Future visitors to the Montville Holiday House will find the following disturbing entries in the guest book, detailing what happened to the writers who were housed there last weekend...
12 March 2009
Curious. The house is lovely, it is true. And the mist-shrouded hills, ancient and gloried in their dark, brooding forests are indeed majestic. nevertheless, I cannot help but feel - anxious. Perhaps it is merely the great storm offshore. And yet, what is it that shadows Richard’s eyes when he hears the lonely call of the cerlew by night? Why does Maxine’s hand tremble as the forg closes in like a clammy shroud? More importantly, where is Margo? What has become of Marianne?
There are mysteries here. This green and pleasant landscape - it is the smile on the face of the serial killer, think. The bones of this earth are old, and they have seen much; too much, I fear.
I am anxious, yes. I believe I shall have to watch Trent carefully tonight. I did not like the sounds he made under his breath as the sun sank below the mountains, and a moonless darkness swallowed the world.
13 March 2009
After a sumptuous dinner of wanton chicken soup and Thai beef salad, followed by melon and ginger fruit cocktail and sweet lemon tarts, we rose in expectation of our breakfast to discover that Dirk has abandoned us in the night.
Where can he have gone? Did the strange sounds in the night affright him away? Is one of us responsible?
More importantly, who will cook my pancakes?
Oh, the rain drums hard on the roof as if it, too, has secrets to hide.
[Open the door, open the door, open the door]
They’ve left me. They’ve gone into Maleny for lunch. I told them I wasn’t feeling well, which is true. But...
What is it about this place? Isolated, beautiful, but with an underlying sense of menace. The rain has stopped and I just caught a glimpse of sun. All I can hear is the steady drip drip drip of the verandah. Footsteps? i just went out and checked, thinking the others had come back, but no one was there. Was that a snatch of conversation? I swear...
I’m going out to see if someone’s there.
Am I going mad? What’s happening to those of us who are left? We came back after lunch and there was no sign of our dear Rowena. Only a cup of coffee on the kitchen counter, still warm. We went outside, we called and called - no answer.
We talked about it over a mysterious afternoon tea and rum - strangely left for us by our departed Dirk. Should we flee? But then, what if Rowena and Dirk returned?? And what about Tansy? She is still with us, but more in body than mind. Distracted, vague - as if she’s in some other dimension, living some other life. Her words to us are empty, curiously devoid of meaning and emotion.
I made a terrifying discovery this evening. I haven’t told the others, they’ll think I’m crazy. We were finishing dinner - chinese soup with shallots - and one small piece of shallot fell off my spoon and onto the floor under the table. i dived down to pick it up - and there was a small, neat, round hole in the floorboard, perfectly, perfectly round. I swear it hadn’t been there when we arrived!
Am I going mad? I came here to relax and recover - surely the illusions can’t have come back to me now.
Having a delightful time. The evenings in particular possess a certain calm, a soft, relaxing quiet that even the odd scream or two cannot shatter - besides, that is why I bought the ear plugs.
I wish everyone would just chill. Writers are so high strung. Hey, with Dirk and Rowena gone there is more than enough room for the rest of us.
I wish Richard would stop staring at the kitchen floor. If he wants it swept he can do it himself. I’m relaxing, damn it.
At least I can look forward to a good night’s sleep, have been having the most peculiar dreams. Spoke to Dirk last night, in my dream, of course. He was cooking dinner, a rather nice soup, although I swear it had writerly fingers in it, a good twenty or so. I asked him about it, and he turned to answer. No eyes, he had no eyes! The soup was nice though: the fingers chewy. My other dream was even more peculiar. I sat watching House, my fellow writings clawing at the windows. Horrible, I never watch House!
Damn it, Richard, I must sweep that floor.
They think I’m gone THEY THINK I’M GONE THEY THINK I’M GONE, OPEN THE DOOR OPEN THE DOOR OPEN THE DOOR OPEN THE DOOR OPEN
Saturday morning, 6am
I slept last night on the sofa. When I lay in the bottom bunk (because Rowena has not yet returned) it felt strangely crowded. As though someone else was in the bed too.
I didn’t sleep well - I kept hearing breathing outside the window, and when I finally got to sleep, Richard woke me by switching on the kitchen light. He was under the table, muttering, and trying to see through the hole in the floor. I could hear humming from Trent’s room.
Nobody is awake yet. I shall go for an early morning walk, sharing the dawn-fresh world with the sweet-chirping birds and rainbows.
I shall also check out the garden shed. There may be implements. Sharp ones.
Saturday morning, 8am
Where is everyone? I heard Richard and Trent fighting in the kitchen, chouting about sweeping and holes... couldn’t they leave the housework until a decent hour?
Now the kitchen is empty; no sign of them. Maxine is nowhere to be found. Someone has thoughtfully left a stack of pancakes on the table - can’t think who, Dirk is the only one who could cook, and he went missing days ago.
As I bite into the first mouthful of pancake, bacon and maple syrup, I hear a cry, and then a knock at the door.
Has one of my companions returned? I can head voices not, gathering around me. I could swear they were coming from under the kitchen table, but that can’t be right.
Another knock. I should get that.
Sometime later, in shaky handwriting which might belong to Tansy:
DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!!!