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Pictures

It all started with pictures she had developed in her dark room, and the monster that stalks her.

Developed film lined the walls of Maxine’s dark room along with negatives. “This just can not be!” “My camera didn’t even work in the woods, it powered down as soon as I turned it on!” A few days after Maxine's little adventure in the forest, she went into her backpack to get her camera. What she found on the film terrified her and made her skin crawl. Every picture was black background with a white mist/mass thing, if looking close enough you could make out a face of something certainly not human. When she was developing the pictures she swore the pictures changed, like the white mass of whatever it was, was moving around as she wondered her dark room.

It’s been almost a week since her little adventure in the woods. Trying to forget the entire thing ever happened, was harder then she thought. “I can’t tell anyone about this, nobody is going to believe me, people will think I’m daffy!” Maxine had been experiencing all kinds of crazy things around her house, things that now make her sleep with the light on. The night after her encounter she was getting ready for bed and she heard three knocks on her front door. “OH, nope!” she thinks. “Not doing that again, they can just go on ahead and leave.” She says out loud to Roy. Roy is Max’s blue-tick hound who was a solid mass of love. He was her baby; and everything Maxine said, Roy did. He was loyal and obedient, Roy was given to her by a farmer up the road who was going to put him down because he thought the little puppy had a bad heart. Maxine would not have that—so she took him to her vet and it turned out the he was misdiagnosed.

That night while Max was settled into bed, just about to fall asleep when she caught a tall figure standing in the doorway, just looking at her, watching her. Max yelled for the blue-tick hound. Roy came barrel ass up the stairs and stood at the top just crying and whimpering. Maxine reached for her light and cell phone. Nobody is there, not a soul. Maxine grabs her gun from her dresser, ready to attack the intruder. “I am armed, I have a gun, and will shoot you if I feel threatened,” she yells out. Nobody is there, no signs of someone breaking in, everything seems fine. Max calls the police anyway just to make sure everything checks out—and it does. Max finds the blue-tic hound cowering in the corner in a puddle of pee. That night Maxine sleeps with the light on and Roy tucked in next to her.

The next morning she gets up and starts her day. Max and Roy get ready to feed the animals and tend to the horses out in the barn. Maxine runs a small business offering horseback riding lessons, and the horses are used as therapy for children with disabilities. Roy stands in front of the barn and will not move, his tail in in between his legs and his hair is standing straight up with his lips curled. Max can see the horses are all worked up and trying to break free from their stalls. She pushes past Roy to get to her beauties. “Hey, hey, guy’s, it’s mama, it’s okay!” she coos. As soon as she says that the barn door slams shut and the over head lights have gone out. Leaving the dog on the other side going insane. She can hear Roy barking and clawing at the doors, he is crying and screaming for her. It’s Maxine and six horses who are losing their minds. If any of them get lose she is going to be in serious trouble. Digging in her pockets she finds her phone and the little flashlight she keeps in her pockets for times just like these.

All the hairs are standing up on her body and she feels sick to her stomach. Max throws her flashlight on, reluctantly, and standing inches from her face is the thing that was on all fours crawling from out of the woods to her car. Andy, one of her neighbors, was walking to her house to see if she was selling any hay when he heard her blood curtailing scream from up the walkway. Andy took off running.

When Andy gets the door open he finds Max curled up in a ball crying hysterically. The horses are still up in arms. Andy gets down on his knees and tells her she’s ok, Roy pushes Andy aside and checks Maxine over and then proceeds to lay on her. “What happened here, Maxie?” Andy asked. She tells him what she thought she had seen. She isn’t sure if he believes her, but she doesn’t care, she knows deep down she is under some sort of attack. Maxine showed Andy the pictures, and recalled her day in the woods to him. He looked puzzled by the pictures, and unsure of how to react by the entire event. Andy’s in his mid twenties, single, no kids, and very good looking, he took over his dad’s farm when he passed away two years ago. “What are you going to do, Maxie?” he asked with the most concerned look on his face.

“I don’t know, Andy, but I need to figure it out,” Maxine said with no confidence behind her voice. Andy hung around awhile and helped Max around the farm.

That night Maxine grabbed her rosary beads and begin to pray. Nothing happened. The house was heavy and oddly quiet. Roy sat on Max’s bed all night keeping watch over his best friend.

Maxine awoke with scratches on her back and legs, at this point she knew she needed help. She was going to a medium. Maxine cleared her schedule and set off into the city. With fingers crossed she was hoping to find help and hopefully a way to get rid of the thing living in her house.

“Hi, I’m Maxine, I need help.” she whispered to the old women standing at the cash register. The old women smiles softly at Max.

“Hi, I’m Patty, follow me, my dear.” She led Max into a private room, and before Maxine can get a word out, Patty is collecting her things and getting ready to head to the farm.

They arrive at the farm about an hour later. They step into the house and it looks like it was broken into. The blue tic hound emerged from Max’s room unharmed but certainly scared. Patty runs into the kitchen, Max runs behind her and they are both hit with the stench of rotting meat. Patty is standing with her mouth wide open pointing to the kitchen table. Standing on the kitchen table is a five-foot, black eye, shark mouth, white glossed skin creature. Patty says a few words in some weird language that Max didn’t recognize and the thing takes off running. They follow it to the barn.

Max is now concerned about her horses, without missing a beat she runs into the barn and gets the horses to their play yard. Patty is waiting for her outside the barn. “I called a friend of mine,” Patty said. “I’m not sure if that’s a demon, monster, or inter-dimensional being, but it’s angry.” Patty lights up a cigarette and looks off into the distance, she’s thinking about all the things she had handled over the years, this might actually break her. She puts her cigarette out and heads over to meet her friend at his car.

Elliot is a powerful medium and clairvoyant. All three stepped into the barn where this thing was. Elliot does some smudging, and says a few words and leads the women in prayer. They form a circle and Elliot says whatever happens, do not break the circle. The creature crawling on all fours emerges from a corner. It stands up and now is seven feet tall. It lets out a scream, turns into a wolf and runs into the distance. Clearly in total disbelief, Eliot said, “I think you have a skin-walker.” Maxine tells him about the experience she had in the Freetown woods. Elliot tells her about the puckwudgies, and other things that are in those woods. He told her to be careful and offered to spend the night to watch over her and the house.

Both Patty and Eliot stay the night. They decided to stay up way past their bedtime, praying and smudging the house, as well as Maxine’s farmland. Before Max went to bed, they prayed over her and Roy. They did a smudge over both of them. The house felt light and airy. That night Max slept with her light off.

The next morning Max thanked the pair for everything they had done. Elliot left first, saying one last prayer over the house. Max hugged him and said goodbye. Patty stayed for a cup a tea and just to make sure everything was good and in order. Patty left Max her number and she too said a prayer over Max and Roy. Everyone was gone and she was alone with her blue-tick hound once again, or was she really alone?