Tales from the Loop: interesting times in the countryside

Teenagers, investing the mysterious…whatever could go wrong?
The village is a very old settlement, build on the ruins of a forgotten tribal holy place.
The time seems to slow down here, the people still live in the same way of the ancestors.
Beginning autumn, a year ago…
Some families who lived in the City became fed up with modern life, they decided to follow their dreams to go to the romantic unspoiled countryside.
Stacy’s parents moved from the city to the village where they bought an abandoned farm.
A month after moving in, father died unexpectedly in his sleep, leaving mother struggling with the upkeep of the farm, there was no money to hire farmhands. If the situation does not get better, they might be forced to sell their price-winning pig.
Stacy took to the farmlive as if she has been born into it, doing all the necessary chores. Of course she did not want to lose her beloved pig!
Jeffrey’s parents discovered that the rural live was not that romantic as dreamed, but they had not enough money to move back to the more civilized town.
Jeffrey felt like being ‘a stranger in a strange land’. At school he was harassed several times by some boys,  one day he returned late at home after school with a black eye, his parents immediately decided to protect him by installing a strict schedule of being at home on time.
Jeffrey and Stacy later became friends at school after an incident where Stacy chased off some bullys who ambushed Jeffrey.
At midsummer Daisy, the most popular girl at school, won the beauty contest for teenage girls.
She received the honour to lead the parade on the beginning of August, carrying the man-shaped loaf of bread.
She also was expected to lead the Hallowmass with the Corn Dolly, and at midwinter she would have opened the ritual of putting an old car in the middle of the frozen lake nearby.
The adults would wager about the exact day when the car would fall through the ice, mostly around march.
But Daisy disappeared soon after the August festival.
Most people thought Daisy just started her rumspringa early, no reason to worry, she might have decided to visit some cousins in the Sin City.
Her parents became worried after a month and sent a letter to their relatives in the City, they replied Daisy left with her cousin Maggy after a short stay.
They wrote an advert in the local newspaper, and soon two reporters from the City arrived to ask awkward questions.
Most villagers did not want to talk to these outsiders…
Jeffrey and Stacey both had some strange dreams:
A lady being stalked by a demon nearby a church?

Suspecting the shifty-eyed pastor of foul play, the kids investigated his office behind the church.
The church records in the great book confirmed the founding of this community around 1800 by founding father squire Claus, the ancestor of the current squire.
The bell was surprisingly old, cast in bronze, with a strange symbol inside

Some research in the library…

Old Norwegian 
Kaun er barna bǫlvan; 
bǫl gørver nán fǫlvan.
Ulcer is fatal to children; 
death makes a corpse pale.
Old Icelandic 
Kaun er barna böl 
ok bardaga [för] 
ok holdfúa hús. 
flagella konungr.
Disease fatal to children 
and painful spot 
and abode of mortification.
Cen byþ cƿicera gehƿam, cuþ on fyre 
blac ond beorhtlic, byrneþ oftust 
ðær hi æþelingas inne restaþ.
The torch is known to every living man 
by its pale, bright flame; it always burns 
where princes sit within.

How is it possible this community still use some pagan symbols and rituals from the Old World?

Reading through some old community records, the Claus family apparently had an unbroken long line of male descendants from the founding father till the current squire.
Some peculiar details on the family: They always found their women in the City, and while the marriage was celebrated in the village, the newly wed went back to the City immediately.
The senior squire always mentioned the birth of his son, who would stay in the City till the senior passed away.
Afterwards the junior would arrive with his mother and the necessary legal documents to take over their homestead.
As soon as the junior was settled in properly, his mother would return to the City definitely.
The squires were often mentioned as powerful, wealthy and generous members of the community, involved in all kinds of charity programs: feeding and housing the poor, supporting the upkeep of community buildings.

In the meantime a search party was announced by the constable to begin the first autumn day.
Many adult villagers enlisted to join, even the local pastor and squire Claus would join.

Jeffrey and Stacy did not want to wait till autumn, they started their own search party immediately.
Leaving the village centre, they walked past the fields, through the woods, towards the Great Lake.

What is so special about this Lake?

Stacy stripped till her underwear, dived in the lake!

Diving deep down, she saw what looked of a tower of submerged old cars, and even some carriages at the bottom.
At the top of the tower stood the old car from last midwinter.
Acting on a hunch, Stacy opened the trunk….

The body of a young girl, apparently strangled, missing one sandal!

Could this be the missing girl?
After several month in the lake, it was not easy to see, but how can this be Daisy?
The car was put on the ice of the lake last midwinter, Daisy disappeared beginning august…

The kids were not sure who to trust in the village, they felt the need to do more investigations.
While the squire was away to hunt, the kids entered the homestead.
On the wall in the living room was an interesting painting

A magickal tree?

In a chest they found more interesting items:

A bronze spearhead with a strange inscription…

A creepy piece of rope…

Hearing the sound of a hunting horn approaching, the kids hurrily left….

Some library research:
The inscription of the spear looked like the rune Tiwaz

Old Norwegian
 Týr er æinendr ása;

opt værðr smiðr blása.[1]

Tyr is a one-handed god;

often has the smith to blow.[2]

The magickal tree was illustrated in the Edda:
“Then spoke Gangleri: There the gods must hold their courts each day.'”
At last the kids decided to talk to the journalists who were willing to pay a large amount of money for the information.

…a few days later…

The Lake became a very busy place to be:
A large gathering of villagers  started dredging the lake to take all the car wrecks on the shore…every single one of them containing a strangled child who disappeared around autumn each year!
The journalists took photographs and notes..

…a week later…

The constable decided to investigate the squire’s homestead but he became wounded during the following shootout and the squire was able to escape with his weapons!
After the publication of the story in the newspaper, Daisy returned to the village!

After visiting my cousin Maggy in the City, we both went on rumspringa.
Because we have the same posture, it was easy to exchange clothing. 
While Maggy decided to visit our family in the Village, I continued my wandering till I saw the headlines!

….a month later…

The village counsel voted ‘yes’ on the proposal to allow to sell the Homestead to WallMart…
Modern times will transform the old traditions…

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