Samara the Witch

Prologue


Richard Morgan was packing all the things he still had in Shelter Mountain Inn, preparing to leave the next day. There was nothing left here for him. Anna was dead; he'd seen her body. It hadn't been a pretty sight after she'd thrown herself from a cliff, but it was definitely her. They said it was suicide. But Richard knew better, he knew the girl had done this. He was glad to finally be rid of her. No one had found Samara yet, but Richard knew she was gone. It had been days since he'd seen that thought seemed to come too soon. He gasped as he saw one of those awful images again, in his mind and not his eyes. A ring of light above him in a dark place, a small and pale hand that felt like his but wasn't. He knew whose it was; the truth came to him, a truth he didn't like but couldn't deny. Samara was alive.

He walked outside, needing some air, unsure of what to do. He knew Samara was alive. He knew where she was; there was only one place he knew like the dark place she had shown him. It was the well, where she used to stand and sing. She had been afraid of the well, Richard knew, afraid of falling, but she'd liked to see the tree, with the leaves of fire.

He could save her. He could help her out of the well. Or he could do nothing and let her die. The answer should have come easily. Samara had been adopted, but they'd raised her from a newborn almost; she was their child. Even if she hadn't been, why would he want to let anyone die, least of all a child? But he knew what she could do, what she had done, what she was still doing. Those pictures... the things she'd show you. It was enough to drive anyone insane. That was why Anna was dead. And he found it more than likely that was why Samara was dying - Anna had done this. But something seemed to be pushing him towards the former option.

The well was only a little way from there cabin. The top of it was closed, but Richard swore he could feel a presence just beneath it. He pushed the top of the well over, and looked down inside. He hadn't quite been expecting that the girl would be so close. She was right below him on the wall, climbing. Her hands were slipping and barely hanging on. Richard considered leaving her to fall, but again he didn't. He grabbed her wrist and hauled her out, dropping her unceremoniously onto the ground. As soon as he touched her, he was bombarded with images. God, those pictures! How was she doing it?

Samara sat coughing and shivering. Her skin was pale, tinted slightly blue.

"D-Daddy?" She asked. Richard started walking away, back into the cabin. He needed a phone. He should call an ambulance. There wasn't anything else he could do.

He hands shook as he picked up the telephone and held it to his face and dialled 911. "Hello? It's my daughter, I think she's hypothermic. She needs an ambulance." He still didn't even know why he was helping her. He hated her - it was because of her that Anna was dead. But despite that, he wasn't a bad person. He couldn't leave a child to die. So instead, he sat, and waited for help.


Samara opened her eyes, squinting from the bright lights above her. Where was she? Panic gripped her and she looked around wildly. She didn't know this place. She wanted to get away. This place was too bright, too empty... it reminded her of Eola, although she knew this was somewhere else.

"Samara? Are you awake?"

She looked up. Richard Morgan was sitting beside her, looking as if he'd rather be anywhere else but there. But still, he was there. Samara hadn't expected even that. She never expected anyone to help her; they all hated her.

"Daddy? I'm cold," Samara said. "Where am I? Why did she do that to me?"

"You're in the hospital," Richard said, choosing not to answer her second question. Maybe he didn't really know the answer.

"Where's Mommy?"

"She killed herself." Richard wouldn't say any more on the subject. There was a short knock on the door, and a woman appeared in the doorway.

"Mr. Morgan? Visiting hours are over. We request that you leave now." Richard stood up, and walked out of the room, slinging his coat, over his shoulder as he left.

"Are you alright Samara? Do you need anything?" Samara looked at the nurse as though she could burn a whole in her skull. If only looks could kill – no, it was better that they didn't. But she would anyway, Samara knew that. Her doctors at Eola had all met with mysterious deaths. She hoped that this one would be okay.

"No," she said, not specifying which question she was answering. The nurse seemed to recognise that she didn't want to speak to anyone now, and left. That was clever of her. A lot didn't, and that ended up making Samara mad. Nothing good ever happened when Samara got angry.


A few days later, Samara sat in the car on their way home. The scenery ran by outside the windows in quick flashes of green, but nothing was really holding her attention. She was thinking about those three days she'd spent in the well. It had been the worst time of her life, but she had felt relief when she'd finally gotten out. After three days. Three days in that nightmarish place. It almost seemed like a good thing she was going back to the barn. Anything would be better than that place, where all she had felt was anger and pain, and helplessness.

She wished she could go somewhere better. Somewhere that not everyone hated her. But that could never happen, not to Samara. Still, there was no harm in wishing.