Friday, May 2, 2014

Scarecrow (Part 2/3)


Click here for Part 1.

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I couldn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned in my bed as a storm raged. The thought of the monster being inside the house kept me awake. Red lightning flashed followed by a loud boom. I observed my dark room as a familiar red light illuminated the place in cycles. The storm reminded me of that day a meteorite crashed into Mt. Torres.

Before my thoughts could proceed, I heard something creek. The door to my room was slightly open. I hid under the covers while peeking at the entrance. The door opened wider. I heard tiny footsteps that turned louder as if it were nearing me.

Lightning flashed. For a split second, the mirror showed something standing beside it. It was Ray.

I heard a loud growl. I panicked under the sheet. Then, I heard a knock. I turned my head to look at the window. I saw a shadowy man trying to get inside. Ray’s growling turned louder. And I screamed.

I suddenly woke up. The door was closed and so was the window. I quietly went back to sleep. But on the next day, I overheard my mom talking to the police. Glena’s parents vanished last night.

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Glena didn’t have any relatives. My parents decided to let her stay in our place for the time being. She kept quiet as she moved to our place.

When the police arrived at the scene last night, Glena was in the living room crying. When asked what happened, all she said was “The scarecrows… they took mommy and daddy…”

I did what I can to make her feel welcome at home. I made myself appear unusually cheerful to distract her. That didn’t work. Glena didn’t even talk about Ray. Not that I wanted to bring it up either. She just sat down quietly and behaved.

Scarecrows, huh?

I decided to visit the scarecrow field just to reassure myself. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I noticed a man passed by as I observe the farm.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Cuevas!” I greeted them.

“Good afternoon to you too, Jake” Mr. Cuevas replied. “Say, what are you doing out here? You better not collapse here.”

“Just looking at my childhood fear” I replied.

“Ah. Those scarecrows. Is this about what happened to Glena’s family?”

“Yeah. Just wanted to remind myself that all those creepy stories about the scarecrows weren’t real. I’ve got to hand it to you, Mr. Cuevas. You did well in keeping that tale alive.”

Mr. Cuevas paused. “Dear boy, it wasn’t just a story.”

“Huh?”

“My wife didn’t want to remember our loss so we pretended that we never had a son.”

“You mean…?”

“I don’t know with scarecrows, but a bunch of burglars did break into our home one night and took our son’s life.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. Those crooks are serving their time now. Alas, I wished that Ray’s life were restored that way.”

“Your son’s name was Ray?”

“Yup. I better get going now. Cya later, kid.”

Odd. Ray was also the name that Glena gave to her imaginary friend. My mind rushed with thoughts. Could this all be connected somehow? I decided to walk home. At the corner of my eye, I thought that I saw one of the scarecrows twitch.

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The rescue team sent to find the scientists at Mt. Torres never returned. I remember reading a story to Glena once about a mythological creature called a hydra. It was a serpent-like beast with many heads. Each time its head was cut off, two more would sprout from it. I’ve decided to re-read this one for old time’s sake and maybe to calm Glena down.

“… and so its head wouldn’t regrow new heads” I read out loud. “The stump was burned to prevent that from happening.”

“Up to how many heads can a hydra grow?” It was nice to hear Glena talk again.

“Dunno” I shrugged. “Doesn’t matter anyway. They defeated it; problem solved.”

“Wow, just imagine if they just continue cutting the heads” Glena remarked.

“I guess the hydra represents different problems” I explained.

“How so?”

“Let’s put it this way, each time you solve a problem, you only cut a head off. But if you don’t find the source of that problem, it’ll just come back.”

Glena looked outside the window. There were a lot of things to think about. With all the recent happenings, I wouldn’t blame her if she was worried. I didn’t want to show it, but I felt uneasy as well.

“Ray…” Glena muttered. Not the name I wanted to bring up. I gulped.

“Where did the little monster go?” I asked.

“I don’t know” lightning flashed as she spoke. “He vanished along with my parents.”

Glena was trembling. Her eyes turned teary. I was going to pat her until she suddenly turned to face me. And gave me that stare.

“G-gle-glena? Is there something wrong?”

“There’s a pair of eyes behind you.”

A child crept on my spine. Goosebumps started appearing on my skin.

“What?”

“Those pair of eyes… they sometimes appear behind you… when I notice them staring at you, they started to stare at me.”

Glena could clearly see that I was frightened.

“Don’t worry” she said. “They’re gone now.”

I heard barking outside. Glena looked through the window.

“It’s Ray! He’s back!”

Glena stood up and rushed towards the door.

“Glena! Stop!” I grabbed her arm. “Don’t go outside!”

“But it’s Ray!” she pointed. “See?”

I looked towards the direction Glena pointed outside. There was a man standing outside the house looking right at us.

“Glena, where did you get the name ‘Ray’ for him?” I asked.

“Oh, he said that he liked the name ‘Ray” so I named him that” she innocently replied.

Rain started to fall. The man outside stood still.

“Aww… the poor puppy will get sick!”

Glena doesn’t see what I see. I covered the window and told her to stay inside. However, she pushed me over and hurriedly opened the door.

I quickly got up and chased her. But she was already outside in the storm.

“Glena!”

I saw Ray walking towards her. Glena rushed towards him. Rain drops kept falling on me as I looked on. Ray and Glena slowly walked away in the rain.

In haste I ran towards them. Ray turned his head. Seeing me chase him, he gestured with his hand in the air as if to hit me. What felt like a strong wind hit me knocking me. I landed on the muddy road on my head. Lightning flashed once again before I blocked out.

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I could still hear the rain going on but felt no drops hitting me. I opened my eyes and saw an umbrella above me.

“Mr. Cuevas?”

“Are you alright, lad?” Mr. Cuevas said as he helped me up.

“I’m fine. Oh no. Glena! She was taken away!”

I explained to Mr. Cuevas what happened in detail. I also added that Glena had an imaginary friend named Ray and that he may be named after his son. Mr. Cuevas gave a dramatic pause.

“I thought I saw someone familiar outside” Mr. Cuevas said. “I thought I saw my son outside your house.”

“I saw him too! Could it really be him?”

“I doubt it, dear boy. My son’s first priority would be checking up on his folks.”

“Glena saw different” I coughed. “She saw her imaginary friend.”

“It’s as if the devil brewed all this trouble in our town” Mr. Cuevas remarked.

I thought hard. The hydra story came to mind. All the strange events that happened may have a source.

“I know where they are” I spoke. “They’re heading to Mt. Torres.”

The next thing I knew, Mr. Cuevas drove me towards the cursed mountain to find Glena. I pray that she’s safe.

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Click here for Part 3.

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