Two hunters get lost in the woods...
Those Crazy Mountain Boyz
The sun was down and there was only about twenty minutes of twilight left before it was completely dark. It was getting chilly, not that the day had been warm to begin with, and Kevin zipped up his jacket as he sat down on a rotted log. He looked at his hunting partner, who just stood there with a dumb look on his face.
"I thought you knew these woods."
"I do," Rick said, but his voice wasn't very reassuring. "The truck should be right over that hill."
Kevin looked down at his boots and shook his head. "That's what you said two hills ago."
Neither of them said anything for almost a minute. It was obvious they were lost, and Rick either had too much pride, or he was too stubborn to admit it.
"Alright," Kevin said. "But if it isn't..." He didn't finish the sentence because he wasn't sure what he'd say if he did.
Ten minutes later, they reached the top of the hill. Kevin's heart sank as he looked down and saw nothing but trees and more trees, and these were even thicker than the ones they'd just came out of. Kevin didn't seriously consider it, but the idea of shooting Rick right there on the spot flashed through his mind. He was about to say something when he heard a noise in the woods off to their left. He immediately pointed his gun at the sound.
"Whoa there, pardner," said a grizzled old man, raising his arms as he came out from behind an old pine. "No need to shoot."
Kevin slowly lowered his gun.
"Sorry about that," Rick said. "We just weren't expecting to see anyone out here. Who are you?"
"Name's Otis," the man said, lowering his arms. He was wearing old bib overalls, and one of the straps fell over his right shoulder. "What brings you two into these woods?"
Kevin didn't wait for his buddy to answer. "We're lost," he said flatly.
"Well, you're not the first ones," the old man said. "Seems like every year we find some flatlanders out here."
"We?" Rick asked.
"Me and my brother, Jake. We got us a cabin back over there." He threw his thumb over his shoulder, but the only thing Kevin and Rick could see were more trees. Otis saw the puzzled look on their faces as they tried to look past him. "Trust me," he said. "It's back there. And by the looks of it, you're gonna need a place to stay for the night. I'd give you a ride, but the headlights on my truck don't work. You're mighty welcome to stay with us, though."
Rick looked to Kevin for an answer. "Well?"
"Looks like we don't have much of a choice, thanks to you."
"You're sure it's no problem?" Rick asked. "We'd be happy to pay you."
"Ha!" Otis laughed. But it wasn't really a laugh. It was more of a shout, and Kevin and Rick took a step back. "What the hell do we need with money? Besides," he said, "we could use some company. C'mon boys!" He turned around and headed back into the woods.
"You'll pay for this one way or the other," Kevin said to his hunting partner as the two of them started after their new host. "You'll definitely pay."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The cabin was more of a shack, but considering their situation it suited them fine. Otis introduced them to Jake, who without his ZZ Top beard could have passed as Otis's twin. They both had the same green eyes, same round body, same old bib overalls, same everything. To Kevin they looked like mountain men versions of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and he almost laughed out loud when he saw them together.
Jake wasn't much of a talker, and for most of the evening they just shot the bull with Otis. He told them that he and his brother had been born and raised in these woods. They only went into town maybe once a year, and that was only for tools and 'whatnots'. Their momma (God rest her soul) had schooled them best she could, and their daddy was killed by a bear when they were just 'little-uns'. He knew they were a little uncivilized by modern standards, and he even apologized for their backward ways. "But we wouldn't have it no 'differnt'," he said.
After a small dinner, which he also apologized for, Otis gave them some blankets and pillows, and the two hunters settled down for the night on the floor. Oddly enough, they both went out like a light, and before he knew it, the sun was just rising when Rick at last opened his eyes.
"Hey there," Otis said, stoking the fire. "Ready for some breakfast?"
"Let me wake up first." He looked over at Kevin's spot, but all he saw was his pillow and blanket. "Where's Kevin?" he asked.
"I think he went out to take a whiz."
Rick yawned and started to stand up. The floor hadn't done his back any good, and he winced as he got to his feet. "I could use one myself," he said. He slipped on his jacket and went outside.
After a full good minute of watering a tree, Rick walked around the shack looking for Kevin. He didn't see him anywhere.
"Kevin?" he said quietly, not wanting to disturb the peaceful, woodsy atmosphere. "You out here?"
"This who you're looking for?" Jake said, coming out of the woods. Dangling from his hand was the head of his hunting partner, eyes wide open, the throat still dripping fresh blood.
"Hey Rick," Otis called from inside the shack. "Let me know when you're hungry. We're gonna eat a helluva lot better than we did last night!"