This is the opening section of my newest novel which is in final edit and should be published shortly.
September 2004 - Chiricahua National Monument
An hour before park closing time a 23 foot RV configured with a toy hauler rear wall pulled slowly into the empty Faraway parking area. It made a circle to east and stopped approximately forty feet from the Bonita Creek Trail access point. The RV had Louisiana license plates and was emblazoned with Cruise America decals and striped in red and blue on a white base. It was the Tuesday after Labor Day and there had been virtually no traffic on the way to the park.
A man dressed in desert camouflage got out, stretched and walked slowly up to the high point of the access. He carefully surveyed a full 360 degrees with binoculars and signaled to the two men who were emerging. They quickly opened the rear and one of them mounted a small stealth designed amphibian hovercraft originally designed for Navy Seal teams to carry armaments. As soon as the ramp was closed the second man joined him and they moved quickly up the Bonita Creek Trail to the west. They only went a few hundred yards before stopping where the first man was pointing over the crest of a rise to a small side trail. The men quickly donned surgical scrub outfits and one of them put on a belt holding several aerosol cans and assorted brushes. He moved off on to the side trail while the other two quickly released the bungee cords holding a tarp. Each of them grabbed an end and set off down the same trail. They stopped at the edge of the space where a six foot pentacle was being spray painted in the floor of the sandy hollow. By the time they had the tarp opened, the paint was dry enough for them to lift the body of a small boy dressed in a Harry Potter cape and mask and place it in the center of the pentacle. While the two tarp carriers quickly rolled up the tarp and started uphill, the remaining man snapped several pictures and began backing up the hill erasing any sign of their passage by using the brushes and some aerosol air spray.
He stepped onto the hovercraft and did another 360 degree sweep with the binoculars before signaling the driver to leave. By the time they reached the parking lot the scrubs had been removed and wrapped inside the tarp, along with the aerosol cans and belt. Two of the men jumped off and quickly lowered the ramp. It was closed before the hovercraft had settled and been turned off. Both of them visibly relaxed and looked at their watches as they walked to the front of the RV and got settled in. “Eleven minutes. One minute better than we thought. Let’s go,” the older man in the passenger seat said. The RV pulled slowly out and headed back towards Wilcox. They only passed two vehicles for the next twenty minutes and one of those was a park ranger truck. Fifteen minutes after they passed it, they pulled over to the side of the road at a place where they could see traffic for miles in either direction. The two younger looking men began stripping the Cruise America decals and running orange tape over the red stripes. They changed the Louisiana license plates for Utah plates. While they were doing this the other man had lined up the antenna on a cell phone and pushed a sequence of preset numbers. In quick sequence the Parks Service Regional Office, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department and the local FBI received the same message. It had been recorded by a widely distributed software program in a voice that was arguably more female than not. Its message was “Help. Oh my God. It’s a dead boy. It’s terrible. I’m on the Bonita Creek Trail. Please send help. Please send help.”
Copyright © 2010 Dewey Dempsey
Burnt Mountain Press