The Log

[Been a while since the last extended scene for the novel. This will take place during the February chapter.]

Broad beams of oscilliating light illuminated the dark wet sky above the hill, and as the delivery van for Squisito Catering approached its occupants finally saw its distinctive blue hue.

“Looks like trouble.” Jimmy Saunders, owner of Squisito and a recent volunteer of the Bark Bay High School coaching team, punctuated his observation by clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth, tok. Sitting in the passenger seat at the front of the van, Rex Ankiel, a junior and three-year member of the team, glanced at the dashboard’s clock. Eighteen minutes past six, over an hour later than when he’d told his family would be home.

The van crested the hill, and the source of the flashing lights was visible through the frigid rain. A squad car for the Bark Bay Police Department sat stationary on the side of the road, left wheels on the cracked pavement and right wheels digging into the graveled mud of the shoulder. Blue lights on top of car flashed noiselessly. In the middle of the road stood an officer, the back of his leather coat reflecting the van’s headlights. The officer held a long flashlight in his right hand at shoulder height, like he was about to thrust it like a spear into the dark road in front of him.

“What’s he standing there for?” Rex’s distant vision, never reliable even when he wore his glasses as he did now, was being further troubled by the fog permeating the windshield and the wall of cold rain.

“There, in front of him.” Jimmy seemed to be pointing at the officer. “Along the road.” Rex squinted, and finally saw — a tree, its trunk at least a foot in diameter, lay across the width of the road. Remnants of bark and leafless branches lay on the pavement in front of the officer. Thin fingers of branches extended up into the dark wet night, as if the tree were captured in a pose of surrender.

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