16Sunsets – Confluence V


A man skirted between two of the deadfall traps. There was something familiar about the man, but Peter couldn’t quite place it. Years of isolation broken by scheduled trips into town left Peter with a broken stranger detector.

The man looked up at the smoke wafting from the chimney, and returned his gaze to the porch. The man seemed to take in every nuance of his surroundings while moving closer and closer to Peter’s sanctuary. He shields his eyes from the sun setting directly behind the cabin.

Peter reaches quietly and turns the knob on the cabin door. He throws it open and yells, “Who are you?”

The man freezes, as if he’s contemplating running away, then he slowly advances on the cabin.

“Don’t come any closer,” Peter yelled, “Tell me who you are!”

“My name is Kristof.” Kristof steps towards the cabin again.

Peter grabs the shotgun leaning against the doorframe and points it at Kristof. “I said, don’t come any closer.” Kristof, he thinks, could it be? Peter only saw Kristof once after Nadine died. It was at a used bookstore. Kristof gripped a picture book in one hand and a woman with the other. He stayed in the area, but with law enforcement always just a step behind him, he was forced to flee.

“Dad,” Kristof spread his arms, “we need to talk.” He squinted at the shotgun. “The scatter-gun isn’t even loaded.”

“You’re not Kristof!” Peter shouted. He looked past Kristof, into the woods. “How many of you are out there?”

“Dad!” shouted Kristof, forcing the frustration from his voice. “Something strange is happening to me.”

“Stop calling me Dad! You’re too old to be my Kristof!”

“It’s been twenty years.”

“You can’t be him. I refuse to believe you’re my son. Did Anne send you?”

“I don’t know anyone named Anne.”

“I don’t believe you, who sent you?”

Kristof stepped toward the cabin.

“Don’t think I won’t kill a man pretending to be my son. I’ve killed before.”

“I know. A doctor in Oregon; a homeless guy in Seattle. Seems like pretty depraved behavior from someone who claims his innocence.”

“What do you know of innocence?”

“I know my mother died and you ran away. I’ve done the math. If I can find you, they will too.”

Peter backed away from the door. “You’re not my son,” he screamed and slammed the door closed.

“I am Kristof, and I’ll prove it.” Kristof looked south. “I’ll bring you the evidence you need. You’ll see!” Kristoff stormed off without looking back at the cabin.

* * *

“I see a cabin in the woods.”

“Go on.”

“Smoke drifts from the chimney. It smells like disaster.”

“’Disaster?” That’s a big word. What else can you tell me?”

Bree crossed her arms defiantly. “That’s because I’m a big girl.” Bree stuck her lower lip out.

Globe looked at Bree’s pouty face. A cold chill traveled the length of his spine. If she weren’t so powerful, he might’ve taken a sterner tone with the little girl. Powerful and dangerous, he thought. He looked into the eyes on one of the guards sitting directly behind her. He looked away from Bree only long enough to acknowledge the look from globe, then returns to watching Bree down the barrel of his M-16. To Bree, he said, “Can you help me like a big girl?”

“I don’t know; I’m awfully tired.”

“Please, Bree. I really need to know where this person is.”

Bree sighed and patted a stuffed cat on the seat next to her. “Puss is hungry. We should feed him first.”

“What about you? Are you hungry too?”

Bree sighed dramatically.

Globe nodded and tried to keep his face expressionless. “Let’s get you and Mister Puss something to eat.”

Bree giggled. “Puss is a girl cat.” She smiled. “You can tell by her eyelashes. Don’t be a silly-nilly.”

Globe turned to his R-C-M-P liaison. “Let’s get these two something to eat.”

16Sunsets – Day Zero

[660/35,479 #bekindrewrite #3WW Sunday Photo Fiction]I know, I’ve been slacking. I wrote this earlier this week, but I just can’t seem to get the confrontation right. I decided to just post the thing and hope my alpha readers can help me with this scene.

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

7 responses to “16Sunsets – Confluence V

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