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The visit to Aimee and Thomas at the hospital turned out to be more informative than either Caroline nor Jason expected - they asked Aimee and Thomas about the updates on their Emilia Corin investigation, the FBI agents that just came to the inn and the whereabouts of Dr. Nguyen. And both Aimee and Thomas were willing to share with them what they knew and was not confidential: that Emilia Corin had a falling out with the whole family and broke away from them, bringing a few other members of the family with her, and the FBI agents were here as liaisons but apparently they did not really pay too much attention to the Emilia Corin case until recently, where the deaths of a few of the Corin family member showed ties to her.

 

They were however, not able to figure out who gave Aimee that paper flower. Both Caroline and Jason felt that the paper flower was somewhat special, but they were not able to tell how and why. They also checked Aimee quite thoroughly with their limited knowledge and experience of curse and evil marking detection techniques, and neither of them was able to sense anything dangerous. At first they thought it was Jianmen helping Aimee without her or Thomas knowing but the paper flower was not really his style. If it was Jianmen, it would be a folded paper sigil drawn on a piece of yellow paper with red ink.

 

After wishing Aimee and Thomas swift recovery and reminding them that they brought wonderful food from the inn, Caroline and Jason came back.

 

The next day, Jason went to the set of “The Haunting Crescent” by himself because this was his solo session for today. And he went there earlier than most people on set as he normally does. It was the only time of the day that he was allowed to enter the interior of the set, because the director and set supervisor wanted the shooting process to be as secure as possible.

 

Just when he walked into the set, he smelled a special foul smell, a little like the smell he encountered the night a lot of the staff went to the inn for food. The difference was, that the smell is stronger and nastier, almost like mixing the smell of burning tires with fully rotten meat. This caused him to rush into the interior of the set, which seemed to be the source of the smell.

 

“Hey, Jason.” one of the personal assistants to Robert greeted Jason: “You’re here early as always.”

 

“Do you smell it? The nasty smell?” Jason was worried so he did not acknowledge the greeting.

 

“No? What are you talking about?” the personal assistant appeared confused and asked some other staff on set, “Hey folks, have you smelled anything?”

 

“No.” “No.” all of the staff asked shook their heads.

 

“This is bad.” Jason looked around and said to himself, trying to find a direction where it smelled the worst, then as he walked through the place where he and Caroline saw the ghost of that slim man, he saw a shadow standing somewhere in front of him. This startled him at first but soon he realized that it was a vision, similar to the one he saw when he was at Dr. Nguyen’s apartment.

 

The shadow was that of a woman, the woman was slouching, her body was in terrible shape and covered in open wounds. Jason was facing her back, so he was able to see the deep and gnarly wounds on her back and even some of her ribs and parts of her spine. He then walked to the front of the shadow, and saw that the woman’s face was missing most of its skin and flesh, her eye sockets were empty and hollow, her nose was also missing and exposing the hole on her skull. And more freakishly, her mouth was open to an unrealistic angle where her lower jaw might have been dislocated, and what resided between her upper and lower jaws was a giant eye. The eye was turning up and down left and right like it was looking for something.

 

Seemingly not able to find whatever it was looking for, the shadow drifted towards the exit of the set. Jason immediately followed along, ignoring all the strange looks he got while doing so.

 

The shadow did not disappear even when it was out of the set - yet when it got under direct sunlight, it did start to dissipate. Jason followed it onto the street, hoping that it could last till it reaches somewhere or does something meaningful.

 

The shadow continued to drift on the street, right now it was still early, the not yet fully risen sun, the wind and the shadow made Jason feel particularly chilly on this late autumn morning.

 

The shadow stopped in front of a giant roadside garbage container that reeked of the smell of kitchen garbage and burnt paint, her arms reaching into the garbage container to grab something violently and taking them to her neck. Right now the shadow was almost completely dissipated - her next and final movement that Jason saw, was turning away and continued to drift down the street.

 

Just as Jason wondered if this gnarly looking shadow had anything to do with the ghostly man he and Caroline defeated the other day or Dr. Nguyen, he realized that the foul smell was actually quite similar.

 

“It’d better fucking not...” Jason rushed to the side of the garbage container, and the first thing he noticed was the small pools of blood on the floor and on the edge of the container, and a very small piece of torn fur with some skin attached to it on the ajar lid. Covering his nose, he looked into the garbage container.

 

There was a human hand on top of a broken garbage bag, with its skins and tissues almost completely rotten and exposing the bones and sinew underneath, and a half of a black cat’s head.

 

Jason immediately started vomiting uncontrollably. But he was able to get it under control soon enough and dialed 911.

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About the author

EgaoChan

Bio: I write to tame my imagination. I put my writing on the internet to quell my ego.

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