Black Country


You turn from the spot in the ground where the only signs of this once being a shallow grave is the disturbed earth and debris. A grave you and your friends dug, and into which you deposited the remains of David Bellman. It seems a lifetime ago, after the long road to Canada and back, and you shudder as a frigid gust of wind sends shivers that reignites the tiredness of your body.

You left the old Injun in his barn outside Medicine Hat. You all agreed that it… probably looks like an accident. You send a worried glance towards Trey’s truck. The discomfort of riding around with that… thing in the back… But you can’t destroy it, and you sure as hell can’t leave it. As long as you leave it alone, it seems to be still. You swallow as you try to take it all in.

“I’ve got something!” shouts Reddington. You join the others in a huddle, and the former cop spreads a map of the Northwest on the hood of Sadler’s car. He places his smartphone on top of the map, and taps his phone screen.
“See?” He indicates a news story, and you have to crane your neck to see it over Trey’s shoulder.

KELSO, OR. — A 15-year-old Longview Heights girl is recovering in a hospital after being attacked by a bear, described as “white with a red face”.

“That’s him” Reddington folds his arms. Case closed, to him. Bloody cops, always jump at the closest possible solution. “White fur, face and chest stained by blood.” Well… You’re willing to concede that he might have a point.
“This is close-by,” Sadler chimes in. He puts to fingers to the screen and swipes outwards to enlarge. The date. “It’s the day after we hit him.”
Reddinton points to the map. “He’s moving east south-east.”
“But where to?” Trey scratches himself inappropriately.
Silence falls between you, and the sounds of the night fade in. Mist creeps in from the backwoods, and your breath obscures the others for a second. The thought that the vapour is thick enough to saw through crosses your mind. Saw… Wait a minute…
“You guys…” Your voice sounds oddly thick as it ends the silence. “I know where he’s going…”


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