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“What’s this old trailer doing out here?” Jacob asked.

The entire crew was out for a bit of adventuring on a Sunday afternoon.  Kent had called up all the other boys in the neighborhood, the boys that made up his “crew”, and invited them to come play on the property at his house.   Jacob Smith, Brad Jefferson, Seth Richardson, and Perry Beau comprised the crew, along with Kent.

His house was on the very edge of the town, and bordered a huge expanse of wilderness, all of which his family owned.  It was so vast that no matter how long they explored it they always seemed to find something new.  On this occasion they’d found a new meadow a short way away from their regular hangout.  And the RV was right there, just sitting right in the middle of it.  It looked so out of place, Kent couldn’t even begin to fathom how it had gotten out there- the entire clearing was surrounded by heavy forest.

“How should I know?  My parents just bought the land a year ago, we’ve never seen it before,” Kent replied.

“Well let’s go check it out,” Seth said, and ran ahead of the four into the clearing.

When they got closer to the RV Kent saw that it was an old Winnebago- the exact same model that his uncle Christopher had sitting in a similar state of disuse in his back yard.  Kent looked around again for the road that whoever had abandoned the RV had used to bring it there.  There wasn’t anything but thick forest surrounding the clearing on all sides.

The RV’s door was hanging ajar, the door swinging back and forth lazily in the wind.  By the length of the weeds growing around the tires and threading themselves through the holes in the hub caps, the vehicle had been there for quite some time.  The two tires that Kent could see from his side of the RV were both flat.  There was something wrong about the RV, Kent could sense it.

“It could be our new clubhouse!” Jacob shouted, and ran ahead of the others towards the vehicle.

“I don’t know if it’s safe!” Kent called after Jacob.  “My dad never said anything about this being on the property, and he’s checked out every acre on his four wheeler.”

“Well it looks like he never checked out this clearing,” Brad said from Kent’s side.

“Quit being such a pussy Kent, this is the coolest thing we’ve found out here,” Seth said.  Kent had never liked Seth, the only reason he invited him over was because the other guys liked him.  When Seth had moved into town he and Kent had taken an instant dislike to each other.  Kent’s friends had gotten close to him over the months though, and reluctantly Kent had accepted him into the group.  Kent had been afraid that if he hadn’t the others would have chosen Seth over him.

“Whatever, I’m staying back here until you guys figure out if there’s a bees nest in it or something like that then,” Kent said.  It was the only halfway decent comeback he could think of.

Jacob reached the discolored door of the RV and threw the door open.  “Oh gee, I hope there aren’t any bees or else Kent is going to shit his pants.  Haven’t you ever gotten stung before?”

Kent peered cautiously into the section of the RV’s interior he could see from where he was standing.  No bees.  “Of course I’ve gotten stung dumbass,” he felt his cheeks getting hot at saying a word his dad would have beaten his ass for saying, “I just think it’s stupid to go into abandoned vehicles.  There could be drugs in there.”

Seth had gotten right up by the entry to the RV, and was standing next to Jacob.  “Well I think you’re a pussy,” Seth said.  “Come on Jake, let’s show the baby that there’s nothing to be scared of.”

“Dude, you guys need to quit being such dicks,” Perry said from Kent’s side.  A small and quiet boy, Kent hadn’t even noticed Perry walk up beside him.

Jake and Seth had just started to walk up the tiny staircase into the RV when suddenly a voice called out “HELP ME!”  It sounded vaguely female.  Kent thought he recognized the voice but couldn’t quite come up with whose it was.

Every one of the boys froze.  Jake and Seth jumped and turned around to face out the door, Seth at the top of the three stairs and Jake on the first step.

“HELP!” the voice called again.  It seemed even more familiar, but Kent still could place neither the voice’s owner nor where it was coming from.  It was like a lost phone ringing under a couch- it seemed to be coming from all directions at once.

“What the heck is that?” Brad said.

“It sounds like my sister,” Seth said, and pushed Jake out of the way as he hopped out of the trailers.  Jake fell down at the bottom of the steps as Seth jumped over him.

“What are you talking about?  No it doesn’t,” Jake said, jumping up and scowling at Seth.

“I’m stuck under the RV,” the voice yelled.  It hadn’t sounded like Seth’s sister Becky before, but now Kent could hear it too.  He looked over at Perry to see if he’d heard the same thing, but found that Perry was staring at the bottom of the RV, his eyes wide and his mouth agape.

“How did she get here?” Kent said nervously, snapping his eyes to the bottom of the RV with Perry.

“I’m getting you out sis,” Seth yelled, dropping to his knees and beginning to dig at the earth below the RV.

“That thing is four inches off of the ground, how the hell could she fit under there without her head being squished,” Brad asked.

“Shut the fuck up!  Jake, help me already!” Seth said, still digging at the ground.  Jake froze for a second, then dropped to his knees and started digging a hole underneath the RV with Seth.

“Hurry up Jake!” the voice yelled.  It was now unmistakably Becky’s.

“I’m going to run back and get my dad,” Kent said.  He turned to Perry to ask him to come along, but he saw that Perry was still frozen with the same look on his face to the extent that it scared Kent.

He spun back around to ask Brad to come with him.  “I’ll come along,” Brad said before Kent could say anything.

Kent turned back to tell the Seth and Jake they were going for help when he saw it.

Something that Kent didn’t have the facilities to describe except for that it was a sickening shade of olive green slithered out from underneath the RV and grabbed Seth and Jake simultaneously.   It latched onto them and jerked them towards the RV with such force that Jake’s head hit the side of the vehicle with a sickening crack that left a splatter on the side of the RV that looked to Kent like grape jelly.  Seth managed to avoid the same fate, him sliding into the dugout that he had made at the side of the RV’s base.

Brad screamed, while Perry simply wavered and then collapsed like a cloth doll.  Kent barely heard the dull thud when Perry’s body hit the ground.  He kept staring at the scene.

Whatever was underneath the RV kept pulling at Seth and Jake, trying to pull the two underneath the vehicle.  Seth screamed, while Jake flopped around, his head leaving more jam marks each time it loudly thumped against the side of the RV.

There was a sound like a ream of paper getting torn in half, and Kent saw Jake’s arm come off and disappear underneath the RV.  What was left of him dropped outside of the rig, the thing underneath the vehicle losing its grip on him.

Seth screamed, only for whatever was grabbing him to yank him through the RV’s low clearance in one wrenching tear.  Kent heard Seth’s skull explode as whatever was pulling him made his skull fit through the four inches between the bottom of the RV and the ground.

There was a chewing sound from underneath the rig, and then a flash of green reached out and grabbed Jake’s armless form and pulled it underneath the RV with another crunh.

Kent’s cheek suddenly ignited in a flash of fireworks and fire.  Stunned, he turned and saw Brad turned towards him.  He realized that Brad had punched him in the Jaw.

“We have to go now,” Brad said.

Not needing any encouragement, Kent sprinted towards the side of the side of the clearing opposite the RV, Brad’s heavy footsteps closely behind him.  The two had gotten a hundred feet away from the RV when Kent stopped and then spun around so fast that Brad smacked into him at a dead sprint, sending both of them flying to the ground.

“We have to grab Perry,” Kent said, rubbing his hand through his hair as he got to his feet.

“Fuck that,” Brad said, jumping up and running out of the clearing before Kent could get another word in.  Brad’s speed seemed almost superhuman.

“Fucker,” Kent said, feeling instantly ashamed of himself for saying the word even after the horror he’d seen.

Kent ran back to where he’d seen Perry fall.  He couldn’t see him through the tall grass, Kent was sure that he had been taken by the thing.

Just when he was sure that he’d never see his friend again, Kent found Perry.  He was sprawled out where he’d fallen, a contented look on his face.

Kent fell to his knees next to Perry and in one fluid motion slapped the other boy in the face as hard as he could.  Perry’s eyes jerked open and he jumped up, knocking Kent to the ground.  In a moment Perry was standing, while Kent was lying in the grass.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Perry said.

“Something grabbed Seth and Jake,” Kent said, hopping to his feet as well.

Just then there was another bonebreaking crunch from underneath the RV.  Perry turned and ran in the same direction Brad had disappeared in.

Kent shot one last look back to the RV before following Perry, but he instantly wished he hadn’t when he saw the last of Jake’s foot get pulled under the RV by something that looked like massive teeth.

That night Kent’s dad dragged him down to the site of the RV.  They were accompanied by Seth and Jake’s parents- the fuckers didn’t give two fucks about their sons when they were alive but now they cared.

Kent led them to the rig, a jolt of fear running up his spine the entire time they walked through their woods.  He would have ran, but for his dad at his side.

When they got to the clearing Kent expected the rig to have disappeared somehow, but it was still there, almost invisible in the night darkness of the clearing.  Flashlights in hand, Kent’s dad and the other parents thoroughly searched the area.

“Nothing there buddy, we think they were just pulling a prank on you,” Kent’s dad said after an hour of searching, the other parents behind him.  “They’ll be back by tomorrow.”

They weren’t.

The adults decided after a couple of weeks that Seth and Jake had run away- nothing Kent or the others would dissuade them from it.  Jake’s mother was the lone dissenter among the parents, but less than a month after the incident she left her husband and moved out of town in a spat that had the town talking for a year.  They focused on the divorce, perhaps so that they didn’t have to talk about the “ridiculous” story Kent and his friends had told.

Brent made sure to keep in the woods as he made his way through Washington, careful to keep out of sight of the roads.  Hours before he’d nearly stumbled into a little town called Clarkton, and had doubled back so he could give the town a wide berth.  After this long it would have been almost an insult to be caught by some small town cop.

It had been a month since he’d escaped from the Idaho State Penitentiary.  It was a simple matter of happening to be in the right place at the right time on a cleaning duty.  When he saw his opening he was outside the gates almost before he knew it.  Certainly before the guards did- he wasn’t certain but he thought it had been around five hours before they’d noticed him gone.

He’d never heard of any escapees from Idaho State evading the authorities for more than a month.  Brent intended to.  He intended to never go back to that hellhole of a prison.  His plan was to make it to the coast and sneak onto the first ship going out of the country that he could find.  Anywhere was better than going back to that hellhole of a prison.

As he crashed through the heavy brush, he thought about how he’d gotten into the whole mess in the first place.  He’d been on his way east from California, and had decided to make a stop in Boise for a drink and a proper bed to relieve the screaming pain that sleeping in his car the night previous had left.

Everything was going great, he’d been talking with a pretty blonde who reeked of cigarettes and loose morals, and had been nearly certain that he’d end up at her place at the end of the night and save the money he was planning on spending on a motel.

He’d ended up drinking too much though, always a problem of his.  After his dozenth drink he began to slur slightly, and something he’d said to Brenda(that had been the woman’s name, he’d always remember it after hearing it hundreds upon hundreds of times in that drab Idaho courtroom,) had wiped the smile off of her face.  Before he knew it she’d walked over to another table a few tables down, and had started chatting with a gruff-looking man with a cowboy hat and a mustache.

Brent had gotten mad, but had tried to forget about it with more drinks.  By the time he was finished with them he’d completely blacked out, and what he knew about what happened next he had learned from the police and in court.

He still wasn’t sure he’d done it, but according his conviction Brent had finished his latest double shot of whiskey (“The last one I was giving him,” the bartender had insisted on the stand), stood up and pulled out the pistol he carried around on him at all times.  He’d then emptied the clip into the booth where the woman and the man were talking, hitting both numerous times and killing them almost instantly.

When Brent had come to he was in a jail, being beaten by two officers as he clutched a chair and tried to figure out where he was.  He had a terrible hangover, and the repeated blows to the skull hadn’t helped anything.

That had been the start of his new life, going in and out of that jail and courtrooms, then after his conviction moving to the prison proper.

This was a new beginning now, and he wasn’t going to waste it.  He wasn’t going back to the prison, so his only other option was to die.

Lost in his thoughts, Brent tripped over a rock and fell into some low-hanging branches, snapping several of them as he fell to the ground.  “Shit!” he shouted as one of the branches scraped across his side, tearing his shirt and scratching him.

He laid on the ground for a moment, then laughed.  His fall had hurt like hell, but it was a good problem to have.  “Freedom is the freedom to make mistakes,” he said, then got up and brushed himself off as best he could.  The scrape on his side was bleeding, but just barely.  He’d gotten off lucky.

Pushing on, he pushed back through the forest.  He was more careful in watching where he was going, he liked having the freedom to make mistakes, but that didn’t mean he wanted to make the same one twice.

He worked his way through some heavy bushes using the coat he’d found along the way as a shield to keep from getting scraped again.  When he came out of the bushes he found that he was at the edge of a large clearing.

There was an old abandoned RV at the opposite end of the clearing.

“Finally, some luck,” Brent said to himself, feeling elated.  Save for the first two nights after his escape, when he’d hid out in an abandoned tool shed until he was able to slip away one night, he had slept outside every night of his journey.  The RV seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, he was sure he could crash in it for a day or two to recuperate his energy.

The only thing that bothered him was that there were no visible roads going into the clearing.  It was as if the RV had fallen out of the sky.  “Quit being paranoid Brent, maybe it’s a gift from the gods,” he said, and started making his way towards the vehicle.

He was halfway towards the RV when he began to hear a moaning come from the direction of the RV.  Startled, he jumped back so hard that he promptly fell onto his ass, his eyes darting around the RV for the source of the noise.  I’m not getting caught after all of this shit.

The moaning suddenly stopped.  Taking a deep breath, Brent got to his feet.  He had a strong urge to run away, but compared to his previous lodgings the RV looked to be a luxury hotel, and he couldn’t bring himself to give up on it.  Cautiously, he got closer.

“BRENT!” a voice suddenly screamed.   Brent was so startled that he nearly fell on his ass again, but he managed to keep his balance and brace himself to listen for another scream.

“Brent!” the voice called again.  It was a female voice, but unlike any Brent had ever heard.  It sounded… unnatural somehow.  Its voice sounded alien, like it wasn’t quite human, but something pretending to be one.

“Who is that?” Brent asked, staying cautiously away from the RV but dropping down to one knee so that he could see beneath the vehicle.

“It’s me,” the voice said, sounding strangely familiar now.  The shadows under the vehicle were so dark that he couldn’t see anything under the low clearance of the rig.  It puzzled him; it was the middle of the day, there should have been more than enough light for him to see underneath the RV.  And yet there was nothing but darkness, so dark that it looked tangible, like a black fog.

“You’re going to have to be a little clearer than that,” Brent said.

“Don’t you recognize my voice?” came the reply.  And it almost seemed like Brent did recognize the voice.

“Jan?” Brent asked, saying the first name that came to mind.

“Yes!  It’s me.  Get me out from under here,” the voice said, and now he was certain it was Jan’s voice.

“What the hell are you doing out here sis?  You’re supposed to be in Oregon with Steve and the kids,” Brent said, confused.  Still, he started crawling the short distance to the RV, trying to make his sister out in the blackness under the vehicle.

“I don’t know what happened, I was sleeping and I just woke up under here, trapped.  Please get me out Brent, I think I’m going to starve to death down here!”

Brent thought that was strange of her to say that, he knew from his own journey that thirst came long before hunger.  He didn’t have time to think about it, he’d figure it out when he got Jan out.  The world might think him a monster, but he was always there for his family.   “I’m going to get you out sis, just hang tight,” he said, and started digging at the earth underneath the RV to at least give him enough clearance to look under the vehicle.

He had just started to dig when  the darkness started to trickle out from under the RV in a wisp.  There really is a black smoke down there, Brent though, staring at the wisp as it drifted towards his hand.

Suddenly, the tendril became solid, losing it’s translucency.  Brent gasped and tried to jump back, but it was too late.  The tendril grabbed his arm and jerked him towards the underside of the RV so hard that he smacked his face against the side of the RV.  Brent felt his nose crush, and blood immediately began to pour out of his face.

The thing kept jerking at his arm.  Brent heard a pop and a tearing sound, but he could already feel himself losing consciousness.

“So hungry,” the voice said, its sound no longer remotely resembling anything human.  Brent blacked out just as the creature started tearing at his flesh.

Boston thought he was headed towards his home, but he wasn’t sure.  The only thing he knew was that the door had been open, and he’d run out, excited to have a taste of freedom.

There had been a delicious smell, and he’d followed it for miles, the smell getting stronger and stronger as Boston followed it.

Then the scent trail had suddenly disappeared.  Confused, Boston had sniffed around for a few minutes.  Not able to find the scent again, he gave up and started heading towards his house, letting his instincts tell him where to go.

He came into a clearing, and noticed a human house in front of him.  There was an unnatural scent coming from it, and Boston turned to run back into the clearing when suddenly a voice yelled “Help” from the underneath the human hut.

Jumping to turn around, Boston barked at the trailer.  He was so shocked that the hair along his back started to stand straight up.

“Boston!” the voice said.  Suddenly it sounded like his master.  His ears perking behind his head, he instantly dropped his aggressive stance and ran towards the house, determined to save his master.

Just as he got to the trailer a hand came out from underneath, and Boston instantly recognized it as the hand of his master Rod.  Whining, the dog leaned down and gently put his teeth around the wrist so that he could pull his master out.

The hand jerked out of his mouth and grabbed his snout before Boston knew what was happening.  In an instant the hand jerked around in a circle, snapping the dog’s neck and stopping its heart in a moment.

It was already dead when the creature started dragging it underneath the RV, consuming the Boston’s carcass as fast as it could pull it down.

 

Kent stood on the lawn of his parents’ house and admired the new coat of paint his dad had slapped on the place since his last visit.

It had been two long years since he’d been on the property.  Ever since that day he’d never really felt comfortable on the property, and had taken off the day after his high school graduation, much to his mother’s consternation.  He was the only freshman in his dorm who decided to move in in June, and it was a month and a half before there was another person on his floor.

Despite learning that his parents weren’t the authority, Kent had grown up decently.  He’d gone to college immediately after high school- something neither of his parents had done, immediately after high school or ever- and was doing relatively well.  His grades weren’t the greatest in the country, but were decent enough that he’s be able to get into a graduate school when he graduated in a little more than a year.

He’d never forgotten that day.  Despite the assurances of his parents, and his own lies he tried to tell himself, he knew that he hadn’t hallucinated about what happened to his friends.

“Perry called me a few minutes ago.  He’s not coming.  Nothing I can say will convince him that it actually happened,” Brad said, walking pup behind Kent.

“I didn’t think you’d be able to convince him.  He didn’t see Jake and Seth get taken,” Kent said.

“I still don’t believe it half the time, but then sometimes it all just comes back to me as clear as day, and I know I can’t lie to myself about it.  You’re lucky you caught me during one of those times.”

“Yeah.  That’s the stuff, I take it?” Kent said, turning and giving a nod to the 5-gallon gas container Brad was carrying.”

“Yep, even got the premium in case that burns better or something,” Brad said.  “I really have no idea what we’re doing here.  You got the gun?”

“Yep, snuck it out of the gun case this morning.”  Kent produced a pistol from a concealed holster in his waistband, and showed it to Brad.

“You think any of this stuff is going to work?”

“I think if we can destroy the RV we’ll destroy… whatever that thing is.”

“Why?  Why are we even trying this?  Maybe we should just leave it be and go down to the bar, catch up on the last year.”

“We’ve got to do it now, we should have done it a long time ago.  Our neighbor’s boy Jeb disappeared two months ago, and hasn’t been seen since.  He was seven.  I know it was the RV.”

“Fuck, my parents mentioned something about a kid, but I thought he lived in town.”

“We’re the only ones who can take care of this.  We tried to tell them before, and they didn’t believe it.  People won’t believe what they think is impossible, no matter what you say.”

“You’re right on that.”   Brad was still bitter about the experience.  “Well fuck, no time like the present then, right?”

“Yeah,” Kent said.  “Want me to carry the gas can?”

“I’ll carry it for the first half,” Brad said.

The pair walked to the back of Kent’s house and entered the woods, beginning the long walk to the RV.

“So how’s college been, brainy boy?   Millwork at Stanton has absolutely sucked, in case you’re wondering.” Brad said as they walked.

“School has been good.   It sounds like some propaganda shit, but honestly I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I would.”

“You know I’d be right there with you if it wasn’t for that shit with my mom, right?”  Brad furrowed his brow in the way he only did when in deep thought.

“I know.”

As they approached the clearing, Kent noticed that the foliage around it didn’t look right.  The plants looked alien.  There was a reddish tinge to them, one that make Kent faintly nauseous.  He’d been to Hawaii once, and the closest thing he could compare the plants to were the alien ones he saw there.

“We’re almost there, looks like,” Brad said, noticing the plants.

“Yeah, looks like.”

The clearing wasn’t as clear as it used to be.  There were strange, black plants covering the clearing that looked like they were related to the plants just outside the clearing.

“Jesus, look at that,” Brad said, stopping to point at something.  Kent followed the point to find a sickly, purple green plant growing in the middle of the black plants.  It was sinister, and seemed to stare at him.

“Come on man, let’s hurry before we lose our nerve,” Kent said.

They entered the clearing.  The sun shined so brightly off of the yellow grass that covered the floor of the clearing that it hurt Kent’s eyes, and he instinctively raised his hand to his eyes to keep the shine out.  The RV was still there in the clearing, sitting there like it had every right to be there as if dropped from space

“Help, it’s got me!” a voice called.

“Sis?” Brad asked, perking up.

“Come on man, you know it’s a trick,” Kent said, grabbing Brad’s free arm.  Brad dropped the gas can that was in his other hand.

“She plays around the forest though, I’ve told her a hundred times not to come around here, but she never listens.  What if…” an anguished scream came from the underside of the trailer, interrupting Brad.

“It tricked me Brad!  I thought it was you!” the voice yelled through its scream.

“That’s definitely her, man!  It’s got her!” he resumed, struggling against Kent’s grasp on his arm.

“You know it’s not her, remember how it got Seth and Jake?” Kent said, twisting Brad’s arm up behind his back in one of the holds he’d learned in wrestling.

“Aah!” Brad screamed.  “I’ve got it, I’ve got it!  Let me go.”

“Keep moving, and I’m not letting you go until the thing is burning,” Kent said, sure that if he released Brad he’d take off running to save his “sister”, despite his protests otherwise.

Kent grabbed the gas can off of the ground with his left hand, keeping Brad’s arm in a chicken wing hold with his right.  Luckily, Brad didn’t struggle, because he could have probably gotten away if he had.  Kent thought maybe Brad’s senses were coming back to him.

They approached the trailer, the creature weeping and occasionally screaming in Brad’s sister’s voice.  It sounded like her to even Kent now, exactly like it.  He worried for a moment that she really was caught by the creature, but he pushed it out of his head, knowing that’s exactly what the thing under the RV wanted him to think.

“It’s not your sister.  You know it isn’t,” Kent said, not really sure himself.  “I have to let you go so I can douse the RV with the gas, can I trust you?”

“Yes,” Brad said.

“Brad, help me!  It’s eating me!” the voice that sounded like Brad’s sister called out from underneath the trailer.

“It’s not her,” Kent said again, and released Brad.  The thing started screaming again.  He passed the gas can to Brad.  “Now you spread the gas around the RV while I cover you with the gun.”  He pulled the pistol out of his waistband.

“I know you’re not my fucking sister, you piece of shit,” Brad said, then popped the cap off of the gas can and started circling around the RV pouring gas, careful to not get  too close.  Kent covered him with the pistol the entire time, making sure to look out for anything coming out from the underside of the RV.  When Brad made a complete circle, he tossed the last 1/3 of the can into the small ditch that Seth had started digging to save his “sister” just before his death.  The can landed upside down, the remaining gasoline pouring out underneath the RV.

Brad turned to Kent just as the monster shouted “Brad, it’s eating meee!” in Brad’s sister’s voice.

“Do it already,” Brad said.

Without hesitation, Kent shoved the pistol back into his waistband and fished a box of matches out of his pocket.  He pulled one out, and lit it up.

“You bastard!” the voice screamed, just as Kent threw the match onto the gas-soaked grass.

The dry brush burst into flames almost immediately, spinning around the RV in the circle that Brad had poured gas onto.  The RV caught on fire quickly, and the fire spread throughout it with alarming speed.

The thing screamed, still in Brad’s sister’s voice.  Kent saw beads of sweat start to form on Brad’s forehead, and he patted Brad’s back reassuringly.  “I know, it’s not her,” Brad said, a tear running out of his right eye.

The RV became fully consumed by flames.  The fire became so hot and smoky that Kent and Brad had to back away further, the heat radiating from the fire like nothing either had ever experienced.  The monster under the RV screamed the entire time, staying in Brad’s sister’s voice almost out of spite.  A few times Kent saw black tendrils that looked like they belonged to an octopus made of smoke start to creep out from under the RV, and he pulled the gun out to shoot at them, but each time they crept back under the vehicle, as if whatever creature they belonged to couldn’t survive outside of the underside of the trailer.

Gradually, the screaming subsided as the RV burnt down to ashes.

“What are you doing out here?” a voice said from behind them as the heaping mass of melted metal and plastic that had comprised the RV started to burn out.  Both Kent and Brad jumped, and spun around.

It was Brianna, Brad’s sister, looking confused and dirty from playing in the forest.  She looked over to the smoldering remains of the RV with confusion.

“Sis!” Brad said, and ran over to her, picking her up and embracing her in one fluid motion.  Kent could see the girl get even more confused than she already was at Brad’s sudden outburst of affection.

“Let me go!” she protested, laughing.

The three of them stayed until the fire went out.  As they walked by the remains of the RV on the way out, Kent saw what he thought was a pile of burned bones in the center of the ashes.  Too exhausted from the day’s events, he didn’t give it any thought, though the investigators who eventually found the remains would puzzle at the charred remains of so many missing previously missing people, and chalk it up to an unknown demented killer.

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