What Did Happen To Charlie?

by Tim Lacey

Charlie leaned his blue dirt bike against the tree. He didn't secure it to the tree figuring no one would steal it here in the woods.

He had on around his waist, a black belt that had multi functions. Unsnapping a button, Charlie removed the bottled water. "Oh man this will taste good," said Charlie as he wiped the sweat from his forehead. Taking a hearty swig Charlie made a satisfied , "Aaahhh!" He then secured the bottle back to his belt.

"Yeeehhhaaach," were the sounds Robbie made as he pushed his way through the thick brush. A branch from a bush slapped him in the face. He didn't stop. Or cared about how it stung his face.

Seeing darkness ahead Robbie laughed. A laughter of survival. Pushing in among the tall green stalks Robbie hid in the safety of the shadows it created. He took one in his sweaty hand and kissed it, "Thank you-thank you! I'll take care of lawn when I get back." Robbied felt a coldness and anxiety as he said to himself with a lip that wanted to shake, "If I ever do get back." For the moment he had sanctuary. Robbie sat himself down on the cool dark earth. High above him he could see and hear the buzzing of insects.

Stepping into an open field, Charlie took in the vista of the scene. It was an over grown field that a hundred years before provided wheat to its owners. Owners who have long turned into dust. The only clues left that provided proof people once tilled this area was the remains of a stone foundation.

From far off at the other end of the field, Charlie heard voices. One sounded like that of a boy. As he pushed his way through the thick meadow grass, he saw a boy and an older male. Maybe the boy's brother. They both had nets in their hands and were hunched over as they slowly moved through the grass.

Robbie covered his mouth not to give himself away from a emotional startled cry. He shivered from the loud crunching sound as the huge form moved its way slowly nearby. "For God's sake go away. "Go away," he thought to himself as his face twisted with fear and anguish.

"I see her!" boomed a voice that banged around Robbie like a metal ball in a Pinball machine.

Robbie said sadly, "Oh Susan."

Charlie saw the boy who was in a gray tee-shirt and baggy denims lifting up his net. He was too far away to see what it was. All Charlie saw was a tiny object. The boy raised his net and shook it slightly while making odd gutteral sounds. He then reached in and took it out. The boy took his prize and placed it in the pouch he had attached to the side of his hip. This Charlie observed. "Hmm, maybe a butterfly or toad," said Charlie to himself. The other guy, Charlie saw was still hunched over; still searching for his prize.

There came a quiet. A quiet Robbie didn't like or trust. It was a sound of silence. And the silence said something to Robbie's troubled mind---"Being lulled into false sense of security."

With a big out going smile Charlied headed for the boy who had his back to him. "Hey, got a good catch there?" The quickness of the boy's turn surprised him to the point where he almost fell backwards. Gaining his footing, Charlie told the boy, "Sorry, hope I din't scare you."

The boy with freckls that covered his face responded, "I hehe scared you more hehe." And he gave Charlie a big cavity, yellow teeth grin. Coming from the tan leathered pouch attached to a belt loop Charlie heard the sound of something squirming against the leather. It made tiny ripples in the worn material. The boy glanced down at it. He then looked up at Charlie, "It will soon fall asleep. They do after a spell."

"Yeeeaah?" replied questionally Charlie to the strange boy. He then moved away from the boy.

Standing back up, Robbie bent his head back. All he could see from the sky above him was the blue sky and the occasional big black fly. He started to take slow steady steps. The tall green stalks were fluid like so they made no sounds as Robbie pushed through them. He was occasionally looking up to see if there was any trace of his pursuer. Still nothing.

Charlie seeing the guy still hunched over an area of thick grass wondered to say hello or get the hell out of there. Charlie decided on the latter. Moving away he backed up into something. Turning it was the boy. "Mister me think you like to play.?"

Someone else is there!" said Robbie out loud. With this new voice came hope. But Robbie tired from his physical and mentalexertions pushed madly through the thick grass. He screamed when he saw the two huge dirt wook boots before. He screamed when he felt the netting from the net engulf him.

The boy started clapping his hands. Charlie made a what-is-his-problem face.

"Gotcha!" said an older sounding but young voice.

The boy clapped his hands again. And started making an un-Godly combination of slurping and hooting sounds. Turning around from the strange boy, Charlie saw the college age guy pulling something out of his net.

Charlie was going to say something but tiny movements in the guy's dirty hands took his words away. As the man lowered his hand into an open metal box he had on the side of his hip, Charlie saw two tiny denim cladded legs thrashing up and down. And making his head feel light, Charlie saw part of an arm sticking out between two fingers. The two tiny legs continued kicking up and down.

At the end; the legs had two very tiny black hiking shoes. One fell off. Feeling as if in a dream, Charlie bent over. Spotting it hanging on the tip of a blade of grass Charlie picked it up. In his hand was a tiny shoe. With an open mouth Charlie looked up at the guy who was just closing the metal box.

The boy started grasping at Charlie. "Want to be my toy mister?"

"Sure he does," spoke the youngman who lifted up his net.