The darkness is back. I feel it in my bones. I see it everywhere I go. No one can stop the darkness for it has come once again and hit my town of Sandy Shores.
Sandy Shores use to be a town of light and beauty. Laughter was in every corner of my small town. Life was full of happiness. Families were together. Friends were having fun with each other.
But ever since the darkness came the beauty, the light, the laughter and the happiness have left Sandy Shores.
My name is Jamie, this is my story of how the darkness overcame my small town of Sandy Shores.
The darkness fell over Sandy Shores three years ago. We thought it was going to go away. Boy, we were wrong. The darkness stayed and has lived in us for so long.
The unimaginable happened. Something nobody wants to talk about. This event or whatever you want to call it chilled our bones, made our hearts cold, turned family against family, friend against friend.
This is hard for me to talk about, but if I don't talk about it I will go crazy and I don't want to be like everyone in Sandy Shores.
Believe it or notI want life in Sandy Shores to go back to normal, to go back to the way we use to live and this is the reason why I'm telling my story. The story of the darkness clouding my home.
What happened three years ago was a tragedy and before you knew it the town I love so very much began turning on each other.
Little Ben a five year old boy who the whole town knew and loved was tragically killed. His badly beaten body was found in a wooded area north of the lake.
The town was crushed, heartbroken. Little Ben had so much life in him. He was always smiling and laughing.
I always use to see him riding his bike, playing with his dog and telling the most outrageous jokes.
Little Ben brought so much life to Sandy Shores and in an act of cruelty his life was cut short.
Who would do something like this? Why would someone do something like this?
We tried to find answers, but there were no answers. No one saw anything. No one heard anything. Little Ben disappeared on his way home from school and three days later he was found murdered.
When the investigation stopped with no leads and no suspects, darkness befell Sandy Shores. We all blamed each other. No one was innocent. We were all guilty, guilty of murder.
We looked at each other with disdain, pointing fingers at each other, badmouthing friends and family. This is not who we are, but yet it is what we became all because of the darkness.
Little Ben deserves justice and peace and that's what I'm going to give him. The real question is how am I going to overcome the darkness and the answer is I don't know.
But I have to try. I can't give up and let the darkness win. I can't let my town be trapped in this endless pit of darkness. So, here I go.
Once again, my town is going to come under suspicion. I don't want to do this, but if I'm ever going to solve the murder of little Ben and rid Sandy Shores of the darkness then I have to do this.
First thing first I need to retrace little Ben's footsteps from school to his house.
I walk out of my house and I feel a sense of dread. I look up at the sky and the darkness is there.
My neighbors eye me with disdain. It bothers me, but I can't let it show. I walk the short distance to Sandy Shores Elementary school.
Little Ben's home is not far from the school. Here I go. I begin my walk eyeing anybody I come into contact with.
I leave the school grounds, I make the first turn. I pass houses of people I've known my entire life. I use to wave at them, stop and talk with them. I don't do that anymore.
There is nothing suspicious about these houses and people. The people who live in these houses have lived in Sandy Shores all their lives. They were here when my grandparents were still alive. When my parents were little kids and when I was a little kid.
Here is the turn to little Ben's street. I make the turn and again there is nothing suspicious. I don't understand this. Little Ben should have made it home safely. So, why didn't he make it home?
Kids are curious. Maybe little Ben saw a lost puppy or kitten and he went after it.
The darkness is all around me, the emptiness engulfing Sandy Shores is right in the pit of my stomach.
I'm afraid if I don't solve little Ben's murder that someone else in this town will suffer the same fate. I don't want that and I know no one in Sandy Shores wants that.
Next thing I want to do is walk to the wooded area where little Ben's body was found. I begin my walk and this time something feels different. I'm getting goosebumps all over my arm.
I feel like someone is watching me. But who? Could this person have watched little Ben and lured him away?
The darkness is inching ever so close to me. I know it's the same darkness that has taken Sandy Shores hostages.
I hear the crunching of the gravel behind me. I walk faster, my heart beating with every step. I don't dare turn around.
One way or another the darkness will end even if it means doing the unthinkable.
The sounds behind me have stopped. I turn around, no one is there. The wooded area where little Ben's body was found is up ahead, but there is something wrong.
There's a memorial to little Ben the whole town made and now it's gone. Who would do something like this?
The sound is back and this time I hear two sets of footsteps. I hide behind the tree, but before I do I place my camera in the bushes where the memorial is suppose to have been. I'm behind the tree. I see two very familiar faces. Dakota and her idiot boyfriend Wes.
The whole town knows who these two are. They are bad news. It has to be them. They are the reason why little Ben is dead.
Dakota and Wes are longtime residents of Sandy Shores. They have a very bad dark side which the whole town has turned a blinded eye too.
None of us ever wanted to know what they were up too so we didn't bother asking. We let them do whatever they wanted.
Oh my god! we did this too little Ben because we didn't ask questions. This is our fault.
I watch as Dakota and Wes talk. From what I can see their conversation is not going well.
Sometime later Dakota and Wes leave. I wait a few minutes until I know they are gone for good.
I check my surroundings, Dakota and Wes are gone. I go and get my camera. I pick it up from the bush.
This is the moment I've been waiting for. Three years of darkness is about to come to an end.
I press play and witness the confession of Dakota and Wes. This is unbelievable. Dakota and Wes talk about little Ben and how he witness them kill two people. Little Ben ran away. Dakota and Wes saw him and chased after him and murdered him.
The darkness in Sandy Shores happened because of us. We let Dakota and Wes do whatever they pleased and it costed little Ben his life.
I put my camera in my bag and run to the sheriffs office. I get there in record time. I take my camera out and show the sheriff.
The Sheriff can't believe what he's seeing. He orders his men to arrest Dakota and Wes.
Sheriff Wilson calls the mayor and tells him the news. Mayor Jacobs calls an urgent town hall meeting.
At the town hall meeting Mayor Jacobs and Sheriff Wilson tells the town about Dakota and Wes.
The town is relieved justice has been given to little Ben and his family, but it doesn't take away the three years of darkness that took my small town to the brink of insanity.
The darkness has finally left Sandy Shores. We are no longer living in hate. We are recovering the best way we can.
RIP Little Ben.
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Wow! Beautiful! I enjoyed it! A LOT!
No, Jamie, no! Don't hang around watching the recording, run! Whew, I'm glad nothing happened to Jamie. I thought you were setting her (?) up for disaster and instead she saved the town. You really captured a youthful perspective here. Jamie's sense of losing her former friendly community to the new, dark atmosphere was strong. It was a realistic portrayal of a town living under the pall of not knowing where the evil lies. Good point about everyone contributing to the darkness, too. This is a straightforward story as far as the plot, ...