At the bead number 6 he started to think. How many more beads did she have? And where is he going? He looked around – it seemed like he was going towards some dense park… Forrest maybe? He cursed quietly, as he thought he should have paid more attention as to where he was going… Not that he did not know where he was – generally speaking -but…
Anise. What could have happened to her? Why and by whom was she dragged? Well, by the killer obviously, who else would have done anything to this gentle and very sensitive girl?
He thought about the two dead “look-alikes”… Nope, he was not going there. Why? Simply because he thought he still was pretty sane and wanted to stay that way…
Another bead. There is a little shack about 50 meters away. Joe wondered if that’s where the… killer… well… abductor is going to take her?
A branch broke nearby and Joe nearly screamed in panic.
“Nobody is here, it is an abandoned place” he thought. And then he remembered all the rumors and stories about this place. Rumors that he used to laugh at… Well, they did not seem so silly anymore!
He turned towards the noise and spotted… some big animal with pretty long ears… If it wasn’t so big he’d have thought it was a… rabbit? But come on – rabbit the size of a medium dog?
And then it… hopped toward him. Totally like a rabbit. Joe decided he did not have time to think about it, and looked for another bead or any clue… A thought that Anise must be alive and conscious, to leave these signs behind her, made him feel a little bit better. She was like a sister to him, from the moment she moved to town, when they both were in kindergarten. It was just recently that he noticed how beautiful, delicate and sweet she was…
He shook his head as if he was trying to bring himself back to present time. Something cracked beside him again. Joe turned to see the rabbit (?) less than two meters behind him. Great. “On the other hand – it could be worse” he thought. “It could have been some wolf or whatever lives in those forests”.
So what now?
If only the phone was working… And then he remembered he had a charger in his truck. Well, too late now, there is no time…
He got up yet again and followed the beads. It seemed like the distances between the marks increased with each bead. Did Anise realize that she should be saving them? Did that someone said something about where was he taking her? It did not matter, he has to follow… The rabbit was still keeping close distance, which was bothering him because it was not something one would expect. It was adding some unreal feeling to the place, situation and everything around.
And it was supposed to be so simple. When Anise disappeared, after some silly fight with her parents (Joe still did not know the details about that), they called him and asked if he knew where she could have gone. Immediately he thought of this place on the island, Anise was talking about it very often, being so descriptive about it, that it became the first place he went. The Island of Screams and Whispers… It was the same island people in the village considered as haunted, the local legend saying something about a ghost or ghosts roaming around there every night, making lots of quiet and loud sounds… Not that he believed in ghosts and such stories of course. But even he had to admit – it all was pretty creepy…
“Joe, man, for crying out loud what’s with your phone?” the voice wasn’t loud but made him jump and his hands squeezed into fists on their own.
“Mike? How on earth did you manage to find me, my phone is dead, I did not have time to charge it and…”
“Don’t hate me man, but… remember that tiny bug we recently got to test out? We joked around that I have to stick it to your truck just for the fun of it? Well… I sort of did… Meant to take it off after a day but then you left to search for Anise, and I…”
“You’re crazy, and yeah, I’d be mad, but forget it now, we have to find Anise” Joe’s voice was cracking as he said it.
“Didn’t you find her yet?” Mike raised his eyebrows in disbelief
“Well… yes… and no…”
“Care to explain?”
Joe took a deep breath and told him all that happened on the island… well, he skipped the creepy part, like the fact that the two victims in the cottage were their look-alikes, and that a big rabbit was following him…
“What the heck is this?” Mike jumped as the big rabbit finally decided that it was time to come closer.
“Yeah, that.” Joe scratched his head “Seems to be a rabbit?”
“Well, aren’t you a joker, I see what it is but why so big?”
“Heck if I know… ” Joe let the sentence hanging sort of in mid air, not sure how much of the weird stuff should he tell his friend. Mike caught it right away.
“Joe? What’s going on here?” he asked softly, totally unlike his usual self.
Joe took a deep breath in and told him what he held back just few minutes ago.
“You kidding me, right?” was Mike’s response
“I wish” Joe said “but those two aren’t going anywhere and who knows what that creep is doing with Anise…”
“We’ll find her, Joe.” firm and calm voice of his friend was just what he needed at the moment. Yet again he shook away the ghostly rumors that seemed to be taking over his mind just few minutes ago.
And just then they’ve heard a high, piercing scream. They jumped up, ready to run after or towards it, but It seemed to be coming from everywhere! They stood there, stumped, feeling as if they were surrounded by it, not being able to figure out what direction to turn… Suddenly the rabbit that was sitting close to them stood up on his hind legs. The triangle of his nose was moving very fast, then he looked at them, with what seemed almost human look, and nodded his head, as if he was telling them… to follow?
“Do you see what I see?” Mike whispered to Joe’s ear.
“I think so…”Joe whispered back.
“You think we should… ”
“Follow him. Yeah, I do.” Joe did not care at this moment if he sounded crazy or not. The Scream was still in the air and it looked like the rabbit was their only… lead…
I might be losing here something, not sure what and how, but at this point I definitely know it will be continued. Written for #fridayflash.