Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

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[Closed] One Step Forward

Vincent Sawyer Byrne | Wolf; Pack Master/Alpha

Posted on Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:25 am

This took place a few days prior to the bonfire event. <3

Remember when Dad totaled uncle Phil's car?

"The Mustang."


"I remember, Pop was so pissed he told the police it was stolen."

And dad was in handcuffs.

"And your neighbors..."

The Bakers.

"Yeah, fuck man they were dicks. They jumped right in with their 'Oh well come to think of it, I've seen John trying to break in through the kitchen window.'"

And Ms. Baker even accused Dad of stealing their cat. Who steals a cat dude?

"Ha, she was a frigid old cow."

You remember what Uncle Phil did when Mr. Baker started shit talkin'?

"I never forgot."

He slugged that schmuck right in the eye for talkin' shit about his brother, right in front of the police and everything.

"I remember, and you were crying like a baby the whole time."

No I wasn't.

"Yeah, you were."

I remember as clear as day. Dad was pushed up against the hood of that police car, hands cuffed behind his back thanks to Uncle Phil. And...

"Pop joined him. Two peas in a pod handcuffed like a couple a' goons. Both laughing so hard they had tears in their eyes. I knew it right then, Pop didn't really give a shit about that junker Mustang."

All it took was a night in the slammer and all was forgiven.

"Yeah, and they were sooooo fuckin' pissed that it was the Bakers that took us in that night."

Now that I'm older, I can't imagine why. We put the Bakers through hell.

"Yeah we did..."

I used the stick in my hand to jab the fire, flurries of red and orange glowing ash swirled up into the air, and the uncovered hot coals sent pulses of radiating heat out in all directions. So... Maybe I was fucking lame as hell, maybe I was sentimental. But this would be the last time I would spend a night at Logan and my camping spot. The very last time.

I guess there was something Rosina could do, to erase portions of my memory? As fucked as my life was, there was only one thing I couldn't live with forever. Logan's death on my conscience was the only thing that didn't do me any good. It was the only thing that made shit worse. There were no sudden heroic floods of determination and vengeance. There was just guilt. And I had that by the truck load. This one thing was just too much for me. I needed it gone.

Maybe that was why my mind was flooded with insignificant conversations we'd had over a beer. Latching onto every last one for one last time before they'd be gone forever. There wasn't much in the way of family to miss if you didn't think you had one. And that was what I was going to do, erase him. Maybe she could even throw some hope into her magic potions of forgetting. Maybe I could come out of the whole ordeal two steps ahead instead of just one. I wasn't holding my breath.

Yeah... I felt guilty. I felt guilty for feeling so guilty I had to erase a member of my small family from my memory. How was that for fucking emotional inception? But the truth, for once, was too much for me. I needed the lie. This time I needed it. As much as Logan pissed me off, as much as I fucking hated him sometimes, I didn't realize how fucking alone I felt until he was gone. Shut the fuck up you whiny piece of shit you know nothing of what it's like to be a lone. I swallowed hard, pushing the random thought deep into my gut where it could mingle with the rest of my phantom knots. Wondering all the while why I hadn't asked Rosina to wipe that fucked shared nightmare I'd had with Luxx too.

I dropped the stick to the ground and brought up both hands to wipe my eyes. Stopping only when my phone buzzed in my pocket. I leaned back, stretching one leg out to the side as my hand dug into my denim to retrieve it. Eyes tired, and hand slow as I brought the screen parallel to my face. The name on the screen didn't even register at first. I stared at it blankly, as if it was an unknown caller or some random I didn't care to talk to. But it began sinking in, deeper and deeper until my hands began shaking and my phone slipped out of them, plopping face down into the dirt.


I had that feeling... The one you get right before someone's about to give you terrible news and they haven't quite given it yet, but you just know in your bones that what they're about to say is fucking permanent and completely life changing in the worst possible way. I felt sick as I tried to understand. I felt even worse as the buzzing stopped, feeling like I made a mistake by not answering. And I quickly snatched my phone up from the dirt to call back. I had to know.

It felt like forever for the call to connect, and I sat in complete torture as the first two rings went by without an answer. But then my hand dropped, and I looked wide eyed out to my left as a ringing sounded from behind the trees. My phone slipped out of my hands for a second time before I stood up so quick it gave me a head rush. One step forward, that was all it took, and there he was. Emerging from the dark as his phone sat snug up against his ear, "Hello?" His voice coming through in stereo, a muffled version from my phone in the dirt, and a clear version right in front of me. And he finally looked up as he ended the call.

"Hey cuz."

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