Top Secret

He kept looking at the light outside surrounded by pitch black. It was a head light he thought. Or, maybe a flashlight of some kind. Could’ve been some hitchhiker coming up the road. He wasn’t sure.

The yellow light began to swing back and forth as it got closer to the house. It’d shine up in the trees, down on the gravel off to the side of the road, out into tall weeds where candy bar wrappers and beer cans lay. Still couldn’t make out who was shining the light.

Then he saw a state trooper car with his flashers on drive by in silence. And, then another. They headed up the road a bit, stopped where the light was shining and then drove on.

The old man poured himself another beer. He decided he’d go out for a closer look. The quarter moon shined down on the fields and that light got closer and closer to where he could make out who it was.

He turned on his floodlights. They shined out into his front yard where he could see a trooper approaching him.

Kind of late for you boys to be out here ain’t it?, the old man said. You want some coffee or anything?, the trooper did not respond. What you looking for?, the trooper shined his light down as he got closer.

We got a tip.

A tip you say?

Gotta tip there might’ve been something out here that wasn’t supposed to be.

Like what?, the old man poured his beer out on the ground.

Like a body. Like a body that somebody just dumped out here.

You don’t say. What a terrible thing.

Wouldn’t be the first time.

Oh, I know.

Well. That’s what we’re doing out here, he tipped his hat to the old man and continued his search.

The old man began to sweat a little from the high humidity. He decided he would go back inside and wait. Just wait until they knocked on his door. He fell asleep in the recliner in the front room. More and more people gathered outside. More and more police officers showed up. Soon the sun would break and the search would get bigger. The old man slept right through it until somebody knocked on his door. He grabbed his rifle and yelled out, who is it?

It’s Helen from down the road. You OK in there?, he put the gun down and opened the door. Do you know what’s going on?

Yes, the old man said.

Well. What is it?

Can’t tell ya. It’s top secret.

Top secret huh?

Yes. It’s top secret. I can’t tell ya what they’re looking for. It might upset the nature of things, the old man closed the door quietly and went back to his seat with his rifle in his lap. He closed his eyes and mumbled, It’s top secret.

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