I survived the scrutiny of unseen eyes and locked the front door behind me. I looked through the fridge and pulled out a package of lunch meat and two slices of provolone cheese. I found bread in the cabinet and made myself a ham and cheese sandwich.
I thought about what I should do next. Talking to Mr. Tompkins would have to wait until tomorrow. I could go back to Stub’s pub and ask about Mrs. Murray, the librarian who abruptly left town. Then there was always the prospect of exploring the woods, but without knowing what I was looking for, I would more likely get lost or end up as dinner for a pack of hungry wolves.
I glanced through the notebook between bites of the mouth-watering ham and cheese. I spent more time examining each page in case I missed something the first time around. I found an entry where Becky talked about the strange noises in the woods. She wrote about meeting someone who gave her an eyewitness account of what they saw up in the hills one night.
I finished my sandwich and continued reading. It wasn’t a wolf or a coyote, from what the person described. It was too big and walked on its hind quarters. Becky wrote that she thought there was something sinister living in the woods and someone was taking the animals and offering it to whatever it was to lure it out.
I wonder how many residents in Pine Brook Falls were missing their dog or cat. If there were a good amount of them, then they would have informed the sheriff. What was Becky doing? What was the strange animal the witness saw? Could it have simply been a bear? Why was someone taking peoples pets and killing them just to put them in a pile for some other animal in the woods? It didn’t make any sense.
I had a feeling that the witness she wrote about was Trevor. He was the one who got her involved in this crazy quest. I turned the page and found the spot where the witness said he saw it. It was off the main street, all the way to the east end of town up a small trail leading into the woods. There was a park that backed up to the woods in that area.
I decided to wait on following up about Mrs. Murray. I didn’t even know if that had anything to do with what was going on. The only option left was not one that excited me. The prospect of going into the woods at night terrified me. I knew, though, if I were going to venture out in the woods, I would need someone with me, who knew their way around. I would need Trevor. Additionally, I was going to need supplies. Seeing as the town omitted any type of consumer activity on Thursdays, rummaging through Becky’s house was my only choice.
I closed the book and began to look for anything that would aid me in my quest. I started in the kitchen. I looked through the drawers and found a butcher’s knife. I know, a little extreme, but it was big and scary looking. I put it on the counter. I found some rope under the sink along with a couple empty plastic bottles. I took them all.
I made my way into the garage. Becky’s car wasn’t there. That was interesting. Did anyone find her car abandoned? I pushed that thought aside and went to the workbench. Becky loved working with wood. It was a passion she had no doubt picked up from my father. He wasn’t much of a father but he was a good craftsman. I found a small saw, a couple chisels, a folding knife, clamps, a router, and a sander. I took the folding knife.
I grabbed a few more small things from the garage that included a flashlight, extra batteries, a small ax, and few bottles of water. I piled all the supplies on the kitchen table.
I went back into Becky’s bedroom and grabbed a backpack I remembered seeing in her closet. In her nightstand, I found a stun gun. She was a woman who lived alone, so I guess it made sense. I grabbed it and headed back to the kitchen.
I put everything in the backpack and tested the weight of it as I slung it across my back. It felt fine. It wasn’t too heavy. One last thing I didn’t contemplate. Sleep. If I was going to go off into the woods, I needed to catch a couple of hours of sleep.
I shut off the light and went to Becky’s room. I dropped the backpack to the floor and fell on to the bed. I closed my eyes and thought of Becky. My gut told me that I wouldn’t find her. It had been a week without a word. I couldn’t give up hope. It was the only thing pushing me forward.
I thought of calling my mom but I didn’t know what to tell her. The only information I had would only upset her. I can put off calling her for another day. By tomorrow however, I better have something to tell her.
I set my alarm to go off in three hours. The upcoming adventure filled me with dread. If Trevor didn’t return, I would have to go alone, which didn’t take a genius to know that was a terrible idea. The more I thought about everything, the more helpless I began to feel.
I tucked the stun gun under my pillow. If any of those watchful eyes from earlier decided to take a closer look, I wanted to be ready. I know a stun gun didn’t offer a lot of protection but I left my M-16 at home next to my subscription to Guns and Ammo.
I tossed and turned for a while but sleep finally got me. I dreamt of the beach and of Becky. We were standing fifteen feet from each other. She was laughing. The sun was in my eyes with the water to her back. But something didn’t feel right.
In my dream, I looked at Becky, who was oblivious to my fear. She continued to laugh. Her eyes were looking straight at me when I saw something emerge from the ocean. It was a three-eyed beast. Its skin was gray and black with rough, uneven bumps covered its entire body. It had elongated fangs that glistened from its open mouth. Its claws were like blades of steel. The beast stood erect, over 8 feet tall. It charged at Becky. I screamed. She laughed. I couldn’t move. I felt helpless as I watched the beast stop and loom behind Becky. I began to run to her. I saw its large angular mouth hover over her head. Becky stopped laughing but she continued to smile. The creature bent down. Its mouth inched closer to her head. I screamed louder. I had a bottle in my hand. I threw it at the beast and the glass shattered against one of its eyes.
I sprang up in bed, out of breath. The room was dark. It was quiet. The remnants of the dream was still present in my mind. I took a couple of breaths as the fringes of the nightmare began to fade. It was only a dream. The hairs on the back of my neck rose. Was it because the dream? Something caught my attention. A sound from another room of the house. I remained seated in bed. Listening. Another sound. Glass breaking.