The wipers slapped back and forth to the rhythm of a hard-driving country song while Karen and Stacy squinted through the windshield. The rain was coming down in sheets, and they were oblivious to the line of traffic behind them. Ahead, road spray from a semi’s tires was replaced the water as fast as the wipers were clearing it off.
“At this rate, we won’t be there for two more hours. Is it okay with you if we just drive straight through?” Stacy glanced over to catch Karen’s reaction.
“Sure, I’m good for now. But I’ll want a beer once we reach the cabin,” Karen replied.
“There’s a bar that sells package goods on the old road to the cabin. We can stop there. I really want to get past this traffic and don’t want to chance getting off sooner. The Interstate is obnoxiously busy and I don’t want any more delays. Sound good?”
Karen didn’t wait for an answer, “Plus, I’m eager to kick my shoes off and get on with the weekend. The rain sucks and a nice, hot fire would be wonderful!” said Stacy with a smile. Then she turned up the radio and hit her turn signal. With a splash, she passed the car in front of her and cruised on ahead, destined for their cabin in the woods.
It was 8:30 pm when they pulled up in front of the cabin. Light from the moon gleamed across the yard. The surrounding forest was alive with the sounds of the night — frogs, crickets and the faint whisper of wind through the pines. Across the yard, a twig snapped and the glare of a flood light illuminated the driveway in front of the cabin. Startled, the girls shrieked in surprise.
Stacy reached out to open the cabin door and heard a noise behind her. At once, they both turned their heads and saw the garage door swinging open on its hinges. Stacy looked at Karen and Karen looked at Stacy. “That door should not be open,” murmured Stacy lowly. “Something is not right. Either someone has been here, or I’m losing it.”
Slowly, Stacy approached the garage. As she stepped onto the stoop, the swinging stopped. For a moment, everything grew quietly still. Stacy gave the door a push and it swung open slowly. The cabin’s flood light laid out a distinct triangle of light on the garage floor and Stacy stepped inside.
As she was about to look behind the door, Stacy let out a squeal as a black shadow blasted past her. Stacy jumped in fright until she realized that the black shadow was actually a cat and it had been using her garage as a temporary home.
She laughed in relief, then felt foolish. “*** cat! I guess in the morning I’ll have to do something to make sure there’s not another way that thing is getting into the garage.” She fished through her purse for the keys, then walked back to the cabin door, “But tonight, I’m going to bed,” she said as she inserted the key into the lock and stepped inside.
She reached for the light switch to the right of the door and flicked it on. The room was flooded with light. Stacy dropped her bag on a kitchen chair and made her way down the hall to the bedroom. Stacy was tired and too uninterested in anything else. “Good night Karen. I’m hitting the hay,” she called as she stripped off her clothes and pulled back the bedspread.
Back in the kitchen, Karen fumbled through her bag. “Good night, Stace,” she called down the hall. At the bottom of her bag she found what she was looking for – a digital voice recorder that she always brought with her whenever she visited areas prone to supernatural phenomena. She wanted to know if there was any nocturnal activity at the cabin – particularly that of a ghostly nature. She didn’t have her camera, the voice recorder would have to do. She turned it on, set it on the counter, and headed to bed.
After Karen left the room, the red light on the recorder began to blink wildly. The red light indicated incoming activity . . .
The next morning, Karen poured a cup of coffee, then gathered her gear and headed to the table to review the previous night’s footage. She popped the digital voice recorder into its cradle and began downloading the contents.
Upon playback, she noticed the graphic display on her laptop jumped enormously about 4 minutes into the recording. She backed up the footage and pushed her headset close to her ears. Then she increased the volume. What she heard made her skin crawl.
“Holy Crap, Karen. Who is that!” exclaimed Stacy as she leaned in close so she could hear the recording.
“I don’t know,” said Karen, “it sound like an old man saying, ‘Help me!’ It’s very weird, Stacy.”
Later that day, the neighbor from down the street knocked on the door.
“Hi. I know this is going to sound odd, but my name is Henry Smith. I live down the road a ways. I noticed you ladies out in the yard this morning and just wanted to find out if the elderly gentleman is okay. I tried to help him, but I didn’t make it. Then he just disappeared.”
“What old man? Who are you referring to?”
“The old man who stays here sometimes. I see him through the window. Looks like he needs help and when I try to open the door, I can’t get in. I’ve even gone so far as to call the police–in fact they came out last week. But by the time they showed, they couldn’t find a trace of anything.”
He paused and looked at the ground, kicking the porch with his toe. Meekly, he said, “My wife thinks this place is haunted.”