AUTHOR'S NOTES: Chapter one has finally been posted; I was inspired by a university friend to get writing on the story - as apparently; Novemeber is a National Writing's Month, and the story doesn't have to be good, but as long as it's finished. Well, considering it's nearing the end of November - I don't think I've managed very well to get more chapters for this up. But at least I've gotten this story going, that's the main thing! Just for spoilers notice - yes, Mort Rainey will make an appearance, but that is nearer the end of this story; and for the remainder he is but a mere mention.
DISCLAIMER: Mort Rainey is copyrighted to Steven King and the novella; the protrayal of Johnny Depp belongs to Keopp's 'Secret Window'
Chapter One: Welcome to Tashmore
Jason slammed the passenger door of the car shut, no real expression on his maturing features as he observed his mother walking around through the murky glass and slipping through into the drivers seat, setting the keys into the ignition.
Their eyes locked into each other's briefly, being matching brown, as the engine rumbled; the vibration being felt beneath the leather seating.
He found himself staring towards the house he was going to leave, with no signs of outward morning. They had packed for the last fortnight; all their belongings stuffed into the boot of the small four-seater vehicle.
'Do you really have to do this, mom?' he inquired, adolescent voice cracking.
''Course we do, sugar. We need a fresh start after what we've been put through'
The car was backed down the driveway, tires crunching on the gravel as it did a u-turn into the small, darkened road of the small suburban town of Mississippi.
They were planning to move to Tashmore Lake, a secluded place, a few miles outside the main town. Using all the money she owned, Jason's mother had bought a cabin, around the mark of $15,000, half the price of its original price. He thought it was a bit too pricey, but he had agreed it was a nice looking place just to pacify her.
He didn't really want to move.
They drove down the main road, passing the scarce traffic as they did; the time being late evening of the autumnal months. He rested his head back against the headrest, his head lulling back and forth in the motion of the car, brown eyes staring at the ceiling.
The house they had just left, he had lived there since he was seven years old; he'd been there a good few years, having just turned fourteen the month just gone.
The heavy sigh that was exhaled steamed up the cold window, which instigated his mother, Carol to turn up the heating, the warmth tingling at his legs.
Not that he could make a lot of difference in the location anyway; it was still in boring Mississippi, the south borders of Northern America, nothing special. His dad, Jacob wouldn't approve to it – the house was one build from his own construction company.
Tashmore Lake was only a forty-minute drive, and very soon, forest canopies dwelled over the shrinking road. Jason was biting on the innards of his mouth in silent frustration. He wondered if he would have to change school. Make new friends?
He had asked his mother this a couple of days before the move took place, cardboard boxes surrounding most of the living room, kitchen, dining room and the three bedrooms upstairs. She replied with a simple 'Don't be ridiculous, course y'don't! You just get the bus!'
Somehow, he didn't believe her, frowning.
He found the move somewhat fishy, too.
The cabin they were moving too was said to have belonged to a murderer; two people had allegedly died there, the murderer's wife and her boyfriend. He of course didn't know much to it; didn't believe the "ghost stories" that came with it.
The neighbours – who were living the cabins at a safe distance – claimed to had heard screams and cries of terror on the night the couple had died, which was two years ago. Sometimes there were distant shouts of a shovel hitting something, or a dog yelp.
The adolescent shuddered despite himself, causing his mother some concern, misreading the gesture.
'You're not getting' a fever are you?' she inquired, eyebrows furrowed, attempting to reach out to feel his forward; but her son swatted the hand away, a deep frown on his features.
He dipped his baseball hat over his face. 'Really mom, I'm fine! Stop worrying''
All he heard was a soft, exasperated sigh as he closed his eyes and tried to sleep.
Brown eyes opened at the gentle swap that arrived at the back of his exposed ear, beneath shoulder-length brown hair. Jason groaned in light agony, as his mother's nails caught the skin by accident.
'What?' he grumbled, sitting himself up, finding himself slouched and his spine and shoulders with a dull ache.
'We're here' her delicate hand gestured loosely to the view in front of them.
It was dark out, so the pre-adolescent had to lean forward and narrow his eyes to catch the silhouette of the cabin in front of them. He wrinkled his nose as he cupped one side of his face.
From where the car headlights were shining, all he could make out was an unhinged door, and an unkempt garden with supposedly dead crop, but he couldn't really tell. It was the wrong kind of day to acknowledge such detail.
The wooden exterior didn't really catch his attention either, it looked moldy.
'So, this is it?' he drawled, his soft Southern accent emphasizing how unimpressed he was.
'Yes, this is it. Now come and help me get our stuff inside' his mother commanded stepping out of the car to go to the back to retrieve the suitcases. The household belongings, such as the fridge, drawers, beds – etc, they had all been brought there a couple of nights before by the removal men, so it was just their every day belongs that needed to be brought in.
Jason sighed unenthusiastically he felt about all this, and lethargically exited the car and came behind her, assisting her with his growing strength.
I hope it won't be a crap as it looked in the photograph…he mentally grumbled, shifting the weight of his shoulder bag over his broadening shoulders; pursing his lips in growing frustration.
It was hard to see in the dark, but he could catch the vague outline of the neighboring cabins. The sound of the door creaking open with a protesting grown brought his attention back to his current situation.
'Let's see where the lights are' his mother mumbled to herself, and felt around the walls for the light switch. 'Ah!'
A lone bulb, gently switching to and fro flicked on to illuminate the white covered furniture of the previous honour, and their own.
'…I got a weird feelin' 'bout this place, mom' Jason spoke up, dropping the bag onto the wooden floor, hearing it creak beneath his weight.
'Oh hush; you're just sayin' that because you don't want to move!'
The adolescent watched as Carol strolled into the kitchen, turning on the lights in her wake to check the cupboards. He ignored her plight of needing to go to the store to get food in, as he decided best to carry their backs up the steps towards the first place. It smelt a little rank from the damp; he wrinkled his nose in disgust and stuck out his tongue.
He took notice to a writing desk just around the corner of the railings, and along from that was a white clothed covered arm chair.
Why would the guy run off anyway? Why not just turn himself in?
Switching on the light to one of the bedrooms, he carelessly threw the shoulder bag onto a shabby double bed, choosing that grudgingly as his own, and did the same with a newly converted bedroom with a single bed. The pre-adolescent hesitated then.
Maybe I should just take this room…?
A long creak from directly behind him made him jump, and he spun around, wide-eyed to find nothing there. He heaved deeply, in and out as he could feel his throat growing drier by the second. He licked his desperately as he looked around, hoping to catch his mom playing tricks.
When nothing else occurred he sighed heavily, and flopped down upon his mother's bed, wiped a hand over his face.
'Fuckin' hell' he murmured tiredly. 'Don't let this ghost shit get to you, not now…'
'Jason!' his mother's Southern American drawl called up the stairwell, her light voice echoing around the partially empty rooms.
The boy in question groaned. 'What?'
'Just gonna put out to the store, 'kay?'
His head flopped back onto the thick bed sheet, chewing the innards of his mouth. Brown eyes swiftly closed at the sound of the cabin door being closed and locked behind the woman, and re-opened as the car door closed and the engine started, pulling away from the drive.
Her son puffed out air. 'Welcome to Tashmore…' he sarcastically greeted himself.
The bed springs coiled and twanged being relieved of the new burden coming away, Jason, switching off the light and closing the door.
It was then, a small voice came. "…Welcome indeed, boy…"