My name is Jake Wells and this could well be the end of me. I walk down the solemnly quiet streets of Cedar Valley, Nebraska toward the last house in the small rural town to look for someone. The closer I get, I think back to that fateful day, which was just yesterday, which kind of went like this.
“Excuse me?” a very quiet woman said, as she peeked around the old varnished office door. How did she get past my secretary? She quickly entered my office and took a seat right across from me. This young woman,about 20 years old, had long auburn hair that reminded me of the color of autumn leaves and blue eyes with the shine of the sea. She was wearing a blue gingham dress with a white collar. As I turned my full attention to her, I noticed that she had been crying, due to her runny mascara.
“Would you like my handkerchief?” I offered as I pulled it out of my suit pocket. As she dabbed her eyes, I was more anxious than a racehorse on race day to hear the new case. I had just finished a huge case and I was looking for a new adventure. When she was finished drying her eyes she took a deep breath and began her story.
“My name is Mackenzie Lake. I live in the small town of Cedar Valley, which is about twenty miles north from here. I need your help, Mr. Wells! My father has disappeared and I need your help to find him!” As she continued, I was excited with the idea of a new case to solve.
“You’ve got yourself the man,” I said as I stood up from my desk and went to grab my trench coat and fedora. When I turned around I noticed a copy of the Lincoln Star Journal sitting on my desk. One of the headlines caught my attention: “20 people mysteriously vanish from small town!” As I read the article, it stated that people, from the local pig farmer to the county sheriff, had just vanished without a trace. This just made the case even more interesting to me. As I lead Mackenzie out of my office, I had a gut feeling that she was hiding something from me.
That night I had the strangest dream. People I did not know surrounded me and they told me to stay away from Cedar Valley or I would pay the consequences.
The next day I woke up early to catch the train to Cedar Valley to do a little bit of investigating into all of the strange disappearances. When I got off of the train, the general feeling of the town was like an old ghost town that had been abandoned long ago. As I walked up the street, I did not see anyone, not even a stray cat in one of the alleys. I walked into the nearest store and found nothing but dust that was at least an eighth of an inch thick. I proceeded to check the rest of the stores on the main street and all I found was more dust and lots of cobwebs.