I endured Zak’s moaning and groaning about coming to the lake for the past several hours. How ironic of him to find something of interest at the moment I wanted to leave. I decided to give him a minute to indulge in whatever it was he’d found inside the storage closet in the old dining hall. Before I could take my first step toward him, he yelled again. This time it was more like a shriek of panic.
“Dad, hurry!” He pointed at the white object sticking out from under a crumpled old blanket. “What … is that what I think it is?”
The fear in his voice made it clear it wasn’t the baby raccoons I’d fully expected to see. Zak was a city boy. He’d never experienced joys I remember of those long summers vacations here or the critters that routinely invaded these buildings when no one was looking. No, clearly someone else had taken advantage of the abandoned camp ground for a much darker reason.
“Son.” I pulled him away from the storage room door. “Why don’t you go wait for me in the car?”
“What are you going to do?” he asked.
“We need to call the police. Go on, do as you’re told. I won’t be long.”
“But nothing. Go!” I waited until Zak was outside before stooping down and lifting the blanket to reveal a human femur and skull. A thick layer of dust floated off the covering into my face. I coughed and sneezed several times and was sickened at the thought of having drawn into my lungs the dust that had concealed this horrid secret. I reached for my cell and started to dial 911 then stopped. My thoughts immediately flashed to the years of silence between Daphne and I. Had she really sold the place out from under me? Maybe that’s why the old sign still hung from its pole and my grandparents’ cabin still stood yards away from this building. I had no proof, only hearsay of the sale. And why hadn’t she told me of her husband’s death?
I looked at the skull again and tried to imagine Mark’s face. My finger froze on the send button of my cell when the unthinkable idea came that the dearly departed might have been capable of murder.
“I thought I told you—” The words caught in my throat when I turned and saw the stranger holding a knife to Zak’s throat.
Read part 1
Read part 2
To be continued on March 31, 2011 ...