In most of the world, no one cares about each other's secrets. Everybody is so wrapped up in their own lives, that they have little time to care about the lives of others. But, in a town like Dual Spires, that’s just not the case. Here, the rain falls a little harder and the secrets are like a currency. The secrets are worse here, darker. The mysterious overcast skies that often plague the town are a metaphor for it’s secrets.
But no one knows this better than Him. Not one darn person. Him being Henry Lee Roosevelt, of course. For everyone knows what Him means in Dual Spires. In the 70’s, Henry was an eligible bachelor known for his good looks and kind heart. But no one can be that perfect. In 1978, when a girl named Noora came to town, everything changed for him. He was no longer the kind bachelor he was known to be. He was distant now, keeping to his own. Rumour had it, Noora and him were involved. This was a big scandal, of course, being as she was 17 and he was 28. But then, on New Year's day of 1979, she disappeared. Naturally, the cops assumed it was ole’ Henry. She’d turned down his proposal of marriage and he’d gone ballistic, chopping her up and hiding her in the woods. But they never found a shred of evidence. A lot of the town, those who didn’t believe he slaughtered her, assumed that she’d skipped town, realizing how drab Dual Spires could be. The weird thing is, though, Henry Lee never said either of these things were the case.
“She was taken!” he assured Sheriff Cooper, who was the standing Sheriff back in 1979. So Cooper questioned him, “by whom?” he asked. But Henry’s answer- and you better prepare yourself for this one- it was not what the poor old Sheriff wanted to hear. “By Them!” he said, and oh boy did that phrase stick. Stuck all the way to 1998, where this story takes place.
“Charlie!” starry-eyed, pale and slim Rose said as she waddled her way through tree branches and weeds, looking around for her curly haired boyfriend amongst the trees.
“You’ll have to come and find me, Rosey-Posey” he said as he laughed a boyish laugh, a sound that only a 18 year old could make.
So she did, come and find him that is. He was hiding behind an old shack, couldn’t be more decaying if it tried. It looked as if it was 20, maybe 30 years old. She thought it was cool, as she did with a lot of the old things in this town. But Charlie probably thought otherwise. Would probably complain about a splinter or something if she even brought it up.
“Found you!” she giggled, wrapping her arms around the boy and squeezing him as tight as she possibly could. This causing him to squeal, a very loud noise that spooked the raven that was sitting in the tree a few feet away from them.
“Charles! That was so loud!” she said to him, slimming her eyes down in a sinister way, creeping around him, “you wouldn’t want to call out ole’ Henry Lee, would you?” she sneered in her witchiest voice.
The boy shook his head, “you know that old tale isn’t true, right?” he asked her, rolling his eyes.
“Oh,” Rose spoke softly, “I don’t know, why can’t it be true? I mean, look around you, these old woods are full of huts and crap like that. Who's to say somebody isn’t living in one of them?”
“I am! You and I both know that he moved to Wisconsin or something, sometime in the 80s.” Charlie rambled on, motioning to the woods surrounding the two, “besides, do you really think someone could live in these woods? We’re practically in Canada, the Pacific Northwest at least, no wa-.”
But before his rant could continue on, a big grey pit bull ran up to the two, barking and wagging it’s tail.
“Hey! No! Get away!” Charlie screamed at it, shooing it with a twig he found on the ground. Causing the dog to back up, but only slightly.
“Charlie!” Rose yipped at him, pulling him by his arm away from the dog. “Leave the poor thing alone, you big dope!” she sneered as she squated down. “Come here! It’s okay buddy, I won't hurt you” she said to the dog.
It’s ears perked up slightly at Rose’s words, and slowly, very slowly, the dog walked up to the girl. Trusting her more and more as it got closer.
“Aw,” she soothed, rubbing the dog behind it’s ears and cooing at it “you’re just a big sweetheart, aren’t ya?”
“Sh,” Charlie said to her, but she couldn’t see him for all of her attention was on the dog.
“You’re just jealous,” she said, not looking up to him.
“No, really, shut up.” he said, hearing something in the woods. At this Rose looked up to him and stopped what she was doing. She was angry at first, her brows furrowed together as she looked at him with a pout. For no one tells Rose Parker to shut up. But then she saw the look on Charlie’s face, and her face too grew concerned. “What is it?” she breathed out, looking in the direction of his gaze.
From what she could see, and it was dark now, it was a shadow that looked oddly like a man. But it was dark now, and in the woods, your eyes often played tricks on you. Didn’t they?
“Is that what I think it is?” her voice was barely loud enough to hear, but Charlie caught it.
“Rose,” he said, grabbing her arm suddenly, pulling her behind him quickly, but not making any other movements besides that. “Run”.
And boy did she run. She ran faster and faster, not knowing if anyone was following her. But she didn’t care, she kept going until her legs gave out. When they did, she stopped momentarily, and turned around.
“Charlie?” she screamed into the dark woods, but nothing was heard but the echo of her voice. She said it again and again, but nothing and no one answered. “Charlie, please!” she said, tears now forming in her green eyes. Crunch. She heard a crunch. “W-who’s there?” she asked, barely able to speak.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” the voice said.
A deep sob came out of Rose’s throat, she was unable to hold it in. She could not speak, and the legs holding her up completely collapsed beneath her.
And then, she was in a dream.
Her eyes peeked open, and before her was Charlie, fast asleep. They were in a dim room, lit by nothing but a small fire in the corner.
“Charlie?” she said, scared, “where are we?” but he didn’t answer.
“Don’t be scared,” a male voice, which definitely was not Charlie’s, said to her.
The girl looked up and laid her eyes on a man, who looked to be as old as her father, who was 49. But this man’s hair wasn’t slightly grey, like her father's was, no, it was completely white. His skin, although wrinkly, looked tanned.
“Are you Henry, Henry Lee?” Rose found herself saying, although she felt like a force other than her own was doing it.
“That I am,” he said to her, a smile falling on his face.