Carrie yawned widely and her sister Samantha gave her a sideways glance.
"Still having those nightmares then?" she asked, turning her attention back to the tv. Carrie rubbed her eyes and sat up straighter on the sofa.
"I'm fine. Gives me an excuse to sleep later anyway." Samantha smirked and picked up the remote control.
Carrie tried to focus on the screen but every time she blinked her eyes would cross with fatigue. She threw the cushion she was holding to an unprepared Anna. "I'm going to bed." She said, heaving herself up off the couch. "I'm too tired to dream now anyway."
"Good night then." Anna said cheerily, spreading herself out on the couch.
"Be lucky if I ever wake up." she muttered under her breath as she walked out the door. She stumbled up the stairs and into her room. She had just enough energy to change her clothes before she fell into her bed.
She was so tired.
She opened her eyes.
Darkness. She could see nothing through the trees. Utter darkness. She started to cry. She knelt down on the dry forest floor and covered her face with her hands and wept. Why? Why was she here again? The fear made her heartbeat quicken. It made her skin cold. She was paralysed, but she knew that she had to move. She choked down her sobs and pulled her hands away from her face. The flashlight was on the ground right in front of her. Silver and cold; the touch now familiar to her shaking hands. She had to move.
She straightened up and took a few faltering steps and turned the torch on. It's beam illuminated a small patch of earth in front of her and some tree roots. It's reach was frustratingly short. She had to be a foot away from anything before she could tell what it was. She let out another harsh sob and pressed her fists to the sides of her head.
"Just finish it, finish it and get out of here. You can finish it this time." she whispered to herself resolutely. She to finish it this time. She couldn't come back here, she just couldn't.
She started to walk forwards, her steps slow and calculated. She moved around the trees, sweeping her torchlight over and back, searching for any flash of light, whether good or bad. She had only been walking for a few minutes when she found the first note. She turned to the right and caught the flash of white out of the corner of her eye. It made her heart stop for just a second, and it hurt. It was written on thick blank paper almost like parchment and stained with dirt and old age. It was just the word 'no' written over and over again. She ripped it from the nail that held it in place and folded it into the pocket of her jeans.
She moved on. She could feel the darkness like a presence now. She could feel it on her skin. All she wanted to do was turn in every direction and dissipate it. She couldn't stand not knowing what was right behind her. Not knowing whether he was there or not. But she forced herself to to look forward, no matter how much the flashlight shook in her hand. Even just a little moonlight would ease her mind, but there was no moon here. There never was.
She continued on, her hearing sharpened for every single sound that was to be heard. But all she could hear was her own footsteps, her own heart pounding. Not a breath of wind and not a single animal. Just Him.
It was impossible to keep any sense of direction in this place; it was all guess work. She jumped involuntarily when she came to the first clearing. There was a small shed and a deserted pick up. She moved slowly around in a circle. The second note was taped to the steering wheel of the pickup. Carried hesitated. She gripped the torch in her left hand and swallowed. She didn't like it, but it was necessary. She slowly reached a quivering hand in through the open window and tore the sheet off, leaving a corner stuck underneath the cello tape. She headed where she thought was back on the straight path she had started on and left the clearing behind before she looked at the note.
She shone the torch directly on the sheet. This paper was lined and looked like it was from a child's school book.
"Always watching, No eyes." Carrie whispered the words, but she may as well have screamed them. A deafening noise vibrated through the floor of the woods and Carrie screwed her eyes shut and clamped her hands over her ears. She screamed but she couldn't hear the sound, only feel it tearing out of her throat.
That was it. He was coming.