Jump to content
    C James
  • Author
  • 5,940 Words
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

In Memory of Ed Wooton

For the Love - 22. Fun in the Sun

The ride was far shorter than I'd expected, because we didn't go directly to Hidden Springs. Instead, Steve wheeled into the hospital parking lot, grinning, "Don't forget Officer Jacobs. Dad told me to make sure you stopped by to see him."

As we climbed out, Steve dug in one of the backpacks, producing two sleeveless T-shirts, tossing one to me. As I pulled it on I said, "So, you really did pack a few clothes."

Steve laughed as we made our way to the entrance of the drab, single-story hospital, "Yup, but I want that back when we get out of here. This weekend is for fun in the sun, allkinds of fun..."

The smell of disinfectant permeated the air as we quickly found out which room Officer Jacobs was in, and the harried nurse told us to go ahead and walk back to the room. After walking down a short hallway, our footsteps echoing across the faded linoleum, we reached the room, finding the door wide open. A glance inside revealed Officer Jacobs watching TV. He recognized us, smiled, and waved us in.

We sat on the empty bed beside Jacobs as he hit a button to raise the back of his own bed further. He smiled, and I blushed deeply as he thanked me for saving his life. I didn't feel I deserved it, but he would brook no arguments on that score. He concluded by telling me, "I'm sure glad you were there. I guess I was damn lucky that a medical student happened to be in the next room when I got shot."

I coughed weakly, "Luckier than you know. I'm pre-med, and I haven't actually had any medical classes yet. I've read up on medicine, but I haven't had any training at all. I just knew I had to slow the bleeding."

Jacobs blanched a little, before chuckling, "Damn, I was lucky in a lot of ways. I moved up here from Phoenix, taking a big pay cut, but figured it would be worth it for a safer job in a nice, quiet place to live. Never thought I'd nearly get myself shot to death in a fellow cop's house. The Doc said that my wife could probably take me home tomorrow. I'll be off my feet for a while and I'll need some physical therapy, but they said I should have little or no impairment in the long run."

Something about what he'd said seemed strange, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Jacobs noticed my puzzled look, "Noticed that I'm angry, did you? Well, I am. I moved up here for small-town life, but I end up getting shot. But, what's really eating at me is the bug in a cop's computer; that thing was tipping off the bad guys to our every move, and probably putting lives in danger. I want to nail whoever was behind that, even more than I want to nail your," he looked at Steve, "brother for shooting me.

Steve and I both nodded, as Jacobs continued, "So if you guys hear anything, anything at all, let us know. A lot of us on the Lonesome Valley force would like to hang up the hides of whatever outfit is behind this."

We shook hands with Jacobs before we left, and promised to visit him soon.

When we returned to the Jeep, I peeled off my shirt, watching as Steve shucked his own before placing both in a backpack. Steve looked great in the yellow running shorts, and I couldn't wait to get him alone in the desert.

We pulled out of the hospital parking lot onto the highway, but Steve pulled into the Circle K, tapping anxiously at my gas gauge. The one thing I'd forgotten to do was fill up the tank. The Jeep was over half full, but it's never a good idea to head into the backcountry without filling up.

I jumped out and started pumping, but Steve took over, handed me a twenty and said, "Go grab us some burritos and cold sodas. I'll take care of the gas."

I noticed Steve watching me closely as I took the money and let him take over pumping the gas. I realized he was testing me to see if I was still self-conscious. I smiled at him, threw my shoulders back, and walked into the circle K. I wasn't bothered by it; I'd seen plenty of guys in there shirtless. I even got a very nice smile from the cashier as she rang up the gas, burritos, and sodas.

Steve jumped back into the Jeep as I returned, and I noticed that familiar slight upturn at the corner of his mouth. I laughed, "Seeing what I'd do, eh?"

Pulling out onto the highway and heading west towards Piedmont, Steve nodded, "Yeah, I was wondering if it would bother you going into a store without a shirt... Guess not."

I laughed, "I think I can go into a gas station shirtless just fine, wise guy. So, where are we going? I sure as hell hope you will be turning off before we hit the county line. Meeting up with Sheriff Johnson and his gun again is not high on my agenda of things to do today."

Steve grinned back, the wind blowing through his hair, "Dad took us camping in the Hidden Springs area a few years ago. We've been back there twice and never seen a sign of anyone, not even a footprint. It shouldn't take us that long to get there. We have to go a few miles on that dirt road we chased Eric down, then up a Jeep trail, and then hike in a mile, then climb a little."

"Cool!" I grinned.

We closed the windows as Steve pulled onto the now-familiar dirt road and put the Jeep into four-wheel drive. After cranking up the stereo and air conditioning, I sat back to enjoy the ride. Steve put the Jeep into low-range as we passed Makeout Rock and entered the creek bed, Steve struggling with it a little, as he took us the couple of hundred yards downstream over rocks and outcroppings before the road returned to higher ground.

As we cleared the rise I heard a light scrape on the frame, and Steve looked at me with a bashful expression, "It's been a while since I've driven on stuff like that. I'm out of practice."

As we approached the uphill grade that led to where Eric had hidden the data stick, Steve took a trail to the right. I'd have never found the entrance; it was overgrown and barely there at all, just a less dense area of brush. It was rough; the Jeep bounced hard a few times, churning ahead, dodging branches and rocks, and climbing through frequent washouts. Steve did well and avoided any further hits on the frame.

The range of hills to our left grew a little more rugged, and after about two miles Steve turned left off the trail, following a dry streambed uphill for a few hundred yards. After climbing a short forty-five degree slope to leave the wash, we crested out on a pad of flat grassland, with large boulders ahead of us. Steve put the Jeep in park and clicked off the engine, "We're here," he said, looking at me with a grin.

I jumped out and looked around; the scenery surrounding me was beautiful: rugged desert leading uphill, just broken terrain leading to a rocky escarpment.

We opened the tailgate and Steve removed the backpacks; I groaned with the weight as he handed me mine, it must have weighed forty pounds. Steve laughed, "You get the tent and the food. I've got the sleeping bag, clothes, sunscreen, bug spray, and a few other supplies. The packs weigh about the same and it won't feel too heavy once you have it on. Just be glad we don't have to carry water; that would add another twenty pounds each."

I crouched down to slip on the pack, and as I stood Steve cinched the waist strap for me. I did the same for him, and after locking the Jeep we were off. Steve led the way, heading generally uphill and soon we were back in the bed of the dry wash. In a few places we had to scramble over rockfalls and boulders, but in general it was an easy enough hike. Steve was right, the pack didn't seem that heavy after I got used to having the weight on my back. The wash entered a narrow canyon as it continued uphill. I was glad for the high walls that blocked the sun; it was well over a hundred degrees in the shade and the sun had been brutal.

The plaintive scree of a hawk echoed down the canyon, the only interruption to the desolate silence. We hiked for a few hundred yards more, and the steep, narrow canyon spread open a little, as we neared the level of the plateau above. The canyon took a turn to the left, but Steve stopped unexpectedly and dropped his pack at the bend. I gave him a questioning look.

"We need to climb a little here," he said, glancing up the canyon wall.

I looked up, and saw that it wasn't the near-vertical climb it appeared to be, but instead was a series of rocky ledges and outcroppings, topping out about thirty feet above the canyon floor. A dozen yards to my left, further up the canyon, I noticed a trickle of water making its way down the rock, only to disappear into the bare gravel and sand at our feet. Steve opened his pack, took out a coil of rope, and shoved it in the back of his shorts. He made short work of the climb, pulling himself up over each vertical traverse.

Within minutes Steve stood at the top, looking down at me with a grin as he tossed down one end of the rope, calling down as he did, "Tie one of the packs to it. We could have climbed with them on, but this is way easier."

I shrugged off my pack, tied it to the rope, and then watched as Steve dragged it up the rocks. We repeated the process with the second pack, and then Steve said, "I've got the rope, so just use it to climb if you need it."

I ended up not needing the rope but it was nice to know it was there. I breathed a sigh of relief as I pulled myself up over the last rise, and stood next to Steve. I glanced around, overwhelmed by the beauty of the place.

We were standing near the center of a roughly flat, rectangular area about a hundred yards long on the canyon side by about thirty yards deep. To the northwest, slightly to our right, was the ragged slope of a mountain, which stood in stark contrast to the fierce blue sky. The other sides of the flat area were rocky cliffs about twenty foot high, topping out on what looked to be a plateau, the cliffs made out of the eroded red sandstone common to the area. The area was sheltered by the surrounding cliffs, and I could see that putting the campsite near the water would give us shade for most of the day, while the area surrounding where we stood would be in full scorching sun.

Off to my left was the real surprise; a pool of clear blue water against the foot of the low cliff, partially shaded, and looking as inviting as hell on such a hot day. The pool ran all the way to the rocks at the canyon side drop-off. The water hole itself was about twenty feet wide and fifty long. It looked like paradise!

Turning around and looking to the east, I was overwhelmed by the view; we could see for twenty miles to the next range of mountains, and much of the road we had come in on. I could even see my Jeep, looking tiny due to the distance, about a mile away.

I turned to Steve, as he smiled, "Isn't this great Chris? Come check this out..."

Following him over to the water, I found it to be even better than I was expecting; a pool of water up to a dozen feet wide and about five feet deep in places, leading up to the edge of the drop-off. At the edge, it trickled soundlessly through a gap in the low rock and into the canyon below. I looked around the edges and saw no sign of water flowing in so I glanced questioningly at Steve.

"It's a spring, probably seeps in at the back end of the pool. That's why I call this place 'Hidden Springs'," he said.

I stooped down to feel the water, and found it surprisingly warm, seeing a flash of movement in the water as I did. Tadpoles; their presence proved that the water wasn't high in arsenic or other poisons, so it was likely okay to drink. Steve was right, there was no sign that anyone had been here, no litter, no trash, nothing, and it was miles from anywhere. I had to ask, "How did you find it?"

Steve grinned while stretching, "We were hiking in the canyon after camping where your Jeep is parked. I saw the water and wanted to see where it was coming from, so I climbed up. As near as I can tell, no one but Dad, Eric, me, and now you, have ever been up here."

Steve walked towards the back of the flat area, and near the water, he pointed to a sheltered flat spot near the foot of the escarpment, "That's in shade most of the day, so that's where we can set up the tent."

We retrieved the backpacks and rope and hauled them over to the spot, which looked idyllic. It was perfect. We pulled out the tent, the heavy steel stakes, and Steve set to work driving them into the rocky soil, using one of the rocks as a hammer. As I handed him another eight-inch long stake I hefted it in my hand, noticing that it was indeed heavy, and asked, "Isn't there a better way than carrying six of these things around? They weigh a lot."

Steve drove in another stake as he told me, "I used to have a set of lightweight ones, but they were aluminum. You couldn't drive 'em in with a rock and had to carry a hammer. They beat up real easy and they were shallow, wouldn't hold worth a damn. My tent collapsed one night in a thunderstorm, so ever since I just use these because they won't pull out unless you pry 'em out with a shovel. "

They were just steel stakes, much like oversized nails, and in some cases Steve had to work hard to pound them into the packed earth. Soon though the final stake was in, and we unrolled the tent. After tying the tent to the stakes, I climbed in and set up the tent poles.

With the tent erected, Steve unfolded the camp shovel and started digging a fire pit. I watched his flexing muscles and bare, sweaty torso as he worked. He caught my look, and answered with a seductive smile, "We can have a lot of fun here, it's totally private."

I unpacked some of the cooking supplies and the water filter, and all that remained was to find firewood. I glanced around the area, and saw nothing but some lonely mesquite. I checked around the spring, and realized that nothing grew there except a few weeds. I asked Steve, "What about wood?"

Steve looked around and reached the same conclusion that I had;"I hope we can find some up on the higher ground, or we will have to hike down the canyon and gather some."

We left our camp and walked along the back edge of the flat area and soon found a rocky draw leading upwards. We hiked up the steep draw, emerging onto a flat plateau that faced the mountain to the northwest. In the near distance, we spotted some large old scrub oak bushes, and they had their typical collection of dead, dry branches. We both gathered up a large armful, hauling it back to our fire pit. We placed some of the branches inside the pit and the remainder of our haul to the side. Steve gathered up some dry grass and twigs, placed them under some of the wood in the pit, and the fire pit was ready to go.

We were set, and started pulling off our shoes and socks, eagerly eyeing the water. Tossing our wallets, phones and my keys into the tent, we padded over to the water. I strode into the deepest point, the water coming up near my shoulders. I ducked under the surface, luxuriating in the sensation of cool water against my sweating skin; it felt like heaven.

Steve surfaced next to me, intimately close. I reached out for him, "Thanks for this," I said softly as I pulled him to me, "it's fantastic."

We waded over to shallow water and sat, mostly submerged, hand in hand, as the subtle shades of the approaching sunset played across the spectacular rock formations around us, watching as the shadows of the mountains crept across the distant plains below.

As darkness approached, we climbed out of the water with dinner on our minds. Steve dug in his pack for matches and before long, the fire pit was blazing away. We cooked hot dogs on sticks. They smelled great and tasted even better than I'd imagined possible, with just the right amount of charring. They went great with a tin of baked beans that we'd heated in the fire. The rich, smoky taste they acquired with the open flame made me wonder why anyone would ever cook hot dogs any other way.

We sat around after dinner, cooking marshmallows, when Steve produced a surprise, a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps.

"I figured we could unwind a little. Beer was too heavy but this was okay, so I kinda borrowed it from my folk's bar. Up for it?" he asked.

Steve handed me the bottle. I opened it, taking a long pull. It was both burning hot and sweet, causing me to I gag a little, but I decided that it was drinkable. Steve grinned and took a pull, as we watched the last rosy hints of the sunset fade from the desert sky.

We talked for hours, sitting in the water, side by side, staring at the spectacular arch of stars as the fire guttered to embers behind us. I stared up at the Milky Way, taking yet another swig of schnapps, as Steve and I talked, about anything and everything, just comfortable together, as if we had known each other all our lives.

Sometime after midnight, the moon rose over the desert peaks, and Steve, slurring a little, broached a subject I'd hoped he had forgotten, "Why haven't you run, Chris? Why do you stay with me, with all this crap happening?"

I rolled into Steve, pinning him against the rocks, the moonlit water lapping against his chest, "Because I love you, you idiot. Even with all this crap, I'm happy, and I wouldn't ever want to be without you. Why do I stay? For the love, Steve. I love you, you idiot, and I'd rather die than lose what we have."

Steve didn't reply, because he couldn't; he was busy kissing me.

We finished off the schnapps, sitting in the water, quietly watching the sky, talking about our pasts, our hopes, and our dreams.

Hours later, judging by the moon, I was feeling sleepy and getting close to the point of passing out. I glanced at the tent, sleep definitely not what was on my immediate agenda, and asked Steve, "Ready?"

Steve moved towards me, tracing his fingers down my side, whispering, "Always..." I knew what he wanted; I wanted it too, so I playfully tugged at his shorts.

I heard the subtle, distant crunch of gravel behind me and twisted drunkenly around as Steve stopped to listen too;"Just a pebble falling, or maybe a coyote," he said as we turned to face each other again. I reached out and ran my fingers through his wet hair, reveling in the feel of him, the warm water lapping around us.

Under the moonlight and stars, he moved towards me, whispering, "Maybe we can even watch the sunrise, after..."

Steve never finished his sentence. He spun from my arms as the silence of our water hole was shattered by a dull pop.

"Ow, something hit me in the back," gasped Steve, as he turned away from me, trying to stand and failing, staggering forward. In the moonlight, I saw it: a tuft at the end of a dark shaft, sticking out below his shoulder blade. I reached out, felt the object, and pulled, freeing it from Steve's back. I glanced down, my mind a haze from the alcohol and the shock, as I realized what I held in my hand: a tranquilizer dart.

I moved towards Steve as he stumbled forward, flailing a little as he fell face first into deeper water, as a sudden pain flared in my arm. I swatted at the sting, pulling out the dart that had embedded itself near my shoulder, and saw Steve go under. In panic I jumped towards him; I knew he was losing consciousness and would quickly drown.

I felt my own mind go fuzzy as I hooked my hand under his arm and pulled him onto his back and towards shore. I struggled to move him the few feet to the rocks, and collapsed beside him. I strained to turn my head, and saw that he wasn't moving anymore. I had to get up... I had to... I struggled, glancing up, bewildered to see a figure in the shadows, just a silhouette against the moon-splashed rocks behind it, the onrushing blackness overwhelming me, and everything faded to black...


I lay peacefully, stretched out upon a beautiful meadow, the hot sun beating down upon my body. It felt so hot on my bare chest, so I tried to turn away, but my body would not move. My eyes were closed, but the intrusive red light pressed against my eyelids, distracting me from the peaceful field around me.

I rolled my head, barely able to move it, opening my eyes a crack to look at the cool clearing that surrounded me, only to watch in confusion as it transformed slowly from a lush meadow to a dry, barren desert. I shut my eyes again, closing out the impossible sight.

Feeling a growing tightness in my burning chest and a painful dryness in my throat, I twitched, trying to move, but my arms and legs would not respond. My head spinning, I tried again, only to feel a tug on my wrists, a firmness that I distantly knew should not be there.

I cracked my eyes open again, only to be dazzled by the painful glare, forcing me to shut them and turn away. The light was intense and I could feel myself sweating in the searing heat, yet still I could not move. I heard a groan, feeling it in my own throat, as again I tried to open my eyes, the glare now reduced but dazzling still, unable to see anything but the glare and fuzzy shapes as my eyes began to focus.

I could see my own arm, laying on the sand and gravel of the desert floor, and noticed a rope around my wrist, leading to one of Steve's tent stakes a few inches past my fingers. I tried to raise my head, but it pounded, sending me back to the edge of the blackness, so I tried again, slowly, and I was able to glance down by body, seeing my ankles bound like my wrist.

It was like a nightmare, and I thought it might be, but the pain in my head made me doubt that I was asleep. I glanced at the desert beside me, watching the rocks slowly shift and crawl. I eased my head back and looked to my right, finding my other wrist staked, and beyond it a familiar form, Steve.

Steve! I tried to call out to him but my throat was raw and dry, and I head myself croak. I squinted, trying to figure out if he was moving, like the rocks.

Dimly, I remembered being in the water with Steve, and the darts, and trying to pull him from the water. I tried to make sense of the bewildering sensations that I was experiencing, but I couldn't. I glanced again at the rocks shimmering like a mirage beside me, my vision full of confusing images, every movement leaving tracers, and colors that I had never seen before.

I tried to concentrate, tugging on my wrists and ankles, still unable to move. I was fairly sure I had been somehow stretched out on my back with my wrists and ankles tied to tent stakes, spread-eagled in the burning sun, with Steve next to me.

My head swam, trying to make sense of what I was seeing and feeling. I heaved against the ropes that bound my wrists, feeling them cut into my skin, but I couldn't move. I was tightly bound, stretched out, feeling the sun broil my exposed flesh.

I felt everything fade, and for a while, I was back in that peaceful meadow, only to wake again, bound to the stakes in the blazing sun.

The sound of footsteps crunching on the gravel near my head shook me out of my daze. Water fell across my face with a shocking splash of welcomed cool, and then I heard another splash as Steve was hit by the water too. I tried to lick a few drops from my lips to ease my thirst, but it was already too late.

The glare of the sun made me squint, and I could see someone standing nearby. I looked away from the sun, becoming aware of pains in my back in addition to the burning sun on my chest.

I looked at the standing figure and recognized him just as Steve yelled, "ERIC! What the fuck?"

Eric laughed, "Did you really think I'd let you guys mess up everything? When you were chasing me after you screwed up my little Internet project, you tried to hide and wait for me. I was a few feet back in that fucking spiky bush and I heard you guys talking about coming up here."

"What the fuck have you done?" I gasped, my head clearing a little, my daze replaced by fear tinged with rage.

Eric smiled sweetly, his face shimmering like the rocks, "I had to hike all the way in here. I got you both with tranquilizer darts like they use for wild animals; I just tripled the dose. Good thing for me that Ketamine is a popular recreational drug these days, so I had some on hand. I had to climb up here in the fucking dark, then creep around when I heard you two yapping. I got you both, and then I had to figure out what to do with you. Lucky for me I remembered an old movie, one of your favorites Steve, and your tent stakes looked just about right, so I moved 'em, then dragged you two over here and staked you out, nice and tight. Around dawn, I went for a hike to let you cook for a while. Oh, dosing you two cost me about fifty bucks, which is what I'd usually sell that much Keto for, so I'd advise you not to piss me off."

Steve bucked and strained, but he could barely move. He gave up, gasping "Why, Eric? Why do this?"

Pacing back and forth, Eric stopped to stare at a bush before saying, "I needed to. If you guys testify about that camera stuff, I'm up shit creek. The dudes I'm hooked up with don't take kindly to the risk of me turning on them to cut a deal, so I had to fix this before they fixed me, permanently. I warned you guys not to make a big deal over the cameras, but you didn't listen."

Eric strutted around, before turning to face us again, "I'll make this short and sweet; I need to get out of town. To do that, I need the code you used to re-encrypt the data stick. If I get that, I'll have enough money to leave and start over. I sank a lot of money into that deal, so did my partners and you guys had to go FUCK IT UP by stealing the damn thing and then re-encrypting it!"

Eric kicked Steve in the side, and I heard Steve cough and gasp. "Leave him alone," I yelled.

I strained at my ropes as Eric kicked Steve again and sneered, "Then start talking before I get mad."

Steve groaned, "You little bastard, I'm not giving you shit!"

Eric laughed, "Yeah you will, Steve. I'll just wait until you want to. Look where you are; right in the middle of a big, flat, hot fucking desert, the sun hits here all day, and soon it's gonna be real hot. You two are staked out; you'll cook in the sun and get real thirsty. So, it's real simple, simple enough for even you to understand; you both cook until you give me what I want."

Steve and I both strained at the ropes, but we were bound tight. I could already feel myself starting to sweat, from both heat, and nerves. Eric strolled over to the water hole, about a hundred feet away, peeled off his shirt, shoes, and socks, then dove in. I heard him holler, "Hey, this water is great, cool and refreshing!"

I heard Eric splash around, and Steve turned his head to me, saying in a near whisper, "What the fuck do we do now? I don't think he'll let us go no matter what we say."

I tried to concentrate, my head still fogged, but finally things were making sense,

"That drug he mentioned, Ketamine, I read somewhere that it's hallucinogenic. I keep seeing things move that shouldn't, and my head is spinning. I don't know, I can't think clearly. I think I got a huge dose. I can't move either." I gritted my teeth and asked, "Do you really think he'd kill us?"

Steve sighed, "I don't know, my head is messed up too. Eric's gone this far. My back is all cut up and he kicked me a few good ones, so this is no act."

"I'm hurt too, and I'm really starting to bake. I can't move. What do we do?"

Steve whispered, slurring slightly, "I'll try and bargain with him. Make him let us go if we give him what he wants. What scares me is that bit about testifying; that gives him motive to kill us. If I can't get him to let us go, we can give him a code so he'll leave. He thinks he has the real data stick and we can't tell him that it's Dex who does. Dex is away so he'd just wait until Dex got back and probably kill him too. If we don't give him anything, he's probably gonna try and force it out of us."

I raised my head and watched Eric as he gathered up all our camping gear, sorted through our stuff, re-packed the backpacks, taking inordinate care to fold everything perfectly, and tossed them over the edge into the canyon. Eric put his shirt back on and walked over to us, carrying an armload of wood from beside our fire. He set the wood down by my feet and stood, twirling my keys on his finger, his hands shaking, "What's it gonna be? You guys ready to give, or do you need to cook some more?"

"How do we know that if we give you what you want, you will let us go?" asked Steve.

Eric smiled, "Dude, I'm your brother! You don't think I'd kill ya, do you? I'm just gonna let you and your boyfriend cook in the sun awhile, until you give me what I need. Then, if you give, I'll loosen one of the ropes a little and run for it. It'll take you a few minutes to get loose, and I've taken all your clothes and shoes. Climbing down after me won't work; I can go faster than you 'cause I have shoes, I'll have a head start and all I need to do is get to the Jeep first. You guys will have to wait for dark to hike out without water. Won't be fun with no shoes, but maybe I'll leave them and the other gear where the Jeep is parked if you don't try and chase me. "

Steve struggled and groaned, "Okay, okay, you win Eric. The password is Zulu6."

Eric grinned, "You sure?"

"Yeah, now let us go!"

Eric tapped against the pile of wood with his foot, "That was too easy, Steve. I think you're lying. I think I need to build myself a campfire and roast Chris' crotch a little, just to be really sure..."

Eric dropped a few of the dry braches between my legs as Steve screamed, "NO, it's Zulu6, I swear... Just let us go."

Eric stood up and laughed. "You don't get any brighter, do ya? I'm not letting you go. I can't have you testifying about the cameras or reporting this. I don't think anyone ever comes out here. Your voices won't carry out of here either. So, I'm just gonna go, and you guys get to die staked out. A real slow and painful way to go, but it solves my problem. Sucks to be you, I guess."

Eric started to walk away and Steve yelled, "You'll never get away with this!"

Eric turned and laughed, "Sure I will. Nobody will find you here and I'll come back in a month to bury the bones. I'll ditch the Jeep at a chop-shop tonight. No one will ever know what happened; they'll just think you guys really were running the website and made a run for it when your story started to fall apart."

Steve strained at the ropes as Eric neared the edge of the drop-off and yelled, "If you're going to let us die at least tell us what this shit is about."

Eric crouched near the edge of the canyon, looking thoughtful for a moment, before slinging the tranquilizer gun over his shoulder and telling us, "You guys got in the way of some business, that's all; nothing personal. But, ya know what, Steve? You've been watching way too many movies if you think I'm going to spill the whole story before I leave you to die. There just ain't no percentage in it; if you guys somehow survive, you'd just rat me out again. Anyway, I've got places to go and people to see. Have a nice day, dudes."

With that, Eric lowered himself over the edge and was gone. Steve yelled for him a few times, but no answer, just the sound of Steve's voice echoing off the sun-baked desert cliffs.

©Copyright 2007 C James; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 14
  • Love 2
  • Wow 2
  • Angry 8

Please let me know what you think; good, bad, or indifferent.  The feedback thread for this story is in my Forum. Please stop by and say "Hi!"

Many thanks to Conner for editing, support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions on this chapter.
Many thanks also to my editor EMoe for editing and for his support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions (and for thinking up a title!).

Thanks also to Shadowgod, for beta reading and advice, and for putting up with me.
Any remaining errors are mine alone.

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Story Discussion Topic

Open Club · 66 members · Last active

A fan club for C James to chat about his stories and share images related to them

You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

Eric is a real psychopath.  I hope there is something close to cut the ropes somehow, although that would be too easy. Maybe someone will see Eric driving Chris's jeep and come to the rescue.  I do hope Eric doesn't survive at the end. 

  • Love 1
Link to comment
View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..