Club Novus

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

Six people go missing many months apart in the small town of Wilton, Indiana. The FBI gets involved once it is discovered the bodies have all been drained of blood. Edward Wright, an agent specializing in missing persons, is assigned to the case. Everything in Wilton seems normal at first, but as Edward spends more time investigating he uncovers dark secrets no one would ever believe.

Genre:
Mystery / Scifi
Author:
randallfcooper
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
32
Rating:
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Part 1

Part 1

“So, do you have anything planned for today, Eddie?” My mother asked.

It was summer vacation. I usually didn’t have any plans until I gave Michael a call, which would happen at 12:30 PM when I was done eating lunch.

It was 9:00 AM, and my mother cooked a pan of scrambled eggs with toast. The bread was coated with her famous strawberry jelly, which many locals purchased at the general store a few miles away. The aroma of cooked bacon filled the air and delighted my nose. My mouth watered as I waited for breakfast.

“Uh, I’m not sure if I have any plans yet. I have to call Michael later to see what he’s up to. He just got back from vacation last night, so I think we’re definitely going to do something.”

“That’s right, he just got back from Disney World. Did he go anywhere else, do you know?”

I shook my head. “Nope, just Disney World.” I gave my mom a slight smile, but she could read right through it as she studied my face.

“Someday we’ll go, I promise.” She smiled at me and nodded.

My mom continued making breakfast. She brought a plate to me when she finished, and I started shoveling the eggs and bacon in my mouth. I always woke up every morning with a strong appetite. As I sat there feasting, my mom stared at me, frowning. She hadn’t touched her food.

“Eddie, there’s something I want to get off my chest that’s been in my mind lately. I’m really sorry we’re not able to take you anywhere on fun trips right now. But we will in the future; I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen someday.”

“It’s okay, Mom, I understand. We’re poor, and Michael’s family is rich.”

Whomp!

My mom pounded the table with the bottom of her fist. “You do not talk like that! Do you understand me? You haven’t said that to anyone else, have you?”

“No?” I said, earnestly wondering what I said wrong.

“Don’t talk to your friends about our finances or their finances. We take good care of you.” She paused, and her knee started bouncing underneath the table. “You know, your father and I love you very much.”

“Of course. I love you too, and I love Dad too. Sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it. I swear I don’t talk to my friends about money or anything.”

“Good.” My mother took a deep breath. “You know, some people in life are born with certain privileges. Sometimes things don’t work out the same for everyone, but that’s okay. Everything will be all right as time goes on. 10 years ago, when you were first born, we thought we’d have more for you, but life sometimes throws you complications that you can’t prepare for. I didn’t know I would become so sick. But it happened.”

I felt my throat closing up. It became harder to chew, but I increased my biting speed and swallowed a chunk of my breakfast with a gulp of milk. My eyes burned with tears.

My mom reached her hand across the table, and she placed it on the top of my wrist. “It’s okay, Eddie. No need to cry about it.”

I wiped away the tears from my eyes. Perhaps when I’m older, I won’t weep as easily. I never see my dad cry, I thought.

“Is dad working late again tonight?” I asked.

“Yes, which is why he’s still sleeping.” My mom focused on her plate like it was the end of the conversation.

Even though I burned to know why, I knew not to ask about my father’s work. If I did, I’d become horrified. My dad was a detective for our town, and I knew he was working on something that would give me nightmares. This is why my parents kept the newspaper away from any room in the house except for their bedroom.

I remembered the conversation with my dad two weeks earlier.

“Eddie, I’m working on something that will cause me to be late some nights. Don’t worry, everything is okay. You’re okay too. Tell me immediately if you hear any rumors from your friends about anything, and I’ll straighten it all out for you. In the meantime, don’t look too closely at the newspapers.” My father winked.

At 12:30, I called Michael from the house phone in the living room. I had just finished eating a turkey sandwich with the perfect amount of mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and a slice of cheese.

“Hello, who is it?” Michael’s mom answered.

“Hi, Mrs. Carter, it’s Eddie. Can I talk to Michael?”

“Oh, hello, Eddie! Sure, I’ll grab him for you in just a moment.”

Michael’s mom hummed away as she set down the phone and went to retrieve Michael. I could hear someone enter the kitchen as footsteps got closer to the telephone.

“Hello?”

“Yo, Michael! What’s up, dude-er?”

Michael put on a funny, deep voice that he called his mobster impression, “Eddie, my boy, the man of the hour, what’s happening, hotshot?”

I snickered. “Nothing really. Same old same old. You want to hang out today?”

“You read my mind! Let’s make it happen, cap’n. I have to show you something too! It’s really cool, and it’ll blow your mind. Want to meet me at Wimpy’s?”

“Uh, I’m not sure if I can. I don’t think I can really buy any ice cream.”

“Don’t worry about it; I got you covered. Birthday money, baby. We can live like kings today!”

I chuckled with delight; excitement rose in my chest. “Okay! Sounds good. I’ll meet you there at, uh, 1:00?”

“That works for me. I got big plans for us today.

“What’cha thinking?”

“I can’t ruin the surprise! All I can say is that I have a fun day planned, though. Bring your bike too! Do you copy? Over! Kshhh.”

“Roger Dodger, over, kshhh,” I said, following it up with a laugh.

“All right, sounds good. I’ll see you later, alligator.”

“In a while, crocodile,” I said.

We both snickered and hung up the phone at the same time.

“Ma! I’m going to go hang out with Michael. I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone for, but we’ll be riding bikes.”

My mom walked into the living room and gave me the family cell phone. “Call me if you’re going to do anything for dinner or if you’ll be back home for dinner. No matter what, I want you to give me a call at 5:00 and just let me know what you’re doing.”

“Okay, sounds good!”

I sprinted into the garage, kicked off the stand on my bike, and entered the small suburban paradise of Lockweed, Michigan.

Wimpy’s ice cream parlor was at the end of the small strip of downtown Lockweed. It took me a half-hour to get there since the downtown area was 6 miles away from my house.

As soon as I arrived, I saw Michael hanging out by his bike with a small silver box hanging around his neck. He was wearing a t-shirt with an old rendition of Mickey Mouse at the center with a giant smile. Michael had thick-framed black Ray-Bans and a round face with curly hair.

I braked to a complete stop, and that’s when Michael pulled up the box to his eye, and a flash came from the center of it.

“What the hell, man!” I yelled, covering my eyes.

“Relax, I just took a picture, that’s all. Dude, this is what I wanted to show you. My dad bought me this really cool camera; it’s called an SLR. It can take amazing pictures. And it even has a lens that can do this.” Michael rotated the lens up and down, growing and retracting. “I really wanted a DSLR, because you know, it’s digital, but my dad said he wanted me to practice with this first since it’s film, which is kinda lame, but still really cool.”

I marveled at it for a moment. The top was labeled “Canon.” It was the biggest photo camera I had ever seen.

“Wow, that’s so cool.”

“I only have 23 pictures left; I thought we could maybe take a bunch of cool photos today.”

I shrugged. “Sure, I guess. Anywhere in particular you want to go?”

“Yeah! I thought that maybe we could go...” Michael’s lips curled up into a mischievous grin. “Let’s go to Melville.”

“Melville?” My eyes widened. “The ghost town?”

“Yeah! ...Why the long face?”

“I don’t know if I really want to go there. It’s kind of creepy.”

“Exactly! Which would make it the perfect spot to take really cool photos. C’mon, dude, I’m buying you ice cream. You have to come!”

I rolled my eyes. “Okay, I guess so. I just hate lying to my mom.”

“Who said you had to lie to her? Just tell her we went bike riding around and went through Melville. She doesn’t need to know that we were taking pictures there.”

“I just know she would be upset, even if we were just riding through there.”

“It’s really not that big of a deal. I’ve gone before with my older brother.”

“Really? You and Jake went?”

“Yeah, just walked around. Let’s get some ice cream, though. That will put you at ease.”

We went up to the back of the line, where only three people waited in front of us. It was a hot summer day where the humidity made me sweat after being outside for a few minutes. Fortunately, I put on a lot of sunscreen before heading out the door, and I remembered to bring my Detroit Tigers old English “D” ball cap. I ordered a vanilla chocolate frozen custard twist. Michael got the creamsicle twist. We had to finish the ice cream fast before it melted, which was no problem for either of us.

“Now, let’s get over to Melville, shall we?” Michael asked with his devilish grin, orange ice cream on the edge of his lip. He wiped it off with the back of his hand.

“All right, all right, let’s see what it’s all about,” I said.

We got on our bikes. Traveling to the end of the downtown strip, Michael led the way. We kept riding. Even when the sidewalk came to an end, we spilled onto the main road and kept traveling south.

“This is it, right here. We go down this path.” Michael pointed to the right.

I would have never noticed the opening. It blended in with the rest of the trees on the side of the road. But there was an arched tunnel to our right through some branches.

“How did you know this was here?” I asked.

“Look at the ground, bro.” He pointed. Remnants of an old train track blended into the cement below us. “Melville was a little train spot back in the day. My brother knows more about the history than I do, but basically, it got shut down and became totally useless, which is why Melville doesn’t really exist anymore.”

Michael rode his bike through the tunnel of branches, and I followed behind. “Ow!” A few twigs scratched my body as I made it through the other side. We kept riding our bikes through the rough terrain. Sweat poured down my sides, but we kept trucking along. The trees provided much-needed shade and coolness, but that didn’t last long. We made it through the tunnel of trees and came across an abandoned train depot with three small buildings next to it. The structures had no windows, the bricks were chipped, and the walls inside were crumbling.

We pulled up our bikes to a two-story brick building. There was a sun-faded sign with chipped paint hanging on one rusted screw:: WINSTONS.

Michael parked his bike and stood in front of the building. “Wow. I know I said I’ve seen it before, but it still looks so cool. Don’t you think?”

I gazed at the dilapidated building but didn’t see the same appeal. It made me sad to think that the building had a purpose in the past. But it no longer fulfilled anything except for occupying space in the middle of the woods. I imagined all the people who came and went when the train was active.

“Here, Eddie, stand in front of the building. Let me take your picture. It’ll look awesome!” Michael put the camera up to his face, but I didn’t have the same enthusiasm. I swung my leg off my bike, approached the building, and smiled in front of the camera.

Michael pressed a button, and then I heard a snap.

“No flash that time?” I asked.

“I’m not actually supposed to have the flash on for outside photos.” Michael snickered. “Hey, come over here. I want to show you how to take photos so you can take a few pictures of me.”

“Uh, sure. Don’t you just press the button, and that’s it?”

“It’s actually a little more involved than that.”

I walked over to Michael, and he showed me how to operate the camera. I found the shutter speed, iris, and f-stop to be a little confusing, but Michael explained everything and adjusted all of the settings for me.

“I guess all you gotta do is press the button. But I just wanted to show you all of the other things in case you were interested.”

“Yeah, it’s really cool. You just want your picture in front of the building?”

“Absolutely!” Michael ran in front of the abandoned entrance at the same spot I was in. I held up the camera to my eye and pressed the button.

Snap.

“All right, now that we got the front, let’s go inside,” Michael said.

“You can’t be serious.” I shook my head.

“Yeah, come on, man, it’s no big deal. What’s the matter?”

“I don’t know, man. It just doesn’t feel right. Do you really want to go inside?” I said.

“Of course. Unless you can give me a really good reason why we shouldn’t go inside, we’re doing it.” Michael said.

“I’m pretty sure it’s trespassing, so it’s illegal. If we get caught, we could be in big trouble.”

“Yeah, but who’s going to find out? There’s no one around here. Even if we did get busted, your dad works at the police station. He’d let us off the hook, and you can put the blame all on me if you really want.”

“I just don’t see the appeal of going in.”

“Come on, please! We can take some really cool photos inside. Plus, I’ll let you in on a little secret. You’re going to lose your mind when I tell you this.”

I sighed.

“Jake and I went inside before. It’s really not a big deal!”

“Really?”

“Cross my heart and swear on my grandpa’s grave; we’ve done it before. It’s easy to sneak in. We’ll be in and out.”

“Okay fine, you win. I can’t believe I’m doing this,” I said.

“It’s going to be a blast! I knew you’d come around.” Michael beamed.

“You better tell me about this little secret of yours.” I smirked as I stepped up to Michael.

“Of course, but first, we need to get in the first room here. Just beyond this window since the door is boarded-up.” Michael approached a window with no wooden planks covering it. A few wasps floating around made my heart race. Michael swung his leg over the bottom of the window and climbed inside. “Dude, it’s so cool in here.” I heard Michael snap a few pictures.

I clambered over the window sill and joined Michael inside the desolate room. A rat scurried away, and a few bugs stood on the wall perfectly still. The walls were cracked, and some were crumbling. Graffiti, abstract designs, and obscenities were painted on the walls if they weren’t already crumbling. Black mold was growing in a few spots.

A flash and a snap came from my left. Michael snickered. “I don’t want you to be mad. That picture is going to look really cool. You were looking at the walls as if it was blowing your mind.”

“I’m just thinking about all of the past events that unfolded here. Do you think this was a restaurant?”

“My brother told me it was probably a brothel at some point. Do you know what that is?”

I shook my head.

“It’s a whorehouse, you know, where people go and do it with each other.”

I sighed. “Is that the secret you wanted to share with me?”

“What? Of course not. I just thought it was a cool little fact that my brother told me about.”

“Who knows if it’s even true, though. What if your older brother is messing with you?”

“Are you calling him a liar?”

“I don’t know, maybe.” I chuckled. “Seriously, dude, what’s this secret you got? It’s driving me crazy over here.”

“So this is big news, buddy. Brace yourself. I don’t know if you can handle this. I should have told you to bring an extra pair of underwear.”

“Just spit it out.” I rolled my eyes.

“Okay, okay, I’ll tell you, but you sure you can handle it?” Michael grinned.

“I don’t think I’m ready, so I’m just gonna leave,” I said sarcastically, but I turned around.

“Wait, wait! Fine! So, my parents said that next year during my birthday, I could bring a friend to our family trip if I wanted to. So, if that was something you were interested in, you could come with me to Disney World next year!”

I dropped my jaw. “Dude, are you sure?”

“Yeah, of course. Why wouldn’t I be?”

“I just don’t want you to be messing with me about this ’cuz that would be amazing! I would love to go anywhere you want! I understand if you don’t want to go to Disney World again, though.”

“Are you kidding me? Of course, I want to go back there again. It would be awesome, especially if you’re there with me. There’s so much to do and see. Plus, there are millions of people, so there are lines everywhere, but it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. I feel like it’s impossible to explore it all in one trip.”

“Well, yeah, man, I’m down!” I jumped up in the air. Excitement was coursing through my veins. Suddenly I didn’t mind being inside the abandoned structure.”

“Hey, let’s go upstairs next. If we can even find the staircase. Jake and I only made it this far, but let’s keep going.”

I probably would’ve backed down, but I was too thrilled about the Disney news. “Uh, Yeah, let’s give it a shot.”

Michael led the way as we tiptoed over the creaky wood floors. Some spots had holes in them but not large enough for us to fall in. We made our way through a hallway and another room with a staircase in the back. It was hot inside the abandoned structure. Tiny shards of glass glimmered from the streaks of sunlight coming in; it made my heart drop. All of the steps on the staircase had broken wood, it was completely uneven, but there seemed to be enough stability. I put as much weight as I could on the broken-up wooden rail next to me whenever it was there. We made it up to the top of the steps without any issue.

Walking down a hall to our left, we saw a rusted iron ladder at the end leading up outside. A heavenly light shined down on it.

“Oh dude, check it out. We can get on top of the roof!” Michael yelled as we creaked our way to the end of the hall. Standing next to the ladder and looking up through the hole, I saw the sky and puffy white clouds. Michael tried jerking the ladder, but it was intact and sturdy.

“I’m gonna try going up.” Michael put his hands on the rungs and took each step one by one. The ladder held still as Michael made it to the top.

“Wow! It’s such an amazing view up here, Eddie. You got to come up here and check this out!”

“Okay, I’ll be there in just a moment,” I yelled. As I climbed up the ladder, I heard something drop and land on the wooden floor downstairs. It was faint, but enough to make my skin tingle.

Maybe we really shouldn’t be here right now, I thought.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Aiswarya Suresh: Thrilling and spine chilling read. Delighted to have found a good book here

errol5: Space adventure meets masterful romance! A light hearted romp through exotic locations and powerful characters on the way to a happy ending.

hildebrandconstanc: The build of the story is good, the characters are well thought out. I love the couple, it's a scorcher!

Santavida: There is some grammar issues but I loved the story

Helene: Fantastic story. Needs a little bit more twists added. Perhaps a kidnap attempt or murder attempt & rescue with the Prince using his special abilities ?

Sandra Mensah: This is truly captivating and heartfelt. I am truly looking forward to more books. Thank you for sharing author

PeterA17: This is one of the best stories I have ever read! The characters, the plot, period, tone all of which is jus Wonderful! I just wrote my a story on Inkitt, It’s called: Zero Meters.I poured out all my love & pain to the story and characters to this. I recommend that you check it out. Great job wit...

Silvia Elena: I love the story, I really like the characters, especially Aaron. I would rather the author put a more believable spin on how Tash discovers the secret her family was keeping from her. Her family sends her away for a trip in which they know that she will meet other packs, as they would not imagin...

More Recommendations

Jessica Lee: Very good! I couldn’t wait to read more!

Ambee12590: This is so good! I can't find out what life will be like and who these "mates" will be

Liz Davis: Great story!

JessDavos: Awesome story! Couldn’t stop reading!

janettewood66: Thais is an excel tool book showing survival!!! I loved this book.

itsJ3ss: Couldn't put it down at work and immediately jumped to the second book!

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.