Bryson City Seasons — Lost Boy (Part 1)

This is from the thirty-sixth chapter from my best-selling book, Bryson City Seasons, which is the sequel to Bryson City TalesI hope that you’ll enjoy going back to Bryson City with me each week and that if you do, you’ll be sure to invite your friends and family to join us.


Later that afternoon, we were back at our little green house on Hospital Hill. Rick and I were outside firing up the grill. Barb was inside preparing the rest of the meal. Kate was taking a nap, and Scott was making a nuisance of himself in the kitchen under Barb’s feet.

We heard the screen door creak open as Barb came out carry ing Scott.

“Hey guys,” she shouted, “can I leave Scoot with you?” “You bet, Barb!” replied Rick.

“Don’t take your eyes off him, okay?”

I assured her, “Ten-four, honey!”

Rick walked over to help Scott down the stairs and then held his hand as they walked over to the grill. I smiled to myself. I was so delighted to have an eighteen-month-old son. And he was such a cute kid—a towhead with Paul Newman–blue eyes. Rick sat in a lawn chair and pulled Scott onto his lap as I put the hamburgers on the grill. As we talked and laughed, Scott got down to play in the grass.

Rick and I kept talking, and I kept flipping the burgers.

Barb interrupted our conversation as she called out the kitchen window. “Hey guys, where’s Scott?”

“Oh, he’s right here,” said Rick—suddenly looking around for Scott.

We both quickly looked around and couldn’t see him in the small yard between our home and Dr. Bacon’s home.

“Where is he?” asked Barb, more alarmed, as she sped down the stairs.

“Honey, he was just right here!” I assured her.

“Not to worry, Barb. We’ll find him,” Rick exclaimed as he quickly stood.

I turned off the grill. “Rick, you take the driveway, and I’ll look behind the garage.”

Barb stripped off her apron and threw it on the steps. “I’ll take the apple orchard.”

I went out back and frantically looked behind the house. There was no Scott. I began to get distressed. I turned and searched behind the garage and looked down the back side of Hospital Hill—down to the recreation park. No Scott.

I could hear Rick and Barb calling for Scott. Their calls, like mine, were sounding more frantic by the moment.

I met Barb behind the garage. Her eyes reflected a storm of raw emotion—fear, anger, despair—as they filled with tears. I gave her a quick hug. “We’ll find him.”

Barb pulled away from me—looking at me in disbelief. I felt awful.

“Honey,” I told her, “you go search around Dr. Bacon’s house and I’ll go search around Dr. Bacon’s office.”

I quickly walked around our house and Dr. Bacon’s office. No Scott! Then I began to walk more quickly—out toward the street, where I ran into Rick.

“No luck!”

“Me either.”

“Rick, you take behind the hospital, and I’ll look behind Dr. Sale’s and Dr. Mathieson’s offices. We’ll meet at your house.”

“Sounds good, Walt.”

If we had only known what lay ahead.

As we separated, a Swain County sheriff’s car drove slowly between us toward the hospital. There was a man in the backseat—probably a prisoner headed to ER. We waved to the patrolman. He waved back. I was scared to death we’d have to call the sheriff or police at any moment. I berated myself for not watching Scott more closely.

I could again hear both Barb and Rick calling for Scott as we all frantically continued our search.

As I called for Scott, my pace quickened and my forehead began to break out in a cold sweat. I felt dreadful—awful—completely unqualified to be a father, unless you counted me as the worst father on earth. Why couldn’t I have kept a closer eye on him? Did someone take him? Would they hurt him? Was he hurt or crying out for his mom or me? How could I ever face Barb again? I was beginning to feel nauseated.

When I got to Rick’s house, Rick was coming up from behind the hospital. I could see the alarm on his face and the sweat on his brow. Our eyes met, and no words needed to be spoken.

Together we jogged back to the house. As we came up the driveway, Barb was sitting on the stairs panting.

There was no Scott on her lap.

When she saw us jogging empty-handed, she put her head between her knees and began to sob as Rick and I jogged up to her. Rick spoke first. “Barb and Walt, I think we should call the police.”

I nodded and Barb began to sob.



  1. Dead Man Standing (Part 1) (Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. Eyes Wide Open (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. Auspicious Accidents (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. Answered Prayers (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4)
  5. Rotary Luncheon
  6. Death by Emotion (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  7. The Invitation (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Barbecue and Bacon (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. A Touchy Subject
  10. Family Time (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. Chicken Pops(Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Swain County Football (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Hospital Politics (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. The Bobcat Attacks (Part 1)(Part 2)
  15. Dungeons and Apples
  16. A Tale of Two Surgeons (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  17. Tanned Feets (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  18. Wise Counsel (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. An Anniversary to Remember (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Mrs. Black Fox (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. The Littlest Cherokee (Part 1)(Part 2)
  22. Christmas Firsts (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. The Silver Torpedo
  24. Another New Year’s Catch
  25. Turned Tables
  26. Doctor Dad (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  27. The Phone Tap (Part 1), (Part 2)
  28. Labor Pains (Part 1), (Part 2)
  29. Staph and Staff (Part 1), (Part 2)
  30. The Ribbon Cutting
  31. Mountain Breakfast
  32. Walkingstick (Part 1), (Part 2)
  33. One Big Fish
  34. Memorial Day (Part 1); (Part 2)
  35. The Parade of the Century (Part 1)
  36. Lost Boy (Part 1); (Part 2)


  1. The Murder (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. The Arrival (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. The Hemlock Inn (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. The Grand Tour (Part 1)(Part 2)
  5. The Interview (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  6. Settling In (Part 1)(Part 2)
  7. First-Day Jitters (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Emergency (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. The Delivery (Part 1)(Part 2)
  10. The “Expert” (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. The Trial (Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Shiitake Sam (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Wet Behind the Ears (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. Lessons in Daily Practice (Part 1) — Anal Angina(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  15. White Lies
  16. The Epiphany (Part 1)(Part 2)
  17. Becoming Part of the Team (Part 1)(Part 2)
  18. Monuments (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. My First Home Victory (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Fisher of Men (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. Fly-Fishing (Part 1); (Part 2)
  22. Something Fishy (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. A Good Day at the Office
  24. An Evening to Remember
  25. Another New Doc Comes to Town
  26. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Part 1)(Part 2)
  27. A Surprising Gift
  28. The New Year (Part 1)(Part 2)
  29. The Home Birth (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  30. The Showdown (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  31. The Initiation (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  32. Home at Last (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2019. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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