Keep Standing There, Thinking

You read the note again for the fourth time but it still doesn’t make sense. Cal said he could not contact Nicolas himself.  If that was true, then what is this note doing slipped underneath the door, and signed by Cal? Briefly, you consider the idea that the note was left by someone other than Cal, someone simply posing as him. The thought is quickly dismissed, however; you easily recognize Cal’s sharp cursive letters staring harshly up at you from the small slip of paper.  

Something else doesn’t sit well with you; the note made it seem as though Nicolas knows, or rather, knew about Cal and his situation, which Cal stated was not the case when trying to convince you to go see Nicolas in the first place.  In fact, it sounds as if the two are conspiring with each other...Tell Edward what it’s safe for him to know…You run the sentence through your mind, trying desperately to discern its meaning. But you know this is impossible; Joe told you how Nicolas died.

He’s dead, you remind yourself. Or is he? You keep forgetting that it’s a real possibility that Joe was lying through his teeth about everything.

Suddenly you feel very much in the dark and you wonder what the hell you’ve gotten yourself into.

And perhaps the biggest mystery to you: Who is Radovan?

Shoving the small piece of paper into your pocket, you realize that this is not the time to try and find meaning in it.  Joe…or whoever he is, is still hiding somewhere around here and you have no idea what he’s planning.  You have a feeling, though, that he won’t be helping you anymore.

You back out of the house and shut the door. The house could provide you with answers, of that you have no doubt.  It might even allow you to verify, or strike down, Joe’s story about Dias’ life.  But, you have no interest in becoming trapped by Joe.  Once you find him, you’ll consider exploring the rest of the house.

Outside, the surrounding area is just as dark and quiet as it had been before you entered the house.  You look around, again trying to determine where Joe could be.  Your gaze fixes once again on the shed in the far corner of the open area.  Showered in darkness, you realize it would be a good place to keep hidden.  You slowly make your way toward it, treading lightly to reduce the crunch of your sneakers on the gravel.

You creep slowly around the far side, circling to the back.  The footing is difficult as your toe knocks a log of wood loose that had been resting against the paneling of the shed.  You curse under your breath and try desperately to control your heavy breathing. As a second thought, you pick up the damp wood and grasp it tightly in your right fist, holding it at the ready. You finally poke your head around the corner and peer into the darkness; nothing but oddly placed gardening tools and a pile of wood that had been left and forgotten long ago. 

Instead of circling around, you turn back the way you came, retracing your steps carefully.  As you get back around to the front, you start debating whether it’s a good idea to venture into the dense trees in search of Joe or if you should just leave this place altogether.

You creep towards the other side of the shed to have a look. Just then, the door to the small shed swings open with a deafening crash as it bangs violently against the paneling behind it.  Before you can react, a thick arm is twisted tightly around your neck and a sharp object held fast against your neck, an old, rusty gardening spade by the looks of it.  As the oxygen into your body begins to dwindle, you drop the log in your right hand and grasp frantically at the arm that is crushing your trachea.

With a grunt, your captor hauls you into the shed.  Your consciousness flickers and fades and quickly, your vision turns to black.

The End

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