“I’m telling you sheriff it has to be him, why haven’t you arrested him yet?” Rich said, holding back the tears. “Because we need proof, we can’t just go around arresting everybody, law and order are of utmost importance to Cutting Edge.” The Sheriff said before returning to his crossword puzzle. Rich stormed out of the police station, unsure what to do with all his frustration, the love of his life taken, and as far as he was concerned it had to be Tristan, as far as he was concerned Tristan was the devil himself. Despite any fears of this demon, Rich would stop him and protect the rest of the town, in the name of Abagale Witt, his one true love. He marched over the Bolt estate hoping to knock down the door and find something, anything that would help him locate his enemy. “Anyone home?” He shouted while taking the door down with a single kick. Quickly marching through the house upturning everything he could find, as far as he could tell the house had no clues, at least it didn’t until he got to the roof. When Rich reached the roof he saw something unbelievable, the Factory, the abandoned factory, was releasing smoke, it could only mean one thing, someone was trying to use the equipment, after all this time. Rich was ready for anything, or so he thought, in reality he wasn’t prepared at all.
“Are you sure he’ll be here?” Lisa asked pulling bugs from her hair. “Of course I know where I’m going, I’m taking us to the last place left to check without going into the dark parts of the forest.” Kaylie said with grim determination evident in her voice, “He won’t Ditch us, not now not ever.” Said Kaylie bitterly, as she marched on to destinations unknown; that was when they first noticed the strange footprints. They instantly began following the footprints, leading to a dark caves just around the area where the forest transitions from peaceful wood, to the dark forest, feared by just about all people from Cutting Edge. They entered without hesitation, and what they saw, they could scarcely comprehend. It was a young man dressed in animal pelts, holding a spear looking through some papers, as if searching for something. They were paralyzed by their inability to come to terms with the situation until they heard a familiar voice. “Find anything Blue?” It was Tristan; they recognized him instantly and ran towards him hugging him tightly. “You’ve been discovered already, it’s only been a day.” Blue said sounding disappointed. “I should have known you guys would be able to track me down even out here in the dark forest, I’m actually busy right now, trying to figure out who really killed Gale.” Tristan said while hugging his best friends in the whole world, unwilling to let go despite his words to the contrary. “I’ve got something, that palace you mentioned, it’s not a place, it’s a machine, and they’re building it.” Blue exclaimed as he waved the papers in Tristan’s face excitedly. Tristan let go of his friends, snatched the papers and read it aloud. “The completion of the machine known as the Palace is approximately 10 percent complete, we are ahead of schedule and revised dates shall be posted soon.” Tristan said as he grabbed another page with the revised dates, they matched the ones listed in the Grey Manour, Tristan smirked. “Now we’re getting somewhere, if they wanted to build something without being detected, where would they be? I know where I’d go.” Tristan said, his voice growing colder and harsher. “Yeah, but we’re coming with you.” Lisa informed him. Tristan shot her a look which screamed ‘you must be insane to think I’m let you get anywhere near such a dangerous place’ but she simply ignored him. “Fine, but you’ll have to do something for me first, he said with a wicked grin.”
Rich arrived in the Factory, the strange noises of machinery whirring in the distance and metal parts clanking together echoing in the shadows cast by monolithic metallic parts, was more than enough to verify the name most called this place, the Metal forest. He walked slowly, felling unsure of himself. What was to stop Tristan from doing to him what he had done to Gale, especially since he was so far away from the main part of the town, no one ever came to the metal forest anymore, most forget it ever existed until someone accidentally mentions it. The entire place is shrouded in mystery as none seem aware of why it was shut down, or why no one ever tried to tear it down, but as a result there were fewer jobs, less money, starvation happened and death on a mass scale. Whatever happened in that place many years ago was the death of half a town, all those restless spirits. As Rich wandered through that place he was certain he could feel them, it was beyond unnerving, it was maddening. The madness overtook him, sight and sound became distorted. He could scarcely tell what was going on anymore. He thought he heard footsteps, fear washed over him like the primal force it was, overcoming even his insanity forcing him to hide underneath a conveyer belt which appeared to be running. “I think you’ll find we’ve everything you need, lord Gear.” Said a voice Rich couldn’t recognize. “Number one, you’re my closest friend, and no one else is around, you may call me, Mr. Bolt.” A dark voice replied, despite what appeared to be a nice sentiment he still sounded cold and distant as if testing his number one. The two walked away and Rich emerged from his hiding place eager to capture Tristan and drag him back to town to pay for his sins, but then he heard a loud noise, it wasn’t a machine, but it was far from human. The sound was a screech so loud it made his insanity worse, before he knew it he was halfway home, and still running fast.
“I think onions are like the souls of people lost in the wild, no matter how you cut it somebody shall cry.” Kaylie proclaimed dramatically while slicing an onion, Lisa was cutting up several other fruits and vegetables, dumping them all in an old brass pot for a soup. “I thought you said no more cooking jokes.” Lisa complained. “Oh but this is an emergency situation, so exceptions to all the rules.” Kaylie replied happily. “Are they always like this?” Blue asked, before yawning and resting his head on the small makeshift table (which means an old crate he found in the woods) Tristan laughed at all of them. The soup was made quickly and was sweet but spicy, made from the fresh ingredients of the forest. Blue and Tristan ate in silence while Kaylie and Lisa poured over every single note the other two had written trying to catch up with the adventure. “I think I know where we should go next,” the two said in unison, while Kaylie pointed to a part of the notes referencing pages torn from old books. “I thought we agreed to go to the Metal forest?” Tristan inquired. “No that’s reckless; we need to know what we’re up against, plus what if they aren’t even the ones who did this?” Kaylie explained. “Who else could it be?” Tristan asked angrily. “That’s exactly the kind of logic Rich has been using on the Sheriff and his deputies.” Lisa shouted. Lisa, was usual quiet, even in times of crisis, the reason for that was when she shouted it was loud, so loud it silenced not only the people in the tree house, but all of nature within a half mile radius. “Now, we’re going to the burnt building and we’ll find out what books they were taking from, this will give us an idea what they were up to and if they would kill. Lisa explained in the wake of the silence she caused. The three nodded in total agreement, no one dared cause her to do that again.
Tristan quickly pulled together a disguise for himself and Blue, and they left for the burn building. A building that supposedly caught fire mere days before the incident at the factory, though most are unsure what it was used for The rod’s have maintained for generations that it was a library which also housed the business records for the factory. On their way there, they had to pass the Market, in the market they bumped into Rich. All five of them fell over from the sheer force of his movement. “Watch where you’re going.” Kaylie said angrily. “I know he’s behind her death, I heard Tristan talking to someone in the factory, you shouldn’t try to protect him anymore, everyone knows he’s evil, why have you allowed such vile things to prosper?” Rich rambled, sounding crazier than ever. Tristan’s arms tensed up and he clenched his fist, but took a deep breath and began to weigh his options. On the one hand he could reveal himself disproving whatever strange sight Rich had seen, but that would most likely get him captured, on the other hand letting Rich go would only make the Sheriff want him more. He had no idea what benefitted him most, so he decided to look at it from a moral prospective. When that didn’t work he punched Rich in the face knocking him out and then the four of them marched on leaving Rich there resting.
They arrived at the burnt building, ashes everywhere, all those years and no one bothered to take a broom to that place, it was a monument to destruction itself. “I can’t stand this place, let’s hurry up I’m tired of hiding from the law already. A good con artist shouldn’t have to hide.” Tristan said, his voice taking on a cruel tone that sounded foreign to his companions, but they did their best to ignore it while the search for non burnt books with missing pages began. The search lasted hours, Tristan grew more and more bitter by the minute and at the end he put his foot down. He stomped angrily and fell through the floor. Blue instantly jumped down the hole to help his friend, Lisa shined a flashlight for them to see in the darkness. “I found the non burnt books” Tristan exclaimed joyfully, his voice returning to the usual confident tone. Kaylie tied a rope to the support beam of the building and climbed down to see, Lisa climbed down after. The four of them searched the books, finding that pages were taken from a large number of books with odd titles like ‘how to build an aero plane’ ‘the truth about chemistry’ ‘real life dragons: the mystery of the komodo’ and ‘Sprockets for all, the joy of factory work’. They took every single book with pages missing to try and piece together the puzzle back in the forest. “Everyone wait in here, I’ll go out first, it’s super suspicious for a bunch of people ot exit this building at once, we’ll avoid detection better this way.” Tristan said leaving his stuff behind, which the others thought strange, but they were too immersed in reading book titles and packing them away to give it further thought.
“Afternoon sheriff, I take it you’re here about my arrest?” Tristan asked removing the false facial hair from his face. “I take it the guilt has finally pieced the darkness of your soul to what little remains of ye heart.” One of the deputies spat out in Tristan’s general direction but obviously for the benefit of his peers, and Rich who was standing nearby with blood dripping from his nose. “Settle down now, let’s all stay calm the kid’s unarmed, we’ll just hold him for a few days until they arrive, then things will be handled, simple as that.” The sheriff said calming down his men while pulling out his handcuffs. “Hey, which cell, you putting me in? You know the third one on the left is rusty and has a small hole in the back corner, don’t put me there, I’ll escape too easily.” Tristan said with a grin. Rich came over to punch him in the face but found himself flipped over and tossed into the air, he landed painlessly in a nearby patch of grass in front of someone’s house. “Officers, my carriage, if you will.” Tristan said before laughing cruelly. They cuffed him and took him away, his friends barely noticed he left, but eventually it occurred to them their friend was gone. They rushed out to see what had become of him.
Rich found himself surrounded by three people, two of whom he recognized, the third he knew nothing about, but they were friends of that devil, so he knew all he needed to know. “Your demon is gone, and the land is saved, justice is served at last.” Rich muttered more to himself than the three who were now giving him angry looks and contemplating their next move. “I say we saw him in half, you’re good at that aren’t you Kaylie.” Said Lisa, with a dark grin that juxtaposed her high pitched sweet voice. “Nonsense, we’ll force him to explain his foolishness, by taking him with us to the dark forest.” Kaylie said authoritatively. “Blue picked up Rich with one hand, demonstrating his impressive strength by lifting the brute over his own head and staring into his eyes. Once they locked eyes, Rich could see just how savage the strange man really was. “Good afternoon, would you like to tell me why you think my friend was the killer?” Blue said with a cheery voice as if he were talking to a new pet puppy who recently peed upon a newer rug. Rich nodded sadly. “I saw a man in a mask, same hair as him same dark voice he uses sometimes, he told someone else to call him Mr. Bolt, he was in the factory, I was in the factory, so much death.” Rich rambled; his mind lost in the memories of that wretched place once more, the darkness of darkness surrounding him. Blue dropped Rich back into the grass from whence they found him and the three of them walked back to the forest leaving Rich to determine his next move on his own. “Tristan must have known they were out there, why else would he split up from the group, he did it so we wouldn’t be caught helping him.” Kaylie reasoned, to herself when they were somewhere amongst the trees but not yet at the safety of the tree fort. “Drop it,” Blue said solemnly, as if he lost hope in the entire world, “just drop it.”
- Beyond the Cutting Edge: chapter two (trueecho22.wordpress.com)