Stream of Consciousness

Lance had to consider and admit that Aberly was right, but at the same time he was thinking of his own ass and the others in town, like his brother who he knew would have an all-out righteous fit if Lance went to outside authorities on the matter. Finally, after a long moment of consideration, the Sheriff shook his head. “Can’t change the past, Abe. I agree with you that we probably made a bad call in not reporting the boys missing, but I and everyone else honestly thought they had simply run away from a bad home situation and had been likely better off somewhere else. All of us thought they had been picked up by authorities and placed in foster care. None of us ever in our lives could have imagined this happening. And these people that Lloyd killed, if again like you said, he did kill, I’d wager they were most likely drifters. We’ve never heard hide nor hair of anyone having gone missing or being looked for in this area. Or he could just have a sick skull fetish for all we know. We could be opening a bag of worms for nothing.”

The Sheriff shook his head again. “No. We’re going to burn this place down. The upper cabin will collapse into the basement and bury it all. If the authorities ever find the place, then they can do their investigation from there, but there won’t be any evidence of the boys being here if we set the place ablaze good. Any DNA evidence from blood or hairs or tissue will be burnt away. We can even put an anonymous call in of a fire out in the woods and set the investigation off ourselves. This is far enough from Land’s End where we won’t have more trouble than a few questions once they identify Lloyd; if they do. I’ll wipe the knife clean of any prints and leave that here too, so there’s nothing linking it back to Mike. Those boys don’t need a media circus, nor do we.”

Aberly nodded. “Alright. That sounds fair. That way if there are loved ones missing kin whom Lloyd might have killed, they’ll find out at least what happened to them. We’ll need to make the fire appear accidental…”

The Sheriff shook his head. “Not really. Could likely have been set by one of Lloyd’s victims. As long as the place burns thoroughly, that’s all that matters. We’ll talk to the boys about keeping their mouths shut, which I’m sure they will be more than willing to do, and if I call in the fire myself that should somewhat vindicate any involvement of our own town members. After all, we’re pretty far out where I wouldn’t have to report the fire at all. Unless a plane sees it, that’s really the only reason I think it might be a good idea to report it. I think we’ll be able to see the smoke from town from a second story window.”

Aberly blew out a long breath. “Okay. Just hope it doesn’t come back and bite us in the ass in the end.” The Sheriff patted Aberly’s arm in reassurance. “I know what kind of things they’re going to be looking for, forensic wise. I won’t leave any loose ends. Trust me.”

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