Wright and Wrong
When he walked in, the bedroom was ice cold; a terrible draught was blowing in through the open window. After pulling it closed, he unzipped his suitcase and produced a small jar of aspirin, chewing two tablets dry. Breathing a heavy sigh, he undressed and climbed into bed.
For hours he just lay there; the evening with the Beaumonts had left him far too shaken to sleep. He couldn’t keep his mind off the strangeness of the affair; thinking about it only made it seem more and more unnerving.
By the time he began to feel drowsy, it was long past midnight. Relieved, he closed his eyes and allowed sleep to take its hold…
Only to be jolted awake by a frightful bang at the window.
Startled, he shot out of bed and switched on the light, half expecting some horrible creature to be standing in the middle of the room.
There was nothing.
Gathering himself, Ernest rushed over to the window and pushed it open. After looking around for a few seconds, it soon became clear that it was impossible to see past the night – time blackness. Part of him wanted to get back into bed and forget about the noise, but growing curiosity would not let him.
He had to know what had struck his window.
Nervously he began to dress…
The farmhouse was eerily silent as Ernest tiptoed down the landing towards the spiral
staircase. In his hand, he clutched a small flashlight that pierced the darkness just enough for him to be able to see where he was going.
He stopped briefly at the top of the stairs and listened. The whole house seemed to lie dormant.
Satisfied that the Beaumonts had retired to bed, he crept slowly down to the ground floor, fearful that a creaky floor board might betray him at any given moment. Fortunately, he didn’t make a sound.
Now he would have to open the front door in a similar fashion.
Moving across the hallway, he panned the flashlight around until it fell on the living room door, which had been left wide open. Ernest glanced back towards the front door; he hadn’t planned to take a diversion but he just couldn’t resist.
Gingerly, he crept into the living room.
As expected, the two leather armchairs were vacant, though glowing embers in the fireplace suggested the room hadn’t been unoccupied for very long. He was just about to turn back when his flashlight exposed a piece of paper lying on the floor beside Lawrence’s armchair.
Ernest picked it up and raised his eyebrows in confusion.
Written on the paper were the names of towns and cities all over the country. Next to each one was the name of a person; he recognised some of them as belonging to notable figures, including television stars, sports personalities and even acclaimed journalists. Something felt extremely wrong about what he was reading.
Ernest pocketed the bizarre document and left the room. He had a feeling his article was going to uncover a little more than the reclusive lifestyle of a former actor.
The front door was easier to open than he thought; he had expected it to creak open like the doorway to a haunted house. Closing it gently behind him, Ernest set off round the back of the building.
What he found lying on the floor chilled him to the bone.
Directly beneath his bedroom window was the twisted and mangled body of a large blackbird.
‘Watch out for the bird.’
Fear began to morph into anger. There was no way Lawrence could have known a bird was going to die against his window. Enough was enough; he was ready to expose whatever the Beaumonts were hiding out here.
Without giving it a second thought, Ernest took off towards the cabbage patch.
By the time he reached the centre of the field, his flashlight was beginning to flicker. As he approached the cabbage patch, his sudden burst of bravery quickly melted away into a sickening feeling of uneasiness.
He tapped the flashlight twice against his arm and for a moment it stopped flickering.
Slowly, the dying light cut through the darkness until it fell upon the first cabbage in the patch, only what Ernest saw was not a cabbage.
It was the head of a human infant.
He screamed and fell backwards, throwing the flashlight into the air.
Ernest stayed down for a while, keeping his eyes firmly closed. What he had just seen was unholy; it was a sight that would infect his dreams for the rest of his days. He was not a religious man but in that moment he wished he knew a prayer.
The Beaumonts were up to something evil; they had to be stopped.
Regaining some courage, he opened his eyes and staggered to his feet. The flashlight lay like a dying firefly in the soil; he picked it up and braced himself for another look.
He brandished the flashlight like a weapon as he walked along the cabbage patch, exposing row after row of children’s heads, each one different to the last. They all looked dead, if they were even alive in the first place.
Ernest crouched down beside one of the heads, terrified of what he was about to do.
Grabbing onto the child’s hair, he pulled until it slid out of the earth like a human carrot. Trying not to vomit, he examined the thing a little more closely. The child certainly looked human, only it couldn’t be; children grew in wombs not in the soil.
Whatever he was holding in his hands was the wicked creation of Lawrence and Pamela Beaumont.
Placing the child gently back down onto the ground, he turned towards the farmhouse. First he would run back to his room and pick up his belongings. Then he would make straight for the bug and before the Beaumonts even noticed he would be on his way to the nearest police station.
It was at that moment a speck of light caught his eye.
Before he could stop himself, he was already walking towards it.
The light led him far past the farmhouse and into the next field; he had forgotten how large the farm actually was. By the time he drew close to the light, the farmhouse was a mere speck in the distance; if he didn’t know it was there, he never would have noticed it.
Ernest now stood before a huge barn.