Lake 33 Killing Relic
Chapter 10.5
Return to Dardenne Creek

Chapter 10.5

Sorry had to split chapter titles. These are the First Drafts and I am a discovery writer, meaning ideas change and concepts adjust. (and Oh I forgot something?)

As mentioned, this the first draft including typos and poorly thought out ideas, to be fixed at a later time? Or deleted.


Chapter 10.5

My brother Rob and I slid down the trail, slick from the recent rain, towards Dardenne Creek and the hide hole.

"I've been using this place as storage for my high school art," said Rob, "Kinda like a free safety deposit box."

"And guarded by copperheads," I said.

"Yeah, come late fall and winter, the hide hole becomes a copperhead den." 

"You could become a YouTube celebrity by showing people how many snakes are in there, but no one needs to see this freaking hole," I said.

Rob began removing rocks from the hidden ledge while I watched for hikers, the homeless, or odd fishermen.

"What do you think about that Gieger counter or whatever it was and that stranger at Buck's funeral?" asked Rob.

As we departed the casket viewing, the local police were already setting up a safety area but refused to explain why they were setting up the cordon.

"I recognized the Gieger Counter, the same digital model we used in Iraq looking for bad stuff, hidden nukes, or fuel for dirty bombs. I'm at a loss to determine if the person was DOE or what FBI, ATF, or Office of Budget and Management?" I explained. 

"A lot of strangers at Buck's Funeral," said Rob as he searched for the pretty copperhead snakes.

"I have been wondering what killed Buck. I thought he caught something from one of the hookers across the river," I said.

"Buck did not have the money to afford the East St. Louis tastes," said Rob, removing the final stone. "He did come up with some cash at the end to keep the crazies at bay."

"Maybe both hookers and whatever is in that cave killed him?" I suggested. "I have Mike looking into the license plate found with the barrels."

"Mike is still pissed that he did not get the tattoo with us."

I stopped and looked at Rob.

"He is still angry? Ray was correct not to make Mike as fucked up as you and I. Mike was too young for the crazy stuff."

"Mike disagrees; he says it's a family thing, the tattoos; he wants one, and he did do that to the gang banger."

We both started laughing. 

"Rage or giant balls," said Rob.

"I've seen both of them work in Iraq. Rage will take you places that even giant balls won't go."

"Rage will get you killed," said Rob. "Hey, maybe the old man saw something Mike that scared him?"

"No, it was just that Mike was too young."

"Bullshit," said Rob. Think those warriors fighting the Cahokias were too young at sixteen?"

"Well, it's not exactly the thirteenth century."

I reached under the ledge, removed the box that Buck had given me, and lifted the death's head pottery from the box.

"Wow, wow, wow," said Rob. That is spectacular! Look at the marking around the eyes. It's the same symbol for the Ivory-billed woodpecker as our arm tattoos!"

Rob plucked an arrowhead from the jar and held up the classic triangular Cahokia arrowhead.

"The death head jars were full of Cahokia points?" asked Rob.

"Buck told me nearly all of the death head pots had the Cahokia arrowheads, but I did not see those pots."

 "Yep, the arrowheads are war booty," said Rob." I think this confirms we have a warrior cult who collected heads or commissioned the death head pots, and they collected the triangle arrowheads as war booty, showing them off like showing off a Japanese sword or Nazi flag, right-same thing." 

Rob ran his hand over the exquisite face, polished and burnished. "If you went to Oklahoma right now, you would see people identical to this face. It's pretty cool." 

"Should I sell it or hold on to it?" I asked.

 Rob thought about it, reviewing each effort put into the pot by the original artist.

"Sell it. You could quickly get thirty grand at an auction, triple that at a worldwide auction. The problem is that this death pot is equivalent in rarity to the Jaguar gorget, the Missouri State artifact. Technically, it may be invaluable."

What a coincidence that my brother was talking about the Jaguar Gorget, the same one I saw in the dream about the cave. I did not mention the ghost who drew blood.

"That implies I cannot sell it," I said. This death pot could bring international law down on whoever sells and buys it. It could bring the United Nations down on North American Antiquities buyers.

I placed the Deathhead pot back in the box and shoved it back into the copperhead cave. 

What to do with the pot?

From the shadows in the back of the ledge, a face stared back at me. It was a kid named Billy. 


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