It is an hour before midnight as the 4×4, driven by a stocky middle-aged, wizened looking Douglas Soul, accompanied by Stie Malon, Sonja Blade, and Brendan Woodowski, rolls into the small town of Grosville, Tennessee. On the way in they drive past a scattering of farmsteads before arriving in the town proper. As they travel down the main street, they can see the two mountains before them, cradling the town at the rear.
It doesn’t take them long before they come upon what appears to be the only place in town to find any accommodation, a place named Merl’s Shut Eye, a small motel with twelve rooms on one side of a parking area, stacked six on ground level, and six, one floor up, opposite stands a small office building with a glass front, and a young female receptionist can be seen sat in there, half asleep with a magazine in front of her. The only other vehicles that can be seen parked here is an old second-hand looking car with Tennessee plates, and a beat-up pick-up with Alabama plates.
The new 4×4 pulls up and parks near the office building and they get out and head on in to the reception. As they walk in, the young woman raises her head and perks up, taking in the view of four new customers, new comers to this small town at this time of night. Douglas enquires about four rooms, and the receptionist checks up on the motels registration book. No computer of any sort can be seen on, or around the reception. Even the telephone system looks to be over 20 years old, an old analog system. She looks through the book muttering that they are quite busy, but luckily there are four rooms available.
They seem to end up spending quite some time in the reception, as the receptionist asks for all of their names one by one, what there are in town for. Douglas let slip about being in town enquiring about abduction, (Brendan coughs with this looking at Doug), but she soon gets distracted by Stie as he tries to correct the slip and informs her about a drug investigation. She can’t keep her eyes off of Stie the ex school quarterback with mousey brown hair as she asks the other two. She took in everything that Stie had to say, and even told him that her name was Lucy, and she has a spare key to the rooms.
Finally they managed to pull themselves away from Lucy’s questioning, remembering how bad a small town can be for gossip, and turn in for the night. Stie making sure that he locked his door and kept the key in the lock, the large wooden block attached to the key hanging down from the door’s key hole.
The following morning they all rise for an early start, and discuss their plans over breakfast. They go over to the reception to find a small middle-aged man sat behind the desk, and already seems to know everything about them! Brendan enquires about any good eateries around that do breakfast, and was told to go to a place called Merl’s Place, they have some great pancakes.
The diner looks to be busy already as the four agents enter. All the customers and staff stop what they are doing briefly, and look over the four new comers before going back to their work or/and gossip. They certainly seem to serve a lot of pancakes, everyone seems to have some sort of fried batter piled on their plates, and a strong smell of bacon fills the room. The waitress comes over to the new comers table and asks what each would like, and what to drink.
Over breakfast they discuss their plan of action for the day, trying to keep their voices low and hushed. Once they finish their pancakes and bacon, and coffee they head on over to the sheriff’s office, only a short walk away.
Within the local sheriff’s office they are greeted by a well fed, middle-aged man, and upon his already sweaty patched shirt they see the badge of office, he is sat behind one desk with one further desk in the room, and six cells lead off from this room. The sheriff is a very friendly, pleasant guy, and helps the agents as best he can with their questions, given them any information he can, and letting them have his reports to study.
The sheriff keeps informing the agents that Billy is not that kind of boy, he would not be into drugs, pcp or that kind of stuff. And pleads that the agents keep this sort of talk to themselves and quiet, he doesn’t want to upset the folk. He gives them names and addresses of Billy’s mother and his friends, and implores that they do not upset Angel, Billy’s mother any further than she already is, she has been through a lot, what with her son, and then husband dying. On the police report there is no mention of Billy’s disappearance, and the sheriff reassured the agents that this is because he turned up just before the report was going to be filled.
While agents Stie and Douglas go to look in to a guy named Scott Adams, that the sheriff told them about, agents Brendan and Sonja go over to Angel Spivey’s home to see what they can find out.
A broad-shouldered woman with a strong controlled face opens the door to a red-haired agent Sonja, and a black short-haired agent Brendan with a five o’clock shadow. Sonja convinces the woman that they are working for the FBI, and investigating the incidents surrounding her son. Angel Spivey asks them in. Angel sits herself down in a chair that seems to envelop her, a single light bulb in the ceiling light fitting illuminates the room.
Angel obviously starts to get upset and cry while answering the questions that Sonja asks her, but she answers everything she is asked. She has not been questioned by anyone else except the local sheriff, no FBI or anyone. She also informs agent Sonja that she knows her son was not in to drugs, a mother would know. Her son had been seeing a girl called Jane Allen, they had been going out together for around four months. On the night of his disappearance, he had been with her, and had rung before leaving to say he was on his way home. When he turned up a couple of days later he didn’t realise that he had lost any time, and it wasn’t until a few days later that he started to suffer from the severe pain. Before leaving, the agents took a look around the boy’s room, but by the looks of things the investigating team that had been there before had gone over everything.
Agents Douglas and Stie decided to go back to the motel and change in to t-shirts and jeans to help with their cover story of being fans of this Scott Adams’ radio and blog. From what they found on his blog, he had been frequently updating his blog recently until about forty-eight hours ago. While at the motel they thought it may be worth seeing what Lucy knew about this Scott Adams, and where he is staying in the motel.
Stie Malon did all the talking with Lucy, amongst all the chit-chat they had, Stie found out that a guy named Merl seems to own most of the places in Grosville. Scott Adams has two rooms booked at the motel, rooms 4 and 8, he is a UFO hunter and has been here for a week, and no one has seen him for the past two days. They pretend to be interested in his hunts and discussions in UFO’s, and would love to talk with him. She tries to ring room 4, but only hears an electronic squealing sound come through.
Douglas and Stie go over to room 4 and knock on the door, they notice that all the curtains of the room are shut tight, with what looks like more cloth tied up behind the curtains, also something looking like a towel is pushed up against the bottom of the inside of the door. But there is no answer from within. So they go up to room 8. Again Douglas knocks on this door too, a furtive eye belonging to a face appears in the window and just as quickly disappears from sight. Douglas knocks again on the door to room 8, but nothing, all that can be heard is heavy panicked breathing.
Stie convinces Lucy to get her spare key and help them by opening the door to room 4, as they are worried for this Scott Adams. Douglas joins them at room 4, and Lucy unlocks the door, but the door will not move. Stie tells Lucy to wait back at the reception while they check out the room. Douglas forces open the door which in turn pushes against the towel that was against the door, opening it a crack.
A musky smell billows out from the crack in the door way, Douglas rams his foot into the door slamming it open. All possible sources of light in the room has been blocked out, the only light penetrating the gloom is coming from the door way. Something can be seen hunched on the bed, and something is against the wall. Stie mentioned that it would be a good time to go get their guns and vests. While he goes for his and Douglas’ guns and vest, Douglas waits by the door way not entering the gloom just yet. He hears a metal sound come from within, like old frozen metal pipes on a very cold day, ‘Mr Adams?’ Douglas’ voice just hangs in the air, no reply, again he calls out, and again it just hangs in the air.
Stie comes back with their guns and vest, and they quickly put them on. Douglas reaches in with his off-hand, feeling around for the light switch. He feels a switch under his fingers and quickly press on the mechanism, nothing, just the click of the switch, again he presses on the switch, click, click, click, click. Nothing happens, just the click click of the switch. Stie goes back to Lucy and asks her for a flash light.
Within the room they can see that the window not only has the curtains closed, but blankets are strapped across the window. There are no light bulbs in the light fittings, a laptop is plugged in to the wall. Clothes are scattered across the floor, along with fast food cartons, and on the bed is a very neat pile of folded clothes. The flash light reflects off water on the bathroom floor, as the beam of light scans the room.
Upon entering the bathroom they are greeted with a bloody sight, the bathtub is filled with water, tainted a deep red, a bearded man sunk within. Big nasty cuts can be seen slashed up his wrists, a large white bulge is stuck out from his forehead, no hair can be seen growing on the growth, it makes their stomach tighten. Again a metallic pipe sound can be heard, coming from the tap end of the bathtub. A drip falls and breaks the surface of the water beneath the taps, earrrrhhh!
Stie looks around to see if he can find a key for the room or for room 8, finding keys on the bedside table. Douglas noticed that the pile of folded clothes have no jeans or trousers in the stack. As they are about to head out of the room, they hear another sound come from the bathroom, a splat as if something moist hit the tiled floor. They go back to the bathroom and take a look around, and notice that the disfigured mass on the guy’s forehead has vanished, and his forehead is all smooth again. A cluncking starts on the bathtub and the ceiling starts to rattle, as a sound comes from the pipes again.
Douglas leans over to reach for the tap, and as he does this a geyser of blood and water erupts from the tube, splattering up against the ceiling. Douglas getting sprayed in water and blood, he quickly pulls his hand away.