A monitor in a kitchen flickers rapidly with distorted images. Voices speaking an unknown language can be heard on an intercom. Jacob Hollowood, a white-haired man in his early sixties, enters loading a pump shotgun. He looks over at the monitor, chambers a round, and exits through the back door.
The night sings with crickets, and the sky twinkles with distant stars which light Jacob’s path as he moves quickly toward a barn. As he gets close he sees what appears to be a young Native American girl near the entrance. Jacob yells at her “Hey”! The girl stares at him and then walks around the corner of the barn out of sight. He follows her but is only greeted with darkness.
Jacob continues to investigate the outside of the barn until he notices the night has gone silent. Not one cricket, bird, or night creature can be heard. A man’s voice comes from inside the barn directing Jacob’s attention back to the trespassers.
As Jacob enters the barn the voice goes silent and the night sounds return. Jacob tries the barn lights, nothing happens. He pulls out a small flashlight, lights the area where he heard the voice, and raises his shotgun “Hello”?, says Jacob “Who’s there”? Only silence responds. Jacob begins searching stall by stall noticing the horses being unusually skittish.
A sudden chill grips Jacob’s spine. He spins around illuminating an old angry-looking Native American Man. Startled, Jacob drops his flashlight and fires at the old Indian. As he does the overhead lights come back on revealing an empty barn.
Jacob bursts into the kitchen through the back door, sets his shotgun on the table, grabs a bottle, a glass, and pours himself a drink. He visibly shacks as he downs the glass of bourbon. He looks over at the barn monitor that is now working perfectly. There’s no sign of the old Native American.
Jacob lies passed out on his bed. A half-empty bottle sits on an end table. He jolts awake to find a dark figure sitting in a chair at the end of his bed. Jacob panics knocking over the bottle as he reaches for a gun that isn’t there. “It wouldn’t have helped away.”, says the ominous shade in a dark deep voice. Jacob reaches for the light. “I wouldn’t do that. You won’t like what you see.”, normally Jacob would ignore such a threat, but there was something in the way this uninvited guest said the warning. Instead, he lies back against the headboard of the bed.
“Who the hell are you?”, asks Jacob.
“You wound me.”, says the shade “We’re old friends you and I”.
“Are you here to kill me?”, asks Jacob.
“Kill you? You’re much too delicious for that.”, says the shade, “In reality, I’m here to help you”.
“What do I need help with?”, asks Jacob.
“The barn.”, says the shade.
“What about it?”, says Jacob.
“It’s annoying when you play dumb Jacob.", says the shade “You know perfectly well there is something not right about it.”
“Yeah, How are YOU going to help?”, Jacob says dismissively.
“I’m going to warn you about your guilt. You’re going to die if you give in to it and the girl will lead the way to your death.”, says the shade.
“Yeah, what the hell do you care?”, says Jacob “Like I said. I find you delicious.”, says the shade.
“Right.”, says Jacob.
“Very well, it’s your choice not to listen.” With that Jacob dashes for the light switch. Before he reaches the light he glimpses the face of the dark shade. Its white eyes and shark-like teeth striking such terror in him he passes out. Light floods the room.
Jacob is jolted awake with the sound of a crow cawing and sunlight shining through the window. He quickly looks toward the end of his bed only to find an empty room. He begins to feel a pounding in his head. “That’s the last time I drink bourbon.”, he says to himself.
Jacob feels fear crawling around in the back of his mind as he paces back and forth in the kitchen. He takes out his phone and places a call.
“Hello Dr. Miller.”, says Jacob “This is Jacob Hollowood. I’m experiencing some problems with the medication. It doesn’t seem to be working. I’m beginning to hallucinate again. Could you give me a call back as soon as you get this message?”
Jacob’s head throbs as he places his phone on the kitchen table and his head in his hands. He looks up at the clock, which reads five A.M., and then over at the barn monitor.
“Time for chores.”, he says out loud to no one in particular. Jacob places his phone in his pocket, picks himself up, and shuffles out the back door.
As Jacob enters the barn he sits down on a bale of hay.
“I’m glad you’re here today.”, says Jacob, “We’ve known each other for many years and there’s something I need to tell you.”
Jacob shifts uncomfortably on his makeshift seat. “On my last contract, I was paid to take out a local tribal leader on a reservation that was causing trouble for a client. Something to do with oil.”
Thunder can be heard in the distance. “Anyway, I had just crossed the border when a storm hit hard. The rain started coming down so hard I couldn’t see three feet in front of me. The last thing I remember, I swerved to miss this cow in the road, and lost control of the car. Jacob pauses and listens to the thunder. ”I haven’t liked cows ever since.
” Lightning can be seen in the distance.
“When I woke up I found I had been taken in by a local family. I guess the roads were washed out and they couldn’t get any other help to me. I wasn’t injured, but my car was at the bottom of a thirty-foot ravine.
The skies rumble and distant flashes of light can be seen from the open door.
“I didn’t know it then, but in the week I spent with this family I would experience the most serenity I’ve ever felt in my life. A week of pure bliss. I had never experienced anything like it. It was like a glimpse of how we were should be living. One of the biggest reasons I bought this farm was to try to recapture that week.”
Jacob smiled as he recalls his time with the family. “They had a large garden in the back of their home from which they got all of their food. Nothing was bought from the store even eggs came from their own chickens. They had two young daughters who would help their mother collect berries and eggs for breakfast in the mornings. I can almost taste the berries now. They were sweeter than any berry I’ve ever tasted.” The wind picks up as the lightning gets closer. Jacob stares out at the coming storm.
“When I was six I had this space ship I carried around everywhere with me. A local bully stole it from me and blew it up with a pack of firecrackers. I told the girls this story and a couple of days later they had made me a spaceship key chain.”
Jacob pulls out his keys and shows off his spaceship.
“I still have it.”
As he holds the spaceship in his hand his eyes begin to tear up. “Later that week they found my car and towed it up. I had almost forgotten about my contract.”Jacob begins to shake.
“When I open the packet and saw the name. I felt all the blood rush from my body. I went cold.” Jacob can’t hold back the tears anymore and begins to sob.
“They didn’t just want one target. They wanted the whole family. The very family I was staying with.” Jacob sobs uncontrollably.
“I deserve all the Hell I have experienced and more. For all the beauty I took from this world. For all the beauty I took from myself.”
Jacob wipes his tears, stands to his feet, and looks into the eyes of his confessor.
“You’re a good friend.” A horse stares back at him.
Thunder booms so loud it rattles the window. Lightning strikes close by in a field. Rain begins to fall hard. The horses become skittish. Jacob looks over at the open barn door to see a young girl standing in the doorway.
“Hey.”, says Jacob. The young girl runs into the rainstorm. Jacob yells after her, “Hey! Come back!” He runs after her.
The rain pours down so hard Jacob can barely see the girl as he runs after her. He runs until the girl is suddenly swallowed up by the earth. Jacob runs over to where she disappeared to find a large sinkhole. He looks into trying to catch sight of the young girl. “Just hold on! I’m coming!”, Jacob yells into the void. He runs back and grabs a rope out of the barn, ties off the rope, and begins his descent into the sinkhole. Several feet down the walls of the hole turn into a slippery stone as if he is in an old well. As he reaches the bottom the water and mud begin pouring in rapidly. Jacob searches for the young girl. The water pours in so rapidly he can barely see.
“Hey, can you hear me!”, yells Jacob.
As Jacob feels around in the mud trying to find the girl he catches a glimpse of something at the opening of the sinkhole. He looks up to see the silhouette of a young girl. “Hey!”, he yells and begins attempting to climb the rope.
The rope is slick with mud and is difficult to grip, which causes Jacob to fall back to the muddy bottom several times. With each fall the mud becomes thicker making it more difficult to pull himself out. He grabs hard on the rope and pulls with all his remaining strength. The rope snaps and Jacob disappears below the murky water.
A young girl stands at the top of a sinkhole as the rains slow to mist. Steam rises from the ground as the sunsets.
The face of Jacob Hollowood forever looks out of a barn window. A white-eyed demon is seen in the doorway of the barn slightly hidden, eyes piercing through the darkness. The barn door slowly closes.