Father Knows Best (Part 3) — The Whispering Wind
FATHER KNOWS BEST
“THE WHISPERING WIND”
“Well, it’s been fun, but I really think it’s time we should be going.”
Allen was either ignoring her, or was so engrossed by the bloody scrawl on the wall that he just didn’t hear. He’d already snapped several pictures with his digital camera. Now he leaned in close and sniffed, then, taking a handkerchief from his pocket, dabbed it onto the smear and placed it into a plastic baggy.
“What are you —?”
“Evidence,” Allen said, cutting her off. “Might be useful.”
Sarah was growing impatient. “Useful? To who?” She grabbed him by the arm and spun him around. “Allen, I’m scared. And not just a little bit. That… sigil… is written in blood. Blood, Allen. This is happening. I’ve seen too many horror movies to not know how this is going to end.”
“I know, Sarah, but my dad and brother were here. If anything’s happened to them…”
“I get it,” Sarah replied. “But you’re not going to be doing them any favors if we get ourselves killed out here.” She touched his cheek, tenderly. “we need to come back in the morning with the DNR. We’ll find them.” She stepped away from him and motioned toward the door. “I promise.”
“You’re right,” Allen said. “We’re not going to —” His eyes widened as the front door slowly began to open. He looked to Sarah who was already backing away. He grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed toward and up the stairs leading to the attic. The scurried up and through the attic door. Allen kept it slightly ajar, eyes intent on the living room. The front door moaned and creaked as he and Sarah listened to footfalls echoing up from below.
“Who is it?” Sarah asked from behind him.
Allen watched, his heart and mind racing. He heard the footsteps clearly, and sensed that whoever it was should have been in the center of the room, but there was no one there. The wind whistled through the open door, cold and mournful. For a moment he thought he saw… but no, surely it was a trick of the ill-lit room, soft moonlight the only source filtering in through the tress and the broken windows. But still, his eyes had focused on a smokey mass of pale effluvium, drifting on the wind before dissipating near the kitchen entryway.
“Damn it, Allen, what do you see?” Sarah harshly whispered.
He turned to face her. “Nothing,” he said. “No one.” He rose from his crouched position and turned on his flashlight. Sarah followed suit and the two cast their beams about the dusty old attic, piled high with antiques, boxes, and various and sundry novelties and bric-a-brac.
“Wow, it really is like these people just up and vanished.” Sarah walked slowly through the room, taking it all in.
“I told you.” Allen followed her. Though he’d been here a couple of times before, he’d never really had a chance to really look the place over.
“Who would just up and leave everything behind?”
“That was certainly my dad’s thoughts.” Allen paused to look through a stack of record albums, all from the late fifties and early sixties. “Surely no one would, unless they were running from something, or they were…”
Sarah finished it for him. “…dead.” She took an album from Allen’s hands, Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. “Hot pink,” she said, a slight smile on her lips. She was trying to be brave, but it was all too much. Not long ago her best friend had gone missing and a handful of her classmates ended up dead. And now, here she was, in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. She couldn’t help but wonder if her fate might be the same.
“Come on,” Allen said, “Let’s get out of here. The coast is clear. We’ll head back to my bike, hightail it back to Casa Parker and call the authorities. Or better yet…”
“… call Dr. Connors?”
“You really need to stop doing that. I thought your cousin was the psychic in the family.” He smiled and thankfully she returned it. “Let’s go,” he said, and the two made their way down the stairs and back into the frigid night.
The two teens were on edge, but Sarah was relieved to be heading back home. But that all ended with a sound on the wind, whispering through the trees. It was just a murmur at first, incomprehensible, but slowly snatches of words were carried to her ears, whispers that sent shivers up her spine.
“… Sarah… please… I’m here… Sarah…”
“Allen?” Her companion had stopped dead in his tracks. “Do you hear —?”
“My brother? I sure as hell do.”
“No,” Sarah responded, “It’s Tracy.”
“What? Tracy Larson?” Allen took her hand. “Sarah, it’s my brother. He’s saying my name, over and over.” He was looking deeper into the woods, toward the voice being whispered on the wind.
“That’s not what I’m hearing at all,” Sarah replied. “It’s my name. Tracy’s calling for me. She needs my help.” She pulled away from him and walked toward the voice.
“Dammit, I don’t like this.” Allen walked after her. “Not one bit.”
“What’s out there?” Sarah asked.
“There’s another abandoned house, about a hundred yards back that way.”
Sarah gave him a stern look. “Fine. Let’s go.”
“What? Are you crazy? You really want to traipse through the woods, toward some incorporeal voice that’s obviously trying to lure us into god knows what kind of a trap? After you practically begged me to get your ass out of here and back home?”
“Yes, Allen Parker,” she said, turning on her heel and marching off into the woods toward the sound of Tracy’s voice. “That’s precisely what I want.”
“WAKING THE DEAD”