Chapter 10 – Crossing over
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
I’ve been silent most of the day, overthinking possible tricks to get Angie to haunt me tonight. First of all, I will sleep at home, on my own, while Davy still sleeps in Annika’s room, Cory joining them for the night, and Edward is planning on sleeping in the same room as his younger brother Stefan.
I told them I’d be fine. That it wouldn’t matter anyway and that I’ll be okay – now that we know she just wants to play hide and seek.
They all have a theory that as long as there’s a person without an attachment in the room, she won’t visit.
Let’s hope they’re right, and she will come to me since they have someone in the room without an attachment.
And I won’t.
And I removed the knife I kept in my room, putting it in the laundry room after mom went to bed. I do not want to scare her off in any way.
I dress up comfortable and pull the cover up until my chin. I mess around with my phone because I’m not tired yet, I twist and turn, awaiting the sleep to take over, getting highly annoyed because it won’t take over fast enough for my likings.
I think it’s past midnight, and the time leaves Monday far behind by now, but I finally start to feel sleepy enough for my eyes to close slowly while my thoughts are still racing through my thoughts.
I hear the clock tick every second, I hear the wind rustling the leaves of the tree behind our house, I hear my dad’s snoring. I hear a cracking sound I can’t explain and I have to keep myself from opening my eyes.
My heart is thumping in my chest, as loud for me to hear every beat, not just feeling it.
There’s a sound of an owl, and another crack, but then the sounds fade away and I feel myself drift off. I’m not asleep, but not completely awake either, when I hear the by now familiar giggle of Angie.
I want to open my eyes but drift off further. Once I drifted of far enough to dream, I find myself in a dark, and what seems like an empty room.
I blink a couple of times, my heartbeat now racing, my breathing the only sound I can hear at first. But as I focus, I can hear a little girl cry and I frown, taking a look around the room as my eyes slowly start to get used to the dark. I can tell the room is like a wooden cabin, and there’s the outlines of a table and two chairs on my right. There’s what seems like a small kitchenette in the far-right corner, and a closet in the left.
I jump and scream as I look to my left, finding Angie standing right beside me. She smiles, but it’s a sad smile.
“I like you, Sid,” she tells me with a simple voice. “I think you want to listen.”
“I mostly want answers,” I respond, again looking around the room as soon as I recovered from the jump-scare she gave me. “And it would be great if you would stop scaring the living daylight out of me.”
She giggles shortly, and then I feel her hand around my wrist, squeezing lightly. “You’re funny. And your girlfriend is pretty.”
“You can see Annika?” I frown, now a bit worried. “Are you haunting her too?”
She shakes her head and stares towards the ground. “Girls aren’t brave enough.”
“But you could if you want to?” Am I really having a conversation with Angie? About my girlfriend? “Why are you haunting me and my friends?”
“Because you’re brave.”
“I’m not brave.” I snort and roll my eyes. “I’m scared of a little nine-year-old girl…”
“You went into the woods that night. All the way to the lake,” she tells me with a smile. “And you know there’s lots of people who never made it out of the woods.”
“And you’re one of them.”
She swallows and nods, again a sad expression on her face. “Nobody ever found me.”
“Is that why you want us to play hide and seek?” I ask her, trying to ignore the sound of a crying girl in the background.
She nods again, at the brim of tears. “Mommy and daddy never found out what happened.”
“Then why not haunt them and tell them?”
“And scare the living daylight out of them?” She frowns and I can’t help but chuckle because she used my choice of words. “Besides, I can only haunt those who I meet in the woods.”
“So, you can’t haunt Annika if you would want to?”
“I can’t, no. I can’t appear outside the woods without already knowing a person’s mind. I know your deepest thoughts, Sid. I know you want answers. And I like Annika because she thinks I’m not a bad person. Which I’m not.”
“And your parents are still alive?”
“I think so. I know my brother died. Because I felt it when he died.”
“You still remember them?”
She nods again, now pretending to balance on top of a beam, using a small floorboard. “I miss them. And I’d like to think they miss me too.”
“And where are we right now?”
“Hunter’s lodge.” She stops balancing. “I wanted to show you where to seek.”
I’ve heard stories about hunter’s lodge. People never felt at ease here. Back in the days – and with that I mean years and years ago – people used to haunt in these woods, and Hunter’s lodge was their resting place. A small wooden cabin in the middle of the woods where they could spend the night in one of the two small bedrooms. There’s a direct path towards the lodge, but since nobody ever came here in the past years, it’s probably mainly overgrown; nature claiming back what humans once took from her.
Hunter’s lodge appears in lots of ghost stories and some people claim that the ghost stories – mainly told by camp fires – about Hunter’s lodge are based on true events.
How a guy got decapitated by another hunter because he stole his food.
How a guy shot himself because he lost his mind over something, other’s trying to stop him from doing so.
How best friends hunting together fell out and never spoke again, all because one attacked the other in the middle of the night.
There’s numerous claims of ghost sightings, while weird sounds and an awful smell were signature signs that Hunter’s Lodge was close by.
The lodge was closed and locked down somewhere around the second wave of six kids going missing mid seventies.
Three of the kids’ bodies where found close by this lodge while the other three were never found, despite repeated attempts to find them and the kids who went missing years before.
In total, only 10 out of 25 kids were ever found, and in two cases they only found one single bone that were recently discovered to be theirs by DNA.
“Hunter’s lodge? In the middle of Miller woods?” My voice trembles and I can feel fear getting a grip on my breathing. The thought alone of being in the Miller Woods – even if it’s just a dream – freaks me out. Let alone being inside Hunter’s Lodge. “Am I going to wake up here in real life too?”
She shakes her head. “You’re aware of the dream. I can’t make you sleep walk. I’ve tried so many times with Cory… But he’s not as brave. Davy is, though. He doesn’t scream or cry.”
“Cry? Who cries? Does Cory cry?”
“Kim did, at first. Now she’s just a loony. But she’s just really annoying and I don’t like to visit her. She… kills me. She’s not nice at all.”
“I tried to kill you several times.”
She stares at me with wide eyes. “No! You just held a knife. I don’t think you would, would you? Would you kill me? You know it hurts to be stabbed?” She blabbers on, tears now rolling down her cheeks, making me feel shitty because I made the ghost of a nine-year-old cry for a second time.
“No, Angie… I wouldn’t… I would’ve done that by now, right?”
“Are we friends?” she asks in between sobbing.
“Yes! Yes, we could be friends!” I hold up my hands as if in surrender. “Please don’t cry.”
“Will you help me?” She wipes the tears away with her dirty sleeve, staring at me with puppy eyes, still glistening with tears. “Help me go home?”
“I’m not going into those woods again.” I groan, knowing I will lose my mind if I ever go back into the woods again.
“I could protect you if you do.” She cocks her head, her eyes now filled with curiosity. “And I’ll guide you in your dreams, so that you know where to go to. We’ll do it over and over again until you memorize the shortest route.”
“No, Angie…” I cry out in fear. “I can’t… I…” I shake my head to put some force behind my words. “Isn’t it enough to show me in my dreams? I’ll even find your parents and tell them…”
“No! You have to find me! You promised to seek me!” She calls out, suddenly angry. “You. Promised. Me!” She stomps her feet on the ground and the whole lodge starts shaking as if there’s an earthquake going on. The cabinets in the kitchen fly open and plates and cups start falling down, clattering around on the floor, shattering to pieces. The crying disappears, making place for a bone-chilling scream of fear, while Angie keeps stomping her feet.
“Angie! Stop it!” I shout at her, scared shitless because of her mood swing, knowing she can easily hurt me again if I piss her off too much.
“You promised! She screams at me, pointing her finger towards me. “Never break a promise, Sid Hayes.”
Her voice is icy cold, distant, angry and it causes goose bumps on my skin and my heart to skip at least a couple of beats.
And then the world shifts like it did the night before, going black.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
I sit up right in by bed, trying to catch my breath. I’m covered in sweat, my heart trying to beat out of my chest, while I’m shivering in fear. I close my eyes and focus on my breathing, but I open them again as I feel a draft that confuses me, as I didn’t open my window far enough to feel a draft all the way in my bed.
I turn to look towards the window, noticing it’s wide open and the curtains are spookily waving in the wind, while the moonlight shine a bright light onto the mirror, that is on the right side wall.
There’s words written on it with what looks like blood.
My eyes widen in shock, reading the words that are written in crimson red:
‘Hide, seek, find.’
“No fucking way.” I can’t look anywhere else then towards the mirror, shocked, confused, maybe a bit scared.
“Never break a promise, Sid.” Angie still sounds pissed, and I yelp as I notice her in the opposite corner of the room, next to the window.
“You… You… Am I still dreaming?” I blink and rub my tired eyes, opening them to find an empty room, now frowning in confusion.
The words on the mirror are gone, though the window is still open.
Is my mind playing tricks on me?
Am I really losing my mind?
It’s no surprise I can’t fall asleep after that, simply because I’m a bit restless for angering Angie.
But how can she expect me to go back into those woods?
She said she would protect me, so she definitely hinted that I’d be needing protection if I were to ever get back into those woods.
Something out there did haunt us, and perhaps the only reason we managed to get out, is because of Angie.
Which, if it were to be true, makes me feel shitty for not wanting to help her.
I do understand she wants me to find her body – or whatever is left of it – in those woods. She sought the brave, and apparently, we met her standards.
And then it dawns me, Cory spoke of him being in a cabin in Miller woods this summer, getting there through a tunnel.
Was Angie trying to show me where the tunnel leads to?
But what good would it be for her to show me the end of a tunnel, without showing me where exactly to find the entrance?
I know the entrance is in the old Mill just outside of town.
Is Hunter’s Lodge the cabin Cory spoke about?
If that is the case, then I’m definitely sure I’m never going to go into that tunnel, ever.
Not that I would now, but in that case I’m 100% positive I’m going to get into big trouble once I get through the tunnel.
But how do I get it clear to Angie that I’d be risking my life if I were to try and help her?
Besides, I promised to play hide and seek, not to actually find her, or go into those woods, right?
Then, suddenly, there’s a stronger wind blowing in the room, messing up pages on my desk, blowing one right towards me.
I stare down at it, finding a note in a strangely familiar handwriting.
I peek towards the mirror, but find nothing there, focusing back on the note.
If you won’t help me, I won’t help you.
And now, what does she mean by that?
I frown, having a really bad feeling about this, and her stupid little threat.
What if I’m in trouble, simply because I really scared Angie away?
What if Annika was right, and Angie isn’t the main problem?
And as I stare at the note on my lap, I notice something moving around in my room.
And I can’t describe it other than a black mass that is crawling from my windowsill, towards my desk, down onto the floor. And as it starts to shift towards my bed, I sit frozen in my spot, completely still because of shock and fear, watching in horror how the black mass crawls closer, the sounds of creaking floorboards sounding underneath it, inching closer and closer to me.
I want to move, I want to run, but I can’t find the strength in me.
And as it rises from the floor right in front of me, I feel as if I’m sucked into a space where I feel every fibre in my body being squeezed together and I simply scream while the black mass engulfs me, swallowing me in it.
There’s no sounds, there’s literally nothing for a moment, and then I’m back in bed, with Angie seated on my window sill.
“Will you, or will you not help me?”