|Old Man Slater (standard:horror, 4091 words)|
|Author: crowdog||Added: Dec 03 2001||Views/Reads: 1994/1144||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A young boy sets out to find the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of two neighborhood children.|
OLD MAN SLATER Lonnie and Tina Patterson had been missing for three days. Everyone in the neighborhood believed they had wondered into the woods at the dead end of Crestview Lane, and gotten themselves lost. The police and several volunteers had been searching the area for two days. Toby Phillips knew better. He was absolutely sure Old Man Slater had eaten them both. All the kids in the neighborhood knew Old Man Slater. He was at least a hundred years old, by their estimation, and was quick to tell them they would regret it if he ever got his hands on one of them. The rumor was that Mr. Slater had a grandson that used to live in the house with him years ago. Mr. Slater had beaten the kid every day, until one day he just up and cooked the poor boy in a big pot on the stove. The story went on to say Mr. Slater got rid of the kidís bones in the huge furnace in the basement of the old house. Toby had confirmed the latter part of the story one day when he and Jimmy Waters had sneaked a peek through the basement window of the Slater house. Sure enough, they saw a huge furnace sitting in the middle of the big room. They also saw a kid's tricycle and several old toys lying around on the floor. They figured Mr. Slater probably used the toys to lure unsuspecting kids to certain death in that big pot. That's why Toby was so sure he had gotten Lonnie and Tina. He had seen them both playing just behind Mr. Slater's house on the day they disappeared. Toby stood in the front yard beside his mother and Mrs. Appleton. The two women were talking about how terrible it was that the two kids were missing. Toby's house was the fourth house up from the dead end of the street. Old Man Slater's house was the last one before the woods. Mrs. Appleton lived just across the street from the Slater place. They all watched as three police officers and several volunteers headed back into the woods to continue the search. "They say those young-uns probably wandered down by that old swamp at the bottom of the hill." Toby's mom explained. She was talking to Mrs. Appleton. Toby's mom didn't pay him any attention, but Mrs. Appleton would look down and wink at him through her bifocals from time to time. "There's quick-sand down there you know." She said as she pointed down the hill. "Oh my lord!" Mrs. Appleton held her hand to her mouth. "Do they think those little-uns got down there and got pulled under?" "Well if they did, they'll never find hide ner hair of em." She leaned closer to Mrs. Appleton, "Bob Fletcher got that three wheeler of his caught in it, and it sunk plum outta sight. He never did get it back out." Toby sighed, Mama knew a story about everybody in town. Toby knew that story. That's why none of the kids could play near the dead end, or go walking on the trail that led from the end of the street into the heavy woods. It seemed to Toby, that just about anything fun to do, Mama thought was sure to get him killed or mutilated. Toby was just eight years old. His brother, Eddie, was twelve. Toby couldn't wait to be twelve. Mama didn't seem to care what Eddie did, and whenever Toby complained about not getting to do the things his brother got to, mama would always say "Eddie's older and got more sense." Toby listened to the women chat for a few minutes then decided to tell them his theory about Old Man Slater. He reached up and gave his mama's skirt a tug. "Mama, they ain't down there. Old Ma-, Mr. Slater's done ate..." Mama turned around and looked sternly at him. "Toby, we're trying to talk here!" She said. "Go in the back yard and play." She turned back to Mrs. Appleton. Toby was determined to set them both straight. He gave the skirt a firm yank and spoke louder. "Mama, I'm telling ya what hap," Before he could finish the sentence, Mama turned and swatted him hard on the rear. "I told you to go in the back yard!" She kept her teeth together as she spoke, "Don't make me tell you again little man!" Click here to read the rest of this story (359 more lines)
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