Strigoi Part 17

November 1, 1992

Roy is in a dark hallway and there is a door at the end of it. He can hear whispers around him, but can’t make out what they are saying. Roy reaches the door and opens it. He is now in the woods, standing in front of the old woman’s shack. The porch is leaning, the windows are boarded up, and the grass in the front lawn is knee high. Roy feels himself floating up the rotted wooden steps on to the leaning, soft wooden porch. He opens the door slowly, although his mind is telling him not to open the door, Roy can’t control himself as he slowly opens it anyway. It’s dark inside of the tiny house. Suddenly, the fireplace lights up, there is a shelf on the far right side of the wall. Jars of different sizes, containing different liquids, sat on every level of the shelf. Roy did not understand what exactly he was looking at, but found himself reading and understanding the label written in a foreign language on each jar. A sound, foot steps, creaking on the soft wood behind him. Roy turns and something is there. Tall, taller than him, over six feet tall, skinny, so skinny, it wasn’t human. Long fingers, pointed nails, what looked to be saliva dripping from it’s mouth. Roy knows he’s in danger, he has to get out of this house, away from this forest. He walks backwards away from the strange being standing there just looking at him. As he walks backwards, watching it, it walks forward, towards him. Roy’s back hits the door, he turns, opens the door, and runs. He jumps off the crooked porch, skips the rickety steps, right on to the ground. Roy is running as fast as he can, he runs as if he is on the football field, scoring for a touchdown. But this isn’t a game, this is real life, and his life is in danger. Roy can hear screeching behind him, can hear the quick feet of the thing running after him. He hear it running faster, then suddenly, something tumbles in the air and lands in front of him. He can see its face clearly. Something out of his innermost nightmares. Roy screams for his life.

“Roy! Roy!”, Roy jumped up, back crawled until he hit the wall and held his knees up to his chest. His breathing shallow, tears streamed down his face and his entire body shook in fear. His mother was sitting on his bed, worry lines across her forehead. “Roy, baby you were having a nightmare. You were screaming something awful. When I came in here you were crying and screaming”, Loretta said, she was sitting on the edge of the bed, her hand reached out and wiped the beads of sweat off of her son’s forehead. Roy wiped his hands down his face, stretched his legs out, and took a deep breath. He could feel his mother’s eyes on him, the concern swimming in them.

Roy began coughing, his throat was immensely parched as if he had swallowed sand. “I’ll get you some water,” his mother said, rushing from the room. As Loretta walked into the kitchen, there was a knock at the door. Frowning, she glanced at the kitchen clock on the wall, a quarter past five in the morning. “Who in the hell is at my door this early?”, she thought. Tightening the sash around her bathrobe, Loretta peeked through the small window by the door. She instantly recognized the person. Wearing his uniform, hat and coat, it was Sheriff Mike Ward. His son, Michael Junior was a student at the same high school Roy went to. She considered Mike a good friend, but it was odd that he was knocking on her door around five in the morning. “Who’s there?”, she asked through the door, for security measure.

“Hey Loretta, it’s Mike”. Loretta hurriedly answered, a burst of morning chill enveloped the hallway. Mike walked in and took his hat off as Loretta closed the door. “I’m sorry to disturb you so early in the morning, but it’s important”. The look of seriousness on the Sheriff’s face alarmed her. “What is this about?”, Loretta asked. She led him into the kitchen , offered him a seat and put a pot of coffee on. The glass of water she was supposed to get for Roy was forgotten.

“Deacon David Johnson was found dead around three this morning by his wife”. Mike looked down at the kitchen table as he spoke. “Oh my God”, Loretta whispered, shocked. Deacon Johnson wasn’t that young of a man, about sixty-five years old but appeared to be in good health and shape. He had been a Deacon at the church she was a member of way before she joined. Which was when she and her late husband Roy, Sr. moved to Stamburg eighteen years ago. A year before Roy, Jr. was born. However, Loretta didn’t understand why the Sheriff was at her house this early in the morning. He should be at the Johnson’s home. “Is there something I can do?” Loretta said, failing to cover the confusion in her voice. Mike looked into Loretta’s eyes, which seemed to be filled with something between pity and doubt. He was hesitant, trying to find the right words to say, which confused Loretta even more.

“Deacon Johnson was found murdered in his living room. It’s bad. Real bad. Your boy, Roy’s hat was found at the scene. His name is written on the inside of the hat. Rita told me that even though y'all members of the same church, Roy has never even visited Deacon Johnson’s house. I’m going to need you to bring Roy down to the station for questioning”.