Into the Hollow — Snippet #4

This is more of an excerpt than a snip­pet, but as promised, it’s on the creepy side of things for once. Now, who wants to go stay in a cabin in the woods?



Into the Hol­low — Snip­pet #4 — UNEDITED



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No real spoil­ers here, in case you were worried.




Rigby took in a deep breath and exhaled until his han­dle­bar mus­tache wig­gled up and down. “Well, that takes me back a few years to be hon­est. That’s when I first saw The Beast. That’s what I tend to call it. Unlike my daugh­ter, I can­not be sure what the crea­ture is. But it is a beast. Oh yes, a ter­ri­ble beast.”

He paused to have a sip of his drink and I found myself lean­ing for­ward in antic­i­pa­tion. I adjusted my grip and kept the cam­era focused on his face.

The first time I saw The Beast was right here in this cabin. It was in the fall and the first snows had come. The first snows here always come like a feather. Very light, very beau­ti­ful. And damn cold. I didn’t have enough wood in the shed out back to keep the fire­place going at full blast, so I spent the night in front of the fire, wrapped in my sleep­ing bag.”

My eyes went to the fire­place and I imag­ined the scene. There was no way I could stay in this cabin alone.

I must have drifted off,” he went on, his eyes becom­ing wide at the rec­ol­lec­tion. “Because I was sud­denly aware of a sound. It started off far away, like my ears were blocked. Then I heard it more clearly. It was the sound of the door han­dle going up and down. Up. And down.”

The skin at the back of my neck tight­ened and I resisted the urge to turn around and look at the door. I needed to keep film­ing them, even though it felt like this dark, heavy sub­ject was loom­ing behind me.

I was fac­ing the fire at the time and it had died down to the point where it wasn’t as bright. I turned around and looked. I wasn’t really afraid, just curi­ous as all hell. What was there to be afraid of? Bears don’t usu­ally try the doorhan­dle when they’re try­ing to break in.”

Then what hap­pened?” Dex asked, plac­ing his empty glass of Bour­bon on the table behind him. Like magic, Christina had Mick’s bot­tle and refilled his glass in seconds.

Rigby stroked at his mus­tache, his eyes on the door, lost in the moment. “Some­thing I can’t for­get, that’s for sure. Even now, I remem­ber this as well as the day Christina was born. I saw the door han­dle go up and down, like some­one was stand­ing out­side, try­ing to get in. But get in as silently as pos­si­ble. But, you see, I had locked the door. It was windy that night and the latch back then was rot­ted, so I put the dead­bolt on it. And I was glad I did. I only had that dead­bolt so that guests would feel secure dur­ing their stay, even though there are no wild moun­tain men roam­ing the woods. But at that moment I thought maybe there were crazy moun­tain men out there, look­ing for a warm place to hide.”

He paused, tak­ing a deep breath. “Think­ing that, my first instinct was to go for my rifle. So I got to my feet, and believe me I was care­ful not to make a sound. It was freez­ing in this cabin with the fire so low and I remem­ber how cold the gun felt in my fin­gers. But in the moment I grabbed the gun, the noise stopped. I looked and the han­dle was still. I may have shit my pants, because I’m telling ya, I was sure that if the per­son wasn’t at the door, they were at the win­dow. And watch­ing me. Just look around now. Can you see out with the glare of the fire­place bounc­ing back at you?”

Dex turned his head and looked behind him. As he did so, he gave me a nod. I took the cam­era off of them and aimed it at the win­dow behind Christina and Mick. Rigby was right. All you could see at the win­dow was the hazy, flick­er­ing reflec­tion of every­thing inside. Some­one could have been look­ing at us right then and there was no way we could have seen them.

So,” Rigby started and I brought the cam­era back to his face, “I froze and tried to fig­ure out what to do next. They couldn’t get in and I had a gun, so I fig­ured I was at an advan­tage. Then I remem­bered the win­dows in the bed­room. They aren’t that high above the ground and are easy to break.”

Oh great. He was basi­cally explain­ing how fucked we were in the cabin if any­thing were to hap­pen to us.

I went back there to check. It was eas­ier to see out since the light didn’t reach in the bed­rooms. I looked out­side but didn’t see any­thing. At first. Then the moon came out of a cloud and illu­mi­nated the snow. I saw prints out in it. Very large prints that hadn’t been snowed in. Fresh. Then…”

I could feel the heav­i­ness in the air, like every­one in the room was antic­i­pat­ing his next words.