August 28, 2005
Something horrible is happening in Crosslake. Some strange sickness has spread through the entire town. At this very moment an angry mob of demons are surrounding the Cabin, demanding my head.
It all started at the employee party. It was at the Crosslake campground so I thought I’d be smart and take the Big Boat to avoid the cops in case I had a cocktail or two. Everything was going along far better than I had expected. The girls of the Long Skinny were actually being nice to me during dinner. After dinner, Dani even offered me a bowl. And she let me smoke the whole thing to myself. But it was horrible smoke. It didn’t even taste like pot. It was bitter and sour and I can still taste it in my mouth.
That’s when everyone turned on me. It happened like a flip of a switch. Even the sky turned red against me. Suddenly the girls of the Long Skinny were circling around me, laughing like evil little witches. Then their laughter turned into this ear-piercing squeal. And they shook and squealed until the demon inside them split their skin and crawled out, leaving a pile of skin and hair at their gnarled feet. They were hideous creatures with leathery, grey skin and long, boney arms with fingers that pointed straight into claws. Their eyes were bright red. Their veins spread like spider webs just under their skin, throbbing as they pumped black blood.
Then, thundering down from all around, a roaring laughter shook the Earth. It sounded as if the Devil himself had reigned down on Crosslake. The trees shook and swayed like a hurricane had swirled up from the mere force of the thunderous laughter.
So I ran for my life with the Devil’s demonic helpers cackling on my heels. The pitch was so high it pierced my brain like spikes driven just behind my eyes. My head was throbbing as my heart pumped blood to my brain in an effort to combat the noise. It was no use. And my head began to swell like a full Tick. It was seconds from exploding when I finally dove into the Big Boat. I shoved off just before the demons clawed their way on board.
I nearly clipped three boats trying to flee for the safety of the open water. I looked back only once to see that it wasn’t just Dani and the girls of the Long Skinny that had turned into demons – It was the entire campground. And the demons swarmed the beach, stopping at the edge of the water to tip their boney heads back and let out the most bloodcurdling screech you could ever imagine. Even the rumble of the Big Boat’s motor at full throttle was no match.
I was all the way to the channel that leads to Daggett Bay before the screeching died. I eased off the throttle and brought the boat to an idle as I entered the channel. It was packed with boats going both ways – the people had no idea the horrors about to overcome the town. I screamed at the first boat loaded with a seemingly happy family. They were headed in the opposite direction – right for the demons. But it was too late. The demons had already taken them. The moment they heard me, their heads tipped back and they screeched as their skin peeled and blew away on the breeze. They were on every boat – even the little children turned into demons. Within seconds the whole channel was screaming with demons.
So I jammed on the throttle. The last thing I was worried about was getting a ticket for speeding through a No Wake zone when the lake was teeming with red-eyed demons. I was weaving in and out of the other boats when the screeching got so loud my vision went blurry. I nearly nailed a bridge pylon as I buzzed under County Road 66. I had to cut the wheel so hard I nearly broadsided a pontoon full of little devils.
On the other side of the bridge, the channel was even busier with people lined up to get gas at C and C Boat Works and the Bait Box. But I still held the throttle at full. And all the people in all the boats, as well as everyone on shore, turned into demons as I buzzed by them. And their screeching followed me all the way to the Cabin.
I slammed the Big Boat into the slip at almost full speed and sprinted for the Cabin. I warned Pops to hide as I ran to the loft for cover. He did not believe me. And when the pontoon of demons that I nearly hit pulled up to our dock and started screaming, Pops hobbled down to face them – I begged him not to go.
I watched from the balcony as Pops’ shaky legs carried him out onto the wobbly dock. At first, I thought they were going to leave him alone. I thought, maybe, they were only after me. Then the biggest of the demons climbed off the pontoon and onto the dock. He was going straight for Pops. So I grabbed my B.B. gun off the dresser and took aim. I knew a B.B. would never do any real damage to a demon; I was only hoping to scare him off long enough for Pops to get away. So I pulled the trigger. THWACK: I nailed the demon just as he grabbed Pops. The demon jerked back for a second, but it was not enough to scare him away. So I unloaded the clip to give Pops enough time to escape. And the demon dove back onto his pontoon and they buzzed off, screeching for reinforcements.
But it was too late. Apparently, all it takes is to be touched by a demon. And Pops came screaming into the Cabin for me. All I could do was lock myself in the bathroom and crank the water to try to drown out the screaming.
He finally gave up and went downstairs about twenty minutes ago.
My plan is to wait until it gets completely dark out and then try to climb down the emergency rope ladder off the balcony. They’re probably watching all three of my vehicles. I’ll probably have to walk into town. And I’m probably going to have to steal a car if I’m going to make it to the airport in time for my flight tomorrow morning. But if this sickness travels as fast as it took over Crosslake, I’m afraid it will beat me to the cities.
If that’s the case, don’t wait for me – save yourself.
Oh God, they’re in the Cabin. I can hear them in the kitchen.
They’re coming up the stairs.
Oh thank God, it’s the police –
Start at the beginning: HOSPITAL Chapter 1