By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee (dedicated to Nancy Smith Satterwhite)
She opened her bag ... took out a can of potted meat, crackers. She got a plastic knife to put potted meat on the crackers. This would be good to nibble on ... it would take a long time to eat. Victoria loved foods that took a while to eat. She enjoyed thinking while taking time to savor the flavors.
It would be dark in a couple of hours. She was glad to just sit for a while to relax ... sense, feel her surroundings ... rest her body. It was even kind of fun to be sitting up in a big tree high above the ground. She felt like a kid again.
Victoria perked up ... she thought she heard a noise. She tensed up to listen. She waited ... she didn't hear anything. Victoria relaxed once more in her tree hollow. She had a bad feeling ...
The night passed by quietly. Victoria awoke at all times of the night ... this was her habit. She liked to wake up at all times of the night ... it gave her a chance to feel things out ... know everything was okay around her. Some people complained about waking up all times of the night ... not Victoria.
Victoria repacked her black bag, climbed down from the tree. It was time ... She began walking on the faint trail through the woods. No one could hear her ... she walked quieter than the wild animals around her.
She wasn't sure what she was looking for ... she knew she would know when she found it. Her senses were on alert for any sound ... even the tiniest sound. Victoria had keen hearing.
She began to sense more than hear ... a sound she couldn't identify at first. It was like a lot of growling sounds not from one animal ... but many. Strange growling sounds ... what kind of animals? She'd never heard such a sound. She slowed down her walking ... became very deliberate in her movements.
She couldn't see ahead for the trees. She saw big rocks on the side of the path ... moved to them. Victoria began inching her way around the rocks to see what was ahead. She didn't want to be surprised ... she scanned all around her as she moved.
The growling sounds were very loud now. What in the hell was it? What kind of animal makes such a sound!
Victoria stopped in her tracks. She blinked her eyes ... children? She saw children fighting, pushing each other. Some of them were bloody from clawing, biting. The growls were coming from the children! She couldn't believe what she was seeing.
Something lay on the ground ... she couldn't see what it was for all the children. She saw a bare foot ... oh my God! They were fighting over a human body. They were eating chunks of flesh from the body.
Victoria stayed hidden from view. She had seen many awful things in her life ... it prepared her for such a sight. She could be very quiet, controlled as she observed. The body didn't move ... she couldn't help anything if she moved forward now. She stayed where she was.
She counted the children. There were ten children to be exact. She'd never seen anything like it ... half-naked children running around like animals ... growling, eating flesh as if ... they'd always been eating flesh. Victoria's eyes were half-closed ... she couldn't believe what she was seeing.
These children have been raised like this! The thought came to her ... these children weren't normal! Who was the man that just walked out of the brush to stand, watch the children?
He clapped his hands, made a guttural sound. The children stopped in unison ... turned to look at him. He pointed to the brush where he'd just come from ... the children walked into the woods ... disappeared.
Victoria watched as the man took a shovel ... dug a hole ... put the bones into it. He carried heavy rocks to lay on the grave. She watched as he used a rake to pull in pine needles, cones and such to make the ground look normal. No one would know what had just happened here.
The man disappeared into the woods the way the children had gone. Victoria gave herself 15 minutes before she began to follow. She moved into the shadows of the trees ... she became a shadow ... no one would see her.
To be continued ...