Hudson knew that is mother wouldn’t approve of his current line of thinking. He was only just teen and she believed that teens should be pure and innocent. Which is odd given that she had brought him Grand Theft Auto for his birthday; but then she didn’t like to see him missing out and ‘surely, games can’t be that bad.’
It was from Grand Theft Auto where Hudson had learned about hookers and that whenever you see one you can either offer them money, which seemed foolish to him, or beat them till they were dead with a baseball bat.
So now, sat on the bank of the stream that gushed through the bottom of his garden, he’d decided that what the other boys had told him must be true, and that the reason why his stream ran red was because of all the dead hookers further up the hillside.
Other people had told him that it was an unusual algae bloom, but he didn’t know what that was and it sounded made up.
So today was the day. Today he would go and search out these dead hookers and better still, he would find the guys with baseball bats and ask them if he could have a drive in their car – which was bound to be cool.
At the start of his contemplation, when he had retreated to the banks of the stream to escape the beating of the sun, Hudson had thought about texting a few friends to see if they wanted to come and check out the hookers.
But then he remembered a film his mum had insisted he’d watch, a really old film where some friends find a body on the rail way tracks. His mum had told him that the film was about real friendship. That back in the days before computer games and the internet, friends had gone out to find adventure.
It seemed that real friendship back then seemed like you had to walk for hours, find bodies and then poke the bodies with a stick. He’d rather just poke the bodies on screen while his mum topped up his juice every half hour and continually offered him biscuits to keep his strength up.
So not wanting to copy a film he hadn’t liked, and had mostly slept through, Hudson didn’t message any of his friends and instead he picked up his backpack and leapt the small stream to reach the path that ran along the other side, and started his journey to hunt out the truth about the dead hookers.
Hudson followed the stream to the end of his row of semis and took a moment to catch his breath. He had walked no more than two hundred metres and his shirt was already damp with sweat. Taking is backpack off his back, he pulled out the jumper his mum and put in there, “just in case it got cold”, which he had thought unlikely in the middle of a heat wave but he hadn’t complained. He had just smiled, because it was much easier to smile than protest and of course smiles lead to what he was digging for, a bar of chocolate and a soft drink.
After finishing both, he used the jumper to dry the sweat from his head and arms, backed everything up and continued walking.
A few minute past the houses and the path took a sharp left following the stream where it had cut its way up into the hillside.
In parts, the stream widened, in the larger gaps, rocks, stained red, reminded Hudson of a scene from a horror film he’d watched when his mum had drunk enough wine to allow her to sleep.
Hudson resisted the urge to go over and write his name in the red, and instead pushed on up the hill side.
The sun had drifted down in the sky and the shadows around the hill side crept towards Hudson. He didn’t like it and wondered why he hadn’t at least brought the dog. Not that a teacup-sized Chihuahua would do him much good of those shadows had turned into the boogieman, like in that other film he’d seen, but she might have been a juicy distraction.
Taking out his phone, Hudson checked to see if he had any reception. There wasn’t any, ‘of course there wasn’t any,’ Hudson said, loud enough to be heard of the bubble of the stream. He knew his horror films; he’d seen all five Wrong Turn movies. It was clear that the minute you became the perfect fodder for vampires, killers in clown masks and things that ate your brain in the night, there was never any signal.
Still, like all good victims, Hudson ploughed on. If he was right, how cool would it be Monday back in school when he could say that he’d been riding around in pimped up cars, and not the ones in his game? Then what difference would it make that his dad had left them and his mum slept most of her evenings away.
Hudson climbed the style that led from the wide slate path down onto a single once-muddy track. The recent heat wave had baked the earth causing it to crack. The subsequent valleys and mountains were now the hunting ground for arms of varying sized ants. Taking a moment to again catch his breath, Hudson watched a pair of ants drag a struggling wasp, five times their size, down into one of the cracks.
The thought of the wasp’s impending fate, caused Hudson to shiver and clutching his backpack like a favourite teddy, he picked up the pace towards the top of the valley.
In a now faded memory from a much happier time, he remembered being carried on his father’s shoulders to the top. He was sure there was a small car park here, that lead up from the road at the other side of the valley. He also, kind of, remembered that the stream gushed under a bridge, and then vanished underground where the cars drove into the lookout point.
‘The Bridge’ Hudson said aloud. Then leaving his thoughts without sound he decided that if there was ever a good place where you could club a hooker and then throw her into the stream it would be from that bridge.
The top of the ridge was in sight, and as this was a random week day Hudson had off thanks to his teachers doing something called intake. Which he didn’t understand and just assumed meant they were lazy, he hoped that there would be no tourists who might scare away the guys with bats.
Not that guys with bats were scared of a great deal, but Hudson reasoned that if he was going to dispose of a hooker he had just beaten to death it would make sense to do it when no one else was around. Either that or he would have to kill everyone else too so that no one would tell on him.
His increased speed caused him to pant a little and the need for extra air pushed all thoughts of a killing spree out of his mind.
He was in luck. The car park was empty. Now he could check out the bridge, see if he was right about the red and then hang out until pimped up cars arrived.
As Hudson approached the bridge a familiar car drove down the valley side and pulled up next to him.
‘Son what are you doing all the way up here?’ His father said getting out of the car. ‘You’ve had your mother worried sick.’ The look on his father’s face told Hudson that he was more pleased than angry, and Hudson was just happy to see him.
I’m sorry dad, I didn’t think,’ he said as he gave his father a hug. ‘I was just checking out where the red colour came from and I lost track of time.’
‘No worries son, it’s good to have an enquiring mind. There’s no signal up here so let’s have a quick look under the bridge at the freaky algae and we can get back down to your mother.
In the back of his father’s care he noticed a couple of suitcases.
‘Are you coming home dad?’ He asked as they approached the side of the bridge. ‘I am son; I think your mother need’s me.’
Hudson’s father had a check to see there were no cars coming and then told his son to lie down at his side. They then both stuck their head through the bottom guard rail of the bridge and looked underneath.
‘See that odd looking stuff, the twirly reddy-brown stuff that looks a bit like your mum’s burned spaghetti’
Hudson nodded and his father continued ‘well once a year that stuff blooms; which is like a freaky alien-esk way of having babies. And to make it weirder, the bloom is that blood-red colour that messes with our stream.’
His dad gave him a little time to take in the information and then said ‘is that okay, are you good to leave now and put my mum’s nerves to rest.’
Hudson was and he bounced his way over to the car.
Sadly, it wasn’t until after the car had driven away that the horrifically beaten woman had mustered the energy to scream. She wasn’t as dead as her attackers had thought when they had forced her into the cave like hole where the stream appeared from out of the hill side.
Her blood stained the stream and it wasn’t alone, and as she lost the battle to keep head out of the water, detached body parts kept her company as she as she gasped her final breath.
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