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Chapter 8 – A faint whisper

Monday, September 26th, 2016

I haven’t had a nightmare ever since I’m allowed to sleep at Annika’s place, or to have her sleep over at my place. Since she didn’t really feel comfortable to sleep with only me in an attic, so far, I’ve slept at her place ever since and since Davy’s nightmare on Monday, he too sleeps in her room.

His parents are a bit worried and confused over it, but so far, neither them, nor my own parents, asked any questions.

Since Davy slept in our room, he hasn’t had a nightmare either and the problem shifted towards Edward, who was increasingly calming down since nothing was happening to him. But now he too saw her in his dreams, he too was lured towards the forest in his dreams. But since he hung out with Cory a lot, and talked to him a lot, he already knew he could scare Angie away by showing a knife.

Which is also why all three of us, following Cory’s advice, have a knife next to our bed.

Of course, we don’t keep them in plain sight, but they’re there in case Angie decides to haunt us outside of our dreams to.

We kept busy throughout the week, trying to dig up all names of the victims that got murdered by the serial killer over fifty years ago. We tried to find any available story about the Miller Woods and found out there’s twenty-five missing persons, of which Angela Donna was the sixth to disappear.

There’s some weird details about the information we found so far. Every time a person went missing, there’s five missing persons quickly following within three months, then there’s a gap of thirteen years, before another six persons go missing. This continued until two years ago.

The last who went missing I can still remember. His name was Jordy Dane and he was only one year younger than I am myself.

Jordy went missing on March 11th, 2014, exactly one week after Kim spent time in the forest before she came out screaming and crying.

Cory went in the woods in October and he was the last known to set foot in the forest, until we did.

The year Jordy went missing, and both Kim and Cory got in trouble, was the next year in the thirteen-year cycle. Kim could’ve easily been the first victim, as it was nearly exactly thirteen years after the last child went missing in 2001.

But other then Jordy, there had been no victims. Local government and adults around town claim there were no other victims because they closed off the woods, but being presented with the real facts, we now know that isn’t true.

Jordy went missing, and was never found, in March, while the Miller Woods were made prohibited area in October, after Cory came out.

The other five victims should’ve gotten victimized in March, April and May.

Perhaps the original killer died and that’s why it stopped, but we’re not sure.

We can’t really explain the connection between the murders, the fact they stopped, and the fact we’re haunted by Angie, the sixth victim. Since she’s the sixth victim, it’s probably safe to say she isn’t the one causing people to disappear. But on the other hand, she is obviously trying to lure us into those woods again. Right now, it’s through our dreams, but according to Cory, he hears her during the day too.

Always asking him to come play hide and seek, like she requested in my dreams too.

“What if Angie is innocent?” Annika asks, searching through all the papers we printed about the cases so far.

“She nearly choked your boyfriend.” Amara rolls her eyes. “Bet she’s really innocent.”

“What if it isn’t Angie who did that to him?” Edward throws up a ball, catching, repeating the motion over and over again. We’re seated in his bedroom with the six of us; Davy, Cory, Edward, Amara, Annika and myself. We haven’t seen Amber in days and I wonder if she was that good of a friend to begin with. I almost would wish she would’ve been there with us in those woods.

We did, however, find out Amber’s uncle William Grayson, is one of the victims that went missing in the third cycle.

He was never found, and he was only 12 years old back then.

“Then who would have done that?” Amara asks, sitting up on the bed with a deep sigh. “That would mean there’s another one of those freaky ghosts.”

“Which isn’t a nice thing to think about,” I mutter, rolling closer to Annika, pulling her in my arms. “Angie alone is scary enough.”

“I just want to play hide and seek.” The words sound distant, whispery, and a giggle follows them. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”

My eyes grow wide as I realise these words aren’t spoken by either Amara, or Annika. They wouldn’t say such a thing right now.

Only Angie would.

I pull my head up, staring around the room in shock, not finding anything out of the ordinary.

I keep silent, trying to hear her again, but she doesn’t talk any further and I think nobody else heard her, which annoys and confuses me.

Why me, and why didn’t Cory respond in any way either? He was able to hear her, right? He heard her before.

I tune out of the rest of the conversation and I remain silent for the rest of the talk. I’m not sure what they’re discussing after that, but they don’t pay any attention to me while I’m snuggling close to Annika and try to take a quick nap.

Which is practically impossible since they’re talking with the five of them and then I resolve in observing Cory, the latest, but great fitting addition to our group of friends.

He seems relaxed, he seems happy, and I think that might have to do with the fact he is no longer alone in this, he has five more persons to talk to about his problems. He has five friends and I bet he didn’t have any when he was kept in that ward to protect him from himself.

And I’m glad he’s willing to help us, talk to us. Instead, he could’ve turned his back on us since we weren’t instantly friendly to him. Or because he’s probably sick and tired of talking about it or having to explain what happened.

I follow Cory around the apartment block he lives in, going in through a gate. We both haven’t spoken a word since we left Annika’s and Davy’s house. Annika has dancing practise tonight, so I’m staying with him until she’s done. Then my parents will pick us both up and we’ll sleep at my place. Davy will stay with Edward because he refuses to say home alone another second, and Amara and he don’t sleep together because Amara’s parents disapprove of it.

When we left the house and got on our bikes, Cory simply stated, ‘you heard her too’ and I nodded to confirm.

I think he knows I want to talk about hearing Angie during the day, since it is the next step he predicted that would happen.

I follow him inside a small apartment, noticing his dad asleep on the couch with a bottle of beer still in his hand.

Cory sends me an apologetic smile, grabbing the bottle to place it on the coffee table. Or more, beer table since there’s more bottles on it.

“He didn’t cope with things well…” Cory mutters, seemingly a bit ashamed. “Want to sit in my room?” He suggests, and I nod, following him down a narrow hallway to the back of the apartment. There’s three doors on the left, and two on the right. “Quick tour.” He gestures towards the first door on the left. “Dad’s room, Kim’s room, my room.” He taps the doors to indicate which room he means. “Bathroom and toilet.” He gestures towards the other two doors.

“Cool.” I smirk, while we head into his bedroom. It’s small, cramped almost. There’s a single bed in the corner, with a closet at the foot end of the bed.

The desk is tiny, like a third of my desk, and it’s shoved under the window, since it’s practically the only spot there is in which it wouldn’t be in the way.

“I know it isn’t much but the divorce…” Cory scratches his head. “I know you guys all have massive bedrooms and all…”

“It’s… cosy.” I chuckle. “It’s not like you choose to be… poor? Are you poor? I don’t know if that’s insulting you… I didn’t mean it in a bad way…”

“We’re not that poor… mom lives bigger, on her own. She completely ruined my dad and he’s now unemployed and well…” he drawls awkwardly while I sit down on the bed. “I guess we are poor.”

“Is Kim home? You said you would introduce us.”

“She isn’t. She’s with mom right now.” He shrugs, throwing the clothes that are on his desk chair onto his pillow to sit down. “But that’s not what we’re here for, right?”

“Right.” I scratch my head, scooting backwards to lean my back against the wall.

“You heard Angie,” he whispers with a bit of fear in her voice. “It seems as if you’re just a tad bit more affected by her then the others. They should’ve heard her too.”

“Maybe they did, but chose to ignore it?”

“I think, knowing Edward as well as I got to know him in the past couple of days, he would’ve totally freaked out. Not sure how Davy would respond.”

“Maybe I heard her first, because I had the nightmares first.”

“Yeah, about those nightmares. It seems as if she only haunts those who are alone.” He frowns. “And I’ll be the only one alone tonight.”

“If she haunts you tonight, I think it’s safe to say she doesn’t target those who are in the company of others.”

“I really don’t feel like waiting for that.” He grumbles, slumping down a bit.

“Wait, you were in that ward for nearly two years.”

“Yes, so?” He squints his eyes. Talking about the ward always causes him to be on edge, protective even.

“Did you share a room?”

“Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t.”

I feel a bit puzzled. “Didn’t you sleep in the same room every night?”

“I did, but my roommates weren’t there for two years. They left after three months and then I would be alone again until someone new came in. And since I had the nightmares, I was the last who would get a roommate. I even had a single person’s room for a while. But that was considered a privilege and whenever I misbehaved, they would put me back in a shared room.” He rolls his eyes in annoyance. “Anyway, why are you asking this.”

“Did you have the nightmares when others slept in the same room?”

He opens his mouth to speak up, but then closes it back again, now fazed and puzzled. He repeats the motion again, before he turns towards his desk, pulling a journal out of a drawer.

I pull up my eyebrows, leaning forwards to look what he’s doing, finding him browsing through some sort of diary.

“Is that a diary? You wrote a diary for two years straight?”

“I kept track of what I dreamed, and when.” He mutters, obviously his mind taken by the diary instead of completely focussing on me. “And for as far as I can tell, I only had nightmares when I was… alone.” He turns around. “So, Angie will visit me tonight.” He groans again.

“Then sleep at my place.”

“I can’t leave my dad alone right now.” He shakes his head. “If Kim would be here, I could. But I can’t.”

“But, wait… about Kim. Isn’t she haunted by Angie too?”

“I haven’t heard her about it in a while. The last thing she said was how she just ignored Angie and she left her alone. When I tried to ignore Angie, she got angry and upset with me and she got even worse.”

“Weird.” I mutter, staring towards the journal. “So, how about I sleep here, tonight? I’ll have company, you’ll have company. Annika is fine on her own because Angie isn’t attached to her.”

“Would you do that?”

“Why not? We’re friends, right? And I know what it’s like. I’d hate for anyone to go through that.”

“Wow, and people always say you guys are jerks. But you guys are the best friend I’ve ever had.”

“People say we’re jerks?”

“Mostly you and Davy. How you always blurt out everything and never think for a second if it could be insulting to others.”

“Right… sounds like us.” I chuckle, knowing there’s plenty of people who dislike me since I am straight forwards and sometimes a bit obnoxious. I’m not perfect.

“So, you’ll sleep here? Are your parents okay with that?”

“I just tell them I’m with you because we’re working on a project and they’ll leave us alone.”

Cory chuckles and then he smiles, and the smile is record-breaking. It’s full of gratefulness, it’s full of admiration and it’s full of relief. Cory is that happy, and thankful, for me to agree on sleeping here.

In a tiny, unknown apartment with a drunk dad out on the couch.

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