Welcome To Whisper Pines Part-1

Welcome to Whisper Pines
Part One


After a tragedy, Charlie and his small family move from the West Coast to the East and to a small and idyllic, dairy community to start anew. Soon he starts to realize the town seems a bit odd and the things there not so right, including himself.



Author's Note: Hello people, I'm back again. Sorry for such a long hiatus on my writing. Things have been a little crazy in real life lately. Those who know me know what I'm talking about. Thankfully things have calmed down now and I've been able to devote most of my free time to writing again. So new story. This is the one I teased about a little while ago in a blog. Its not finished but I'm currently on the 7th chapter so its going pretty strong. I'll post one chapter a week again like usual. You're going to need to bear with this story for a while though. Most of the first few chapters are about setting things up. Its going to take a while too. I've had fun writing it though. I'd like to thank everyone who's been helping me with it, especially ashleigh for her editing prowess.



“There’s another one”

“How many does that make now?”

“I don’t know, I think I lost count at like five hundred”

Dad groaned from the front seat.

He could groan all he wanted but he knew we were right. Ok so maybe five hundred was a bit of an exaggeration on my sister’s part but not by much. For the last several hours now, everywhere we looked all we saw was cows. I guess I now knew what they meant when they called this Cow Country but it was getting pretty ridiculous. Then again this whole damn thing was ridiculous. Things were finally starting to go right in my life---I had a girlfriend, I was finally starting to make some real friends and I think puberty was finally starting. Then Dad has to go and have some demented midlife crisis. I mean what sane person decides to uproot their entire family and move them from a city like Portland to the middle of Cow Country USA. Also, know as the “Middle of Fucking Nowhere”.

“Five hundred and two,” said Sara from the backseat.

“That’s enough of that now”

“Five hundred and three”

I could hear the enthusiasm in her voice.

“I mean it, young lady!”

I turned back in time to see Sara roll her eyes and crank up the volume on her iPod.

She was about as thrilled as I was about this move.

“Charlie, would you please stop instigating your sister?”

I groaned.

“Why, she’s right. We’ve passed like a billion cows and I mean why not we are in the middle of nowhere after all”

“I need you on my side for this buddy”

“Why, this is bull shit”

“Watch your language!”


It was, though.

Mom definitely would not have approved either. She left her tiny little farm town for a reason. She told me once that she thought it was the most boring place on Earth. That’s why as soon as she graduated from high school she picked a West coast school and never looked back. Not that there was much to look back too. So far for the last few hours, the scenery was the same. Large open fields filled with grazing cattle. The grass wasn’t even green---it was this bland yellow color and don’t even get me started on the smell. Even with the windows rolled up, you could still smell the stink. I found it hard to believe that people wanted to live out here.

Dad, however, was excited.

When he pitched the idea to us a couple of weeks ago, he called it an adventure.

I called it insane.

Dad was adamant, though.

So he closed his huge, highly successful PR firm in the city, sold the house, packed all our belongings into a moving truck and dragged us out here. To the middle of Nowhere USA. Ok, so it was technically New York but definitely not a part you ever actually saw. I mean the least he could have done was take us to NYC to live or something. Dad had a plan, though. He wanted to live the simple life or something. So our port of call was Whisper Pines, the tiny little town in Cow Country that my mother grew up in. He wanted us to get closer to our roots or something. He said he made all the arrangements. He got us a new house in a brand new housing development and he took a cushy job as VP of Marketing for Whisper Meadows Dairy, a company owned and operated by my grandparents.

Dad thought it was the greatest.

Sara and I literally felt like slitting our wrists.

Ok so maybe not that extreme.

If there was such a thing as a mid-mid-life crisis, I think Dad was having one. I mean do thirty-five-year-old men usually decide to uproot their family on a whim? That’s what it was too, it had to be. There was no other explanation as to why someone who was successful and financially sound would want to dump his whole business and go work on a dairy farm? Sure the farm was owned by my grandfather and Mom said milk was in our veins but that still didn’t explain why Dad was so keen on it. Milk wasn’t in his veins after all. In fact, he was Greek. His parents actually lived on this little Greek island somewhere. Sara and I tried to convince him to let us go live with them but no dice.

Dad was keen on this new adventure.

We stopped talking after Dad snapped at me for my language. I turned to the window, hoping to find something out there to stem my boredom. It was all the same, though. The road was lined with wooden fences for as far as the eye could see. Beyond them was that yellow grass and beyond that, more yellow grass. There were lots of cows too. Most of them belonged to little farms that popped up here and there. Usually, though all I saw was grass and fence. It was horrible. How could people live like this? I mean I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen any true sign of civilization. Maybe the occasional sign or something but nothing concrete. An hour ago we crossed some train tracks and that was probably one of the most exciting things ever.

This was the adventure Dad wanted so much?

The boredom was killing me too.

Dad had forced me to sit up in front with him this morning, to help navigate he said. I’m not sure why, to be honest. We had GPS. I looked at the little screen now. The road we were on seemed to go for miles in both directions. I was pretty sure TomTom had died of boredom a long time ago too.

“Can we at least listen to the radio, please?”

Dad hated the radio playing while he was driving. He said it was too distracting.

“Why don’t you play that game thing of yours?”

That game thing was my 3DS.

“It needs to be charged”

“How about the license plate game. You used to love that”

I groaned. “When I was five”

Dad just didn’t get me anymore. Then again he had to be around some of the time to actually know me. I suppose there was one good thing about all of this. Dad had to spend some time with us again. We used to be pretty close when I was younger. That was before work became the most important thing in his life, though. We used to go to ball games and the park and the movies. Now, Dad was too busy to even have breakfast with us. Or at least he had been. Everything changed after Mom’s accident. I think Dad blamed himself for it. For a while, I think I blamed him too.

Tragedy has a way of changing things.

Dad stopped going to work. Sara and I started missing days of school. Eventually, we decided to stop going altogether. It was just easier. The school understood. They tried to send counselors. That lasted about a month before Dad realized he didn’t like what they were saying. Mom’s accident was four months ago. We spent three of those months in this collective funk. Dad decided we needed a change last month. That’s when he decided to let a colleague buy him out of the business. He cashed in some stock, put the house on the market and decided we all needed a change of scenery.

Personally, I think he needed the change.

At the time Sara and I didn’t argue because we thought Dad was blowing smoke out of his ass.

It didn’t become real for us until the house sold.

Now here we were on Day Three of our cross country road trip. We were apparently taking it slow. According to Google, this trip should have taken two days. Dad was pacing himself, though. I think he was trying to stretch things to spend more time with us or something. Too little too late in my opinion. I was fourteen now, Sara was eleven. Dad had his chance and blew it.

“I need to pee”

So she speaks again.

“Can you hold it, sweetie?”

“I’ve been holding it for like twenty minutes”

Sara leaned forward from the backseat, a lock of that rainbow hair of hers dropped in front of her face. Sara’s hair was an act of rebellion on her part. Or so she said. Her hair was usually dirty blonde but a year ago, she started experimenting with colors. It wasn’t the permanent kind of hair dye, though, Mom wouldn’t let her do that. Instead, Sara had permission to use the kind that washed out in a few days. Since then I think she used every color in the spectrum at least twice. Hence why I referred to it as “Rainbow Hair”. Today’s current color was purple.

Well, the ends of it anyway.

“Can you hold it for maybe twenty more?”

She gave him that look. She rolled her eyes again. Which looked, even more, threatening what with the dark eye makeup she was wearing. It was the only makeup my parents allowed her to wear. She was too young to wear other kinds. Personally, I thought it made her look like a raccoon but who was I to complain. My girlfriend Fiona wore it like that too. I mean my ex-girlfriend now I suppose.

"Charlie, give your sister one of those empty bottles”

Dad gestured to the floor with his head. There were a few empty water bottles at my feet.

I smirked. Dad really was clueless sometimes.

“What?” gasped Sara, disgusted. “I’m a girl, Dad!”

“Oh c’mon, it's not that bad,” I said, grabbing my bottle of mountain dew to tease her. “I mean I used one like an hour ago”

I waved the bottle in her face.

“Get that fucking thing away from me!”

She smacked the bottle out of my hand. I couldn’t help but laugh. Dad yelled at her for swearing. It was actually pretty damn classic.

A second later, I picked up the bottle, unscrewed the cap and took a swig. Sara looked like she was going to puke.

“It's Dew you idiot”

“You’re an ass”


“Well he is”

She dropped back into her seat.

I sat back with a bit of renewed confidence. I felt a little better actually. Messing with Sara felt normal. She and I had never really been close. When not listening to her music or dyeing her hair five different colors, Sara spent most of her time playing volleyball. I think she got all the sporty genes. Me, I couldn’t even tell you the first thing about volleyball. Or any other ball for that matter. I only went to baseball games with Dad because it was time to spend with him. I didn’t really know the first thing about it, to be honest. Before Fiona asked me out, I spent most of my time in my room playing games on the computer or reading comic books. The idea of going outside and doing something active was a pretty foreign concept to me.

Dad started to fiddle with the GPS for a few seconds.

“Ok,” he announced. “There’s a gas station rest stop about two miles down the road, you can go pee there”

“Thank you”

I snorted, still remembering the look of horror on her face when I drank my “pee” just seconds ago.

Still classic.


The gas station rest stop wasn’t much to look at, to be honest. Sure it had all the usuals of a rest stop---the gas station, a tiny convenient store, there was even a diner. What it didn’t have was people. It also looked like it had been here since the 1950s. The paint was peeling, the pumps were covered in rust and the buildings looked really dated. I think I’d seen this place before, maybe in some creepy old horror movie.

“You want me to pee in there?”

Apparently, Sara was thinking the same thing.

“There’s nothing wrong with it,” said Dad, as he parked the car in front of the station.

A moment later, an older gentleman in faded gray overalls came walking around the side of the station. I could see what appeared to be a large garage back there. So maybe this place fixed cars too? The man walked slowly toward us. He even looked kinda creepy---thin, with large coke rim glasses and an unkempt beard. I think I’d seen him in that same horror movie. As he got closer, I saw the name on his overalls, Bud.


“Afternoon folks,” he said as Dad rolled down his window.

“Hi,” Dad said for lack of any better words I suppose.

“We don’t see too many people around here these days,” he said, wiping his grease-covered hands on his pant legs.

“Just passing through to Whisper Pines”

“I know that place well. We got a truck that drops off milk from that there dairy they have.”

Dad nodded.

“Do you have a restroom, sir?” asked Sara from the back.

“Sure thing little lady”

Sara didn’t wait for an invitation. She opened the car door and took off for the gas station. Bud chuckled a bit. Sara didn’t even bother to shut the door.

Dad looked over at the diner. “Is it open?”

“Of course it is. The Missus makes a fine pecan pie if you’re interested”

“Sounds wonderful”

I wanted to groan but that would have been rude.

Now we were going to be stuck here for a while. Just great. I wanted to get this trip over with, not drag it out some more. The way Dad was taking things we’d probably end up spending another night in some motel somewhere. At this rate, we’d probably be to our new house next week.

“Charlie, would you get her door please”

This time I did groan. Dad gave me a look so I didn’t really have much of a choice. I opened the door and climbed out of the car. I’ll be honest, it felt pretty good to stretch my legs. We’d been driving for about five or six hours now. We started the journey this morning in a small motel just on the Indiana/Ohio border. Now here we were having just passed into New York about an hour ago. According to Dad, we’d be in cow country for the rest of our journey apparently. The rest of which was only a few hours, thank you, Google!

Walking around to the back of the car, I couldn’t help but notice the smell was here as well. Pinching my nose, I closed my sister’s door. By the time I got around to my side of the car again, Dad was getting out. He was doing that old person stretching thing he liked to do----overly doing it I might add. Not that he was out of shape, far from it actually. To look at Dad then his children, it was hard to see how we could even be related. Dad was tall with broad shoulders, olive skin, and dark hair. He was well fit too, spending what little free time he had at the Gym and every morning before working jogging at least two miles. Dad was like something out of Pygmalion, a Greek sculpture come to life.
When he and Mom used to go out, women used to walk up to her and tell her how lucky she was.

He made me feel so inferior all the time.

“Charlie, can you get your sister and meet me over at the diner?”

Great now we were eating here too.

“Sure whatever”

Dad shook his head before heading off in the direction of the little building. I watched him go before looking at it. It looked like one of those old Soda Shop places you only saw in real old movies. It even had one of those neon signs that said “Terri’s Diner”. I’m assuming that was the owner. There was a similar looking sign for the Gas Station that told me this place was Samuel’s Gas and Go. If I had to guess I’d say this place was probably a truck stop too. Not that there were any big rigs here now. It---like the rest of this place---looked disused and deserted.

I started toward the gas station, keeping my eye on the convenient store attached to it. As I got closer I could see inside through the large glass windows. Sure enough, I found Sara, up at the counter chatting it up with the guy there. Of course, my sister would be with a guy. Sara liked only a handful of things---one was a band called the Poison Tongues, two was her crazy alternative fashion sense, volleyball of course and most importantly, it was guys obviously. It didn’t matter if they were ugly either, she just always seemed to gravitate toward them. They gravitated toward her too. She had this way about her.

Walking into the little shop, a bell actually sounded.

Neither of them noticed.

I didn’t really care.

I browsed the aisles as I made my way up front. It was the typical little convenient store with the freezers against one wall, a coffee machine, some vending machines and even some old arcade machines. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen one of those actually. I stopped at the chips, grabbing a few bags before getting a couple of Slim Jims and some Combos. When I finally reached the counter, I grabbed a couple of Snickers. Hey, I’m a growing boy, not that I looked like it sadly.

“When you’re done flirting, Dad wants us over in the diner”

My sister flushed about five shades of red.

Served her right.

“I’m not related to him,” she said, waving me off.

The guy looked disinterested. He was her type, though. Sorta grunge meets idiot. I could tell by the dopey look on his face. The little peach fuzz on his chin was a pretty dead giveaway too. Sara was pouring on the charm though but the guy was barely biting.

I pushed her aside so I could pay for my things.

“Give me your stuff too,” I said, taking her single pack of gum.

She rolled her eyes.

The guy watched me with interest.

“You guys live around here?” he asked, ringing up my things.

“Not yet,” said Sara happily “We’re moving to Whisper Pines, though”

The guy nodded.

“Cool. I live there too. You guys going to Whisper High too?”

Sara shrugged.

“If that’s the high school then ya,” I said, wondering if this guy was even smart enough to go to high school.


“Yeah cool,” said Sara, beaming.

“When are you starting?” he asked, looking directly at me.

It was as if he was trying to pierce into me with those eyes. Ok, so I’m an oblivious idiot too because it took me longer than a minute or two to realize what was going on. As soon as I did, though, I wanted to hurl. The dude wasn’t into my sister, he was into me. Double hurl. Not that I thought there was anything wrong with it, of course, I knew of gay people back home. I just knew that the reason he was into me wasn’t because he was gay, though. Probably . It was me. There were a few things about me that some guys had trouble with. One I was thin and shall you saw delicate looking. I did not get my father’s manly genes sadly. Two I was only fourteen and puberty was taking its time so no facial hair or anything like that. Three I had my mother’s very fair complexion and almost white blonde hair. Last but not least was the length of that hair.

I kept it long.

It was only down to the middle of my neck but that seemed to be enough. Most people either assumed I didn't care or I was a tomboyish girl. It was kind of frustrating. Sadly it made a lot of guys think two things about me. I was either a “big fag” or I was a “cute girl”. There was no middle ground either. I had every intention of getting it cut before we left but kept procrastinating.

"I’m sorry,” I said, feeling myself turning green. “I’m not into guys”

The look of disappointment on his face made me feel a little bad for the idiot.

“Oh,” he said.

Sara twigged on it a few seconds later. The look on her face was priceless as always. First, she looked as if she wanted to punch him in the throat. Then she looked like she wanted to punch me in the throat. Then she got this cruel smile.

Oh shit.

“Now don’t be that way, sis,” she said wickedly, emphasizing the word sis, of course. “Everyone knows you swing both ways”

Damn her.

“So why don’t you give Ricky your cell number,” she said, still with that evil smile. “And try to fit him into your busy social calendar”
Before I could say anything, Sara took a napkin from the counter and wrote my number on it.

Double Damn Her.

The cashier---Ricky---took it from her with a big smile.

I shot him an awkward smile before I grabbed my bag and Sara by the arm.

I dragged her toward the door quickly.

“I hate you” I hissed as I pulled her outside.

“Mountain Dew, Dip Shit!”

She pulled out of my grip and started off toward the diner, laughing like a jackass.

Oh, she was so getting her hand dipped in water tonight.


Terri’s Diner was just as quaint on the inside as it was on the outside.

It had one of those bells too. It smelled a lot better than the convenient store, though. Thank God for that. I always loved the smell of apple pie and french fries. It reminded me a bit of home. Mom had been a great cook. I missed her cooking. With Dad these last few months, it had either been take out or fast food. Sara didn’t seem to mind because she was like a Bottomless Pit but me, I missed a nice home cooked meal.

Looking around as soon as we stepped inside, I found Dad in a booth by the window.

Not that he was hard to spot, the place was empty.

Well, save for the overweight older woman in the waitress uniform. I could only assume she was Terri.

She smiled at us as we walked toward Dad.

“Take a seat anywhere, girls,” she said with a warm smile.

Sara scoffed, I wanted to punch her.

What was with it with these Backwater people. Hadn’t any of them seen a boy with longish hair before?

We slipped into the booth. Sara was chuckling, Dad shook his head.

“See I told you to get your hair cut”

Sara broke out laughing. “You should have seen the guy in the store hitting on him”

I threw sugar packets at him. “If he calls my cell, I’m kicking your ass”

“You’ll try”

She had a point there. I wasn’t proud to admit that she could easily beat me up.

Dad raised an eyebrow.

“Do I even want to know?”

Sara quickly regaled him about the “Convenient Store Incident”

Dad smirked and shook his head.

“I’ll get you a new cell as soon as we get settled”

“It's fine” I huffed.

I’d deal with it later.

I was in the middle of my pout when the waitress came over. Looking at her up close I could tell she was the same age as Bud. Which further strengthened my theory that she was his wife. He also mentioned that the “Missus made a mean pecan pie”. Looking at the counter behind her, I could see a pecan pie on display. I also noticed a few other indications. She was wearing a wedding ring for one thing. For another, she had the same little cross pin on her lapel as the mechanic had. I hadn’t really paid much attention to his but now that I saw it on her I knew there had to be connection.

“Good afternoon folks,” she said with a warm smile. “My name is Terri. My husband Bud said you all were passing through on your way to Whisper Pines?”


Dad smiled back. “That’s right. My In-Laws own the dairy”

“Oh my word, these are Penny’s little uns”

“You knew my wife?”

“Of course dear,” she said then gently touched my father’s hand. “I was heartbroken when her father told me about her accident. You lot must have been devastated”

My sister and father nodded.

I think I nodded too.

I was just a bit distracted by being called a “little un”. I was fourteen now, not exactly little anymore. Unless of course, she was talking about my height. Not that five foot five was short by any means of course. It was, however, a tad on the short side for a boy my age. Stupid puberty, mucking things up again.

“It's been hard” Dad was saying. “But I wanted the kids to see where their mother grew up, maybe have a fresh start”

Terri nodded. “Of course”

She and dad talked a bit about Mom. Apparently, she really knew her. She started talking about Mom as a little girl but I tuned it all out. I turned and looked out the window instead. There wasn’t much out there. No wait, there was something. There was a cow. That was kind of odd actually. I’d never actually just seen one cow before. Usually, they were in a herd right? Not that that was the odd thing about this cow, though. The odd thing was that it was eating a shirt. A bright pink one to be exact.

“Ummm,” I said, interrupting. “I think your cow took something off your clothes line”

Terri looked out the window and laughed. “That’s not my cow sweetie. It's a stray. Probably wandered off. Bud has already called your grandpa about it. They’re sending someone to get it tomorrow morning”

I nodded and turned to look at the cow again. I noticed something else too. There was a pair of shorts near it as well, underneath its hind legs. I couldn’t help but smirk, thinking maybe the cow had been wearing clothes. Of course, it was ridiculous but it was funny nonetheless.

Sara looked out the window too. “Oh tough break, that’s a Kenny Martel she’s eating”

“Who’s Kenny Martel?” asked Dad.

Sara rolled her eyes. “A big designer. That's his logo on the sleeve. That shirt is like three hundred dollars, easy”


“Well, it's a future cow patty now,” said Terri with a light chuckle.

I looked back out the window. The shirt was almost completely devoured now. I couldn’t help but think how strange it was. Who in their right mind would leave a three hundred dollar shirt lying around for a cow to eat?

Sara lost interest in the cow about two seconds after she grieved the shirt. Dad watched for a second longer before he gave up too. I sat and watched as the shirt slowly disappeared. I’m not sure why I was so fascinated with it, to be honest. I guess it was just the idea of something so expensive going to waste like that. It just seemed so pointless. When the shirt was completely gone, I lost interest too.

“Now then, what can I get you folks”

Dad ordered first. A club sandwich and fries. His usual.

“How about you girls?”

I groaned. What the hell was it with these people?

“Do you have chicken fingers?”

“Sure do, Sugah”

She ordered that then asked for some coffee.

“Aren’t you a little young for something like that”

“I’m from Portland. That’s in Oregon. It's like the Coffee Capital of the World”

“Just bring her a pop or something”

“Eww, no”

“How about some milk, sweetie?”

Sara looked disgusted. “I’m not five”

Dad gave her his “Don’t sass adults” look. He was constantly giving it to her. Sara had a bit of an attitude that sometimes needed adjusting.

“Ok, we have juice. Apple or Orange?”

I scoffed at the apple juice. It was a shame I didn’t have some of that in the car earlier. It would have made that joke all the more genuine. Sara shot me a dirty look. She clearly knew what I thought was so funny.

“Orange then please”

“And for you, sweetie?”

I ordered a grilled cheese and fries.

“I’ll have that glass of milk too if you don’t mind, Ma’am”

I shot Sara a dirty look of my own.

Sara refused to drink milk because of all the empty carbs or some stupid thing. She was always changing her mind about stuff. One week she was a Vegan, the next week she couldn’t eat vegetables. It was actually hard to keep track. Mom always knew what was what, though. She was cool like that. I think it was what made her so good at her job. Being a reporter you always had to know the right things at the right time. Out of the three of us, she was the only one that seemed to understand the world that was Sara.

“I’ll be right back with those drinks then”

Terri left a moment later.

“You’re such a dork,” said Sara, throwing a sugar packet at me.

“Knock it off!” snapped Dad.

I think he was finally getting annoyed with her today.

It was about time honestly.

Terri returned a few minutes later with our drinks. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a glass of milk with any meal. Least of all in a restaurant. Taking the class, I took a nice long sip. Wow. There was something different about this one. The milk tasted fresh. I mean fresher than most milk. It was also cold and frothy. I’ve had my fair share of milk over the years but this one was amazing. It was like super milk or something. Ok, so that was taking it too far but not really.

“What kind of milk is this?”

Terri gave me a strange look. “It's Whisper Meadows, sweetie”

“Wow, really?”

She nodded. “You’ve never drank your own granddad’s milk before?”

I shook my head. “They don’t carry it in Portland”

She looked wounded for a second. Then she turned that frown into a great big smile again.

“Well drink up, sweetie”

I smiled and nodded, taking another great big sip.

Terri wandered off again, Sara rolled her eyes again. I sat and drank my milk. Before I knew it, I finished the whole glass. Terri brought me another when she brought our food. Biting into my grilled cheese, I could automatically tell the cheese was from the Dairy too. I couldn’t help but smile when I ate. Not just because of that fact but because well it tasted home cooked. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d actually had something, not in a plastic bin or paper wrapper. Looking at Dad and Sara I could tell they were enjoying it just as much as I was.

It was so good, none of us spoke through the whole thing.

I couldn’t remember the last time we ate a meal without talking.

When we were finished, Terri came over.

“And how was that?”

“Fantastic,” I said, speaking for all three of us.

She smiled.

When Dad pulled out his wallet, she stopped him.

“Not on your life. Joe Miller would blow a gasket if he found out I charged his family for a meal. This one is on the house, dear”

“Well that’s really nice of you but I insist...”

“I don’t want your money, honey,” she said sweetly.

The two of them went back and forth about it a few times.

Terri won in the end, though.

We thanked her again for the meal and she followed us toward the door. As we were leaving, a couple of big rigs pulled in. I smiled. I was glad to see this place wasn’t as dead as I originally thought.

“Race you to the car, dweeb!” shouted Sara as she ran off.

I wasn’t in the mood, though. I started to walk slowly toward the car when I stopped. I turned and looked back toward the cow. I was still perplexed about something. I looked at Dad but he seemed to be engrossed in a conversation with Bud and Terri. Shrugging it off, I decided I wanted to get a closer look at the cow. The last time I’d ever really been close to one when I was five. It was during the summer that year when we came here to visit Grandpa Joe and Grandma Diana. It was one of my favorite vacations we took. Sara didn’t remember it of course because she was a baby but it was a good, happy trip.

Approaching the cow now, I noticed it had moved onto eating the shorts.

They were jean ones, probably just as expensive as the shirt.

I thought about trying to pull them out of its mouth but decided it wasn’t worth it.

The cow lazily looked at me as I approached. I forgot how big they were. I also forget how bad they smelled. Strangely enough, though, this one smelled pretty good. Well, not as bad as some of the rest I suppose. That wasn’t the funny thing about this cow, though. It was its hooves. Or actually what was on them. I actually had to bend down to take a closer look but I couldn’t help but laugh as I did. It looked like someone had painted the cow’s hooves blue. No, wait not paint. It was fingernail polish. It covered all four hooves too. What the hell? I started to stand up when I noticed something else, something in the grass by her left hoof. It was gold and caught the light. Bending down, I picked it up and found myself holding a necklace. Well, a broken chain and a pendant. The pendant was about the size of a quarter, shaped in a heart. The front was smooth and the back, there was something written there.

I flipped it over.

“A & C. BFFs” I read softly to myself.

It must have belonged to the girl who left her clothes.

Why in the hell would she leave them, though?

I stuck the pendant in my pocket. Maybe there was someone in town who knew who it belonged too. It seemed important and I wanted to make sure it got back to the right person.

“Hey Charlie, c’mon!” shouted Dad, who was at the car.

I waved and patted the cow on the head. I started to turn when something else strange caught my eye. It was the cow’s eyes. I’d seen a lot of cows in the last day or so. Some of them pretty close as we drove by. All of them had these dull, muddy brown eyes. This cow, though, it had vibrant blue eyes. They didn’t look cow-like either. Ok so I didn’t really see other cows this close but the eyes looked too bright to be a cow’s. Could cows even have blue eyes?

“C’mon idiot!” shouted Sara, annoyed.

“I’ll google it later,” I said to myself, before turning and running toward the car.

I stopped one more time to take a look back at the cow before climbing into the passenger seat.

What a strange thing.

Author’s note: As I’m sure all of you know, comments are life blood to an author. I’m not begging or demanding, but I certainly would appreciate anything you have to say (or ask). It doesn’t have to be long and involved, just give me your reaction to the story. Thanks in advance...EOF

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