Authors: Ty Johnston
Tags: #horror, #murder, #serial, #series, #killer, #horror movie, #horror action adventure
The girls stopped their screaming, but
they continued to sniffle as they moved towards the
Holy fuck,” Lance said, his breathing
coming hard. “What are we going to do?”
Ken took charge. He looked around the
clearing, flashing his light. When nothing untoward presented
itself, he turned to Lance.
We get the hell out of here is what
we do,” he said, reaching inside his pocket. “I’ve got the keys to
the Explorer. Let’s go.”
Before he could move to the trail back
up to the cabins and the vehicles, Gloria asked, “Where are we
going to go?”
And what about Russ and Abby?” Mary
Ken paused, looking back at his
friends. “We’ll go straight to the police. I saw a state troopers’
office just as we got off the highway.”
Man, that’s thirty miles away,” Lance
said, shaking his head.
Ken lost his cool. “That’s all I know
to do. Our phones are out, so we’ve got to do something, and the
longer we stand around here in the dark the better our chances are
of being picked off by this psycho.”
Ken grabbed Mary by a hand and pulled
her along as he trudged up the incline leading to the
Psycho?” Gloria asked, following
after the other two, Lance right behind.
Who else could it be?” Ken said,
huffing slightly from the gentle climb. “Probably that Tucker guy.
He looked like a serial killer to me. Probably has bodies all over
these woods. No wonder nobody has camped here in years.”
But Russ?” Gloria asked from
And Abby?” Mary added.
There’s nothing we can do for them
now,” Russ said, still moving. “We’ll have to let the cops deal
Maybe Abby is okay,” Mary
I kind of doubt that,” Lance
Doesn’t matter.” Ken brought them out
of the woods and off the trail into the area between the cabins and
next to the vehicles. “We’ve got to think of ourselves first. If
Abby is still out there, her best chance is for us to get the
Then let’s get the hell out of here,”
They ran forward, separating into two
groups, Gloria and Lance on the passenger side of the Explorer,
Mary and Ken on the other side.
Handing off his flashlight to Mary,
Ken lifted the keys, inserting one into the lock.
Then he caught himself.
Wait,” he said.
What?” Lance said.
For God’s sake, get us out of here,”
Gloria nearly screamed.
Ken pulled out the keys and looked to
the others. “I forgot something.”
What the hell is it?” Lance
Come on.” Ken turned and sprinted
towards the counselors’ cabin.
Crap!” Lance took off after him, the
girls right behind.
At the entrance, Ken paused only long
enough to throw the door open and to reach inside and flip on a
light switch. A ceiling lamp revealed a comfortable front room, a
thick rug on the floor, comfy furniture made of logs and covered
with plenty of pillows, an old television on a stand against one
wall, and Ken and Mary’s packs resting atop a couch next to another
Ken shot across the room to the
Right behind him, Lance and Mary and
Gloria entered the room.
What are you looking for that’s so
important?” Gloria asked.
This.” Ken pulled a hand from his
pack to hold up a large, silvered pistol.
Holy jeez, man, where did you get
that?” Lance asked.
And why did you bring it with you?”
Ken shrugged. “I always take it with
me on trips. My dad gave it to me when I was a teenager.” He
flipped off the safety and pulled on the slide, jacking in a
Lance laughed, but it lacked humor.
“At least I’m glad you’ve got it.”
Okay, okay,” Gloria said, near
frantic, “but now can we get out of here?”
For some while, Mary had been quiet,
but now she spoke up. “What about Mr. Tucker?”
What about him?” Ken asked. “He’s
probably the one who killed Russ, and probably Abby,
We don’t know that,” Mary said. “He
might be up there alone. Or he might be hurt. Or maybe he even has
a phone. We didn’t think to ask.”
She’s got a point,” Lance said.
“There might be a land line.”
No.” Gloria stamped a foot on the
wood floor.”No, no, no. We get the hell out of here and we do it
now. We don’t stop for anything.”
I think she’s right, guys,” Ken said,
passing his friends and approaching the still open front door.
“We’ve got to think of ourselves first.”
He turned to exit, the pistol up
A heavy, meaty noise sounded and he
stopped, swaying on his feet.
Ken?” Mary asked.
Slowly, as if it took all his energy,
Ken turned around. An axe head had been struck into his stomach,
the handle sticking out to one side. Blood poured down and
intestines bulged where the thick steel had been imbedded through
For the longest moment, Ken could only
look down at his wound. Everyone else seemed frozen by the sight.
Then slowly, gradually, he looked up, his gaze a mixture of fear
Mary?” he said.
Then he collapsed, the gun and axe
crunching beneath him.
Gloria and Mary shrieked, cringing
away while Lance stood like a stone, his jaw hanging.
The steady drum of footsteps came to
their ears from outside.
Lance blinked and spun to the girls.
“Out the back!” He pointed to the inner door next to the
The gun!” Gloria pointed to Ken’s
Lance glanced toward his dead friend
between him and the open door and took a step in that direction,
then a shadow loomed outside.
Screw that! Let’s go!” He ushered the
girls towards the back door.
The three piled out the back of the
building, finding themselves knee deep in grass and weeds, the moon
and the flashlight in Mary’s hands showing a dirt path off to their
Gloria grabbed Lance by an arm. “The
keys! The keys to the cars.”
Slamming the door closed behind them,
he took the flashlight from Mary. “Screw that. I’m not going back
Footsteps once more sounded, this time
from inside the cabin. Each step was slow, steady and heavy,
pounding at their ears and at their hearts.
Gloria became more frantic, nearly
clawing at her checks with her fingernails. “What are we going to
Mr. Tucker’s,” Mary said, pointing to
the dirt path. “It’s our only choice.”
She’s right,” Lance said, grabbing
Mary by a hand as he lead the way towards the trail.
When Gloria didn’t follow, the pair
stopped and looked back at her. She stood there running her hands
through her hair, her eyes wide and full of tears and fright. It
was obvious Gloria had reached her breaking point, that she could
run no more, that it was beyond her.
The cabin footsteps were louder, just
the other side of the door.
Come on,” Lance said to Gloria with a
wave of his flashlight.
We’ve got to get the keys,” Gloria
said, her voice dulled. “It’s the only way.”
Are you out of your mind?” Lance
But Gloria never got the chance to
answer. The back door burst open, nearly broken from its hinges,
and a dark form seemingly the size of a bear sprang forth, wrapping
long, muscled arms around Gloria, enveloping her as she screamed,
and pulling her back into the cabin’s darkness.
Lance and Mary did not wait around.
They turned and took off as fast as they could up the path, though
they hesitated when they heard a last, pain-filled cry come from
the counselors’ cabin.
Poor Gloria,” Mary said,
Lance didn’t allow time for further
crying. He tugged her along and the two of them charged forward
across packed earth.
Breathing heavy from all their
exertion, they came out of the woods in front of the ramshackle
home of Mr. Tucker, as before the front door open behind a
Is this it?” Lance asked with a
Mary only nodded, then they ran
Stopping outside the entrance, Lance
used the flashlight to bang away at the wooden frame around the
screen door. “Mr. Tucker! Are you there?”
The sound of the forest at night was
the only answer, the muted cackle of distant birds, insects
chittering away beneath the underbrush.
Lance hit the door again. “Is there
anybody in there?”
Still, no response.
Lance looked to Mary, both of them
shaking and nervous.
What do you think?” he
I ... I don’t know,” she said. “I’m
afraid to look.”
I know what you mean,” he said, “but
even if something has happened to him, we’ve got to look. Maybe
there’s a phone, or even a gun. All these old guys have shotguns or
hunting rifles, don’t they?”
All Mary could do was shrug as the
tears continued down her face.
Seeing he could get no real answer
from her, Lance faced the door again, reached out and eased it
open. The hinges squealed as if they had not been oiled in
Mr. Tucker,” he said again, though he
didn’t expect an answer, and he didn’t receive one.
Giving a nervous glance back the way
they had come, and seeing no immediate threat, Lance pulled Mary
inside and closed the screen door.
Letting go of her hand and flashing
the light around, he found themselves in a worn living room with
ancient carpet and cheap, battered furniture. Shining the light
around, he also found a giant floor television set like something
out of the fifties. Moving the light around further, they found a
It was Tucker. He was sitting on a
couch with torn cushions, his mouth hanging open, his eyes closed
but facing straight ahead while one of his arms hung over to one
Weird,” Lance said, easing forward in
slow steps and never taking the flashlight off the waxen sheen of
the dead man’s face.
What ... what’s weird?” Mary
Lance stopped in front of Mr. Tucker.
“He doesn’t look like he’s been hacked or stabbed or anything. He
just looks ... dead.”
Like from natural causes.”
Looks that way.”
Mary came up next to Lance, wrapping
an arm with his. “Could it be coincidence?”
I don’t know,” Lance said. “Should we
turn him over. Maybe he got stabbed in the back.”
There’s no blood, not that I can
Backing away, leaving Mary with the
body, Lance shined the light around the room some more. “Maybe
we’ll never know what happened to him, but we’ve got to find a
phone, or a gun.”
Tucker,” Mary said, standing
motionless and staring at the dead man.
Lance turned the light on her. “What
did you say?”
Tucker,” Mary said. “I’m starting to
It was that old story, that old
tragedy,” she said. “Remember me telling you about it?”
You mentioned something today, but
what’s that got to do with --”
She cut him off. “Tommy Tucker. That
was the kid’s name. I just now remembered it.”
The one who was burned up in that
fire thirty years ago.”
Lance looked none the wiser. “I’m
sorry, Mary, but I’m not following you. Look, there’s no telling
when that psycho will --”
The front window exploded inward,
glass and wood sailing like shrapnel throughout the room as a heavy
object flopped from outside onto the floor.