Nightly Patrol on Tennessee Road (NaNoWriMo)

Duke Laramie knew every shrub along this part of Tennessee Road, every foxhole. Of course he knew the stories too, tall tales, really, of a vast network of underground caverns with hidden entrances nestled in the most treacherous mountain passes. Legend said the Marauders hid in the caves, only coming out to relieve passers-by of their belongings—and in most cases, their lives.

Duke had never seen the caves. The stories were good for spooking children around the fireplace, but, he knew, not true. There were no Marauders. There were no caves.

Years ago, news of raids was common. The boy would listen with awe as his father told of the lone travelers gone missing along the very postal route he walked. Tennessee Road was haunted, he had said. No gang of bandits could strike and vanish like that. At least, no human bandits.

But Duke was grown up now. Things change when a boy becomes a man, and no one had heard from the Marauders since the disappearance of John Marshall.

Yet, Duke walked the Road every night.

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