Author

Shadows Of Guta 340-359

Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 359) Spooked

The other men say their good nights to each other as Stephen pulls his wallet out of his pant pocket to pay for his drinks. He received several envelopes of currency at the funeral and is thankful he is carrying it with him tonight.

“No need,” says the bartender as he takes the key to the door out of his cash drawer. “Toborc picked up your bill, you are paid in full.”

“Oh, I had no idea.” Stephen says with surprise.

“He’s a good man, a friend for life kind of guy.” The bartender flips a switch on the wall, which shuts the lights off near the door. “I do not mean to throw you out, but it is time to lock up.”

“Oh, yes, right.” Stephen says as he stands up.

“You spooked about their ghost stories?” The bartender asks but does not give Stephen a chance to reply. “Don’t be, those tales have been handed down for generations and have probably grown into something bigger than they actually are. It’s the twisted minds of parents who make up such nonsense to keep you home at night.”

“Yeah. . . well, I better get going.” Stephen says as he slowly walks to the door.

“Thanks for stopping by!” The bartender says as he follows so he can lock up for the night.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 358) Be Safe

Stephen knows he should be heading back to the manor, but the path he took into town was much longer than the hike through the woods. However, after hearing the tales of the Guta, he dare not attempt to travel home in the dark, not after what happened last night. At this point in the evening, he truly feels trapped here by his own fear and the validation of such a nightmarish beast.

“I think he’s a bit under the weather.” The bartender says as he removes the empty glass from Stephen’s hand.

“Ah, you can stay with me if you need a place to rest your head.” Fernec says loudly. “My wife is used to me bringing home strays!”

Fernec grins as he looks at the bartender for a laugh to the joke, but his comment is greeted with a stern unemotional and uninterested stare. Fernec’s smile fades and he clears his throat.

“No, I’ll be fine.” Stephen assures them but in his mind, he has no clue of his next move.

“All of us need to be getting on our way if that wind is bringing in a storm.” Toborc directs. “Be safe, Mike.”

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 357) Cutoff

Several hours have passed since Stephen first stepped foot inside the bar and the local men have had as much to drink as the bartender will allow. Surprisingly they are not upset when he tells them enough is enough. Obviously, this is a normal routine for them and they accept the fact that cutoff time has arrived. Stephen rubs his eyes for they are now feeling the burn of too many waking hours as well as the numbing effects of alcohol.

“Hope we didn’t spook you too much there, Mike.” Toborc says as he pats Stephen on the back. “At least we ended things on a lighter note, yes boys?” He yells as the men cheer. “You staying here in town or do you need a ride somewhere?”

“What? Oh, I. . . “ Stephen finds himself stammering over his words.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 356) Hideous

Finally, after Zsofia’s second attempt at gaining her brother’s attention, Tamas stops and looks at her. The expression on his face is vague and distant as if he does not recognize where he is. Noticing his odd behavior, and with the words spoken by Klara still fresh in her mind, Zsofia rushes toward Tamas.

“Are you okay?” She questions as she takes his hand and forces him to look her in the eyes.

“Your hands are cold, Tamas. We need to go inside.” She says as she slowly turns him around but he looks back and shakes his head no. “Yes, we are going inside, I brought you some of your favorite tea.”

She smiles now that he is responding to her and together they enter the house. With one last glance at the darkening woods, Zsofia pulls the door shut. Rarely does she click the lock into position, but tonight because of what Klara spoke of and the strange actions of Tamas just now, she feels it is best to do so.

As the evening turns to night and natural light fades to darkness, many stories are told by the men at the bar. Some are funny, some edgy and sad, but none are as fearful to Stephen as the dreaded Guta. Even now, with laughter from the men booming out into the room due to a story deserving of such a reaction, nothing calms Stephen’s nerves. He cannot suppress the terror he feels from the earlier confirmation of such a hideous creature as the Guta.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 355) Let’s Go Inside

Klara’s hold, as she stands in a trance state, almost becomes too much for Zsofia to tolerate. The old woman then looks behind her and releases Zsofia’s hand as she taps her cane hard on the ground three times. Without another word, she hurriedly, in her crumpled position, walks in the direction of her strange little shop.

“But wait Klara, what do you mean about Tamas?” Zsofia says loudly so Klara can hear her over the increasing wind but she does not receive a response. “Okay, have a good evening.” She says to herself as she looks up at the darkening sky and continues up the road in the direction of her home.

As Zsofia approaches her house, she finds her grandfather and Tamas in the yard securing several pieces of lawn furniture from the quickening wind. Tamas looks up, spotting his sister and smiles as he jumps up and down.

“I think it is going to be a stormy night.” She says as she runs up to help in their mission.

“Yes and we didn’t prepare very well now did we.” Laszlo yells as he lays a chair on its back on the ground. “That should do it, let’s get inside now to take shelter.”

As Zsofia looks up, she sees Tamas slowly walking toward the row of trees where the forest begins.

“Tamas!” She yells but he acts as if he does not hear her so she repeats his name. “Tamas, let’s go inside!”

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 354) His Friend

“You wonder if he likes you.” Klara states as fact. “And you are worried about him, yes?” Her voice cracks.

“Yes, to both.” Zsofia grins with embarrassment as she looks up at the trees that are now blowing wildly from the wind. “He is alone here and some odd things have happened lately adding a bit of confusion to things.” She looks to Klara for a comment but does not receive one. “I have not had a chance to talk to him about it either.” Zsofia leans down to look into the old woman’s eyes and asks, “Why are you so interested?”

With eyes squinted, Klara looks up at Zsofia for several seconds, then her expression changes rather drastically as she shakes her head from side to side.

“You need to speak with Tamas, make him stay home; his friend is not what he thinks it to be!” Klara says with urgency as the wind swirls around them and she grabs Zsofia’s hand. “No, no, something horrible will happen! You must not let him wander off alone!”

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 353) Then And Now

Zsofia has known Klara her entire life for you cannot live in such a small place without knowing practically everyone. Members of the town seem to put up with the old woman but to most, she is an outcast and not the type of person to associate with. However, Zsofia never understood such treatment of anyone and has always enjoyed her conversations, as strange as they may be, with the elderly woman.

“Has my tea order come in yet dear?” Klara asks as she lifts her head slightly as if sniffing something on the wind.

“No, not yet. I hope to have it by the end of the week though.” Zsofia smiles as she watches Klara’s odd behavior. “Are you feeling alright?”

“Yes, are you?” Klara questions as she looks up at her. “You like that Pap boy, don’t you? You liked him then and now, correct?” She questions as she grins.

“Ha ha, yes Klara. Once again you have read me well.” Zsofia laughs for this is not the first conversation she and the old woman have had about her secrets.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 352) You As Well

“So answer my question Tiborc.” The bartender yells from the doorway. “The Guta, is there a way to stop it?”

All the men move back to their huddle like little boys at a campfire telling ghost stories fearing unseen ears may hear their conversation. All are standing and looking to Tiborc, the eldest member of the group, for the answer. He watches as the bartender steps back behind the counter and then clears his throat.

“From all the stories handed down, I do not recall ever hearing of anyone stopping such an attack.” Tiborc looks down at his empty glass and sighs as the men stand in a moment of silence.

Evening is approaching quickly with the wind of a storm as Zsofia locks the door to the teahouse and begins her walk home. As she passes the last few shops before leaving town, Klara steps up next to her.

“Hello, young lady.” Klara says in her weak and shaking voice.

“Good evening, Klara.” Zsofia replies as she stops to acknowledge her. “Looks like a storm is on its way, you should get inside.”

“You as well, darling.” The old woman grins.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 351) Targets You

“Ok ok, but I have a question.” The bartender says quickly.

“Alright,” says Tiborc as he leans on the bar. “What is your question?”

“Can it be stopped?” The bartender asks as he looks at Tiborc. “This thing, the Guta, is there a way to stop it once it targets you?”

The men all begin talking at once and Stephen cannot make out a single word. Suddenly the door to the bar flings open as a strong gust of wind rushes into the room causing all conversations to cease immediately. Standing there like frightened boys, no one moves until the bartender tosses his hand towel onto the bar.

“We must have a storm blowing in.” He says as he walks across the room and closes the door to the outside world.

It is now obvious the evening hours are approaching and Stephen cannot believe he has sat here at this bar for this long. It seems like only minutes but as he tries to clear his mind of the continuous flow of beer, he realizes the entire afternoon is gone.

Ex351

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 350) Quick Slur

Stephen stands up so quickly from the stool he was sitting on that he gains the bartender’s attention.

“Hey, you okay?” The bartender questions as he moves toward Stephen.

“Yeah, I um. . . I guess I just don’t like talking about how people die.” Stephen says quickly hoping his reaction does not come across as odd to the men. The last thing he needs is for everyone to start pointing fingers at him. The authorities would surely take him in for further questioning, and in what little research they would do, could gain access to his extensive past and mental health issues. He sits back down and rests his arms on the bar.

“I’m with Mike on this.” Ferenc says in a quick slur. “I don’t want to hear anymore about it either.”

He waves his hand out in a straight line from right to left, and then puts his arm across Stephen’s shoulders, leaning on him in a drunken stance. It is all Stephen can do to stay upright on the stool under this man’s wobbling pressure.

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