Paul appeared out of the darkness and barreled through the diner door. The little bell clanged noisily against the plate glass. A few of the customers turned to look at him, then turned back to their beer and pretzels. The Seahawks were playing the 49ers. It was a close game and late in the season. A playoff berth was on the line. Paul looked pale and shaken. He scanned the diner with terrified eyes and finally saw his friends. He came up to them and leaned on the Formica table. His hands slipped from the sweat on his palms. He nearly fell flat on his face. Jerry looked up casually, a cigarette dangling from his mouth like James Dean. “Whoah, Paul! Where’s the fire?” “There’s no fire,” he said in a frantic voice, “but there’s something you have to see.” He peered out the window toward Turner’s Mountain.
“Like what?” Tim said without emotion. He cracked open a peanut.
“It’s better if I show you,” he said ominously. “Otherwise you’ll never believe me.”
“Don’t be so dramatic, Paul,” Christopher laughed and took a gulp of beer. “You know how you get.”
“This is different, Chris. This time it’s for real. What I saw will blow your mind, but we should go now before someone else finds it.”
Jerry tried to pacify his friend. “Will you settle down? Have a seat and let me get you a beer.” Jerry motioned to the waitress for another round.
“No. I don’t want a beer!” he said harshly. “You don’t understand. This can’t wait. We have to go now!”