Amanda’s ordeal with her nightmare is over, or is it?
Returning to Tony’s apartment, Amanda finds herself scared of every shadow and noise. The storm outside doesn’t help her shaken mood, so she decides to stay over at Tony’s place for the night. Her fear is tolerable until she goes to bed, where she finds that nightmare mixes with reality and both strain the limits of her sanity.
Chapter 1READ MORE
Both Tony and Amanda mulled over what they had been told by the old man. Amanda for her part reminisced over the ancientness of the creature. The original settlers had encountered it from the first existence of that cabin, and the natives had warned against trespassing on that lonely, desolate ground. That cabin where the wind mournfully howled and the floor boards creaked with warning of some very old monster. Those thoughts caused a shiver to rock her body and she wrapped her arms around herself. She kept going back to the attack, and when she had faltered in her struggles against the thing’s advances. There was no way she could forgive herself for giving in, and no way she could tell Tony about everything that had happened.
Tony’s thoughts were stuck on those people who went missing. He just couldn’t see why whatever it was up there hadn’t done the same to Amanda. His eyes glanced over to Amanda, who was still deep in thought. She was a normal enough girl. Not perfect, but definitely not bad. Someone maybe he planned to marry in a year or two if they kept together, but he couldn’t fathom why the creature would want to make out with her and then let her leave. She didn’t even have a scratch on her except for the cuts she’d gotten from the window, while that thing had apparently dragged others down or away to some god-awful fate.
“That was some story, wasn’t it?” he finally spoke up. The silence between them was getting more uneasy by the minute. She nodded her head, but her face was still turned away from him and out the passenger side window. “You ever hear anything about this when you were looking up about the cabin?” Amanda gave a small, bitter laugh.
“The owners probably weren’t going to tell anybody about all this stuff,” she pointed out. “And I didn’t find anything in the records about anything the guy just told us.” Tony found her comment very interesting.
“So maybe he made it all up,” her boyfriend quietly mused aloud to himself. “I guess he could have, but he certainly believed everything he was telling us. You could see it whenever he started telling the bad parts about those people being taken. He wasn’t being all dramatic by dropping his voice too far, but saying it hesitantly like there really was this big secret he shouldn’t be telling.” Then Tony suddenly snapped his fingers and that startled Amanda out of her deep thoughts. She jumped in her chair while a grin spread out across her boyfriend’s lips. “Maybe that’s why you didn’t find anything about all those tales! It’s like some sot of a secret, like a Children of the Corn meets some old horror story!”
“I think you’ve been reading too much books and watching too many movies,” Amanda commented. She also didn’t want to think about her experience being connected to incidents which frightened her even more because of their horrifying imagery. Now ghosts and goblins danced through her mind, and she shook her head to get them out. “And I don’t think telling me I’m that special to have those comparisons isn’t exactly a compliment.”
“You’re relationship with that thing you saw is pretty special, isn’t it?” he brought up. She didn’t like how eager he was with the whole incident. It was like he wanted to brush aside the horror of it and try to solve the mystery, as if she hadn’t had enough consequences from the ordeal. “Damn, I forgot to ask that old guy if there’d been any survivors like you.”
“I think we heard enough from that guy, and definitely enough about that thing. I don’t want to hear any more about it for as long as I live,” she told him. She turned away from him again and he suddenly heard her sniffle. That’s when he realized how much of a selfish, heartless jerk he’d been.
“I didn’t mean it like you’re taking it, honest,” he promised her. Tony wasn’t quite sure how she was taking it, but it must have been badly. She kept giving him the cold shoulder. “Come on, Amanda, you know I’m just wondering all this stuff because I want to figure it out for you.” That was a partial truth. He was also curious in his own right. The minute they got back to his place and he had some alone time, he was going to start looking on the internet for information on that place.
Amanda sighed and her shoulders slumped.
“I know, I guess I’m just so tired after going up there and then listening to what that guy had to say.”
“And seeing the place,” Tony added. He remembered quite clearly how terrified she’d been of the lonely building. She had looked like a scared rabbit about ready to bolt at any moment. He was curious about what she’d felt up there, though, and if it was the same as that eerie feeling of wrongness that he’d noticed. “So what did you feel up there, anyway? That thing again or something different?”
“It was that thing again, but I…I think it was stronger.” Amanda hated to admit it to herself, but she swore the thing had been trying to draw her back in through that cavernous door. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. You said we were just going to go up there and then forget about it.”
“That was before I knew there was this big a mystery,” he defended his curiosity. She scowled at his broken promise. The change in circumstances didn’t sway her from keeping him to his word. He sighed and nodded. “Fine, fine, no more about this for today. When you’ve had a few days to sleep it off, maybe then you’ll feel better about talking it over.”
“I doubt it,” she grumbled, but at least for now she’d gotten her way.
“So where were you wanting to stay, anyway?” Tony asked her. “After that-which-should-not-be-spoken-about, were you wanting me to drop you off at your home or have you stay at my place.”
Amanda paled at the thought of being alone in her apartment. She lived a couple blocks down from Tony in one of the less fashionable but cheaper sections of town. The neighborhood was quiet, but right now she didn’t want that. She wanted to hear the noises of human life so she could block out the memories of that thing, at least until she fell asleep.
“Can I stay with you?” she pleaded, and he laughed.
“Of course. It’s not like I’m going to refuse a pretty lady sleeping in my apartment.” Tony gave her a wink, but she couldn’t return the gesture. She knew he wanted some fun time with her, but she couldn’t muster up the energy to do anything other than go to sleep once they got back. Her boyfriend noticed her long face and realized any fun time was put on hold. That would at least give him time to look on the internet while she took a break. “Or maybe you can just stay in the extra bedroom. Would that work?”
“I’m sorry about spoiling your plans. I’m just too tired to do anything but collapse when we get back.” He brushed aside her worries with one hand.
“No problem. I’ll just get us something to eat from one of the fast-food places, we eat when we get back and then you take a break. There’s some stuff I wanted to do anyway.”