At about seven in the morning (a time Ross would never normally get up at) Ross was woken up by a loud banging on the front door. He woke with a start and was momentarily unsure of where he was. He rolled out of the bed and hit the floor with a thud. Father Dime came out of his bedroom in his bedclothes and decided to answer the door before tending to Ross.
Dime opened the door and a man that Ross had seen in the crowd but didn't know barged in. The man looked terrified and in a panic. His mouth opened and closed like he was trying to say something, but just couldn't get the words out.
Dime placed a hand on the man's shoulder to try to calm him down and said, "Glen, Glen. Calm down. Just relax and think before you speak."
The man took a deep breath, let it out, then said, "Scott, something's happened. Old Bob was coming back to town after visiting his son when he saw Peaty's truck on the side of the road about two miles out. At first he just thought Peaty got drunk again and crashed, but when he got out to look… Well I can't really explain it. I think you'd better come and see."
"Alright, Glen, alright. Just let me get dressed and I'll follow you out there." Glen nodded and turned to go back out, but not before shooting Ross a dirty look.
"This probably won't be a good thing, Ross. Glen doesn't spook easily. From the sounds of things, I'd say it'd be best if you stayed here."
Ross shook his head and said, "No, Father. If it is something bad, I don't want to be blamed for it or get you in trouble for leaving me alone to make my escape. So I'm going with you."
Father Dime looked like he wanted to argue, but couldn't think of a good counterpoint. So he just nodded his head and went back to his room to get ready. A couple minuets later he came out and led Ross out to his truck. They both got in and followed Glen to the outskirts of town. They drove for two miles and then Ross saw the truck. To Ross, it didn't look like it had crashed. It looked more like Peaty had just broke down and pulled over.
They stopped behind the truck and walked up to it. He could see that the doors were closed, but the windows were down. The first thing he noticed upon stepping out of the truck was the smell. The smell was god awful, it reminded him of rotten meat mixed with rancid milk. He felt as if he was going to vomit. He managed to take a deep breath and get it under control. That is until he saw the inside of the truck. Initially, he thought the truck just had a red interior, but as he got closer, he saw that the red was a coating of blood. After seeing this he ran across the street and puked in the ditch.
After finishing he turned back around to face everybody else there. Glen looked like he was about to get sick, possible again. An elderly gentleman, who Ross assumed was Old Bob, looked as though he had already upchucked a few times and had just regained his composure. Father Dime was the only one who appeared to be not affected by the stench or the sight of blood. Dime looked at Bob and Glen and asked, "Has anybody touched the truck?"
Old Bob answered, "No sir, and I'll be durned if'n you think I'ma gonna be touchin that there truck."
"Right, well I think we'd better have a look inside to see if we can find out what happened to Peaty." With that Father Dime walked over to the driver's side door and slowly opened it. There was a loud creak as the un-oiled door swung open. As soon as the door was open, a thin trickle of blood poured from the floor to the ground. Following the blood to the ground was a human arm torn off at the elbow.
Ross took a giant leap back and immediately regretted his decision to join Father Dime out there. He ran back across the street to puke again, but only dry heaved as he had nothing left in his stomach.
Father Dime looked as he would get sick for the first time. He covered his mouth and closed his eyes for a moment. After he had shoved back down what ever was coming up he said, "I guess we know what happed to Peaty."
Glen looked distraught like he couldn't believe what he was seeing was real. "With all due respect, Scott, we don't know nothing about what happened. We don't even know if that, that, that… thing belongs to Peaty. It could be those college kids at the medical school playing a prank with a cadaver."
"Now Glen, do you really think that college kids would drive over a hundred miles all the way out here just to play a prank on us.' He waited for Glen to shake his head no before he went on, 'And as much as I would like to believe that it isn't Peaty, you know as well as I do that it is. There are only two people here in town that have a state football ring, me and Peaty. Look at the ring finger of the hand."
Sure enough, there sat a large gold ring with a football emblem. The words "Paradise City Cougars' and 'Collins #52' were clearly visible through the specks of blood. Glen saw this too and fell to his knees. Father Dime knelt down and placed a hand on his shoulder to try to comfort him. Glen looked up to Father Dime through teary eyes and asked, "What's going on here, Scott? First Larry gets hit and has something weird on his face. Now this. I've seen people who got attacked by animals and I've never seen anything like this. Besides, there's nothing around here for a hundred miles that could do that to a person."
Ross thought for a moment then said, "Well, while I was driving, I passed a traveling circus that advertised having a dancing bear. It's possible that it might have escaped and made its way here."
He knew that it wasn't really possible, but he felt that he had to say something, something so the people there wouldn't be as scared. In truth, he was terrified. Not only for what could have done that to a full grown man, but also for what the towns folk would say of him when they found out. He could already feel April hitting him again and saying that he had something to do with it.
Father Dime seemed to know it was impossible too, but nodded in agreement. He looked from Glen to Old Bob to see if they were accepting the temporary excuse. When he saw that they too thought it was possible he said, "Glen, why don't you and Old Bob go back to town and tell everybody what happened. Mr. Pryse and I will stay here and look around a bit."
The two nodded and got in their respective trucks to leave. Before taking off, though, they both shot Ross a dirty look like they suspected that he may have had something to do with it. As soon as they were gone, Father Dime turned to Ross and said, "You know as well as I do that this was no bear attack. Something very bad is happening here and it all seemed to start right when you got here. Now if you know anything, I suggest that you let me know."
Ross was taken aback. He couldn't believe that Father Dime still didn't fully believe that he nothing to do with the craziness that was going on. With more than a little anger in his voice, he said, "Now listen here, I am sorry for hitting your buddy Larry, but it was an accident, an ac-ci-dent. You think I like being stuck in this po-dunk little town, staying at a stranger's house, while everybody else in town hates me? And furthermore- What the hell was that?"
Ross had heard something, something he had never heard before. It sounded like a scream, mixed with nails going over a chalkboard, mixed with a sheep. Father Dime looked around, he had heard it too. Then Ross saw what had made the sound. About two hundred yards away stood what looked like a human except for the face. The face was the same mask thing that had been on the late Larry Jenkins. The creature started to run towards the two men.
It moved with the speed an all-pro running back would be jealous of. No human should be able to run that fast. Ross could see its massive mouth open and make that sound again. He said, "Father Dime?"
"I think we should leave, now."
"Good idea. Let's get out of here."
Father Dime ran back to his truck, got in and started it up. Ross was right behind him and jumped in the bed. He pounded on the roof and yelled, "Go, go, go! It's getting closer!"
By the time Dime got it in gear, the creature was only thirty yards behind them. Dime punched the gas and sent Ross flying forward. When he looked up he saw that the creature was still getting closer. Dime was speeding up, but the thing looked like it was keeping up. Ross looked around for something to strike it with if it got too close. He saw a wooden baseball bat and picked it up. Just then the thing leapt into the air and got dangerously close to the truck. It leapt again an was right above the truck. Ross swung the bat with all his might and stuck it on the side of the head. It fell to the side of the road, rolled for a few yards, then stopped and didn't get back up.
Ross sat down in the truck bed and tried to figure out if what had just happened really happened. He decided that this wasn't a nightmare and hoped that Father Dime would get back to town before that thing got up again, or another one showed up.