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Billy -- continuation
by William Brownson

Readers may recall that we published the first part of the Billy story back in July. It may be found in the archives. -- ed.

It was getting late in the day. Ted knew he would have to find the boy before darkness set in. He found himself almost running up the ridge before he realized this was not the thing to do. It would be easier to miss a sign. Ted forced himself to slow down and carefully study the surrounding ground looking for broken twigs, shale scattered in a pattern different than the texture of natural erosion, any clue to find Billy. He progressed up the ridge and realized how thirsty he was. Billy would have had the same experience. High on the ridge in the heat of the afternoon Ted realized how thirsty Billy must have been.

By listening hard, a far off stream could be heard running down in the draw. Ted took out a water bottle and started to take a drink. He put the bottle back in the pack, if Billy didn’t get a drink, Ted didn’t need one either. He wouldn’t drink while his boy was possibly suffering from thirst. Ted started down hill towards the sounds of water.

The terrain soon became much steeper. Ted soon realized that if it wasn’t so brushy he might be walking into dangerous country. When things became so bad that He couldn’t be sure of his footing anymore he rigged a rope to a tree. That would give him a hundred feet of safety. About halfway down the rope, he saw one of Billy’s shoes and a drag path in the steep shale. Ted’s heart sank into his chest and he screamed “BILLY, BILLY, CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

He scrambled on down the rope to the edge of the cliff barely catching the end of the rope. Down at the bottom of sixty feet drop in a tangle of brush was a little form. Ted screamed, “NO OH GOD NO!” No way he could reach him quickly without killing himself.

He tied off to his rope and took out his cell phone. With trembling fingers he dialed Hank’s number. Hank picked up the phone and answered with the same “US Forest . . . “ Ted interrupted and said, “I’ve found him. He is down.”

“Where are you?”

“I don’t know the name of the creek or the draw, but it should be about eight miles from my camp. Head towards high country, there is a draw with a cliff. Billy fell down the cliff and I can’t get to him.”

“Can you see him?”
“Not well enough to tell if he is even breathing.” He was sobbing into to phone now.

A brief pause and then Hank answered, “The chopper is heading towards you. You should see it in a few minutes. Help me guide it to the spot.”

Ted knew now he would have felt had he found the boy face down at the beaver dam. It was a little more than he could handle, but he had to keep himself together for a while longer. It was then that he saw it, a bear, No! Bears don’t walk erect all the time. It was a Sasquatch, an abominable snowman. no, it had breasts this one was a female. She was heading for his boy.

Ted screamed, “Leave him alone, and go away . . . ”

She stopped and looked up at him. Ted felt a feeling of overpowering sadness come over him. She proceeded on towards the boy. Ted un-slung the rifle from his shoulder and took aim, the Sasquatch hurried to Billy and stooped down looking at him. She gently cradled the tiny boy in her giant arms and stood up and focused her gaze on Ted. He could almost hear her pleading in his subconscious.

Ted fumbled the lens-covers off his scope and levered a round into the chamber. He could hit a pie plate at that range without any difficulty. The Sasquatch had the boy tucked up under her breasts with her right arm and was trying to get away. He took aim at her lower back and fired. No way the bullet would get to his boy that way. She went down but didn’t drop the boy. She started trying to drag herself into cover with one arm and one leg dragging the other one. The creature was still cradling the boy with one arm. Ted was horrified, he thought, “What have I done.” This creature doesn’t intend to harm him.

He heard the helicopter clear the ridge, down low, and start to come up the draw at. Ted became aware of Hanks voice in the cell phone. He was asking, “Can you see the chopper?”

“Yes! They are coming up the right draw.” Tell them to watch out, something has him.”
“What has him?”
“I think it’s a Sasquatch.”
Hank thought, “Poor guy he’s losing it.”

Yeti felt the pain and grief of Selsadon, everywhere, on the planet, and in orbit. The captain nodded to his crew and gave them the chance to veto a rescue effort. All he sensed was agreement.

As always . . . To be continued


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