WHERE WE LEFT OFF:
After Father Anderson’s death, the sheriff’s department interrogated our intrepid band of movie makers. When asked if they had the footage of the Father’s death on film, Ray lied and said they didn’t. He believes there’s a clue in the footage. Staci ordered Leon to dump the footage so they can check.
WHERE WE PICK UP:
The camera jerks and jukes a little and we see Leon seated in front of his laptop.
“Am I holding this right?” Bethany asks off-camera.
Leon flashes her a bright smile and nods. “Perfect.” He turns to Staci and Ray, who are seated on one of the beds. “So I transferred the footage from what happened earlier onto my hard drive and it’s kind of a mess. See for yourself.”
He turns and taps at the keyboard. The camera swings around and we basically see the footage of Father Anderson’s seizure and death replayed on the monitor.
Ray groans. “Why is it so messed up?”
Leon shrugs. “I don’t know.”
“Is the rest of what we shot okay?” Staci asks.
“Yeah, I doublechecked. For some reason, only this footage, with Father Anderson is corrupted. Everything we shot before it and after it is fine. And I looked over the camera. I can’t see anything wrong with it,” Leon says.
“Is there any way you can clean that mess up?” Ray asks.
Leon blows out a long breath through his nose. “I think so. At the very least, I can probably slow down the footage to see if there’s anything hidden in all that clutter.”
“Do it,” Staci says in a quiet voice.
Leon hunches over the laptop and gets to work.
Bethany turns the camera on Staci and Leon. “So what’s our next move?”
“I wish we could find out what killed Father Anderson,” Ray says. “Do you think I could sneak into the police station and find the coroner’s report?”
“I don’t think they’d have one done this quickly,” Staci says. “And besides, if you got caught, the sheriff would throw you in jail or something worse…”
Ray laughs. “What’s worse than jail?”
Bethany turns away and the camera jerks around. There’s some shuffling and Ray’s voice is louder, “Oh, come on, baby, it’s all right. I won’t go, okay?”
“Do you guys mind? Maybe you can go for a walk or something?” Leon’s voice carries his irritation.
The footage breaks. Now Ray and Bethany are seated on the bed, snuggled up. Staci must be running the camera, because Leon still sits at his laptop, and he looks rather haggard. He mops a hand over his face and turns around.
“I think I may have found something. Check this out.”
The others crowd around the screen and Staci zooms in. The footage from earlier in the evening crawls by, almost frame by frame. A lot of it is just a mess of static with intermittent moments of clarity that shows Father Anderson thrashing on the floor. But then, Leon taps the laptop and freezes the footage.
Staci, Ray, and Bethany are clustered around Father Anderson, panicked looks on their face. But standing in the doorway is a man in a black suit and tie. His face is obscured by static distortion in the film. Then the footage starts moving again, going awash with static. When the image clears again, the man is gone.
“Who was that?” Ray asks.
“I don’t know,” Leon whispers. “I mean, I was facing the door when this happened and I don’t remember seeing anyone standing there. And he only appears in this frame. I don’t know what to make of it.”
“Did anything else show up in the footage?” Staci asks.
Leon shakes his head. “No, I checked it all. That’s our only clue.”
“So now what?” Bethany asks quietly.
“Now we bunker up,” Ray says. “Girls, I want both of you in here tonight. We’re locking the door and putting something up against the wall.”
Leon looks like he’s about to argue, but Ray takes the camera from Staci and sets it down on the desk. He pushes the girls toward the door. Once they’re out, he turns to Leon.
“Can we use that camera like a security camera?” he asks.
“What do you mean?”
“I want to just make sure that no one comes in here during the night.”
“Do you really think that’s going to happen?” Leon asks.
Ray runs a hand through his hair. “I don’t know, man. I’ve got this weird feeling about what’s going on here. I just want to be safe, y’know?”
Leon nods. “Yeah, I think we can rig something up.”
“Good, then let’s get—”
The footage jumps again to a close-up on Leon’s face. He frowns at the camera and then steps back. The camera is aimed at the room’s door. A chest-high window is to the left of the door, covered with flimsy curtains.
“I think we’re good to go,” Leon says.
“Good.” Ray pushes a chair up against the door. “Let’s get to bed. We’ll figure out our next move tomorrow.”
There’s some shuffling off-camera, then the lights go out. There’s some hushed whispering; it sounds like Ray and Bethany saying good night.
Then the footage fast-forwards. There’s not a lot to see, for the most part, just the occasional twitch of the curtain fabric. But then, the footage slows. A man’s shadow appears in the window. It looks like whoever it is is wearing a hat, most likely a sheriff’s hat. The shadow creeps closer and closer to the door and the handle jiggles ever so slightly. But then, the man rushes past the window the way he came. The screen locks and freezes, static popping at the edges, but then clears up again.
So what will happen next? Come back next week to find out!