Autumn 1945 – Horace Bruck Junior and the Blue Man of the Hills


Horace Bruck Senior hesitated. He sighed. Finally he said, in a low tone that suggested discomfort and familial betrayal, “Junior hasn’t ever been quite right. He’s slow in the head. Mostly. Sometimes … sometimes he knows things he’s got no business knowing. He knew when the horse threw my brother and that happened five miles away. He can tell you where to find a missing thing, even if he just met you.” 

He fell silent again. I said, “Is the problem that he’s slow or that he knows strange things.”

Bruck’s brow furrowed. He said, “I worry about who will look after Junior when me and the missus are gone but that won’t be for years. The knowing … the knowing wouldn’t worry me except for how Junior says he knows. He says the Blue Man tells him.” He studied the ground for a long moment. Then he said, “He’s been saying that for years and I never paid it no mind. But last week … I saw the Blue Man standing out in the Kurchners’ field. The smile on his face, and I beg your pardon saying this but, it turned my balls to ice.”