Sam and his young brother, Tom, were thrilled that it had snowed enough the night before to have covered the ground with a few inches of fresh, soft, fluffy snow. And more important, the snowfall was enough for schools to be closed for the day.
After getting the blessing from their mother, who had to begrudgingly stay home from work because of the school closings, they headed out to the woods a few blocks from their home.
The boys were running around, trying to make snowballs to throw at each other. But the snow was too dry and fluffy to make good snowballs, so they decided to go exploring deeper into the woods. That’s when they saw something strange in a small clearing in the forest.
They both ran toward the object that attracted their attention. “That’s weird,” said Tom.
Sam looked around. “Hey, there are no footprints in the snow around this thing, but there’s no snow on it,” he said.
“So what does that mean?” Tom asked.
“It means that it was put here after the snow stopped,” Sam answered. “But how did it get here? Who put it here and didn’t leave footprints in the fresh snow?”
Tom looked at the object on the snow. It had three animal skulls, antlers intact, on something shaped like a yield sign. “I don’t like this,” he said to Sam. “I think it’s a warning. Let’s go home.”
“Don’t be such a wuss, Tom,” Sam said. “I want to find out what it means and who put it here. Are you with me or not?”
Tom could feel the stream of urine trickling running down his leg. He was as scared as he’d ever been in his young life. “No I’m not with you. I’m going home. Are you with me?”
Sam looked at his little brother. “Fine,” he said, “but one of these days you’ll have to develop a sense of adventure.”
When the boys walked into their home, their mother was sitting at the kitchen table sipping some coffee and listening to a news bulletin on the radio. The announcer’s voice conveyed a sense of urgency.
Authorities are urging people to stay away from the woods just east of Carroll Township, where police found three deer carcasses in what appears to be some sort of ritualistic ceremony. The animals were apparently decapitated and their heads are yet to be found.
Sam and Tom looked at one another. This time it was Sam who felt the trickle of urine running down his leg.
Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.