Almost immediately I hear someone calling. "Jason, you get back here!" There was a sense of panic in that voice. I looked back, slowing my stride and find Mr.Denbrouh running up to me.
That's when i stopped comepletely. His steps made loud crunches on the dirt. He's a large man, and despite his age, I think he can take on a bear. Or at least, a really small one.
"I know what you just saw, but we need to stay together. Do you understand me Jason?", he said in shallow breaths. "I-...yes", I nodded one too many nods.
Other kids were running towards us. No, make that all the kids. Two of the females were crying and one boy looked at the edge of bursting into tears.
A few of the ones still looking sane spoke in riots and their words were barely understandable. "Quiet, everyone! That person up there is probably a homeless person who died naturally at night. Most certainly due to the cold."
"Oh yeah, then how do you explain his guts on the ground?", Alex demanded. "Maybe an animal feasted on him. Vultures are common around here.", Mr.Denbrouh said. Though its clear he's having second thoughts.
"Look, whatever it was we have to stay together. I can't stress on how important that is. Getting lost is the last thing you want happening.
"Its a long hike back down and the sun is on the edge of the horizon; so I suggest we walk rest by the river. Its a little fruther up from our original camp site. We should be there in about fifteen minutes."
"And walk past that corpse? No thank you." Alex said. "We'll go around it. No need for anyone to panic." Mr.Denbrouh said a little more calmly.
Its weird how I've known him for years yet I don't know what his first name is. He's actually a family friend and the first time he came over, my dad told me to always adress him as 'mr.' so it sort of stuck.
The river looked... majestic to say the least. Hard to imagine a dead guy was only a distance away. It was amazingly clear and algae can be seen underneath. But the lack of fish does take away form the mood.
There were large trees overhanging it and we chose to set up camp under the largest one.
We worked silently. Barely anyone talked except for the occasional 'hand me this' or 'give me that'.
Mr.Denbrouh's years of experiance can be seen on his expertly made tent. It looked like it could last the heaviest storm while most of the others looked like they couldn't whitstand a shower.
Mine and Alex's was good enough.
Before the last signs of the sun finally dissapeared, Mr.Denbrouh told us that we're gonna start moving at the crack of dawn; and rephrased his warning by telling us we shouldn't leave our tents.
"Crazy day huh?", I said to Alex while arranging my sleeping bag.
"You got that right," He replied with a soft snicker. He was doing the same.
"Do you buy the whole animal vulture thing?"
"Of course not, dude! I mean its sort of possible, but what animal would bend his fingers? And why the hell would his mouth hang open if he was already dead when whatever animal did what it did?"
"I don't know. And I know how you are dude, we are not going animal searching. This is serious. I never got how people in movies feel sick after seeing something like that but now I do. And-"
"My rabbit foot! Its not here!"
"Are you fucking serious? Leave it. We're not going searching for it too."
"Have you ever lost something you've had your whole life?! My dad gave it to me on my 5th birthday!"
"What kind of sick birthday present is that?" I asked. He looked at me with a blank expression and bolted out of the opening.
I grabbed his arm as it was about to leave the tent. "Are you nuts or something?!"
"I'm gonna go find it whether you come along or not," He shot back.
I sighed, still not letting go of his arm. He just stared at me with that look. "Okay fine. But we do it tonight when Mr.Denbrouh and everyone else is asleep. And we don't go far. Promise me that?"
"Okay. Promise." And with that, his body loosened and I let go of his arm.