Night crawlers, p.19
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       Night Crawlers, p.19

          Ron L. Carter / Thrillers & Crime
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When they got home from Palmdale, Chelsea was anxious to see Jed. He told Justin and Joshua he was going to spend time with her. He felt like he really needed to just get away from both of them for a while, especially after what had happened to Carlos. He needed time to think about what Mister and Joshua had done.



Justin didn’t quite understand why Jed was wanting to spend more time with Chelsea. He felt like Jed was choosing her over him and Joshua. Jed was one of the only people that ever accepted Justin for the way he looked. All Justin really ever wanted from people was for them to like and accept him for who he was. When Justin looked in the mirror he saw what other people saw. What hurt him the most was that he didn’t believe he was that much different than everyone else. When Jed wasn’t around all Justin had in his life was Joshua and he was always in his own private little world.



Justin felt bad that none of the girls he and Jed had ever met on their trips were interested in him. Believing that he would never have a “real girlfriend” in his life made it a lot easier for the evil part of his brain to take control. It fueled his desire to spy on women and his desires were becoming more of an uncontrollable compulsion than anything else. The strong need to watch women undress was a constant struggle Justin was having with both his body and mind. The older he had gotten, the more the man voice in his head kept telling him it was okay to feel the way he felt. The voice kept telling him to go out and just have some fun watching girls through their windows. The voice and his urges had outweighed the stern warnings from Jed telling him he needed to stay cooped up behind the property walls.



As Justin sat alone on his bed he thought, Jed doesn’t get it. He doesn’t have to sit home all by his self, hearing the voices telling him he’s ugly, that no girls wants him. Jed’s not trapped in a prison, behind walls, like me. Jed’s got Chelsea. He’s not my boss! No one’s my Boss! Jed doesn’t know how good it feels to watch girls. I don’t hurt no one. I don’t hurt them girls and it makes me feel real good. It’s almost like having a real girlfriend and I want that too. Even though Justin loved Jed deeply, he also resented him because he wished he could be more like him.



Justin once again began to give in to his deep desires and started leaving the property whenever Jed would go see Chelsea. Justin would dress up in his black gear and go out searching for women to spy on. He would only go out for a few hours at a time, always making sure he made it back home before Jed.



Joshua would watch as Justin left him all alone and he soon became curious about what Justin was doing outside the property. After several nights, he decided he was going to take Mister and follow Justin. It was during one of those nights when Joshua and Mister weren’t too far behind him. They stayed hidden, but far enough away from Justin that he didn’t see them. Justin wasn’t paying attention because he had other things on his mind. He also wasn’t expecting someone to be following him from his own house.



There was a cluster of mobile homes and trailers bunched closely together on a few lots in the middle of Red Mountain. Jed and Justin always stayed clear of that property because there were a few rough looking characters that lived there. Sometimes they would party all night long, shoot off fire crackers or M-80’s and guns, while they were getting drunk or doing their drugs. Some people of Red Mountain believed these people may also have had something to do with all the stealing that was going on, in and around the area.



As Joshua followed Justin, he noticed a guy that had come from the cluster of those homes and had spotted Justin. Joshua ducked for cover and began to follow the guy. He stayed a safe distance from Justin but seemed to be real interested in what Justin was up to. Joshua wasn’t sure why the guy wanted to follow Justin, but he wanted to find out. Maybe the guy was just curious or maybe he thought that if Justin was going to steal something, he would rob him along the trail. Whatever his reason, Joshua figured he was up to no good. The guy followed Justin as he went from house to house in search of a bedroom window with a light on. Joshua and Mister stayed a safe distance from the guy as he tailed Justin from place to place. The guy never made any attempt to get too close or to confront Justin.



After about an hour of going from house to house, Justin decided he needed to head back home before Jed got back and caught him out again. He didn’t want to get into another fight with Jed about staying home. While on his way back, the guy that was following Justin stayed on his trail, not letting him get too far ahead of him.



Joshua decided that he and Mister were going to circle around in front of Justin and the guy to see if he followed Justin home. Joshua believed that if the guy followed Justin all the way home he was either going to try to kill Justin or report him to the sheriff’s department or something. Whatever the guy had planned, Joshua knew he wasn’t going to let it happen. He and Mister were going to stop him before he got the chance.



Joshua and Mister ran ahead until they had circled around and were ahead of Justin and the follower. They were only about two hundred yards from home and hiding along the trail in a clump of Yucca plants. It was several minutes later when Justin made his way past them. Joshua didn’t say anything to him as he passed by. He wanted to see if the guy was still hot on Justin’s heels and was going to follow him all the way home. He didn’t have to wait long when the guy came creeping along the trail behind Justin.



Joshua lowered his body and told Mister, “Stay down boy. Get ready.” Mister was starting to get anxious as the guy approached their position. Joshua whispered to him, “It’s okay boy, calm down.” Just as the guy passed them, Joshua gave Mister the signal to attack and kill. Mister instantly went charging the guy and struck him from behind. He knocked him to the ground and as he fell forward, a shot rang out from a gun he was carrying. Joshua quickly ran over and put his foot on the guy’s arm and held the gun to the ground. By then Mister was already going for his throat. It was only a matter of seconds before he had him. Joshua, once again, gave Mister the signal to kill. With the guy’s neck in his strong jaws, Mister gave a couple of violent jerks back and forth. Joshua smiled as he heard the guy’s neck snap. He then gave Mister the signal to retreat and as he backed off Joshua patted him on the head and said, “Good boy, you done good.”



Justin heard the shot and thought someone had fired a round at him. He ducked down and slid off the trail. He waited a few minutes to see if someone was going to take another shot at him before he made a move. He heard the muffled commotion of Mister’s attack as he sat hidden with anticipation. When the noise subsided, Justin waited a few minutes. He grabbed a huge rock, ready for whatever would happen next.



It was only a few minutes later when Joshua came moving slowly along the trail with Mister and looking for Justin. As he moved along, he was whispering, “Hey Justin, it’s me. It’s Joshua.” When he finally got close enough for Justin to see him Justin said, “What the hell are you doing here, Joshua? Didn’t you hear that gun shot?” Joshua replied, “Yea, we got the guy.” By then Justin was a little confused and moved in close to Joshua and asked, “What guy?” Joshua replied, “The guy that was following you. Justin was shocked to hear that someone actually followed him almost home as he said, “I didn’t see anyone following me.” Joshua said, “Well he did! He followed you from place to place and all the way home! We killed him for you! Me and Mister! He’s back there on the trail!” Justin said, “Are you kidding me? Let’s go take a look!” He wasn’t sure if he believed Joshua, but someone had fired a shot in his direction.



When they got back to the guy, Justin said, “Holy crap! I never saw him!” Mister had mangled him up pretty bad and his twisted clothes and body were lying across the trail just like Joshua had said. They could see he was in his late twenties or early thirties. Justin said, “Look Joshua! I think this guy might be another one of those tweakers. Look how skinny he is. He aint got no teeth in front neither, just like them tweakers. Joshua said, “I watched him come from the trailers and follow you. I don’t know if he’s one of them guys or not, Justin.”



After Justin stood there looking at him for a minute, Joshua asked, “What are we going to do with him?” Justin thought for a minute and said, “We don’t have time to take him to the mine shaft before Jed gets home. We can’t let Jed know about this guy. He’ll know we were outside the property and he’ll be mad at us. Go back to the house and get the wheel barrow. We’ll take him back to the house. I’ll wait here until you get back. Make sure no one sees you.” Joshua replied, “Ok, Justin, I’ll take Mister. We’ll be right back.”



It took Joshua several minutes before he was back with the wheel barrow. They loaded the guy’s body, along with his gun, into it and Justin said, “We’ll take him home and bury him in the back yard. We’ll bury him on the other side of the house from where mom and dad are buried. Jed won’t ever know he’s there. We won’t build a box for him because it’s too late. We’ll just bury him like he is.” Joshua replied, “Okay Justin that sounds good to me.”



When they got his body back to the property, they wheeled him around to the dark side of the property they didn’t use very often. They took turns digging until they had a hole about six feet deep and wide enough for his body. When they were finished with it they rolled his body out of the wheel barrow and into the hole. They threw the gun in on top of him and covered the hole.



After everything was completed they went into the house and sat down on the couch with a glass of chocolate milk to collect their thoughts. Justin told Joshua, “Thanks for being there for me. I never saw him behind me. I don’t know what that guy was up to, but now he won’t be able to tell anyone where we live. I’ll have to be more careful the next time I go out.” Joshua looked over at Justin and said, “Maybe you should stay home Justin, like Jed said.” Justin didn’t seem to like what Joshua was saying as he said, “We can’t ever tell Jed about this guy because he’d never understand why we didn’t listen to him and stay home. You’ll get in trouble too, Joshua.”



About a week later, when Jed was at “The Joint” he heard the story about a missing person from Red Mountain. The talk was starting to get a little more serious now that two people had gone missing in the past several months. When Jed first heard about it, he thought, at least they can’t blame this one on me and Justin. He didn’t realize it but, the guy was buried in his own back yard.





* * *







Chapter 20 - Justin Can’t Stay Home




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