Jeff’s friend Jake was instructed to direct traffic at the scene of the fire, even though it was so late that little or no traffic was passing the burning Bedford house. As he had little to do, he had a chance to look around Sally’s yard a bit. There were many emergency vehicles parked in disarray in the yard and driveway. Most of the surrounding landscape was lit by the orange yellow glow of the fire.
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The house was so far gone, that they were basically just letting it burn. There was no hope of saving it. They kept the detached garage and out buildings hosed down to keep them from catching fire, but that was about all they could do. Other volunteer fireman were keeping an eye out for traffic as well, so when Jake spotted something laying in the grass in the shadow of one of the trucks, he decided to check it out.
He walked over to see what it was and jumped back in surprise when he realized what he was looking at. It was a dog. A headless dog. And strewn around it in various poses of death were six little dogs, puppies. He bent down and looked closer at the dead animals. Two of the puppies looked like they were run over, their bodies crushed under the weight of tires. As he looked closer and took in more detail, he could see the tire tracks in the grass.
All the puppies were missing their tails. Four of them looked like they were repeatedly stomped on by someone’s hard heeled boot. He could see heel prints in the soft ground. Suddenly, it dawned on him. This was no accidental fire. And he thought he knew who the arson was. We went to find the sheriff....
Danny was smacking the baseball bat into his open hand. With a crazed look in his eyes and exaggerated smile on his face, he looked every bit as dangerous as he was.
“Howdy Sal, who’s the punk? Is he poking ya?”
Jeff took a step forward. “Watch your mouth Danny boy. Get the hell out of...”
Before Jeff could finish, Danny struck out with a vicious jab of the bat into his stomach, knocking the wind out of him. He crumbled to the floor, gasping for breath. Danny stood over him gloating, and then raised the bat over Jeff’s head...
“Stop!” Sally screamed. “Just stop! I’ll do whatever you want, just leave him alone!”
“Really? So you got a thing for me after all, eh Sal?” Danny lashed out with his foot and caught Jeff right in the jaw, knocking him out.
“Stop, stop, stop!” Sally covered her mouth in horror at what Danny had done. “I said I’ll do anything...” she sobbed.
“Yes, I know you will. I just didn’t want the punk disturbing us. And I don’t think anyone else will interrupt us either, not with a raging fire down the road and all....”
Jake found the sheriff standing with the Fire Chief. He interrupted them and pulled the sheriff off to the side so he could tell him what he though had happened.
“So you think it was the guy at the bar who threatened you that did this? You think he set the fire?” Asked the sheriff.
“All I know is this guy was beating on Sally in the parking lot. We helped her out and he threatened to get us all. There’s a dead dog missing it’s head over there behind the pumper and six mangled puppies, tire tracks all over the place. I don’t know who it was, but he was driving a souped up early model black Mustang.”
The Sheriff twitched as though someone had pinched him. “Have you told anyone else about this yet?” He asked.
“No. Look, I don’t know if that same guy did this or not. All I know is that if it was the same guy, he might show up at my friends house next. Jeff Roper. They live just a few miles back the way we came in.”
“I know where they live. I’d better go check it out. Just to be safe.”
“I’ll go with you,” said Jake as he started walking to the sheriff’s car.”
“No!” Shouted Jim Silva a little to quickly. “I mean, no, it might get a little dicey if someone shows up down there. You stay here and do what you can to help. I’ll take care of everything....”
The Sheriff drove away wondering what trouble his son Danny had gotten himself into now. He thought he might loose him this time. He thought this one was a little to big to fix...
Sheriff Silva pulled into the Roper’s driveway. His Black Mustang that he sometimes let his son drive was parked there. He pulled to a stop beside it and got out of his cruiser. Walking around the Mustang, he approached the house with caution, unbuckling the safety strap from his gun. He saw a body in a spreading pool of blood laying on the porch.
As he started up the porch steps, he saw something laying in the shadows. He looked down at the partially open bag and saw the dogs severed head. He went to it, picked it up and carried it to the Mustang, tossing it in through the window onto the passengers seat. As he walked back to the house he heard the muffled scream of a woman...
Danny was on top of Sally, struggling to rip her cloths off. He hadn’t wasted any time. He had thrown her down right next to Jeff’s unconscious body. He finally got her shirt ripped off and was roughly fondling her bare breasts when the front door burst open. A pair of hands grabbed him roughly and threw him into the wall.
As the sheriff pulled his son from Sally, the sudden movement made his gun pop out of it’s holster. Danny recovered quickly, and scrambled for the gun. He picked it up and still kneeling on the floor, aimed it as his father...
To be continued...