Linda and Shana continued their investigation of the town’s residents to find out who was responsible for the disappearances and murders in town.
They continued their journey down the road until they reached the tall black metal gate of the mansion. The house stood dark and bleak on a small rise of land that lacked any form of vegetation among its rocks and dirt. They entered through the open gate.
The property appeared to be deserted and very isolated from the rest of civilization. Shana shivered. The wind moaned, brushing the dirt back and forth beneath their feet like a giant invisible broom. Huge mounds of dust rolled by, resembling a deserted town from the Old West.
Shana heard weird shuffling noises down by her feet. She looked down and was terrified to find two Doberman Pinschers growling up at her.
Both of the women stood still, not wanting to agitate the dogs any further. A tall man approaching them from the direction of the house, called out, “Zeus! Apollo! Heel!”
Shana felt like she’d been in a vampire movie at the bed and breakfast and now she was smack in the middle of an episode of Magnum P.I. At least the man didn’t look like Tom Selleck. He was more of a cross between John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. He was tall, with a cheerful smile on his face. He looked strong and muscular. He also appeared ageless—like Shirley and Hank—with his thick black hair and unlined face.
The dogs trotted away, their tongues lolling out to one side, to stand on either side of their master. Shana realized that she was able to breathe normally again, now that the dogs weren’t standing so close to her anymore.
“What can I do for you, pretty ladies?” asked the huge man.
“We’ve been having problems in town and were wondering if you were experiencing similar unexplained occurrences out here?” Shana asked while eying the two panting dogs.
“What kind of occurrences are we talking about?”
“Strange shadows stalking us, young girls disappearing from town, and a deadly party at End House that ended in two disappearances…” said Shana.
“Out here it is always quiet, but over the years I’ve heard about the strange events in your town. That’s why I’ve kept away from town and don’t visit any longer.”
“I guess that’s why we’ve never seen you before. What about the couple who own the bed and breakfast? Do you ever talk to them?” Linda asked.
“I met those two a long time ago. I’d found them to be very strange, so I’ve kept my distance from them.”
Shana believed that they were getting nowhere with this man. She wondered if he would let them inside the house to look around. She noticed that Linda was glancing back over her shoulder. However, she was determined to remain here until she found some answers.
“Does anyone live here? Could we come in and see the house?” asked Shana, despite the murderous looks being given to her by Linda.
“Sure. I live here alone. By the way, my name is James. Please follow me and the dogs…they are really harmless, but enjoy barking at strangers.”
“My name is Shana, and this is Linda.”
They followed him through the front yard, which was overgrown with weeds. The tall trees and the rocky ground were bare of any greenery. Shana looked around and saw that nothing seemed to flourish here; even the house looked dead, with its grey walls and grimy-looking windows.