Went Missing

It opened into a cavern of deceptive size, which grew wider and longer the further he went into it. He saw that the dirt upon the walls of that place was ripped and torn, whittled away by the hundred swipes of an enormous hand. Further into that darkness Sam discovered pockets into the ground, all disheveled with dry plant-matter, reeking with that same stench he met on the beach earlier. And when he approached what seemed to be the end of that cave, Sam stopped with surprise when his flashlight revealed the rutted out section of earth which appeared before him, and the fallen body of that creature he had shot as it laid there face down...

And all those other things.

Lanterns. Backpacks. Fishing poles. Tattered remnants of cloth covering shattered bones and hollowed-out skulls. There were things here that should not be. Things that someone, somewhere, must have thought went missing. Sam thought this too, just before he turned away from that sight in response to the low growl he then heard right behind him.

He was a big, strong man, not accustomed to looking up at things; not used to being grabbed in that way, nor jerked around like that; and not familiar with such horrible pain at the end of that snap.

#

Henry Fall took his breakfast each morning of whatever he could find, often on the couch of whomever felt sorry for him the night before. He was a broken man who despised those dark months of the year, for they left that harbor as desolate and lonely as the sum of his own life. And everyone in town knew Henry Fall, and that there was nothing tough about him, but that he was a man of many words and average intelligence, who knew a whole lot about nothing at all. And Henry Fall never bothered looking for a job during those lively months of the year, because there was only one thing that man ever did while in Kenai, Alaska.

But even then, there were times when Henry would sit in that bar as if he were the lord of Kenai; when his many words would end up capturing the ears of every fisherman, processor, and local who ventured into that place. Times when Henry Fall himself felt like that very big man he had once considered to be his friend.





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