Nadja feels responsible for what has happened. Due to his twisted thinking, she knows Aaron murdered Carl simply because he got the better of him. Carl stopped him on the trail, had the police escort him out of town, and this no doubt triggered extreme anger within Aaron’s sickened mind.
“Here sweetie, I made fresh cinnamon rolls. You need to get something in your stomach.” Martha says softly as she hands a small plate and napkin to Nadja.
Nadja sits at a small table and looks down at her plate. She feels numb, disconnected, and she even begins to wonder if this is simply a nightmare that she can wake herself up from.
“How would I know if I was dreaming?” Nadja questions in her mind. “What if I simply need to wake up?” She pulls a small piece from the roll and places it I her mouth just as Viktor sits down across from her. “Where does the active and sleeping mind wander once we die?” She quizzes to him.
“I’m not sure.” Viktor replies honestly. “I’ve often wondered if we are just that, dreamlike, not really existing at all.” He has a questioning look on his face. “I know in most cases, my dreams are far more interesting than what I experience when awake. The events of today though, I would rather wake up from.”
“Me too.” Nadja mumbles as she glances out the window.
Many hours pass before Nadja and Viktor are notified by local authorities that they can return to the cottage, with a police officer, to gather their things.
“It will take us some time to recover the body you believe is in the collapsed tunnel.” The officer states to Nadja and Viktor as they walk the path along the ridge of the mountain.
“I have to leave for home tomorrow.” Viktor explains. “I don’t know that you should stay up here alone, at least not until they find. . . well you know what I mean.”
Nadja shakes her head yes. She knows exactly what Viktor is saying. Until Aaron’s body is recovered, and there is proof of his demise, she should not be alone.
“We will be staying at the soap factory, in the small apartment.” She explains to the officer.
“Good, I believe that is a wise choice.” The officer responds. “Now, let’s see what took place here.” He says in a low tone as he slowly pushes the unlatched door of the cottage open with his hand.
The living room chairs are overturned, blankets from the sofa thrown onto the floor and many delicate items in Josephine’s bedroom have been destroyed. Debris clutters the floors of both rooms and the doorway to the hidden room is wide open.
“I assume this is the entrance to the tunnel?” The officer questions as he steps over to look down the ladder.
“Yes, it is.” Nadja replies.
“And you both left the crumbling tunnel at the other end?” The officer asks.
“Yes.” Viktor replies.
“Then we have an intruder.” The officer says as he shines his flashlight at muddy footprints on the floor of the room below.
He then steps back and shines the light at the wooden flooring of Josephine’s room and very fine prints can be seen there as well.
“Stay here.” The officer commands.
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