Devil Digger

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Doom Priest

The next day the sheriff and all his men have been searching the areas surrounding Linden for the missing people. They have found nothing, not a clue. He was puzzled and desperate. People started asking questions and Kerrigan wanted to deliver the answers but he couldn't wrap his mind around these strange events. The forensic team couldn't come up with much. They've found the priest's blood splattered everywhere but no sign of him or his dead body.
Three shots have been fired from the revolver. Two bullets they have found in the walls, one they couldn't find. It may have been inside the priest because only his blood was at the scene. Maybe, he reasoned, the revolver had one bullet less in the first place. The answer to this will be available after the lab analysis comes back. The guys from the ballistics department hopefully will be able to tell if the bullets have been fired at around the same time. Until then he and his officers have to gather information and continue the search.
The other option which was lingering in his mind was the one he didn't like at all. It was less probable in his opinion or the one he didn't want to be probable at all. He also knew that when they encountered the creature from the pit in '58, the events were also difficult to understand. Events which defy rationality and logic can drive a person into madness. Jimmy had almost been driven into madness. Whiskey was the only thing that kept his rational mind intact because it numbed it. Thinking about Old Jimmy, he was wondering where the old bastard might be.
He visited Jimmy's cabin but didn't find him there. Kerrigan also asked Father Matt if he had seen the caretaker but the priest said that he hadn't seen Jimmy for a few days. This was alarming, Kerrigan's concern was growing regarding the old man. With so much on his head, he had almost forgotten about him. Now he has to declare him a missing person too. Truth is that they haven't seen him during their searches for the missing people. Who knows where he might have gone?
No, he thought suddenly, no way he had ventured down there. He was as afraid of that place as we all had been...and still are. Let's just hope, he continued his reasoning, that we'll be able to find a rational explanation for all this. Some of the evidence is pointing toward the rational one, however, some is pointing to the irrational one. There is still hope that the nightmare from '58 won't be happening again.
When the night was approaching, the ominous fog did too. His fear started to rise as the sun was going down. Kerrigan was feeling helpless. There was nothing the police could do tonight, searching through the thick fog was impossible, so he went home.
After going to bed beside his wife, he kept tossing and turning again. Bad thoughts and memories were haunting him. He was afraid, he didn't want to admit it but he was. His hands were shaking at the sight of the weather outside. Kerrigan looked at his wife who was sleeping then thought about their sons. It was past midnight. He got out of bed, took his service pistol and went to check the other rooms. Everything was calm, no movement, no sound. He lay down on the couch again in the living room but didn't sleep. Only when the sun came up again, he did fall asleep for a short time. For him the night was uneventful.
He said to himself that if this night nobody goes missing then his fears were in vain. But better to be afraid than to get scared, he thought. Nothing was yet certain. He will find out after going to work in the morning.

Danny's parents left for work in the evening. They were working the night shift all month. It was convenient for both of them because the payment was higher. People usually didn't like to work at night but Anderson's did. Their son took care of the work at home so they could work for a living.
He was watching the fog whirl first only at ground level then going higher up. Soon he couldn't see much at all. Danny went into his room and turned on the TV. The presence of his pet somewhat comforted him. He made sure that the house is locked, he even locked his room. A bad feeling was keeping him restless. The night when the priest was killed was also a foggy night just like this one. Being alone at home was not such a nice thing now after all that happened.
Danny wished for his parents to be with him right now. He was wondering if they are ever going to love him as he wanted to. Sometimes he got jealous of Andy and Chris. Their parents loved their children and did everything they could for their wellbeing. In the past, he was jealous of Nate too but after seeing what his father was doing behind his family's back, the jealousy faded. At least Sarah loved Nate very much. Anybody could see that it was a strong and sincere love. He felt ashamed because of his occasional jealousy but Danny couldn't help it. Accepting his situation was his only choice. Somedays he was wondering what would happen if he went away. Would his parents search for him or call the police? Maybe, or maybe not.
Demon was laying on his lap and purring. After a while, he dozed off. Waking up early in the morning whore him out by this time so it wasn't difficult at all to fall asleep. The gentle sound coming from the TV, which had its volume turned down, also helped.
It was past midnight when the TV stopped. Danny didn't realize this but when Demon started meowing, he woke up. The cat grew restless. It raised its head and kept looking around with increased agitation. Danny noticed the darkness and the nervous cat and began to feel afraid. He looked out the window but saw only greyness. It meant that the lamps on the street were still working. The cat jumped from his lap and cowered under the bed. Danny went to the light switch and tried it. It wasn't working.
The fuses had to be checked. Danny knew this well because he changed them many times when there were power surges. Those times were different because there were no yellow-eyed monsters coming out of dark corners or dead children rising from their graves. Danny needed his flashlight but he put it in his father's toolshed where it belonged. His dad didn't like his tools to be in other places than where they supposed to be.
Danny analyzed his possibilities. Going out in the yard through this fog was out of the question. Matches, he said to himself, I have to find some matches. The matches were in the kitchen, the fuse block in the hall. It was straightforward, he needed to go into the kitchen then into the hall to check the fuses.
Danny slowly opened the door and looked around. He also checked for strange smells but there were none. There was a short corridor which opened to a bathroom, a closet, an empty guest room and then the living room. Demon ran out into the corridor and scared the living hell out of him. It disappeared somewhere in the darkness.
The boy made his way into the living room. In front of him was the kitchen, to his left the master bedroom. He went forward and entered the kitchen. Looking out the window he saw the thick fog whirling in front of him. The matches were on the table, he took one out and lit it.
With a sudden move, he drew back from the unexpected terror he experienced. A face appeared in front of the window. It's dead white eyes were full of hate and malice. It was Jonathan, back from the grave, hell-bent on revenge.
He pushed his face against the window and began licking it. Danny couldn't move, he was nailed to the floor. His fears became true but he didn't expect this. Goosebumps filled his back and arms, he was shaking. The thing outside put its hands on the window and started making chewing movements with its mouth. The sound of its teeth clattering was horrible. Danny's mind began racing, he felt the adrenaline surging in his body.
His next move was running back into the living room. Jonathan moved to the main door, Danny couldn't get out. He could've tried the back door through the kitchen but it was leading into the yard. From there was no way to get out on the street, it was a certain trap for him.
Jonathan began pulling the door. It shook in its hinges and Danny saw that it will break at any moment. Such terrible force, he thought, if this thing catches me, I'm dead. The door was barely holding, Danny couldn't risk letting it break. He saw the dead man through the door which had lots of glass panels. His face was pale and menacing. Some of his guts were hanging out from his belly. Blackened blood and open wounds were covering most of his ravaged body. It was hard to see but the streetlights and the grey moonlight scattered by the mist made it possible for Danny to take a look.
'Come, my child,' the corpse said and smiled, 'let us praaay! I will eat your little prick!'
The voice coming out of the foul mouth was guttural and evil. Dead-stiff vocal cords couldn't speak other sounds. Jonathan was pulling at the door with increased anger. He was desperate to put his dead hands on Danny but the boy sprang toward his room. In the blink of an eye, he opened his window and jumped out onto the street. This way, he thought, I can avoid him breaking in and I can run away. However, he continued his adrenaline-fueled thinking, I can't afford to play hide-and-seek with a walking dead man through the mist. He will catch what should I do? There is no time.
An idea struck him, he ran to the big oak tree which was in front of the house. He heard the shuffling steps made by Jonathan as he was searching for him. Danny began climbing and heard the primal grunting coming closer and closer. He climbed with the effort of many people, fear gave him strength. Jonathan reached the tree and tried to grab Danny's feet but it was too late. The boy was already at a height where the corpse couldn't reach him.
Danny hoped that Jonathan would leave. He thought that the corpse won't be able to climb up and he was right. The only problem was that the dead man wouldn't leave. Danny wasn't able to see him in a clear fashion, only his outline was visible from above. He was standing in front of the tree staring at its trunk, or maybe staring up, Danny couldn't see for sure. The boy moved to a thick branch which was almost horizontal and sat down. When he moved, the corpse reacted to the sounds with angry grunts.
The temperature outside has dropped and Danny began to feel cold but he couldn't go anywhere. His only hope was that with the coming of dawn, Jonathan would leave. Why he thought that he didn't know. A few hours were still remaining until dawn. He saw that he was safe up there and that was the most important thing.
Danny was thinking all that time up in the tree. What will he do after dawn? He can't go to the police with this crazy story. He can't tell his parents either. The only ones who he could talk to were his friends. They were the only ones who could do something.
When the first light of dawn began to appear on the horizon, the corpse turned and disappeared into the mist. He didn't go towards the house and that was much reassuring. Danny was right but he was also cold and shivering. The few hours he had spent on the tree felt like days. He couldn't afford to sleep because he risked falling down. After the mist was almost gone, Danny climbed down. His limbs were stiff, his joints refused to obey him at first but then they slowly started to move.
He went inside through the front door. He began checking every corner of the house by daylight, just to be sure. The lights were working again, he couldn't understand how was that possible. Demon was back meaning that there was no evil thing inside anymore. The cat lay down on the sofa in the living room and didn't seem to be bothered by anything.

Nate was in his bed on Monday night. He was reluctant to go to bed because he was afraid that he'll see the strange shape again. After his mother left, he switched on the bedside lamp. Last night he saw that the shape disappeared right after the lamp-light struck it so he felt safer now.
He was wondering where did it come from. It wasn't the yellow-eyed monster, Nate was sure about that. The grey shape began to appear after his first encounter with the monster, in the church basement. Nate remembered seeing it in his window after he came home but it disappeared after the first light of morning came.
He fell asleep after some time but woke up after he heard a clinking, rattling sound. The lack of light was the second thing he observed. Nate looked toward the nightstand on his right but there was no lamp there. He looked down and saw it on the floor. The closet was on the bed's right side and the connector was placed near it. He noticed that the plug had been pulled out.
Nate gasped and wanted to run but something pulled at the sheets from under the bed. He felt helpless and afraid, a sitting duck trapped on the bed. Stepping down onto the floor wasn't an option, who knows what was waiting for him. Maybe it is the grey shape, maybe it's something else. He had no other option, he had to scream.
Nate's scream was heard by his sister and his parents too. Mary got out of her bed and ran into her brother's room. She opened the door and saw Nate sitting on his bed with the bedsheets pulled halfway down. The look on his face was desperate, pleading. He ran to his sister and hugged her then broke out crying. A few seconds later, Victor and Sarah arrived too.
'What's wrong, honey?' Sarah asked and crouched beside the boy.
'I had a bad dream.' he lied because he couldn't say the truth.
'Come here,' said his mother and hugged him, 'I will sleep with you tonight, all right?'
The boy didn't respond, only nodded. Sarah threw a questioning look at her husband but Victor was neither surprised nor concerned. His face showed only sleepiness, nothing more. When he first heard the scream, he ran as fast as he could upstairs but after finding out the reason, his eagerness faded.
'Don't worry, buddy,' he said and ruffled his son's hair, 'maybe it was because you ate too much for dinner.'
Nate didn't respond but the look he threw toward his father explained everything. Victor had only to look deeper into his son's pleading eyes. Help, they said, because saying it out loud was not an option. It was now that Nate started to understand that what happened recently in town, wasn't over yet.
Victor went back to the master bedroom with Sarah but before lying down to sleep, he stood in front of the window for a few minutes. A memory which he shunned for 25 years, begun to creep back into his mind. He was feeling guilty every time he was thinking about that fateful night when they had defeated the yellow-eyed demon from the pit. More correctly, Buddy, Jim, and Keith defeated it because he was a coward and ran away when they needed him the most.
Keith half understood him and half hated him. Old Jim didn't speak to him since and cursed whenever Victor's name came up. Victor hadn't been thinking about that event for years but the fog was disturbing him. It wasn't the fog alone, it was the systematic recurrence of the fog. Every third night the temperature dropped and the fog swallowed the town. Between those nights, the weather was scorching hot. He knew only one occasion when this kind of weather had come about, it was the late summer of 1958.
He couldn't shun the memory and guilt again. Even thinking about it made him shake in fear. The fear was almost the same which made him tremble in his shoes 25 years ago. It was still strong, he couldn't sleep for a long time this night. Not even Christine's soft, milky skin could make him forget and fall asleep. It was almost morning when he finally managed to do it.

Andy was sleeping for some time when the nightmare came again. He expected it when he saw the fog come, the bad dream came too. The valley with the graves greeted him again. There's no choice, he said to himself, I have to go through with it. Even though it was a dream, Andy was in some sense, conscious. Or maybe it felt too real for him. He didn't remember the first dream to be this realistic or the second one.
It was so vivid that he could feel the cold, the dampness of the air and he could also smell the fragrance of the dead grass and leaves, just like in the autumn. Andy felt the soil shift a little beneath his foot whenever he made a step forward. The clouds were rushing again as if time itself had sped up.
The wind was blowing in short bursts, it made the leaves rise up in the air then settle down again. Andy kept following the valley, he wasn't hurrying. He was expecting the yellow-eyed demon but couldn't yet see it. After a few minutes of walking, he reached the crooked tree again. The open grave was beside it. The boy wanted to run away at first but then thought better of it. Last time he had run away but got back at it anyhow so he thought it to be pointless.
He looked around once more but the demon wasn't anywhere near the place. Fearful curiosity made him go closer to the grave. His name was still on the gravestone, a fact that filled him with sadness. Tears filled his eyes and he began crying. After going a little closer, he looked inside the hole expecting to see a coffin or something similar. But there was no coffin inside, nothing at all only blackness.
Andy sighed in relief then turned away. He barely made a step and something grabbed him by the ankle and pulled. This made Andy fall face-forward onto the ground. He looked back and saw hands coming out from the hole and pulling on him. There were many hands, not just two and they looked like hands of long dead people.
Andy started screaming and clawing at the soil to try and resist the pull which wanted to drag him into the darkness. He woke up with a jump and a gasp. He put his hands to his chest and was breathing heavily.
Chris was already standing up and looking at Andy from his bed. A worried look was painted on his face.
'Jesus, brother,' he said, 'what the hell?'
'Oh, my God. I had a...I had a really bad dream.'
'Yeah, I figured that. What was it about?'
Andy told his brother in detail the nightmare he had and the nightmares he had on previous nights. It was clear now for him that the dreams are not a coincidence or games played by his imagination.
'This is the third time I had a nightmare. I only have them on the foggy nights.'
'What do you mean?' Chris asked him.
'I don't know. Do you remember the first foggy night?'
'Yeah, I remember. It was the night when Karen and Kevin disappeared. The whole town is looking for them.'
'Exactly! And the second night?'
'I remember that too. It was when we went to the church.'
'All right,' Andy continued, 'well, I think it began when I saw the ghost with the yellow eyes in the house. The next night was the first foggy night. It comes only on the foggy nights.'
'You mean that the ghost and the demon are the same?'
'I don't know, but when it looked into my eyes I almost crapped myself. Nate fainted when he saw it, maybe he looked into its eyes too.'
'Yeah, that thing is incredibly powerful... '
'Somehow it got out of the house...I wonder if we were the ones who set it free by disturbing it.'
'But you said that it looked like a ghost.'
'Yes, that's what's bugging me. It looked like black smoke. The thing in the church looked solid like it had a body.'
'Maybe the dream wants to tell you something...I can't believe I'm saying this but I don't know what to say anymore.'
'Maybe...but what do you think it's telling me?'
'I don't know. What if there is something at the spot where you are entering the other world in your dream? Maybe it's telling you to check it out.'
'No way! We agreed that we're gonna leave this alone.'
'I know! That house is the last place I wanna be.'
'What if it won't be over? Even if we leave it many people will die?'
'Good question,' responded Chris and sighed, 'as far as I know, we are the only ones who know what's happening.'
'And nobody will believe us, even if we tried.'
'You know what? Let's wait until tomorrow and see what happened. If you say that it comes on the foggy nights then somebody will be missing or dead by tomorrow.'
They agreed on this and went back to sleep. It wasn't easy to fall asleep considering what the thick mist might be hiding but they succeeded.

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