Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Hollow - Episode 2

Episode 02: Strangers in the Night

A shadowy figure crossed the threshold into the Hollow. Back and forth he floated. In town, out of town. After five minutes of this playtime he let loose with a maniacal laugh to rival any haunted house ghoul.

"It cannot bind me," he chortled, this time in victory. "This town cannot bind me inside its borders." He began to wonder why such a phenomena could occur, but he knew why. He was a ghost. An essence of something that once had been real. He was not flesh and blood any longer, but he could take on such a form if he chose. The town needed a form with which to bind, and since he didn't officially have one, the binding spell put on Hollow Creek by Merlin did not phase him.

By the next new moon the time would be right. The time again to strike down what he loathed. At first it had been prostitutes in Whitechapel, England, but now, now he found a great pleasure in the kill. A pleasure a mere mortal could never know or understand. He was the one centuries of people had come to hate and fear. He alone stood out among the great killers and psychopaths of the world. He was, after all, the greatest. Fly like a butterfly, sting like a sharp blade to the heart.

He was Jack the Ripper.
"You, my dear brother, are out of your cotton picking mind!" Cora Laskey wished she could stand up and severely shake her finger at her brother David. "Mom was NOT kidnapped. It is absolutely not possible."

"Why not?" David asked, simply. He asked in that way which he knew irritated his sister to no end. He batted his long eyelashes at her and offered the smallest of grins.

"Why not? Why not?" Her voice jumped octaves with each sentence. "I'll tell you why not..."

Cora paused to think of a good come back. She couldn't think of one. What if he was right? What if her mother really was kidnapped? But there was no evidence... was there?

"I'm waiting." David leaned back in the rear seat and crossed his hands over his chest. "Tell me why Mom couldn't possibly have been kidnapped?"

"Well... well... Okay! I don't know why. Maybe you're right but I don't believe it!"

"So you'd rather believe that Mom just up and left us for no good reason?" David waved his hand to an imaginary judge. "Your Honor. We would like to plead the fifth because my sister has gone completely INSANE!"

Cora pushed David back down into the car seat. 
"Thornswell? Where did you say you saw that hostile?"

Lane Larson made his way through Aniaock Cemetery sidestepping stones that were centuries older than he. The moon cast a dim light on the world making the night seem almost darker and more eerie. Like the Hollow could get any stranger than it already was. He'd grown up there his entire life surrounded by vampires, witches and other forms of demonic personage. Not exactly the ideal environment for a child, but he guessed his father, A.W., had his reasons for wanting to be there.

"A little farther. You should be nearing the entrance to the Hollow. There is what appears to be an abandoned vehicle on the side of the road. The halfling Nicholas was tracking has moved close to the car."
"You think you're *so* funny? I'm not laughing."

Cora turned back around in the front seat crossing her own hands over her chest. David knew how to push all her buttons. Irritation bloomed, steaming up the car windows from her overactive, 'David-is-a-jerk' breathing. The condensation made the small car seem more cramped. So, she wiped away the misty fog covering the driver side window. As she gazed out into the dark forest a figure loomed, hovering near the window.

Cora squealed, whooping, "Oh, oh!" She scrambled over the stick shift and into the passenger seat in one screaming bound.

David moved into action checking on Cora who was hovering in the space between the seat and the dash board. She stared up at David, her eyes wide, rimmed with fear.

"There is something out there!" she whispered, her voice quivering with emotion.
Ella walked down Moonglow Road unaware that someone was watching her every movement. She contemplated on her recent feelings about Nicholas and how straight out of the blue they were. Sure she was lying to them all about Fitz. She couldn't look like a complete dunderhead. Someone like her should be able to win many a date. But here she was unable to get an acceptable date from the slew of handsome men in the Hollow. So, lying about Fitz was one thing. Mouthing off about Nicholas to her brother, Maurice had been another. The cat creep had probably told the others by now, and they'd all be on the lookout for her complete change in personality.

"What's wrong with me?" she said out loud. "I stopped caring about Nicholas in that way eons ago."

Something flew by in Ella's peripheral vision and she spun around to see who it might be. You could never be too careful walking the streets alone, especially at night. In the darkness her eyes tried to make out the figure, but the man looked strange. It must have been a trick of the moon filtering through the bare tree branches, but she could swear.... She looked again, this time harder. Superimposed over the man's darkened face she saw another face, deformed and hideous.

Ella drew in a quick breath and started to run. Then it hit her, she was a witch. She could transport herself wherever she wanted to be. Suddenly, she stopped. She had to concentrate in order to orb herself somewhere else. Before she could snap her fingers and chant the spell, the man from the shadow was upon her, but he wasn't a man. He was a mist, a shadow.

Fear strangled her when she realized exactly who this man was. 
A blood curtailing scream drew Lane's attention to the abandoned car. He guessed it wasn't as abandoned as Thornswell had first thought. As he ran toward the car, the halfling made his way behind the rear of the vehicle. And this wasn't your normal everyday variety halfling. This was a huge, honking monster and then some. Not exactly the type of person you want to be encountering in the middle of the night without backup. Where was Nicholas?

Lane had to get those people in the car to safety.

He ran towards the car at an unusually fast pace, scanning the darkness around him as he went. The moon hid behind a cloud and enveloped the night in a blanket of gloom. He'd give anything for Nicholas' night vision. Well, maybe not the whole giving-up-your-life-to-live-in-the-darkness stichtk, but almost anything.

Lane pounded on the passenger side window, hoping that whomever was in the car was still all right. Another scream sliced the air. He backed away from the car as the halfling bolted out of the obscurity. They landed in a tangle of arms and legs as the monster tackled him. Lane's weapon, an aged cross bow, dislodged from his hand and smashed against the car's passenger side window.
Nicholas was a few hundred yards north of where the vehicle was parked. The real boundary of the town lay somewhere south of the car, but Nicholas had never let anyone else in the Hollow know that. What they didn't know wouldn't hurt them.

First, he had to deal with the halfling. This one was of particular annoyance. The halfling had been enhanced by one of A.W's lab rats to make a meaner, more dangerous guard dog. The trial run was very effective. A.W. had created a worthy adversary for them to hunt. Nicholas knew that the halfling was sent out to find and kill him, but Nick wouldn't let that hurt his feelings. A.W. had this vendetta against him for longer than either of them could remember.

He drew his cross bow up, the arrow tipped with silver. It glinted as the moon appeared from behind the clouds.

The bushes rustled and Nicholas advanced forward. He had the guinea pig now. The silver tipped arrow sliced through the air and penetrated a tree behind the shadow of the halfling. He fitted another arrow into the bow and forged ahead slipping into the foliage. At the next movement, Nicholas knew he had the monster. He raised the cross bow to eye level, but it wasn't a halfling staring back at him.


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