Chapter 25: The Killer
Sheriff Barry Glendale scribbled some notes furiously, leaning over his kitchen counter while his Deputy paced the kitchen.
“Barry-I think you’re too obsessed with this. You need a break.”
“No. It’s my daughter Jonah. I’m not giving this up till we find her.”
Deputy Ledford looked at the man across from him sullenly.
“You’re working yourself to death with this. At least sit down for a moment. You’re overworked-especially with all these weird sightings of ‘ghost girls’.”
The Sheriff sighed trying to wipe away some of the tiredness from his face.
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe if I just step back, some of the other things about this will fall into place.”
With that, the two of them made their way into the living room.
“Here-I’ll make ya a cup of coffee.”
As the Deputy made coffee, the Sheriff sat in the armchair in his living room, thinking. A couple of weeks ago, Caroline never made it to school. As much as he hoped and prayed that she was alright, he couldn’t help but feel this dread lurking in his stomach. The thought that he might never see his only child again haunted his dreams, his sleep, his every waking moment. He pinched the bridge of his nose, wanting to think that this wasn’t foul play…
The front door swung open, and Janet, his wife, rushed in, a panicked look on her face. Barry Glendale stood up with concern.
“Janet? What is it?”
“Barry-I-I’ve made a horrible mistake.” she told him through tears. “I’m so sorry-it’s all my fault… Caroline…”
For a moment, she was unable to continue as she started to sob. Her husband held her tightly.
“Janet-Janet it’s ok-I’m here-just tell me what happened.”
Janet turned away from him, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“I-I went to Reverend Passey to talk to him about-about how hard it was to lose her. We-we were just talking, and then something he said made me realize-.”
Janet had stopped mid-sentence, staring. Barry Glendale turned to see his Deputy standing there, two cups of coffee in his hand.
“Um. Hello ma’am. Sorry to have your husband take his work home again. We’ve just been very busy with everything.”
Janet continued to stare at him, her face turning into one of fear.
“I-I didn’t realize… Jonah was here…” she whispered, backing away ever so slightly. Her husband looked at her confused, and then looked back at his deputy.
“Janet-please tell me what’s going on.”
“Barry-I need to talk to you alone.”
“Please. I need to talk to you alone right now.”
It happened so fast, that Sheriff Barry Glendale hardly had any time to react. Janet stood there, her tearstained face one of surprise as she looked down at her chest, where a blood stain was blooming like some flower of death. Barry looked over to the Deputy, his face hardened as he held up a smoking gun. Janet fell to the floor.
“JANET!” Barry screamed in horror, rushing to his wife’s side as she started to cough up blood. Tears filled his eyes in shock and desperation as he looked back at his Deputy.
“WHAT THE HELL-.”
“She knew too much.” Jonah Ledford said quietly as the lights above them flickered. “You both do.”
The Sheriff put a hand to his wife’s face, crying as he held her.
“Please Janet-Janet no… no...”
“B-Barry…” she gurgled, her eyes losing their focus. “I’m-sor…”
Then she was gone.
The Sheriff howled in despair, shaking his wife, his face screwed up in emotion.
“Janet…” he whispered, leaning over her. He then looked up and slowly turned to his deputy.
“Why?” he growled, letting his wife to the ground and standing up, his shirt covered in blood and his fists clenched. The lights above them flickered again. The deputy pointed the gun at the Sheriff’s chest.
“I didn’t want to have to kill you.” Jonah Ledford said coldly. “But I can’t let you interrupt the plans of my boss.”
“Boss?! I’m your boss!”
The Deputy cocked the gun as the Sheriff glared at him.
“Waaaaait Jonaaah… I have a better iiiiiiidea….” a voice hissed as the lights dimmed. Barry Glendale felt a shiver crawl up his spine as it felt like something came up from behind him. He turned around to see a dark wispy figure there, its eyes a blank white, a creepy smile forming, dripping with some weird black goop.
The Sheriff did not even have a chance to gasp before the thing reached out and stuck it’s hand through his face and into his head.
Sheriff Barry Glendale screamed.
The Sheriff gasped and blinked, bringing him back into the present day.
He was back in the motel room of the detectives in town. The four of them all looked at him expectantly. He was still holding the steaming cup of some hot mixture that Joey made, but his hands were now shaking.
“J...Jonah… He… he killed my wife… I was there… and there was… some kind of… dark… figure thing…”
He put his face in his hands, feeling overwhelmed.
“It’s ok.” Joey soothed. “Take your time. I know it’s a lot to take it. After a moment, the Sheriff took in a few deep breaths.
“Just-just give me a moment…”
After a few more breaths, the Sheriff then proceeded to tell them everything that he remembered.
“That sounds like the spirit parasite alright…” Ian said grimly. “And it explains a lot of things. The only problem now, is that we don’t know where he is.”
“I find it interesting that he called the parasite his boss…” Joey said retrospectively. “It must be offering him something more than just the opportunity to kill...”
“So… what is this about a spirit parasite?” the Sheriff asked.
“That’s what is in control of all these ghosts.” Joey explained. “Every time this killer kills somebody, it helps feed the spirit and make it get stronger. It’s kind of like that thing what happened with Dolly and Vera and the thing in their basement.”
The Sheriff still looked a little confused by this, but didn’t say anything else.
“Do you know where he might have gone?” Jordyn asked. The Sheriff sighed.
“I don’t know. And if he really did kill all of those people and if he’s working with this… parasite thing, then they might even let him skip town. He could be miles away by now.”
For some reason, Ian didn’t think that sounded right.
“Hold that thought-I’ve got to use the bathroom.” he mumbled, pushing past everyone else. When he opened the bathroom door, he jumped back in surprise.
“Ian? What is it?” Jordyn demanded, running over to see what was up.
The bathroom was covered with kid’s drawings and scribblings carved into all of the walls and even the shower and tub itself. Some of them had coloring on them, but Ian had no idea what had been used. It almost looked like crayon, but a bit goopier.
“What the heck?!” Brian exclaimed, poking his head in. Ian stared at a certain drawing that looked like Roderick surrounded by a bunch of little girls. They all had sad faces and black tears.
Another picture was of a bunch of buildings on fire or exploding. Right next to it, Ian recognized the handwriting of his brother in the words “Pinnacle Gulch”. Underneath it was a drawing of a skull.
“What is all of this?” the Sheriff asked, looking around at all the things on the bathroom walls.
“I don’t think the Deputy has left town…” Ian said quietly. “I have a feeling that something bigger is coming, and the killer wouldn’t want to miss it…”