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The X Witch Project Part 2

-featured image by me/from the x files comics and a blair witch shot and composite by me!

-Don’t turn your back-blue oyster cult
-Blair Witch-haxan

-x-files-chris carter, etc.

___

Mulder and Scully turned to leave.
“Wait,” she called. “If Elly Kedward didn’t get the blood she needed… does that mean she can’t come back?”
Mulder thought, his hand on the open door. He looked toward the window, and saw the outline of the black hills.
“I guess… we’ll know in 50 or 60 years.”

 

1 YEAR LATER
Burkittsville, Maryland

 

TARYN WILLIAMS–

Deny everything.

It had become the key-word in Burkittsville, Maryland. There were a few witnesses to the increasingly bizarre events in the Black Hills, the last one being a potential catastrophe.
Sherrif Cravens, ever the stubborn skeptic, refused to acknowledge that the people found in the woods were Mike Williams and Heather Donahue, two of the three missing film students. While the family members and the FBI agents assigned to the case seemed satisfied with their self-proclaimed identity, Sheriff Cravens refused to note it in his report. He sent Heather Donahue and Mike Williams off with a passing “have a good life”, thanked Agents, Mulder and Scully, then sat down for his morning coffee.

One thing surprised him, though. Taryn Williams, cousin of Michael Williams, once brash, bold, and always in his face, had finally left the whole Blair Witch hysteria alone.
Why, it had been a whole year now. There was a time she was constantly in his face, bugging, pleading and cajoling.
In one year, all that changed, overnight.
She said “hi” when she saw him, which was not often.
That was it.
Part of his brain told him it wasn’t quite over yet. That the second shoe had yet to drop.
A bigger part of him took this at face value, and left it alone.

“I am not going into the Black Hills. Not now. Not ever again. You can quote me!” she swore on the graves of all the souls who had lost their lives in Burkittsville, Maryland. In fact, unbeknownst to all, she had zoned the hills, spray-painting trees with bright orange, just in case she ever did get too close to “the forbidden zone”.

Taryn Williams was still interested in the paranormal; her own encounters just fed her insatiable curiosity. With the return of her cousin Mike(now moved to Connecticut to remove himself from the hysteria), she was certain paranormal activity in Maryland was alive and well.

“I’m not much interested in doing the story of the Gapland Tunnel at this time. It’s too new. Only about 20 years. The great and terrible Snallygaster of Maryland is cooler… and that’s the story I’m going to investigate first.”

 

The school was impressed. Her parents were impressed. Her baby sister, Jessica, was glad “Taryn not spazzin no more!”
And though, mom and dad wished she would not show such an obsession for the paranormal, they reluctantly let her build websites dedicated to the unexplained.
Taryn hosted two websites. One as a blog, the other as a research hub called “World of The Weird”.

 

“The haunted tunnel in question lies at the South exit from our lovely town of Burkittsville. It was here, in the Gapland Tunnel, in the year 1958, Beverly Matheson brought her two young boys. It was here, that she-”

 

“Taryn! Come downstairs and meet the new guest!” Her mom called.
“Arrrrg!” went Taryn. She saved her file, backed up her file, password-protected her file, and also the computer. Then she headed downstairs, a little frazzled.

Her 6 year old sister, Jessica ran to her and hugged her around her legs.
“Taryn! We got a new guest! She is such a nice lady!”

 

Mom stood up from the couch. “It is really a family enterprise, one day Taryn and Jessica will take over the business.”
“We run a nice place! No motel-hotels! I call it a home-tel!” Jessica said proudly.

“Oh, that is so adorable!” the old woman said. “Mrs. Williams, isn’t that adorable?!”

“I like you!” Jessica gushed. “You should live with us!”
“And who do we have, here” the old woman said, as she approached Taryn.
Taryn was frozen in place. A chill ran up and down her spine. She was unusually afraid of a strange woman!
“I’m Theresa! It is so good to meet you!” said the old woman with short, gray, curly hair, and dark, almost haunted, eyes.
Taryn shook hands, but her forced nicety did nothing to relieve her discomfort.
“Well, what a lovely young girl you are, Taryn. Smart, so very smart. I can see it in your eyes! No problems breathing? Ah…there’s so much pollen in the woods. I used to have breathing problems when I was your age… ”
Then Theresa smiled even brighter, but it was forced, and her eyes seemed tormented.
“But that is a thing of the past.”
“I’m fine!” Taryn insisted, even though the air felt stifling.
“Hey, you are neat!” Jessica said. “Taryn has the asthma. Did you know that she has the asthma?”
Theresa leaned down. “Well, no I wasn’t aware of that! Yes that is a burden!”
“I’m gonna help you with your bag, ok? Miss Theresa, you gonna live here? You should live here!”
The little girl grabbed the solo bag and began to drag it up the stairs.
“It’s not heavy at all! I got this!”

“You will love it here, Theresa,” Mom said. When the sun comes up in the morning, it’s a sight to see!”
“I have no doubt!” Theresa answered.

 

That was enough to send Taryn fleeing from the boarding house. She got a few items and made a beeline for the town library. Theresa’s presence was creeping her out!

***

“The Gapland Tunnel or the Snallygaster?!”” she asked the young man who approached the desk that was stacked high with books.

“Well it seems like small potato’s to me,” the young man known as Cade told her. “Come on Taryn! You of all people, can do better than that!”
Cade Marshall was a friend who lived in an abandoned broom factory against a steep hill in the woods. He assisted her in researching local legends for her social media sites.

“I have an idea,” he said with a grin, as he put a hand through his brown hair.

“If this has anything to do with ‘she, who must never be named’ then forget it.”

“I saw something. You need to see it. Taryn you need to see it!”

She reached over and turned on the computer, then sat back in the chair., and felt kind of sad.
“I can’t. Cade, it’s not safe.”

He sat down beside her. “From what you told me, you still have questions.”
“Yeh, but-”
“And you want answers.”

She looked down and shook her head. He took her hand, pulling her forward, forcing her to look back up.
He smiled genuinely, comfortingly.
“I saw her… Taryn… ”
“Elly’s a bad woman! She was born to be evil!” Taryn seethed.
“No… that’s just… ” Cade frowned. “Come with me, Taryn. Please. It’s easier if I just show you.”

 

Night, dark, foggy. Cade’s RV was parked near a ravine. Inside the lights were on, and it was warm and cozy. Blue Oyster Cult was on the cd player, and there was even beer.

“Not for me! No drinking and driving, right? I swear we won’t be out here all night. It’s just that, this is where I saw her-”
“She who must NEVER be named!!!” Taryn said, cracking a beer and slamming it. “Ak! koffkoffkoff! Gross! This tastes like pee!”

“Er… it’s not that simple, really.”
Taryn bent over, still gagging.
“Oh, quit being so melodramatic!” Cade chided her.
She stopped then, sat up, and shrugged. “But I gotta be me! What else can I be?”
“Listen to this! She’s out there!”
“Who?! Elly Kedward?! She can’t come back, Cade! That’s not how it works!”

Cade went to the front of the RV and sat in the drivers seat. Taryn joined him, sitting in the passengers seat.

Outside the fog was thickening.
“She wears a hoodie… ”
“She?!”
Taryn narrowed her eyes at him. He smiled sheepishly.

There was a scream from the woods.
“Ok you know what do do; don’t go outside!” Taryn warned.
“”But… was it her? Hoodie-girl?”
“I don’t care, let’s just get the hell out of here!”
He reached into the glove box, and retrieved the flashlight.
“Don’t do it Cade!”
“She could be hurt!”
“You know how this is gonna turn out, Cade!”

He couldn’t be stopped. He opened the door and stepped out into the fog.
“I guess you won’t come?” he asked.
“Fuck that!” she hissed. Then she frowned deeply. “Just… don’t go far! Please don’t go far,” she begged, now trembling.

He stood by the window, and smiled warmly. “Promise! Watch my light!”

She sat back in the seat and turned on the radio, watching as Cade moved forward into the fog.

 

“Don’t turn your back. Danger surrounds you.”

She turned off the radio.

“Be careful!” she yelled, even though he couldn’t hear her. She huffed angrily as she watched him move off.

Was that a moaning sound coming from outside?
“Ooooh… hurry up, Cade!” she whispered, leaning forward.

 

The fog slowly passed over the RV. She rolled the window up quickly, as the fog covered the vehicle. She turned on the headlights, but the beams disappeared into the thick mist just a few feet from the hood.
“I am so not getting busted for being out here!” she grumbled. She cracked the window.
“Hurry up, Cade!” she yelled “you see anything?” she called out.

“Nothing yet.” he answered back.
“Well I do, so get back here!!!”

The moaning was loud and coming from all around the RV. But there was something else, the sound of the crying had changed. It didn’t sound desperate, but more intense . . . darker somehow. She locked the doors.

In the distance she could still see still see Cade’s silhouette, dimly illuminated by his flashlight. Then the moaning sound changed into a high-pitched chuckle.
“Stop it, whoever you are… quit fucking with me!”‘

Cade’s form disappeared into the fog, the headlights went out.
“Dammit!”
Cade had said the battery wasn’t very good, but it sure picked a fine time to quit. She frantically rolled down the window and called out “GET BACK HERE CADE!”

There was no sound now. The fog was still thick. Now she was close to panicking, and called out to Cade over and over.

She leaned back inside, gasping, not taking her eyes off the area Cade vanished into.
Then she heard heavy running footsteps, and the beam from the flashlight came back into view and was moving quickly in every direction. “Cade!” she screamed out, as the flashlight went dark.

“It’s not funny… Cade are you messing with me?! Cade, stop it! Please stop it!!!”

The RV flipped over onto its side, throwing Taryn into the drivers side window and the drawers and the cabinets on the passengers side flew open, some of their contents toppling down on Taryn.

 

“Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!” she whined, terrified now. There was something wet on her cheek and she figured something cut her face. She began to reach for her face, but outside the was the creaking and groaning of trees.
“Shit!” she turned her head slowly, saw a branch sticking through the broken window.
The RV was caught in a “net” of tree branches, where it bounced slightly.
Taryn was frozen with fear, tried not to cry, as the branches creaked ominously. The slightest movement could be too much for the branches holding the RV in place.
“Please stop… please leave me alone!” she whispered.

The chuckling started again.
“I have plans for you, Taryn,” someone… or something…said, before the menacing being chuckled again. “LEAVE ME ALONE!” she cried out.
The branches snapped and shattered. Taryn screamed helplessly as the RV plunged down into the ravine.

ENTER THE AGENTS
-three days later
In Sheriff Craven’s office, the tension was so thick it could only be cut with a welding torch.
John Dogget shifted nervously in the chair, as Cravens just stared him down.
“Shall I start at the beginning… again? Fine! Deputy Callahan contacted the FBI, asked for the ‘paranormal division’… we call it the X Files… ” he pulled out his notebook “we have a young man, Cade Marshall, who is now missing. There’s a RV flipped over into a ravine… by a person, or persons unknown.”
Cravens smiled and slapped the desk.
“I like that bit. Person’s unknown. That’s a good bit! I’ll make a note of it!”
It was the first time Cravens had smiled all day. And then it was gone.
For a moment, Dogget found himself tempted to punch the sheriff in the face. Dogget had been sitting here for the last 15 minutes, trying to get information from him on what happened in the Black Hills, and for 15 minutes the sheriff barely said a word, only kept staring at Dogget and occasionally nodding. The man was doing his best to avoid speaking about the case!
John Dogget tried again. “The previous agents that handled the case… Agents Mulder and Scully… in regards to a follow-up of three missing film students… two of whom were found alive, as stated by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.”
“Well they claimed to be the film students! Think it was a hoax!”
John Dogget thumbed towards the window. “You got another missing person, Cade Marshall! You also got a Winnebago that was thrown into a deep ravine, by King Kong, I guess! You got a teenager, connected to that case, and now this case… coincidentally her cousin was one of the missing film students!”
Cravens sat up in the chair, stiff and rigid and his eyes shooting daggers. He reached into a cabinet and pulled out a thick file and slammed it on the desk.
“Read it at your leisure, sir! Most of it was documented by my deputy! If you can give me a good explanation for what happened to the RV, and if you can find Cade Marshall or his remains, that’s all I require for my report!”
John took the file, barely able to contain his anger. “Thank you so much for your cooperation!” he sneered.

John stormed out of the building.
“The nerve of that guy!” he complained.
Monica Reyes handed him a cup of coffee. “Maybe it was best I wasn’t there. Good to know where he stands. As long as we are in the clear to start the investigation. Deputy Callahan is going to pick us up to look at the RV, and I guess after that we can talk to Taryn Williams.”
“Yeh, sure,” he replied.

Monica smiled. “I see that look!”
He thumbed the sheriff’s file. “What look would that be?”
“That look that says this isn’t an x file.”
“Maybe the last one was… we have a case of an RV parked too close to the edge of a ravine. That kid, Taryn could have done it. Cade.”
“Why would a guy trash his only means of transportation?”

“Guy had no family, hung out a lot with Taryn Williams. They collaborated on a website dealing with the occult. Mostly local legends.”
Monica held up her smartphone. “She did a great report on the Snallygaster!” the agent smiled.

~~~~~~
“Taryn get out of there!”
“You gotta come look at this!”
He stumbled down the cellar steps. Taryn was kneeling in the
corner.
“There’s a hole here and… Miss Scullery was right, Fox! It was Josh… uh, kind of…”
“That’s Scully… come to me, Taryn!”
“Ok, but I gotta take this back… more evidence!”
She stood up and shoved a shark tooth necklace into her pocket. Mulder ran towards her…just as she was yanked to the ground. Something inside the hole had grabbed her feet and was pulling her in.
Mulder lunged forward and grabbed her arms. Short panicky
breaths escaped her lips.
“I’ve got you, Taryn. I won’t let go.”
She sobbed softly at first then began moaning like a wounded
animal.
“Taryn I’m not letting go,” he said again.
Mulder pulled back. Looking into the abyss, he screamed,
“LET HER GO!”
She was torn from his grasp and vanished into the hole.
~~~~~

Taryn stared at herself in the bathroom mirror. She traced a finger across the mild gash on her cheek, sniffed hard, and began to sob.

I have plans for you Taryn…

She recalled the voice sounded feminine… familiar, even. But she couldn’t identify who it was; perhaps it was the Blair Witch, up to her tricks.
At any rate, she was done.
She was so out of here.
She was leaving Burkittsville today.
Her plans were to go to Connecticut and stay with cousin Mike for a while. She’d get a job and an apartment. She’d send for her sister, Jessica.
Her parents could stay behind and continue running the boarding house.
The witch only wanted children.

She was told to expect the FBI agents for an interview later. Well maybe if she saw them on the way out she would wave. Other than that, she was leaving Burkittsville… once the township of Blair, and she swore to never utter the name, Elly Kedward, again.

 

Apparently she wasn’t the only one leaving.
“Theresa… you’re leaving our fine company? How can we make your next stay more pleasurable?”

“Oh, put a sock in it!” the old woman scolded. “You don’t like me and I feel the same about you!”

“I’m sorry… ” Taryn said dumbly “I’m having a hard time… ”
You’re not the only one!

At the edge of the driveway, Theresa stopped, turned back.
“There’s a lot I wanted to say, but I’m almost out of time… and I just don’t know what I missed!”

“My parents can give you a free night,” Taryn tried, feeling ashamed of herself.
“No… no… ” Theresa frowned, and went to her, closing the distance between the two until their chests were practically touching.
“You stay outta those woods, Taryn Williams! Because if you go back, you will never escape!”

EXHIBIT F

“John! The RV wasn’t that close to the edge of the ravine; there’s no way it slipped over the edge.”
John wriggled his way out of the partially-crushed RV, and looked up, seeing the back of Monica at the top of the ravine.
“Take a measurement!”
She turned then, a little angry, and put her hands on her hips. “It’s at least 10 feet and I can tell tire tracks!”
John shrugged. “Inches?”

Deputy Callahan appeared at the ledge. “It may be almost 11 feet, Agent Dogget.
“A bear perhaps? Gorilla?” Dogget tried, leaving Monica to snicker. She turned away, and went through the file documented by Fox Mulder. Suddenly Deputy Callahan yelled, “Go home already!!!”
Monica looked carefully at him.
“Who, me?” Dogget queried.

“No, I have to see it,” a girls voice called out.
“I’ll… we’ll take care of it!” Callahan begged.

Dogget looked in the direction the deputy was yelling.
“Hey, wait,” he said, as a young girl with long brown hair, wearing a hoodie, with a backpack, scampered toward the RV.
“It’s a possible crime scene!” Dogget said more firmly, resisting the urge to get even more firm. “Halt!” he yelled out. When she wouldn’t comply he blocked her path. “Crime scene! No touching! No disturbing the evidence!”
“Ok, ok, ok! Hold on!” Callahan made his way down into the ravine, Monica close behind. The girl pulled away, yelled again, “I had to see it!”

Callahan put a hand on his hip. “You have to… ahh, Taryn Williams… her cousin is Michael… come on, let me take you home, Taryn,” he pleaded.
Dogget blocked her path again, and she just glared at him.

“You can’t disturb the evidence, we aren’t done with the investigation.”

“You’re new,” she said, her face softening.
“John Dogget, Monica Reyes, FBI.”
And he crossed his arms over his chest.
“This is as far as you go,” he stated.
“Fox Mulder was a lot nicer to me!”
“I’m not Fox Mulder, and I’m not being paid to be nice, I’m paid to do a job.”

The girl looked confused. “Oh well ok. I’ll give you that… maybe he was too nice to me. Truth. ”
Sh stepped back, looked over to Callahan.
“I’m leaving. I’m not staying in Burkittsville.”
Monica opened the file again, thumbing quickly through the pages.
Callahan shook his head. “Huh?” he asked, a little stunned.
“I’m going far… far… away! See this backpack? Hey you look at me like I’m kidding… trust me, I’m not! I’m leaving, and I will never set foot in this town again! I bet that will make Cravens very happy!”

“Wait, wait!” Monica stopped her, with a big smile and an outstretched hand, that Taryn took very carefully.
“Any sign of Cade,” Taryn asked, in a small voice.
Monica frowned. “I’m sorry… I really am… Ah… these notes… ” Monica pointed to a page in her file. “The language… Transistus Fluvii… ”
Taryn was already moving off, and Monica went after her, but she was moving fast, several feet ahead, and bending over to look at something on the ground.
“I’d like your opinion, I really would… about why people keep disappearing in these woods… this thing about time portals-”
“Monica, the film students were found! Well two of them… there was an idea about a bear attack-”

Monica was shocked as Taryn whirled around to face her. Her eyes were filled with fright, her face was pale, and she seemed to age before her eyes.
“What are you afraid of?” Monica asked gently, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t be afraid of me. I’m not easily shocked. You can tell me whatever you like.” she smiled gently.

“Oh, no. Evidence?! Tell me you didn’t touch that! Oh, for God’s sake!” Dogget yelled out.

“I just realized something, Agent Monica Reyes… It wasn’t supposed to be Cade.” She sniffled and wiped the tears from her face. “and maybe it wasn’t supposed to be Mike… cos he got away. That bitch keeps pulling me back!

Dogget rushed up, gently pushed Monica out of the way, then shot out an open plastic bag. “Give that to me! Put it right in here!”
“… belonged to my… my friend… ” she blubbered.
“It belongs in the evidence bag, now!” he ordered. Monica took the bag and held it out to Taryn. “Please… it will… maybe it will help us find him,” she asked in a kinder voice.
“You won’t find him! She took him!”

Callahan pulled out his smartphone. “I’m calling you’re parents… or you can let me take you home.”
“Let me,” Monica said. “I’d like to ask her some questions.” She looked at Taryn “will you talk to me?”
“I can’t get through,” Callahan said, shaking the phone in frustration. “Taryn is there another number… Taryn!”
“Don’t go!” Monica yelled after the fleeing girl, who was fast-moving down the ravine, away from the RV, through some underbrush and Monica and Callahan rushed after her. Monica was ahead, pushed through the underbrush, and Callahan just couldn’t catch up. In a moment, both had vanished into the woods.
“Where are they!?” Dogget demanded, as he stood behind him. “Monica?!”

“The woods are a little tricky… ” Callahan mumbled.
“Do you have a map? MONICA! TARYN WILLIAMS!”
John turned to Callahan, giving him a hard stare.
“Map, please! I’ll find them.”
“I… better go with you… ” Callahan said, though it took a few more moments for him to get moving.

 

***

“Hey! Help! I’m down here! Agent Reyes??”
Taryn looked up at the cliff she just toppled over, dusting off the leaves and dirt that clung to her clothes.
“I fell down and go boom!”
She heard them, all three of them; they were calling out for her.
“I’m down here! I fell! I swear it wasn’t on purpose… I don’t want attention I just want out of these woods!!!”

She tried climbing on the tree roots that were growing out of the cliff, but halfway up, she cried out and fell back down.
The tree roots had tried to grab her!
“No… ”
She brushed the tiny fresh cuts the branches had inflicted on her, smearing thin streaks of blood across her skin.
“No… ” Taryn whimpered “not again!”
***
It was getting dark. Taryn continued through the endless woods. She walked and sometimes she ran. She tripped and fell into bushes at one point, the brambles cutting into her face. She wiped at the blood that oozed from the tiny cuts, and continued on.
There was a tinkling sound in the air, like the sound of small bells. Fear and misery gave way to curiosity, and she followed the sounds carefully, eventually coming to a small, ramshackle cabin.
She approached the front door, and a light went on inside. The glow was dim, probably a candle. She looked up toward the bell-like sound.
The melodious sound was being made by carefully strung bottles, clanking against each other.

“It’s like a wind chime. I put them up myself many years ago. They protect me from the ghosts.”

“Theresa!” Taryn exclaimed, a little shocked and confused. “You live here? In these woods?!
“Come inside will you!” Theresa demanded.
Taryn stepped closer, a mere inches from the porch, then she stopped.
“Well I… I think you’re the witch,,, so bye!”
She turned to go.
“Oh for fucks sake!” Theresa hissed, and grabbed Taryn by her hair, pulling her back.
“Ow! Ooooow! Leggo! You hurtin meh! Child abuse! Child abuse!”
“Shut up already!” and Taryn was shoved down into a chair, in front of a worn, wooden table.
“Jesus, that’s something you can never get used too! Some things just never change, do they?!”
“Wha?” Taryn felt around her head “how dare you! I’m bald!”
“It’s not that bad!” Theresa said, dropping a small clump of hair onto the battered table.
“Oh Taryn… Taryn … why did you come back… why couldn’t you just keep walking… all the way to Connecticut!”
Anger gave way to confusion. “Wha… hey how’d you know-”
“But you stayed. You had to go back. You had to look… like Pandora!”
“How did you know about that?!” Taryn gasped.
The old woman turned to face her, frowning deeply. Taryn’s heart seemed to drop into her stomach. She was frozen with fear, eyes locked on this woman.
Theresa.
“What’s your real name!?” Taryn demanded.
Theresa rolled her eyes, turned away.
“Tea, Taryn?” she grumbled.

 

Taryn finally stood up, trembling badly. “I gotta… go… ” she stumbled to the door, yanking it open, and stumbling back outside.

To the safety of the woods?!

“Wait, Taryn! Stay with me, and I won’t be alone… you won’t be alone… hahahaha!”

Taryn whirled around. “No one lives out in these woods, Theresa! The one’s that keep coming here… they get trapped here! Forever!”
Theresa’s face grew dark “You have no one to blame but yourself, and you know that!”
“No! I reject it! I reject your fate! I’m getting out of this fucking forest!!!”

She ran off then, fleeing Theresa and heading back into the woods. She pulled a glow stick from her backpack, tied a string on it and hung it around her neck.
“Better!” she sighed, and continued on, finally reaching Black Rock Road.
Exhausted, she sat on the shoulder, and closed her eyes.
“Haffa get out of the woods! Someone help me!” she wept.

There was the sound of an engine, and a bright light penetrated her eyelids. She looked up to see headlights moving towards her slowly.
A car!
“Hey!” She got up, waved her arms, flagging it down. “HEY STOP!!”
The vehicle pulled alongside her, revealing itself to be a large motor home.
“Get in!” the driver announced, causing Taryn to step back.
“No… ”
She looked harder.
“Cade… ?”
“Taryn come on! Get in! What are you doing out here all alone?!”
“Cade… oh, Cade!” she whispered.

 

She stood there, feeling her resolve fading away, feeling incredibly guilty. Cade was a prisoner of the woods… of the Blair Witch.
“‘I’m sorry… ” she mumbled.
“What! Didn’t catch that. Get in, I’ll take you for a sundae.”
“I said,,, ” then she huffed, climbed into the passenger seat. Cade gunned the engine, and the motor home jerked forward.
“A chance to put on my seat belt first!” she shouted.
Then she realized it didn’t matter.
“I said I’m sorry. Cade this wasn’t your fault.”
“My fault?” he queried.
“For being out here, in your trashed motor home… driving… how long have you been driving?”
“Hm!” he looked at her and smiled. “A long time, Taryn.”
“Yeh.” she rolled down the window.
Strange sounds came from the woods, and the sound of a woman crying.
The motor home traveled on. Headlights illuminated just a short distance, cut short by a fog bank.
“I was too curious… too smart for my own good… I had to find the witch… and I did… or she found me, and then she marked me!”
“Those she marks, she never lets go,” Cade intoned in a low voice.
“She’s messing with me. She did it by taking you!” Taryn wailed.
The crying woman could still be heard, even though the motor home continued on its way.
It was like she was on top of the motor home.
“Cade, I’ve been a jerk! A whiny little brat, and I’m sorry! I’m sorry to the agents from the FBI, I’m sorry to Cravens’… ok maybe not to him… but to everyone else, and especially you. Cos I see you now, and your lost and you can’t stop driving!”
“I know the turnoff is here somewhere… ” he insisted.
“My sister, I can’t believe I left my sister. There I go, being rash again. Dammit, I was scared out of my mind, and I abandoned my sister… shit, I deserve this, not you!”
“What’s done is done, Taryn . I just hate being lost. So very lost.”
“Cade stop the… stop you gotta stop! Cade, I’m getting out of here!”
“You gonna abandon me like you did your sister?”
“Cade, you’re dead. She grabbed you when you got out of the motor home… Cade stop the motor home!”

The vehicle stopped abruptly, throwing them forward. Taryn stumbled out, her feet hitting the pavement.
“Cade!” she gasped, as the motor home pulled away, driving, and disappearing, into the thick fog. The woman’s crying faded away, and Taryn was alone again.
“Just end it, bitch!”
A chill came over her, as she finally realized, Elly Kedward was not going to kill her, nor was she ever going to let her go.
“Oh! My! God!” Taryn howled.

***”Monica! Agent Reyes, can you hear me!?” John Dogget shouted

 

John Dogget and Detective Callahan followed the footprints for about 1/2 miles, till they dead ended at a tree.

 

“It’s getting dark we should probably… ah… head back.”
“Crazy! Not without my partner!”
“Yeh, but… um… ”
“Not with the Blair Witch again!” Dogget rolled his eyes.
In the distance was a crashing noise, like a bunch of tree
branches hitting the hard ground, and then there was a scream,
followed by laughing.
“Sound’s like Taryn! I left a message for her mother… ”
“Mulder describer as a ‘bit of a pain’, which strikes me as an
understatement, to be honest!.. Taryn Williams! Come out!”
“Are you hurt?!” Callahan called out.
“Goddammit!” Dogget yelled out. There was sudden laughter, a
deep cackling, and Callahan pulled his gun. “What? What?!”

“Get… get em off! Callahan, help me!”
There was a loud rustling, and several loud smacking and
grunting noises. Then, a splash. Callahan got his flashlight on
and shone it towards the sound, and reaching for his gun with
his free hand.
The illumination revealed Dogget in the water, underneath a
small figure in a hoodie jacket that was covered with tree
brambles.
“I… I got it!” he called out, aiming his gun at the unknown
attacker.
“Oooow!” Dogget cried out, as the figure kicked him and jerked
away, running through the creek. Callahan waded into the
creek, and held out a hand. “Need assistance?”
“I’m ok, but… ah, look. I need Sheriff Cravens out here… ”
Dogget took out his flashlight and began traipsing in the
direction the figure ran.
“What about your other agent?!” Callahan begged, though he just
knew that the other agents were put off by the brash, arrogant
Taryn Williams, and would be very hesitant to come.
“Don’t you run away! Come back here!” Dogget shouted.

“Da-mit!” Callahan cried out, scrambling back to the patrol car.
Sheriff Ron Cravens was going to be furious!

***

“Where are you? Come out. Taryn, I’m not your enemy. I want to
help… to understand!”

Monica Reyes approached a clearing in the forest and sat down
on a thick tree root. She opened her notebook and began to
read aloud.
“Jera… two incomplete triangles, means year, possibly season…
hm… Eihwaz is for ‘wood’… Dagaz, day! Hmmm!”

She looked up into the trees, trying to spot the stick figures
carefully hidden among the branches. Finding none, she went
over the notes for another five minutes, then headed down a
slope, where she found a small path that led to a ramshackle
cabin, surrounded by bottles strewn along the ground.
“Is anyone home?”
Monica kicked aside a green bottle and approached the door.
She knocked and stepped back as the door swung inward.
The cabin was only illuminated with a small lantern. An old
woman hobbled back and forth, dragging various items to the
middle of the room. Mostly it was broken and splintered
furniture and some clothes.
“Out of my way! Move! Come on, this is not an obstacle course!!”
Then the wrinkled, haggard old woman looked at her.
Then she smiled.
“Why… it’s you… after all these years… it’s really you!
Monica was looking around the cabin, at the pile of splintered
wood in the center of the room. She looked back to the open
door, and wondered about the bottles on the ground. Was this
woman a heavy drinker?
“I’m sorry. Do we… know each other?” Monica queried.
“Thank you for your kindness. Were, that it might have worked.
Were that anything might have worked… but… but… I finally
have it now! I can stop that bitch! I think. I hope… move, you’re
in the way. The porch is best!”
“Well I’m looking for someone… ah… she’s 16. Long brown hair.
In a state of grief… what are you doing anyway?”
“What I should have done a long time ago! I just didn’t have the
guts back then.”
The old woman threw a ratty old pillow on the pile and strode up
to Monica.
“You’ll find her at the house,” she sighed.
“The house… ” Monica repeated. She was pretty sure there were
no houses in the Black Hills.
Unless you counted Rustin Parr’s house.
Which burned to the ground in the 1940’s.
“When you see her, give her this,” the old woman reached into
her apron and pulled out a broken flashlight.
“Where did you get this!?”
The old woman smiled a little, then frowned. Monica looked
at the broken flashlight, twisting and turning it in her hands.
“John Dogget had this. Did you see an older man too?” Monica
demanded. “Did you see which way he… they went?”
“The house! The house! Don’t you listen? Did you even read
those file notes?!”
“Are you talking about the Rustin Parr house? I was sure it
burned to the ground years ago… did you mean the
foundation?”
“Er… yeh… foundation… that’s what I meant… you’ll find her
there… Johnnie Dogget too, I guess!”
Monica’s eyes got wide. “Johnnie!” she began, barely containing
her rage at the old woman’s vague and flippant attitude. Then she turned to
the door.
“House… foundation… whatever!”
Monica turned back.
“What’s your name?” she asked.
The old woman smiled sadly.
“Theresa.”

***
“I don’t believe this!”
Monica had walked another mile, calling out for John and Taryn,
and then she finally found it.
The two-story, ramshackle house with broken windows, peeling
and broken plaster and sheet rock, and a pile of shattered lumber
crowding the door-less entryway.
“You have got to be shitting me!” she cried out. Was this really
Rustin Parr’s house? Had she really gone back in time?

“John are you in there?! Taryn?!”
She carefully climbed in an open window. The smell of must
greeted her, and the floor creaked under her feet, but everything
remained solid. There was still enough light outside, but inside
was dark and gloomy.
“Anyone here?” she called out. She moved carefully into the
hallway.
“Rustin?” she whispered, feeling creep-ed out at the sight of
hand prints on the wall and Futhark carvings on the stair railing
and in every door and window frame.
“I’m here to help,” she called out quietly, respectfully.
There was a crash from upstairs and she headed up. “John?
Taryn? Are you hurt? What happened?!”

The wind picked up, blowing through the open windows.
“Is someone up here?”
The wind howled, and it began to sound human. Before Monica
could adjust to this disturbing development, she noticed
something even worse.
“No!” she ran to the window, now seeing that it was completely
dark outside.
“This can’t be happening!” she whispered, having no idea what
to do now.
She shone her light out the window, waving it back and forth.

“We found it!” came a desperate voice, somewhere out in the
dark woods. She pointed her light toward the sound but saw
only thick trees.
Then she was body-slammed from behind! It was quick,
unexpected, violent. Her upper half fell down onto the window-
sill, and she momentarily lost the ability to breath. She began to
flail about, trying to grab at her antagonist, who was now beating
her with small closed fists. She was able to twist her leg enough
to shove herself back up, sending the attacker flying off her, and
crashing to the floor.

The figure growled then, a high pitch growl, and ran from the
room, pulling the door shut.
“Stop!” Monica yelled, pulling out her gun.
There was a banging sound coming from all corners of the
house, as Monica raced to the landing with her flashlight in one
hand and her sidearm in the other, and she chased the figure to
the basement.
Then, she found him.

“John!” and Monica ran to the corner, attending to her fellow
agent and friend who was down on his knees, bound and
gagged. She worked off his bonds, and he shouted “That kid attacked me!”
“Tell me exactly what happened.” Monica insisted,
never taking notice that there was the sound of more wood
breaking upstairs.
“Look out!” John told her, getting to his feet and pushing her
behind him.
“What happened, John!”

“Heh! Heeeh!” came a small, creepy voice. A hooded Figure
bounded down the basement steps. In the figures’ hands was a
short, heavy tree branch.
“Don’t move! Monica, your gun!”
“No… it’s Taryn, but-”
“Yeh, well… she lost it or something. She struck me and knocked
me out and brought me here!”

Monica ignored him and moved forward very slowly.
“Take this. It’s for you!”

Taryn raised the stick, hissing. Monica shoved the broken
flashlight at her.
“Theresa gave it to me! She said it was yours!”

More crashing noises came from upstairs, as the hooded girl
took the flashlight with bloody, trembling hands, and she began
to weep softly.

The crashing got louder, and the the ceiling began to creak and
groan ominously.
“We have to move! Monica, look here! We can get out this way!
Monica, the upstairs is on fire!”
He was pointing frantically to a small opening in the corner. Get
in! It’s a tunnel and it goes out to the creek I think!”
“I don’t wanna go,” Taryn whimpered.
“Come on!” Monica pulled her down and the three of them
entered the tunnel. “Take my hand, Taryn,” the agent told her.

“Yeh, escape now… arrest later!” John said angrily.
“Move, John,” Monica admonished, as Taryn clung to her,
whispering apologies through choking sobs.
“Proxies! Slaves! She’s a spirit and needs the benefit of the
tangible.”

“What the hell! What in the hell?! Dogget cried out as he exited
the tunnel. Monica puled Taryn close and followed.
“Oh… the woods… ”
“Fire Monica! The woods are on fire!”

It was stiflingly hot, and the forest glowed bright orange, the air
was thick with smoke that forced them back into the tunnel.
“Theresa… ” Taryn realized.
“Speak up!” John ordered. “Having a hard time hearing you
because of the ‘train roaring over our heads’ ” he said in
reference to the terrfying sound of the burning woods. How
could they get out of this??

“Power in the trees, the ground, the Black Hills! I headed out
here plenty times with a pack of matches, and I always
chickened out.” Taryn sighed.
“And you finally got up the nerve!” Dogget accused.
“No, I didn’t… ” she replied.
“How do we get out of this?” Monica asked, as the woods outside the tunnel continued to burn, and as flaming sticks fell from the trees, like fiery darts plunging to the ground.

 

***

It was the most devastating wildfire in the history of Burkittsville, Maryland. The Black Hills forest burned throughout the night, emitting a glow some old-timers in town would refer to as “the 7 hour sunset”. It burned so strongly that the smoke could be seen from miles away. Firefighters came from all over the state, were able to knock it down but only after it had consumed the woods.

***

“And Agents Dogget and Reyes had already gone into the woods?” Dana Scully asked.
“Taryn Williams too… well, I mean her friend vanished in the woods. She was very upset, and-”
“Ive already read the file. Sheriff Cravens showed it to me!” she told him angrily.
“I know what you’re thinking, and with all due respect Taryn was a changed soul… IS a changed soul. Her missing friend put a lot of pressure on her.”
“So you say!” Dana Scully griped. The firemen gave the all-clear to enter the woods, and a few paramedics followed with body bags.
Thankfully there was no need for the bags in this case.
“Is anyone there! Hey, over here! Over here!”

“Monica!” Scully cried out with relief, and began running, followed by Callahan and two paramedics. Monica, Dogget, and Taryn Williams were found alive. Dogget had a sprained ankle and Monica and Taryn had scrapes and few bruises, but nothing major. They had survived the night of the fire by building a makeshift shelter in the depths of Tappy East Creek.

“Amnesty! Please! I beg you!” Taryn wailed.
Monica waved her over, and made her sit down while she left the creek.
“Are you alright, Monica!?” Scully asked as the paramedics moved into help Dogget.
“I’ll write a report… but there was an old woman out here.”
“What!?” Callahan asked, as Scully rolled her eyes. “No, not the Blair Witch. It… was an older woman who stayed at the boarding house. Theresa. She lived in a cabin out that way… I have every reason to believe she was responsible for the fire. She was less than helpful when I was looking for Taryn Agent Dogget… and she was building what looked like a pyre.”
The paramedics were carrying out Dogget as Taryn rushed up to Scully.
“I want amnesty! Please gimme amnesty!” she bawled.
“Ok, don’t talk to me, Taryn!” Scully ordered. “Really, we’ve all had enough from you!”
“I dig it. You hate me. I can accept that. I just want amnesty!”
“I had to explain the important part,” Monica said, and slung an arm over Taryn’s shoulder and they moved off.

 

“Ugh, she’s even worse the second time around” they heard Scully grumble.

 

“Didn’t we agree that you wouldn’t incriminate yourself? Especially since I’m convinced you did not set the fire?” Monica warned.
“There’s no way Cravens will believe that,” Taryn moaned.
“He can take FBI testimony, and he won’t be able to refute it.”
Taryn wiped the tears from her dirty face. “I guess, I don’t know.”
“Hey… getting down in the creek was a great idea. Shelter, even better.”
“I don’t know what chased us out of the tunnel… but witches can’t cross running water.”
Monica smiled. “You’re a smart kid. I think you’ll go far in life… I really like your blog posts.”
“Far in life?” Taryn shrugged. “I guess if… if ‘Theresa’ is any indication… ”
“Don’t incriminate yourself,” Monica warned again. “And get a lawyer. I don’t think you’ll get away with ‘attacking’ Agent Dogget. I’ll do what I can to help… but you can’t explain the concept of ‘proxies who are in servitude to a witch’, to a guy like John. At least not today.”

“Yeh, Taryn nodded, snorted back more tears. “You think ‘Theresa’ found some peace? Cos… that would be nice if ‘she’ did.”
“I don’t know… maybe, maybe not… but the future hasn’t been written yet, has it?”
“No,” Taryn said, smiled a bit, feeling a little encouraged. “Well… no.. it hasn’t.”


and with that, “I’m finally finished.”
2014-2017

THE END

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