WHERE WE LEFT OFF: Staci and her friends explored the woods outside of town. Leon found a cabin with a stone altar in it, but when he tried to lead the others back to it, he couldn’t find it again. During the night, Ray appeared to be talking to a strange entity in a black suit with elongated arms.
WHERE WE PICK UP:
Leon sits in front of the camera and scrubs his face with his hands. He looks positively wrung out and exhausted. He glances over his shoulder and we see Ray getting up as well. Ray seems chipper and very upbeat. He’s even whistling. But that stops when he sees Leon.
“You okay, dude?” he asks.
“I didn’t sleep very well,” Leon says.
“Sorry to hear that,” Ray says. “Me, I slept great.”
Staci steps into frame, drying her hair. “Then you’re the only one. I don’t think I slept a wink all—”
Her words are cut off by the crack of gunfire. The window to their room shatters. Staci shrieks and drops to the ground. Leon panics as well and accidentally sweeps the camera off its perch. It comes to rest on the floor, pointed toward the doorway. There’s a lot of shouting and crying before the camera cuts out.
When it turns on again, it reveals a group of deputies combing through the room. The sheriff stands in the middle of it, barking orders. He then turns to Staci.
“I’m sorry that this happened, kids, I really am. But I’m not sure we’re gonna find whoever did this. If I were you, I’d get outta town now.”
“I suppose…” Staci says.
“That’s it?” Ray says. He pushes past Staci. “Someone tried to kill us and you’re just going to let that go?”
The sheriff takes a menacing step toward Ray and places a hand on his holstered gun. “Look, kid. Nobody saw anything before or after those shots were fired, so we don’t got a lot to go on. You kids have been stirring up a lot of talk in our town and a lot of us aren’t happy with any of you. Quite frankly, the list of people who would love to see all four of you gone one way or the other is pretty much the same as our phone book. So why don’t you just pack up your camera and go back to your college and forget you were ever here?”
Ray takes step closer to the sheriff. “Are you charging us with a crime, sheriff?”
The sheriff grumbles something under his breath, but then says, “No.”
“Then I don’t see how you can kick us out of town,” Ray says.
The sheriff clearly isn’t happy, but he backs down. “Why don’t you guys go down to the diner while we finish up here.”
It’s not a question and the team knows it. Ray turns to Leon and mouths, “Grab the camera and your computer.” The camera jostles and the scene jumps.
Staci, Leon, Ray, and Bethany are sitting in a booth. Bethany looks about ready to scream and Staci is close behind.
“You know, I don’t want to agree with the sheriff, but maybe we should just leave,” Leon says. “Staci and I can find something different to do for our projects, no problem.”
Ray shakes his head. “We can’t do that. We’re onto something big here.”
“All we’ve got is some rumors, a dead priest, and some weird footage…” Staci says.
“No. We’ll have more than that,” Ray says insistently.
“How can you be so sure?” Bethany whispers.
“Because remember the pattern? The 1,008 days? I did some more digging. The last disappearance took place 1,007 days ago. That means that the next one should happen tomorrow.”
Silence. Leon scuffs at the table. Bethany whimpers.
“Even if we stayed, there’s no way we can guarantee that we’ll see anything,” Staci says.
“Oh, I’ve got a feeling we will,” Ray whispers.
Staci exchanges a look with Leon. She finally nods.
“All right. We’ll stay one more day. But if things get too crazy, we’re out of here,” Staci says.
“Oh, absolutely,” Ray says. “But we won’t want to miss this.”