The following is the prologue to
N. E. Yeomans’ latest release,
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The Monsters I Remember
Copyright © N. E. Yeomans
After the boy was dead and hastily buried, we stood around for a long time wondering what to do next.
No one said anything. What was there to say?
Sam was dead. I still see the five of us standing in a hush around that shallow grave. It is an image frozen in my mind.
I saw the faces of my friends. Haunted. Drained. We had mud on our hands and clothes from the digging. I knew then that all of us would be forever linked by our terrible secret in the tall grass at Mill Creek.
Gradually, our new reality began to establish itself. Paul staggered away and vomited behind a bush. Nadine – eyes glossy and far away – kept looking at the dirt under her manicured nails. Lila had moved away from all of us during the digging, not wanting to be a part of this insanity. Only Jack seemed transformed by the incident in some way we all were not. Dirt smeared across his sweaty face, hair plastered to his forehead, Jack was breathing heavily from exertion. It was his dark eyes that held my attention longest. Those eyes sparkled, alight with some kind of secret knowledge.
I felt the first drops of rain hit my shoulder. Thunder echoed in the distance.
Time to go, said Jack.
We silently started back up the embankment to where the car was parked on the lonely dirt road. Paul held his stomach, face flushed red. Nadine, usually so giddy and talkative, kept pace silently with Jack up ahead. Her dirty hands were stuffed into the pockets of her jacket. I lagged behind. Somehow, I had ended up carrying the shovels.
The rain was starting to come down harder now.
Lila stood by the edge of the creek. She was looking out at the rain falling into the murky water, not really caring that she was getting drenched. I walked slowly up to her with the muddy shovels. There was another rumble of thunder in the black clouds.
“Lila, are you okay?” My throat felt like sandpaper. “Come on. We’re leaving now. It’s getting bad out here.”
She looked at me. Tears were streaming down her drawn face, mixing with the rain. I realized there was nothing I could say. There was nothing I could do.
Lila started to walk away from me like I was a stranger, someone she didn’t recognize anymore.
A deluge of rain. More thunder. A flash of lightening in the summer sky. I was alone.
The light of day was just about gone. I had to run to catch up with the others. It still amazes me how much things changed in such a short span of time.
The rest of that night I remember in a series of images, like scenes from a movie that I still play over and over again in my mind. Our long drive back into town in Jack’s car through that endless rainstorm. Later, I tried to sleep. No sleep ever came. I tossed and turned in my bed for what seemed like hours. Whenever I shut my eyes, I saw Sam in his grave. Worms crawled over his gray face. His dead eyes were open, looking up at us. At me. Then I would thrash awake in a cold sweat.
Twelve long years have passed. What took place that summer afternoon has never left me. I’m still haunted by those events. This is something that will stay with me until I’m in my own grave, I’m sure. I deserve that as punishment.
I guess the only thing left to do is to write. Finally. Get the entire story down. How I remember it. Maybe that will make things easier in some way.
Here it goes.
My name is David McKinney. Twenty-eight years old. Not a kid anymore.
There’s no easy way to say this. I’m a killer. What follows is the truth as only I can tell it. This is my confession.
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