All Hallows Eve in Dark Water Bay
There are four rules to live by in Dark water Bay.
1. NEVER GO OUT AFTER DARK
2. BELIEVE YOUR SENSES
3. This one is difficult to write. TEST EVERYONE YOU KNOW – IT MAY LOOK LIKE A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND – SOMETIMES YOU MAY BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY IT, BY ITS EYES, THEY CATCH THE LIGHT – LIKE A CATS EYE
4. NEVER STAY IN TOWN ON OCTOBER 31 IF YOU HAVE A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TEN
In Dark water Bay, we have a tradition, but tradition is not the right word. A precondition is better, you see every year, a week before Halloween, all the families with a children under ten, leave town. It’s unavoidable really, the alternative is to suffer the consequences. It’s like everyone goes on vacation at the same time. Overnight Dark water becomes a ghost town… Just like any place, Dark water has rules. If you break the rules, bad things happen. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve placed in the want ads, a simple question. “DID YOU SEE IT?” Then I give them a number of a reference book at the library. It contains every sighting or happening. I try to update it weekly. If they need it, the book of incidents is there.
I don’t want this journal to be relegated to the myths and legends section of Dark water bay. It’s important, especially for the people that live here. To give them a guide to navigating the dangers of this town.
I’m sorry, I got off topic- I was talking about Halloween- the reason parents get up and take their whole family and leave. I’m twenty-three years old now. So for as long as I can remember, probably since I was five, but every year of my life, a child from this town has vanished. In my fifth year, it was my best friend, Penny Bright. My family left town like everyone else. But Penny’s family was poor and believed it to be a waste of money. They were told, but they were new in town and they thought we were just superstitious. Penny’s face was dotted with freckles, the type of freckles you could never imagine on an adult. She always wore pigtails and her eyes were a vibrant blue. I can’t remember anything we ever said to each other. I remember screaming and running. Playing in sand or grass and knowing that she was my friend. I’ve always noticed that adults always tell children that they don’t understand love or friendship. I disagree, my love was nevermore true. I watched the Bright family deteriorate and it didn’t take long. These disappearances were so common that when it happens the police wouldn’t mount a search. Like I said before, the Bright’s were new, Penny’s father was livid. Rightfully so. So he mounted a search on his own. He took a shotgun and went out at night, alone…. Morgan was his name. He never came back.. No trace of him was ever found, gun, clothes, body. It was as if he never existed. The whole Bright family consisted of five. Husband, Wife, and three girls. Overnight they were a family of three.
Please read the rules at the beginning again. They all sound crazy, I know. If you spend any length of time here, they won’t be.
I have to finish the story about the Bright’s. So I told you the Bright’s were poor. They lost their principal breadwinner. So Jody took a job waitressing to support her girls. The twins, Melanie and Megan. The eight-year-olds had stopped speaking and were in the habit of always holding hands. Their eyes always seemed wide. Darting back and forth, sensing danger. A year passed in a blink, Halloween, one year later. It was time for everyone to leave. But Jody’s boss told her that if she left town, there would be no job when she got back. I can’t imagine what that must have been like. If she kept her position she would be risking the life of one of her girls and probably her sanity. I remember asking her to come with us. I was six and I told her to come and bring the twins. As I think about this now as an adult. My mother didn’t contradict me. Jody said she was staying. I was holding her hand when she said this and I began to weep. Which made her cry, and the twins cry. She gathered up her girls and essentially ran away. My mother was suddenly holding me from behind. As Jody walked away. I raised my voice and said. “We don’t leave till tomorrow.”
Sure enough that morning the Brights were at our door. Jody looked like she hadn’t slept. The twins just looked scared. Jody smiled nervously. “Room for three more?” My mother hugged her. Later we all piled in the station wagon. Dad was driving. My brother was sitting up there with him. But no one was in the backseat. All the ladies were in the cargo space without seatbelts. It was cold so we were cuddled up. Jody was sitting in between the twins and I was sitting next to my mom. I could see my mother had a question. I was looking at her. She smiled at me. She looked to Jody and said.
“What made you change your mind?”
“I don’t think I should talk about it with the kids here.”
A small clear voice piped up from nowhere.
“I want to know.” It was Melanie, she was looking at her mother. Now everyone was looking at her. Neither child had spoken since their father vanished. Megan turned her face into her mother’s body like a much younger child.
“I had a dream, it was as real as you sitting in front of me now. I was at the diner on Halloween night, there were no customers because everyone had left town. But I was manning the shop. The girls were with me, they were asleep in the booth, I had brought blankets, there was nothing to do, so I sat down next to them. I had a fresh cup of coffee to stay awake. It was quite hot. The smoke curling off the liquid. After I sat down I was suddenly exhausted. I dozed off for thirty seconds. The coffee was still smoking. But Megan was gone. The blanket was still there but my child was gone, again. I stood up quickly. I ran to the back of the store. The backdoor was open, there were footprints in the snow. I had to get Megan back. I went back inside and grabbed Melanie. I ran out the back door into the night. I vanished into the darkness and I knew we would be swallowed up by this town. That no one would ever see us again. Then I woke up. I found the girls in bed. We had to leave here. I will never come back here.”
There was a long silence after that. Megan was staring at her mother, tears were rolling down her face. But she was expressionless. Her mother grabbed her face and kissed it a dozen times. Finally, Megan said. “Thank you, Mommy.” Jody clutched Melanie close then. This story is completely true, no part of it was made up or embellished. I hope this writing finds you before any great peril falls upon you. If at all possible, let it serve as a warning to all people who come to Dark water Bay… Please Reconsider.
THIS NOTE IS FOR ANYONE WHO COMES LOOKING FOR MY BOOK: MY BOOK OF INCIDENTS HAS VANISHED FROM THE LIBRARY. I WOULD ACCEPT THIS AS AS SIMPLY HUMAN. SOMEONE STOLE THE BOOK. SOMEONE WANTED IT AS A KEEPSAKE. EXCEPT MY HOUSE WAS ALSO BROKEN INTO DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS AND MY BACKUP OF ALL HAPPENINGS ARE IN THE WIND.