THE ODAYGUH

(Route 40, City outskirts of Portland Maine)

“We are coming to you live from the Baker motel off of route 40. I’m here with the Motel manager Dale Hartford whom earlier saw two suspicious white males carrying a female into the room they were staying in. Dale can you give us the details of what happened tonight?”

“uh, yes ma’am, two fellas stopped in around midnight or so in a blue four door car. I don’t remember the make or model. One fella came in asking for a room for the night. Uh… He paid cash. I suspected something wasn’t right with em. His hands were shaky, and he handed me a wad of cash from his pockets.”

“now typically you don’t accept cash only is that correct? Can you elaborate on what they looked like?” The reporter responded.

“naw… Typically we don’t but business has been tight off this highway seeing they built that new Interstate and what have you so I accepted it. Well he was probably about 6 feet tall, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. He had the hood up. I didn’t get a good look at his face.”

“Did he say what they were doing, or where they were heading? Anything that can help us understand what happened?”

“well he said him and his brother were heading south, and needed a place to sleep for the night. That’s about it. He made no mention of a lady with em.”

“Describe what you saw please.”

“well like I said he came in around midnight or so. Paid cash for the room, and went back out to the car. I seen em both walk in the room with a few bags, and then they shut the door. About an hour or so later I heard a loud clattering sound, so I got up and peeked out the window, and seen them messin in the trunk of their car. I heard screaming, and that’s when I saw them carry a lady out the trunk. She was taped at the mouth, and they brought her in the room. That’s when I called the cops. I knew something wasn’t right with them boys.”

“Again we’re live here at the Baker hotel. Thank you Dale for the input. It’s approximately two fifteen in the morning, the area is surrounded by police officers who have taped off the area. There are reports of foul play however no body was recovered. The bathroom was reported to have blood in bathtub, and all over the walls. Surgical tools were removed from the motel room moments ago. Although not confirmed, this may be yet another case of illegal organ trafficking, a rising problem here in the North east.”

“Over the past three years organ theft has been on the rise. Sightings of suspicious activities have been called in by motel managers up and down the eastern seaboard. Reports of kidnappings are on the rise as well, any correlation between the two are unknown. As of now, no bodies have been uncovered, and county officials are working hard to bring suspects in. This is Tracy Laws coming to you live from the Baker motel.”

…………………………………………………………………………….

Portland Maine (Route 40)

3:15 am

The winding road stretched for miles in front of them. Thick dense trees painted the horizon. Even though they switch vehicles once a month nothing else really changes.

Michael dug at his fingernails with a rolled up alcohol pad nervously. No matter how hard he scrubbed, the dirt wouldn’t budge. Maybe if he tried harder he could scrub away the horror he had done. At least this is what he hoped for.

He can see them all. Their faces all had the same frozen fear painted on them like wax dolls. He remembered their names. He repeated them like a broken record in his mind. Ashley, Heather, Paige, Cassy, Jennifer, Morgan, Meghan, Amanda, Jessie, Alex, and the latest girl Jackie. He had to remember them. If he didn’t who would? It was the least he could do for them.

His partner in crime Dillon sat behind the steering wheel unaffected by the crimes they commit. If anything he was bored. His eyes were slowly scanning the dark road ahead as he sipped his coffee. His black leather gloves showed signs of wear and tear. Just hours ago those gloved fingers were tightly bound around the mouth of young Jackie, muffling out her cries for help.

“shut up b***h.” he whispered in her ears as he drug her into the car. Michael replayed the scene in his head. He stood idly by watching for bystanders as Dillon body snatched this poor girl. His heart ached for her but he knew he had no choice. This was his life now. There was no turning back once you join the club.

Dillon was the muscle, and Michael had been the navigator, and supplied the drugs. The objective was mailed to a P.O. Box in Omaha Nebraska. Neatly placed in a cream envelope were the targets along side addresses, social security numbers, candid pictures, places of interest, past medical histories, blood types, and dental records of females between the ages of sixteen and twenty five years of age.

The club wasn’t interested in kids, nor adults. The demographic was late adolescent to young female women. They were easy prey. The club was very precise on targets. Genetic history of any predisposition is looked at closely. They target girls with a clean bill of health, and without siblings.

Those with perfect health are placed in category X. These are top wanted targets, those with a perfect background, educated, and a family history of healthy parents, and grandparents. These girls have no medical history whatsoever of any illness, and suffer no scars, have never done drugs, and make very good grades.

Those in category X are broken down into X or X-A the only difference is X-A are athletes. X-A targets are worth double. Their organs are in pristine condition. These girls are top priority, and almost all targets on the list are kidnapped, harvested, and destroyed. The kidneys, heart, both lungs, brain, eyes, and liver are removed from targets, and packaged according to protocol. The organs are stored in airtight sterile containers, and kept at cold temperatures to avoid bacterial contamination.

From there a 24 hour window is placed. The traffickers have a limited time to make it to the designated drop of points where the reward is collected.

Dillon was an expert at removing the organs. Through trial and error he has perfected his skill at a surgical level. As an ex combat medic he has developed the lead stomach necessary for the job. Because of his skill he only targeted category X, and X-A females. He was one of the best in the club.

Michael however was not as skilled. Disbarred from the medical community for malpractice as an anesthesiologist he grew desperate for money, for his daughter was suffering from a rare congenital heart defect that doomed her to an early grave from birth. Michael had spent his savings on procedures that would only delay the inevitable. His desperation grew more fierce with every bill he received. The debt was unbearable, and all because he wanted to have more time with his little girl.

Time had become such a valuable thing to Michael. He was willing to do anything to keep her alive, to see her smile, and to hold her just a little longer.

Dillon had been an old friend of his he lost contact with after high school. He had heard about his ordeal, and introduced him to the club. He told Michael there was hope. His skill in medicine was valuable, and if he agreed to give his life to the club his daughter Sarah would get a heart, and the money would easily pay off his debts.

Michael’s hesitation wasn’t as strong as his desperation to keep Sarah alive. So he agreed to join Dillon and become a member of the club. His fate was then sealed. Michael quickly learned the price he had to pay to spare the life of his girl. She did receive her heart, but it was at the cost of another life. Although he was relieved to see she would live a normal life, his heart ached for the family that was mourning the death of their own child.

Michael shook away such thoughts as he kept digging at his fingernails. He has somewhat grown used to the kidnappings. He even grew used to watching Dillon extract the organs from the inside of cheap motel bathtubs. However, he could never get used to disposing the bodies. This was the worst part. To Michael, none of it felt real until they buried the evidence. It was something about the lifeless pale bodies of these girls that haunted him. It shook him to his very core. To think they had such a bright future ahead of them, only to meet an unnatural sudden death at his own hands tormented him.

This time though… Things went very wrong. There was a routine, and guidelines with extracting organs. The bathroom must be sterilized, as well as the surgical tools. The medications are pre dosed into 3ml syringes. One syringe contains 300mcg of Versed, a powerful Benzodiazepine with sedative like properties. The other contained a weight dosed amount of succinylcholine, a powerful neuromuscular blocker with paralytic properties.

Together these medications are used as Anesthesia to prepare the subject for the extraction without feeling any pain. The routine started out the same. Contact was made with the subject. She was found in a local bar in Portland Maine. Dillon parked the car at the far end of the parking lot, and made friends with shade, facing away from the orange lights that lit up the asphalt.

Jackie was beautiful. Her fire red hair complimented her pale skin. She was a local firecracker. Her athletic body formed a perfect figure, and her stride gave off a sense of confidence that intimidated most men. Dillon had eyed her like a hungry shark as she flashed a fake ID to the employee at the door. She fooled him into thinking she was of age although the files clearly revealed she was only 16.

“there she is.” Dillon mumbled to Michael, as he sucked in the fire deep in his lungs. The cherry on his cigarette would light up his face with each drag he took.

Michael felt uneasy. He shifted his weight in his seat feeling nauseous at what was to follow. They had never body snatched a target this young. Dillon looked excited if anything.

“give it a few more minutes, and we’ll go in. The plans the same. You just let me do the talking.”

Michael nodded in agreement. The air outside had become thick indicating rain. After a few moments they made there way into the bar flashing fake identification cards with false names. Inside the local bar smoke filled the air. Typical country music played from the overhead speaker system, and a small crowd of locals were at the bar drinking away the day’s hard labor.

Jackie sat at the end laughing with one of the locals. Her hand was placed on top of his as she smiles at him. He waves the bartender over to order her a drink. They sat at one of the round tables and waited patiently trying to blend in.

After a few minutes the man flirting with the target made his way into the bathroom leaving Jackie alone with her drink at the bar. This was Dillon’s window.

“hand me the drug” Dillon said sticking out his hand under the table.

Michael pulled a small vial from his jacket pocket that contained a clear liquid, and handed it to him without anyone noticing.

“Keep watch. Just make sure nobody is paying any attention. Once she’s dosed I’ll talk her into going outside to get some air, and that’s when we do it.” Dillon said. He had a devious smile under his breath. Dillon lived for this s**t.

Michael lit a smoke to calm his nerves as Dillon made his way over. He watched just out of ear shot as he spoke with her. Dillon was a smooth talker. He learned over with a false smile. Michael had a hard time trying to make out what he was saying to her. Whatever it was it was working. She let out a laugh, and pointed toward the bathroom.

As she turned her head he slipped the contents of the vial into her cocktail, and then slid it closer to her. Michael immediately felt sick to his stomach. A part of him wished she had seen it.

“please don’t drink it.” Michael whispered under his breath. “just don’t.”

After a few moments the bartender gave Dillon a beer, and he held it up to her for a toast. She obliged his gesture and took a drink from her glass. That was it. It’s done. The hard parts over. She had unknowingly sealed her fate. That poor stupid girl.

Like clockwork he sat idly by waiting for the meds to kick in. She’ll soon feel groggy, and dizzy, and Dillon will blame it on her cocktail being to strong. It only took a few moments. It was a fast acting drug.

Thirty seconds later, and as predicted Jackie had a nauseating look on her face. Dillon leaned in to her ear, and whispered something to which Jackie nodded her head yes. Michael stood up, and walked out fifteen seconds before Dillon and Jackie to survey the parking lot.

Other than the employee at the door is was rather vacant. This was going to be easier than they thought. Michael walked to the car, and waited. He sat in the passenger seat counting his inventory making sure he had exactly what he needed. His hands were shaking from the nerves. He took a few deep breaths to attempt to counter, and it did him no good. The adrenaline was to strong.

The rear passenger door opened only to reveal Dillon holding poor Jackie by the mouth. She looked like a rag doll as he forced her into the back seat. She was screaming weakly behind his hand, desperately yelling out to anyone who would hear it.

“shut up b***h.” Dillon whispered in her ear, and threw her on her stomach in the back seat. Using his knee as a weight on her back, he bound her hands, just as she went unconscious from the medication. The loud rip of the duct tape barked out as he placed it over her mouth.

“a little help would be nice Michael!” he yelled.

Michael just realized he was staring in shock, and snapped out of his frightful gaze. Michael popped the truck while looking out into the parking lot.

“all clear… Go.” he said.

Dillon quickly threw her into the truck like a sack of potatoes with such force the whole car shook, and then slammed the truck closed. It was done. She was now another victim to the madness.

Dillon hopped into the driver seat with a devious grin on his face. His eyes gone to the madness within him, and glazed over. He looked like a madman hungry for blood.

“oh man… She’s going to be a worth at least hundred thousand huh?” he asked, looking at Michael who didn’t share the same excitement as him. He ignored the obvious facial expressions of disapproval from his fear stricken friend beside him.

The car ripped out of the parking lot never to return to the town of Portland again. Jackie will never again see the light of day. It happened so fast. If she’s lucky she will never awake from her drug induced high, and slip away to the darkness peacefully.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. This is when things went south. Fast… Statically, kidnappings have a seventy two hour window before the chances of survival drop drastically. In the club’s case though, that window is an hour, maybe two at most. This is why the success rate of extraction is 96%. The victims have almost no chance of survival in the X, and X-A category.

The burial site coordinates was many miles south of the Baker motel, they had little time. As they carried Jackie into the motel room Michael was in such a state of panic he forgot the sedative. Jackie’s doll like body was gently placed into the bathtub.

He could hear soft deep breaths escaping her nose, the only signs she was still alive. Michael wanted to reach out and save her. He wanted to save her, but mostly because he wanted to save himself. He wanted to save what was left of his humanity. But he hadn’t.

He handed Dillon the paralytic, it was then injected into her soft milky skin. As Dillon went to work with the sharp razor like scalpel he suddenly let out an excited cry.

“Whoa! Michael what’s this?” he yelled.

Michael looked over, and saw that Jackie’s eyes were open, and she was looking right at him. She was awake.

“oh my god!” Michael yelled out, trying to hold back the sudden panic under his breath.

“F**k… F**k.. F**k! I forgot the Versed! Dillon stop!” he yelled out rushing over to them.

“Stop?! I can’t stop now Man I’ve already peeled back the skin! What do you mean you forgot the Versed, what the hell does that mean?”

“She’s awake man!”

“she’s not moving, or breathing Michael how can she be awake?!” Dillon said reaching up, and slapping her face to show him she has no expression to the pain.

“she’s paralyzed man! She can’t move, but she feels everything! You have to stop! I’ve got to go back to the car! I’ve got to get the Versed!”

Dillon stares up at Michael expressionless just for a moment before letting out a deep sadistic laugh.

“oh man! Wow! Here I thought I was the sick one! You are a sick b*****d man! ” Dillon said laughing.

“I didn’t do this on purpose you a*****e! I’m going to the car, just hold on. Don’t move her.”

Michael made a B line for the door, but was suddenly stopped by Dillon who sprung in from his knees and grabbed him.

“No! You can’t go back outside man, it’s to late. She’s already open. Don’t risk going back out. We have got to get moving. Now!”

“are you kidding me?! She’s suffering Dillon look at her!”

“how the hell do you even know? How can you really tell? She looks dead to me!” Dillon said frustrated.

“her eyes Dillon. Look at her eyes!”

Dillon glanced down into the tub at Jackie’s body. Her chest split open, the scalpel did its job well. The Y incision, and peeled back flesh, revealed her rib cage. The frost white bone showing, mixed with deep shades of red sent chills down Michael’s spine.

The sound of blood dripping into the drain echoed throughout the bare empty bathroom, as she lay in a pool of her own liquid life. Jackie’s eyes were pain stricken, and staring back and forth between both Dillon and Michael. A tear shed from her eyes as she silently begged for death.

Dillon sighed, and took a pillow off the bed, and then returned to the bathroom.

“you’re a pain in the a*s you know that?” he said. He pulled from his waist band, a semi automatic 9mm glock. He placed the pillow over Jackie’s head, placed the barrel on the pillow, and shot two rounds into her cranium.

When he removed the pillow, Jackie’s eyes were still staring at them, but without any signs of life. She had passed on in the most morbid way, and this was Dillon’s way of showing mercy to the teenage girl who had no clue her life would end in a s****y motel bathtub.

“well there goes the brain. That’s coming out of your check. Happy now? Can I get back to work?” Dillon asked.

Michael could only nod. His mouth was dry, and his knees felt weak. He sat at the end of the bed trying to breathe away the nausea. The bathroom reeked of hot copper, and gun oil. He could hardly stand it. Dillon went back to harvesting the rest of the child’s organs, and he did so while whistling like he had no care in the world.

…………………………………………………………………………….

Michael snapped out of his daydream, and tossed aside the alcohol pad. He was no more cleaner than he started. He had given up trying to wipe away the dirt, and grime. Dillon hadn’t spoken a word, he was staring down the long dark winding road ahead of them. Only the headlights showed any signs of life as the trees whipped past them on both sides. They were surrounded by darkness.

“You zipped up the body bag right?” Dillon spoke, breaking the silence.

“yeah.” Michael replied sulking, looking out the passenger window into the dense trees.

Dillon opened the paper containing the exact drop off coordinates. He scanned it quickly and handed it to Michael.

“we have about forty miles until this mess is over. We bury the body, deliver the package, claim the money, dump the car, and then go home to our families. Let’s just push through this OK?” Dillon said trying to reassure him.

Michael didn’t speak. He continued looking out the window in silence.

“look Mike…” Dillon softly said.

“This whole thing is F****d!” Michael interrupted angrily. “she was sixteen Dillon! Sixteen! She didn’t deserve to go out like that man.”

“You think I don’t know that?! You think I liked what I did back there?! I may be an a*****e Mike, but I’m no monster!” he barked.

The car bounced up and down as it hit the small potholes in the worn out two lane road. Dillon rubbed his eyes frustrated.

“from my end it sure seemed like you didn’t mind it. You were all for kidnapping her! You know damn well you enjoyed this, and I’d be a fool to believe otherwise.” Michael said.

“You wanna know the difference between you and me Mike?!

“oh here we go! Go ahead tell me!”

“I see the endgame man. I see the outcome. I don’t let all the fluff in between get in my way. We had a job, and we got it done. You let everything get in the way. You lose focus on the job. But me… Me… I stick to it until it’s done… And then I feel sorry about the s**t I do.”

Michael turned his head at Dillon, his eyes glossy with regret, and pain. “at what cost though man?! Do you not feel anything? That girl was just a f*****g child! She has a mother, and and a father, and now she’s laying in a body bag in the truck of the car! I told you no. We could have taken the girl from Phoenix, but you had to take her! All you care about is the money!”

“like you don’t?! You almost did a back flip when I gave you the money for Sarah’s surgery. You knew where the money came from, and you sure as hell knew what you signed up for!”

“don’t you bring her name into this! That’s not fair! You know that’s different! I didn’t have a choice in the matter! What kind of father would I be if I hadn’t done everything in my power to fix her?!”

“well… You sold your soul Mike. It belongs to the club. Mine too. We suffer the consequences. I’m in this with you. Remember that.” Dillon softly spoke.

They both sat in silence peering out into the darkness in front of them. Michael thought of Sarah, and then of Jackie. If was horrible, but Michael knew he would do it all again for her if he had to.

“I’m sorry Michael. I don’t mean to come off as heartless, I think this is taking it’s toll on me as well, just in a different way.” Dillon said.

“I’m sorry to man. Let’s just focus on finishing the job so we can get home.”

“yeah. So what’s going on? How far away are we exactly?” Dillon asked.

“um… According to the coordinates, and the map, we have a turn off about five miles or so down on the right.” Michael said.

“Map?! Oh wait the GPS isn’t working out here. Where the hell Do they want us bury this girl? Damn. We’re already out in the middle of nowhere.”

“yeah well, that’s not the worst of it. After the turn off its another 30 miles or so deeper into the forest until we reach the spot.” Michael turns the map sideways, and runs his finger across the route, and then taps the paper.

“it looks like it’s dead center of the forest actually. Someone must have scouted the location prior. It’s definitely excluded from the city. Nobody will find her that’s for sure.”

“yeah no kidding.”

Dillon yawned, and reached down for his thermos of coffee. When he saw that it was empty he frowned.

“damn it. Well there goes my one decent escape from this hell. You don’t happen to have any blow on you do ya?” Dillon asked

Michael ignored him while extending his neck toward the windshield squinting his eyes. Something looked a bit off but he couldn’t pin it.

“hey you notice anything unusual about this forest?” he asked.

“yeah. I’m still in it when I should be home.” Dillon replied, holding up his watch. The digital display read 3:15. Dillon sighed, and put his hand back on the steering wheel.

“No I mean the trees. Look at the trees.” Michael bounced back and forth between the windshield, and the passenger side windows looking up as they drove past.

“OK trees…. Cool… What about them?”

“is it just me or do they look… The same?”

“I don’t know Mike, it’s dark as hell out here. Who cares.” Dillon barked.

“No I know… It’s just every tree we pass has the same shape. Look.” Michael says, pointing ahead of them at the branches.

The row of dark oak lined the asphalt line like solders standing at attention. Dark thick branches reached out into the darkness, extending out in all directions. In the black cold night around them they look like jagged fingers clawing at the night Sky as they drove past.

The branches were swaying in a rhythmic pattern, all in unison, as if they were the same tree. Although the branches were swaying, Michael also noticed the leaves on the branches were still. This didn’t make sense. Was he seeing things?

“Dillon look…”

“Would you shut up about the stupid trees?!” he interrupted.

“how is this not freaking you out?!”

“you’re just spooked Mike. It’s three in the morning, and your over thinking things again. I’m tired. I just want to get this done. How far are we from that turn off?”

Michael held up the map, and looked at the odometer, “half a mile on the right, almost there.”

Dillon decreased his speed some anticipating the turn. As the turn off appeared ahead of them in the distance, Dillon squinted his eyes as a small white figure appeared off the side of the road. From the distance it looked like an animal, or maybe even an oversized garbage bag.

“hey whats that?” Dillon asked puzzled.

Michael looked up from the map, and a confused look grew on his face.

“Is that…” Michael squinted harder as they got closer to it. It took them a moment before they realized it was a person. It was in a sitting position with its knees up, and its head resting on them blocking any view of its face. It was dressed in white with a hood on its head, just sitting at the corner of the road and the turn off.

“What in the hell is someone doing all the way out here? You see that too right?” Dillon asked.

“should we stop?” Michael asked

“yeah let’s do that Mike. Let’s stop in the middle of nowhere, and pick up a stranger with a corpse in our truck.” Dillon sarcastically said.

Michael hit the lock switch on the door panel, and the familiar sound of the locking mechanism clicked as the car passed the mysterious person In white, and the car turned down the dirt road. The person made no attempt to move or look up as they turned. It was as if it were a statue.

Michael turned his head toward the rear window, and saw the figure stand up, the red brake lights casted a red shadow across it as it disappeared into the darkness behind them.

“it was a woman.” Mike said

“what?”

“it was a woman. She stood up, I saw her hair. Why the hell would she just be sitting there like that?” mike asked.

“who cares? Why the hell are we turning down a dirt road is the question you should be asking. Are you sure this is the right turn off?”

“yes. The map specifically says that road. What other road did you see?”

“I know it was the only road, but it’s a little unusual it’s a dirt road. Does it loop around back to the road we were just on?”

“No it just ends. We’ll have to turn around once we reach the site.” Mike says examining the map.

“that’s sixty miles! Sixty damn miles on a dirt road?!”

“I don’t know what to tell you Dillon. I didn’t pave the damn thing!”

“what’s the point of a thirty mile dirt road that goes one way?” Dillon asks frustrated.

“do you think the club did this? Mike asked looking at Dillon.

“maybe. I mean… It’s not unheard of.”

The dirt road in front of them was narrow, hardly any room enough for the car. The tires barked, and kicked up dirt and rocks as it bounced. Small branches from the trees around them extended out, smacking against the windshield as they passed.

The road remained straight, and showed no signs of any tread in front of them. It was as if they were the first vehicle to make its way down it.

“there’s no markers. This is definitely a manmade road.” Michael said. His gut was telling him something was wrong.

The drive felt like hours as the view remained the same. The headlights casted out a soft yellow beam, illuminating the Erie path and trees around them. There were no signs of life nor animals. The forest around them was quiet. It was to quiet. It felt dead. Both Michael and Dillon felt the isolation from forest around them, as the trees seemed to bow inward like they were reaching for them.

Michael peered up. He figured if he could find the North Star in the Black sky above he could have a sense of direction.

“odd.” he said.

“what?”

“I can’t see any stars?”

Dillon looked up at the night sky, and saw only black. Not even the moon was visible. It looked as if someone, or something, had casted a blanket over the whole world, and left them alone in the cold think air around them.

“I don’t know how much more off roading I can take Mike. I’m about to just turn around and go back.” Dillon said masking the fear in his voice.

“what time is it? Michael asked.

Dillon lifted his wrist up, the digital display illuminated his face in soft green.

“it’s 3:15” he said.

“it can’t be 3:15. It was 3:15 the last time you checked. That had to of been at least 30 minutes ago.” Mike said confused.

“well that’s what it reads” Dillon says, flashing the watch to him.

Michael leaned forward and pressed the power knob on the radio. The display read 3:15 on the radio as well. He turned station to station receiving only static, and then turned the radio off.

“well at least we can’t get lost. Maybe it’s a good thing the road just ends at the burial site.” Dillon said, trying to find something good out of a bad situation.

Michael didn’t reply. Instead he placed his head against the window and shut his eyes. The grinding of gravel under rubber acted as a lullaby as he tried to get some sleep. His eyes were heavy. It had been a long day. He thought of Sarah, and her beautiful laugh. He thought of returning home to her, to a house filled with lavender and vanilla scented candles. Soon he drifted off to sleep despite the uneven terrain bouncing his head softly against the window.

…………………………………………………………………………….

South of Portland Maine (dirt road off route 40)

? :?? Am

Michael’s body jolted forward, and was harshly haulted by his seatbelt. He bounced back into his seat as his eyes flew open, and the familiar Erie path greeted his blurry vision. It took him a moment to realize they had stopped driving. The car was still, and the only noise around him was the soft hum of the engine.

“what the hell Dillon!?” Michael yelled.

He looked over at his partner only to see him staring dead ahead into the night. Michael unbuckled himself, and rubbed the dull ache on his base of his neck feeling confused.

“Dillon?!” he yelled again.

Dillon held up his hand, non verbally telling him to be quiet all while never releasing his stare into the black in front of them. Michael turned his head forward hoping to understand what he was seeing. All that he could make out was the headlights shining light into the thick woods around them.

“are you…”

“shh!… Listen!” Dillon whispered

They both sat there surrounded by silence. Michael was starting to get scared. He had never seen Dillon so alarmed before. He focused his hearing trying to hone in on whatever it was that had his partner so startled but could only hear the engine purring.

“all I hear is the engine man. What’s going on?” Michael said.

Dillon casted a frightened look, and then shut the engine off. They sat there in total silence.

“just be quiet and listen. Don’t speak.” Dillon whispered.

They both sat there in silence until the lack of sound created a ringing in Michael’s ears. He could feel his heart pulsing in his temples. He started to feel like the sudden rush of adrenaline was all for nothing when he finally heard what Dillon was referring to.

Softly… Faintly… He heard a small shuffle. It was brief, but he heard it. Dillon hadn’t moved, and he knew he sure as hell hadn’t moved, so what did?

THUMP!

The sudden muffled thump was so loud it made them both jump simultaneously, and Michael let out an embarrassing yelp.

“what the hell was that?! Michael yelled out, breaking the silence around them. Dillon just stared at him in fear. His eyes fixed on Michael as if he could provide him with an answer other than the noise had to have come from the trunk of the car.

“was that from?…” Dillon asked, unable to complete his sentence.

“don’t be stupid, you killed her. You removed her organs for Christ sake.” Michael said, knowing what he was going to say.

“Michael?”

“what?”

“that came from the trunk man. You heard it. That was definitely the trunk. What if she’s not dead man?! What if she’s not?!”

“would you get a grip?! You’re losing it! You sound insane! She’s dead! It’s probably an animal man.” Michael said, trying to reassure his friend.

“THUMP!”

Dillon suddenly shoves open the car door, and jumps out into the night. He quickly pulls the gun from his rear waist line and slowly makes his way to the back of the car.

“Dillon what the hell are you doing?!” Michael asked alarmed.

“we have to check man!” We have to be sure!”

“are you crazy? Get back in here! Let’s just go.”

Michael got out of the car only to see Dillon had already popped the truck, and was standing in front of it with his gun steady, and his other hand on the trunk of the car. He was shaking.

Michael stood behind him, and although he had seen her die, a small part of him was afraid of what he might see. This was crazy. She was dead. Right? Dillon lifted up the trunk with the barrel of his gun, and it creaked open sending chills down his spine.

He pulled out a small flashlight from his pocket, and shined it inside. The light revealed a black body bag, showered in dew from the humidity in the atmosphere around them.

Michael felt his stomach turning in knots, as a nauseated feeling washed over him. His mind started playing tricks on him as he imagined the body bag moving. He imagined it forcefully sitting up into a 90 degree angle. It hadn’t through. The bag remained still in the spot they left it.

“unzip it.” Dillon barked.

“why me? You unzip it. You are the curious one. I just want to leave.”

Dillon let out a sigh as he slowly reached up and tugged on the small black zipper. A soft rip escaped into the air as he pulled it down halfway. Immediately the familiar smell of death hit their nostrils. The unforgettable stench of stale blood, and bodily fluids permeated them.

Inside the bag, and slightly sticking out, was Jackie’s pale face, frozen in the final moments of her life. There were two deep black holes where her beautiful brown eyes used to be. Thick black coagulated blood was caked around them. A foul brown fluid was dripping from somewhere inside them onto the bag below. The life ending bullet wound was dead center of her forehead, with the skin slightly peeled up around the edges.

Despite the obvious signs of death, Jackie was still beautiful. Guilt washed over them both as they stared down at the 16 year old girl who had been cut down in her prime. Dillon had refused to unzip the bag any more. It was already to much.

“see? Happy now? She’s dead. It was an animal.” Michael said feeling satisfied.

Michael turned his head, and went to make his way back to the front of the car when a sudden explosion barked out into the night sky. Michael turned around, and saw smoke rising into the air above them as Dillon shot a round into Jackie’s head.

“what the hell are you doing?!” he yelled.

“I had to be sure.” he said, and zipped the bag back up. Dillon replaced the gun in his waist band as he shut the trunk, and made his way back to the drivers seat.

The engine roared to life, and they started back on the narrow dirt road toward their destination. They sat in silence as they traveled the unforgiving road ahead of them. It seemed like Hours of nothingness until Dillon had spotted a makeshift sign out of plywood and black spray paint sloppily shoved in the dirt.

“Odayguh, 5 miles”

“odayguh?” Dillon asked.

Michael held up the map, and examined the route with confused look plastered on his face. “yeah I don’t know what that is, it’s not on the map.” he said.

“that map is f*****g useless!” Dillon barked.

“maybe it’s a mile marker for some old town or something. These Maps don’t take account for small rural towns.” Michael said.

“did you see that sign Mike? That wasn’t a sign for a town. It’s probably some lunatic backwoods cult. You read about this s**t all the time.”

“well let’s hope not. The last thing we need is company out here. We have been driving forever, we have to be close.”

“I wouldn’t know. The odometer stopped working since we got back in the car.” Dillon held up his wrist, and looked at his watch again. 3:15

“and this damn things broken!” he said, throwing his watch out the window out of frustration. The Green LED light disappeared in the trees.

As they drove they passed another sign. It was identical to the previous sign they saw. It was thin plywood with black sloppy letters, crookedly shoved into the dirt.

“Odayguh this way”

Dillon gently pressed the brake as a figure came into view in front of them in the distance. As they neared it took shape of a wooden fence. The gates were open, and as they drove through it they silently wondered who opened them in the first place, but neither of them spoke of it.

Finally the narrow path gave way to a round open field of flat land, the size of roughly half a football field. It was surrounded by the forest around them as if the trees were purposely planted in a way to form a border so dense it would impossible to pass.

They slowed the car to a complete stop, the brakes squealing. The headlights lit up the perfectly flat dirt around them. Something was off. It was to perfect. This was where the road ended. But what was this? It certainly was no grave yard, no crops anywhere around it. It was simply a perfectly flat piece of land. Off to the left, there was what looked like remnants of a foundation to a small house or cabin.

Off to the right near the border, the soil was loose in two separate places. It looked to the trained eye, like unmarked graves.

Dillon got out of the car, and stretched his legs. He took a breath and gazed out into the field. He held up his arms, “welcome to Odayguh!” he said mockingly.

Michael sat in the car, and refused to get out. He felt a sense of impending doom. His gut was telling him to leave. None of this made any sense whatsoever. The thick trees swayed around them, long finger like branches clawing at the sky above.

“let’s just dump the body, and get the hell out of here.” Michael said scared.

“we have to bury her Mike. You know that. Look someone else has buried their targets here.” he said pointing at a dirt caked shovel laying off to the right of the field.

“You don’t find this odd at all?!” Michael asked.

“yes. But all I care about is getting this done, and getting the hell out of here. The sooner you help me do this the faster we go. So come on!” he demanded

Michael nodded, and stepped out onto the cold ground below. By the time he finished stretching Dillon had already removed the body bag from the trunk. It made a thud sound as it hit the dirt.

Completely disrespecting Jackie’s corpse, Dillon drug the bag across the dirt with a shovel in his other hand.

“use that shovel over there.” he said pointing at the already used one on the ground. Dillon stabbed the metal into the tip, and stomped the shovel deeper into the earth. The ground gave way as he shoveled piles of dirt onto the surface. Michael joined in. After what felt like an hour Dillon threw his shovel to the side, and climbed up out of the newly made hole.

They were sweating profusely, and cursing themselves under their breaths for not bringing any water to drink. Filthy, and tired, Michael helped Dillon drag the body bag into the hole. Her body hit the bottom hard. They spent the next several minutes shoveling the cold moist soil on top. Once the grave was filled, Dillon stomped on it to even it out.

“let’s get the f**k out of here.” he said walking back to the car.

They threw the shovels in the trunk, and made there way back down the road from which they came. The drive back was no more pleasant. The sea of tree’s twisted, and groaned against the strong wind as they drove.

“You know what I could use right about now?” Dillon said.

“what’s that?”

“a hot shower, a shot of bourbon, and some p***y.”

Dillon’s bluntness caused them both to erupt in laughter, not at what he said, but at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation they were in.

The entire night had been one big cluster f**k of a situation. Michael had realized he hadn’t laughed in days. It felt good despite the misery that lay before them. He was happy that he would soon be back home with Sarah. That’s all he cared about. Everything else was static to him.

Dillon on the other hand was already thinking of his next target. He was obsessed with the money. He figured once he hit his million mark, he’d hop on the first plane out of the country. Maybe he’d marry a beautiful European woman, and forget his past.

“what are you going to do with your cut?” Dillon asked.

“I’m not sure. Maybe buy a boat. A big boat. Teach Sarah to fish. What about you?”

“I’m leaving the country man. After a few more hits I’ll be a millionaire. Once that happens I’m out for good. I’ll bail. Screw the club. I’ll grow out my beard, change my name, maybe put on some muscle. I’ll find myself a s**y euro chick with huge t**s man. She doesn’t even have to know how to cook. We’ll order out everyday. That’s the life ya know?” Dillon said looking at Michael. A shimmer of happiness washed over his face.

Michael smiled at him. Underneath all that toughness Dillon really was a simple man. Their talk of future plans was halted as they drove past a plywood sign.

“Odayguh 5 miles”

“wait a minute… I don’t remember passing any signs from this side of the road coming in do you?” Dillon asked puzzled

“me neither, they would have been backwards. But why would they have signs….” Michael stopped talking, and a sudden sense of fear and panic came over him.

“is that the same damn sign?!” he barked.

“what? No?! I have been driving straight back. You can only go in two directions! It’s kinda hard to f**k that up!”

“Odayguh this way”

“those are the same damn signs Dillon!” Michael yelled.

“No way! No way! They’re different signs man! They just have them on this side of the road as well!”

“oh yeah? Then what’s that?!?” Michael yells, pointing ahead of them at the familiar wooden gate as it appeared in their view.

“what the hell is this?! Dillon screamed.

Dillon stopped the car in complete shock as the headlights shined on the dirt field they had just left from. His mouth was hanging open, eyes fixed on the fresh grave they dug.

“did I turn around?!” Dillon started questioning himself.

“No… You didn’t.” Michael replied.

“I had to of right? How else would we have gotten back here?!”

“like you said… It’s kind of hard to f**k that up.”

“OK… Explain to me then how we ended up back here then Michael? It’s a two lane road. One way in! One way out!”

“I don’t know man! I don’t know! I’m telling you, you didn’t turn around! You would have had to stop, and do a U turn. Obviously you didn’t.”

The two bickered back and forth in a state of panic before Dillon grew frustrated. “screw it! Hold on!” he said, and whipped the car around. He mashed the accelerator to the floor, the car vibrating and bouncing as it flew past the gates again, and back towards route 40.

Michael grabbed onto the handle above him, and squinted his eyes as dust, and rocks kicked up onto the sides of the car. The narrow path, and trees were coming at them at 70 miles per hour as Dillon bobbed and weaved around the larger potholes.

“Odayguh 5 miles”

“they flew past the first sign, and then the second.

“Odayguh this way”

The familiar wooden gate appeared in view again, and Dillon slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting the now closed gate. The car came to a sudden halt, mere inches away from crashing into the gate. Dillon’s breathing became labored, and frantic.

“No! F**k you! F**k you!” Dillon screamed out in a fierce panic losing control of his sanity. He pounded his fists on the steering wheel briefly slipping into madness and confusion at what lay before him.

Michael couldn’t think. A sudden nausea came over him. His head started to ache. He opened the door, and leaned out just in time to vomit.

“I’m going crazy! Someone is f*****g with us Mike!” Dillon said jumping out of the car. He walked up to the gate and cocked his head to the side before turning to his vomiting friend.

“who shut the gate?!”

Michael ignored him. He was to busy dry heaving on the side of the road.

“who shut the gate?! Come out here! Do you hear me?! His voice echoing back at him. The forest was dead quiet other than Dillon pacing back and forth like a lunatic in front of the wooden gate.

Michael looked up at the tree’s blowing madly in the wind. They were rocking back and forth. He reached up, wiped the excess vomit from his mouth.

“where’s the wind?” he weakly said to Dillon.

“what?!” Dillon yelled back at him still pacing.

“where’s the wind? I don’t feel any wind.” he said pointing at the branches above them still swaying.

“they must be in here! Mike help me open the gate! I’m going to kill this a*****e!” Dillon said grabbing the latch and struggling to open it. Michael ignored him. His knee’s felt weak, his head was throbbing, and he had a nasty bitter taste in his mouth. Instead he sat in the passenger seat, and rested his head into his hands.

“Mike I got it open come on!” Dillon yelled. The sound of the gate slid across the dirt road, and Dillon’s heavy footsteps faded away as he made his way through.

“Mike come on!” Dillon yelled from a distance.

“hold on a damn minute!” Michael replied.

Michael sat up, and rested against the car trying to gain some strength to make the short walk back to the burial site. When he looked up he realized for the first time he was in total darkness other than the headlights. It was deathly quiet. There were no sounds at all. No even the wind. Goosebumps formed all over his body.

It was so quiet he could almost hear his own heart beating. This wasn’t right. There was something seriously off about this Forest. Where were the animals, where were the stars, the moon, or even the wind that was clearly blowing the trees above him?

He was so wrapped up in leaving it just now sunk in. This wasn’t normal. These were not ordinary woods. This was a nightmare, and they drove right into it and couldn’t get out. “Dillon?!” Michael yelled out. There was no reply.

Dillon had made his way through the gate, but where was the flashlight beam? He couldn’t have walked in the dark could he?

Suddenly a blood curdling scream cried out into the night, followed by flashes of light, and explosions. The last thing Michael heard was the clicking of an empty chamber before it fell silent again.

Michael filled his lungs to capacity, and screamed out Dillon’s name again in a panic. Once again there was no reply. He cautiously made his way through the gate into the blackness, and saw Dillon’s flashlight on the ground. Michael picked it up, and quickly waved the beam of light around the area. Dillon was nowhere to be seen, only the trees around him, and darkness.

In front of him lay the field. He noticed a mound of fresh soil, and his heart sank into his chest as he realized the grave they had spent forever digging was now empty again. He saw dirt being Flung out from inside the hole onto the mound above, but it was to deep to see the person inside. Was Dillon digging up the grave? Why?

“Dillon what the hell are you doing?!” Michael asked confused. The beam of light was casted over the large, and deep hole. Michael’s hands were shaking causing the light to bounce up and down. Suddenly the dirt stopped flinging up out of the hole, clearly aware of Michael’s presence.

“Dillon?” Michael squeaked out, hardly able to speak, and frozen solid in fear. A small head poked up from the hole facing the opposite direction of Michael. He quickly saw it wasn’t Dillon. It had long black hair, but it was mangled, and dirty.

Suddenly, without warning the head turned around sharply to reveal two large black gaping holes looking right toward Michael. The lips were half rotted off over the right cheek, partially revealing a closed set of yellow off white teeth.

“OH God!!” Michael screamed out in utter horror, as he stumbled over himself trying to back up. He hit the ground hard, and the flashlight rolled towards whatever horror was in front of him. He crawled backwards on his hands trying to find the momentum to stand up despite his legs feeling like jello from the sudden rush of adrenaline.

The monstrous being floated up from the grave with ease to reveal itself to him. She wore a long white gown. It was matted, torn, and filthy black at the feet. Her hands were pale, with unusually long fingers. With one arm she unearthed the body bag from its grave, and drug it across the Soil in his direction.

Michael stood up, wobbled, and took off in the direction of the headlights not looking back at the monster behind him. He pumped his legs as hard as he could, he pushed himself to the point he knew his body wouldn’t forgive him should he survive this.

Michael dove into the car, and slammed the door behind him. He shoved the gearshift into reverse, and yanked hard on the steering wheel, whipping the car around. Slamming the gas down, he sped off down the dirt road as fast as he could.

He couldn’t fathom what he had just Seen. What was it? He didn’t want to stick around any longer to find out. He would wait until morning, and somehow send help for his friend. His hands were shaking, his sympathetic nervous system in full gear.

The road was the same. The tree’s were the same. Everything was the same. He felt like a rat trapped in an impossible maze going around and around all leading back to his death.

A sharp feeling of hopelessness overwhelmed him as he once again drove past the plywood sign that read “Odayguh 5miles”.

“how do I get out of here?!” he screamed.

He started crying. Hot tears were stinging his eyes. His body ached something fierce. Dehydration was setting in, as he hadn’t had anything to drink for hours. He slammed on the brakes just outside the wooden gate, and the now massive woman in white stood there waiting in front of the car. Her legs had grown, and she stood eight feet tall. Her arms were dangling at her hips, and her back arched over in an unnatural hunch.

She cocked her head up in his direction, her jaw clicking as she opened her mouth revealing several rows of sharp pinpoint teeth. A terrible cracking click sound gurgled from somewhere deep in her throat. Massive amounts of greenish brown saliva oozed its way from the sides of her mouth onto the dirt below in thick gelatinous gobs.

Michael desperately looked around for something, anything, that could help him. He had to escape. But how? The woods. It was the only place he hasn’t gone. The path only led to doom. It was some sick mind trick. Driving it only meant driving back to to the burial site where that thing stood waiting. He looked down at the light switch. He quickly turned on his brights. The woman howled, and held her arms up, temporarily blinded by the sharp yellow beams.

Michael pushed the car door open and ran as fast as he could into the thick trees. With no path, and no light to see, he struggled his way around the large unnatural tree trucks. Branches, vines, and uneven ground all stood in his way as he desperately held his arms in front of him. He could hear the terrible clicking sound behind him in the distance as the faint light of the high beams grew further away.

A sharp hot pain shot up his right leg as a thorny vine jabbed him. He managed to break free from its grasp, and step over it. He felt the warm blood soaking into his sock as he stumbled through the nightmare. A sense of severe panic washed over him. He couldn’t see a thing. It was unnaturally dark.

Branches smacked his face, and he shoved them aside to make room. Finally to his right he saw a light in the distance. He panicked even more as he built up that last bit of strength deep inside him, the light giving him the hope he needed to push on. It must be the highway. He was almost there.

His body was on the verge of collapse from sheer exhaustion as he pushed himself out the other side of the forest, and he fell hard onto the dirt below. He had done it. He was out.

It took everything in him to push himself up on his elbows. His vision was blurry. As he looked up Michael let out a long defeated cry. The light he saw was his own cars headlights. Somehow he had ended up out of the forest from the other side of the dirt road, and was right back where he started at his car.

Defeated, he dragged himself up, and sat against the driver side tire, and began weeping for his life. He was to tired to move another inch. His body was bruised, and bloody.

The monstrous woman made her way to him as he pulled out his wallet. His shaking fingers removed a small wallet sized picture of Sarah.

“I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry Sarah! Please God! Please don’t let her find out about the horrible things I’ve done! Not like this! Please not like this!”

The monster fell to all fours, and crawled over to him. Her appendages angled like a spider, as she raised her face to his. Michael turned his head to avoid the foul smell. The brown thick saliva dropped down on top of his thighs. The terrible clicking sound hurt his ears as her jaw unhinged itself.

Her mouth opened wide, her unhinged jaw lowering it to an impossible length. She stuck out her brown and black tongue, and licked up the side of his face. It felt like wet sandpaper, leaving behind a trail of mucus like saliva.

“Just do it! Do it! Kill me already!” Michael cried.

He closed his eyes, anticipating the worst pain of his life, but the pain never came. Nothing happened. When he opened his eyes the monster that was before him was gone. In it’s place was the woman in white sitting on her knees looking at him. Michael started crying again, confused as to what it was she wanted from him. Why was she doing this?

Was this his payment for all the terrible things he had done? He placed his face in his hands and cried. He felt a cold hand grab his wrist. The woman stood him up, and walked him into the burial site.

“what? What do you want from me?! Michael asked desperately.

She placed her hand on his cheek. He grimaced, and trembled under her soft touch. The flesh on her face was rotting away. Maggots had made meals of the loose necrotic tissue around her sockets. Bone was visible on different spots where the skin had fallen off entirely.

“what?” Michael weakly asked her, as she stood there staring at him. She cocked her head. It looked as if she were staring though him. She opened her mouth to speak, and dirt fell from her mouth onto the floor below. Michael moaned in horror.

Finally after several agonizing minutes of silence the woman handed him a shovel, and pointed her long boney white finger in the direction of the two unmarked graves Dillon had pointed out upon their arrival. Below him, and off to the left lay the body bag unearth from the grave they had dug.

“You want me to dig them up?” Michael asked weakly?

The woman simply looked at him. She then walked over to the body bag, and unzipped it. Jackie’s mutilated corpse once again poked it’s head from the bag. The women learned down and placed her mouth over Jackie’s mouth.

Michael stood there holding the shovel dumbfounded, and confused. His legs refusing to move another inch. What was she doing to Jackie? At first Michael thought she was kissing her but saw a strange light glow between their mouths.

Suddenly Jackie gasped, and inhaled deep, letting out a long deep breath. She sat up in a 90 degree angle, and in doing so brownish red fluid fell from her eye sockets, making a sickening splash on the ground below her.”

Michael screamed in horror. He wanted to run but was frozen in fear. He was shaking so hard his muscles throbbed from tensing up. Jackie turned her head towards Michael, and gave him an Erie grin. This was impossible. This couldn’t be real.

She stood out of the bag. Her fire red hair mangled in dirty knots. She made her way over with the woman in white, and acted as her translator.

“dig Michael.” she softly spoke. Her voice rang out in a soft tone. They both pointed to the graves. He held up the shovel, and looked over to the two mounds of loose soil.

“OK. OK I will. But.. Jackie… I’m so sorry. You have to believe me. I’m so so sorry for everything. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” he said sobbing.

Jackie took his hand. Her Icy cold grip gave him chills. “dig” was all she said. He nodded, and made his way to the graves. He started with the one on the left as both women stood behind him watching in silence. He dug until he hit something hard. Brushing away the soil, he uncovered a pine coffin. He looked up at Jackie, and she nodded to him.

Michael lifted up the lid. As he tore it off, thick spider web strings snapped away as the lid fell to the side.

“Oh god!” he cried out, and looked away covering his mouth. Inside the coffin lay the remains of his partner Dillon. He looked pale, and filthy. It looked as if he had been there for days. Half his face was terribly burned. His left eyelid was burned off, leaving behind a dried, and waxy eyeball gazing up at him. The word ODAYGUH had been carved into his forehead.

“why are you showing me this?!” he cried out to them.

Both women pointed to the other grave. “DIG.”

Michael crawled out from the grave, and struggled to his feet. His whole body ached more than ever before. He stabbed the shovel into the soil. He was terrified at what was underneath. He had a terrible feeling it was going to be just as horrific. He hoped and prayed it wasn’t Sarah. “please god”, he said to himself.

He shoveled pile after pile, sinking deeper into the earth. Finally he hit the coffin. After brushing away the dirt he lifted the lid. His heart sank in his chest at what he saw. Inside the coffin lay himself. He to was pale, and significantly burned. He had no shirt on. He had the word ODAYGUH deeply carved into his chest. Lines of dried blood had caked and cracked underneath the letters.

“what… What is this? Michael asked.

A tingling sensation washed over his body as if electrical current was flowing through every inch of him. He got weak, and lightheaded. Something was happening. He lifted his hands up to his face, and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His hands became transparent as if he was disappearing. His whole body felt weightless. He tuned to the two women who was standing over him looking down.

Michael attempted to crawl out but his hands moved through the soil as if he were a ghost. Suddenly Jackie kicked him back, and he fell into his own corpse inside the coffin. The corpse vanished as he hit the hard pine box. What had he seen? He didn’t understand.

He couldn’t move. He was paralyzed. He looked up as Jackie hovering over him with a sadistic smile. The once beautiful girl was now a decayed shell off herself. Her empty sockets dripped yellow and brown puss as her head tilted down at him.

The coffin slammed shut, and she was the last thing Michael saw as his newfound world of darkness surrounded him. Inside Michael kicked, and clawed at the pine box. His hot breath heaving in a panic, as he heard the unmistakable sound of dirt falling on top by the shovel full.

In mere moments he was finding it harder, and harder to breathe as he gasped for oxygen. He grew weak, and tired from hypoxia as he clawed away at the box in a desperate attempt to escape. The last thing Michael heard before death overtook him was the demonic shriek of the woman in white as she cried out

ODAYGUH!!!!!

…………………………………………………………………………….

PORTLAND MAINE, (15 miles down route 40)
4:00 am

The Red LED lights from the ambulance casted a red hue over the road. Fire trucks had just made it’s last round putting out the fire as large men in yellow frame resistant suits were dragging a hose back to it’s unit. Forensic unit vans, and police cars lined the side of the road. Officers were surveying the scene, and forensic teams were gathering samples, preparing themselves for a long morning.

TV crews had done the research necessary for the live feed, and Tracy laws was preparing herself for the announcement. It’s not everyday a double homicide makes it’s way to Portland Maine, and Tracy was sure this would be her ticket to local stardom. The camera’s light was blinking, and the large man operating the oversized lens started the count down. 3… 2… 1…

“Hello this is Tracy Laws reporting live from Route 40, about 15 miles outside the city limits. I’m standing next to probably Portland’s most bizarre homicide case ever. Behind me you see what remains of a four door Honda Civic that was engulfed in flames moments ago.

Inside the car are the remains of two males who have no yet been identified, it has been confirmed that both men were brutally stabbed to death, and the car was set on fire. Probably the most bizarre thing is the engraving of the word ODAYGUH on both victims. The word was carved into the skin on the chest of one male and on the forehead of the other.

This car was reported hours ago at a local motel where calls came in about a possible kidnapping. It was at that motel surgical utensils were confiscated by the Portland police.”

“wait what? Oh my god! The authorities just found a third body in the truck of the car. The truck apparently remained intact. They are pulling it out now. It looks like it’s In some sort of body bag. It’s a female. She looks between the ages of 15 to 21 years old. Several other containers are being pulled out as well. It seems we may have a case of organ trafficking in our hands. Stay tuned, we are being forced off the scene at this time.”

Tracy looked to the camera man as the Portland police pushed them back, and away from the mysterious girl in the trunk. “Tony!” she called to him
“has the guest speaker arrived?” she asked.

“yeah, he’s over there by the cars. Do you want to shoot that segment now?” he asked, craning his neck above the crowd of police and reporters. The crime scene had become a madhouse. TV stations from all over have arrived trying to get a piece of the pie. This will be the biggest story the small town of Portland has had since the murder of Zach Morris, and Annie Cooper 5 years ago. The tragic death of those two teenagers put Tracy on the map. It was her first real story. She was new, and hungry, and has been a hit ever since. The influence she gained from that story has turned heads, and now she has an exclusive interview with the man who owns the land himself.

An stout native American with weathered skin slowly makes his way over to Tracy. “Hi Tracy Laws, nice to meet you Hugo. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview”, she says shaking his hand.

“It’s my pleasure. I really can’t stay long.” he says.

“of course. All you have to do is explain to the viewers the story behind Odayguh, and you can go.”

“Tony get him a mic. OK just stand over here next to me. How’s the shot? Can you see the crime scene behind us?” she asks Tony. He gave a thumbs up.

“Rolling” he says.

“we’re back live at the crime scene off route 40 where they just pulled three bodies from the burning wreckage. On the bodies of the two male victims, and carved into their skin was the word Odayguh. Until now nobody knew what it meant. I’m here with Hugo Long, the owner of the 200 acre Forest outside route 40 who has some interesting history behind the word. Hugo.”

“I come from a very long, and rich history in these forests. My people are are chayann Indians. As a young boy my great grandmother used to tell me stories that were passed down from generations about an evil spirit.

“My ancestors would call it Odayguh. It was said that the grounds out here among the trees is cursed. My ancestors knew this. They would punish murderers by spilling their blood on the land to awaken the Odayguh. Once it gets a taste of the blood it would drag them from death into purgatory, and torture them. It would then bury their souls in a burial ground where they remain forever, dying under the soil again and again.”

“a very long time ago, in these very trees was the old burial ground. My ancestors built a home onto the lands to watch over it, and to hunt the Odayguh should it show it’s face. My people saw the Odayguh as a fate worse than death itself.”

“it was said the Odayguh was a demon disguised as a women dressed in white. But many saw this is only old tales passed down by my people to scare us into behaving.”

“any idea why someone would carve this into the chests of these men? Or why bring this curse up now, here outside your lands?” Tracy Asked.

“I would guess it’s a warning to bad men.” he said.

Hugo shook Tracy’s hand and made his way off camera. Tracy continued her live feed as Hugo made his way to the edge of the road. He put his hands on his hips, and took a deep breath surveying the forest. He leaned down and picked up a handful of soil, and examined it. It has been a long time since He has been back here. He’s since left to pursue education upstate. The lands remained his, but he only returns once a year on March 15th.

He remembers playing in these lands as a child. His ancestors owned the whole land. Hugo’s fortune had come from the government, they had paid him to build route 40 across the cursed ground. He thinks of this grandmother who gave him a stern lecture about playing in the old hut in the forbidden burial ground. He would ignore her though. Her tales of ODAYGUH would only intrigue him more. The shack has since be destroyed by time. Only the land remains, covered by grass and weeds deep within the forest

On the 15th day of the 3rd month, a young Indian child entered the hut, and found an old bundle of Hyde that consisted of rituals. In his native tongue he read from these not knowing what he was doing. That was the day the child met the ODAYGUH. his life was spared but he was forever cursed.

A part of the child died that day. He was never allowed to tell a soul of his curse. He dropped the dirt onto the ground. A relieved smile formed on his face. Hugo… Was safe for another year.

  • ShYgUy

    Feel free to ask me any questions you may have. I had a lot of fun writing this. I hope you guys enjoy the read.

    • Kingofthecastle

      Really awesome story! I like the way you wrote in the news reporter, it added more intrigue. My question, So does Hugo have to make sure someone dies on that cursed ground every year, like a sacrifice to the ODAYGUH? So that he can keep living

      • ShYgUy

        Yes. “3:15” every year. He must spill blood on the land. Thanks for taking the time to read it. 🙂

        • Kingofthecastle

          I figured, so one last thing, my conclusion is Hugo is the head of that Club of men and he sends the guys every year, which would make sense cuz its gotta be difficult to spill blood there every year, either way you really put thought into your story

          • ShYgUy

            That’s a good point. Is he the head of the club? Glad you caught that.

  • SinSnoop

    Absolutely amazing. One of the most deeply thought-out stories I’ve seen in a long time. The only thing that bothered me was the word “trunk” being replaced by “truck” throughout the whole story, but that’s minor. I loved every second of it. Please write more?

    • ShYgUy

      Yes. Auto correct. The Odayguh is part of the Portland Maine series as well as Annie’s online. There’s more of these to come. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • Gabe

    Really loved this super long story. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and it was really thrilling and heart racing to read in the pitch dark. Keep it up, because absolutely WILL read the next one.

    • ShYgUy

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The next Portland Maine series in in works. 🙂