“The Apple Trees”

The old house just off the dead end curve, at the edge of the abandoned field is where they would point to when the old man and the boy were mentioned. There once was a playground that filled the empty field with a small schoolhouse to the back corner of the lot. But those days were long before and had been forgotten by most of the town folk, except for the old man, he would sit outside of that old run down house and gaze across the lonely field endlessly. Sometimes even standing up as if he saw something, while other times he would walk out to the cluster of what used to be apple trees, as if looking for someone. Most folks thought him to be crazy and wouldn’t go near that old house, odd though that the young boy would go sit with him and walk with him. Together they would talk and by the way the old man would raise his arms up or point occasionally, it became more of a mystery as to what he was telling the youngster. Sometimes the boy would be questioned about his visit with the old man and upon his return, he would say that the old man told him he was going to the apple trees to meet his visitors and that he could go with him too. The town folk, becoming concerned for the boy’s safety, finally sent one of their chosen ones to the old man’s door step one evening, demanding that he fess up to his intentions. Well it was then that the old man took a puff off his pipe while sizing up the stranger and began to tell him of his visitors, out at the apple trees. He pointed out to the abandoned field within the cluster of trees, saying that’s where he would go and with a smile, he said the boy could come along too. The man sent there from the town folk glared back at the old man and then returned the smile, leaving that evening chuckling to himself and shaking his head while telling the town folk that the only thing going on with that old man and the boy was that they were going to pick apples, that the boy was in no danger from the old man. So it went on like this for the rest of the summer and the town folk figured the boy was just keeping the old man occupied, even going so far as giving the boy a large woven basket to carry all of their freshly picked apples. School would resume at summer’s end anyway and the boy wouldn’t be hanging around with the old man quite so much. 

With summer coming to an end and school starting across town, time would be getting short for the old man and the boy, the town folk would be preparing for the fall and school activities. Some wondered if the old man would still be around next summer, or would the young boy still be interested in spending time with him. The boy probably will have better things to keep him occupied by then anyway they thought.  Well that’s how the matter rested until when the first day of school  arrived and the boy was nowhere to be found. Probably still asleep and had missed the bus, the town folk thought and from then on — nothing would be as it had seemed to be — the perplexing evening of discovery would then begin to unfold. 

——– * ——–

No one knew anything about the boy, who his parents were or where he lived. The school had no records to even show of his existence. Perplexed, the town folk officials headed out to the dead end curve at the edge of the abandoned field where the old house was, they were going to demand answers and search the house. To their dismay, the house was not only empty, but completely barren. Obviously the house hadn’t had an owner present in a very long time and the only item in view was a discolored and obviously old newspaper on the counter that was held in place by a rock placed at the center, it had been dated forty years prior . . . Alarmed, they gathered up and headed out to the cluster of  trees standing in the vacant field and upon their arrival noticed that not one tree had any apples and that the leaves were scattered about on the ground. Frantic, they would spread out and search the abandoned area, but before they could assemble a plan, the burn marks on the flattened weeds in the area just ahead would abruptly stop their search as they looked on in silence. There were eight hexagon burns the size of tractor tires, eight feet apart, formed within a larger hexagon, each with eight rounded burns inside. Off to one side of what then appeared to be a landing site, was the woven basket given to the boy by the town folk for the picked apples, inside were two sets of shoes, one men’s pair and one boy’s pair.

Darkness was coming on and as the town folk began to head back, there was a quick flash far above that broke through the evening sky — “s’ing” to the left and to the right, leaving a thin wispy white tail with a hint of orange at the end — as one, then two, then three pointed upwards . . . Standing alone by the cluster of trees, stood a shadowed figure who had gone unnoticed during the bizarre evening and as the night sky turned to black — morphing the shape of the darkened figure into obscurity —  it then vanished into shadows of the night.

End ~


Interplanetary > (1): existing, carried on; 

operation between planets.                      

 (2): Interplanetary flight.                            

(3): Interplanetary spacecraft.   

#odd #bizarre #obscurity #mystery #perplexing #interplanetary #dailywrites #shortstories #fictionshorts #kentxsandersxwriter

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