I knew moving here was a mistake. Darksville, Idaho. The name is a mistake. Why did we have to go and move to some tiny town in the mountains of nowhere, past the desert of nothing, over the River of No Return?
“Where is everybody?” I asked as we turned into town. Buildings slowly appeared in a tiny valley walled in by huge shadows of mountains.
“Maybe they’re sleeping?” Dad said, with his ever-present grin.
“In the middle of the day?” Every store was dark. Every sign said closed. Winds whipped through the streets, making an eerie howl.
“Maybe they’re all working the night shift too?” Dad joked. Dad was going to work the night shift at a gas station in Darksville. That’s why we moved here. Dad was happy to get the job. He was having trouble finding work after he and mom split up. I was about as happy as a shark in a vegetable garden.
“Everybody can’t be working the night shift,” I mumbled. Dad laughed and we pulled into the only gas station in town. An old guy sat... slept... or something... in a chair outside. The door said closed.
“Is he dead?” I said, giving Dad a funny smile. Dad gave me a dirty look.
“Try to be good, okay?” Dad said this with a sigh, like I was always messing around. Hardly.
Dad walked up to the old guy. “Hello.” The guy didn’t move. Dad got a worried look on his face. I thought about saying, “I told you so” but I think Dad was upset enough already. “Hello,” Dad shook him a little this time.
“Huh?! What the...” the old guy reached for a nearby rifle.
Dad and I jumped back.
“Who is ya’?” He poked the gun at Dad. He smelled like garlic, big time.
“I... I... uh... am here to work.” We all stood silent a moment.
“These here are silver bullets.” He waited for us to say something. Dad and I looked at each other. Weird.
“Ya’ know what ya’ use ’em fer?”
Dad shook his head, “I’m afraid I don’t.” Dad smiled and tried to be friendly, but I could tell he was scared.
“Well, you’d better learn!” He jammed the rifle at my Dad’s chest and hissed, “Or you’ll wish you’d never come here.”