Nolan went around the house helping Mr. Randal. They had to set up chairs around the pool, get out the cooking equipment, get the leaves out of the pool and make sure everything was ready. Mr. Randal forgot some things at the store and sent Nolan’s dad to grab them with a handful of cash. Nolan stayed behind and dragged out the big pots and the propane burners, and then Nolan set up the pool. He moved all the outdoor furniture out from the stacks and spread it around the pool. Then Nolan got skimmer and started removing all of the leaves.
Mr. Randal didn’t seem to be doing much. He put some chemicals in the pool and got the crawfish back in the bag and carried outside. But mostly he was directing and encouraging Nolan. Most grown ups weren’t this nice and they sure didn’t tell you what a good job you were doing at things. Nolan felt like he and Mr. Randal were becoming friends. He was so fun to be around. Nolan never gave a thought to this being the early stages of grooming. He didn’t even know what grooming was, he’d never heard of grown ups that liked kids his age.
Nolan’s dad got back pretty soon and the timing all seemed to work out perfectly. Nolan got his work done and went to carry in groceries, then they got the pots filled up. One huge pot of water and one huge pot of oil went on the burners as people began to arrive at the house. Nolan knew these people from church, there were about 20 families and a handful of single young adults.
Everyone started swimming but Nolan was fascinated by the cooking. They would put the crawfish in the water alive! Mr. Randal said to listen closely and you could hear a little scream as they went into the water. A little pack of kids was trying to listen for it and then pretending to be freaked out as they heard the crawfish scream. There were fries and hush puppies in the other pot and few fresh fish. There was a lot of corn and potatoes cooking in the water with the crawfish and it all smelled so amazing. Everyone who helped with the cooking, had the first chance to snack as the food came out.
No one knew that Mr. Randal was doing this to see which kids from the church he could target. No one knew that Nolan was moving up his list. But God was watching and He began to stir up a plan to help Nolan. Mr. Randal wasn’t the only predator there that day. Nolan’s friend from Sunday school, Tyrone’s dad was also a child predator. He would never attack his own children but he stayed involved in the children’s activities to find targets.
There were also different kinds of predators. For example, Nolan’s friend the janitor was a former mobster in witness protection. He was an FBI informant and a murderer, and the FBI the owned him. There was also a new young couple in the church who were sent in by the Satanists to infiltrate the church. They were on the prayer list for the bride of Satan lady that the church was trying to protect. They were the ones who told everyone what house she had been moved to each time. There was a lot going on behind the scenes at this little pool party.