Abby Lane looked up at the star-filled sky and the reality of what was taking place hit her like a bolt of lightning. Though she felt like screaming, she could not, though she felt like fighting, she could not, everything was now in the hands of the demonic creature. It was dragging her cruelly along by the hair of her head and pain occupied her whole being. There was nothing she could do. From the instant, she peered into those cavernous brown eyes, she was helpless, paralyzed. She could hear the flop, flop, flop, of the creature’s feet striking the road ahead, could smell the intensity of its stench, could feel the scraping of her bare arms and back on the payment, and she could taste the blood from her lips where she had hit the ground. Her senses were not only working, they were in overdrive, yet still, she could not move a muscle. It had mesmerized her, put her in a trance with those beautiful brown eyes.
Abby felt her head collide with the curb as the creature pulled her off the road and up onto the grass. It is heading towards the bay, she thought, trying to clear her foggy mind. She could smell the ocean air. There was little uncertainty what was happening here, there would be no happy ending, no last chance to tell her baby girl good bye, she knew this creature was going to kill her.
Above her, as she saw car lights pirouetting across the night sky, a burst of optimism hit her and she gave everything she could to make a sound, but regrettably nothing came out. She felt the creature quicken its pace to a trot as the top of a tree came into view above her; it was hiding. Maybe, just maybe, someone had seen. Maybe there was still hope, maybe she would be the damsel saved from the demon’s clutches in the moment before her death, like in all those classic Hollywood movies. As quickly as they had appeared, the lights died out. She could distinguish the sound of a car as it passed close by. So close she thought, yet they could not see she was lying right there, plain as day. What the hell is the matter with you fucking people? She wondered.
She felt the claw confirm a tight grip on her pain-ridden scalp as it gradually immerged from its sanctuary. There was no urgency in its steps, no eagerness to reach its destination, just a slow methodical pace further into the darkness. Her thoughts went to her daughter Lucy, who had just celebrated her fourth birthday. She was home right now with her Gramma, she could picture them getting the news, and she could sense the aching in their hearts. God, please help me. My baby is so small, for her sake please help me. Send this monster back to hell. I know you are a strong loving God. Don’t let this happen.
The creature seemed to sense her thoughts for it paused and glared down at her. Its face was that of a horrific corpse, only this cadaver had its face broken and twisted to the point one could not call it human. Its teeth shown in the darkness, they were over-sized and jagged, like those of a feeding shark. They pressed together in a malevolent grin, as if he knew her prayers would go unanswered. It stared at her a moment, and then turned and ambled on.
The smell of the ocean was getting closer, the sound of the waves more prevalent, what would it do when it got her to wherever it was going, how was it going to finish her? A million horrifying visions swept through her mind all at once. The fear was overwhelming. Just do it and get it over with you bastard. Then her mind used its last line of defense, she passed out.
Dublin June 8th 1998
Dr. Timothy Hoffman shuffled his sixty-five-year-old, New Jersey-born, rounded five-foot-five body down Parnell Street carrying his oversized umbrella. Though the morning was bright and sunny, the weather called for rain later in the day. He was heading for Patrick Conway’s Pub. It was his second day off from the University College of Dublin, and he was going to enjoy every minute of it. His apartment was on the corner of Dominick Street Lower and Parnell Street. It wasn’t the greatest fucking place he had ever lived but it was close to damn near everything. The pub was said to be the oldest in Dublin, he liked that. He liked things that were old instead of young and uppity like those bastard students of his. Teaching was a living but not his passion. God knows he was never going to make money off parapsychology, so he had to put up with all this bullshit to fulfill his true life’s adventure.
During his summer, winter and spring breaks Hoffman was investigating haunted locations. He had a vast knowledge of the latest ghost-hunting equipment, even though he was not good at setting them up or maintaining them. He always made sure he had the best and brightest student geek for that task. He also made sure to hire the best student he could find to be his personal assistant. With the right assistant, flights and rooms were booked, phone calls made, historical backgrounds were conducted, staffs were paid, and most important, written permissions were given.