by Donald H. Carpenter

Copyright ©2013 by Donald H. Carpenter, LLC

Smashwords Edition

Cover art by Charles Hooper

Published by Donald H. Carpenter, LLC

All rights reserved. This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except where permitted by law.

Chapter 1

For quite a while after I first knew about Lanny, we never said one word to each other. My family lived on the edge of town in one of the larger houses on our street. My father had inherited the house from his father, who had been a banker. My father was also a banker, one of the upper-level vice presidents of the local bank, and a major stockholder in that bank. Our home was a wood-framed house, built around the turn of the century, and both my father and grandfather had added on major sections over the years. A dull off-white in color, it sat on about two acres of wooded land; the back half and west side were especially heavily wooded. Over time, small paths had been forged through those woods, either by my father, or by my grandfather. From the time I was about five years old, no later than that, I used to play on those trails, often by myself, but sometimes with kids from the neighborhood. It was a carefree time, the early 1960’s in a small town, one that probably couldn’t be fully repeated today. Kids played alone, without supervision of their parents, from a very early age, and no one thought of anything bad happening until it did happen.

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