Editor’s Note: This is the first of a five part series look for part two Dec. 15.

Peter was like every other kid his age. He was of a certain height and weight, played sports and wrote for the school newspaper. The only difference was, Peter lived on the only farm in the small, country town of Bridgemont. Day after day he would attend school, go to practice and help his dad out on the farm until the supper bell rang. After supper it was a race to get all of his homework done before his mother sent him to bed. Peter never had much time to himself and when he did there was nothing exciting to do. Of course he had friends, but they were usually busy. His best friend, Bobby Joe, liked to spend his time pulling pranks on people or beating up his younger brother. They had been best friends since they were kids. One day Bobby Joe decided to try and steal Peter’s lunch money; but with much impatience for this nature, Peter punched Bobby Joe right square in the mouth – knocking out his first tooth. Bobby Joe didn’t seem to mind it was his front tooth because the next morning he found a crisp dollar underneath his pillow in place of the tooth. Bobby suddenly became aware that if he could get money for teeth he’d just have to knock out a few more and he’d be rich, Bobby was grateful and decided he and Peter would make a great team. They had been best friends ever since. I can remember watching the boys wrestle on Peter’s front lawn, trying to bust out another tooth. Unfortunately, their attempts usually failed and ended in lots of black eyes and bloody lips on the white flesh of Bobby Joe’s face.

The current season of Bridgemont was autumn and a chill echoed in the air, Bridgemont was a quiet place, filled with tough boys that were too tough for their own good and girls too caught up in their make-up to notice they were walking themselves straight into a pole.

The town of Bridgemont contained a white church surrounded by beautiful trees that displayed a fiery array of colors so vibrant you’d think the tree was on fire when the wind blew softly through the leaves. Houses were scattered, close enough to be friendly but not too close to know everyone’s personal business. Of course Peter’s farm was a huge part of the town because they provided the milk and eggs for the townspeople. This had gone on in Peter’s family every generation and perhaps this was old-fashioned but nobody cared as long as they were getting what they needed.

There was an old comer store that Peter and Bobby would spend hours in front of during the hot summers of their childhood. Their entertainment consisted of sipping ice-cold lemonade or playing bottle caps. But change began to seep into the boy’s entertainment as they boys grew older, and girls came into the picture. The boys never grew too old to swim down at the lake,though. The calm, cold water was always a refreshing escape when you wanted to get out of the house but were too lazy to go anywhere far. I remember spending many days at the lake, sitting in the cool shade of the tall trees and watching the calm waters ripple ever so slightly; so slightly that the water would appear frozen in time. Sometimes I would watch the brief jumping of a school of fish as they engaged in child-like play.

But tonight everything was different for Peter. Instead of finding the placid lake inviting, he found it cold and dark. He knew something wasn’t right by the way the woods remained silent even though the trees were filled with birds or the way the water stayed still – as leaves blew across the surface of the water. It was as though the woods were playing red light, green light with him and the second he turned around the life of the woods would rush at him full speed until he stopped to turn around again. As Peter walked down to the water’s edge he had that feeling of being watched but turned around to find nothing but the warm light of the moon pouring down on him.

A sharp flicker of light caught his eye and he heard a soft rustle of leaves on the trail ahead as he cursed softly to himself, believing it to be Bobby Joe playing another one of his endless pranks. But this time it wasn’t going to work, Bobby Joe would not scare him and sign another embarrassing memory in the notebook of their friendship. As Peter bravely moved toward the noises he stumbled upon some branches on the brown floor of the earth and landed against something cold. His brave face now faded ghostly white as chills shot through his fingertips to all poles of his body. Peter lifted his head to find himself staring face to face with a dead body.

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