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Shadows Of Guta 360-379

Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 379) May Be Lost

“Oh, I just. . .” Zsofia pauses as she fights the lump of tension forming in her throat. “I just don’t know if he likes me the way I like him.” She blinks quickly trying to stop the free-flowing emotions as she reaches out and holds Tamas by the hand. “I’m tired too which makes me a little more emotional.” She smiles. “Do not worry about it, okay?” She says happily, as she tries to cover her true feelings but Tamas continues to look at her with concern. “Go to sleep dear brother, I’ll see you in the morning.”

Zsofia smiles at Tamas as she leaves his room and pauses to look in on her grandfather before going back to her own bed. Once under the covers, she stares up at the ceiling and thinks about the kiss she and Stephen shared while sitting by the beautiful large window of the manor. She could tell something was growing between them but now fears, even with Kate’s death, that those feelings may be lost in the circumstances surrounding her mysterious demise. A single tear trickles out of the corner of her eye and runs down the side of her face. Just before it hits the pillow, she brushes it away with her finger.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 378) Tears Flow

The last time Zsofia actually spoke with Stephen was the day Kate barged in causing a delightful afternoon to end on a very sour note. Zsofia still feels the hurtful pangs of watching Kate kiss Stephen and the awkwardness when he did not immediately stop her. To Zsofia, she almost feels as if she herself was in the wrong and had overstepped her bounds.

She knows nothing of Stephen’s relationship with Kate or any of the details that led up to Kate’s demise. In her heart, she knows Stephen had nothing to do with the death of his ex-girlfriend, but she also feels a sense of loss for the connection she and Stephen made just before Kate arrived. She feels a great deal of sadness that what was building between them has ceased and may not be repairable.

Leaning up in bed, Tamas reaches over and wipes a tear from his sister’s cheek. Zsofia knew she was in deep thought, but had no idea she was beginning to cry, and the kindness from Tamas makes her tears flow even more.

“Why are you. . . sad?” Tamas says as tears begin to form in his eyes as well.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 377) All Day

Coming down the hallway is Tamas, rubbing his eyes and smiling wide. Just as Zsofia suspected, the noises from outside have stirred him so she goes to him and takes his hand.

“You should be in bed,” she says as she puts her arm around him. “The wind is loud, isn’t it?” She questions.

“Loud,” he says in a voice that could be described the same causing Zsofia to laugh as she puts her hand over his mouth.

“Shhh, you’ll wake grandfather.” She whispers but still laughs at the irony of it all, which causes Tamas to grin.

Together they walk down the hall as quietly as possible and Tamas crawls into bed and under his covers. Zsofia sits in a chair next to him to make sure he falls asleep before she attempts to go back to her room.

“Steeee. . . van?” Tamas says as a question and follows it with, “Friends?”

“Yes, he is our friend.” Zsofia smiles because she is currently, and has been all day, thinking about him constantly.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 376) Out Of Bed

“Damn Kate.” Stephen says under his breath. “She ruined everything.” He whispers as he opens his eyes. “Do they think I killed her?” He questions in a mumble as he closes his eyes once again. “Do they think I was going to kill the woman tonight?” He recalls the Guta sitting on the bed with the couple. “I was trying to save her. . . god I hope I saved her.” He says softly as he leans back even further and drifts off to sleep.

The wind outside continues to blow as clouds thicken the sky above. Zsofia awakens from a dream she cannot remember, but she knows she is afraid. Looking around her dark room, she pulls the covers up over her shoulders and lets her eyes focus on the obscure lighting. She is at that state when depth perception is a little off and simple things begin to look distorted, or as if they are moving.

“Tamas?” She questions as she tries to see if he may be in the room.

With the wind howling outside causing the windows and house to pop and creak, she fears this may have awakened him as well. If so, he may be frightened or unable to fall back to sleep. Sitting up in bed, Zsofia turns the lamp on that is sitting next to her on a small table. As expected, she finds herself alone in the bedroom but hears movement in the hallway.

“Tamas?” She asks again as she gets out of bed and quickly walks over to her open door.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 375) Depressed

“I just want it all to end, just make it end.” Stephen mumbles to himself as he closes his eyes to rest them from the bright lights of the small room. “When did I last sleep?” He mumbles as he feels himself relaxing.

The alcohol he drank earlier is still distorting his thoughts and a depressed state of mind seems to have come to the forefront. It has only been days since he came here completely excited to have, finally after many years, the chance to explore the massive structure that has intrigued him for so long. What was it he hoped to gain? His parents are gone, grandparents too. He has no siblings and only one of his great-aunts is still living as well as a handful of aging extended family members. After she passes, there is no immediate family, no next of kin and no connection. Nothing, he will be isolated from the rest of the world.

Tamas is like a little brother to him, or so that is how he believes he feels, but most of all he and Zsofia made a correlation. Meeting her and getting to know her has been a bright light in his dark and desolate life. Then there is Kate.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 374) Bleak

As the car stops Stephen looks up and now realizes how painful his arms and wrists feel due to the handcuffs. Another officer opens Stephen’s door as the driver steps out of the car. Without words, all three men walk into the small building where one escorts Stephen to a cell and then removes the handcuffs. The men begin speaking to one another as the metal door is locked, leaving Stephen alone in his own thoughts.

They have not taken any of his personal belongings from him and even through Stephen has never been jailed in the past, he finds it odd to still have his keys, wallet, a small knife, and even his pills with him. Looking around the cell and out at the men who are now in an adjacent room, he slowly and quietly manages to pull one of his pills from its container swallowing it quickly.

Feeling alone, not just here in the small room but alone in the world, he believes his future is as bleak as it has ever been. Taking a seat on the small cot he leans back against the wall hoping the pill will take effect quickly. The thumping sound of his beating heart is loud in his ears as are the voices of two officers.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 373) No Merit

The way the beast was looking at Stephen, was odd to say the least, and it seemed awestruck that he could see it. He wonders why, if this is the case, why is it he can see this creature but no one else can? Why does he have such a connection and an apparent one from an early age? The first time he saw this thing was at the age of nine and the wretched beast has haunted his nightmares and waking hours ever since.

As he and the officer pull up to the police station, his nerves begin to elevate and he now realizes how serious this situation is. He has no one here to help him and he is unsure of how long the authorities will detain him at the jail. Most of all, he wonders what exactly it is they feel he has done wrong? Stephen shakes his head as he looks down at his shoes and thinks to himself.

What will Zsofia think of him now, if she even cares? Her grandfather has had it out for him all along and this is just another reason to push him away from the Eszes family. Surely now, after this display of erratic and crazy behavior, the people will deem him insane as the town fool. After all, he was banging on a window, yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs at something that was not there. As far as the individuals who came to assist know, the woman was simply having a heart attack. There is no merit in the loud display Stephen was creating.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 372) Eye Contact

Anxiously looking around at the many faces of those who have gathered here, Stephen does not recognize anyone, nor does he see the repulsive creature lurking anywhere. Now that an officer is behind the wheel, they are about to leave the scene. Just as the car begins to pull away, he sees two men carrying the woman out of her home and they place her in a vehicle to transport her for medical care. Her husband follows and glances up, making eye contact with Stephen and holding that connection, as he watches the police take Stephen away.

The dark and silent drive to the police station has Stephen’s mind whirling with fear and thankfulness at the same time. His greatest fear comes from the encounter with the demon that now seems to be fascinated with him, but also of now becoming incarcerated in a foreign country for an act of violence he did not commit. The way the husband looked at him concerns him as well for he does not know what the man has told the authorities.

He is very thankful for drawing attention to the house, which he hopes saved the woman from a painful death. However, most of all and in what he feels is a selfish act; he feels the commotion saved him from a direct encounter with the demon. If others had not shown up, he could very well have become the next deceased member of the Pap family.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 371) Tremble

With a giggle, as if it knew exactly what Stephen was thinking, the Guta grins and nibbles harder at its own fingernails, spitting the shreds out as it bites off little pieces. Again, this strange creature grins and laughs louder as it pushes its head forward then squints its eyes as if angry. Stephen turns his head to the side, closing his eyes as fear begins to take over. He starts to tremble for he knows this monster is there, within inches of him.

“Hey, you alright?” The officer holding Stephen down asks.

He can feel the tremors moving uncontrollably through Stephen’s body and he rolls him over on his back to look at him. Now holding Stephen’s chin, the officer gently shakes his head and repeats the question.

“Are you okay?” He asks clearly concerned.

“No, I. . .” Stephen begins to speak but he cannot seem to explain himself as he closes his eyes tight.

The officer yells at another man and they both pull Stephen to his feet as he feverishly looks around for any sign of the creature. With his body shaking in fear and his eyes scouring the crowd, some may believe he is having a seizure. Still in handcuffs, the men escort him to a car where they place him in the back seat, check his pulse, and cover him in a blanket before shutting the door. Quickly, an officer gets in and starts the engine.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 370) Awestruck

Sitting there staring at Stephen is a beast who closely resembles the creature the old woman spoke of. During his encounter with the men at the bar, it was given a name. In talking with them and hearing the stories they told, he knows without a doubt that the monster here in the yard, the one that was pounding its fists down on the poor woman in bed, is indeed the demon they spoke of.

The long thin limbs of the beast are out of proportion compared to its body as it sits in a squatting position. Appearing to be intrigued by Stephen, it lifts its left hand to its mouth, and nibbles at its fingers much like a nervous child. The creatures face is expressionless and its gaze composed as it watches Stephen as if awestruck and in deep thought.

Stephen knows he is in an extremely vulnerable position with his hands clasped by a police officer’s cuffs. Possibly the only thing saving him from a torrent of abuse is the fact that the officer is there with him, holding him down. Yet, just like the woman in the arms of her husband, it would not matter to this tormentor.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 369) Debilitated

Sharp pain runs across Stephen’s shoulders and his arms ache as he feels a knee pressing firmly onto his back. Cold metal handcuffs clamp around his wrists and a hand presses against his neck holding him in place. The thought of being confined and debilitated frightens him, for what if the creature attacks him while in this state. What if it comes for him and he cannot defend himself?

There are so many people talking and moving around that Stephen cannot focus on any single voice. One thing he does know for sure is that the woman in the house is no longer screaming. To him this can mean one of two things. Either she is dead or still alive but severely injured. Two men very near him are speaking to each other with angst, but since Stephen’s ability to translate is minimal, he does not understand a word they are saying.

Moving slightly, he tries to turn his head to look in the direction of the house but the pressure from the man holding his neck is too strong. The more he attempts to move, the harder the man pushes. Finally, he manages to wiggle and shift just enough to press his chin into the dirt and to view his surroundings.

There in front of Stephen, within arm’s length, sits what he believes to be the Guta.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 368) People Gather

The woman in the house is thrashing around wildly while looking to her husband for help, she cries out in pain, and it does not appear that she can see her tormentor. In fact, Stephen knows she is blind to it for it is the same as he remembers. The bedroom might as well be full of people and no one there would see the murderous beast. With tears forming in his eyes, Stephen knows he must not give up.

“He’s going to kill her!” Stephen screams just before he feels someone grab him from behind and violently push him to the ground with such force he loses his breath.

Lying on the damp grass with cold moist dirt shoved to the right side of his face, Stephen hears the cries from the woman inside the house. Unfortunately, he is facing the other direction and cannot see what is happening but he now hears more voices as people gather in the yard.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 367) Befuddled

The woman lets out an appalling scream as she feels the next two blows hitting her chest and ribs but she does not appear to be fighting back. Instead, a look of shock comes across her face as she looks up at the ceiling of the bedroom. The man next to her finally awakens from his wife’s cries for help and he immediately turns toward her taking her into his arms but the beast continues to punch at her.

“Stop it! Stop him!” Stephen yells as he bangs his fist on the glass so hard that a long crack forms across the bottom half of the window.

The befuddled man is trying to focus on his wife but at the same time is watching as Stephen, a stranger, speaking a different language than his own, frantically bashes his fists against their bedroom window. Still sitting in the bed, the man pulls at his wife as she frantically grabs for him much like a person would if drowning.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 366) Lunacy

Rearing up from the squatting position to standing straight up, the ghastly being looks at Stephen and silently its lips begin to curl upward into a broad smile. A giggling hiss of short little breaths and wheezes escapes through its open mouth as it takes on a childlike appearance. It is not a look of innocence and playfulness but of murderous lunacy. Swiftly, a wild and vicious gleam comes over its face and Stephen recognizes the stance immediately.

“No, you can’t do this!” Stephen yells as he pounds at the glass just as the first thrust comes down onto the woman’s chest with great force.

She lunges forward, jolted out of her peaceful rest, and her eyes open wide as the deformed creature raises back for the next hit. It is clear she is confused and instead of looking at the beast causing her pain, she looks over at Stephen.

“No! Stop!” Stephen screams as he again bangs on the window in a repetitious way hoping to stir the man awake.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 365) Forthcoming

The man in the bed begins to roll from his side to his back and the creature lowers its hands down as if praying. Not turning completely around, but by tipping its head slightly, it watches the man closely with eerie precision. As the man continues to stir, the monster slowly turns and leans down nearly touching the man with its nose. Slowly this obtrusive and ugly thing places its long bony finger to its own lips as it lets out a long drawn out sound that Stephen can even hear through the closed window.

“Shhhhhhh,” It hisses with a liquid gurgling tone as it watches the man meticulously.

Once the spouse has settled into his sleep, the creature redirects its focus back to the woman. With a shift to its stance on the bed, it squats low and once again lifts its clasped hands high above its head. Peering down at the woman, it watches her face for a reaction but she is unaware of what is about to happen to her. Both she and her husband are sleeping peacefully without any knowledge that their lives are in forthcoming danger.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 364) Detached

Stephen lunges toward the window but this does not deter the demon from the pleasure it takes in its torment. Looking over at the window, the beast contorts its hideous face into a smile that sickens Stephen causing him to gasp for air. His stomach is churning and a rush of nausea nearly doubles him over for this thing has acknowledged his presence and is in no way bothered by him.

With his hands on the pane of glass and fingers spread wide, Stephen stands mesmerized by the unearthly movements of the creature. It has a detached appearance, as if each limb, finger, and toe moves independently but most of all its eyes, dark and dead, are completely fixed on him for the moment.

Stephen gathers himself as he realizes the woman in the bed is in imminent danger and before he can make a move, the beast lifts his arms up high. Holding its hands together in a tight fist, it stops and takes the time to look at Stephen. It begins to laugh, not in a jovial manner but with cruelty and deceit, and hard enough to cause the bed to shake.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 363) It Creeps

An evil smile forms on the monster’s nasty little face as it begins to crawl on all fours, like a tricky cat, toward the woman. Stephen recognizes the demon as the one and the same that took his grandfather from him. It does not appear to be older or younger, nor has it changed in any other way. Thin and bony with sagging folds of skin, it creeps along between the man and woman as if trying to sneak up to its prey.

Stopping near the top of the bed, its black eyes glimmer from within, and that hideous thing smiles wide as if about to burst into laughter. It rubs its hands together, much like one would if preparing for a feast and just as it reaches out toward the woman and places its hand on her chest, Stephen yells out.

“No!” He says loudly as if try to stop it yet not wake the couple from their sleep.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 362) Twisted Grin

Stopping to lean on a fence post near a house, Stephen looks around to see if he is alone or if anyone has noticed him moving about. It is at this moment he freezes in place, for what he sees through a hazy glass window is as terrifying as any nightmare he has had while sleeping or awake. Without blinking or looking away, he steps around the fence and walks up to the window hoping his eyes are merely playing tricks on his impressionable mind.

With dim lighting seeping into the bedroom from the hallway, Stephen is witness to a horrific sight as he stops inches from the glass. In the bed, a man and woman are both lying on their backs and sound asleep. This in itself is nothing out of the ordinary, but in this same room is a small crooked creature with its twisted grin and shiny red texture that is far from normal. It is sitting at the foot of the bed, tugging at the bed sheet in short jerking movements until the man rolls over facing away from his spouse.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 361) Staggers

“I’ve got to get to the manor.” Stephen mumbles with gritted teeth as he begins to walk up the incline that will lead him out of town.

The shop windows that he passes along the way, are dark and reflective of the glints of moonlight that are now fading at a faster rate. Soon the sky is black and with sparsely placed street lamps along the way, Stephen has lost the artificial security of their glow. Up ahead, several houses sit aligned in neat rows and he knows that once he passes this small plot of land, the rest of his trip with be in total darkness.

Blowing on his hands once again for warmth, he reaches down and flips his collar up to cover the back of his neck, but this does little to warm him. Clasping the zipper of his jacket, he zips it all the way up to the top, and then stuffs his tingling hands into his pockets. Stepping beyond the final store in the row of buildings, a blast of wind howls across the street and as it pushes its way past him, he staggers to stay upright.

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Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 360) Longest One

Moist air dampens the ground as dusk elapses into nighttime and a heavy gloom encroaches upon the small village. The wet shiny bricks and stones of the buildings look cold and dismal in the low light as Stephen steps out into the night. A shiver takes hold of him as he lifts his hands to his mouth and blows the warmth of his breath out to warm them.

With the clicking sound of a bolt slipping into place, the bartender secures the door from the inside. Oddly enough, it seems to echo loudly in the thick air. Stephen looks back at the solid door now feeling alone and vulnerable as he wonders which direction to take. His goal is to make it home and the only plausible route in his mind is the longest one. It will take him up the road to the private drive instead of the twisted paths of the woods between the manor and Zsofia’s house.

Stepping onto the deserted street, he looks left and right and is surprised that no one else appears to be out. He realizes it is late, but he did not expect the town to be completely quiet. Off in the distance he hears the hoot of an owl, which sounds as distant and lonely as he feels. Clouds are thickening overhead as the moon flickers and dims in response to the passing vapors.

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