The Haunted Town

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#9 - An Unexpected Ally

Simone’s jaw dropped.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know that I’m close to Brianna. I follow her sometimes. Keeping a safe distance between us of course. I saw her....once talking to someone I couldn’t see the face of. It was a guy. At the mayor’s office. She is scared of him. Kind of. She obeys him.” Jenna was saying, her voice barely over a whisper. Simone was confused.
“And how is that person after me?”
“I heard your name. He said your name. That is all.”
“It is also possible that Brianna reports everything to him?” Simone suggested and Jenna nodded, sucking on her lower lip.
“Simone, when people disappear they dispose of their belongings. Their books, they end up in the library. I went there a number of times but Brianna grew suspicious so I stopped but not before I got my hands on some real stuff.” Jenna ended with a wink.

“Real stuff?” Simone asked dryly.
“Yeah. Since you went into the library today, I know that you must’ve read the town’s history.”
“So, you’re spying on me?” Simone said, unable to keep aggression from her voice.
“God, can you stop being hostile towards me already?”
“Look, under the circumstances I don’t trust you.” Simone said, raking her hand through her hair. “What if you are one of....of those things out there. How would I know?”
“Seriously?” Jenna said, clenching her jaw. “Fine, don’t believe but I’ve got to tell you everything before its too late.”
“Everything?”
“Yeah. As you must’ve read, all this is going on for about a century. Ever since the town came into. What I found, is that the shadows and demons have been here longer than that.” Jenna said, throwing a small worn out diary at Simone at catch.

“Wait, what?”
“In 1964, there was this guy who got lucky. Like many others over the century, he had noticed that something was off about this place but unlike the others, he actually managed to stay alive for the time being.” Simone sucked at her lower lip as she opened the diary. She could see messy handwriting scrawled on the yellow pages. She was afraid that the paper would tear into pieces just at her touch.
“What happened to him?” She whispered, fingering the words.
“Which happens to everyone else who tries to get too close to the truth.” Jenna replied sadly, looking down at her interlocked fingers.
“Oh.”
“So, this guy stated that the presence of these creatures he called demons goes back to before the town came into. They are the result of a curse.” Jenna said.
“Oh great, a curse now. What’s next? Aladdin’s magic lamp?” Simone blurted out, immediately regretting the words that had left her mouth. Jenna looked hurt.
“Simone, I’m trying to help.”
“Fine, go on.”

“Unfortunately, the guy couldn’t find out about the origins of the curse or anything else about it. Though, he did write in his journal that these creatures are bound to something. Means, something is keeping them in here. In this town. I also wondered why they aren’t seen outside the town, why in Elmdale so when I found the journal, this explanation made sense.” Jenna kept going as Simone was leafing through the pages carefully. She skimmed over the entries and she could tell that the guy had seen worst. She wondered how he had managed to not go crazy?

“Does this information also tells about what to do to get rid of them?” She asked, fully aware of her running out of time. Nathan and Kyle must be waiting for her.
“Be patient, I’m getting there.”
“Be quick because Nathan and Kyle would be here any minute now. I bought a few minutes to change my clothes before hanging out for a while.”
“Wow.” Jenna said, blinking at her. Simone didn’t know what to take of her reaction. “Anyway, if this guy is right about his claims then it means if we find that particular thing that binds these creatures to the town, by destroying it we can get rid of them. Question is, where are we going to find it and how?”
“That’s all?”
“Getting this much was risky enough Simone. Learn to appreciate a little.”
“Fine, good job. What else do you want me to do?” She asked, hastily growing through her clothes in the closet. She could not decide.
“Help me. Help me set things right or this will keep on happening forever.” Jenna pleaded behind her. “Did you also know that you can’t leave the town now? Like ever?” She said sadly. Simone stilled. Recalling the warning from the old man the day they had moved into Elmdale.
“What?” She croaked out the word. “What did you say?”
“Whoever tries to leave Elmdale after living here vanishes.” Jenna sounded glum now. “There is no way back so there’s got to be someone to take the initiative and destroy these beings.”

“You’re....you’re right.” Simone nodded, slumping down on her bed.
“And two people are much better than one. Together, we can find out more.” Jenna was saying. She reached out to hold Simone’s hand.
“Ah yes. Ok.”
“So, are you going to share what you know?” Jenna asked politely, squeezing Simone’s hand before letting go. Simone’s mind was whirling, piecing together everything she knew. Or she thought she knew.
“I don’t know much.” She mumbled. Compared to Jenna, she really had nothing on her. “I just found out about Brianna and....wait. Do you know the Browns? The people who lived in this house?” She asked, turning to face Jenna fully.
“Of course, I do. They vanished. But I know that they were murdered. Why?” Jenna was confused.
“Their son, Matthew Brown. Did he die too?”
“I don’t know, Simone. I really don’t.” Jenna replied apologetically as she stared at Simone.
“I met him.” Simone said listlessly.
“You....you what?” Jenna stood up, her eyes wide and mouth open. “How is that possible? Browns were murdered three years ago.”
“Believe me when I say that he is alive. He’s been living in the woods.” Hoping that she could remember her meeting with Matthew. All she knew was through the recording.
“Oh my God. Tell me everything.” And so Simone did. Somehow she knew that Jenna was right. She could not deal with this all alone. She needed someone to rely on. After she was done, Jenna held her head in her hands. Before she could say a word, the house bell rang. It was Nathan.

“Look, I gotta go. We’ll talk more.” Simone said and she hastily changed her shirt into whatever her hands grabbed from the closet. Jenna was still shaking her head.
“We’ll have to meet up again. So many times I wish that we had phone service in this town.” She mumbled as she watched Simone pull her long hair in a ponytail. She did not want her mother to go and answer the door for she did not want Nathan or Kyle to know that Jenna had been at her house.
“We will.” She promised Jenna and rushed for the main door. Thankfully, her mother was in the kitchen with headphones on while Jayden was nowhere to be seen.

༼;‘༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽༼;’༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽

When she stepped out, Nathan and Kyle were there. Both were on their bikes.
“Took you long enough.” Kyle remarked.
“Its ok. No rush.” Nathan said after throwing a look at Kyle. Without a word, Simone got onto her bike and her eyes landed on the forest in front of them. Further ahead, the forest was still dark under the bright afternoon sun.
“You ok?” Nathan called back to her when he realized that she was not moving.
“Yeah, I’m....I’m fine.”
Nathan kept looking at her as she joined them on the road and then he looked back at the forest. Simone knew she’d hate whatever idea he’d come up with the moment he opened his mouth.
“You know what, let’s go there.” He said mischievously, jerking his head back at the forest.
“You know we can’t, smartie pants.” Simone shot back at the same time when Kyle snapped, “No way, man!”

“What? Learn to live a little Kyle. Come on, Simone. Don’t tell me that you’re scared.” He taunted her, making her groan in protest. Deep down she wanted to go but she was scared too.
“Nathan..!!” Kyle warned but his friend ignored him. Leaving his bicycle just outside the gate of Simone’s house, he grinned at the two of them.
“Let’s have a race. The one to reach.....” Even before he could finish, Simone took off. She ignored when Nathan mockingly accused her of cheating and Kyle shouting to tell her to come back. There was no turning back now. She wanted to visit the forest.

༼•̫͡•༽ 。・:*:・゚༼•̫͡•༽,。・:*:・゚༼•̫͡•༽

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