A creature, part of the darkness before God created the heavens and earth, has awakened. It had slumbered, hibernating from the light. Now, it is hungry and wanting to feed…
Bobby, a local kid, and the police chief have gone missing. Everyone in the small town turns to former Chicago cop Rob Alletto to find them, but as he starts his search, more people disappear. Rob is quickly overwhelmed. The night seems to come alive, taking these people. Alletto must find out why and discover a way to stop it before the whole town slips…Into Darkness.
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JASON R. DAVIS
Breaking Fate Publishing
© 2017 by Jason R. Davis
Rob knew she was going to kill him, but not because of how late he was. She was getting used to that, even though she didn’t like it. She understood it was only temporary and she had accepted it. After the second week of him coming home to a dinner that had been sitting for three hours, she’d learned not to cook too early. That fight had already happened. He thought she was okay with that part of the job. No. She was going to kill him because not only was he coming home tonight smelling like sewage, but his clothes were covered in it, he was covered in it, the towel on the car seat was covered in it. He didn’t want to think about how their only car was covered in it. His sense of smell had long since evaporated after the second hour of being coated in the stuff, so he wasn’t sure how bad it was. He would find out soon enough. Robyn would probably take him right into their back yard and hose him down before he was even allowed in the house.
Her house, yeah, and if he just walked in like he was now, he would immediately be pushed back out of her house. In the cool night air, he would be forced to clean up with the garden hose. Maybe he should just go into the back right when he got home. Just walk around to the side of the house and spray himself down. Rob had already done it once tonight while still at the sewage plant, but there was only so much he could do without getting undressed. Much of the chemicals still covered him, and there was no hope for his clothes. He would have had to strip naked at the plant, and that wasn’t happening.
The smell just had to come home with him. Each day, he thought he left it at work. According to Robyn, though, he still smelled like sewage when he got home.
Thank goodness the job was only temporary. Rob Alleto, town deputy and overall nice guy, did not see himself working there for long. It was just a nice bit of additional income to get them ready for the winter. The job wasn’t him, but it was what they needed to do to get by right now.
When Rob left Chicago, he had been a beat cop for over fifteen years. When he left to become a small-town deputy, he didn’t know how much less he would make. He was used to being a full-time cop. He came to Standard assuming the job was full-time. He didn’t expect to only be working weekends, the chief giving him the occasional weekday out of pity.
He didn’t know if he could say he loved being a cop. He loved his wife and son. His career as a police officer was different. He was a protector, a guardian. Being a cop was so intertwined with his being, he wouldn’t be himself, the man he was happy to be, without it.
That had been put to the test just over a year ago when he was caught in the mess down in Hammond. He still wasn’t over that, but he had moved on as best as he could. He had saved some, but not everyone. On one level, he knew that would have to be enough, but there were so many more people he should have been able to save. He should have rescued them.
He took a long, deep breath. It’s all behind me. It has to be.
He took another breath, tasting the smell hanging in the small space of the car. Rob hauled sewage from the plant to the fields. It was a seasonal job, just until the end of October. He worked during the week so as not to interfere with his police duties. It also paid well enough that not only was the mortgage finally up to date, but there was extra. It was enough to get Jake clothes and supplies for school. They also put money away to actually pay the power bill on time this winter. The job allowed him to provide for his family once again.
He sometimes worried someone would say something about how being a town deputy and a truck driver might be a conflict of interest. Maybe it was. He knew working every single day pushed the hours of service laws, but he walked the fine line of harvest field exception laws for farmers. He had to walk it, even though it meant he wouldn’t be able to spend much time with his wife and son.
Dan had tried to help him. He knew how much they were hurting. When the chief had to reduce Rob’s time on duty and cut the weekly day bonus due to cutbacks of what the town considered unnecessary police spending, Rob’s life started to get increasingly more difficult. They had been three months behind on the mortgage, the power was about to get turned off, and their house in Chicago wasn’t selling.
Dan told him about a farm outside of town that needed a driver. Bruce, a friend of Rob’s, had been happy to help him get his CDL. He couldn’t afford to get his commercial driver’s license through a school. He knew there were programs out there, but he couldn’t leave the part-time job he had now for a chance at making a little more.
Without Bruce, he never would have managed it. At first, Bruce was nervous. Rob was the only officer who knew about his second log book, and he had to constantly reassure his friend he wouldn’t turn him in for it. Of course, that deal came with conditions. He looked the other way, but Rob had been adamant about the real reason he stayed cool with the second log book. Bruce was a decent guy who didn’t do drugs. When he used the second log book, he just stretched the law a little bit to get by. If he stayed safe, stayed responsible, Rob didn’t have a problem with it.
Then there were the guys he worked with from the plant. At first, they were wary about being around a cop all day. Drivers had a history of not trusting law enforcement, and he could understand why. From their perspective, the DOT was always out to get them. They thought officers were around every corner. As if to justify the belief, Bruce had told him about some of the things he’d seen out on the road. Rob had a hard time believing it, but he understood why the guys would be as wary around him as they were.
It had taken some time, but he had worked his way into their good graces. He had even adopted the CB handle “Da Bear”.
Not too many drivers went by anything other than their names, but none of them called him by his. He was “Da Bear” and he liked it. At home, his son used to call him “Daddy Bear”, and he knew truckers called cops “Smokey Bears”. So he was “Da Bear”, and he took pride in it. It warmed his heart when they called him on the CB. Of course, it didn’t have anything to do with an old SNL skit and Rob actually being from Chicago.
Yeah, and Ditka is not a god. Daaa Bears.
Rob smirked. Da Bear is going to be dead once the mommy bear gets her hands on him.
He pulled the car into the driveway, not wanting to go in. This wasn’t going to be pretty. His shitty job had led to a shitty day, which would probably lead to a shitty night. Oh, where was the justice in the world? The second he opened that door, she would drag him out to the hose. He knew it was coming. It was inevitable. He might as well just go right over to the hose and do it himself.
As he walked up to the door, the cool breeze rustled the trees. Weeks earlier, the leaves had turned yellow, many of them now scattered on his lawn. The few remaining in the tree caught in the wind, gliding down amongst that brisk fall air to land on his windshield. The air blowing through his hair, he imagined it turning to freezing when the water slammed into him.
It was going to be a long night. All he had to look forward too was the hot shower to come.