A man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading.

Jeremy Collier

 
 
 
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Tác giả: Xxx
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Biên tập: Slender Man
Language: English
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***
I got called out to Seal Cove on the coast about a year ago for duty. Small town on the coast, you know how it is. Maybe 700 people, tops. That’s including the ones who aren’t on paper. They told me I’d have a quiet eight months. Not much happens around there usually, besides the odd poacher or pissed-up drunk who needs a night in the tank to sober up. Never any real crime. Never any murders or nothing.
It’s a bit of an odd spot, but nice enough. Folks are pretty friendly. Made me feel at home. Lots of old folks – old fishermen and trappers and such – and they tend to keep to themselves more often. Not a lot of young people around. I guess most of ’em head off to college and then they don’t come back much.
Things were going pretty good until about two weeks in. I walked into the station that morning – Wednesday, I think – and I hear Sheriff Thompson and Deputy Colby talking in the lunch room, real hushed, like something’s wrong. I figured I should pop my head in and say good morning. And grab some coffee, too. So I stroll on in and nod and give ’em a “good morning” and I’m about to grab a cuppa joe to head back out to the office when Sheriff tells me to sit down.
You can always tell in somebody’s voice when there’s something truly wrong. They always stumble, like they forgot how to explain things, or that the words they use don’t make sense at all any more. I could hear it in Sheriff’s voice that morning – he didn’t sound right.
Turns out, Sheriff Thompson’s father-in-law passed away the summer before at the age of 75, and he and his wife were real pioneer-type folks. Mr and Mrs Dossit lived up the coast a ways in a little inlet called Loon Harbour. They had the place all to themselves – not a single other cabin around. They were totally off the grid: no power, telephone, roads – you get the picture. Only connection they had to the outside world was their wooden outboard motorboat and little CV radio. Mr Dossit was an old school trapper, and his missus worked with him, side by side, curing and tanning hides and prepping them up to ship off to the city where they’d get sold at auction. The Dossits made their living from the land, and got their supplies from Seal Cove, without ever having to step foot in the city. That was the way they liked it – a quiet, simple life. Not a lot of people do that kind of thing anymore. I have to say, I admired it.
Since old Mr Dossit died, Sheriff said that his mother-in-law hadn’t ever been quite the same. Old Mr Dossit had been having trouble with his knees the last few years and so him and Mrs Dossit would stay with the Sheriff’s family during the winter, before heading back to Loon Harbour in the spring. The Thompsons didn’t mind – they all thought that Mr and Mrs Dossit were getting too old for their rough-and-tumble lifestyle anyways.
In the months following Mr Dossit’s death, Mrs Dossit started talking about spending the winter in Loon Harbour again – something that deeply concerned the Sheriff’s family. They tried to persuade her otherwise; that alone in the wilderness was no place for a woman at her age. In the end, though, Mrs Dossit got her way. Her undying reasoning being “It’s what he would have wanted.”
Sheriff got real quiet then, and said that up until Monday, his wife and Mrs Dossit had been in touch every day, and Mrs Thompson made sure to get every detail about how she was doing on her own. The last two mornings, though, Mrs Dossit hadn’t been answering her radio. It wasn’t like her, Sheriff said, to just leave people hanging like that. Something was definitely wrong, either with Mrs Dossit or her radio, and we were going to have to send a team to make sure things were alright.
We’d take Colby’s personal speedboat and head up to the Harbour and check in on Mrs Dossit, taking a specially prepared medical kit from Donna, the town’s resident doctor. The thaw was just starting so we’d have to take our time and watch out for ice, but it should be easy to do in a few hours so long as we all keep our eyes open. Sheriff told us the plan was to leave as soon as possible and be back before dark. I thought we’d easily be back by noon, but I hadn’t realized at the time what we might find at the cabin in Loon Harbour. None of us could have.
By nine we were kicking off from the pier and making our way out of Seal Cove, northeast along the shoreline. Wind was like ice in our faces, but Colby’s boat had a windbreak on it which made the trip bearable. The whole way, Sheriff had an uneasy look about him, which was understandable, given the thoughts that were probably going through his mind. It was his wife’s mother, after all. If something bad had happened to her… hell, I wouldn’t want to have to take that news home to Mrs Thompson.
The trip took about forty minutes, and by the time we turned around the point into Loon Harbour, we were feeling pretty anxious to get in out of the wind and onto land. The harbour was something else – bordered on either side by hills littered with remnants of the winter’s heavy snow, and with a low valley that reached for miles inland, curving left and right and filled with old, evergreen trees. It was truly a hermit’s paradise.
The Dossit cabin stood a short walk from the water’s edge, in a small clearing specked here and there by birch trees. Colby tied the boat on to the end of the little dock where Mrs Dossit had hauled up her boat for the winter. She had a winch, sure, but still – not bad for a 67 year old.
Despite all the beauty of that place, something seemed off about the whole picture. The harbour was ice-free, so why hadn’t the old girl put her boat back in the water? And why wasn’t there smoke coming from the chimney? Strangest of all, where was she? Now, I know Mrs Dossit liked to keep to herself these days, and I’m sure she had work to take care of inside the cabin or out back, but after two full days of no human contact surely she would notice the racket of an outboard motor less than a hundred yards from her front door.
“Claire,” Sheriff shouted out, “you around?” Silence. “Here with some o’ the boys to check up on yah.” Still, no answer.
“Probably busy inside,” Colby offered. He meant to comfort the sheriff but the shakiness in his voice gave him away. He must have had that same feeling of discomfort that I did. We started up the path, walking slow and looking around for… well anything, really. And when we got a little closer I could tell the curtains were all closed. It looked like nobody was home.
“Something ain’t right boys,” Sheriff said. We knew.
Up on the front porch things got even more strange. It hadn’t snowed for the last week or so, and anything lying on the ground was leftover for a while, hard and crusty on the top from melting and freezing over and over. The whole front porch was covered with a layer of crusty snow. No footprints anywhere, and I started feeling mighty apprehensive when Sheriff pointed out the front door. It was open… just a little bit.
“Claire,” Sheriff called again, “we’re coming inside.”
I tensed up, preparing myself for what we’d find inside. I’d never found a cadaver before – never seen one besides at funerals. Sheriff opened the door.
In the dim light of the cabin, there was dark shape. It was hanging in the middle of the room… swinging slightly from the breeze that we let in. At first I took it for a blanket, or coat… but as my eyes adjusted I saw the familiar texture of raw meat.
“Dear God,” I let out. Colby swore. Sheriff ran to the porch rail and got sick, over and over. The shape was a body, a woman’s shape… hanging by one ankle from a rafter and spinning round, slow. Beside, on the floor, a knife with a long, curved blade lay in a pool of blood. A skinning knife.
The cabin was cold, so cold. Colder than the air outside. There was no smell – no scent of decay – and I knew at once it was because the body was frozen.
We all stepped down onto the snow-patched grass and took a breath. We couldn’t have imagined this. How could anyone have imagined this? The sheer horror of that poor woman’s body was unfathomable. We stood there, staring out at the water and slowly the reality of the situation settled itself in. This was a crime scene. A murder scene. We were police. We had a job to do.
Colby and I insisted again and again that the Sheriff ought to sit it out – that he shouldn’t get too involved because it was family we were dealing with. He would have none of it. I think in his mind, making sure the investigation went as smoothly as possible was a sort of farewell to the old woman. So the three of us got started.
There were photos to be taken, so many photos… every surface in the cabin, from every angle. The body. The knife. We dusted for prints, took samples of hair, blood, all the usual stuff. All the while we were collecting evidence, Mrs Dossit kept spinning round to take us in with those lidless eyes. Before long we cut her down and got her in the body bag. I’d like to say we did it out of respect but that way we didn’t have to feel her eyes on us anymore.
If things weren’t already terrible enough, other aspects of the crime scene were starting to stand out as being peculiar. First off, the lack of footprints outside the front door meant that nobody had entered or exited the cabin for at least a week. The radio was in prime working condition – something we discovered when Mrs Thompson called in to ask if we had fixed the radio yet. We didn’t respond.
The cupboards were stocked nearly full, and upon closer inspection it seemed as though Mrs Dossit hadn’t touched her winter supply. In the garbage, only a few empty cans were found. It was starting to look as though the murder had occurred much earlier, at the beginning of Mrs Dossit’s trip. This was backed up by the fact that the woodpile, which was stacked against the leeward side of the cabin, had hardly been diminished. Inside, a small pile of sticks sat neatly by the woodstove. Stranger still, was that there was only a small amount of ash in the stove – the remnants of one, maybe two fires. From the looks of things, she had been killed just a few days after returning to Loon Harbour.
“Sheriff, when was it you said Lucy and her last talked?” I asked, wearily.
“Day before yesterday,” he said, “I heard her voice myself on the radio.”
Clearly things weren’t adding up. We were reading the scene wrong, somehow. Maybe Mrs Dossit had extra wood and food stocked for the winter. Maybe she had gotten rid of the garbage somehow. Simple enough explanation. Only explanation, really. It was just hard to keep my mind thinking logically after seeing something so… disturbing.
Of course, the next thing that came to mind was the murderer. Where did they go? How did they get in the cabin and sneak off, seemingly without a trace? And how did they get there in the first place? It was frightful to think that the horror of a man who had committed this crime might be a mere two days walk from here. Perhaps closer. Where was he? And, more worryingly, where was the-
“Jesus Christ!” Colby shrieked from a few feet behind me, deafening my ear. I spun around as quick as possible, nearly choking with shock as he fired two rounds through the glass of the living room window.
“The hell, Colby?” I shouted, grabbing for my gun. Sheriff came running out of the bedroom, revolver at the ready.
“What’s happening?” he demanded of us, but by that point Colby was darting out through the door.
“Son of a bitch!” we heard him yell as he disappeared into the bright spring sun outside. He had seen something. He had seen them.
“Follow me, Porter. Now!” Sheriff said, and we made out way out onto the porch. Colby’s footsteps lead away from the shore, towards the Dossits’ trapline. Straight into the woods.
“Colby!” Sheriff yelled, but no reply came. Then, another shot.
We ran as fast as we could, Sheriff in the lead, watching the right, while I brought up the rear, watching the left. We could hear Colby shouting again, swearing. He sounded far off, not quite straight ahead. We were sprinting when two more shots rang off to our sharp left. Colby had left the main path. In patches of dirty snow there were footprints, spaced far apart. Another shout. Another shot. And then… silence.
“Colby, talk to us!” I shouted, praying that it was him who had fired that last shot. There was no sound for a good ten seconds and then…
“Here,” came a weak reply. Off to our left again this time. He had started to turn back towards the cabin, full circle. When we found him, he was standing with his back to a tree, gun gripped tight in both hands. Eyes wide open. The poor boy was shaking like a leaf of grass in the wind.
“What the hell were you thinking?” Sheriff boomed at him. Colby just shuddered at the noise, looked wildly around, and ran to us. The look on his face when he got near was indescribable. I’d never seen somebody look so relieved to see me.
“I saw… I… I mean… I saw… I saw…” he kept muttering, over and over. He looked scared, but almost like he was embarrassed to show it. “I mean… I saw… I think…” was all he said.
We made our walk back to the cabin, slow and cautious. Whoever it was that had been watching us was surely still nearby. We figured it best to get out as soon as possible. Grab our things and take the body back to town. Those woods seemed like the worst possible place to be at that point.
By six o’clock that evening we were pulling back into town. Nobody’d said a word since we left Loon Harbour, and the ride seemed to go on for hours. Colby was too stirred up from his encounter in the woods, and I figured it best if Sheriff avoid as much stress as possible so I’d offered to steer us back to Seal Cove. The whole ways, though, I kept glancing over to the shore, expecting to see… somebody watching us, I guess.
The funeral was held three days later. No casket for poor Mrs Dossit – the family had her cremated. Poor Mrs Thompson looked like she’d had all the blood drained from her body. Still, she held it together. For the kids, I suppose. Colby didn’t show up for the funeral. After I offered my condolences to Sheriff and his family, he told me that nobody’d seen Colby at the station since the day we got back from Loon Harbour, and I should keep an eye out for him.
That night I found myself back at my desk, sorting through photo after photo from the cabin. The woman had been dead for quite some time – likely for most of the winter. Whoever had done this to her was still nearby when we arrived at the harbour, but they couldn’t have possibly spent the winter there. There was no food missing, and no sign that the place had been occupied. Nothing was adding up.
I started putting the folders away when a terrible thought entered my head. What if the murderer was never outside that window? What if deputy Colby had fooled us all? He claimed to have seen somebody outside that cabin and certainly convinced the Sheriff and I that it was true, but who else had seen it? Only Colby.
What if he had killed Mrs Dossit?
It would explain the condition of the cabin, his mysterious encounter, everything. Colby had a boat and could have easily taken a detour to Loon Harbour during one of his hunting trips. But why on earth would he have done such a thing? What grudge could he possibly hold against the Sheriff’s poor mother-in-law, or against Sheriff Thompson himself?
My mind was racing, my hands shaky. Hell, it was past midnight and I hadn’t slept more than an hour each night since that wretched day. I needed to head home and try to get some rest. It would be best to have a clear head when I confronted Sheriff about this in the morning.
I left the station and started walking to my rented house but decided to stop in at the pub for a quick drink. A little something to unwind. I took a seat and ordered up a double rum, just as somebody slid into the stool at my left.
“How’d the funeral go?” Colby asked, clutching an empty glass and stinking of whisky. My heart nearly stopped when I heard his voice, but I had to play dumb.
“Very sad,” I said, taking a gulp of rum. I had to get out of there as fast as possible. “You didn’t come.”
“I was, ahh… busy,” he slurred, tapping his empty glass.
“I see.”
“Been spending some, ahh… quality time with dear Craig here,” he said, pointing at the bartender. “How ’bout one more, bud?” Craig filled up the glass, shaking his head but saying nothing. Clearly Colby had been here for the last few days. I hoped it was the guilt getting to him, the sick bastard.
“You haven’t been at the station,” I said.
“Nooo, no no,” he muttered. “I cant be lookin’ at those pictures. Memory’s bad enough ain’t it?”
“It’s our job,” I said through gritted teeth. How could he sit here and talk about her like that? I was disgusted with him. I turned to look him straight in the face. “The son of a bitch is still out there, somewhere.”
“You got me there, Porter,” he said, staring into his whisky. Drunk as he was, it would be so easy to cuff him then and there.
“Well, you saw him with your own eyes, didn’t you?” I pressed.
“Her.”
“So it was a woman you saw?” I was getting impatient.
“It was her.” Colby twisted in his seat and looked me dead in the eyes. “Her, Porter.”
I didn’t know what to make of it. He didn’t look like he was guilty, or grieving, or lying. He looked afraid.
“What do you mean?” I asked. Colby drained his whisky in one go.
“Claire Dossit,” he said. “I saw her face watching us through the window. Or maybe I’m just crazy.” With that, he got up and walked out, leaving me staring at the bottles behind the bar.
“Another?” Craig asked me.
“No.”
I’m not sure why – it must have been something in Colby’s voice – but I decided to hold off on telling the Sheriff about my suspicions. I’d have to have a chat with Donna, the doctor. I was curious to hear what she’d have to say about Mr Dossit’s death.
The night crept by with agonizing patience. Stars sliding in and out of view behind the bank of fog that hung over the harbour. Each time I closed my eyes I would see Mrs Dossit’s lidless gaze. The last few hours of darkness I spent at the kitchen table, staring at the front door with a hand on my revolver.
The clinic was quiet that morning, and when I first spoke to Donna I could tell she was looking at me in a peculiar sort of way. She offered my a cup of coffee which I gladly accepted. I must have looked like shit.
“I have a few questions for you about Mr Dossit,” I said. The coffee seemed to warm me straight away when I took a sip. “About his health before his death.”
“Right,” she said. “Where would you like me to start?”
“Sheriff Thompson told me about his decline in health during his last year. Said that his father-in-law was unable to stay at the cabin like they had been doing all along. What sort of problems was he having? Sheriff mentioned arthritis or something like that.”
Donna took a sip of coffee, with a puzzled look on her face. “Mr Dossit had been having joint trouble for some years before his death. I had told him that he should start easing off, retire. He’d have none of it. I gave him information about other, less strenuous activities he might try, to keep active, which he dismissed as ‘yoga for hippies’. I wouldn’t blame his arthritis for slowing him down so much as his more general well-being.”
“In what way?”
“Well, mentally. More or less. He suddenly seemed paranoid of those around him. He seemed to think that he was being watched.”
“Interesting.” It was cold in the office. “Can you remember when exactly this… behavior started?”
“I could find the folder with my notes from Mr Dossit’s appointment.”
“You have notes?”
“Scribblings, more like. I’m not a psychiatrist, officer, but I know enough to tell when somebody’s mind is in a troubled state.”
“And this was?”
“About six months before his disappearance.”
“His…?” Apparently Sheriff had left that part out. He’d never mentioned anything about any missing person case.
“You didn’t know?” Donna took a deep breath. “That poor family has been through so much. Lucy was depressed for a long time. Sheriff Thompson took her into the city for therapy for a few months, I remember. Mr Dossit just got up one morning, went out for a walk and never came home. It was a sad time for the whole town.”
“I can imagine. There was a search, yes? Did they ever find the body?”
She shook her head. “No body. They couldn’t even give the man a proper burial.” Donna gave me a look. “The sheriff would know a lot more about the case than I do, officer. Have you spoken to him?”
“Not about this. Not now. I don’t want to give him or his family any more grief. Sorry to bother you, Donna, but I’ve just got a few more questions.”
“Sure.”
“You said that Mr Dossit’s behavior changed quickly about six months before he went missing. Given your medical knowledge, what do you think could have led to this change?”
“Well there are many possibilities, too many to guess. Again, I’m not a psychiatrist, Officer Porter, but it seemed to me that his personality changed due to some sort of experience, not a medical issue. Some trauma that he alone had gone through. Whatever it was that he saw or imagined, I can’t say, but it certainly left him…”
“Unhinged?”
“Broken.” Donna looked very sad. “I’d never seen somebody so full of fear. Claire used to come with him to his appointments. He seemed afraid of being alone, even for a moment.”
“But the day he went missing, Mr Dossit left home alone.” It seemed very strange.
“Yes.”
“Thank you, Doctor, this has been very helpful.” I got up to leave.
“I’m glad to help, Officer. I admit, I was expecting you ask me about Lucy’s mother, not her father. Have you found some sort of connection between them?”
Yes, I thought, but instead I said “I’d rather not say right now.”
“Of course,” said Donna, and she walked me out.
It was still early, too early for lunch. I wasn’t hungry anyways. I headed to the station to find a folder on my desk. Sheriff’s office door was shut, and I didn’t want to bother him. I opened the folder.
Coroner’s report was on top. I flipped through the pages but most of it was old news. Time of death was undetermined, but certainly more than a month ago. Notes about stomach contents, minor cuts and defence wounds. I poured over it all, obsessing over every line, but the one thing that grabbed my attention was the cause of death – hypothermia – and the side note that read “minimal blood loss, no cutting of major arteries.” She had actually survived being skinned alive. God, the thought of it was enough to drive somebody over the edge. Lucy would probably be needing some more therapy after all that had happened.
Lucy… I thought. She was the one aspect of the murder that complicated everything else. All of the evidence, all of the details about the crime scene, they all were shifted into the unreal by Lucy saying she had been in contact with her mother throughout the winter. It was the her testimony that made the whole thing so damn complicated… so what if it wasn’t true?
The Sheriff’s wife had a history of mental distress, I knew now. Extended periods of depression. She was obviously worried about her mother’s well-being, and under a large amount of stress. Hell, being married to a police officer was probably enough stress on its own. What if her conversations hadn’t really happened? What if it was just a delusion of hers?
But no, I realized. That wasn’t it. Sheriff had told me that day at Loon Harbour that he had heard Mrs Dossit’s voice over the radio himself. Another explanation shot down. Another reason to feel very much at unease. There was only one logical next step. I’d have to talk to her myself.
If anybody would know an important detail about Mrs Dossit’s situation, surely it would be her own daughter. The woman had spoken with her every day, she claimed. She must have noticed something, some small detail that would explain everything. Sheriff wouldn’t be happy but, damn it, I had to do something.
Sheriff’s office light was still on. It would have to be now, before he got home. I could use a walk anyways. I grabbed my jacket and walked out into the street. I was shocked to see that night had just begun to fall. Christ, I had been so wrapped up in things that the hours had melted away. I suddenly realized the churning hunger in my stomach and the tired ache in my eyes, but it would have to wait until later.
The Thompson house was located on a new side road that hadn’t been paved yet. Theirs was one of the first houses built in that area, and it was a short walk through the woods to get there. It was cold out, so I zipped up and walked fast. The hard packed gravel crunched lightly under my feet, echoing off the bare tree trunks that carried on out of sight to either side of the road.
But was that an echo? I didn’t quite sound like an echo… The footsteps sounded faster than my own.
I stopped, and they got faster, louder.
I spun around, reaching for my revolver and realizing too late that I’d left it own my desk at the station. The figure flew at me from the shadows and rammed straight into my chest. It knocked the breath out of me, and as I struggled to get it off of me the stench of sweat and whiskey filled my nose.
Colby’s face was mere inches from my own, his bloodshot eyes staring into mine and darting wildly off to one side or the other, scanning the woods around us before looking back at me. Tears were wet on his cheeks and spit flew in my face as he screamed.
“STOP IT! STOP IT! YOU HAVE TO HELP! HAVE TO STOP IT PLEASE! MAKE HER GO! MAKE HER GO!”
“Let me go!” I yelled back, struggling to free my hands, but he had pinned them to the ground. “Get off of me, now!”
“I SAW IT! I SAW IT AND IT WANTS ME, PORTER! SHE’S GOING TO KILL ME, PORTER! PLEASE!”
“Fuck, Colby, snap out of it!” I yelled, but he was beyond reason. There was madness in his eyes.
“YOU SAW HER TOO! YOU WERE RIGHT THERE, YOU HAD TO! SHE’S COMING PORTER, HELP ME PLEASE! MAKE HER-”
I’d managed to free my hand, and slammed a fist into the side of Colby’s head. He rolled off, screaming and swearing and crying. “What in god’s name-”
I didn’t get a chance to finish before he lunged at me again. I had barely gotten to my feet, but in his crazed, drunken state I managed to get out of the way. I had just grabbed for my handcuffs when he pulled the gun on me.
“NO!” he screamed, scrambling to his feet. “DON’T DO THIS TO ME!”
“Colby,” my throat was dry. “Colby let’s talk about-”
“NO!” He was sobbing now. The hand holding the gun was shaking. He was pointing it at me, but his eyes kept darting off to the trees. “NO PLEASE! IT-”
There was a loud “crack,” like the breaking of a branch, off to one side and he swung the gun around, firing three shots into the woods.
That was my chance.
I slammed a boot into the back of Colby’s leg as hard as I could. He went down like a wounded animal, screaming and shaking. Gunshots were ringing out as he fired wildly around.
I ran. I ran faster than I’d ever before. I scrambled over the gravel road, nearly falling head over heels while Colby’s screams and gunshots filled the night among other, stranger sounds.
My memory after that is fuzzy. Bits and pieces are all that remain. I know I got to the Thompson house. I remember the look of shock on Lucy and the kids faces when I stormed in, slamming the door behind me. I remember the Sheriff arriving, and an ambulance showing up. Colby was nowhere to be seen. All that remained on the road was a handful of empty bullet casings and some blood.
I remember handing over my badge, and leaving the house key in my landlord’s mailbox, along with a short letter saying I was moving out.
My last memory of Seal Cove is the bus ride back to the city. Four hours of dead radio and nothing to look at but trees. I looked at the floor instead. I got a new job, new apartment, and tried never to think about it again.
Until now.
News station tonight aired a story on the growing number of missing persons in rural towns. The count now stands at eleven – nine being residents of Seal Cove, including the town’s Deputy Sheriff. They showed a quick clip of Sheriff Thompson, who looked more gaunt than ever. Only three bodies have been found, exhibiting what the reporter referred to as “heavy mutilation.” It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out exactly what that means.
People have to know that it’s not safe anymore. That thing – whatever it is – has gotten bolder. It had to have started with Mr Dossit. He had awoken it at Loon Harbour, it seems. After that, it had lured him off somehow, made him follow it into the trees. Then it descended on his wife when she was alone and miles away from help, probably in Mr Dossit’s form. And Colby… poor innocent Colby… the thing had followed us back to Seal Cove in pursuit of him after he’d seen it at Loon Harbour. We had lured it straight to humanity. How many of these new cases are victims of the same evil? Is this all our fault?
I don’t know if it will leave the woods long enough to come enter the city, but how will we know when it does? Each stranger you pass on the streets could be it in disguise. Each voice you hear on the phone could be a lie. The only safety, it seems, is to never be alone. Mr and Mrs Dossit, Colby… they had all been alone when it came for them. Maybe if I hadn’t abandoned Colby in the road that night, he’d still be alive.
Tomorrow I board the bus and head back to Seal Cove for questioning by the Sheriff. Being the last person to see Colby alive, I always knew it was just a matter of time. God knows if I’ll make it back, or if that thing will take me and make a new mask of my face.
The Skinner, I’ve come to call it. It haunts my dreams every night, though I’ve never seen it with my own eyes. In my dreams it’s always Colby, though, always watching silently from behind the trees.
It won’t stop. It’s on the move and picking up speed. I wish I could say I know more about what to do but I don’t. For now, all I can say is stay close, stay safe, and stay out of the woods.
-Kevin Porter, 2015
Credit: Keith Daniels
Loon Harbour Loon Harbour - Xxx