Jack shot up in bed once again. He took a glance at the clock and rubbed at his temples in annoyance. It was only four in the morning. Either struggle to go back to sleep and maybe get another half hour, or just get up now and get an early start on the day. He went to the bathroom to go about his morning ritual. At the mirror he once again washed, splashed some water on his face and tried to remove the images of the nightmare from his mind.
He headed down the stairs and started up a nice and easy breakfast-that the stove couldn't burn-of toasted waffles. Once popped out of the toaster, he threw some butter and syrup and enjoyed a glass of milk. Now ready to start the day, he decided since he still had half an hour until he needed to leave for work he decided now was as good as any time to start a new book. Deciding on Prey by Michael Crichton, he took a seat on the couch and began to read.
Only a few pages into the book, Jack's watch began to beep telling him that it was time to head out for the farm. Throwing on his jacket, he made his way for the door, double checking the locks, and made his way out. Along the walk he decided to note all the places that could be of importance. The town, being as small as it was, only had a handful of shops and most were of little interest. There was a small coffee shop, an even smaller boutique, and a shop that apparently sold rare spices and sauces. Jack quickly decided that the last one was definitely of no importance whatsoever. Arriving at the farm, Jack checked in with Calob, who told him to just continue on as he was yesterday, and to not take off running for lunch that time around.
At the field, it seemed just one day was all he needed to get the hang of picking the corn. Now prepared for the bitter cold, he was able to go through at a much better pace than what he was capable just a day ago. It seemed like a much shorter amount of time compared to the day before until the lunch blast shattered the peaceful silence.
Lunch once again passed without much excitement. People gave him the odd look every now and then, but they seemed to generally just ignore his existence this time around. Lunch ended much the same way, only Jack decided to just walk up and start helping with the dishes, since asking didn't work very well last time so he might as well just use action instead.
"I told you yesterday. I don't need your help with the dishes, boy," Calob stated as he walked over to the sink where Jack had already begun washing dishes.
"I know, so I decided to just skip over the asking part and just start doing it instead." Jack said with a shrug of his shoulders. "Besides, I have something that I wanted to ask you."
"Well, I have a feeling you would ask me anyway, so go ahead," Calob sighed as he joined Jack with washing the dishes.
"Does the name Sara Tate mean anything to you?"
Jack scrunched his eyebrows as Calob suddenly stopped working and just stood there staring out the window, a distant gleam covering his eyes. "Hello? Mr. Snider? Calob!" Jack snapped his fingers in front of Calob's face and brought him back to reality.
"Sorry, what was that again?"
"I said have you ever heard the name Sara Tate?"
"That's what I thought you asked. Look, I don't really care to answer that question at this moment. Maybe later I will give you the answer to that question, but trust me when I say that you don't want to know the answer." He paused thoughtfully, then turned to Jack. "Why don't you leave? I can finish up what's left."
Realizing that for some reason it was a touchy subject for the old man, Jack decided to let it drop and headed out the door to return home.
Lying on the couch of his home, Jack continued reading the book he started earlier, letting the plot absorb him, until a knock at the door brought him back to reality. Marking the page, he tossed the book on a small table next to the couch and made his way to the door.
"Hey there Jack! Ready for that tour?" Brad said as he grabbed Jack by the arm and yanked him outside. Quickly heading inside to grab Jack's jacket, he closed the door and continued pulling Jack along by his arm, despite his protests.
"Can I atleast walk without you pulling me? Thank you," Jack gave a shake of his head as Brad finally stopped dragging him by the arm. "Why did you even bother asking if you were just going to drag me away, despite my answer?"
"I wasn't going to ask...but I decided to be courteous and atleast let you know what was going on."
"Oh, thank you so much for dragging by the arm only telling me that it was a tour of the city." Jack said, his voice thick with sarcasm.
"You are most certainly welcome."
"Where are we going, anyway?"
"I am going to show you the park and some small stores. In all honesty this will only take about an hour."
"I already know where that boutique and coffee shop are. I spotted them on way to work."
"Got a job, I see."
"I tried to tell you but I can't get any reception out here."
"That's generally the case. If you have something to say to someone here you just go up and tell them. And, if they aren't home, you just leave a note on their front door telling them what you needed to tell them."
"Thanks for telling me that when I first got here."
"What? You want me to tell you everything? That takes away all the fun of moving somewhere new. To discover all the neat little quirks about the city and the people in it."
"Speaking of people, do you know anyone that lives here or used to live her by the name of Sara Tate?" Brad's eyes grew wide for a moment but was quickly followed by his hand as he formed the classic thinking face.
"Nope, can't really say I have heard of anyone with that name living here in the time I have. Why do you ask?"
"Just heard some people talking about her, is all, and I just became curious." Telling Brad that he was having nightmares about a girl he never met could not possibly end well, no matter how hard Jack tried to convince him she was a child. In fact, it would probably make things worse.
"Well, I think they were talking about someone out of town. In this close knit community, everybody knows everybody. Unless she also just moved here, which she didn't because there isn't even any more property for sale, then she doesn't live here." The subject died with that statement.
The tour itself was just as short as Brad said it would be. Brad showed Jack a few small shops and they stopped to make some small talk with some of the locals that Brad had befriended over his years of living in the small town. Most of the tour of the shops done, Brad took Jack to a little sandwich shop where they stopped for dinner. They made their way to enjoy their dinner at their last destination, the park.
The park was a large, for the size of the town. There was a patch of green grass with a small jungle gym for the children, some hiking trails, and a lake for fishing and swimming during the warmer weather. Taking a seat at a bench, Brad began on a rant that Jack paid little attention to. His mind still focused on the dream from last night and the night before. How could he receive a name he never heard of before? If she didn't live here, then what was with Calob's reaction? With so many questions swimming around in his head, he found it very hard to stay focused on the conversation.
"Jack? Are you even listening?" Brad clapped his hands in front of Jack's face, causing him to nearly fall off the bench in surprise. "You still alive in the head?" Brad laughed out.
"Sorry, I just can't get that name out of my head."
"The one you asked me about earlier? Dude, if you just heard her name on the street, why on earth is it bothering you so much? She's probably just a family member of whoever said the name."
Jack sighed and decided to end the question by just giving the honest truth, despite how embarrassed he could potentially be.
"I didn't actually hear it on the street. I have had nightmares for the past two days about a child named Sara Tate. It kind of freaks me out with how real it seemed."
"Dude, a nightmare is a nightmare; they are nothing more than dreams, no matter how real they might appear to be."
"I know! That's what's bothering me. I can't quite figure out what is bothering me. The stupid letter I found in my house didn't help either."
"What letter? And how was it inside your house?" The questioning look in Brad's eyes convinced him almost immediately that it wasn't him who placed the letter; he was always the type to take pride in his pranks.
"I came home from work yesterday and found a letter that read nothing more than, 'They killed me.' That was it. No signature, no nothing. I can't figure out how the person who did it even got into my home. I locked the door on my way out and I checked all the windows of my house and found them all locked or sealed shut. There was no possible way for them to enter. I think that the whole situation has me a bit on edge at the moment."
"If it really has you that on edge, maybe you should go prove to yourself that she doesn't even exist. Go ask old lady Rummer. I think she knows everyone that has ever lived in this town within the last one hundred-fifty years. Be warned though, she is pretty crazy. Great for any information you could possibly need to know on the town, not so great for those looking for someone of sound mind to enjoy a cup of coffee with," Brad stated as he rose from his spot on the bench and threw away the trash.
"What do you mean, exactly?"
"She is an old bat. She thinks the house you moved into belongs to the devil and she is constantly yelling at people on the street that they need to repent for their sins."
"Hold on. Does she have long grey hair and green eyes? Does she come up to about my chest?" Jack interrupted.
"Yeah, I take it you had a run in with her?"
"Yeah, I came out of my house and she started yelling at me that I need to leave and that it is cursed by the devil. Not going to lie, it kind of freaked me out."
"Yeah, that certainly sounds like her. Don't feel bad, though. She scares everyone who first meets her. Eventually, though, she just kind of fades into the background. It actually becomes pretty fun to hear her rant after a while."
"Sorry but I have to disagree with you there. I don't think she will ever stop creeping me out."
"She will in time. Besides, if you want to see if that dream girl of yours actually existed here at one point or another the old lady's the one who can tell you. From about ten in the morning to three in the afternoon she is cool. Though, once her coffee wears off she becomes a crazy old bat again," Brad joked.
"Great, I get to go talk to that weirdo. Isn't that just grand? I just hope you are right about her not being as bad during those times. I will go see her tomorrow after work then."
"Great! So, what did your dream girl look like?"
Jack just rolled his eyes.