

At least once a week the "terrible trio" -as Danger calls us- Sara, Danger, and myself stop in, grab a drink, and let the world pass us by.

Jerk's is a cool retro hangout...lot's of unique sodas and vintage candy and junk. All the kids stop by and grab a snack on the way home from school. It gets really crowded, so we were lucky to get a table.

Danger was home sick today, so Sara and I went together. We're back to our old ways like the dance never least that's what I thought. I've been places with Sara solo, and it's always cool, so today was bizarre. 

I got a Buck's Root Beer -the best!- and we're talking about 3rd period and the rotten smell that comes from Mr. Leher's desk. It's just disgusting. I'm sure something crawled in there and died. Really? You can't smell that? The whole school gags when they walk in that room and there's Mr. Leher acting like we're all crazy.

My friend Chance walks in with the new guy from California...and Sara stops cold. 

Now I'm not sure if her performance was for Chance or the newbie, but when they come over she starts giving me crap. I can take being made fun of, but this was over the top. She starts acting like she and I aren't even I moved in on her table.

Not for me! I'm out!

Later, Chance calls and tells me she kept at it. He was just as confused as I was.

I'm taking a break from it all.



What do you fear? I fear being normal...

That's why school gets me down. It's not so much being told what to do (that does suck) it's that the teachers treat everyone the same. We're not!

There's this idea of what normal is. Who decided? I wasn't asked if I agreed with their lame assessment of reality. I think school sometimes gets in the way of my education.

Today during free study in the library I wanted to research some ancient script - so I could have a clue about the hidden scroll - but Ms. Swane had different plans.

Why is it called "free study" if I am not free to study what I want?

- Kade, considering your grade in History, I think your time would be better spent studying the life of Benjamin Franklin. After all, your final report is due on Friday.

I know my grade sucks, and I've made a deal with my Grandpa to try and bring it up, but I am not worried about this report. I am a big fan of Ben. I have this.

-It's finished.

-If there is one thing I know from my twenty years is boys like you. And when you think you are finished, you have only begun.

What would happen if I threw the book at her? A smile creeps across my lips.

-There is nothing amusing about an "F" Kilborn.

Hate that! Teachers using just your last name. Swane! How does that sound? No, I know what would happen if I let the book fly...Grandpa would be upset with me. I respect him, because he does the same.

I get up and return the book of ancient scripts like a good "normal" kid.

Guess I'm taking a trip to the public library after school.


In plain sight

Danger is everywhere...

He won't keep still, sweating a little, darting his eyes from the alley behind the house and back.

- Will you knock it off?

- We're gonna get in trouble, Kade.

- Yeah, if you don't settle down...We'll be in and out quickly. 

- You know, the cops have probably searched the house from top to bottom and -

- Adults do such a great job with everything...don't they?

Thad clued us to the hidden spare key at Adam's house. He wasn't going to get involved, but he agrees that there's something going on, so...

I just want some answers.

I'm pretty good at finding things, it's my Grandpa, he's always making up maps, leaving clues for me to find, and doing treasure hunts, so you kind of develop the skills...

Sometimes it seems like G-Pop's got me on some kind of special ops training, but I couldn't do the military like him. Don't like rules! Won't follow rules is more like it.

I'm kind of surprised that Danger found it and not me...that's his big brain at work for you.

Found it is not really accurate because it was right out in the open, he just had his eyes open for something out of place. And a book in Adam's room? Definitely doesn't fit.

Not everyone likes to read, I get that, but Adam, he despised it...

Danger took it from the shelf and flipped through it's time worn pages. It's beautiful and filled with some kind of strange script that neither of us could place, and the last fifty or so pages seemed stuck together. Danger ran his finger along the edge of the sealed pages and a secret compartment reveled an ancient scroll.

-Did you hear that?

Danger spun around to face me.

-Someone just drove up. Let's move.

Grabbed the book and the scroll and we made our way out the backdoor and down the alley.

That was close...too close.


The truth

We are all mad in some sense. Today the madness spread.

Danger broke the news to me...

- He's gone.

- Who?

- Adam.

- He's been gone for weeks. 

- No, gone as one can find him...vanished!

The whispers that rang through the halls of our School were not of who got dumped over the weekend, or who had been grounded. they took a more mysterious tone. 

Adam Hastings disappeared....He's been out of school since Cassidy took her life. Thad, his best friend, told us that he was being home schooled for the rest of the school year, but was doing better coping with her death. Thad went over to his house Friday night and Adam mentioned how he wanted to go back to school, but his mom was being overprotective. 

On Saturday, Adam's Mom went to wake him for hockey practice and his bed was still made from the night before. She freaked and called the cops.

The jerks waited twenty four hours before starting their search...Great idea guys! Wait until something really bad happens, then do something.

The police are now looking for him...a few officers were at school questioning the Principal.

Everyone is convinced there is some kind of monster on the loose. Me? Ain't got a clue, but something dark has been in the air since Cassidy's death...It's all wrong, and getting worse.

I convinced Danger to come with me after school to Adam's house...His Mom will be with a volunteer group they're putting together to help with the search, so she won't be at home, and his Dad isn't in the picture -- That's the story with most my friends.

I'm not waiting for something else to happen around this place...It feels like the whole world has closed it's eyes on us! Time to start looking for the truth.


Forget the past

Danger and I are okay, we're like brothers -  I say that like I know - I have no family besides G-Pops, so I just imagine that's what brothers are like.

There are a few siblings at school that can't stand each other, but that's not us. He's sorry for the way he acted and it's done as far as I'm concerned.

He likes Heather and was kind of mad at me for going with her...One thing is clear. It's the last dance I attend!

Sara is a different story...

Danger thinks I'm making more out of it than I need to. His guess is that she was just a little embarrassed that it looked like they were on a date. Sara's always been like one of the guys, but lately, I've seen her through different eyes, and it makes me fear that we'll lose what we have.

Maybe I made the whole thing up in my mind, because of the way I feel for her. My head spins just thinking about it.

This isn't how we planned it...

I know, we're crazy! We've promised to remain friends forever - just us against the world - so I've got to keep my thoughts of Sara in check or I'm going to blow it all.

They're both coming over today to hang. It's a better day.