Read Parts 001 & 002 HERE

Part 003

Her eyes closed as she heard the man step closer, but she was sure there was another noise, rushed footsteps in the distance getting louder.

Shona wasn’t sure how long she had been unconscious. The last thing she remembered was the sound of footsteps echoing around her as the rope gripped her throat. She thought she’d heard shouting too, but her senses had all faded and she lost consciousness. 

Now, as she opened her eyes, she was staring up at the bright sunlight and cloudless sky. Her throat was in pain, the rope burns feeling as though they were glowing in the sun’s heat. Moving her head to the side, she saw the school beside her, any chance of the entire experience being a dream vanished.

“Are you okay?” A voice beside her asked.

Shona turned towards the sound, squinting in the sunlight. Kneeling to her left, she saw a young man in jeans and a cargo jacket who looked around her age. Opening her mouth, she tried to speak, but the damage from the noose made it painful to talk, creating only a hoarse croak.

“It’s okay, don’t try to speak. Here,” the young man passed her a water bottle.

Taking it, she sipped a small amount, unsure if her throat was dry, or just in pain, but the cold liquid seemed to soothe it slightly. She lifted herself into a sitting position, a bolt of agony shot through her spine. 

“It was a pretty close call, I’m glad I got to you in time,” the man said, “hell, where are my manners, my names William, but everyone calls me Billy.”

Shona smiled slightly in reply, whilst she appreciated being rescued, she had a lot of questions. Glancing back at the school, she remembered the horror of a man she saw momentarily, was it really Howard Smythe? Were the urban legends true? And how the hell did this Billy get her out of there?

“It’s okay,” Billy said, following her gaze, “he’s gone for now. But I think we’d be better off getting out of here all the same. Is that yours?” He asked, looking over to Shona’s car.

Nodding, she began to get to her feet, fighting through the pain rattling through her.

“You’re in no shape to drive, pass me the keys,” Billy said, clearly seeing the pain she was in.

Shona looked at Billy, while she was in pain, she wasn’t sure she wanted to trust a guy she’d only just met. 

“Hey, I get it, you don’t know me, and you’ve just been attacked by a monster who’s not even meant to exist,” he put his hands up in surrender, “How about this, I’ll drive you to wherever you want to go, and while I’m driving you can take this,” he pulled out a small gun, a revolver that looked like it had come off the set of a western movie.

Shona stepped back as she saw it, but Billy held it by the barrel, pointing it at himself with the handle towards her.

“Take it,” he said, “and while we’re driving, I’ll explain everything I know about what’s going on. I think we’re in the same situation here and should really work together.” 

Shona took the gun, she had done some training back in the city when she’d written a gun safety piece during her journalism apprenticeship, though she’d never fired a revolver. Swallowing some more water, she tested her voice.

“Okay,” she managed to croak out.

Billy smiled, “Great, and glad to hear your voice hasn’t completely gone! So, where do you want to go?”

Shona thought for a moment….

What happens next? You Decide!

a) …she wanted to confront those assholes at the office for sending her to the school.

b) ..she wanted to figure out what the hell was going on. Maybe the town archives would be a good place to start.

Vote in the comments or on my social media! Voting closes on Sunday 16th August 2020 4 pm BST

The result of the vote was:

b) ..she wanted to figure out what the hell was going on. Maybe the town archives would be a good place to start.

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