Have to do, he thought hurriedly as he followed the boy down. They got to the bottom; Samuel led his small charge deep into one of the corridors. He found the farthest cubicle and gestured to the boy to crawl in. Seemingly, with no argument left in him, the kid obeyed and went in, feet first, still clutching his bag.

Samuel went back to where the torch hung and listened intently. His heart was in his mouth when he heard the unmistakable sounds of hooves on the ground above and the shouts of the men who had been chasing them. Suppressing the urge to cry, he instead backed up in the dark corridor and did the same sweeping motion with his tennis shoe to cover any footprints. However, the dirt here was very hard packed and seemed to leave no trail. Quietly he made his way back to where his young friend lay. He was about to make a shushing motion with his hand when he realized the boy was already fast asleep again.

Samuel found another crypt further down. He took one last swig of the water bottle and scooted, feet first into the crypt, gently moving the bones there to one side. Then he lay quietly and prayed.


Back at the Beans household, the dark clad figure slipped over the slump-stone fence and landed lightly on the wet grass. Crouching low, the figure slipped behind one of the large backyard trees. Putting one black gloved hand into a pocket, the intruder pulled out a small mechanical gadget and clicked a button. He pushed it in front of the tree. The device started to emit sounds that sounded exactly like two male cats circling each other, getting ready to fight. The low guttural sounds continued and occasionally rose up in crescendo and then back down to low growling.

Inside, Beamer stirred on Jeremy’s bed and finally jerked awake with a snort. He looked around and paused, hearing the sound. He pushed off the twin bed, padded over to the bedroom door and pushed it open with his nose. His toenails clicking on the kitchen linoleum, he made for the dog door that led to the backyard. He dashed out the door and ran for the sound. The intruder was ready with a dart gun. As the dog advanced and right before he began to bark, there was a shooting sound and a thud. Beamer slumped over in a lump. The black figure crept forward, yanked the dart out of the dog’s neck and placed it into a fanny pack. He leaned over and checked the dog briefly. Crouching, the figure approached the backdoor. There was a slight ‘click’ sound and the door opened. He slipped in, softly closing the door.

Taking a small round light from the pack, the intruder shown the light systematically around the kitchen, the cupboards, counters and walls. He then moved into the dining room and repeated the process there. The living room followed. Apparently, not finding what he was looking for, he slipped down the bedroom hallway. Pausing at the master bedroom, he leaned next to the door. Soft snores could be heard coming from inside. Moving down the hall, the door to David Beans’ office was open. The intruder went in and carefully examined the entire office. Moving back into the hallway, his eyes were caught by the open door at the end of the hall. The carpet flooring helped muffle steps as he entered Jeremy’s and Samuel’s bedroom. Both boys were fast asleep on their twins. Again, the dim light shone around the room. It paused over Jeremy’s desk. The man went forward and shown the light on a spot over the desk. There was a very faint outline on the wall where a square object had hung and had left some dust marks and residue. The figure pulled out a tiny vial and popping open the top, pushed little bits of residue into the vial and replaced the top. The vial went into the fanny pack. The intruder retraced his steps through the house. He turned the lock on the kitchen door and closed it with a tiny ‘snap’.

Running now, he launched himself over the stone wall and disappeared into the night. In a few minutes, the low sound of a car engine could be heard. David Beans grumbled and turned over in his sleep.


The next morning, Samuel staggered out of bed and wandered into the kitchen. His older brother Tyler was at the stove, making oatmeal.

“What’s wrong with you? Looks like you wrestled a bobcat in your sleep,” Tyler commented with a laugh. Jeremy emerged with a jug of milk and bowls.

“What?” he asked Tyler who was still laughing.

“Look at his hair,” Tyler waved a stirring spoon at Samuel.

Jeremy put the bowls down and looked at his younger brother. He smiled.

“Dude, your hair is positively retro. With some spray, you’d have a Mohawk!” He grinned and looked at Tyler and they exchanged silent laughter.

With a sigh, Samuel slumped down at the kitchen table. His chin resting on one chubby hand. Alice Beans bustled in, bent over and gave him a little peck. She attempted to smooth down his hair.

“You okay, honey?” She asked, concern wrinkling her forehead. She placed a hand on his forehead. “No fever. Hum?” She bent down. Samuel gave a shrug. She arranged napkins around the bowls Jeremy set out and straightened the sugar and butter. “Why don’t you go wash your face, and you’ll feel a little better. We’re going to eat in a few minutes.”

Without response, Samuel slumped off the chair and wandered back to the bathroom. There was a  sound of water running. David Beans came out, tucking his shirt into his chinos and gave his wife a peck.  He looked at her. “Problem?”

“I don’t know….Samuel.” She raised her eyebrows and titled her head toward the sound of running water.

“I’ll look at him,” David told her. He grabbed a cup of coffee and headed back to the bathroom.

A few minutes later, the two came back and sat down. Samuel’s face was washed and some hair had been plastered down with water. But, he still looked tired and there were circles under his eyes. David looked at his wife and gave a little shrug. They all sat down to eat.

(Continued in Part III)

Read more of Courtney’s writing in: