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Friday, January 27, 2012

SHIFTERS 'R' US (8) - Edward Kendrick

“Think Rémy was telling the truth?” Terry asked as he and Alfie dressed for a trek into the mountains.

“You are such a skeptic. Yes, I’m ninety percent certain he was. At this point he’s got more to loose by lying than he has by letting us know where to find him.”

“True. At least his friends vouched for us, more or less.”

Alfie laughed, remembering John’s telling Rémy, ‘Yeah for adults they’re not so bad’, thinking that because he had his back turned and was whispering Alfie wouldn’t hear.

Terry pulled on a sweatshirt over his turtleneck as he watched Alfie in amusement. “Any more layers and you’ll look like a toddler who was dressed by his worried mother.”

“I’m a cat, we don’t do cold,” Alfie growled in reply as he debated between another sweatshirt and a sweater.

“Baby, you have the world’s warmest jacket, at least according to the salesman, so quit while you’re ahead.”

“Alright,” Alfie said grudgingly. “But if I freeze to death it’s your funeral.”

“Umm, I think it would be yours actually.” Terry laughed and raced out of the bedroom with Alfie in hot pursuit.

An hour later they were turning off the highway into Idaho Springs. Terry pulled into the parking lot of one of the restaurants to check his map. He was grinning slightly which immediately put Alfie on high alert. “What do you know that I don’t,” he asked warily.

“Ever been on the ‘Oh-My-Gawd’ road, because from what Rémy told us that’s where we’re headed.”

“I’ve heard about it, and you waited ‘til now to let me know we’d be going on it? In this weather?” Alfie looked out of the jeep’s window at the dark clouds over the mountains in the direction Terry was pointing. “It’s going to snow again any minute now.”

“That’s why we’re in Old Bessie and not the car,” Terry replied, patting the jeep’s dashboard. “She’ll go just about anywhere.”

“Good. She can take us back home and we’ll teleport.”

“Without a visual? Uh uh.”

“Details, details,” Alfie grumbled. “All right, if we have to do this let’s get moving before it starts to snow, or get dark, or both.”

* * * *

“Oh my god, oh my god,” Alfie moaned, peering through his fingers at the almost invisible road ahead of them.

“You are such a… scaredy-cat.” Terry chuckled, but he felt the same way. The drive had been harrowing but it would be over soon. He spotted their destination just to the right. Literally just to the right since with the driving snow he could barely see three yards in any direction. He was just glad they were the only ones stupid enough to be on the road at the moment. He turned a bit too fast and felt the jeep swerve. Biting his lip hard, he managed to keep it from sliding into the building that loomed in front of them. With a huge sigh of relief he got the jeep stopped. Then he carefully pulled it forward and around the building so that it wouldn’t be visible from the road if it stopped snowing, and turned it off.

“We’re here,” he said, tapping Alfie’s shoulder.

Alfie opened his eyes. “About time,” he muttered. “What now?”

“Now we walk.” Terry picked up his backpack and got out of the jeep.

“How do you know which way?” Alfie almost whined, his forehead creased with a frown as he joined Terry. “Damn, I’m sounding like a real pussy.”

“Naw. This just isn’t your thing and honestly right now I wish we had waited until the snow storm had passed.” Terry squinted in an attempt to get his bearings. “He said to go up the hill behind the blue house. I see blue,” he pointed, “so let’s hope there’s only one building like that here.”

Terry led the way through the deep snow. The only saving grace to it was there was no indication anyone had been here recently from the fact that the snow was relatively smooth ahead of them. The blue building had been a home at one time. They worked their way around to the back and saw the hill just as Rémy had said.

“The mineshaft is up there somewhere I hope,” Alfie said.

“Better be or he’ll have more to worry about than avoiding whoever killed his brother.”

It took a while for the two of them to make their way up the hill, which was steeper than it had seemed at the start.

“You’re sure this isn’t the Continental Divide,” Alfie grumbled at one point, earning himself a laugh from Terry. “At least the snow’s slowed down,” was his next comment.

It had. Enough so they could just make out their destination a few hundred yards ahead of them. A mine supply house, ramshackle but still standing met them first. Behind it, almost hidden from view, was the mineshaft.

“Tourists must not come up here,” Terry said as he looked at the supply of snow-covered mining tools that filled half the entrance to the shaft. “That’s a good thing I suspect.” He studied the area behind the tools, looking for any sign of footprints. “He’s definitely here, or has been fairly recently,” he told Alfie, pointing to faint fox prints in the thin layer of snow a few feet inside the shaft.

“Then let’s find him.”  

 Thanks for the great post, Edward! All the best. ~ Blak Rayne

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