Authors: Richard L Hatin
an imprint of
Headline Books, Inc.
by Richard L.
copyright ©2012 Richard L.
All rights reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents, except
where noted otherwise, are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any other resemblance to actual people, places or events is
entirely coincidental. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
transmitted in any other form or for any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording or any information storage system, without
written permission from Publisher Page,
except by reviewer who wished to quote brief passages in connections
with a review written for inclusion in broadcast or print media.
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First Electronic Edition
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012939308
, Richard L.
Thriller-Fiction 2. Mystery-Fiction 3. Religion-Fiction 4. Satanic
es of America
To my best friend and
with whom all things are possible!
A large number of cars and small pick up trucks began to
converge from several directions. They slowly merged into a procession of over
seventy vehicles traveling east along the dirt road that paralleled the south
bank of the Winooski River
here in north central Vermont.
It was just after
in the morning. After traveling eastward for a little over three miles, the
line of vehicles turned southward onto another dirt road. At the intersection
two men armed with shotguns stood guard. Once the last vehicle had driven by,
they pulled a wooden gate closed. They next padlocked it to prevent anyone from
following. They went to their truck and soon joined up with all the other
This narrow and winding dirt road would last for nearly a
mile. The vehicles kicked up a dusty cloud that nearly obscured the driver’s
view of the road. Everyone was driving with only their parking lights on. No
one was using their headlights.
Suddenly several young men with flashlights waved the
vehicles to pull over and park. They began to park in the field next to the
Game Warden’s house while other vehicles pulled to the side of the road and
came to a stop. Everyone exited their vehicles. Entire families stood together
in the road. The ages ranged from eight months old to ninety-one. There was
very little conversation between the assembled, only an occasional muffled greeting.
Many of the people had brought along flashlights or lanterns.
A few had homemade torches. Soon the flashlights and lanterns were turned on
with the torches saved for later.
The crowd, numbering close to two hundred, began to slowly
move further southward along the dirt road. The sound of a bubbling small brook
once known as the Sutton River
could be heard as it passed the left side of the road. After traveling for
another few hundred yards the crowd turned to their left and crossed over the
brook by way of a wooden bridge. Now there was no longer a dirt road to follow.
There were only two rutted tire tracks worn into the side of the mountain. This
pathway was suddenly a much steeper climb.
No one complains about the hiking conditions, or the lateness
of the hour. They are all familiar with what is to be expected.
A few of the travelers steal a glance at one another as they
silently climb the mountain.
Tonight there will be a sacrifice. There is always a
sacrifice. It has been this way since the 1840’s.
Blood will be spilled. This is a necessary part of their “
,” Evil Agreement.
The ritual will be kept alive by a dark offering. A promise made long ago is
still a promise to be kept.
Their ancestors had once been part of a coven that made a
pact with Moloch, one of Satan’s lieutenants. The coven, originally formed in
1843, made a solemn promise to Moloch to perform a special one-time ritual and
sacrifice to invite Satan to life on earth, to rule over them.
Something went horribly wrong and the coven failed in keeping
its Evil Agreement.
Ever since, the coven and their descendants have repeatedly
journeyed back up this mountain to offer human sacrifice to Moloch and Satan,
and to renew their vows to keep their promise, and complete the demanded
invitation ceremony to Satan.
The large group of people finally arrived at their
destination. They were nearly at the summit of the mountain that overlooks
Camel’s Hump, Vermont’s second
The torches are lit and the promise keeping ceremony will
Moloch, dark and evil will soon make his appearance and stand
over them, at the blood stained stone altar, and demand the required offering.
However, unknown to all, their procession and gathering is
seen from across the valley. From high atop Camel’s Hump
Mountain, a single pair of eyes has
been watching. The one who is watching is soon joined by another.
The coven’s secret existence is now at risk.
They had been hiking on the scenic Long Trail, which feeds
into the Appalachian Trail, for fifteen days. They were
planning to hike the entire length of Vermont’s
Long Trail. Fresh out of college the month before, Michael
and Julia Brodsky had planned this hike as their graduation present to one
Julia was leading the hike this morning. It was Monday, July 21, 1997. The weather
was overcast and cool. They were hiking the southeastern ridge leading to the
summit of Camel’s Hump. They had at least another hour’s hike remaining before
they would reach the summit.
They were at an elevation of around three thousand feet. The
air was only slightly thinner at this elevation. They were in peak physical
form. Even so, they felt the strain of hiking at this altitude. Julia stopped
along the trail and looked back at Michael. He was a typical tourist hiker. His
head seemed to be attached to a swivel as he turned in one direction after
another taking in all the sights. Julia on the other hand was a point to point
hiker. She moved resolutely from one point on the map towards her intended
target location. Only something unusual could distract her from her primary
focus, which was to reach her destination by the shortest route possible.
“Michael, I think this is a good place for a break.”
Looking around for a moment Michael gestured to a large flat
rock about fifty yards further up the trail “How about over by that rock? It
looks like it opens up to a nice vista.”
“Okay by me,” she said, shrugging.
They soon arrived at the rock. It did indeed open up to a splendid
vista overlooking several other mountains to the south and the valleys in
between. The summer sun was beginning to burn through the cloud cover, bringing
warmth to the chilled summer air.
They unbuckled and removed their backpacks and sat down on the
rock. From a side pouch on his backpack Michael removed a plastic container
half filled with his own custom blended trail mix of assorted nuts, dried fruit
and cereal. He offered some to Julia who took a handful. He did likewise.
“Great view, huh?” said Michael.
Julia pulled out her trail map and began to examine it
“According to the trial guide back at the AMC hut yesterday,
the northern trail on the north face is closed because of erosion. Do you
remember, she said this spring and summer have been unusually wet and they have
had to temporarily close that trail? So, to continue north after we reach the
summit this afternoon we are going to have to double back down this trail to
that fork we came across a couple of hours ago. See, according to the map we
can follow this lower trail around the middle elevation heading north and it
will link back up with the main trail right here.”
Julia is pointing to the map, while Michael is busy gazing at
the panorama spread out below.
“Michael, you didn’t hear a word I just said.”
Looking at her holding out the map to him, he breaks into a
“Julia, I heard you. I remember what the guide told us.”
“Well, let’s get going, Michael. It’s your turn to take the
“Okay! Just give me a minute, will you?” said Michael as he
lifted up his backpack and in one fluid motion he swung it up onto his back.
In a couple of minutes they were off to reach the summit.
The hike to the summit was a good deal more difficult than
the earlier part of the climb. This part of the trail was steeper, mostly a
bare rock surface, sometimes covered in moss. It was also damp from the low
misty cloud cover, which frequently smothered the summit. The summit was 4,083
feet above sea level and at that elevation should have had ample tree cover.
Instead the last four hundred feet was barren of trees or even small bushes. It
was generally believed that acid rain from the south and west, which usually
drifted to the northeast, had destroyed the fragile ecosystem of Camel’s Hump
As Michael and Julia reached the summit, the sun broke
through the cloud cover once again. There was a stiff breeze blowing from the
west. The entire summit was now awash in bright sunlight. There were broken
clouds all around the summit, drifting away quickly to the northeast. Michael
danced around with his arms raised in the air striking a familiar pose from the
motion picture, “Rocky” while trying to sing the theme song even though he
didn’t know the words.
“Michael, you’re something else.”
, Adrienne, Adrienne, come
Even though they still had their backpacks on, Michael
embraced Julia and gave her a hearty kiss.
They had lunch on the summit.
They started back down the trail around
in the afternoon they had reached the area of the large flat rock where they
had begun today’s hike.
“Julia, let’s pitch our tent here for the night.”
“Why here, it’s still early?”
“Because, I want to stop and smell the roses.”
“I don’t get it.”
“We seem to be always moving along just to get to the next
spot on the map. For once, I’d like to stop and enjoy the area.”
“Okay, fine with me, Michael, but remember we need to reach Jay
Peak within the next twelve days.
Sally, Carey and Tommy will be waiting for us.”
“I know,” said Michael, “we’ll make it in time, trust me.”
“Michael, I wouldn’t trust you as far as I could throw you.”
“Julia, that really hurts,” said a playfully pouting Michael.
They spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the area. Late
in the afternoon they picked a spot to pitch their tent, a pine needle covered
dry and flat spot about a hundred feet due west of the large flat rock.
After supper they listened to the portable radio that Julia
had brought and read from the paperback books that each had stuffed into their
backpacks. Julia enjoyed reading Anne Rice’s books while Michael enjoyed
reading action adventure books by Tom Clancy.
The chill of the night quickly embraced the eastern side of
the mountain. The setting sun couldn’t be seen from their location. However,
the sky was free of clouds and soon the darkening sky began to twinkle with a
vast display of celestial splendor. Far from the distraction of man-made light,
the night sky revealed a wondrous galaxy of “billions and billions of stars,”
was often quoted as saying. Michael had
and ever since found
that he was drawn to look up into the night sky with renewed wonder.
The two settled in for the night around
and soon went to sleep.