Something put him up there

So I’ll start by saying my father runs a bar&grill in a small tow in the northeastern US. Our town isn’t very big but most of our revenue is from tourism since we aren’t far from a state park. Pretty often we’ll get forest rangers and police coming in and as you can imagine once they’re drunk they have some interesting stories to tell. Well my sister got close to one of these rangers and they got married so he is my brother in law.

Usually the rangers and police will come in pretty somber and buy a drink when something horrible happens like a car accident or a missing child case. One day when I was working the bar my brother in law comes in really shaken up and orders a whiskey and puts a hundred down on the bar.

Of course I ask him if he’s okay and he gives me this look like he just saw someone get murdered in front of him and just asks for the bottle. So I put a cup down in front of him and pour out his whiskey in front of him leaving the bottle there with him. As the night goes on a few other rangers come in and they’re just like Arthur (brother in law’s alias) and I call over one of them

“What happened out there today?” I ask him

“Missing kid” he pauses “he found him” he gestures to Arthur

“Bad?” I ask

“Worse” he says then goes to sit down with the others. I look down the bar to arthur who at this point has nearly cleaned out the second bottle.

“Arthur I am going to drive you home when your done okay” I tell him. He just nodded when usually he’d fight me till the bitter end on this.

“Arthur what’s wrong?” I ask

“How’d he get up there?” Arthur mumbles so low I could barely hear him

“What?” I ask to no avail as he locks up.

This freaked me out because as a female bartender drunks usually want nothing more than to talk to you all night even Arthur has hit on me from time to time thinking I’m my sister when he gets drunk enough.

I end my shift early handing the bar off to a coworker and I take Arthur home. On the way there he opens up and talks so fast that between the slurs and the pace I have a hard time keeping up with him but to my memory this is pretty close to what he said

“I got the call I got called and I went. The boy was gone and his mom had no idea where he went then I went to find him because we couldn’t leave him but why was he there? how was he there? He couldn’t be there but he was! He was! But how? He was so bloody and so high half of him was gone I don’t know where it is but its not there, with him.” At this point he was crying and I made the mistake I wish I didn’t

“Where was he Arthur?” I asked

“Up there” he said looking up as if the kid was on the roof of my car “ in the tree fifty feet up I found him because his blood, fell on me.” Arthur locked up again and this time I was a little glad. He kept staring at his hands like there was something on his hands. When we got to his home I was trying to find his keys to get him inside when he grabbed me so suddenly it made me yelp. He looked me me in the eye his face was so serious I thought for a second he was sober.

“Something put him up there” he said starring into my eyes

“What did” I asked

“I don’t know, I don’t want to know” Arthur said. My sister opened the door having heard us outside and she helped me get him inside and lay him down.

She asked me what was wrong with him and I told her that she didn’t want to ask him and just believe me he had a bad day. That night I lay awake thinking about what Arthur said.

To this day he doesn’t talk about it and that’s fine by me but sometimes I wonder what could put that kid fifty feet up into a tree but just like Arthur there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to know.

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