Who's Afraid of the Darkness 9

Updated on May 15, 2019
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Ms. Williamson is a published author and educator with a Bachelor of Business, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Science!

The Devourer claimed his latest victim … but one lived to tell the tale!
The Devourer claimed his latest victim … but one lived to tell the tale!

What the Morning Reveals ...

It is very uncomfortable, but Bill spends the night in the tree—too terrified to come down even though the sun is brightly shining. The creature drug the reminds of Pete to the foot of the tree and left.

The Chief Inspector is the first to see the scattered bones.

“What the hell happened here.” Inspector Williams queries to himself aloud.

“Is it gone, Chief?” Bill looks down at him still in a state of shock. “That’s what is left of Pete. I’m so sorry.”

“What are you talking about man and why are you in that tree? Come down and tell me what’s going on?” The Chief Inspector demands.

As Bill tries to maneuver from the tree, his boot catches on a small limb and he crashes unceremoniously to the ground.

“Pete thought it would be a good idea to steal a couple of the lanterns, but the beast was behind us. Chief—the damn thing can talk, just like a human!” Bill exclaims.

“Are you serious, Bill?” The Chief asks.

“Yes, I am!” Bill replies.

“Now, that’s a little tidbit Jacolby Albright forgot to tell us. What exactly did this creature say.” The Chief is intrigued.

“Told us that we were fools not to listen to the warnings. I didn’t stay to hear what else he had to say. I high-tailed it outta there. Tore Pete apart in a matter of seconds and was coming after me. I saw this here tree and climbed like back when I was a boy scout.” Bill adds now being able to smile about the entire ordeal.

“You boys did a very foolish thing. Bill paid for it with his life—you are going to cool your heels in jail for a couple of hours. Don’t worry, you’ll be out long before it gets dark. And, I assume that I won’t have to tell you to go straight home?” The Chief admonishes.

“No sir!” Is Bill’s response.

Indoor curfew mandated for all nonessential citizens.
Indoor curfew mandated for all nonessential citizens.

The Road to Davis County ...

It is about 10:00 am when Jacolby receives a telephone call from Chief Inspector Williams.

“Sean—how’d it go yesterday?” Jacolby starts, disregarding the customary greeting.

“Jake Gipson picked up what was left of Pete Yancey.” Sean soberly conveys to Jacolby.

“What the hell happened?” Jacolby inquiries.

“According to Bill Callaway, he and Pete were going to break into City Hall to retrieve a couple of those Lanterns. But instead they had a run-in with the creature. Bill said it talked—” Sean is interrupted by Jacolby.

“It talked to him?” Jacolby cries in amazement as his twins listen in.

“Apparently, and he took off—leaving Pete to face the music alone.” Sean states.

“What happened next?” Jo buts in on the phone call which is broadcasting throughout the car by way of speakers in the dashboard.

“Well, Jo—it’s quite obvious. The creature tore him to shreds and devoured him. Only thing left was a skull, rib cage and the leg portions. Same as the others.” Sean finishes.

“The fool—he just had to be hard-headed. How is Bill?” Jacolby asks.

“He’ll be cooling his heels in jail overnight. After this, I don’t see us having any problems with the locals. There may be the occasional strays and a few drifters—but I am posting signs all over the town. After Bill finishes spilling his yarn—”

“Yeah, you’ll be hard-pressed to have those with lanterns venturing out.” Cody interjects.

“That’s true. You guys have a safe trip up north to Davis County. Let Sheriff Hamilton know that we don’t want him sharing anymore of his adventures with us.” Sean gives a slight chuckle and hangs up.

“Dad, it’s important that we get this training over with and get back home.” Cody says.

“Yes—something has got to be done about this present danger. I wonder if this is going to be a new trend. That witch sure did open up a Pandora’s Box of Calamities.” Jo adds.

That’s putting it mildly.” Jacolby retorts and the remainder of the journey is spent in silence, each dealing with their own inner doubts.

The Hamilton's Lodge ...
The Hamilton's Lodge ...

The Hamilton’s Lodge ...

By nightfall, the trio have arrived at what was once called the Christmas Cottage Inn. Jenny has decided that it is time that the place be given a different name—one that will not be associated with the infamous events of the past. The place is renamed The Hamilton’s Lodge.

Jenny has insisted on renovating the inside of the facilities but leaving the outside the same. Henry doesn’t like Jenny spending so much of her money on the Lodge but when Henry realizes that it is of no consequence to argue with a determined woman—he reneges.

There are three additions to the Lodge to replace the former staff members. Dallas Hamilton, a cute cousin of Henry’s, is now the receptionist and Poplar Armstrong (Pop) is the competent maintenance man. Barbara Townsend, an excellent cook completes the group. Jenny is at the door to greet her guest.

“So glad to see you, guys. Even though this isn’t the best of circumstances, I hope you will still enjoy your stay.” Jenny replies noting the worried look on all three faces. “Is there anything wrong?”

“Yeah, another local has been killed.” Jacolby adds, not wanting to give any details.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Jacolby. Henry is in the high country making his rounds. He won’t be back before morning. Why don’t I have Pop get your things out of the car and he’ll show you to your rooms. Barbara will make you a couple of light sandwiches and some lemonade. Then—off to bed with you.” Jenny replies motioning Pop to the car to retrieve the luggage.

“I’ll go assist him.” Cody says, feeling the need for something to do while his father stands admiring the beauty of the place.

“This is quite a place you and Henry have here.” Jacolby says.

“We’re both very proud of it. Jo dear, is there anything wrong?” Jenny notices the uneasiness in her goddaughter.

“It’s just that I have the strange feeling that I have been here before.” Jo replies, then shaking herself free of the melancholy smiles at Jenny.

“Hmm!” Jenny replies looking at her curiously. “I wonder.”

To Be Continued ...

© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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