Friday, August 6, 2010

A Room With a Clue

“I’ll have two eggs over-easy” Brian says to the waitress “with a side of grits and bacon.”

“Ok, and you sir?” The waitress replies looking towards Ethan.

“I’ll have the grits with scrambled eggs and bacon” Ethan offers handing her his menu “and can I get a few pieces of toasts”

“Sure thing, I’ll have that for you in a jiffy,” the waitress says as she gathers up Brian’s menu and walks away.

Brian waits for the waitress to walk out of earshot before speaking “So you think it was a hag that killed Mr. O’brien?”

“Yes” Ethan begin, “its like I told you back in the room, I followed its psychic footprints on the astral plane.”

“Astral Plane?”

“Well the Astral Plane is …….”

“Excuse me, sugar, would you like a refill on that coffee?” the waitress asks Brian.

“Um, sure.” Brian replies.

As the waitress refills Brian’s coffee the men sit in silence. When she leaves they resume their conversation.

“Ok, what were you saying about the Astral Plane?”

“Forget about that for now, our priority now is to find the hag and destroy her.”

“Are you sure about this hag thing?” Brian asks “I’ve heard stories about hags all my life, but nothing like this.”

“Well these myths often have a ring of truth about them. Since many of these stories come down to us from word-of-mouth there are bound to be variables.”

“Like what?”

“Well, some cultures believe the hag to be a spirit.”

“That’s can’t be true, I mean we actually saw one in the flesh. That ugly thing sure weren’t no spirit”

“Right” replies Ethan. “Many of the ancient legends have a few things in common. Hags are always female. During the day they are thought to be either ugly old women, or beautiful young ladies. The young and beautiful ones are thought to love luxury and comfort so they attract and marry rich young men. At night they shed their skin and sneak into unsuspecting people’s homes to sit on their chest and suck out their breath.”

“Here you boys go.” the waitress says placing Ethan and Brian’s plates before them. “Can I get you anything else?”

“No thanks.” Brian replies for both of them.

“So they feed off a person’s vital energy?” Brian asks

“Right.” Ethan replies

“How can you tell who’s a hag?”

“Hags aren’t like you and me” Ethan offers “their feet are on backwards. During the day, they twist their feet around to appear normal.”

“That’s disgusting, Ethan.”

The two men share a laugh and they continue to chat and eat their breakfast.

“So, what are you going to do go around town and check out every woman’s ankles?” Brian asks.

“No, there’s actually a ritual in the Book of Shadows to attract and destroy a hag.”

“Ok, so what do we do?” asks Brian.

“That’s it? No argument, just what do we do?”

“Babe, I shot that thing multiple times at point blank range and it still came at me. If you hadn’t come in and sent that bitch flying I’d probably be dead now too. The way I see it we take her down, or she keeps killing people and we can’t let that happen.”

“Good, cause I’m going to need your help?” replies Ethan.

“What do you want me to do?”

“I’m going to need a secluded place to perform the ritual. We can’t have people snooping around when we confront the hag.”

“Ok, I’ll work on that after breakfast. I have to go check on our car today anyway. What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to go back to the hotel to consult the Book of Shadows. I’ll have to gather some supplies to perform the ritual.”

The two men finish their breakfast and then go their separate ways. Brian to Hambone’s Garage to check on their car and Ethan back to the Come On Inn. As Ethan approached the Inn, he notices a stretch limousine outside.

Walking inside Ethan approaches the front desk to check for messages he notices a woman wearing a $3000.00 black Versace pants-suit and $400.00 pair of Milano Bilonics, and carrying a $4500.00 Gucci handbag who he surmised was not from Moonshine Mountain.  As he waits to speak with Mrs. Curry he can’t help but overhear their exchange.

“I’m sorry but Mrs. O’brien is still in the hospital” Mrs. Curry says to the woman in black “and I just oversee the cleaning staff.”

“If you could just give her my card” the woman in black replies “I’d appreciate it very much.”

Mrs Curry takes the card and holding it out at arms length slowly reads the print. “Faye Powers, Bakhtak Corporation….”

“Yes. I’m very interested in speaking with Mrs. O’brien as soon as possible.”

“What would some big corporation want with an Inn owner?” Mrs. Curry asks

“Frankly, we are interested in buying the Inn.”

‘The Inn? Why would you want to buy the Inn?”

“I can’t comment on that at this time, but please see to it that Mrs. O’brien gets my card.”

Faye Powers turns around abruptly to leave and runs into Ethan, who she hadn’t noticed standing behind her.

“Oh, excuse me” she says dropping her purse.

“I’m sorry” Ethan replies, as he stoops down to get her purse “It was my fault entirely”

As he picks up the purse, Ethan notices that though the woman’s shoes are quiet beautiful her feet and ankles seem to be bruised.”

“Do you like them?” Faye asks

“Like them?”

“The shoes? They’re Milano Bilonics. Beautiful as hell, but murder on the feet and ankles.”

“I didn’t even notice.” Ethan replies handing the woman her purse.

“That’s the price of beauty” she says walking away.

“Mr. Knox” Mrs. Curry says “back from breakfast already? Where’s your….um brother?”

“My husband,” Ethan replies is at the garage checking on our car.”

“Oh, I see.” 

“Do either of us have any messages?”

“Nope, nothing at all.”

“Thanks Mrs. Curry”

“Have a good day.”

Ethan walks up to his room and unlocks the door to find that it has been ransacked! He quickly steps inside and shuts the door behind him. Preparing himself for a possible attack he searches the closet and bathroom for any sign of the intruder.

Ethan is relieved to learn that he is alone in the room and he begins to inspect the damage. It is then that he notices his ancestral Book of Shadows open on the edge of the bed. Walking over to the book his relief turns to terror as he realizes the spell to Attract and Destroy a Hag has been torn from the book!

“Son of a …….”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Into the Woods

“Are you going to stay in there all night?” Brian asks frustrated “It feels like you’ve been in there for months!”

Ethan’s astral form flew around the building and to the window of the room in which the attack occurred earlier that night. Hovering at the window he looked inside and saw the dark energy that lingers in a place where a violent death has occurred.

“Good.’ Ethan thought to himself “Don’t see any spirits hanging around. Hopefully Mr. O’Brien crossed over quickly.”

Ethan knew what could happen to a spirit that lingers on the earth plane after its body’s death. These spirits often feel that they must avenge their death or right some wrong before they can have closure. Some spirits even become trapped in loops re-living their horrible deaths over and over again. Often when they don’t get that needed closure, the spirit becomes angry, even violent towards those whose space it shares.  

“You know I’m not going to sleep until you’re in bed with me?” Brian asks now standing at the door to the bathroom which he discovered was locked. When Ethan failed to reply he hit the door once “Oh, ignoring me? That’s real mature, Ethan!”

Brian returns to the bed, grabs the remote to the television turns it on and begins flipping through the channels in an effort to distract his mind from his frustrations.

Ethan notices an astral substance on the window ledge that glows a dull green.  As his attention becomes focused on this substance it became clearer to Ethan that the energy leads out of the room, into the nearby woods and beyond.

“Energy flows where attention goes.” Ethan thought to himself as he followed the trail of energy into the woods.

“In other news…” read the announcer over the television “reports keep coming in that an unknown party continues to buy up tracts of land on Moonshine Mountain. This sleepy town was once the hub on the coal mining industry…..”

“Ethan, this is getting old and I’m getting tired” Brian calls turning off the television “When are you coming out of of there?”

Walking through the woods as if he were in his own body, Ethan’s spirit continues to follow the trail of energy. He notices that the energy seems to hover above strange footprints in the earth below. Where the energy trail leads him towards the West, the footprints appear to have been made by someone, or something, walking to the East.

“Hello?” Ethan calls noticing a shadowy figure ahead in the darkness. “Who’s there?” Ethan begins to move faster to catch up with the figure.

“What am I doing? Ethan stops and asks himself “No one is going to be able to see or hear me, I’m on the astral plane…”

“Who ARE you?” the scratchy voice of the figure came out of no where.

“Where did you come from?” a startled Ethan asks the figure “Wait, you can see me?”

“Of course I can see you, you disgusting creature.”

“I’m disgusting? Most not be a lot of shiny surfaces where you come from, Lady. I notice your feet aren’t like us humans.”

“What of it?”

“The skinless body. The backwards feet. I know what you are.”

“And what is that, sunshine?”

“A hag.”

“Ethan, this isn’t funny anymore” Brian yells at the door “Either answer me or come out of there, you’re scaring me!”

“Enough of this!” the hag exclaimed. She didn’t count on this human having the advantage of knowing what she was. Fearing that if Ethan knew what she was, he may also know how to destroy her she attempted to change the subject. “Why are you following me?”

“You killed a man back there. You almost killed his wife, and the man I love.”

“Now I remember. You’re the one that threw me out the window…from across the room?”

“I couldn’t let you hurt them. I came here to stop you from killing anyone else.”

“Ok that’s it” Brian says “This door is coming down!”

“And now….you are the one who’s going to die!” cried the figure as she pounced on Ethan.

“Oh, look at that.” Ethan replied as the hag moved harmlessly through his astral body falling hard on the ground below. “Can’t touch this!”

Brian crashes through the bathroom door and seeing Ethan unconscious in the tub runs over to him.  “Ethan! Ethan, baby, wake up.” Brian whispers to Ethan gently tapping his cheeks.

The instant Brian touches Ethan’s body, Ethan’s astral form returns and he wakes up.

“Brian?” Ethan asks

“Yeah, it’s me, baby. Are you all right?

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” Ethan replies “I….I just feel asleep, that’s all”

Brian helps Ethan out of the tub and wraps a towel around him.

“That’s all” Brian says “You’ve been in here almost an hour. I was calling you and calling you.”

“I guess I just got relaxed and fell into a deep sleep.” Ethan explained.

“Are you sure you’re all right.”

“Yes, I’m fine”

“Ok. Put your clothes on and let’s go to bed.”

“I’ll be there in a minute.”

Ethan walks towards the dresser to get a pair of underwear and sweat pants to sleep in, but moves over to the window instead. There he stares out the window into the dark night and contemplates his next move.

Carolina Dean

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fly By Night

“So” sighed the Sheriff, “let me get this straight. You and your friend here were unpacking in your room. The one you share together…..and you saw someone climb in the window across the way….”

“Yes, that’s right” replies Ethan

“Let me finish, son” said the Sheriff admonishing Ethan


“You…Brian, that is… brandished your weapon with the intent of confronting the intruder. You knocked on the door, identifying yourself as police, which we’ll get to that later…. and when you heard suspicious noises you forcibly entered the room.”

Sheriff Bostwick paused collecting his thoughts. The older officer had seen many strange cases in his time but this one took the cake.

“Upon entering the room” Sheriff Bostwick continued, “you witnessed a bloodied up figure, possibly female, attacking the victim. You ordered the perp to get down on the floor but he or she rushed you and you shot him or her at point blank range and they escaped out the window. Is that it?”

“Yes, Sheriff” replied Brian “in a nutshell.”

“And you ah…Ethan is it?” asked the Sheriff

“Yes, Ethan Knox” replied Ethan

“What were you doing during this time?”

“Well Brian told me to stay in the room and call 911, which is what I did.”

“Until you heard the shots fired?”

“Yes, Sheriff, after I heard the shots fired I got worried and ran to check on Brian.”

“Mr. Knox, do you make a habit of running into danger like that?”

“Well when someone I care about might be in trouble.” Ethan replied putting his hand on Brian’s shoulder.

“I see” observed the Sheriff noncommittally

“Sir!” an officer called approaching the men “His story checks out. Up until two weeks ago he was a detective with the Shadow Falls Police down in South Carolina.”


“Yeah, they say he resigned to take a job out of state” Officer Hinton continued “just like Mr. Lewis said.”

“Well Mr. Lewis” the Sheriff began “it looks like your story, at least part of it, checks out. We’ll be keeping your piece for the time being but I’m gonna have to ask you two not to leave town.”

“I understand, Sheriff” Brian offers taking Ethan by the arm to return back to their room.

“Um, Sheriff” Ethan asks breaking away from Brian “what about the couple? Are they all right?”

“Well I don’t suppose it would hurt to tell you now.” replies the Sheriff “Small town like this, you can’t keep any secrets. The couple were Brad and Janet O’Brien….they owned the Inn. Brad is dead, his wife will live.”

“Oh” Ethan muttered “What about Kaleb, their son? He checked us in earlier.”

“Slept through the whole thing” replied the Sheriff “he’s been taken to the hospital with his mother. We’ll take care of him. We take care of our own around here. Now go on back to your room, Mrs. Curry will be here in the morning to take care of the Inn while Mrs. O’Brian is recovering.

“Mrs. Curry?” asks Brian figuring Ethan had asked enough questions

“Yes” explains the Sheriff “She oversees the housekeeping staff.”

“Thanks again, Sheriff” Brian says walking away with Ethan.

Sheriff Bostwick and Officer Hinton watched as the two men walked back into the Inn.

“You think they got something to do with this, Sheriff?” asked Officer Hinton

“My gut says no,” replies the Sheriff “but something about their story don’t add up.”

“Yeah, um, I think they’re gay sir.” Officer Hinton observed.

“You don’t say.” replied Sheriff Bostwick giving the young officer a knowing look “That’s obvious enough. I mean if he shot this intruder where is the blood? We looked that room over and there’s no blood?”

Wisely the officer, embarrassed about his earlier comment, chooses not to reply but rather shrugs his shoulders.
Back in their room again, Brian begins securing the door and windows while Ethan takes his Book of Shadows out of his suitcase and sits on the bed as he flips through the pages.

“Ok” Brian says checking the locks again “Whatever that was, it wasn’t human, so what was it?”

“I don’t know” Ethan offers “From what I observed I’m thinking a Succubus, a Hag, some form of Vampire...can’t be sure until I know how Mr. O’Brian died…”

“Are the police gone?” asks Ethan as he spies Brian looking out the window.”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Good” he replies closing the book “Stay here, you’ll be safe.”

“What do you mean?”

“I conjured the room when you weren’t looking” Ethan explains “you’ll be safe as long as you stay in the room.”

“You’re not going anywhere.” Brian commands blocking Ethan’s way.

“Like you can stop me.”

Brian stands his ground.

“I have to go after that thing, whatever it is.”

“That’s just it” Brian explains “you don’t know what it is, you don’t know how to fight it…”

“But I have to try.”

“Ethan, you are not leaving this room to go after that thing. Not tonight. Not if you love me.”

“Fine” Ethan acquiesced figuring that Brian was right and that he didn’t know how to fight the thing.

“Good, now let’s go to bed.”

“I want to take a hot bath first,” explains Ethan

“There’s no window in there” Brian observes “you can’t slip out.”

“I just want to unwind. You go on to bed.”

“I’ll go to bed” Brian says “but I won’t go to sleep until you’re in here with me…in my arms….where you can’t get away….”

“Yeah, yeah,” Ethan offers entering the bathroom and turning on the faucet.

When his bath is drawn, Ethan removes his clothes and slips into the hot water. He lies back submerging his head for a second and then relaxes into perfect calm taking several deep, cleansing breathes. When his mind and body are completely relaxed he begins to chant:

“Unshackle the soul held within,
the bonds of mortal frame;
that it be free to ascend,
and move about the astral plane.”

In an instant Ethan finds himself standing over the bathtub looking down on his own naked form still soaking in the hot water. He turns towards the bathroom door and walks through it and over to Brian who is sitting up in bed with his arms crossed. Ethan stands before Brian waving his hands in front of Brian’s face to confirm that Brian can’t see him. He then walks over to the window.

“Here goes nothing.” Ethan says to himself as his spirit form leaps out the window and flies into the night.

--Carolina Dean

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sleazy Rider

Ethan and Brian can barely contain their laughter as they climb the stairs to their room on the third floor.

“Can you believe that conversation?” Brian asks “He actually thought we were brothers!”

“Shhhh” Ethan replies “Someone is going to hear you!”

“Please” Brian observes “we’re probably the only guest they have.”

“Then why did they put us all the way up here on the third floor?”

“I don’t know.” Brian replies “Look, here’s our room.”

The two men enter their room, turn on the lights and place their bags on the floor.

“Home, sweet home,” Brian says surveying the room. “at least for the time being.”

“So” Ethan asks ducking his head in the bathroom “do you want the shower first or shall I?”

“Why don’t we hop in there together, baby?” Brian replies “You know, save some water.”

“Ummmm, no can do, too small.”

“Ok then, you take it first, I’ll unpack.”

Ethan walks in the bathroom and turns on the shower then returns to the room, where Brian is standing looking out the window.

“I’ll help you while I wait for the water to get hot.” Ethan offers.

“I hope it doesn’t take long to get the car fixed.” Brian observes “this place is a ghost town.”

“Don’t worry about the ghosts” Ethan replies “I can handle the ghosts”

“What the fuck!” Brian exclaims

“It was just a joke Bri” Ethan explains “I don’t think we’ll be encountering any ghosts.”

“I’m serious babe.” Brian explains going to his suitcase and taking out his pistol

“Brian what is it? Ethan asks worried “What’s going on?”

“I just saw someone climb into that room across the way” Brian explains “Just stay here and call 911 while I check it out.”

Ethan goes to the window and looks out.

“I don’t see a ladder or a rope,” Ethan observes “how did they climb up three stories?”

“I don’t know babe, it was weird. Now just do what I ask ok?”

“Ok, be careful”

Brian leaves the room and makes his way around the large hallway to the other side of the building. He find the room that he believes the intruder entered and listens at the door. He hears what he can only describe as a faint gurgling noise.

“This the is police” Brian commands knocking on the door “open the door!”

Suddenly Brian hears what appears to be a struggle and a lamp breaking on the floor. He takes a step backward from the door and drives his foot into the door just left of the doorknob with all the force he can muster.

“Police, freeze!” Brian commands as he points his pistol at the dark figure before him. As his eyes adjust to the lack of light in the room Brian notices that there are three figures on the bed, a man and a woman lying side by side. They must be a couple he quickly thought. The third figure was on top of the woman straddling her at the waist.

The dark figure turns toward Brian, who quickly flips on the room lights. The figure turns towards Brian hissing and bearing its teeth. Brian is shocked to see that the figure appeared to be nude and all bloody.

“Put your hands above your head” Brian commands “Get down on the floor!”

The figure moves towards Brian continuing to hiss and growl.

“I’m warning you” Brian says “Get on the floor now!”

The bloody figure rushes Brian and he fires his pistol at it several times striking it in the chest and abdomen with no ill effect. In a flash the bloody figure swiftly knocks the gun out of Brian’s hands, throws him to the floor and pounces on top of him.

The figure looks Brian directly in the eyes and he is completely frozen. It moves closer to him as if to kiss him as its mouth hovers slightly above his own. The figures eyes roll back in its head and Brian feels all the air being sucked out of his body. He is powerless to fight back. Brian feels himself beginning to lose consciousness and everything goes black.

“Brian!” Ethan exclaims standing in the door way.

“Get OFF my man, you bitch” Ethan commands waving his arm and toss the bloody figure back with telekinetic force.

Hitting a wall, the bloody figure quickly jumps to its feet and attempts to rush Ethan. However, Ethan waves his arm again this time sending the figure crashing out the window and to the ground below.

Ethan rushes over to the window and looks around. The figure it nowhere to be seen. As sirens fill the cold, night air Ethan returns to Brian and attempts to wake him up.

Carolina Dean