- Text Size +
Author's Chapter Notes:
Warning: VERY dark

This picks up after chapter 22.
When Lincoln had said the words, Michael and LJ stopped talking, realization hitting them as well. Alex wasn’t free; he was still wanted by the police.

“We’ll talk to somebody, maybe-” Lincoln continued, but Alex motioned him to stop.

He shook his head and smiled bitterly. “I killed people, Lincoln, I am not innocent.”

Lincoln looked at Michael and then back at Alex, determination on his face. “Michael and I did a lot as well, they just need to listen.”

Alex felt increasingly sad, but Lincoln tried to make him feel wanted, at least to some degree. He wanted to deal with this on his own terms, however, and patted Lincoln’s blanketed leg. “I’m going outside for a bit.”

He couldn’t bear being around the family any longer, to be honest, and fled more than walked out of the room. Nobody followed.


~~~~~~~


He strolled around aimlessly, not really knowing what he should feel. He shouldn’t be surprised about any of this. Nothing had changed and yet, it had. Positive things were happening and Lincoln seemed to be getting better. Everything should be more than good, but - With a sigh he looked at the small, greenish administrative office were the motel owner spent a lot of his waking hours, and made a decision. Decisive steps took him to the door as his hand fished out the small piece of paper in his pocket.

“Hello, Senor,” the owner said the moment Alex opened the door, even before he’d entered. The parrot squawked his approval and Alex noticed it was sitting on the owner’s shoulder.

“Good day, I was wondering... May I use your computer for a moment? I need to send an e-mail.”

The owner smiled cheerfully, his big moustache moving as the man spoke. “Naturally, come, come, have a seat.” The man motioned for Alex sit down at the light wooden desk. The computer screen was flickering a bit so the owner hit the monitor and it was back on. “Go, you type, I go out and have a smoke.” The man smiled again as if his entire life was heavenly.

For all Alex knew, it probably was. Not everybody’s life could be a shitty as his, now could it?

Now that he was sat at a computer, he had no idea what to do. Maybe just set-up an account at one of those free email services and send a small message. He dragged his hand through his hair, feeling the sweaty hair sticking to his neck. It wasn’t the heat; a fan was creating a gentle breeze, but the sweat continued to pour. Strangely enough, his eyes felt dry and he blinked to read what was on his computer screen. He couldn’t see it. He rubbed his eyes, hurting his fingers, which felt like thin pencils. He coughed, his body agonized and he found it hard to breathe. Was he having the mother of all anxiety attacks? He looked at the screen again and the image swam in front of him. It churned, changed and then morphed into a horrible figure of a man. So thin, so dirty and frighteningly ill that Alex jumped back from his chair, except... he couldn’t. The office around him fell away, tumbling, vanishing and turning into the bare, wooden walls of the cabin he’d shared with Lincoln. Confused, he turned to his left and right, but there was no evidence of his moments with Lincoln. In fact, there wasn’t a sigh of any life at all. Nobody had lived here for years.

“What?” he tried to say but only a gush of air came out. Looking down he realized he sat on the chair, the horrible chair Lincoln had tied him to on the first day they’d come here. He’d broken that chair, fed a fire with it, made love to Lincoln alongside of it, how was it possible that… his…

Beneath and a little on the chair, lay a pool of waste; dark, smelly, buzzing with flies and other insects. And then, then he noticed his arms. He hardly recognized them; thin, fragile, like a skeleton’s and realization slowly started to hit. A wail formed in his throat, tears he no longer had fell in his imagination and he finally raised his head to look straight ahead again, where the ‘computer screen’ had been. A cracked mirror lay fallen on its side and from it horror stared back at him. His face was hardly a face anymore, a skull, with wisps of hair, cracked skin and an ugly rash that contorted any signs of humanity. “Lincoln!” he cried without a voice. “No!”

He tried to get loose from the chair, lifting his arms only they didn’t move. He couldn’t kick with his feet because they didn’t either. He noticed a view insects crawling onto his feet, his legs and he shook his head in denial. “No, no! Lincoln came back! Lincoln came back!” the screeches were pathetic, a mixture of heartache and the throes of death in its final hour.

~~~~~~

Almost twenty years later, a young man bought a neglected plot of land that many people thought was cursed. There had been rumors about the place, but he took no heed. He had stumbled upon it when he’d taken a wrong turn and knew it would be a great spot for a romantic getaway. He would start to build soon, a love nest for him and his wife. He just had to break down the ruin that seemed to have been a small cottage. The wood had rotted, the windows darkened by dirt and sludge; ancient cobwebs made by spiders long dead decorated every nook and cranny. It looked like it would crumble at any moment and yet…

He tried to open the door but it was stuck so he kicked it in. It felt sturdy even though it didn’t look like much. It took him a moment to get used to the dark and then horror pierced his very being. Staring back at him was a skeleton, dressed in the tattered remains of trousers and shirt. It had been a man; only a small tuft of hair remained on his head, skeletal hands curled around the armrest in agony. But the one thing that made the man run out, convinced that indeed the place was cursed, was the man’s skull; the mouth was open as if he’d died screaming, screaming for something that wasn’t there.

THE END