No matter who you are or where you came from, if you grow up in North Carolina, you know the Andy Griffith Show. If your family has lived in North Carolina for as long as anyone cares to remember, odds are, you know the Andy Griffity Show very well. I've never lived anywhere else, and neither has my family, and Mayberry is only about an hour and a half away from my house. Therefore, the Andy Griffith Show is more like an old friend than a TV series.
I've been watching the show my whole life, and though it's not some people's cup of tea, it is one of my favorites. Recently, I was watching a scene where Andy, Opie, and Barney were sitting in the courthouse, and it was nighttime, and they were waiting for something...and I got the sudden notion that What if they were waiting for something much darker and more wicked than anything actually in the show? What if there was something in Mayberry, something not so light-hearted and nice, and Andy was the only person who could stop it?
Thus, this story was born.
I've tried to keep it as much like the regular show as possible, so nothing about the characters' personalities or anything is going to be changed dramatically. Same feel, different genre, that's all. I hope you all enjoy!...Oh, and if you catch something wrong with the timeline, please let me know. I have no idea exactly which years all of this would fit in, and I hate immense research. *hehe*

This journal belongs to: Opie Taylor

If found, return to courthouse in Mayberry, North Carolina, or to Aunt Bea at our house (except between 9 am and noon, because that's when she does her shopping).

April 16th, 1967

When I was a little boy, only about seven, my pa told me not to discuss police business with the public.

At that moment, he was talking about an uproar amongst the townsfolk, who were all saying the state police from the city of Raleigh had come in and all but taken Mayberry out from under Pa in order to catch (or try to catch, as it turned out) some big criminal who had escaped them and headed for our little town. Of course, in the end, Pa and my uncle, Barney, (the only) deputy of Mayberry, ended up catching the crook without any of the fancy talking or shiny weapons from the big city.

This is one of my earliest clear memories: sitting in the courthouse behind my pa's desk, playing with the gavel he always kept in the second drawer on the right (he's the local judge too, you know), ignoring the dark and unhappy looks from the state police captain, and waiting patiently for Pa to call in on the radio saying he and Barney had caught the villain. They'd do it empty-handed too, I knew.

Even then, with all the effort Pa went through to protect me from the truth, I knew he was a real hero.

He told me not to discuss police work with the people of the town. Even after he'd caught the man trying to escape in our leaky fishing boat on the lake, he'd warned me not to brag to my friends too much about it, because all that mattered was that the bad guy was caught and that nobody got hurt.

I did what Pa asked of me. I always did. I still do. Some fifteen-year-old boys are supposed to go through a rebellious stage, I've been told; seen it with my own eyes, too, in my friends. Not me, though; why should I rebel against my father, when he's only a few steps short of perfect? He's taught me everything I need to know, never talking down to me or disappointing me. Makes me feel kind of sorry for my friends, who all seem to have a pa and a ma, and still are unhappy.

When I was seven, I thought my pa was sheriff, judge, and justice of the peace of the little town of Mayberry, North Carolina.

I'm fifteen, and now I know that he's not just that.

My pa is the sixth generation in a long line of secret protectors of Mayberry, North Carolina, the little town where we all greet each other by name, the milkman leaves six glass bottles on our front porches every morning…

…and where mighty peculiar things lurk in secret.

Sometimes they're looking for something, and sometimes they just like to misbehave; some come to kill, some to play. Some of them hide in plain sight, while others sneak around in dark corners and inside walls. But they're all drawn here for some reason, and though the townspeople feel something in the air every day they can't put their fingers on, we all know—me, and Barney, and Aunt Bea, and Ms. Ellie—there's only one man clever enough to keep us all safe from the weird and sometimes scary creatures Mayberry attracts.

That man is my pa, Sheriff Andy Taylor.

To be continued