In These Final Hours

Eli told Melvin and his dad about the icicles that nearly killed him, when he came out of the house, that morning. "See that scar?" Sheriff Ross pointed to his forehead, "When I was about your age. I got nailed by one of those suckers!..Knocked me out cold!" "Really?....I think if one of these would have hit me...I would have surely killed me!"  Eli declared. "I'll show you. Their still there on the landing. One of them must be at least 5 inches thick!" "You got a two-way radio, Eli?" Sheriff Ross asked Eli. "I think my dad has one in the office.  There's the antenna for it over there." "Well, Let's take a look at it and see if we can get that working for you." "That won't be necessary, Sheriff Ross...Really..I'm alright."  "Indulge me, Eli." Sheriff Ross insisted. "Yes, Sir." Eli agreed to the Sheriff's request.

"Come on inside!..There's coffee on the burner." Eli jumped out of the car and headed inside.  "Wait up! Dude!" Melvin shouted out to him. Melvin picked up the pace to catch up  with Eli. "Geez Louise! Is that the icicles you were telling us about?"  Melvin's mind went numb. "You weren't kidding..were you?...Hey, Dad....Take a look at the size of these bad boys!" Melvin picked one of them up to show it to his father.   It had the diameter of a Louisville Slugger." "Where's your father's office?"  Sheriff Ross knew that the boy needed something other than house phone to use; in case of an emergency.  "Right through those French doors, Sir."  Sheriff Ross left the room to see about the two-way radio.  Melvin walked over to the countertop and poured himself a mug of hot coffee.  "Hey, pass me the milk?"  Eli reached into the refrigerator and handed him the carton. Baron was sitting patiently on the floor, waiting for Eli to toss him another piece of beef. "Hey Melvin?..Watch this!" He threw the meat over his shoulders, without looking back, and Baron caught the meat in his mouth.  "Baron...You sly devil" Melvin said, smiling.

  Sheriff Ross had managed to get the two-way to work and signed on using his hand code. "This is WWVN 009, signing on do you read me, Rochell?" "Sheriff? Is that you?...Why are you using a hand-held? Did you wreck or something?" "Rochell, Keep me signed on will ya." "Why sure?...You alright up there on that mountain?" she asked. "Just keep this frequency open...Over and Out?" "What's that you just said?..Now, what do I say to you?" Rochelle asked. "Don't say anything, Rochelle..Just Listen for a distress call on this frequency." he replied. "A distress call? You said you were ok?" "Rochelle!...I'm up here at the James farm and young Eli is alone up here...Keep this frequency open for him to use, if he needs too! OK?" "Ok, Sheriff Ross...Hey Sheriff?" "Go Ahead, Rochelle." "We just got a call in from the tavern down there on Route 7.   Andy Wanes and his brother just took off with one of the customer's sleds." Rochelle reported.  "I'll be right there!...I got you now you bastards!"  Sheriff Ross grinned.

"Fellas. I gotta run!   Eli? I left the two way radio on for you. Just talk into the mic!" "Where you goin Dad?"  "Stay here!...I'll be back for you!' he shouted back to his boy, Melvin.   Sheriff Ross jumped into the front seat of his car, hit the lights and barreled down the driveway, towards the road.  The boys chased out after him and watched him speed off into the ice covered mountain road.  "I heard something about Andy Wanes, but not much more after that." Melvin turned to look at Eli.  "Let's get inside and see what we can find out from Rochelle?" "Oh, I don't know Eli? I'm already in hot water for breaking that burn-out's face!" "Alright..I'll do it then!"  "Hello, Hello, Hello..Is somebody out there?..Rochelle?" Eli shouted into the mic. "Who is this?" a mean voice returned the distress call, it was Rochelle. "Ahh, this is Eli James...Can you tell me what's going on? Where did Melvin's father run off, too?" "Melvin? Sheriff Ross's son?...Is he alright?"  "Yes, Melvin's standing right here next too me. He's fine!" "Your not supposed to be using this radio, unless it's an emergency, Mr. James?...You heard the Sheriff!" "I know..I know..but he took off in such a hurry. We were just wondering if he was on his way back?...Have you heard from him?"  "That's police business and the answer to your question...Not anytime soon, those crazy boys from Cantel county are raising hell down at the Water Hole.!" 

"Rochelle? Rochelle?"  Sheriff Ross screamed into the mic. "You need to wait a  minute, Eli....There's Sheriff Ross now!. "Go ahead, Sheriff Ross"  "Listen..I spotted the Wanes Brothers, up here on the trails!...I can't get to them with my vehicle, Have Barney round up the boys and get up here with the snowmobiles!...I've got the both of them trapped, at the top of Cedar Point!"  "Be Careful! ...Barney said he's on his way up to you now!"  Rochelle had left the mic on. Eli and Melvin heard the entire conversation.  "Cedar Point?...that's the next valley over!" Eli said.  He reached into the bottom drawer of his father's desk and pulled out the binoculars. "Follow Me!....Melvin?..Come on!"  Eli threw on his down jacket and cap, and thundered towards the barn. If they were on the trails, there was only one way out...at the end of his road. Eli's road!   "Where are you going!...Eli?"  Eli disappeared behind the barn.  Eli pulled the car out from behind the barn and pulled along side of Melvin to pick him up. "Get in!....Come on...Get in!" Eli shouted out to Melvin, from his driver's side window. "Where?...Where?...Eli? What the hell?" Melvin didn't know what to say to him. "No, No!...What are doing? Bro?" "Fine! Just Stay Here...Stay here!" Eli shouted back to him.  Eli turned on the overhead lights that were still frozen over with ice.  It quickly began to melt from the lamps intense heat.  Melvin squinted and pulled his hand up to shield his eyes.  He couldn't believe what he was seeing his best friend about to do.

"Eli!..What the hell?...Do you hear me?... Eli!"  Melvin tried to shout over top of the car's loud engine.  It was no use. Eli took off down the road to wait on the Wane Brothers to come off of the trail. He was taking a big risk by trying to pull this off in the light of day, and his best-friend was witness to it. Eli knew he would never get another chance at this, both of them-together-on the same vehicle.  He had to do it!

  He didn't have to wait long. In just a matter of only a few minutes, both brothers, Andy and Jackson were buzzing along the trail, Free as a bird, with no one chasing them on their stolen snowmobile.  Eli pulled off of the road and cut-off the engine and lights. He spotted the boys on the trail, just over then next clearing.

Here they come!.. A voice from out of no where, whispered in his ear. Eli looked around the vehicle to be sure he was alone or not losing his mind. The sound was came from the passenger side seat.  Eli shook it off.     The snowmobile exited the trail, it landed on the road, after being airborne for just a few seconds and sped up the road, towards the farmhouse.   Eli fired- up the engine and hit the lights. Jackson, was the passenger on the sled. He turned around to see where the bright lights where coming from.  All he could see was nothing.  Even in the daytime, the lights were blinding.  Jackson tapped his brother Andy on the shoulders.  He quickly turned to see what was chasing them, as the bright lights were closing in.  "What is that?...Jackson? Is that a helicopter?  Andy began to panic and tried to out run his persuer.   The snowmobile was no match for the car's incredible speed.  It quickly caught up to them.   Eli toyed with them for only a few seconds, as he experienced his first sensation of arousal from someone else's fear. Before ramming into the back of the snowmobile. It's tail-light, easily caught the car's bumper and was now ripping into  Jackson's backbone. Jackson screamed out in agony, as the car's bumper tore through his suit and into his flesh. Eli guided the snowmobile, which was now, hooked onto the bumper and Jackson. The crushing weight from the heavy vehicle killed Jackson in only a matter of minutes, leaving  Andy helpless to break-free from the weight his brother's lifeless body. 

Melvin watched in disbelief, when Eli drove pass the farm, with the snowmobile under the front fender, and listened to Andy's blood-curdling screams.  He bent over and began to vomit.   Eli pushed the snowmobile and the Wanes Brothers along the deserted side road, then upwards toward the main highway.  He did exactly what he set out to do.  He drove up to the hairpin turn, and smashed through the guardrails. Jackson's mangled body tore away from the fender and flew off into the air, twisting and turning as it charged towards the icy rock cliff,  below.   Andy's face had slammed into the windshield, and the force from the car's push, ejected him forward. He  followed his brother's decent downwards. The frame and glass from the windshield,  still attached to his neck.  

Eli jumped out of the vehicle, and rocked the car up and down, wildly, trying to break the sled loose from the front bumper of the car. It finally broke free from the bumper. Eli pushed  it over the edge.   He watched as it hurdled into headed downward, like a torpedo. The jagged cliffside below, was glazed over with ice,  from the storm The bodies slide down into the thick sea of Everygreen trees, as they flipped-flopped, head over heels with each tumble, until they're became pulverized.

Sheriff Ross's car was no where to be found. Although, the two brother's voices cried out, and sent wave after wave of terror throughout the valley floor.  No one heard. Not a soul! It was perfect! It had seemed he'd gotten away with it. The only problem now was, Melvin.  He'd seen everything.  Eli had no intention of harming him, for having witnessed this deed. However, he did need to see him, right away.  Eli thought about what he'd might say to him, but there no way to explain this.  This was cold-blooded murder, and to carry it out in broad daylight, with a witnesss, and law enforcement officers, looking for the victims-says alot about the person who carries out the deed. Melvin did not hang around to hear this story.  He took off down the road, despite the Artic temperatures, and got the hell out of there.  Eli knew Melvin would not tell his father what he'd seen. Although, this changed things between them both. Melvin had changed.   Eli and Melvin never spoke to each other ever again.  Melvin quit the football team, and dropped-out of school, months later.  Sheriff Ross closed the case on the Wanes' brothers unfortunate accident, and never questioned it.   As for Eli, he was on his way to college, as a First-Draft pick for any college with the best offer. 

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