Into Thin Air - 9 - Close to home

Manson glances at the manila envelop that's right beside him every now and then. He remembers how ecstatic his friend was when he signed the deal of this house and he's sure that there's no way Patrick's giving up easily. So, Manson will do what he does best, help his friend. He parks his car in the driveway, eyes the folder that's lying in the passenger's seat. He taps his fingers on the folder as he is hesitant to pick it up, walks over the stairs.

Image Source

The doorbell is ringing but he doesn't move to unlock the door, he had spaced out and was oblivious to his surrounding. After the umpteenth time, Manson starts screaming from outside along with loud bangs on the door which jolts Patrick back to the land of the living.

"WHAT the hell have you been doing?!! Do you have any idea how worried you made me?!! I almost broke the door down!!" Manson burst out at his friend.

"Calm down. I'm sorry, I didn't realize." He says as he leads Manson to the hallway.

"You look pale. What happened to you? Did you see the thing again?" Manson asks worriedly.

"No, not it but Oksana I have seen twice yesterday. I'm going to lose my mind"

"Talk to me, what happened."

He hesitates for a moment and he has every reason to. When he himself doesn't believe in anything supernatural and get thrown into this big fiasco, how can he make Manson believe, although Manson is helping as best as he could? He starts telling everything from meeting with Oksana by the lake to her submerging into the water and then her visit to the house late at night; he hasn't left any details out - also about his assumption about Oksana being the creature. In all honesty, he doesn't have a doubt Oksana being the creature.

Manson has been staring quietly at his friend. Neither of them is clueless about the whole situation but he knows what his friend is going through.

"What makes you so sure that it's Oksana? I mean, it could be anything else. And how are you so sure that Oksana and all of this isn't some hoax?" Manson's questions rattle him.

"Do you think I don't know how ridiculous all this sounds? Why am I the only person who sees her or how she just vanishes within mere seconds or where does that creature comes from or where does it go? You know I don't believe anything supernatural but do you think I have any idea what is happening or why? I'm losing my mind over something I don't believe in." Manson absorbs his frustrated rant, he has no idea how to solve this issue.

"What's in the envelope?" He asks Manson.

Image Source

"Oh this! I have got something for you. I dug a little deeper into the history of the house and I came across this paper clipping yesterday along with a photograph where the builders and a few residents of this neighborhood had their Annual Meeting. Take a look." Manson hands over the clipping to him.

"Manson look that is Oksana right there. She's even wearing the same clothing. Here, look. That's probably her brother Nikolai on her side" He tries to show Manson her picture.

"Yes, but that isn't why I brought it. Look at the man in that corner. He seems familiar, see? Your features are so similar." Manson says.

Is that my grandfather?" He can't believe his own eyes.

"If I didn't know you, I would definitely think it was you. Look at the bottom of the clipping. They were engaged."

To say he's shocked would be an understatement. He clutches the arm of the chair to sit so he doesn't stumble over. His grandfather was a tough man, ambitious. His father barely kept in contact with him because he never wanted his influence over Patrick. Never in a million years, he thought it was some other woman he talked about.

"Manson, my grandfather had a portrait of this house. That's how I came to know about this place. He'd told me about his life here but never told me why he left." He exclaimed.

"Do you think he knew what happened?" Manson says.

"I'd never know. He died a few years ago." He mentions as he still tries to put the pieces together.

"If your grandfather and Oksana were engaged then perhaps he married your grandma after Oksana died." What Manson said starting to make some sense.

He stays silent for some time trying to figure out how Oksana died.

"Hey, did you find anything about what happened in this house." He asks Manson.

"Yes, wait. Let me get that article. Here. apparently, Oksana had gone missing and police had no clue of her whereabouts. The police even caught a guy named Nathaniel. He had a few things that belonged to Oksana. The court sentenced him to five years in jail. Nathaniel died within a year after he got locked up. But she was still missing. Even in his last breath, Nathaniel kept pleading for his innocence saying he loved her and had no idea what happened to her." Manson explains while he shows the article to him.

Image Source

"Nathaniel, Nathaniel. Why does that name sound familiar!" He pauses for some time. "Wait a minute, she mentioned his name once to me weeks ago. But why would he make her disappear!" He stops. "Do you think Oksana drowned in the lake?" He looks at Manson.

"If she drowned in the lake and what you that she's the creature, then why the creature stomps in the basement?" Manson's questions only made things more difficult. He keeps looking at the picture of Oksana and others. There was one man who he didn't recognize at first.

What was Alden doing at the Annual Meeting?

Into Thin Air
Into Thin Air - 2
Into Thin Air - 3 - The House
Into Thin Air - 4 - Something Crawls
Into Thin Air - 5 - The Creature
Into Thin Air - 6 - Oksana
Into Thin Air - 7 - The Lake
Into Thin Air - 8 - Soulless

3 columns
2 columns
1 column