I leave the boys in the car to go and chat with the pale lady in the wolf print robe. She didn’t move an inch until I was standing at the bottom step, then the lady forms a pressed smile.
“I see someone got caught up in this nasty winter storm, are you okay dear”? Her voice was raspy and the skin on her pale face was tight.
“Yes ma’am my boys and I were passing through and the storm hit. Actually the girl at the diner gave me directions here and I was wondering do you have any beds left? If not that’s okay…”
She cuts me off before I could tell her it’s ok we’d sleep in our car back at the gas station or keep driving.
“Actually all of our beds are open at this time, it must be fate right.”
The way she says it makes me raise an eyebrow but again I ignore my senses. “We only need to stay until the storm lets up tomorrow, then we’ll be outta your way.”
The wolf robe lady nods her head with a true grin this time,
“Go get your boys, I’ll be waiting in the foyer to show you to your rooms and have my husband George make hot chocolate and bring up your bags.”
The twins were well behaved due to them being worn out. We stood in the living room them infront of me with my hands resting on their shoulders. The cabin was huge, one of those fancy two story winter vacation cabins you see on you’re DIY channels. The decor was Navajo themed and there were wolf paintings on nearly every wall.
“I have the money I’ll get for you after we get settled” I say.
The wife waves me off,
“No honey it’s a storm save your money. Now don’t worry about those heavy bags let me show you three to your rooms.”
The room she placed the boys in had double beds and white wolf decor. “Really I can just sleep in the room with them, we don’t need two rooms”
I say as I help the boys get out dry clothes to put on. She quickly waves me off as her husband enters the room with 3 cups of hot chocolate on a serving tray. As soon as i laid eyes on him I got the saddest off putting vibe I had ever gotten from a random person. “There will be no room sharing here! Mom needs peace and the children need calm freedom of growth. You’ll be right down the hall” he tells me in a stern tone.
Even though I didn’t want to leave my boys I wanted to respect the home and plus I’d be right down the hall sleeping with my door open. The boys settled in and the husband (George) shows me my room which was actually vary spacious and the bow and arrow theme was pretty neat.
“Breakfast is at 8 and showers are between 7am and 6pm! Get some rest you’re looking a little fatigued.”
I was getting pretty tired all of a sudden but I chunk that up to warming up after the drive.
Once I was alone I hurry to find my cell so I could check for messages. The last call I’d made was to my partners telling them about the delay from the storm but now I didn’t have a lick of service. There were also a few missed calls from him, but I’ d promise myself not to listen so I blindly delete every one and change out of my damp clothes. That quick change had winded me, my eye lids had started to get heavy so I lay diagonal across the squeaky bed to catch my breath…
“Mom… Mom..she’s not waking up Koda.. Well maybe she was hot! Mom.. Get up.”
I open my eyes and immediately start to feel the bottoms of my feet burn. I take off into the house and up to the room with my sons hot on my trail.
“Kaylon give me a towel outta the bag now! Koda help me get my clothes off.”
The boys do as their told looking frightened as hell watching their mother strip and huddle over the heat vents.
I glance at the clock and it read 7:30am! “Boys, what were we doing outside?” They look to one another then to me. “We came in to get you for breakfast but we couldn’t find you. Koda thought you went to the car but you were just standing on the porch looking at the snow with no shoes on. Mommy are you sick?”
I had no clue how the hell I had gotten outside, hell I didn’t even remember going to sleep last night.
“Boys go eat breakfast then come straight back up here. Tell them I’m sleeping in and don’t tell them anything else.” I demand! The twins do as their told and I grab a bag and wa rush to the bathroom to clean up and try to get cell signal. The storm had rolled in and there was at least 5 ft of snow already, I wasn’t going to be able to drive through in my raggedy ass truck.
After washing up and putting on a few layers of clothes, I try for at least 20 minutes to get a signal but it would pick up by the window and then it would suddenly drop. I had to calm down, maybe I was just sleep walking like I use too. As I head to the kitchen I notice through the far window of the split living-room area, George coming back from the red barn. He was holding a huge black bag in one hand and a shovel in the other, heading up toward the house. I watch him for a while before Koda interrupts me by pulling me into the kitchen by my elbow.
“Look momma, Penny made blueberry pancakes and chocolate muffins” Kaylon squeals in excitement. The fluffy pale lady was wearing a raggedy grizzly bear house coat today, she faces me with a way to big grin on her face. “These boys have an appetite Mom. I made eggs and and fresh bacon too! George just cut that pig up this weekend.” I was hungry but after last night I was on high alert.
After eating eggs and a muffin I send the boys up to play in their room while I try and help Penny clean up the mess. “Umm do you guys have a landline I could use? My cellphone isn’t getting any service” I throw out as I help dry dishes. “No! The storm messed with the line” penny asked a bit annoyed about me asking. “But the sheriff will come through if George doesn’t find his satellite phone you can use his truck satellite to make your call.” I nod my head in agreement and for the rest of the time Penny didn’t speak a word to me.
After helping clean up the pale lady disappears into a room in the back, and I go exploring. Right off the stairwell I see a small cracked door, you had to push it in to open it all the way. Inside were two black bags poorly stuffed under a pile of neatly folded up clothes, men and women clothing. Just as I was about to reach down an be nosey I feel a hand on my shoulder. “Are you looking for something dear”? I don’t answer I just stare at the stern look on Georges face.
“I think it’s best you go check on your boys. I’ll make tea and hot chocolate for the afternoon games we do for our visitor’s and we’ll do a movie tonight.” This place had me spooked, but I had no where to go so I had to make due for now. The boys were upstairs playing with their monster trucks so I go lay on the bed to rest for a while with no intension of falling asleep, which is what happened. I don’t know what but for some reason I sprung awake and the entire room was pitch black.
My mom senses immediately start to tingle and I make a run for the stairs. On the top of the steps I smash body to body into George who seemed to be a bit out of breath. I try and step past him but the husky man pulls me into a choke hold, immediately sending me into fight mode. I try everything I could to get free but the more I fought the more he lifts me off of my feet squeezing tighter and tighter. “Shhh… before you upset her before the ceremony!”
Eventually Im able to reach my foot back and kick him square in the nuts, George drops me. My body goes flying down the steps making a thudding sound as I went. Finally I reach the bottom of the staircase shoulder and head first. The ringing in my ears go crazy as excruciating pain was shoots through my rib cage. All that pain starts to disappear as my attention is drawn to the sounds from a group of people coming from the kitchen. Before I could scream for help a bag is thrown over my head and it’s back to fighting for air.! To be continued… -Donnie Sharrell