Authors: Ty Johnston
Tags: #horror, #murder, #serial, #series, #killer, #horror movie, #horror action adventure
Gloria slammed a backpack on the
ground. “That doesn’t seem fair.”
Fair, shmair,” Ken said with a
twinkle in his eyes. “Mary and I are the only couple. We need some
space to be alone.”
At these words, Mary’s face turned red
while Ken unlocked the first cabin before going around the side to
the next building.
Well, la di da,” Gloria said,
glancing to Mary. “Who would have thought little miss perfect over
here had it in her.”
Russ didn’t say a word but kept
unloading the Jeep. Lance didn’t say anything either, but he
couldn’t help from grinning like a crazy person.
Mary’s flush only turned
Ken reappeared. “Okay, let’s get this
stuff put away, then we can get started cleaning the
Lance looked up the sky. “It’s going
to be dark in couple of hours.”
Then we’d better get to it,” Ken
said. “I don’t want to sleep in dust tonight. Besides, the sooner
we get done, the sooner we can go down to the lake and start a
Great!” Russ said. He held up a small
plastic ice chest. “I brought hot dogs!”
a hot dog,” Lance said with a laugh as the group
went back to work.
Except for Gloria.
What about Abby?” she
Ken glanced to her as he lifted a
suitcase. “What about her?”
She’s not helping,” Gloria said. “I
don’t think that’s very fair.”
You don’t think anything’s fair,”
Even Russ let out a giggle at that
But Gloria didn’t move, and her face
became hard as stone as she stared at Ken.
Who stared right back. “Once we’re
packed away, Russ can go down to get her. Okay?”
I’m not unpacking her stuff,” Gloria
said, “and I’m not carrying it into our cabin.”
Letting out a sigh, Mary reached
around the other young woman and pulled a small pack from the Jeep.
“I’ll do it,” she said.
Ken glared from Gloria to Mary. “Good.
That’s settled. Now let’s get to work.”
Trundling down the trail of packed
dirt and gravel, Russ soon found himself walking faster than he
felt safe. There was a slight decline as the path made its way
through the trees, and the further he went the faster he
Finally he skidded on his tennis
shoes, coming to a halt as the path ended. Before him was a
beautiful sight, a picnic area with wooden benches and tables as
well as a couple of standing grills that looked as if they had not
been used in some while. On the other side of the clearing was the
lake, sparkling and bright with a short dock of gray wood extending
some little distance into the waters. The forest continued all
around the edges of the lake and more trees could be seen on the
far side, at least half a mile distant.
But there was no sign of Abby, his
purpose for being there.
Abby?” he called out.
Worry growing in the pit of his
stomach, Russ moved to the nearest table and leaned against it to
catch his breath. Looking around, he still saw no sign of his
Abby?” he called again.
There was nothing again for at least a
minute, but then a distant coughing noise came from along the shore
and further to the north.
Pushing away from the table, Russ
headed in that direction.
Abby?” he repeated.
Still there was no answer, but he did
not let that stop him. He moved down to the edge of the water and
saw there was a thin trail that appeared to run into the thickets
and trees. Following this path, he found it stayed near the water,
and he wondered if it ran all the way around the lake.
He had not gone far when he heard the
coughing noise again, this time closer.
Abby, is that you?”
Shit,” a familiar voice said,
followed by the sound of movement.
Pushing through some bushes, Russ
finally spotted her. She was hunched down beside a large rock, what
appeared to be a rolled cigarette in one hand while her other hand
waved away some smoke over her head.
There you are,” Russ said, coming
She didn’t look glad to see him, but
she stood and rubbed out her smoke against the big rock.
Why didn’t you come when I called
you?” he asked.
I was hiding,” she said, brushing
ashes from the legs of her black jeans and the lower half of her
Why were you hiding?”
Because of this.” She held up her
Russ leaned forward and sniffed, his
nose curling up. “It smells funny.”
That’s because it’s pot, you
Yeah, oh. I’m sure pretty girl and
little miss Christian would throw a fit if they knew what I was
doing, so I wanted to keep it to myself.”
Russ backed away, grinning. “Hey, it’s
no big deal. I won’t tell anybody.”
She glared at him a moment, then
stuffed the dead joint into a pocket. “You better not.” Then she
forced her way past him and took the trail back to the picnic
Russ followed right behind. “You know,
I saw that novel you were reading. If you want to take a look, I’ve
got some of King’s Dark Tower graphic novels with me.”
She spared a glance over a shoulder as
they came out near the dock. “Yeah? That might be cool. At least
give us something to do.”
They paused at the clearing, looking
out across the lake.
You mind if I ask a question?” Russ
You just did.”
You asked me a question.”
Oh, uh, okay.” His words fumbled.
“Can I ask another?”
Well, I was wondering,” he began.
“You don’t seem like the church-going type, no offense, and I’ve
only seen you at church a few times, so I’m wondering why you’re
She didn’t look at him, but continued
to stare out across the flickering waters. “I told you guys. I
wanted to get away.”
Away from what?”
She shrugged. “From life. From
everything. School. Nagging parents.”
Russ didn’t seem to know what to say.
While she stared at the lake, he stared at her.
Finally she turned around. For a
moment her eyes filled with bitterness as she saw his stare, but
then she shrugged it off and walked towards the path leading pack
to the cabins.
Let’s go,” she said. “It’ll be dark
Like a good puppy, Russ
Neither noticed the shadowy figure
watching them from the trees.
Where the hell have you two been?”
Ken asked as Russ and Abby strolled out of the woods, the larger of
the two breathing heavy from the uphill climb.
Abby pointed back the way they had
come. “Just checking things out down near the lake.”
There’s tables and a dock,” Russ
said, puffing between words. “Even standing grills for a
A grin spread across Ken’s lips, but
his eyes held a hint of mistrust. “You sure that’s all you saw down
Russ looked confused. “What else would
Maybe you saw Abby’s
Russ’s face turned red.
Abby snorted. “You wish.” Then she
marched away, heading towards the Jeep.
Mary already put your stuff in with
Gloria,” Ken said.
Abby turned and made a beeline for the
front cabin, vanishing inside.
Ken winked to the big guy. “Maybe it’s
your weekend to get lucky, Russ.”
All Russ could do was blush even
At this point Mary came out from the
counselors’ building, Russ’s ice chest hanging from one hand. “Mr.
Tucker has done a good job keeping these places up. We’ll hardly
have to do anything this weekend.”
Great!” Ken announced. He glanced up
to the sky, which had turned a deeper shade of blue. “Be dark in an
hour or so, and I’m hungry.”
Mary held up the ice chest. “I’ve got
the food. I heard what Russ said, and we could have hot dogs going
pretty soon once a fire is built.”
Let’s get to it, then,” Ken said,
turning to Russ. “Go get the others, and tell them to meet us down
by the lake.”
Sure,” Russ said, turning
Old man Tucker slammed the screen door
behind him as he stormed into his house. “Lord, have
He wanted to curse, to scream out the
most vile words he could think of, but he knew that would not be
God’s bidding. Instead, the old man stood in the middle of his
decrepit living room with its threadbare rug and its battered and
torn furnishings, and he spun around slowly while rubbing at his
Movement from the hallway caused him
Tucker looked up and glared at the
humongous figure in the shadows.
Those ... miscreants,” the old man
said, “with their filthy mouths and their pot smoking. Saw them
with my own eyes. They’ll be up to no good tonight for sure.
Probably having sex and up to all kinds of sin with their devil
metal music and their Satanic Dungeons and Dragons games. I know! I
saw it with my own eyes!”
He seemed to want to go on, but
suddenly his breathing came harsh and he gasped. Patting at his
chest, he moved to a rickety couch and plopped down.
After a few moments, he was able to
speak again. “Don’t worry about your old dad,” he said, holding his
chest. “I’ll be all right. It’s just those kids that get me all
riled up, and that new church that bought the land. Why couldn’t
they leave well enough alone? Why couldn’t they --”
The words stopped. Tucker’s eyes went
wide and his chest lurched. His hand above his heart twisted into a
claw and then it drooped over the arm of the couch to hang at the
Those brats,” he whispered between
trembling lips, “they get me so worked up.”
His eyes closed, and the hanging hand
twitched, and his body slumped down deeper into the
Never to move again.
In the shadows, the gigantic figure
loomed. Anyone listening might have thought they heard a brief,
sharp cry of anguish.
By the time darkness rolled over the
camp, the college students had finished putting away their gear and
had headed down to the lake with flashlights and oil lamps in
I don’t see any sign of a fire,” Ken
said, placing a wicker basket on top of one of the
Lance gave him a puzzled look. “We
haven’t started a fire yet.”
He means the fire from thirty years
ago,” Mary said, hanging lamps and placing plastic ware and paper
plates across a table.
There was a fire?” Russ asked,
helping Gloria with tearing open packs of hot dogs and
Ken smirked. “Yeah, the caretaker told
us about some kid getting burnt up in a fire at some building down
here. I don’t see any signs of it.”
It was thirty years ago,” Gloria
said. “What do you expect.”
Over here.” It was Abby who had
spoken. The group turned as a whole to where the girl in the dark
clothes sat on a bench to one side of the site. Next to her set one
of the lamps and the thick novel she had carried all
What are you talking about?” Ken
said, coming forward with a flashlight.
Here.” Abby pointed to the ground a
few feet in front of her, then off to the sides all around her. “If
you look, you can see remains of soot in the dirt. Must be from
Yeah, maybe,” Russ said, coming up
next to Ken. “It’s in kind of a squarish shape, so it could have
been a building.”
Ken snorted. “Bullshit. You guys don’t
know what it is.”
No, we don’t,” Abby said with hooded
eyes for Ken, “but we don’t not know, either.”