Chapter 15 – Search [D]
Wednesday, October 6th, 2016
“Davy!” I’m heavily shaken by two hands and suddenly I’m no longer in the tunnel with Sid and Angie as excitement was nearly getting the best of me for finding a way into the woods. “Dave!”
It’s Annika’s panicky voice that makes me open my eyes, to find her staring at me in horror, tears on her face.
“What?” I grumble, pushing her to get her to let go. “I’m awake, what’s going on?”
“Sid… he’s gone…” She looks backwards to the bed. “I can’t find him anywhere in the house…” She starts crying again and I search the room but am unable to find Angie.
“Angie’s gone too… Did they leave together?”
“How am I supposed to know!” Annika hisses in anger. “I don’t get to see Angie, And Sid was already gone when I woke up. Dave, I’m worried. He’s been acting off ever since you guys went into the woods and that talking about the black mass… that shadowy thing… What if something’s wrong?”
I nod, telling her I understand why she’s freaking out. Why did Sid leave? And he was in my dream and he was actively talking to me. That means he must have been asleep until Annika woke me up, or even still.
I’m not sure how any of this works and I just like to go with the flow and let Angie tell us what we need to do to solve these issues.
But now Sid is gone and that fact kind of freaks me out.
Angie suddenly enters the room through the wall, kind of scaring the shit out of me. As I catch my breath and Annika follows my gaze, quickly understanding Angie scared me, she speaks up.
“Sid’s not in the house and I can’t find him…” She’s on the brim of tears. “I can’t locate him and I always could… I always knew…”
“Where do you think he went?”
“There’s only one logical explanation,” she whispers, her words heavy with fear. “It happened once with Cory, and I was surprised about it… I’m not sure how I got him to do so, but he sleepwalked when I showed him the tunnel in his dream. He wasn’t aware it was a dream… What if Sid wasn’t aware and he did the same?”
“No, Ang!” I call out, grabbing my hair in frustration. “If what you’re saying is true, Sid is in that tunnel…”
“And already underneath the forest… we were almost at the end…” Angie’s eyes widen.
“What do you mean, ‘Sid is in that tunnel’?” Annika grabs my collar and shakes me angrily. “Don’t tell me Sid is actually in that tunnel! Don’t tell me he is in the woods, all by himself.”
“I’m going there, right now.” Angie firmly speaks up. “I have to protect him, I have to find him…”
“Wait, we’ll follow.”
Angie shakes her head quickly. “I’ll be back before you know. Give me a couple of minutes to explore the tunnel. If Sid is in there, I’ll come and get you to guide you.”
I swallow, but nod, and watch her vanish into thin air.
“Davy…” Annika cries out, and I pull her in a protective hug. “Where are we following her to?”
“Angie is searching the tunnel right now…” I whisper, caressing her back to calm her down as good as possible. “As soon as she located Sid, she’ll bring us to him.”
“I’m scared, Dave,” Annika whispers, pulling back from my hold to look at me. “Things are getting out of hand…”
“We need to solve this. And Angie seems really invested in protecting Sid. I think she has a little ghost crush on him,” I jokingly tease Annika – who is still insecure about Sid’s feelings, even after three years. It’s a futile attempt to lighten the mood a bit. “We better get dressed so that we’re ready when Angie is going to guide us.”
Annika nods and while she gets dressed in her room, I headed to my own to put on the right clothes to crawl through a tunnel and head into the woods, yet again.
And then we wait for what feels like hours, but in reality, it’s no longer then ten minutes before Angie shows up again, shocked expression on her face.
“Where is he? Did you find him? I demand her to tell me what she found.
“He’s in the cabin… he made it through the tunnel. But he’s unconscious or asleep, I’m not sure… but I can’t wake him up, I can’t communicate so I think he’s actually unconscious.”
“Guide us there, Angie. Now.” I tell her, getting up from my seat and gesturing Annika to follow me.
We sneak out of the house and I notice it’s around five in the morning. We have to be back in two hours. But I’m not going back until I found Sid and made sure he’s okay.
I don’t care what the consequences are, I need to help my best friend.
We don’t talk while we’re hurrying through town, leaving it behind to go over to the abandoned mill all the way on the other side of town and slightly outside of town. It’s about half an hour walk and now I just wish we would’ve taken our bikes.
But Annika said we shouldn’t because leaving the bikes by the mill could alarm people that we’re in there.
They could force us out before we got to the tunnel.
Before we got to Sid.
So, we decided on walking and Angie told us she would meet us at the Mill as soon as we get there, meanwhile keeping an eye on Sid.
I wish she would report to me every so often, and I truly hope she will come and tell me once he wakes up.
I haven’t exactly told Annika about his current state and there’s images flashing through my mind of his state.
And I keep wondering why he went into the cabin while Angie and I were no longer there. Why didn’t he turn around and get the hell out of there?
As soon as we walk inside the building that Angie guided me and Sid to, Angie appears in front of me.
“He’ snot doing great, Dave. We have to hurry.” Angie is again showing signs of fear and she’s about to cry. I wonder what it looks like to see a ghost cry.
Though that shouldn’t be my main focus right now.
“Let’s go.” I grab Annika’s wrist and pull her towards the stairs, down into the basement and to the side where the boxes are supposed to be stacked in front of the hatch. But it’s open and I assume it’s because Sid already made his way through.
“Cory once left it like this…” Angie whispers as an explanation. “Sid only had to open the hatch to get in. We should put the boxes back as soon as we get Sid out there. That way none of you can easily get in again…”
I nod, and follow Angie through the hatch, crawling for the first two meters, descending the ladder to get into the actual tunnel. Annika follows close behind me.
“Do you and Annika get to connect as soon as we’re in the woods?”
Angie bites her lip and nods, though she doesn’t seem as exited about that right now.
“Do we?” Annika asks while we’re hurrying through the tunnel, her holding my arm constantly.
“She nodded, so I guess so.” I answer, picking up more speed because this is taking to damn long. Sid has been in there on his own for at least an hour by now.
I know stories of some of the kids that went missing. Parents who lost track of them for even seconds and their kids never returned. Sid’s been in there on his own for an hour, so I’m not sure in what state we’ll be finding him.
“Are we nearly there?” Annika nervously asks, jumping all of the sudden, grabbing her neck. “Auch!”
“Sorry…” Angie drawls awkwardly. “We’re below the woods now… I have to attach…” She explains, and I smirk at Annika, before pulling her back into movement. “We’re halfway. Angie scratched you. She has to.”
“Does that mean we’re in the woods?” Annika’s voice trembles and she squeezes my arm painfully. “Where’s she?”
“Tell her she can’t see me until I visited her in her dreams and she’s open to it.”
“You’ll have to dream first…” I tell her, feeling the need to run, suddenly noticing that the in dust covered floor, has a larger part that isn’t covered in dust at all.
And then, looking further, I find fabrics on the ground that seems like they’ve been ripped off of some clothes. And they match the colour of the shirt Sid was wearing when we went to bed. “Sid…” I whisper in shock, sharing a look with Annika, before we both start running as fast as we can.
“Sid!?” Annika cries out desperately wanting to hear a response coming from him, not getting one at all.
I’m completely out of breath once we get view of a door, and its merely adrenaline and worry over Sid that helps me to run even faster, calling out his name to alarm him we’re here, to hopefully get a response.
We bust through the door, stumbling out, staring at Sid, laying on the floor in foetal position.
“Sid!” Annika and I call out in unison, both kneeling beside him. There’s indeed pieces of the hem of his shirt that got ripped, There’s a large scratch on the side of his neck, and his breathing is seriously weak and raspy.
“Sid, please wake up…” Annika begs, moving to touch him, hissing and pulling back with shock dripping from every pour of her body. “He’s burning hot!” She calls out shocked.
I frown, moving to touch him. He feels as if he’s got a fever, indeed. But not in a way that makes me want to pull back my hand like she did.
“He’s got a fever.”
“I burned my fingers, Davy.” Annika snaps, showing her red fingertips.
“What the… are those blisters?”
“Yes! Dave! They are!” Annika calls out in anger. “I can’t touch Sid… why can’t I touch Sid?” She’s frantically searching the room. “Angie… what’s happening to us?”
Angie keeps a sweet distance, staring at us shocked, scared, nervous. “He’s… he’s…” she chokes out. “Dave…”
I look down towards Sid, who still hasn’t moved an inch, his breathing growing weaker each second. “What, Angie… What is he?”
“Possessed…” She backs away from us even further. “IT got to him.”
“What? We have to help him!” I call out, grabbing hold of Sid’s face. “Please, Sid, wake up.”
“He’s not going to wake up soon.” Angie, now as far away from his as possible. “And he needs… medical attention. Or he will die.”
“What! No! No, we have to help him!” Panic is now in full control, and I frantically search the room, looking for something I don’t even know what it is.
“What’s wrong, Dave?” Annika is crying, constantly wanting to touch Sid, but not doing so. Every time her hand lingers close to his skin, she pulls back, sobbing worse.
“Sid needs to go to hospital,” I whisper, staring down at Sid, not knowing how to get him there. It’s not like we can just call an ambulance to pick him up. We’re in the middle of the Miller woods. “He… he might… Angie said… We have to get him to hospital.” I decide against filling Annika in on the truth right now. She won’t get to see Angie until after she slept, she won’t be able to hear her tell her exactly the thing she can’t process right now.
I know she loves him too much to cope with it in this situation.
Once he’s in hospital, I’ll fill her in on the truth.
The fact he’s probably possessed, and there’s a possibility he will die.
“Angie, is this what… happened to you too?”
She shakes her head, biting her lip. “It happened to others, though… I saw it… he’s… you… He either dies… or…” She swallows and shakes her head. “It’s not important right now. You have to find a way to get him to hospital, or he has to go to Hunter’s lodge.”
“Why Hunter’s lodge?”
She swallows hard again. “Forget I said. Can you carry him?”
“I’ll have to…” I frown, wondering what is up with Hunter’s lodge, but shaking it as I know I have to help Sid, and we can’t take him to Hunter’s lodge. Even if we do so, we can’t stay there until the end of days. We have to get out of here.
“What are you doing?” Annika sobs, watching me while I pill Sid onto his back. He limply rolls over, his breathing hitching shortly. As soon as he’s on his back, we gasp in shock. His throat is black and blue, scratches going down to his chest, still bleeding a bit.
“What happened to him!?” Annika cries out loudly, covering her face, sobbing uncontrollably.
“Annika, get it together. We need to get him to hospital, now.” I start lifting Sid, but I already know I can’t carry him bridal style all the way through the tunnel. But I have to try to get as far as possible.
“You should carry him on your back. That’s way easier and…” Annika shuts her mouth, realising it is kind of hard to get 70 kilograms of dead weight to work along and pull him onto my back, while she can’t help because apparently, she’ll get burn wounds.
I manage to carry Sid for a couple of meters, but as his breathing hitches more and more, I feel my muscles scream and burn, knowing I will have to put him down soon.
I stumble and give into the need to put him back down.
“Okay, I’m going to help you to lift him onto your back.” Annika shows up on Sid’s other side. “I don’t care about the blisters, or the wounds. Sid needs to get to hospital, now.”
“Are you sure?”
She nods again, but I see the doubt in her eyes, knowing she will get burned, and she won’t be able to properly use her hands if the blisters get worse then they already are.
I don’t even want to think about the reason behind her blisters, her not being able to touch Sid.
“I’ll lift him as far as possible. You’ll might have to help me a bit, bit only a bit.”
She nods, and then I push Sid up into a seating position, pulling his arms around my neck, rising back to my feet while lifting him up with me. He limply hangs by his arms, his legs not supporting any of his weight.
“Let her hold his hands.” Angie points. “His sleeves. She might not get burned, and then you’ll get to lift his legs.”
“Grab his sleeve to hold him up.” I mutter, putting most of my energy and strength into keeping Sid up, while Annika listens in silence, doing what I told her to do. She carefully grabs his sleeves, scraping a bit of skin, hissing as another blister forms.
There’s doubt, sadness, hurt in her eyes as she realises she really can’t touch Sid. And I might not be the only one who’s starting to get really worried about that little fact.
If that shadow got to him, it might be the entire reason she can’t touch him. She shielded the darkness away, and now it might be inside him. Now, she can’t come near her boyfriend, as he’s taken by a darkness that none of us can explain.
I take in a deep breath, squatting, grabbing the back of his legs, and pulling them around my waist all in a quick move. As I stand, slightly leaning forwards, I lift him a bit more, getting him balanced on my back. “Okay, move.”
And that’s what we do; walk fast but in a steady pace, as Angie keeps her sweet distance, hovering around us while keeping an eye on Sid too.
But I didn’t miss the fact she’s staying away as far as possible from him right now, and that detail worries me to no end. If Angie can’t get to him, there’s nobody that is able to help him right now.
He’s fighting for his life, a battle inside his body, and I feel powerless, not knowing how to help him.
By the time we reach the end of the tunnel, my phone has been buzzing nearly none-stop in my pocket, and Annika is ignoring hers too, while I send her out to find a piece of wood, large and strong enough to function as a stretcher for Sid, to get him through the narrow end of the tunnel.
With a bit of struggle, we manage to push him through the end, through the hatch, and into the old Mill. Then, we carry him outside together, and as soon as we left the forbidden premises, Annika picks her phone to dial 911, while I get rid of the wood.
“So, we found him like this after we found out he was sleepwalking, agreed?” Annika speaks firmly, not accepting a no for an answer.
I nod, and Angie nods too – even though Annika doesn’t know.
The three of us agreed that nobody can know what happened, for they will lock us away in that ward, claiming we’re crazy.