Chapter Two

Dear Diary,

          School wasn't too bad. Just boring at times. There's the whole "welcome and my  rules are…." speech from every teacher, there's the friends who are insanely glad you're back to "normal", and then there's Patch. Yes, I met a boy and his name is Patch. I don't know his last name, but I do know that he has a picture of someone who looks like me. A lot like me, it's kind of creepy. Her name was Ninabeth, and she was alive in 1519. How strange is that?

          I kept it together today. Other than the fact that I'm currently in the cemetery, leaning against a tombstone while facing my parent's as I'm writing. That's not weird is it? Something's not right here, it just got colder. I'll write back soon.

          Nina slowly closed her diary and looked around. Fog was rolling in. It was light fog, but there was a lot, and it covered the ground quickly. The sun was still out, and Nina slowly got to her feet. As she walked away, she had the strange sense that she was being followed. After keeping calm, the panic took over her and she sprinted, trying to remember what way she came from. She came by a small beach that she'd passed earlier. She ran and the fog followed her, but at a slow pace. Without watching where she was going, she merely tripped over her own two feet.

          "Are you alright?" A voice asked.

          She froze and looked up.

          Patch was standing over her, looking down in wonder. "Need some help?" He asked, extending a hand.

          Not wanting to be rude, she took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. Small waves of pain washed quickly over her. She gasped, and let go of Patch's hand.

          "What is it? Are you hurt?"

          Stumbling over to a nearby log, she propped up her leg and began rolling up her pant leg. Her stomach lurched at the sight of the gruesome wound that exposed itself. A few inches beneath her knee was where the wound was located. With the majority of the skin broken, blood had begun to flow downward. C'mon, it's just a little blood. No reason to get sick like a baby. Take care of yourself. She ordered. Rolling down the leg of her jeans, she glanced briefly at Patch. Patch was like a statue. Frozen, his face unreadable. "Are you alright Patch?" She asked.

          "I'm fine." He said, turning his back. "You should go take care of that."

          "Yeah, there's a slight problem….I can't find my car."

          Patch glanced over his shoulder. "What type is it?"

          "It’s a silver Bentley." She answered.

          "It's about half a mile from here. Parked at the rear entrance to the cemetery."

          "Wow, thanks. So I'll see you at school?"

          Patch smiled. "Yeah, you'll see me."

          Nina wanted to say something else, but she didn't have time to say anything before he turned and abruptly walked away. I should have probably said thanks to him. She thought, heading to the rear entrance. She noticed that the fog had dissipated. Walking to her car, she climbed in and drove home quickly, not wanting her wound to get infected. When she got home, she cleaned her wound as thoroughly as possible. The phone rang, and she hurried downstairs and into the kitchen.

          "Hello?" She answered it breathlessly.

          "Nina Lockwood." The voice answered.

          "Gale Harrison."

          "What are you up to these days?" Gale wondered.

          "Not much, why?" She asked.

          "Wanna come over?"

          "Sure. I've got nothing better to do."


          "Thanks, that makes me feel real special." He said sarcastically.

          "Oh come on.  You know I’m kidding."

          "Yeah, I know." He chuckled.

          "I'll be there as soon as I can." She answered. "See ya soon!"

          "Back at ya."  

          Nina suddenly found herself excited and couldn't wait to see Gale. They'd known each other since forever, it seemed. Gale had always been around during her childhood years. She hurried out to the Bentley and began the drive over to the falls. Summit Falls got its name for a reason. On the eastern part of the small town was the most majestic set of falls that Nina had ever seen. Gale lived a few miles behind the falls, in a small house near the woods. He too like Nina, lost his parents. As she turned on the shortcut that went right past the falls, she noticed that it was awfully quiet. You'd think I'd be used to the quiet by now. She thought. Through the light misty rain, she missed the turn to the drive. Pulling off to the shoulder of the road, she began to turn around.

          Something moved and she caught it out of her peripheral vision. She turned.

          Nothing.

          The rain slightly picked up and she completed the turn and began driving back the way she came. Keeping her eyes open for the turn, she lost focus when the movement occurred again. She managed to regain control of the car before any serious damage could take place. "Ok, what is going on?" She muttered to herself. Am I going insane? She thought. Ok, just focus, Nina. C'mon , it's not that hard. Just think of Gale. Yeah, that should do it, Gale. You're going over there to see Gale. Don't miss the turn again. She peered out into the rain, which had since she'd last checked, gotten harder. What's up with this weather? This isn't too unusual, but it hasn't rained in this in years. This is just shy from crazy. I feel like I'm the target in a thriller or a victim in a terrifying horror movie. This is getting a little odd. She gunned the engine slightly and saw the bend approaching. She flipped on her turn signal and slowed, although there was no one around. Suddenly, something flew off the hill to the side of the road, and landed right on the hood of the car.

          The siren burst from Nina's throat before she'd managed to process what had just happened. "Oh my God." She whispered, assessing the motionless deer on the hood. "If dad were still around, he'd surely kill me this time. He loved this car. Oh God." She considered getting out to get a closer look at the damage. Before she could open her door, the deer was suddenly gone, thrown off to the side of the road. Who or what has that kind of strength and or power to move a deer? This is just absurd. She reached for her phone in her back pocket, but she didn't get very far. The seatbelt was jammed. She fought and struggled to free herself, but was making no progress. She had to do something. Call someone or anything at the moment that could help her. Or the deer. Or was it too late for the deer? Was it already dead? "Come on!" She said through her teeth, pulling and yanking on the seatbelt. She even tried pushing the button to release it, and that too was jammed.

          The seatbelt matter was now much more important than her dad's car or the deer, which was probably dead. The seatbelt pushed against her stomach, pressing it even farther back, flattening it painfully against her spine. Her heart accelerated faster, trying to keep up with the rate in which she was fighting a battle that was already lost. Her chest ached terribly and she gave up, seeking any relief to the pain. She clutched her chest and found herself struggling to breathe. It took her a minute to realize what was happening. She was slowly, but surely suffocating. Her eyes drifted back to the deer across the road. Something else was there. A person. She stared for a long while, trying to figure out what he was doing. It was hunched over the animal, near the shoulder. After another brief glance at the figure, she was able to identify it.

          "Patch," She whispered to herself. What is he doing here? She wondered if maybe he could help her. Then Patch turned around, and she couldn't help but scream out again. Blood was all over Patch's mouth, and trickling down his chin in a single line. She blinked and then he was gone.

          "Nina!" Someone called. "Nina are you alright?"

          She turned. "Gale!" She cried as he reached the edge of the road. She cracked the window. "Gale I'm stuck!"

          "Hold on Nina! I'm coming! Just-just stay calm!" Gale instructed as he ran across the road. "Jesus, how did you manage to do this to yourself?" He demanded, peering in the window.

          "I missed the turn, and that deer-" She paused to point at the dead animal laying on the shoulder. "The deer came out of nowhere and I…I hit it." She explained, hoping he believed her.

          "Your dad-"

          "Would have killed me himself  if he found out about this." She finished his thought.

          He opened the door and leaned in, getting a better look at all the damage. "How long have you been like this?" He wondered, pulling slightly on the belt.

          She gasped and clutched at her chest again. "Not long," She managed to choke out. "Do you know how to get me out of here?"

          He nodded. "I believe so." He answered. "Just bear with me. Some of this may hurt a little. I'm going to try to break the latch slightly. You'll still be able to use it." He assured me.

          "Is there another option? Something that wouldn't require anything being broken?"

          He sighed. "I can try pulling it, see if it will come loose enough to where I can pull it out."

          "Could you try that one?"

          He looked at her. "Just relax. I'm not going to hurt you. I need you to keep calm though. Your heart is working too hard and that's why you can't breathe that good. Try to take deep, slow breaths."

          She nodded. "Ok, just hurry please."

          In the form of an answer, Gale began pulling on the seatbelt. It automatically tightened, and that limited the movement even more. She cried out as dug deeper into her stomach and across her chest. "Just stay with me. You're alright."

          She nodded and tried not to react as he continued to pull. She could feel her air supply fading quickly. She'd never imagined what suffocating felt like, but now she was experiencing it firsthand. Her arm wrapped around her stomach, near her aching ribs. She didn't know how much more of this she could take. "Gale!" She gasped.

          Gale gave the seatbelt one final pull and it came free. Nina, overwhelmed with the ability to breathe air again, tumbled over into his arm as it flooded into her. She coughed and choked, but it was all worth it. "God, are you alright Nina?"

          She managed to find her voice. "I'll be ok." She sighed. "Oh God, thank you Gale. So much."

          "Are you in any pain?"

          "My ribs and stomach are killing me." She answered.

          Gale sighed. "Well, I'm no doctor, but I'd say no major strenuous activity for a while."

          She laughed lightly. "It's getting pretty dark." She observed. "Could I stay here?"

          "Yeah, sure. You're always welcome at my place."

          She smiled. "Thanks Gale. You're like the big brother I've always wanted."

          He chuckled. "Yeah, but I’m younger than you."

          "Only by a few months." She answered.

          "C'mon, let's head inside." He said, helping her to her feet.

          "What about the car?" She asked.

          "Why don't you head that way. I'll take care of the car. Where are the keys?"

          "They should still be in the ignition." She said, turning to cross the road.  As she wandered up the path, hearing the purr of the Bentley a few yards behind her, she couldn't help but think of Patch. I have no idea as to what he was doing, why the blood would have been on his face, but I'll find out, one way or another. She told herself, stepping onto the small porch.

The End

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