The Boy in the Woods: Part 8

by bdhesse

port-alberni-background

“Are we there yet?” Bristol complained. “We left the old man’s island three days ago. I thought he said this place was close.”
“It is close,” Michael said. “According to the gps he gave us, the town is just ahead.”
Bristol sighed. “I hope you’re right,” she sighed.
“Don’t be such a baby,” Michael said. “Come on.” He took off running up a hill.
Bristol quickened her step, but she didn’t bother trying to run after the boy.
“Look!” Michael cried from the top of the hill. “It’s right there! Let’s go.” He began running down the hill towards the town.
“Wait!” Bristol cried. She began to run after Michael.
They slowed down as the approached the edge of the town. It was very quiet despite being the middle of the day on a Saturday.
“Hello?” Michael yelled. “Is anybody here?”
“This is creepy,” Bristol said. “Maybe this is the wrong town?”
“Nope,” Michael replied. “The gps said this is the place.”
“What do we do now?” Bristol wondered aloud.
“I guess we try and find somebody,” Michael answered.
They walked through the town slowly. They made there way towards the center of town looking for any sign of life.
“Come out, come out wherever you are!” Michael called loudly.
A head poked out from a nearby window. “I don’t care what disguise you use!” a middle aged man cried. He had dark skin and a long ponytail. “You can’t have any more girls!”
Michael looked up at Bristol. “Girls?” he said. “Why would I want any more girls?” He made a disgusted face.
Bristol giggled. “You won’t be saying that in a few years,” she said.
Michael made another face, then he turned to the man. “We’re looking for a white ball that was stolen from a friend of ours,” he said. “Have you seen it?”
“We don’t have anything of yours!” the man shouted back. “Now leave us alone!”
Michael blinked, confused. “That wasn’t very nice,” Michael said to Bristol.
“Let me try,” Bristol relied. She walked over to the man at the window. “I’m sorry sir, but we’re new in town, and we’re wondering why everybody is hiding inside on such a nice Saturday.”
The man looked stunned. “You’re really not with him?” he asked.
“With who?” Bristol asked a little nervously.
The man looked around. “You should get out of here before he shows up,” the man replied. “You’re in danger.
“Danger?” Michael asked. “From who?”
“Oda,” the man replied. “He’s a monster. He terrorizes the town and steals our daughters.”
“Really?” Bristol asked. “Why don’t you call the authorities?”
The man shook with fear. “He’s a mage,” the man replied. “A real powerful one. He can change his shape to whatever he wants, and he can throw things around with his mind.”
“Cool!” Michael cried. Bristol and the man stared at him. “Uh…I mean how awful,” he said.
“We should help them find there daughters,” Bristol said to Michael.
“Yeah,” Michael replied. “When he shows up I can beat him up and make him tell us where the girls are.”
“Don’t be stupid,” Bristol said. “I think it would be best if I trick him into taking me. Then you can follow us and free me and the girls while he’s distracted.”
Michael looked down, sadly. “That’s no fun,” he said.
The man looked terrified. “You can’t do that!” he cried. “You’re children: he’ll kill you!”
“Don’t worry,” Bristol replied. “Michael’s a mage too. He’ll be fine. And I’m a genius: I may not have magic, but I make do with science and technology.”
“Are you sure?” the man asked.
Bristol nodded.
“Alright,” he replied. “Come inside.” He let Bristol and Michael inside.
“Who are they?” a little girl asked as she walked downstairs and saw the guests. She looked to be around the same age as Michael.
“I told you to stay out of sight,” the man told the girl.
“But daddy,” the girl complained, “Mr. Oda isn’t here yet and I wanted to see what was going on.”
“Go back upstairs!” the man said.
“Fine,” the girl replied. She turned and walked back up the stairs.
“Is that your daughter?” Bristol asked.
“Yes,” the man replied. “Pakuna is only ten, but I don’t want that monster to see her. I want her to live to adulthood.”
“We try to keep all of the girls secret,” an old lady said as she entered the room. “But somehow Oda always finds them.”
“That’s so sad,” Bristol said. “How many girls are missing?”
“Three over the course of three years,” the woman said. “He comes once a year, always on the same day, and takes a new one. All of them have been around your age.”
“And the police aren’t able to stop him?” Michael asked.
The woman snorted. “Maybe they would if they cared,” the woman said. “But we’re a town of mostly First Nations peoples. The police don’t care what happens to our daughters.”
“Why not?” Michael asked.
The woman snorted again. “Leave it to the white boy to ask such a question,” she said.
Bristol blushed. “I’m sorry about him,” she said. “He’s kind of naive.”
“And your not?” the woman asked skeptically.
“I try not to be,” Bristol said.
“What did I say wrong?” Michael asked.
The ground shook suddenly.
“He’s here,” the man cried.
“Show time,” Bristol told Michael. “I’m going to go out there and look distracted. You watch me and follow us when he grabs me.”
“Okay,” Michael replied.
Bristol left the house and began to walk around looking scared and confused.
Michael watched as a man that could only be described as beautiful approached her. He looked like the type of man who would easily make it onto the cover of a magazine.
“Can I be of assistance?” the man asked her.
Bristol looked up at him with a startled look. “Oh, please,” she said. “I’m here visiting my aunt and she told me to stay inside. I didn’t listen, but then there was an earthquake. Can you help me? I’m scared.”
The man nodded. “Of course,” the man said. “Why don’t we get you back to your aunt?”
“Oh, thank you!” Bristol cried. She followed the man away from the house.
Michael watched from the window.
“Aren’t you going to follow them?” the man asked.
“I thought we were waiting for the monster to take her,” Michael replied.
“Stupid boy,” the old woman replied. “He’s not a literal monster. He just acts like one.”
“So…that’s him?” Michael asked.
“Yes!” the man said.
Michael hurried out of the house after Bristol.

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