by Flying Fox
Budsworth investigates the deputy’s wrecked SUV, and learns of the towns legends.
CHAPTER 4-THE LAST TO KNOW
The Johnson farm, between Foxvalley and Guffey, Colorado
May 28, 6:23 P.M.
The women sobbed as she sat down on the bloodied green couch. She sat beside the blood splotch, covering her raining eyes with her hands as she cried. Budsworth sat with her on the couch, avoiding from sitting down in the bloody puddle. “Mrs. Johnson, tell me, do you know anything that had happened that night?” Budsworth asked, laying his hand down onto her quivering knee. She unburied her face from her tearful eyes.
She lifted her hand and wiped away a tear. A frown stretching across her pale face. “Henry and Markus were going to go out the night I left. I think it was to hunt, but I don't remember much. I got mad at my husband, and stayed the night in Denver, visiting family for about a week,” She answered with a sob. “I shoulda stayed here. Maybe if I did, this would've never happened. What did happen exactly?”
Budsworth sighed, “We’re not so sure yet. Still trying to figure things out,” He answered.
“When did all this happen?” Mrs. Johnson asked. Budsworth didn't know the answer to that question. His gaze lifted over to Henderson. He should know.
“On the night of May 16, one of the police in Canon City got a call by someone claiming to be your son. It was over the Wilkie-talkie. The next day we headed out here, and this is all that was left,” Sheriff Henderson explained. Budsworth then realized something.
“Sheriff, did you're Deputy come here in a patrol car?” Asked Budsworth.
“Well than were is it now?” Budsworth asked. The sheriff stopped dead in his tracks, bewildered, he hadn’t thought about that. This slightly alarmed Budsworth, how could a sheriff protect his town when he can’t even remember his deputy drove a car here. He gave Mrs. Johnson another pat on the leg. “We need to keep working on this. Do you mind if we have a look around.”
Mrs. Johnson blew into a tissue, then lowered it down onto her lap. She gave him a small nod. “Go ahead. Look at anything you want,” She answered, her lips quivering, “most of it belonged to my husband anyway.”
Budsworth turned to Henderson. “Keep her in line, okay? I gotta go see if I can find that patrol car anywhere out here,” He explained. Henderson have him a nod of agreement, before Budsworth marched out of the house, over the glasses, and through the hole in the wall. Budsworth made his way closer to the edge of the crowded forest. To his left, down the gravel driveway was a deep imprint on the ground that was about five feet wide.
Amazement crowded Budsworth’s thoughts as soon as he seen the size of the monster footprint. He knelt down to take a closer look. It was the same footprint that was in the photo from earlier, but seeing it in real life made it even more surreal. The whole run almost two feet deep, the largest whole Budsworth had ever seen. The length of the hole only made things ever more surreal, being a little less than five feet long. Four smaller impressions in the gravel laid along the top edge of the imprint. Each one of those descended about a foot, their length stretched only a few inched shy of two feet. The whole print-like structure stretched an astonishing seven feet in length.
Further down the gravel road, it led to a group of vacant animal pens. They were almost vacant, anyways. Inside looked like something strait out of a horror show. Blood stained the ground and fences. Some of the dirt had a reddish tint to it. A poultry pin laid, flattened, a little out of the way from everything else. Pieces of the chicken coop laid sprawled across the ground. Blood, too, stained across the ground beneath the chicken coop. The only thing left of a chicken remained the yellow leg of one leftover from whatever had its feast.
Budsworth picked the leg off of the ground to get a better look down at it. A slimy clear substance plastered the end. Budsworth pulled out a cotton swab and took a sample. He put it into a another, smaller, evidence bag. The sun in the sky started to fall, but Budsworth knew his day still stood far from over.
He continued to search for more clues. He didn't know when, but he knew a new truth would reveal itself soon. Several of the pins where occupied by blood splotches and body parts free from the body. Budsworth found it a sickening sight for even himself, a leg here, and forearm there, intestines sprawled across the ground. Far out in the horse pen he could see the lonesome horse limb laying out there. Flies buzzed around it, and a coyote pulled on the bloody meat of the torn limb. Budsworth hurtled himself over the fence, advancing toward the coyote with its meal.
The coyote made an immediate stop. It locked eyes with Budsworth for a split second, than sped off through the long uncut grass, blood dripping from it’s snout. Budsworth darted up to the horse limb only to witness a terrifying sight. The leg appeared to had been ripped off. Dried crisp red blood covered around the edges and grass before it. The grass was glued together by the flood of dried blood. The only part still flowing with liquid blood was the part he’d seen the coyote chewing on. Blood rolled out sluggishly, another slimy substance covered the wound. Most likely saliva from the carnivorous coyote. Budsworth decided to take sample of it with a cotton swab, anyway. The substance had very similar qualities to that which he found all over chicken leg from earlier.
The air plagued him by a foul smell coming from all directions. Outside the horse pin, to the side stood the small garage area. An carjack lied on the floor of the garage, as if it held something up. Like a certain truck with bad brakes, and now remains a part of the house. Budsworth stepped toward the dense forest to the side of the property. Then he noticed something that looked a bit out of place. A vehicle, an old one. Well, at least it looked like an older vehicle. Budsworth pushed his way through the tall weeds at the front of the woods. When he got in further, the denseness of the grass and weeds settled. Trees enclosed him on all angles. Pines trees to the gigantic Douglas firs, towering about three hundred feet above him. Budsworth trudged up to the oddity or the forest.
The vehicle was a SUV, shining the color of white in the light of the setting sun. On the hood of it, to the side, in black bold italic letters it read, “To serve and protect.” Further down on both sides, covering the doors it said something else. In large blue bold letters it read, “Foxvalley, POLICE.” A thick blue line ran across the doors, painted behind the blue bold letters.
The sound of thunder boomed from far away. Trees swayed in the wind. A cold breeze blew through the forest, making Budsworth shiver even more then he already did due to the sight in front of him. The windows of the vehicle laid scattered across the forest floor in pieces. Jagged pieces of glass stabbed into the air where the rest of the window should’ve been. The top roof of the truck looked scrunched up, like wrinkled aluminum foil. That same clear gooey substance painted the roof of the SUV. Budsworth lifted up on the tip of his shoes to reach the roof and contained another sample of the liquid. A smear of pink blood was wiped on the bottom edge of the door. Budsworth collected a swab of it as well.
A loud CRUNCH eroded from the dried leaves of the forest, left over from last winter. Budsworth twirled around, jerking his pistol from his holster. He’s eyes settled on a hooded silhouette in deep of the woods, watching him. The silhouette stood tall, yet slim. It dashed off into the incoming darkness of the forest, leaves spraying out from under their shoes as Budsworth pursue them from behind . Budsworth sped after him, holding his pistol out in front of him. His finger was steadily on the trigger, ready to fire if the need be. “Hey stop!” Budsworth ordered, “FBI.”
Budsworth dashed through the endless amount of towering trees. Many trees where also covering over the ground, fallen from an unknown source. Budsworth hurtled over them in his pursuit. Budsworth finally starting getting close, only a few feet from the hooded figure. He leaped, and landed atop of it. Air slammed out of both of their lungs as they hurtled to the ground. Budsworth stood from the body lying on the forest floor, breathing heavily. “How dare… you make me chase… after your sorry little ass,” He breathed. The figure stood up and spun around, panic in his eyes.
“Please, don't hurt me,” Cried a male teenage voice. It was only a young man of seventeen. He had blonde stylish hair with a not even a stumble on his face. His blue, glassy eyes was filled with fear. Mud slashed across his blue jeans onto his wolf shirt covered by a hooded jacket. Budsworth only ignored his pleas, and shoved the kids hands behind his back. He entrapped the kid in a couple handcuffs and pushed towards toward the farmhouse.
“Hey Sheriff,” Budsworth called, dragging the kid behind him. “I found someone. He was spying on me as I was investigating the forest.”
Sheriff Henderson arose from the seat beside Mrs. Johnson as he saw budsworth holding a familiar kid in handcuffs. Budsworth marched up to the house, pushing the kid along with only one hand. “I... I’m sorry Sheriff. I know you told me to stay away, but there was no way I could just pass this up. I gotta find out what's going on…” The kid pleaded. The sheriff crossed his arms, looking at the seventeen-year-old.
“Budsworth go ahead and let him go,” Sheriff Henderson ordered, “It’s only the Foxvalley’s Scooby-Doo gang.” Budsworth unlocked the handcuffs, and released them from the teen’s arms. “Now Benjamin, how many times have I told you. You can’t keep doing this, it’s dangerous and illegal to step into crime scenes.”
“I know Sheriff, but I…”
“I don't want to hear any of your buts, alright?” Henderson interrupted him, “You just don't do it, got it. Now go back to my patrol car, now Benjamin. I’m taking you back home to your mother when we’re finished here.” Ben grumbled something inaudible under his breath as he trudged away through the glass. Budsworth watched him leave and head towards the car. “That’s Benjamin Karmin. He’s obsessed with solving the secrets of this town,” the sheriff explained, he paused for a moment before saying, “The secrets that don't exist,” He continued with a sigh.
The Sheriff turned back to Mrs. Johnson. “Anything else you can tell me?” He asked, kneeling before here. She only shook her head. Streams of purple tear marks masked her face. The sheriff frowned and with a silent nod arose back up. “She stayed with her family in Denver for the week. She was really upset with him. She claims he cared more about spending money on firearms than on her,” Sheriff Henderson explained. Then he got up close to Budsworth’s ear and whispered, “Sounds like she’s a gold-digger to me.”
“To be fair he does have a ridiculous amount of guns. Well anyways, while you were in here trying to get your gold-digger to talk I actually found something out there.” The sheriff eyes widened in surprise.
“What?” He asked, “What did you find?” Budsworth pulled out a cigarette from his box of cigarettes, and pointed into the overgrowth of the woods. “Your truck.” He placed the cigarette in his mouth and lit it with his lighter. Then he dropped the lighter back down into his front pant pocket. Sheriff Henderson gave him one last look before he rushed across the gravel road, toward the high grass along the edges on the thick forest. Budsworth followed him at a much slower pace. Taking the cigarette from his mouth, he blew out a pillar of smoke.
The Sheriff took a survival knife out of his pant pocket and sliced through the thick weeds climbing the trees. He began to make his way into the woods and soon disappeared into the denseness of the forest. Budsworth caught up with him a few moments later. Henderson stood, astonished, staring at the damaged patrol SUV. “The Hell?” He asked, “What the hell could’ve done this?” He glared at Budsworth, as if he expected him to have an answer. Budsworth only shrugged. Henderson knelt down before the red substance, hanging from the bottom of the driver’s side door. “Did you sample this?” He asked, looking back at Budsworth.
“Yeah,” Budsworth answered, searching for the bag through his pockets. Then he pulled it out an showed it to him. “Got it right here.” Budsworth to a step back and felt something strange strange under his shoe. He lifted his foot to find a shotgun shell. The shell was empty and covered in a dried, dark red substance. Budsworth took another evidence bag from a pocket within his suit pocket. He pulled it out along with a pair of skinny tweezers. Budsworth bent down and trapped the shotgun shell between the tweezers. “Hey Sheriff,” Budsworth announced, staring down at the copper, blood soaked shotgun shell. Sheriff Henderson knelt beside Budsworth raised the shotgun shell from the forest floor between two fingers. Budsworth glanced at Henderson beside him. “The neighbors supposedly heard gun shots, right?” Budsworth asked.
“Well, according to Johnson’s wife he was only using a rifle. Maybe his son was the one using the shotgun,” Henderson guessed. Budsworth stored the bullet into a plastic bag. Budsworth noticed Henderson’s gaze centered on something in the distance. Budsworth followed his gaze to the brown handle of something in the undergrowth.
Budsworth stood from the place he found the shotgun shell, and began to make his way toward a shotgun lying on the ground. The same shotgun used to fire off the shell they just found. Budsworth picked it up out of the mud. It’s charcoal colored double barrels reflected the shine of the dusking sun. A pump action Remington 870 Wingmaster, one hell of a expensive puppy. Budsworth pushed a button between the barrel and handle. The shotgun popped open, and a couple more shotgun shells tumbled out.
A red blood stain painted the light brown handle. Budsworth turned to Henderson. “Do your deputies use shotguns?” Asked Budsworth.
“I don't see why Mill’s would've used it. We found his pistol out there on the driveway.” Budsworth glanced back down at the shotgun, confused. Then he handed it to Henderson. The blood slicked on his hand.
“Put it in my car. When we get back I want to check it for finger prints, and the blood seems fresh,” Budsworth said. Henderson nodded, and lowered the shotgun. He pulled a flip phone from his pocket and dialed up a phone number.
“Hello, Gale. Yeah this is Henderson. We found the patrol truck that disappeared a few days ago… yeah, can you bring by your tow truck to pick it up. It’s up at the Johnson farm in the forest… I really don't know. Thanks. Talk to you later,” Henderson said before hanging up the phone. They made their way out of the dense undergrowth of the forest, and came out by the giant footprint. “I still don't know how to think of this,” Henderson told him.
“According to the files they’ve had one on all the cases of Foxvalley, which was extremely close to this, one of these was at all the crime scenes. According to what I read they found traces of candle wax in it,” Budsworth explained, hopping down into it. He noticed dried red blood was in the center along with a solid pink object. Budsworth drug through the red-tainted dirt around it. He was finally able to grasp onto the sharp end of the pick structure. It was slick with a waxy texture. He pulled it up out of the ground.
“Is that the candle wax you were speaking of?” Henderson asked. Budsworth nodded.
“That’s not all either. It’s not just pink because it was made that way,” Budsworth told him, “The killer must've put his victims in the hole. They were bleeding. The blood and melting wax mixed, turning it pink.”
“Are you saying the killer is satanic or something?”sheriff Henderson asked. Adrenaline flushed through his body. Budsworth didn’t want to admit it. It was very well possible if it were satanic or something it might be more than one person. Why in the world would this dog-like footprint be so important to the killer? Unless it has something to do with any history or legends that are a part of the town. Those legends may be important to the kidnapper for some reason. What if they’re leaving clues through these legends?
“Henderson, is there any old legends of Foxvalley that are in anyway related to oversized animals?” Budsworth asked. Henderson gave him an odd look, as if to say, What the heck does that have anything to do with it?
Finally the Sheriff answered, “Maybe, I know this place is rattled with old Native American Legends. I’m not sure what they are all about though. The city was built where an old tribe village used to be located. I don't know what happened to the tribe though,” Henderson explained.
“Maybe the Foxvalley Public Library has something on it,” A voice from behind said. They turned to find Benjamin eavesdropping behind them.
“Ben I told you, go back to the car. When we’re done here I’m taking you home,” Henderson commanded pointing the teenager back towards the car down the gravel driveway. Budsworth watched him return to the other cars.
“Is he right though, could the library have something about it?” Henderson asked.
“Maybe, they have a lot of things on the history of Foxvalley,” Henderson answered. Dark storm clouds blanketed the sky. The sound of thunder booming ever closer. Rain starting sprinkling from the sky.
“Is there like a tracker or veterinarian in town? Someone who’d know what that track resembles?” Asked Budsworth.
“Yes, Mrs. Leeway. She’s the town veterinarian,” Henderson answered. Budsworth removed the cigarette from his mouth, and tossed on the ground. After stomping out the smoke they returned to their cars. Benjamin was leaning onto Budsworth’s car, his hand cuffed around his head, gazing inside.
“Hey, watch the paint,” Budsworth joked, a slight smile across his face. Benjamin backed away from his car. His eyes staring, wide-eyed, at him. “So what’s your story?”
“Me? I'm Benjamin Karmin. I always try to help out the Sheriff and his men. I want to go into the law enforcement field myself one day. Maybe a Federal agent,” Ben explained, “You're a federal agent, right?”
“Yeah, that’s me.” Budsworth pulled out his badge and showed it to him. “FBI agent David Budsworth. I'm here to look into the serval disappearances.”
“Do you know this isn't the only time this kinda think has happened?”
“Yeah, we have some files back at the Bureau speaking about it. Three times I believe.”
“Yep, weird right?” Benjamin asked, “Do you want to know what’s even weirder, no one in this town seems to have any recollection it’s happened before. Now isn’t that strange?” Henderson was definitely starting to get irritated by him.
“Okay, common get in my car I’ll take you back to your parents,” Sheriff Henderson ordered, “And quit bothering special agent Budsworth.”
“Oh, its alright,” Budsworth noted, “He’s not causing any trouble.” Budsworth was actually starting to like this kid. In fact he seemed to know some things. Some things that may be important to their case. “In fact, you now what? I think I’ll just drive him home on my way to the library. I think he maybe able to help with a few things.”
Sheriff Henderson made a rude scoff, “Oh trust me Agent, the only thing that boy is good at doing is getting into trouble.” Then he made a sigh, “but if that’s the way you really want it, I don't mind.”
They all three sat down into their cars. Mrs. Johnson stood in front of a window in the house overlooking the two cars. More tears rolling down her cheeks. Her hand covering over her chest. An anomalous green glow peeked out from under her hands. They pulled back out of the driveway onto the road behind them. Benjamin reached over, and grabbed his seat belt. They were off only moment later, speeding back towards town, gravel spewing out from under the tires of their vehicles.
Benjamin spent more of the time playing 20 questions about Budsworth’s job. “So how long have you been an FBI agent?”
“Around eight years.”
“Oh, so what made you choose that job?” Benjamin asked. Budsworth didn't really know exactly how to respond to that question. He didn't even remember that night. He knew why he joined them, to get revenge to the man who killed his wife. He remembered waking in the hospital ten years ago, hearing his wife had been killed. Budsworth had supposedly tried to save her. In the end he hit his head on a dumpster and developed amnesia of everything that had happened for the few weeks before then.
“Back in 93 I met the girl of my dreams. She was a beautiful gorgeous blonde, and caught the eyes of everyone. Most specifically being me. We got married about four years later, planned to have kids and raise a family. It was beautiful while it all lasted. About ten years ago I awoke in an alley, the back of my head was sore and covered in blood. I was taken to the hospital shortly thereafter. When I awoke I heard the devastating news that my wife was mauled and killed in the alley I was found in, the police said it was some sort of animal they’d never heard of before. I myself was covered in scars and bruises. After that I decided I was going to protect people. I figured out the death was on purpose, someone brought their rapid animal into that alley and watch as it viciously mauled my wife. I still have yet to find out what type of animal did it,” Budsworth answered, pausing for a moment, “And why they let me live...” Benjamin sat in silence.
No more than ten minutes later Budsworth found himself pulling into the parking lot of the public library. It was a brick building made of different shades of red. A white roof stretched out over the top. The black letters, “Foxvalley Public Library” was nailed to the top above the front double doors. Then he noticed Benjamin sitting next to him. “What about me?” Ben asked, “I thought you told the sheriff that you were gong to drop me off at home before coming here.”
“Well I decided to let you at least come to the library with me. Maybe show me around a little. If the sheriff complains I’ll just tole him him you where so quiet on the way here I forgot you were even in here. Which for most of it you were,” Budsworth answered.
“Yeah, I was just thinking.”
Ben only shook his head, and with a short “Nothing,” they stepped out of the car, slamming the doors closed behind them. Up the stairs in the wall ahead of the library stood to large plexiglass double doors. Inside a world of books both fiction and non-fiction awaited them.
“After we leave here I’ll drop you back off at your house,” Budsworth told him. Ben nodded. Inside stood rows upon rows of wooden bookshelves, loaded with books upon books. Both new and old dotted the shelves. A desk stood in the corner of the building. There stood an older man. He stood tall, and had his face stuffed in Stephen King’s “It” Novel. Over his eyes hung glasses with golden rims. His black hair was mostly parted off to one side, though he still had hair on both sides of his head. Grey stubbles reached around his chin and over the top of his lip. His head had more of a cubic shape.
His light blue jeans were held up by a leather belt strapped around his waist. His width was a little on the chubby side, but only a little. Over that rested a black t-shirt. Two Nike sporting shoes covered his white socked feet. Ben stepped up to the man and waved a hand in front of his face. The man lowered the book and glared at then with dark blue eyes. “Hey Steven,” Ben greeted, “This is Agent Budsworth. He’s with the FBI. Budsworth this is Steven Queens. He’s the town librarian.” Budsworth nodded in acknowledgement and held out his hand. Steven placed his book aside, and shook his hand firmly.
“So FBI, what are you doing in a small town like Foxvalley?” Asked Steven. He gave a wide smile without opening his mouth. He looked surprisingly familiar from somewhere.
“I’m looking into the disappearances of the Johnsons. Say, you look familiar from somewhere, have I seen you before?” Budsworth asked. The man shook his head.
“No, but I do get that a lot. And I mean A LOT,” Steven told him, “So how may I help you Agent Budsworth?”
“We found something a bit strange at the crime scene. We believe it may be linked to the criminal, and maybe some story or legend they’re trying to relive. Have you ever heard of a animal print about, let’s see, I don't know, six or seven feet in diameter?” Asked Budsworth. Steven gave him a strange look then he disappeared into a small room behind him. Budsworth could see into the room through the doorless doorway. A few white bookshelves lined up against the, also white wallpapered, walls inside, dozens of books stood side-by-side. A fluorescent lamp hung from the ceiling, casting blueish light upon all the room below. A rug rested in the center of the floor.
Steven Queen returned only a few minutes later holding a thick book. “Foxvalley might be only a town of 1,500, but it’s filled with legends. Especially by the Native Americans who used to own this land. The Hikaki are actually the only tribe to advance to iron working before they were taken over by the Spanish,” He explained.
He handed Budsworth the book. On the cover it read, “The Mysteries of Foxvalley, and the 13 Hikaki amulets.” Budsworth wondered over to a table hidden behind rows of bookshelves. Steven followed him and he sat down on one of the surrounding chairs. Ben sat down in a chair across from Budsworth. “So what are these 13 Amulets of Hitachie?” Asked Budsworth.
“It’s said as Hikaki. They were the 13 amulets which belonged to the Hikaki Native American tribe. The amulets supposedly held the power of the spirits. Some are thought to still be around today, only three though. The other ten was supposedly fed to the Chief’s pet fox,” Steven explained.
“Who the heck would feed something like that to a fox?” Ben asked, curiosity sparking in his eyes. He and Budsworth both turned to Steven. It was a good question.
“According to how the story goes 400 years ago in the 17th century the Spanish were pushing north. These Spanish conquistadors were known for how vicious and unforgiving they could be. They destroyed the entire Aztec empire. According to the traditions of the Hikaki the Amulets held a kinda power. When they heard that the Spanish were pushing northward they were terrified. They thought if they fed that power to the Chiefs pet fox it would protect them,” Steven explained.
“So what happened then?” Benjamin asked.
“The fox bit the hand that fed it. That’s it.”
“So what he just bit the guy that fed him or what?”
“Nope, ate him whole more like it. Let’s just say it’s a legend that would've been used to teach offspring to do things themselves and not to rely on others to do everything for you. It might seem like a good idea, but at that perfect moment it’ll backfire in your face. Or in this case it’ll eat you,” Steven answered. Ben seemed mesmerized by everything he had just heard. Budsworth wondered if the story of the amulet eating fox were connected to the crime in anyway. Didn't seem too possible, really. But there was the question of how big a fox would have to be to eat a man whole? It still made no sense how could this case be at anyway connected to that story.
Determined to answer his own questions, Budsworth placed the book on the table before him. The cover of the book looked dated. It must've been as old as Budsworth himself, maybe even older. Beneath the cover awaited several hundred pages of fiction and legends. Except to someone else they had a meaning too them they were playing out, but which one, and could it really help him find the kidnapper or killer.
Budsworth turned the cover over, revealing a table of contents. It continued to give the locations of specific chapters throughout the first few pages. One word seemed to had caught Budsworth’s eye, Hemorillias Vuliopes. Budsworth put his finger down on the words and asked Mr. Queens what it meant. He didn't know why it interested him so much, he just seemed to find it familiar. “Uh, the shifter. I’m sure you’ve heard of werewolves my friend?” Steven asked. Budsworth gave a slight nod. “Okay, now imagine instead turning into a fox every Saturday of every week.”
“Why was the Hikaki so obsessed with foxes?” Benjamin asked. He had his head leaning on his arm, holding it up off the table. “I mean you have werefoxes, foxes with the power of the spirits, what ever that means for it. Pretty soon I’m afraid I going to hear that there’s a such thing as a telepathic fox.”
“they got those in here, and a soul-sucking foxes, kitsune-like things, demonic foxes, succubus foxes, that’s kind of a disturbing one... oh, and they got...”
“Okay, we get it, they have a lot of fox legends. Now can we please get back to the matter at hand. And, of course, why they have so many fox legends,” Budsworth interrupted him.
“Back then the Hikaki named this place Rulo a Vuliopes, the gap of the fox. There were foxes all over this area in the 1600s. They ruled this little gap in the mountains. When the Hikaki arrived they felt some kind of strange connection with the fox. You know how these Native Americans always worshiped nature and all that. Many of their stories are based on foxes, because it was the animal of the valley. To some of the Hikaki the Chief’s fox might have even been thought of as a deity,” Steven explained, “haven't you really thought about the name of our town, ‘Foxvalley.”
“So what about this?” Budsworth asked again, taping on the almost unpronounceable words.
“Another Native American tribe used to live alongside the Hikaki. They even had an alliance experience going for them. Yet as most stories go, their friendship didn't last long. The other tribe was beginning to get low on food, so they began stealing from the Hikaki. They succeeded without getting noticed for only three months before the Hikaki chief found out. When they found out they were furious. They wanted to kill every single last one of them for their sins, but the Hikaki Medicine Man had a different idea. He would curse them. Every last night of the week the men of the tribe would turn to savage beast. They’d kill their families, and lay waist to their own men. Some still believe members of that tribe still wonder today,” Steven told them. This was beginning to remind Budsworth of the good old days. When he used to be in the boy scouts and hear stories about the monsters of the forest
Budsworth jolted when his cellphone vibrated. He reached down into his pant pocket, and pulled it out. It was Henderson. They exchanged phone numbers earlier before they left the Johnson farm. Budsworth stood up from the table and stepped a few paces back. “Excuse me, it’s the sheriff,” he side, stepping out of their view behind a bookshelf. “Yeah, so what did I you find out?” He asked into the phone.
“Nothing, the Veterinarian isn't here, she’d gone on vacation and won’t be back till tomorrow,” Henderson answered, “How’s things holding up on your end?”
“Not too good I'm afraid,” Budsworth answered, glancing back at the table behind him. Steven Queen was sitting in his seat speaking with Benjamin. Benjamin had the book out in front of him, and was flipping through the pages of the book. An older man, maybe in his eighties opened the door to the library. His long black curled hair reach down over his bony shoulders. His skin tone of the color dark red. In his eyes filled a soulless black. As black as the night sky descending upon the town. He searched through the various books sitting in the bookcases.
When he saw the one open on the table he began to head for it. Steven slowly began to arise from his seat from of the table. “Mr. Hackshaw, what can I do for you?” Steven asked in a polite, yet troubling tone. The tough stern look on the man’s face made Steven’s blood turn ice cold. His black thick eyebrows bent down only added to how aggressive he appeared.
“Mr. Queens, what have I told you about having that book out. We can’t let it fall into the wrong hands.” Budsworth heard the strange voice behind him. He lowered the phone, and descended upon the conversation to eavesdrop. “I know someone did already, otherwise theagt damn thing wouldn't be back,” The voice continued. Budsworth peeped around the side of a bookshelf. The Indian man held the book in his hand. “I'm sorry, but you leave me no choice,” He said, pulling a lighter out from his pocket. He rose the book over the flame. Fire shot up through the pages, engulfing the book. The pages quickly evaporated into ashes. The Native American man dropped the flaming book down onto the floor.
Steven quickly began stopping out the flames and embers from the burning book. Dropping a burning book like that on the wooden floor “Budsworth? Hey Budsworth? Answer me would ya?” Henderson begged on the phone. Budsworth brought it back up to his lips.
“Excuse me a second, there’s something I have to deal with,” Budsworth told him, before hanging up the phone. He flipped the phone closed and slipped it quietly back in his pocket, and began to sneak out toward the Indian. The Native American turned and looked in his direction. There was no one there. Budsworth took cover behind a bookshelf the moment he saw the man’s head move towards him.
“Don't tell that FBI agent anything. You have no idea who he really is.” Budsworth stopped dead in his tracks. What the hell did that mean? The Indian turned around and left the two of them. They were gazing down at the book of ashes on the ground before them. Budsworth sped off toward the doors when he heard them close. The wood doors into the library busted open as Budsworth came forth. The stairs leading up to the doors where empty, as was well as the street. The door swung open again as Benjamin and Steven stepped out into the library doorway up behind him.
“What in the world was that about?” Budsworth asked, the harshness in his voice told he was dead serious. The two of them behind them shrugged as if they didn't know. Maybe they wanted to believe they didn't know, but Budsworth could see it in their eyes, they were lying…