• ERIC BUTLER

House of the Dark One: Donn, TX -1969 Part 6

The next installment in the tales of the Donn, TX Motel focuses on 4 travelers in the year 1969. Part 6 has our 4 travelers separated - the chase is one as the stakes are raised higher than ever. This is a mature series - you've been warned.




***


Jane spun and rushed into the cornrows glancing back one last time at Frank. A sob ripped from her chest as the hooded man slammed his hatchet into the back of Frank's head, splattering the ground with his blood and brains. She forced her attention forward as she stumbled over the uneven ground.


Don't fall or you will end up like Frank. Jane wondered if that would be such a bad thing. Of course, she feared the man wanted more than her blood. She didn't plan on sticking around to find out. Her vision blurred as tears ran freely down her cheeks. She wiped at her face struggling to keep her sight clear enough.


The cornrow ran straight through the field with new rows branching off every five to ten feet. Hopelessness flooded her as the corn seemed never-ending. Jane chanced a glance back, the hooded man walked behind but she thought she was pulling away.


Her ankle buckled, sending her face-first into the packed dirt. The air rushed from her lungs and she crawled on the ground gasping for breath. Squeals of delight came from the hooded man as he made his way closer. Jane rolled on her back, scooting away as her feet pushed against the dirt. Her eyes bulged as he unclasped the first strap of his overalls and reached for the other.


"Just watchin' ya run gets the juices flowin'," he said with a chuckle. "Nothin' makes me harder than when one of y'all think ya might escape."


Her eyes moved down to the noticeable bulge in his overalls. A whimper slipped past her lips as she slowly began to regain her breath. Just in time for him...Jane couldn't finish the thought, her stomach turning to water.


"Don't ya worry none," he said, his voice suddenly husky, "The mask stays on."


As he popped the second clasp a blur sped from the corn stalks and slammed into the man with a scream of rage. Jane scrambled to her feet as the hooded man's overalls tangled with his legs and forced his balance off enough to knock him to the ground. Jane watched open-mouthed as Mary kicked the hooded man in his exposed groin. He squealed this time in pain.


"Move it," she hissed, rushing by Jane and reaching out to grab her hand.


They ran down the cornrow, pausing long enough to glance back to make sure he wasn't following. The hooded man lay on the ground holding his crotch and screaming curses their way. Mary offered a nod and pulled Jane with her as she started to run again.


"There's more than one," she said between gulps of air. "We need to get out of this corn."


They sped up as howls of anger followed them through the stalks. Jane glanced back but the hooded man was still tangled up on the ground. She let out a yelp as Mary suddenly changed direction and pulled her along.


They crashed into the stalks, forcing Jane to slip behind Mary as they pushed through the tighter rows. After a few crossings, they turn back onto a wider row and slowed to a trot. Mary spun in a circle, staring through the corn.


"Maybe we lost him?"


Jane wrapped her arms around Mary and buried her face against her shoulder. Her body shook as she sobbed in relief. Mary held her tight, rubbing her back, and offering soothing noises to calm her down.


"Honey, we need to move," Mary said after a few minutes. "No telling just how far away those things really were."


Jane pulled back with a nod, "Thanks...he was going to..." She didn't finish as she began to tremble. After a moment, she blew out a long breath suddenly realizing they were missing one, "Where's Cindy?"


All Mary could offer was a shake of her head as tears flooded her eyes. She grabbed Jane's hand and started walking. After a few feet she picked up the pace, and Jane moaned. She couldn't remember the last time she ran this much.


***


Mary squeezed Jane's hand tighter, worried she was pulling away. She knew she should slow down, but those monsters were still out there. As she scanned the tops of the cornstalks she spotted a large rectangle. The setting sun blinded her a bit, keeping all but the outline in shadows.


"Jane," she said as she slowed down and shielded her eyes. "Hey, I think that's a sign...like for a motel or restaurant."


Jane could only nod as she struggled to catch her breath. Mary slipped an arm around her and offered a quick hug. The two hurried forward as Jane continued to glance back every few steps. They came to the edge of the field and stopped, hiding in the shadows.


The large rectangle read The Donn Motel. It flickered on and off as if someone couldn't decide if it was dark enough. Mary shuddered as she studied two large crows perched upon the sign. They cried out as their heads turned this way and that giving the appearance they were searching for someone. Searching for us.


"Crows attacked Cindy and me," she whispered to Jane motioning with her head towards the birds.


Jane looked at the sign and then to Mary with wide eyes, "I think we can handle some fucking birds...there's a rapist and murderer searching for us. We need to find a phone...we need help for Cindy and Frank."


Mary bit her bottom lip. There was no help coming that could do anything for Cindy except bury her. The thought blared in her head, but instead, she only nodded and stepped from the field's edge. The crows picked up their cries and began to hop around the sign. The women's steps quickened as they rushed towards the motel's lobby.


As they crossed the road, Mary tensed up, expecting the birds to fly at them at any moment. They continued to cry out but they stayed on the sign, watching the women move closer to the motel. Once they stepped on the parking lot, the crows grew quiet.


"Maybe those are different ones?" Jane offered as they stepped out of the birds' view and moved to the main door.


Mary shrugged, her body tight with fear. They could still attack...still carry one of us to the scarecrow. Cindy's severed head flashed in front of her and she stumbled into Jane who had come to a stop.


"Welcome weary traveler. Your journey nears its end...it fucking better," Jane said as she read the sign in the window out loud. She moved to open the door but found it locked.


"What? No...is it closed down?"


Mary stepped back and studied the building hoping for any signs of life.


"Can I help you ladies?" a voice called out.


They spun around, Jane pushing her sister behind her. Sighs of relief slipped out as they saw the police cruiser. Mary suspected the driver was studying them as they reflected back in his sunglasses.


"Some...people attacked us," Jane said. "My husband and my sister's friend are in the cornfields."


The officer opened his door, stepped from the vehicle, and stood with his hands in his hips, "So two are out there with the scarecrow?"


Jane nodded.


"Hold on," he said stepping by the women to open the door. "Why is it locked? There should be at least a couple more hours before the lockdown."


Mary glanced at Jane before returning her attention back to the officer. What is he talking about? She moved to ask Jane but he spun around and pointed to his vehicle.


"Okay, ladies I need you to show me exactly where this happened so hop in."


He held the back door open, waiting for the two women to slide in.


The officer grabbed the microphone to his radio and held it to his mouth, "Dispatch, this is Officer Garr. I have..." he glanced back at Jane and after a moment she responded.


"Oh...Jane and Mary Lipman."


"Jane and Mary Lipman," he repeated before continuing. "We have a 10-91. Can you have the Sheriff head out to the Donn Motel?"


The radio squawked and Officer Garr put the car in drive and pulled onto the road. As they drove away, Mary turned to look at the motel. If he was having the Sheriff come here, why were they leaving? Jane pulled Mary close, wrapping her arms around her.


Leaning closer, Jane brushed her lips against her sister's ear, "I'm not sure this guy is on the up and up. You see a chance, you run. Find help, but most importantly...get away from here."


Mary glanced at her, eyes wide and shiny with tears. Jane made a shushing noise, warning her sister to stay quiet. The car picked up speed as they rushed down the road. Officer Garr stayed quiet, glancing at his mirrors every few moments. What is he looking for?


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