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Run Danny, Run novel Chapters 11&12

Story ID:11453
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Truro Nova Scotia Canada
Person:Esther & Richard Provencher
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OurEcho Preface This post deals with a mature theme or contains explicit language. While the post is not extremely violent or pornographic, it does contain language or explore a subject matter that may offend some readers. If you do not wish to view posts that deal with mature themes, please exit this post.


Danny's determined face showed he had learned the meaning of work sometimes the hard way. In one of the boy’s previous foster homes he did chores properly, or else another bruise would be added to his collection. And he was expected to do a lot more than just taking the garbage out.

Mowing acres of lawn, chopping and piling wood as well as babysitting younger children became normal for him at an early age.

No work meant no food. On occasion, that also meant sleeping in the basement, on the cement floor. Sometimes his reward was a good smack. Just thinking about it brought back memories of pain lines across his buttocks.

Hurtful screams flooded back as he remembered.

Somehow his eyes pushed away the darkness and retained a special twinkle to them. Whenever he felt lonely he did remember other foster homes, where people really cared. And he could smile briefly, thinking of those memories. When all was right with Danny, all was right with the world.

His wanting to belong made one feel completely at ease when getting to know him for the first time. Danny was not the type of person to stand out in a crowd; he was a follower.

He had a distinctive repair to one of his front teeth. The result of an after school accident caused by falling and having his skate come down splitting his tooth. The dentist's glue still held, but there was an obvious crevice.

The slight dental defect added to his character, framed by blond hair blowing in the wind. It blended naturally with his “devil-may-care” attitude about everything.

Too often Danny acted as if he belonged to a lower class of person. Somehow he demonstrated very little ambition and a lack of vision towards the future. “No one seemed to care anyhow,” was a natural feeling since it appeared no one wanted to adopt him, unless he was a saint.

Although his body was not in perfect physical shape his spirit and soul were not daunted. Even after all he had been through.

Danny had flat feet and was acutely aware of their pain even after a short walk. He wished something could have been done to cure them. Perhaps some kind of miracle would be acceptable.

The last couple of weeks seemed to add an unfair measure of responsibility and accountability upon his thin frame. His carefree attitude and developing meanness was digging a deeper hole from which there was no return.
He knew that running away and breaking into the Reynolds’s home had placed him in a real pickle. Unfortunately Danny was not mature enough to understand how swiftly events had a way of spinning out of control.

The police were now hunting him. And the young man was considered dangerous in the eyes of the Law. It was now known by all parties he was in possession of a lethal weapon, along with several boxes of ammunition.

And he was a potential menace to society.

But the boy did miss the Lapointes, even though he heard them say they didn’t want him to live there anymore. He missed his cat right now, and watching horses running in the fields next door to their farm.

It really wasn't so bad in Lunenburg. In fact he had a tough time trying to remember why he had given the family such difficulty.

Thinking things out took awhile and finally he was able to settle down and focus on his objective. His confusion wavered between a foster-type family and the real thing. In the end he realized he first wanted to see his own father, and to make him pay, big time.

But how, shoot him? No, scare him. That's it. The boy would like to see his father crap his pants and ask for forgiveness. Only then would he decide on his next move.

"Payback," the boy mumbled to himself. All this time wasted---mother giving up, a father who drifted in and out of his memories. And those other foster families in his life.

He squeezed his eyes tightly, trying to keep the tears in.

If only he could talk to someone.

Is it possible he could ever give his father another chance?


Not far across the water on Economy Lake, a smattering of green appears insignificant and lonesome. It pokes out of Economy Lake as a finger of rock lined with trees.

From the mainland it appears as abandoned or even adrift from the closeness of shore. However, it's as near as the sky, earth and water with secrecy of its own.

A restless wind twists throughout the trees. These proud firs are thick with branches and act as a mother to fir and feather.

Fallen pine needles restlessly toss back and forth, seeking a better place in which to settle. They mix well in their dance from one depression in the earth to another. From here they prepare to take root and await rain's nourishment. Tomorrow's sun will stroke this fertile space and create new sprouts of life.

Nighttime arrives as a cloaking blanket, diminishing tardy sparks of evening light. And a flickering glow signals daytime's triumphant farewell. Sunny colors of pink, red, even mottled blue mingles within the framework of island and sky.

A hint of red is a lingering goodnight kiss.
Night has become a covering of quilted shadows.
Trees proudly stand as soldiers.
They're picturesque as statuettes aside the shore.
Soon, the island blends within the lake.

Waves move in quiet "shushes" aside the shore. Cowlicks of white herald each wave movement, rising up, then down in foamy splashes. Their ripples of froth act as spies in the moonlight.

Suddenly, all sound is halted. Movements pause and absorb a strange interrupting in the night air.

"AAH-OOH-AAH-OOH-AAH" is an escaping moan from a nearby loon. He claims this island as his own with a serenade that repeats in ascending waves. His sounds are hurrying steps climbing the brocade of a starry sky.

An eruption of magnificence and sound continues to rise and fall. It enters the sparsely forested area in a royal symphony, floating with ease around the island.

This magical flute heralds the beginning of normal night activities. Trees tremble. Limbs groan from a pressing push of feathers. A successful hunt concludes in the flapping of wings. An agony of alarm is heard above the stillness.

Within a blanket of night, pinpoints of light blink in lazy procession. Fireflies escape from one low brush to another, seeking discovery. Their beacon receives an answering blink.

Clouds travel in lazy swirls. They gather in piled up bunches above the island where the moon penetrates the crowded white mist. It creates a path from the sky, as silence pauses below. Feral eyes are raised in wonder to the distant heavens.

The moon provides a face of wonder, its illumination reflected from not so far below. This bonding began as a gaze of curiosity, or perhaps from an ancient chain of fellowship. It took place during an earlier time, when this island erupted as a flower from beneath the surface of Economy Lake.

Earth and sky became brothers in the happening.


Larry and his family had a difficult time trying to eat supper this evening. Danny and his disappearance had once again captured their thoughts. It was becoming a most unwelcome habit.

"Do you really think it was Danny who broke into our home?" Anne asked, continuing to wash dishes. They had sent the children off to bed early. Now it was only reasonable the parents needed some private time for themselves after unsettling news this morning.

"Yes," Larry finally said. He knew deep down, the boy had indeed found him. Imagine coming right into their house. What other reason could there be for someone to break in, gaining access through the back basement window? Then sleep in Walt 's bed and smash the family picture. Was this his way of sending them a chilling message?

And what did "Payback" mean in his note? Even the fresh wetting in Walt 's bed was confusing. Larry didn't dare tell Walt about this. He knew his son hadn't been very excited receiving the news about finding Danny. The bed situation would simply remind Walt about his own past problem.

"I'll try to get more details when I see the Police tomorrow. They said usually something like this minor break-in wouldn't normally cause them to contact me when I was on holidays. But a missing child in possession of a firearm means I have to go. They want to go over some of the discussions we had when we visited with different foster parents. Hopefully I can convince them he isn't capable of hurting us. I might even stay overnight.

"Why do you have to go, Larry? What about our holidays? Let the Police handle it."

"Hon, what if it really is Danny? What if he comes back? I could be there waiting for him. Maybe he wants to talk to me, face to face. Look at it from his viewpoint. He came all the way from Lunenburg to see us and we weren't there. So he got upset. All the police noticed was a broken window and one smashed picture. Just one night won't hurt. He could be nearby, watching to see if I do return."

"What if he wants to harm you?" Anne asked in a nervous voice. “For goodness sake, he knew we were coming to see him. Why did he have to run away?” Besides, she really didn't want to be alone with the kids, way out here. "I think we should pack up and go home. Forget the holidays."

"No. Please stay put,” Larry said. “We'll explain to the kids what has to be done. I promise I'll stay only one night and be back here by noon tomorrow. And nothing, except an earthquake will take me away again. If something comes up with Danny after I get back, we'll all go home together. Promise, cross my heart."

"I'll hold you to that promise," Anne said. "Now give me a big hug. And make sure you give each of our children a goodnight kiss."

"What if they're asleep?"

"I'm sure at this moment their ears are glued to our conversation. Right kids?"

“Hi dad” and “Goodnight daddy,” drifted through the tent trailer door.


"I thought you said you were heading my way---Parrsboro," the man said. He had picked up the young hitchhiker just outside of Truro. He was a nice looking young fellow, carrying a packsack and something long wrapped up in a blanket. "A fishing rod," the boy had said.

Len wasn't in the habit of picking up strangers but this was the sort of thing country folk did. He knew the young boy was a city fellow, and not from around here by his type of talk. He had big fishing plans too, bragging ones.

Besides, what harm could he do to a grown man?

And now they were approaching Bass River, where the boy suddenly decided he wanted to get out. As if the man didn't know this was his intention all along. He noticed the boy's finger often followed a colored line on his highway map. The young fellow knew exactly where he was going.
"Like I told you---" Danny continued "---I'm kind of exploring this area, for fishing. You know, like checking it out."

"You really a fisherman?" the man asked. There was something fishy about this boy. Especially the way he was avoiding eye contact. The man used to tell his own son, "When you talk, look 'em in the eye." This boy wasn't doing it right now and the sunglasses didn't help either.

The man liked to see people’s eyes. Sometimes they gave away their intentions.

"Yeah, I am. Say mister, it's beautiful around here. Is that Cobequid Bay there?" Danny was anxious to make conversation and get the man's eyes off him. He didn't want to be ID’d by anyone, in case the man was called on to identify his young hitchhiker later. The boy hoped the red bandana around his forehead and his 'shades' covered up some of his appearance.

“Why are you asking?” the man questioned.

"I hear there's a place called Economy Lake nearby," the boy said matter-of-factly.

"I thought you said you were a stranger to these parts," the man answered. He was more than a little suspicious of his passenger and was beginning to think it was time, real soon, to let him off. Good thing it was just a little ways off.
“Sure, but I love fishing. Heard someone in Truro say the fishing was great there. Is that true?"

"Not any more," the man answered looking more carefully at the stranger in his car. He thought it would be a good idea if this young fellow got far away from him real soon. There was something about him. He was quiet and yet restrained. That's it, like a tiger about to spring on someone.

"How's this spot?" the man asked, pulling over to the side of the road. He watched the way the boy carefully handled his blanket-wrapped package.

"Thanks, mister. Only one more question okay? How far to Economy Lake?"

"About eight miles straight up there. A bunch of houses on the asphalt for a couple of miles, then just before the bridge turn left on the gravel. It's a good six-mile hike into the hills. No one really goes there any more. Like I said, fishing's gone. Used to be real good. In fact, old Mrs. Cipek used to have a campground there a long time ago."

"Did you say a campground?"

"Sure did, but it was closed down years ago. Except, if anyone’s desperate for a little camping, she’ll let them stay a few days. Listen young fellow, I got to get going."

"Thanks again, mister." Danny watched as the pickup truck picked up speed and headed down the highway. He selected a soft spot on the side of the road and sat down. Then he opened up his packsack and fished out a chocolate bar. His growling stomach was happy to finally get a bite of food.

It was also time for some serious thinking.

Mrs. Dorothy Melon read her report provided by the Foster Care Worker and it shook her up. How could they have made such a mistake? Just an hour ago she had received some very confidential information faxed from the London CAS office. It was cause for concern. Danny definitely had some serious anger problems. She hoped he was found before he had a meltdown.

One sentence caught her attention over and over---“Testing indicates this young man should never have a firearm in his possession. He has the potential for violence.” And it referred to Danny when he was just nine years of age.


With a vicious gleam in his eye and a lift of jaw, the coyote made one quick slashing gesture. It snapped cruelly at the poor defenseless fawn unable to move quickly in the ground’s softness. The edge of pond had looked safe enough and the water was cool in his mouth.

This young animal was on the verge of paying a heavy price for his thirst.

Pleading eyes and a frightened heart were not enough to stay execution by an age-old enemy. Slowly and cautiously the foe advanced, saliva dripping from its long pointed snout, sharp teeth anxious to be used.

One desperate bleat was all the little fawn could muster as the dreaded coyote prepared himself for one final rush.

Suddenly from behind this wily scavenger, sounds crashed through the trees. It made the coyote hesitate. His attention had been fully focused on his prey. Now it was he who was the hunted. This sudden intrusion into his planned attack had thrown him off balance and confusion set in.

His hesitation was costly as the Bull Moose continued his charge. The larger animal pinned the smaller with his antlers. Then its transplanted flashing hooves fell upon the half turned coyote with insufficient time to mount a defense. A smashed body fell upon its own blood.

The form lay lifeless as the angry moose stared with murderous eyes. In frenzy it attacked the representation of all he hated. Soon the battered and torn figure of a once powerful coyote was scattered about in chunks and bits on the green grass.

With a grunt of satisfaction the Bull Moose stepped forward and nudged the little fawn until it was clear of its muddy trap. After giving a thankful shake of its head the young deer sprang for the protection of the dense woods. Then it hurried in the direction of its mother.

Before leaving the scene the Bull Moose stomped the coyote once more for good measure, before heading back to its own territory. A feeling of common defense for members of its own kind was strong in the old fellow's head.