The faded red letters on the privacy sign sprang from the dark as the car’s headlights glided over it. “You’ve been awfully quite lately. What’s going on in that head of yours?”
“Would you rather I ask you about the good old days?”
“Normally you wouldn’t let such a thing as the past stop you if you felt you got only half the story.”
“Is this the old lake house?”
“Yeah, me and Lucinda use to come here every summer all through high school.” The car rolled to a halt in front of the house where Clayton followed Jay inside without a word of further protest.
“You can just place her in the room of to the right of the hall. I’ll come and lock it in a moment.”
“About that. I have been thinking.”
“So that’s why you were so quite.”
“You must be tired after the long drive and the added tension can’t make things any easier.”
“What are you getting at Clay?”
“Maybe she can stay with me tonight. That way you can get some rest. After the long drive I am guessing that you could use some undisturbed sleep.” Jay’s sly smile crept over his face as he stood watching Clay squirm under his eyes. He had his doubts about the idea yet considered it as he stood listening to Clayton.
“She may be up all night seeing as she slept all day. You can even lock us in if you think that can help....”
“Fine, I’ll allow it.” Rummaging through a nearby closet Jay left Clayton to wonder about his easy yes as he reluctantly went off in search of the room he and Erica were going to share for the night. Clayton could feel the uneasiness growing in the pit of his stomach as he cringed at the smell of dust coming from behind the ancient door. The beds were still made as if someone was expected to sleep in them when the door was just pulled shut on it all. The linen, walls and floor were all coated in a light cover of dust which quickly dispersed as Clayton opened the windows. Outside the house his eye caught sight of the ink black water which gave his stomach a wild turn as something bubbled to the surface of the lake. “I’m sure it’ll look better once the sun comes up again. I’m sure of it. Just the darkness playing tricks on my mind.” He assured himself as he quickly closed the windows again.
“So it still opens?” Jay stood not in the doorway as was his usual preference but by the bed where he had dropped Erica. She was crying as he once more took her bound hands to tie them to the bed’s headboard. Softly touching her face he told her of her new arrangement. “You’ll be staying with him for tonight. Do try and behave.” His attention was still on her as he stood up from the bed. “Just keep her out of my hair, ok?” Reaching the door however he turned and looked Clayton straight in the eye before saying goodnight and leaving, slamming the door behind him. Heading straight to bed Jay felt a wave of exhaustion settle over him, the thought has never crossed his mind as to how tired he truly was after the last few days’ events. The only thought he allowed in his head, his one ideal in live, dancing in his head as he fell into a blissful sleep.
Dancing under the radiant skies with the wind blowing through her hair she seemed an angel in flight as she danced next to the lake. Watching her he felt a compelling urge to just stop and listen as her laughter filled the air around them. Her eyes shone as she pulled him closer, into her dance, her flight. A soft kiss before she slipped from his arms, disappearing into the trees. Always did he feel as if she was far from him, as if she could not be contained even in love. A free spirit destined to roam free. His heart skipped in his chest as he desperately searched for her amongst the trees, yearning to hear her voice just that one more time. To his shock she enfolded him from behind in her loving arms as he turned to meet her sparkling eyes. “Never leave me.” She breathed.
“I promise you, I’ll always be there.” In an instance the light retreated to reveal the awaiting darkness lurking behind it as the clear water around them became foul with blood and her sweet song became silent as her figure retreated from his arms, stood and ran.
With a fright he woke. Sitting up in bed he could still heard her weeping for him to stop as the room took form in the darkness. His footsteps echoed softly behind him as he silently made his way to Clayton’s door. Peering inside, a loving hurt settled itself in his heart as he watched how peacefully Clayton slept. Feeling satisfied that all was as it should be he quietly closed the door and went back to bed as the heavy hand of sleep took hold of his shoulder.