Mike had been in the hospital for three days with an infection to his blood. There was numerous times where he had been put back into the bed after trying to discharge himself. He was anxious that every day lost was another person killed or kidnapped. Jack came running into the room, “Mike! I’ve found something!” Mike sat up and looked intrigued by Jack’s excitement, “It better be good Jacky!” Jack unravelled a piece of paper that looked old; it was a map of the woods. “This was designed thirty years ago by a man who wanted to buy and build in the woods Mike!” Mike’s face dropped and he said, “And that helps us how?” Jack seemed dejected at first but then went on, “It shows that 30 years ago, there wasn’t a single structure in those woods; only animals and trees.”
Mike was shocked by the information his brother had found but at the same time was impressed that he had found it. “How did you get your hands on this Jacky?” he questioned. “I was in the library trying to research this whole thing. I was looking for a name of the owner of those cabins.” Jack stopped for a breath then carried on, “Then there was a weird guy in the library that asked me what I was looking for. I told him and he brought me to a filing cabinet. It was part of the public records office, and it had this map in it.” Mike looked happier than a child at Christmas and began to get out of the bed saying, “We need to go back down there and see if we can find anything else… like a name.” Jack looked at Mike and said, “Well, I already have that Mike; it’s written on the map too!” Mike snatched the map out of Jack’s hand and searched. After a few moments, his fear was confirmed and he read out the name, “Alan Rogers.”
Mike recalled the letter he had found in the desk in that first cabin and remembered that the name on it was Alan. “Jack, we need to find out more about this Alan Rogers; he’s the killer!” Jack looked astounded and asked about the first cabin, “So, is that letter still there Mike?” Mike rolled his eyes at this and retorted, “No Jack, I kept the letter, but the rest of that journal is still there. I bet that had even more information in it.” Mike was regretting not picking that journal up when he had the chance, and was very swiftly regarding that as his worst decision during this investigation. Jack plucked up some courage and blurted out, “We need to go back then don’t we” which was met by a nod from Mike.
Mike was getting himself dressed as he prepared to discharge himself successfully. “Dad will want to see you before we go” Jack claimed. “After what he said to you Jacky, I’m not too sure I want to see him.” Mike was still angry about what had happened. “Mike, he had two broken ribs and concussion. He nearly died.” Mike was swayed more by guilt than anything else. “Okay, we’ll go see him before we head off.”
They arrived in the room where their dad was laying. “Dad, are you okay?” Mike asked. There was no response. Mike placed his hand on his father’s arm and looked at the man who had raised them single handed. He was fast asleep, and wasn’t waking any time soon. “We’ll come back later Jacky; he needs his rest for now.” Jack looked happy for this to go ahead and proceeded to walk out of the door. They were stopped in their tracks by a trolley being run down the corridor. It was a young boy no older than 14. Mike started to follow the trolley and waiting until it came to a stop in a nearby room. “What’s happened?” he desperately asked. The answer came from the same nurse who had intervened before, “He was found on the roadside this morning, with this attached to him by staples.” The nurse looked absolutely disgusted when she said this, as though it was her fault just because she was repeating what had happened. She handed them a piece of paper that had more blood than ink on. It said, ‘Come and get me! You know you want to!’ It then had the initials M.H on it followed by J.H. This could be no coincidence; this was a message to them.
Mike asked the two paramedics if there was anyone else there, but the answer was a no. “I don’t understand Jack, why is he now trying to get our attention?” For the first time Jack saw Mike genuinely confused. “Mike, don’t worry about that, it’s just going to be that we escaped and are onto him now.” To a certain extent, Mike knew he was right, but at the same time, couldn’t help but wonder how the killer knew their names.
They left the hospital and went to the car as Jack joked, “you aren’t going to go all pale when we get in again are ya’” this was a joke that was firmly ignored, but not through purpose, just distraction. They drove for a while and Jack was looking at the map, “Mike, I have just noticed something on this map.” He held it up to the light. “There is a message on it that can only be seen when exposed to the light.” Mike hurried him along with the contents of the message. “It says, ‘those who shall seek the woodland man shall meet their grave as fast as they can’” Mike looked astounded by the thought that these crimes could be 30 years old.
“So, are we going back to the woods Mike?” Jack seemed as though he was a bit scared of going back. “Yes Jack, we are going back because that’s where he is. That’s how we are going to avenge all of those kids; it’s the only way out now.” Mike was saying this knowing that they would have to venture deeper into the woods then they had before. The woods were acres upon acres of trees and lakes. He knew that if there was anything to hide in these woods, then it woods certainly be a lot deeper than they had previously been.
They arrived toward the main entrance to the woods, and could see the footpath that they had used before. “Jack, I just want you to know that I have your back… and well...” Mike was stuttering so Jack interrupted, “I love you too man. Now enough of that talk, we’re going in there to find those kids and Hayley.” Jack had a rare look of determination and anger on his face. He stepped out of the car and slammed the door shut behind him. Jack paced toward the boot of the car and picked a gun up to slide into the back of his trousers. Mike was already armed with his holster. Each man picked up a torch and proceeded toward the dusty path.
Mike was walking quickly, with intent to end this whole thing as quick as he could. “Jack, we need to find that first cabin before we do anything else; I want that journal!” Jack was in no position to argue and just nodded along. They turned through a little bypass, jumping over a small patch of water. “It’s not far from here now. I found it just behind those trees.” Mike ran toward the trees as he was pointing with Jack trying to keep up. There it was, the cabin that started the investigation.
Mike walked to the front of the cabin, this time with no caution whatsoever. Opening the door he thought about the fact that there was a man who could have potentially been a murderer for over 30 years. He switched on a light to cover the room with a brighter tone. He ran to the desk and opened the drawer. The journal was sat right there. For one moment, he couldn’t pick it up, as though he was in a trance. Jack shook him from this and handed him the journal. Mike flicked through hoping that he wouldn’t find anything that he would regret missing from the first time.
Nothing seemed to appear, except for one piece of paper that was folded up; it was newer than any other in there. In fact, it didn’t seem like it was there for very long at all. Jack grabbed it from the journal and started to open it. His hands were shaking quite visibly. “It’s a note!” Jack was in shock as this note had the initials on it again. Mike read it aloud, ‘You two just don’t know your limits do you? I axe one of you in the chest and you still get up and carry on. What do I have to do to get you off my case? I WILL KILL YOU! IT WILL BE SLOW! YOU WILL REGRET FOLLOWING ME! Oh, and ask your father how he’s doing after his near death experience!’ Jack looked at Mike and couldn’t speak. Mike managed a few words, “He knows what we’re doing; he knew we were coming here first.” Both men seemed scared by this and started to look around the cabin at all the windows.
They could hear a tapping on the walls, and a laughing from the outside, but it was the laughter of a few people, not just one. Mike drew his gun from the holster and started randomly pointing it towards walls. Jack shouted, “WHO ARE YOU?” there was no answer and suddenly no tapping or laughing. They were on their own again; or was there anyone even there in the first place? Mike began to question himself, and started to think he might be going mad… then he realised Jack had heard it too. “Jack, we need to remain calm and carry on this investigation!” Mike sounded terrified, as though he knew death was closing in and this only made Jack feel worse.
Mike walked toward the door hoping that there would be no axe swung at him when he opened it to leave. Jack walked swiftly behind him until he could hear something; a ticking. He turned and walked toward the wardrobe that had contained the first lot of photos. He cautiously placed his ear upon the door and one hand on the door handle. He pulled the door open and shouted to Mike, “GET OUT NOW! RUN!” There was a bomb inside the wardrobe and it only had ten seconds left on the timer. Mike had escaped to the outside and was screaming for Jack to get out too, Jack had started his run toward the safety zone but had only managed to get to the porch steps of the cabin. He jumped over the wooden railing and into the small bit of lake surrounding the cabin. Mike was blown back by the blast. The cabin lay in pieces and both men lucky to be alive.
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