Drama Holiday Mystery

“You couldn’t choose somewhere better? Like Mauritius, or Hawaii? “ Owen trudged up to the lake house, a grim look on his long face.

Elena came up next to him, smiling, “I like the history. “ she responded, pushing her blonde hair out of her face.

Their surroundings were quiet. This place was desolate – devoid of life. Elena had at least expected to see townsfolk or some fisherman at the enormous lake in the backyard of this dusty, old cabin that looked like it had seen better days; but there was nothing. The woods were right on the edge of the property, but not even the sound of woodland creatures could be heard and since she grew up on a farm and knew that animals in the woods rarely stayed quiet, it was a bit concerning.

The cabin was quite old as well. The wood was rotted and the porch didn’t seem very sturdy. The windows were so ridden with dust that it was impossible to see through them and all the furniture was thrown over.

Owen shook his head and stared down at her with grave, brown eyes, “You’re not supposed to like the history. You don’t even know the history. “

Her own green eyes narrowed at him, “You won’t tell me. “

“And that’s not a red flag? “

“You haven’t given it reason to be. “ she chirped and quickly ran up the squeaking porch steps and tried the door. It wouldn’t open.

"I’ve been telling you to go back the second we got on the road. “ Owen grumbled, but Elena paid him no mind.

“Do you have the keys? “

He scowled, “Why would I have the keys? “

Elena sighed and walked back to her husband with a frown, “This is your grandfather’s cabin. He must’ve left you keys. Stop being a spoilsport. “

“If keeping my wife safe from this stupid place is being a spoilsport, then that’s fine by me. “ Owen crossed his arms and looked back at their Prius. He was ready to get out of here and never look back. Elena, of course, was always curious of what he meant by ‘keep her safe’.

And they were here so she could find out. If being a journalist was any indication, she was greatly driven by her curiosity. Owen didn’t really understand. His job as an accountant didn’t leave much room for creativity.

Elena noticed a bulge in his side pocket and noticed the car’s keys in his hand. She then instantly charged for him and immediately swiped keys that looked absolutely ancient from Owen’s pocket, “Ha! So you do have ‘em! “ she didn’t get very far before Owen snatched the keys from her dainty hands and started walking back to the car.

He couldn’t believe he had let her talk him into this. It was bullshit.

“I don’t have time for this crap. We’re leaving. “ his voice was gruff and stern.

Elena stood at the edge of the cabin, her chest deflated. It’s been a really long time since they came on a trip like this. Between their jobs and Elena’s family drama, this was supposed to be a time to relax. She was also very curious about Owen’s heritage. He never talked about it and this lake house was the one thing that he had let slip after one and a half years of marriage. She was hoping to leave this place – and her family’s land – to their children one day.

O w e n!!

Both Elena and Owen jumped at the voice. It came from the cabin. They both froze as they tried to figure out who was speaking. It sounded like a man. Once Owen processed the voice, he spun on his heel and grabbed Elena by her arm, before frantically pulling her towards the car. Elena pulled back, looking back towards the cabin.

“Owen, wait! You heard that, didn’t you? Someone’s in there! “ she squealed and Owen let go of her arm, only to grab her shoulders.

"Baby, listen to me. Whatever’s in there, is going to have to stay in there. I’m serious, please. Let’s go! “ He stressed and Elena’s muscles coiled tighter at his tone. She didn’t understand why he was being this way. He was a nice, fun guy – adventurous even. Now, he doesn’t want to see who has been living in his family’s cabin? Why was he acting this way?

"Owen, you’re not making sense! There’s someone in there! “ Elena shook his hands off her shoulders and almost sprinted to the cabin door.

O w e n! H e l p. . . M e!

Elena tensed up at the voice mentioning Owen again and stopped right in front of the cabin door, “Hello! Are you okay? Sir? “ she called through the door, and waited anxiously.

She expected Owen to grab her at any moment, but after a few seconds, she frowned and looked back towards where he was.

Or where he should have been. He wasn’t there anymore.

Her frown deepened, almost up to the point of her scowling. She looked along the treeline of the woods, even through the windows of the car. He wasn’t there. She looked back at the cabin and she knocked on the door, softly.

Silence greeted her and a lump formed in her throat.

She turned back to the forest in front of her, “OWEN! “ she yelled, waiting for him to show himself, but he didn’t, “OWEN! “ she descended the porch slowly and felt the beginnings of a pit in her stomach as she looked around.

The forest didn’t look like it had before. Now that she was alone, it seemed menacing and she thought about the things that awaited her inside.

“OWEN! “ her voice cracked terribly and her breathing became rapid and shallow. Her eyes found their trashy Prius, but she shook her head. She couldn’t just leave without Owen.

O w e n - h e l p! " Elena jumped again when she heard the voice call for her husband again. This time however, she didn’t go towards the cabin – she went around it.

As she made her way to the backyard, the ground slowly transitioned from soft sand and grass to gravel and huge rocks. The lake stretched farther than she thought it would. The water glistened and appeared to be showered in glitter. It was certainly the most beautiful lake she’d ever seen and it was a nice change from that cabin. Whilst she wondered who was calling out for help, she could admit that she was scared to find out.

At least now that Owen was not here.

There was suddenly rustling to her right and she held her breath as her anxiety and fear took ahold of her once more. She looked at the weeds at the back of the cabin and spotted a small shed that was in the same shape as the cabin; meaning that it looked like it would fall apart at any second.

She sighed out in relief when she saw Owen coming out of the shed. Without thinking, she raced over to him and called out, “Owen! Why did you leave?” the sound of the gravel alerted Owen to her presence and he looked up at her with wide eyes.

Elena skidded to a stop once she saw what was in his hands – a canister of gas and a match box.

“Owen... “ her voice wavered, “What are you doing? “

Owen knew that he looked crazy. He can’t count the times he’s ran his hands through his hair and now it was a curly, brown mess; he had paced in front of the shed for a bit before he made up his mind. He couldn’t stop this, though. This cabin had almost ruined the life of both himself and his grandpop. It did ruin his parent'.

No more. He can’t let this back into his life.

He didn’t even think he would still be alive!

“Please, Owen. Put that stuff down. Tell me what’s wrong. “ Elena was confused and scared. The man inside the cabin has still not revealed himself and her husband has apparently gone nuts in a very short amount of time.

Owen sighed and shook his head, “I can’t, El. I shouldn’t have told you about this place. Ever. “ without another word, he stalked his way along the back of the cabin, lugging the gas along and holding the matches in his tight grasp.

Against her better judgment, Elena chased after him, “Who is that person?” He didn’t answer, “Owen! Who the hell is inside the house? “

“My father. “ he grunted, “And my mother. “

Elena’s eyes widened in shock, “Then we should help them! “

Owen halted just as they came to the front of the house and they were back on the sand. He turned to stare Elena straight in the eye and shook his head.

“No, baby. We can’t ever go into that house. You can never go into that house. “ his eyes were grave and steady, but his hands shook, terribly.

Elena shifted uncomfortably, “Why? Why are your parents here? “ the tension and anxiety ate at her brain.

Owen was dead silent for several moments. He hefted the gas canister in his hand, “My family’s messed up. “ he turned back around and stomped up to the front of the house, “I never thought that we were messed up when I was younger, but once I started high school, I realized... “

Elena watched in horror as Owen screwed open the canister and started pouring gasoline over the front of the house.

She started panicking, “ What does that mean? Owen, you’re not messed up! “

Owen couldn’t help but chuckle and shook his head, “You’ve got no idea, baby. “ he recalled memories from his childhood; once he started noticing that none of the other kids did the sick things that he was forced to do by his parents.

“Then, help me understand! Please! “ Elena pleaded, desperately. This isn’t how she thought this trip would play out.

O w e n! O w e n, h e l p! G i v e h e r t o m e!!

Elena flinched when Owen suddenly stopped pouring the gasoline up the windows and on the moldy furniture that lay strewn on the porch – and threw it straight at the door, hard. The gas spattered everywhere and coated the porch heavily. The door surprisingly held and Elena barely had time to process anything before Owen had lit a match.

Owen glanced between Elena and the door. He could tell that she was on the verge of crying and he let out a shaky breath as he prepared to give her the answers she wanted, or what she needed to know anyway.

“You know that lake? The one you just saw? “ he asked, without looking at her.

Elena gulped audibly and nodded. She slowly stepped closer to her husband.

“My parents killed at least fifty-seven people there. “ his confession was spoken through unshed tears of his own.

Elena’s breath hitched in her throat. Multiple thoughts raced through her mind; but she couldn’t comprehend a single one of them.

“They what? “ she questioned, breathless.

Owen’s gaze returned to the cabin and his sorrowful expression turned to one of anger, “They made me watch. With my brother. “ he had to swallow his own lump, “Fucking necromancy. “ he muttered to himself, but Elena heard.

“NECROMANCY!? Owen, no. “ she shook her head in disbelief. The wind whipped her hair left and right, but she didn’t bother to push it away. She felt scared and somehow cheated. Who was she married to?

Owen cursed under his breath and knew he had to tell her everything, right now, “Killing...it keeps them young. When I left, I made sure that they couldn’t kill anymore. So they started rotting. “

“Kept them young? Like, making a deal with the devil, kind of thing? That’s why they wanted me to go inside? “ she screeched, shocked to her core. It seemed mad. Unbelievable. A shiver ran down her spine.

“Exactly like that. “

“I don’t understand. “ Elena looked between the cabin and Owen with narrowed eyes, “How could you stop them from killing? “ she questioned, flexing her knuckles, nervously.

Owen went silent. His body turned rigid and it seemed like he stopped breathing.

“Owen? “

He didn’t say anything. He put out the flame that had almost reached his fingers and just when Elena thought that it was over, he pulled out another match, lit it, and then tossed it onto the porch. The gasoline that was soaking into the wooden boards of the cabin caught alight as the flame touched the surface. And it burned.

The fire spread to the furniture, then the windows.

The couple watched as the door was engulfed in flames and both Elena and Owen’s throats tightened once they heard the voice inside.

O w e n! O w e n! G i v e h e r t o m e!

It didn’t take long for the fire to burn up the sides and then the roof. The couple stood still whilst the man called for his son.

“I tried everything. I begged them to stop. So that we could be good people.” Owen spoke softly, as if he wasn’t talking to Elena, but she listened intently, with a heavy heart.

“What did you do, Owen? “ she asked, watching the cabin and everything inside burn.

“I did the exact same thing that they did. Made a deal with the devil. “ he turned his head to look at her, the fire lighting up half his face, making him look and sound all the more malicious.

“I killed twenty people so that they would be trapped. “ he gulped again and sighed, “That was the deal. I had to do it- “

Elena didn’t need to hear any more. She just turned on her heel and sprinted to the Prius that still stood idly. And this time, she didn’t look back.

September 18, 2020 21:01

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