Town of River’s Peak
Leaves fell as people of the small town of River’s Peak begin their day. It was a quiet town that laid next to a harbor. A small river ran through the center of town with a small bridge connecting both sides of the town. There was only one road in and out of town and because of this the town received little visitors. Sometimes people left town. But they always seemed to come back. Whether it was the sense of community or family that drew the them back, no one knows. They felt something was missing wherever they went. They couldn’t express what it was about their home town that brought them all back. Some joked that it was magic or a curse while others say River’s Peak was home.
One morning started the same way many mornings do here in River’s Peak Children running to school, shop owners opening for the day and people stopping by the local diner to get their coffee and paper.
Sheriff Luke Smith stopped by the diner on his way to work. “Good morning Esther. Can I have a cup of coffee to go?”
She smiles and fills his cup as she continues to work on the griddle in the back. “Good morning Luke. Beautiful day isn’t it” she says. Esther was an older woman who had been baking for years. She loved working at the diner. Each morning she would get up early to bake. It was her passion. People from all over the town of river’s peak came to her to buy her cakes and other creations.
He smiles “Yes it is. The air in the autumn always smells wonderful.” He thanks her for the coffee. Luke was in his later 30s. His hair had just started to turn grey, possibly from the stress of being the sheriff. Not to say there was a lot of crime in the town of River’s Peak but when something did happen there weren’t many officers to help him.
As he turned to leave he saw the district attorney a man named Alexander Marks sitting drinking his coffee as he read the paper. His wife Celeste was the owner and operator of the diner so many mornings he was here having his breakfast.
“Good morning Alexander. Have you looked at the file I sent to you?” Luke asked.
Alexander looks up his breakfast. “And what is so good about it?” He replies. He picks up his napkin and wipes his mouth. “Yes, I have read the files. Seems like a tight case.” He wasn’t an old man but the years had taken their toll on him. No one really knew much about him of his wife. They kept to themselves about most things. Alexanders hair was all grey now as was his wives.
Luke didn’t know how to respond to him. He smiles “Good, then we’ll move forward with it then, and Alexander at least try to have a pleasant day.” He smiled as he headed out of the diner just as Justin was heading for the door.
“Hi Luke.” Luke had hoped that by now Justin would call him dad.
“Hey Justin. You’re out early this morning.” He said
“Carillon and I are getting breakfast before school.” He said as he entered. Justin was an eager 10 year old boy and Luke’s adopted son. Carillon and Luke adopted him when he was about 2 years old. Still he couldn’t bring to call Luke dad as much as he thought of him as a dad he still wondered about his parents.
Carillon comes in behind Justin. She smiles as she sees Luke. She kisses him. “Do you want to join us? Sorry you left so early we would have asked before.” She was radiantly beautiful. At least that is how Luke describes her. Her long dark hair raven laid on her shoulders perfectly.
Carillon was a teacher at River’s Peak Elementary school. She was always reading the paper and trying to catch up on current events. This morning she left early and decided that her and Justin would have breakfast at Celeste’s Diner before school.
He looks at his phone. “I think I have time.”
When Luke and Cari adopted Justin his hair had been so light almost white. As time when on it seemed to have darkened somewhat.
Alexander watches Justin as he walks past. “Lovely family you have sheriff.” He says with his eyes never leaving Justin. He thought about how much Justin looked like his son when he was that age.
As they sit in the booth Justin looks back at Alexander who is still watching him. “He’s weird. Why is he staring at me?”
Carillon looks over at Alexander who picks up his paper and read it. “Oh don’t mind him Justin. Now what would you like to eat?”
Justin smiles “Pancakes and ice cream!”
Carillon smiles, “Same thing every time but I want waffles. Waffles and ice cream.”
Luke shakes his head, “You both eat like you’re five years old.”
Carillon laughs, “What? Waffles are delicious! Ice cream is delicious!” She looks up and smiles.
Luke laughs as he drinks his coffee.
Alexander finds Hunter
As Luke, Carillon, and Justin leave the diner, they pass an old man sitting on a bench reading the paper.
He looks up at them and says nothing. He watches them pass. Once he sees they are out of sight he gets up and goes into the diner. He looks right at Alexander and sits down across from him.
“Good morning son” he says to Alexander.
He sighs “What do you want?”
“Can’t a father come and wish his son a good morning?”
“You’re no father. What do you want?”
He looks around as if to see if anyone could hear. “I know you’ve felt it. It’s in the air all around us.”
“What is?” Alexander replies not wanting to listen to him
“Don’t play dumb with me. You know what’s coming? You know who is coming?” He was getting agitated that Alexander isn’t listening to him.
“You know as a child, I listened to your stories. I believe them, I believed you, and I believed in you.” He laughs, “You see the thing is I don’t believe in you. Haven’t for a long time.”
Hunter appeared almost insane as he spoke. He was about 80 years old now, so he didn’t move fast. His muscles which were once strong were now weak and feeble. Hunter looks him in the eye and says “I don’t care what you believe she is coming.”
He wipes his mouth with his napkin and places a few dollars on the table and gets up to leave.
“Then let her come, it’s all your fault.”
“Do you have any idea what you are talking about! She’s a monster!” Realizing he said too loud he looks around to see if anyone was watching him.
Alexander goes over to him and grabs him by his shirt and lifts him up in the air, “If I ever hear you speak of her that way again, I will make you suffer for all eternity.”
Celeste was putting her apron on when she say them arguing. They were always arguing. How a father and son could fight so much? She comes over after seeing the commotion. She walks over to them. “Al, he’s old put him down!”
Alexander places Hunter on the floor, never breaking eye contact with him. “No, there is no problem.” He grabs his coat and walks out.
Hunter calls to “You know I am right!” He looks at Celeste, “I can take care of myself!” Alexander keeps walking never looking back.
Celeste sighs and looks at her husband. She knows he says he doesn’t care about his father but Hunter is still his father. “I’m sorry.”
“He means nothing to me.” He replied coldly to her. However he did mean something to Alex and Celeste knew this.
“I know.” She kissed him on the check and returned to work. Alex had been so distant for so many years. She sighed wishing she knew how to help him.