Nightmare Creator

The machine, covered in dust and left to rot in the back corner of a long-lost cabin deep in Hollow Woods. Talon stood looking down at the typewriter, staring at the only evidence of the woman he loved. He wanted to reach out, to touch the keys she had used for so long, to create the worlds she had shared with her readers. Yet, his heart wouldn’t let him touch it. The pain in his heart is too great to face the memories. 

He turned and looked back toward the door and the man whose bulk filled the opening. “Yes, it was hers,” he said, turning back to the pile of items he continued, “and before you ask yes, I want it.” He shivered as he moved away from the thing. “Do me the favor of putting it in a box.”

The man in the doorway, Jordan, didn’t seem impressed. “I can do that. You can pick up the typewriter tomorrow morning.”

Talon nodded. “Thank you,” he said, turning away from the machine and past Jordan, out the door and into the clearing of the woods. He stopped a few steps away from the door, letting his head fall back as he tried to relax. He wasn’t sure how he was going to get through all this, or why it was his job. Sure, he had been in love with her forever, but she had married twice, neither of them to him, and had three children. Why in the world she had elected him as the executor of her estate he would never understand. He heard Jordan’s footsteps as the man came out of the cabin.

“So have you thought about what you are doing with this old place?” He asked.

Talon looked at the man. “No. All this has me more than a little confused. I wish I knew why she gave me the responsibility. I mean, she could have had one of her kids handle it, or better yet, her current husband,” he said. The two of them walked down the path to where they had parked. Jordan was carrying a box and Talon had the creepy impression it held the typewriter.

“As her lawyer, all I can tell you is she wanted you to handle her affairs. I was to make sure you understood the cabin was yours along with everything in it.” Jordan said.

“Do you know why?” Talon asked. 

They had reached their car and Jordan sat the box on top of the trunk of Talon’s car as he answered. “All I can say is she felt it was the right thing to do. The lady had her reasons and in all honesty she didn’t always tell me what they were.” He nodded to the box as he stepped away. “Take care of that and let me know what you decide on this place.”

Talon lifted the box and slid it into the back seat before moving to the driver’s door. “Will do. And thanks for all the help,” he said, getting into the car without waiting for any further reply. He drove home, his thoughts muddled over when in the world she had done this to him. Her family wasn’t unhappy about it. She had left them all enough to live in comfort for the rest of their lives. He couldn’t fathom why a woman he hadn’t seen in over twenty years would do something like this. 

Pulling to a stop in his driveway, Talon shut off the car and sat there. He tried to remember the last time he had even spoken to her. They had fought over him wanting to move them across the country for his new job. She wanted to stay on the west coast to write. Neither of them had given in. In the end, he had left. Packed his things and moved over two thousand miles away. He hadn’t become the big league executive he had hoped he would, but he had been comfortable. While she had become one of the hottest writers in the world within a year. He was still so proud of what she had done. Shaking his head, Talon got out of the car and took the box inside. 

Once inside, he sat the box on the table next to his desk. Thinking since he didn’t use his desk much, he would set the typewriter there and it would be safe. He lifted out of the box, turned and sat it in the center of his desk. Positioned so that someone might step up, take a seat, and begin writing. Then he took the box to the kitchen and tossed it in the trash. Before he could step back through the door, a sound reached his ears. The sound of someone pecking out letters on the typewriter.

Talon wasn’t one to believe in anything he couldn’t prove and ghosts topped that list. So, straightening his back and lifting his chin in defiance. He walked back into the main room of this apartment. The room stood empty. Yet, there was a piece of paper on the typewriter now. One that hadn’t been there when he put the machine on his desk. He walked over, taking care to keep the fear bottled inside. It would do no good to let himself get out of control.

Instead of pulling the paper free of the machine, he lowered his eyes and read what they had typed. “Not all is known. Secrets still hide in the darkness. Find them and help me rest,” he read aloud. Stepping back, he sucked in a breath. Again, he looked around the room. There was no sign anyone had been there other than him. That is no sign other than the page on the typewriter. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” he asked, even as his mind told him there couldn’t be anyone there.

There was a moment of silence before the keys on the typewriter typed out its next message. “I need you to find the secrets and let them get exposed.” 

Talon stood there blinking at the paper in the machine. “I don’t believe in ghosts,” he said.

“Belief or not. I need your help. Will you help me?” The paper scrolled up another level with the message.

Unsure of what was making him say it, Talon spoke words he never thought would slip past his lips. “I’ll help you. But I have conditions.”

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