Pile of Bones

A man out on a lonely walk encounters troubles he hadn't foreseen. A boy child goes out to play and discovers something that could solve a twenty year old mystery.

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2. Chapter 2

 

*Summer, 2009*

The little boy ran towards the forest, his laughter ringing through the crisp morning air. His mother called out behind him from the kitchen in their comely little house.

"Don't run too far, my son!"

"I won't Mama!" he shouted over his shoulder.

The woman smiled at her child, his excitement contagious. She knew that he had enjoyed going into the forest surrounding their house ever since he was a few months old. The mystery of the forest had always intrigued him, and he would enter the forest nearly every day.

The little boy entered the line of trees far from his mothers view and began to follow the hidden trails almost imperceptible to the naked eye. He relished the freedom of being alone, of exploring the unknown.

Today he would be following the raccoon trail he had spotted just yesterday as he came home shortly before dusk. He quickly found the trail, partly covered by the rotting leaves blanketing the forest floor.

He easily spotted the pawprints, and recognizes the smaller print of a baby raccoon following in his mothers footsteps. The prints led to a small meadow, in the center of which was a small pond. Both the mother raccoon and her kit were there, each holding a small golden shiner minnow between their front paws.

The little boy stopped in fascination and carefully sat down in a comfortable position ready to watch them for a while. The mother was showing her kit how to wash the minnow to ready it to eat, flipping it back and forth between her paws. Being too young to understand everything she was showing him, the kit rolled it over in the shallow water.

The little boy sat and watched until the raccoons had finished eating their meals, dismembering the minnows until there was only a little scrap of bones left. The mother then got up and padded off silently, her kit following just as quietly behind.

The boy stood up and started to trail behind them, hoping to learn more about them. As he walked, he didn't watch carefully where he was going, and a low-lying tree branch swept across his face drawing forth a startled little yelp from his lips. The raccoons heard, and the mother quickly turned around, hissed, then snatched her kit up by the scruff of its neck and darted off into the underbrush.

Not wanting to lose them, the boy started to run after them. He suddenly tripped, sprawling spread-eagled onto the hard forest floor. He lay there for a minute absently staring at the underside of one of the many ferns that grew in the forest. His eyes refocused and he realized that something was under the bush.

He got to his knees and crawled forward. The loosely packed dirt dragged along under his knees, and scuffed the edges of his shoes. He brushed the bush aside easily, and held it in place while he investigated what he had seen. It was the top of a large, round, white stone, and with the characteristic innocence of a child, proceeded to dig it up wanting to take it home and show his mother the newfangled oddity.

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