Screams at Midnight
disclaimer: still in force
"A place for lodging, you say?" The tall lanky
business man, who was sitting on the bench, replied.
"The Hotel Bosnix, that’s where I’m staying." His
dragging face smiled, as he set the padd he was
reading on the bench beside him.
"And which way would that be, sir?" Riker asked.
"Down the road a ways… His bony body stood as he
pointed toward the direction of the Hotel. Riker
noticed that this man, had to have been over seven
"I’d take a shuttle-cab, if I were you." he advised.
"Thank you." Riker nodded, " Perhaps we’ll see you
The thin man laughed, "I’m sure you will."
Standing outside of the terminal, in the pouring
rain, Riker flagged down a shuttle-cab.
"Hotel Bosnix." He instructed, as he combed his hands
through his wet hair.
Tossing a glance towards Deanna, who was dusting the
water from her raincoat.
"Where…Where did you say?" the shuttle driver
asked, turning the upper part of his body to look at
his new passengers.
"The Hotel Bosnix" Will repeated.
Swiveling back around towards the front of the
shuttle, "I thought that’s what you said." He
confirmed to himself.
The smell of dust was the first thing she noticed.
The lobby of the hotel was dark, dreary, and had
almost a gothic appearance.
With tall ceilings, accompanied by long, heavy, dark
drapes that ran to the floor from the windows. The
storm outside, made the drapes appear almost
transparent, as the lightning flashed sudden bursts of
instant light throughout the room. The furniture was
padded with plush velvet, that matched the decor of
the great room.
As Will was checking into the hotel, Deanna decided to
investigate the room, slowing walking from one object
to the other.
There were several paintings on the walls. Oddly,
they were all of the same individual. The same
portrait hung on each of the walls; big, little,
round, oval, square, all different sizes and shapes,
yet the same portrait.
She observed that whoever had posed for the painting
had coal black eyes, dark hair, a very handsome
appearance and displayed a certain regal demeanor.
Her eyes squinted upon a certain portrait, hanging on
the far wall. As if she was hypnotized, she began to
stiffly walk towards it.
Before she realized, she was standing in front of the
life size painting.
Her eyes became transfixed on *his* face.
She wrapped both arms tightly around herself.
She could see her breath.
Her teeth chattered with cold and pulsating fear.
She tried to speak, but could not.
She tried to call upon her husband, but could not.
…she could sense him…she could feel him…and then…she
Suddenly, a hand touched her shoulder.
"Hey….It’s me." Will nervously laughed. "Are you
She suddenly wrapped both arms around his waist, her
head rested on his chest…her body shivering, "I’m
sorry… I didn’t mean to scare you."
Putting both hands on her shoulders, he gently pulled
her away from his body, his voice faded to concern
"You’re shivering…are you okay?"
"Yes… you startled me, that’s all…I’ll be all right."
She was attempting to convince him, as well as
"Startled?? Deanna… I thought you were going to jump
out of your own skin." He brought her body towards
his, and embraced her. She needed to feel his
strength, his reassurance, she needed to feel his
presence. The fear that gripped her began to fade;
she pulled away from him.
"I’m all right, now." she smiled. "Really."
"I got us a room." He gave her a quick kiss, and was
already walking to gather up the luggage. "It’s
"Well… you’re definitely going to need help." She said
as she followed behind.
"You prepare for a trip like… your… mother." He
grunted, as he picked up the heavy suitcase.
"I do not." She laughed.
Walking up the long staircase towards their room,
Deanna stopped and gave one last look towards the
portrait. Her body gave a quick shiver, and goose
bumps raised on her arms. Looking up towards her
husband, she quickened her gait.
"Deanna, do you want me to carry that?"
"Always the gentleman…."
"Are you sure you’re okay?" he had to ask again.
"Yes….I’m fine." She insisted, herding him up the
They climbed the rest of the stairs in silence, as
Deanna considered how to tell Will, of what just
happened. I’m fine…she hoped.
Sitting at the dinner table, her food untouched.
Deanna aimlessly twirled her eating utensil at the
substances on her plate.
"Deanna, are you okay?" The question flew out of his
mouth before he had time to think about it.
Looking up from the table, "You keep asking me that.
I keep telling you… I’m fine."
"I know what you keep saying…I’ve heard every word.
He exclaimed. "But.. you don’t act fine."
"Will.." she muttered.
"Deanna." he muttered back.
She smiled…trying to suppress the emotions that she
was feeling. She would tell him, but not now. Looking
back down at her plate, she began to twirl her food
"You need to eat something." He said, already knowing
that she wouldn’t listen to his suggestion.
"I’m not really hungry…it’s just…." She trailed off.
"Deanna…you can tell me anything," he stated softly,
"you know that don’t you?"
"Yes…yes, I do…" she almost mumbled, never looking up
from her plate. By not telling him, Deanna knew that
it would eventually place a thorny hedge between them.
"So we meet again!" A voice from across the room
echoed throughout the dining area. Will looked up and
searched for the sound of the voice. Walking towards
their table was the tall, thin man they had met at the
"I see you made it here all right." The long-legged
man smiled, as he approached the table.
Will stood up, "I guess, we should properly introduce
ourselves. I’m Will Riker and this is my wife Deanna."
he said, extending an arm out in greeting.
The man gladly shook it, "I’m Charles P. Quillings."
"Please, sit down. Mr. Quillings, you’re welcome to
join us." Will offered.
"Please, call me Chuck and I’d be honored to join you
and your lovely wife." he smiled, sitting down. He
had to readjust his long legs in order to fit
comfortably at the table. "Sure is hell being tall."
he joked. His smile turned into a serious expression.
"I’m sorry, Mrs. …Please…excuse my language."
"You’re excused, Mr. Quillings. Please, call me
Deanna." She graciously accepted his apology.
"So, tell me, Mr. Quillings, what brings you to
Bosnix?" Will asked.
"I’m here, on an investigation…I work for the Police
Investigation Force." He stated, as he waved to the
"Investigation?" Will asked, not being able to
control his adventuresome spirit.
"Yeah, it seems there have been some murders…or at
least we think they were murdered…haven’t gotten…" he
trailed off as the waiter brought him his drink. He
gave the waiter a silent thank you, with the nod of
his head. He continued, "we haven’t gotten very many
leads. Someone reports that they heard a woman
scream…and then…no one ever sees her again."
"How do you know they were murdered, couldn’t they
just be missing." Will asked.
Taking a sip of his drink, "That’s what I thought at
first. We found one of the victims, in the bottom of
During the men’s conversation Deanna was quiet, too
quiet. She clasp her hands together and studied them
as if they weren’t a part of her body.
She felt the blood drain from her face. She could
sense the terror; she could hear no human voice except
that of a frantic woman’s blood curdling scream. Then
silence. Eerie, dull silence.
Then his presence.
His eyes staring at her.
She immediately jumped up from the table, "If you’ll
excuse me…gentlemen….I’m not feeling well." The words
wouldn’t form themselves, as fast as she actually
wanted them to. She quickly exited from the table.
"Please forgive me again, Mrs." Chuck apologized,
"This isn’t exactly dinner conversation." But before
he could finish his sentence, she was almost half-way
across the room.
Casting his napkin on the table, Riker politely
excused himself, and followed after his wife.
Nearly an hour later, Will paced a few steps more and
turned, "Deanna, what the hell is going on?" His
concern was vastly turning into anger, and yet she
refused to speak. She couldn’t speak.
She was sitting on the side of the bed with her legs
crossed. Wearing one of her new night gowns, she
lightly scratched at the garment, as if she was
attempting to remove a speck of dirt. Refusing to look
up at her now frustrated spouse.
"Deanna." he sounded more stern.
She still remained silent. She still refused to look
Riker scratched his chin, and exhaled as he
thoughtfully looked up at the ceiling.
"This situation isn’t going to get any better, Deanna.
Not what you’re going through and especially not what
we’re going through."
His statement made her look up at him.
He had no idea of what was going on inside Deanna’s
head, she was blocking him. She was a hell of a lot
better at bringing up blocks…or breaking through
blocks… than he was. As he looked into her eyes, he
felt as if her mind had screamed the order ‘all
shields – red alert.' And he was the enemy alien life
force, attempting to intrude and conquer.
The only thing he was certain of was that his wife was
terrified. What was she so scared of ?? For that
matter—Who---was she so scared of? What the hell is
happening? Does it have anything to do with Chuck??
What the hell scared her so much in the lobby?? He had
Standing up, as if she was the only one in the room.
She walked to the window, and stared through the foggy
pane out into the night.
"I’m going to bed." she could sense the anger tinge
her husband's voice.
The anger was abruptly followed by a shoe hitting a
Intertwining her fingers though her hair.. she
continued to stare through the glass, in silence.
When Will woke up, he didn’t know if it was late in
the night, or early in the morning…he saw her….at the
window….in her night grown.
He reached for his robe, as he got out of bed.
Walking over to stand directly behind her, he put his
arms around her waist, and drew her near. "I love
you." he whispered into her hair.
Deanna’s body relaxed, resting the back of her head on
his chest. "You too." She softly replied, as she laid
both of her hands atop of his.
They both watched out the window, as the fog
overtook the city, casting gloomy halo’s on the
street lights below.
"You need to get some sleep."
She sighed, "I know."
They walked towards the bed, hand in hand. There was
nothing more to be said, nothing more to be done.
Deanna and Will both drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, a plump, short woman with a flowered
apron, greeted him at the bottom of the stairs.
"We’ve got your usual table waiting for you." She
"Yes, thank you." Riker said, pretending that he knew
what the hell she was talking about.
"Come with me this way." Her eyes shined.
Riker followed, noticing that the woman possessed a
head of short, white wiry hair, and a waddle when she
walked. He sat down as he was instructed, thanking
the older waitress, he ordered two cups of black
"Here you go, just the way you like it." Returning to
the table, the fat lady smiled as she set the cups of
hot liquid in front of him.
Thanking the waitress, he sipped his coffee as he
waited for his wife to join him for breakfast.
"You’re too good looking to be sitting all alone." A
big busted red-head, who wore too much make-up, said
as she was approaching his table.
"I beg your pardon??" he squinted.
"You *are* a good looking one." She smiled as her
eyes moved up and down his body.
"May I help you?" he asked behind the stare of her
"Would you like to go some place. To be…..alone?" she
asked, placing the palm of her hands flat on the
table, her breast level with his eyes.
"Look, I’m sorry…but I’m waiting…" he attempted to
explain, noticing that she wore too much red lipstick.
"You’ve been waiting too long." She purred, bringing
her large chest closer to his face. "I
know….just….what you need. What you need is."
"His wife." Deanna cut her off. As she placed her
hands on his shoulders standing behind him. Her face
level with her husbands.
Standing up straight, the woman eyed Deanna. "Are
you with him?" she asked.
"Are you… aware of the fact, that you are attempting
to seduce a married man?" Deanna asked flatly.
The woman turned and left, finding another chair
across the room to nest in.
Kissing the top of his head, "Riker, I can’t leave you
alone for one minute." sounding as if she were
scolding him. As she sat down at the table.
"Sorry about that… she was on me before I had a
chance to tell her I was married."
"Who is she?" Deanna whispered across the table.
"Beats the hell out of me." he answered, sipping his
They both glanced at the big busted red head across
"They call her Tulips, and up to no good." The chubby
little hostess answered, as she filled up their cups.
Deanna politely thanked her for the drinks. Realizing
that she liked this waitress. "Just yell if you need
anything else." Her fat little cheeks winked, and then
she waddled off.
Deanna and Will spent the rest of the day in the
market place shopping, and then they went on a
sight-seeing tour. Will thought that it would be
therapeutic for Deanna to get out of the hotel.
Returning back through the lobby, both exhausted. Will
collected their packages from the day’s shopping
Deanna noticed a framed picture on the desk, picking
it up, she looked at it. Unlike all the others, the
man was posed sitting, with his legs crossed, his
hands resting on his lap, and a slight turn of his
Picking up the small painting, she studied it, looking
beyond the painting she could sense that the man’s
eyes were waxed with evil, she could sense that those
same eyes were fixed on her. She knew he was near.
She began to tremble, goose bumps began to raise on
"Handsome isn’t he?" she heard a voice.
Quickly snapping her head towards the voice, she
"Yes. Who is he?" she asked as she sat the portrait
back on the desk.
"That is Edward Hedgepath. His family owned this
estate, back in the early 1800’s." the chubby little
waitress informed her.
"You mean…he’s dead?" Deanna asked, as if she couldn’t
"He died a long, long time ago. Honey, are you all
right?" the short lady asked, touching Deanna’s arm.
"Too much sight seeing for one day. I suppose I’m
just tired." Deanna smiled.
"You get some sleep. That way you can come down
tomorrow for breakfast bright and cheery." Patting
Deanna on the shoulder.
"I’ll do that. Thank you." she smiled, as she walked
to where her husband was. As they were walking up the
stairs, Deanna never looked back.
"Your bath water is ready." He said as he slid back
into the bed.
She stretched, turning towards him, just wanting to
look at his face.
She never got tired of looking at his face, she loved
his federal blue eyes, his masculine features, and his
"You didn’t have to do that." she smiled.
"Well, you said you wanted to take a hot bath and
besides", he added playfully "it will help you sleep
"That isn’t what makes me sleep better." She grinned.
"I know, but we’ve done that already." Quickly kissing
her forehead, he hopped out of bed. She watched him as
he put on his robe, and flopped down on the couch. "Go
on." he urged, grabbing a nearby padd.
"You leaped out of bed on purpose."
"I know." He answered, studying the padd.
"Are you actually reading that?" she asked as she put
on her robe.
Standing in the doorway of the bathroom, she turned,
"Why are you so good to me?"
"Because I love you." he answered, never looking up
from the pad.
Deanna tested the water before she got into the tub.
It was definitely hot, she loved hot baths…she was
tired and it would help her sleep. Easing into the hot
water, she truly began to unwind. Their recent
love-making had relaxed her muscles. she smiled at the
memory of it. Sliding further down into the water, she
closed her eyes:
Deanna sensed him…he was near.
He had someone….who…she could sense her
fear…who….red hair…Tulips…~ it was Tulips ~
"Let me go" Deanna heard her…protest.
"In Time." The voice…. it was him…it was him.
"Please, just let me go and…" she heard Tulips plea.
Deanna saw Edward Hedgepath’s long arm clutch his
victim, and whirl her around…his bony fingers clamped
over her mouth, smothering a scream.
"You can not….run away." She heard his voice again, it
was icy and cold…
Deanna could sense his victims breath, labored,
uneven, forcing it out of her own lungs.
She saw Tulips eyes roll back in fear.
"It does no good….. to struggle." His cold brutal
breath echoed through Tulips ears.
Deanna sensed Tulips terror.
Her eyes widened in horror.
Deanna didn’t notice that now her own breath was
Deanna could sense his icy cold fingers as they
caressed Tulips face.
"It will be over soon." Hedgepath whispered, into his
victims neck. Sending shivers down her spine.
Deanna heard their footsteps as they echoed on the
pavement. She watched in her mind, as he led Tulips
into the wet, foggy, dark, intestines of the city.
She felt Tulips panic.
"Deanna! Will yelled. "Deanna!!"
Will was ready to break the door down, when suddenly
it flung open… Deanna was totally terrified. She tried
to run past her husband.
Using quick reflexes, Will caught her by the arm.
"Deanna, it’s me." he stated in a loud voice, as he
was struggling to calm her down.
Deanna was hysterical, thrashing her arms, attempting
to get away. It took all he had to control her, she
fell to her knees, he went down with her, holding her
in a tight embrace.
"I’m here. I’m here, Deanna. I’m here." he repeated
in a hushed voice, rocking her back and forth.
Finally realizing where she was, and who was with her,
she embraced Will fiercely…holding onto him as tight
as her strength would allow.
"Come on." he whispered as he scooped her up in his
arms, and set her on the edge of the bed. Will took a
blanket and wrapped it around his wife’s shoulders.
Constantly reassuring her that she was safe. Sitting
beside Deanna on the bed, he put his arm around her.
Her body still trembling, he cupped her face in his
hand, she rested her head on his shoulder.
Suddenly, the door to their room flew open. Standing
in the doorway, in a total defensive stance, was
Chuck, fully armed. Pointing his laser to and fro
around the room.
"What happened." he asked lowering his weapon, his
heart racing. "I heard a scream." He said as he
searched the rooms of their suite.
"I think you need to call the doctor." Will stated.
Deanna was in a form of shock, she was staring,
looking beyond the room into nothingness. She was
clutching, Riker’s arm, digging her fingernails into
his flesh. Riker didn’t feel it, he was too scared for
his wife not knowing, what had happened to her. Never
realizing that she had just witnessed a brutal,
cold-blooded murder. Never knowing that she had just
seen her own death.
Charles nodded, and exited the room.
Will sat and held his wife. Praying and hoping to
anyone who would hear his supplications, that they
would somehow answer him, and keep her truly safe.
"I’ve given her a sedative, she should sleep now." The
Doctor said as he turned from the bed, "But,
something has scared this poor child…. something…."
Deanna was asleep…she looked peaceful as she laid in
her drug induced slumber. The blue satin comforter
that covered her, made her look radiant and beautiful.
"Will, what happened?." Chuck asked.
Riker ignored Chuck’s question. Walking the Doctor to
the door, he thanked him, and assured him, he would
call if he needed anything else.
Sitting on the foot of the bed, Riker squeezed his
wife’s blanket covered ankle, he knew she couldn’t
feel it, but it somehow made him feel better. He was
feeling guilty for not being there, for not preventing
"Mr. Riker??" The short, chubby waitress, stood in the
doorway, there was a hint of request in her voice.
"Yes." he said, turning his head towards the voice.
"How is she Mr. Riker?" she asked as she waddled
through the doorway.
Raising himself up to a standing position, Riker
glanced at his wife, and then to the waitress, "She’s
sleeping now. The Doctor gave her a sedative."
"Poor thing, and I liked her, too." She shook her head
speaking as if Deanna was already dead.
"Pardon me?" Riker quickly responded to the tone of
her voice, his pulse rising. His concern was slowly
turning into anger. "What the hell does that mean?" he
"Oh, I didn’t mean anything, Mr. Riker. It’s just a
shame this happened, that’s all." She innocently
"I’m sorry….please….. forgive me." He apologized.
Stepping up, and putting his hand on Riker’s shoulder,
Chuck suggested, "Lets go get a drink….you look like
you need one."
"I’m not leaving her."
"Go, Mr. Riker….I’ll stay with her." Urged the
"Come on, Will…..we’ll only be downstairs and," Chuck
added, "I need to talk to you."
Looking over at his resting wife, Riker reluctantly
"I promise, I won’t leave her." The waitress assured
Riker kissed his wife gently on the forehead, and
exited the room.
"You going to tell me what happened, now?" Chuck asked
as they sat at the bar.
"Nothing to tell….she was in the bathtub, I heard her
scream, I was going to break down the door, and then
she suddenly ran out of the bathroom hysterical. You
saw the rest."
"She didn’t say anything?" Chuck asked.
"Nope." Riker answered, as he took a sip of his drink.
"The two of you didn’t have a fight?"
"What the hell you gettin’ at Chuck, you think we
fight bad enough for her to scream like that?" he
looked at him.
"Well, I don’t know the two of you very well."
Attempting to drill Riker.
"Well, I do and we don’t." Riker chugged the rest of
his drink down, slamming the glass on the bar.
"Tulips tried to make a pass at you this morning,
"She tried." Riker answered, raising his glass up to
the bartender, indicating he wanted another. Riker
knew he was trying to drill him and he wasn’t going to
reveal anything. Being in Starfleet he knew that you
only tell the truth, never elaborate.
"Did that make your wife mad….was she jealous?"
Silently thanking the bartender with a nod, Riker
twirled the glass around slowly. Waiting for the
bartender to leave before he answered.
"No. She wasn’t mad, and she didn’t get jealous."
"Tell me, what do you do for a living, Will." He
"Starfleet, William T. Riker, First Officer of the USS
Enterprise. My wife, Deanna Troi, Ships Counselor."
He answered as if reporting in for duty.
"Oh" the lanky man responded, pausing as if he were in
deep thought… "Then, you didn’t…"
Riker, gave him a look but remained silent. Cutting
off the rest of the man’s sentence, Chuck began to
shift uncomfortably, knowing that he was pressing his
luck, by even suggesting that he would harm his wife
in any way.
"I’m sorry, Will…I have to ask." He apologized.
"All I know, is that something has scared the hell out
of my wife, and if you don’t find out what it is…or
who this bastard is…I will." His voice harsh.
"We don’t know anymore than you do. There has been
three murders in the last month. We’ve recovered two
of the bodies. We can’t pinpoint anything. Whoever it
is they’re insidious."
"Two?? Yesterday, you only recovered one."
"Another body washed up this morning. Same make over
as the first….same type of death. We found her in the
" You found both bodies, in the lake." It wasn’t a
"Yeah, her body washed out into the lake from what the
evidence proves so far, from the city’s drain pipes."
"So, the lake wasn’t the actual place of the
"We don’t think so. This guy, takes his victims to the
drain pipe, and they apparently drown…we could tell by
the chemical differences of the water that was in the
girls lungs. One weird thing though"….he took a sip of
his drink….. "their hands…..in both incidents the
victims fingers looked as if they were clawing, like
they was trying to get out of one of the pipes."
"Get out?? You mean climb out?" Will asked.
For a reason Riker couldn’t fully understand he
grimaced. He had been around death, seen death, and
even at times caused death. So listening to Chuck’s
story shouldn’t of made him react. Hell, he thought he
was tougher than that, he knew he was tougher than
that. Not that he was some sort of hard hearted
bastard…or anything. He found himself frightened,
then his thoughts flew to Deanna. What if Deanna had
seen, had sensed….
"Listen, I need to get back." Riker stated. "I meant
what I said, you don’t find this sick bastard, then I
will. Have a good night, Chuck."
"Yeah." He said, as Riker exited the bar. Chuck knew
that this Starfleet Commander wasn’t anyone he would
want for an enemy. He also knew that if William
Riker’s wife was involved, chances are, he might of
made himself and his investigation department, one big
Walking back through the archway of his room. The
white headed waitress stood, "She’s been sleeping all
the while you were gone, Mr. Riker."
"Thank you. Please….call me Will."
"All right, Will. I guess….." as if she were at a lack
of words. " I should go then, I’ve got an early shift
"Thank you," he repeated "Have a good night."
She nodded and waddled out the door.
Riker stood in his room and watched Deanna sleep for
awhile. He loved to watch her sleep, she was so
beautiful. Slowly he walked over to the window, and
looked through the glass. Wondering what it was that
Deanna had seen the night before. What was it that
kept her standing at this window for so long? He let
out a long sigh, and closed the heavy drapes.
Sitting with his back against the headboard of the
bed, his ankles crossed, he looked over to Deanna.
Resting one hand on her shoulder, thinking that if he
had some sort of body contact with her, he could
protect her, he would know if she needed him. Then
despite himself Riker nodded off to sleep.
Screams at Midnight
Riker woke up, and he could feel Deanna’s eyes
looking at him. Slowly opening his eyes, he felt the
sleep fade away. She was lying there, looking up at
him. He looked down at her…and smiled.
"You are going to break your neck sleeping like
that." she informed him in soft spoken words.
Stretching his neck from side to side, he could hear
the joints pop.
"Ewwww." She cringed slightly.
Sliding down in the bed, "Well, this neck isn’t as
young as it used to be." He stated as he nestled her
in his arms.
"Well, I would rather have you popping
your….old….neck in my bed, than I would anyone
else’s….I suppose." She squirmed, in order to make
herself more comfortable. Finally resting her head
on his breast.
"Deanna, are you okay?" His voice took a sudden
seriousness to it.
"No." she whispered.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Yes. I suppose, I should." There was weariness in
"When I was in the bath…." She began. "I could
sense….I could see…" a huge lump in her throat formed.
She fought it to continue.
"I could see him, Will…" The tears were forming in her
eyes, yet she continued on. Knowing she had to
continue on. "Will, what he did to her….the water…."
She raised her head, and looked into his eyes, her
eyes glistened with new formed tears. He held her
tighter, and she returned her head to his chest. "The
water comes in…." she forced the words out as the
tears streamed down her face. Riker felt her warm
tears on his chest. "The women, he makes….he makes
.…them….and then he sings…he sings." She had lost the
battle with her emotions and she was beginning to sob
now. "I saw him torture her…Will, he murdered Tulips."
"Who Deanna?… Who!" Will pulled away from her only
long enough, for him to see her eyes.
"Edward Hedgepath" she cried. "The man in the
Will pulled her back into an embrace, and kept her
tightly against him, her body shook, and then trembled
in his arms.
Deanna and Will both met the short, white headed
waitress down strairs later that morning. "Good
morning, Mrs.…I hope you’re feeling better." He asked,
in a cheery voice.
"Yes, I am thank you." she smiled. "May I ask you a
"Sure, anything, honey."
"Where is Tulips? I don’t see her this morning."
"She’s probably up to no good, I’d say…." The
bitterness in her voice faded into a chuckle " Hee
Hee. …..Maybe you scared her off. "
"Does she come here often?" Deanna asked.
"Oh yes, honey, normally she’s in here every
morning…. Flirting and carrying on with all the men…..
Can I get you something to eat, drink?" she was
already walking the two patrons to their table.
"You’re a little late for breakfast, but I’d make an
exception for the two of you."
"No, no…just Betazed tea for me, and coffee for my
husband, please." Deanna said, as she sat down at the
"May I ask you another question?"
"Sure, honey anything you want?" the old woman smiled.
"I don’t think I’ve taken the time to ask you your
name….please, allow us to introduced ourselves, I’m
Deanna Troi and this is my husband Will Riker."
extending a hand in greeting she added, "Please
forgive our manners."
"Oh…" the old lady nervously smiled, quickly wiping
her hands off on her apron, she then reached and
touched Deanna’s hand. "I’m just Violet…." the
chunky lady shrugged one shoulder.
Deanna knew that the old woman with the white hair,
was feeling somewhat awkward, no one had ever properly
introduced themselves to her, and no other patrons of
the hotel had ever taken the time to ask her, her
"It’s a pleasure to meet you, Violet." Deanna
graciously bowed her head.
"Well, I don’t think anyone’s ever said that to me…."
she stated sheepishly… "now….if I don’t stop
talking…." trying to escape her awkwardness.…. " the
rest of these folks are going to think I’m lazy…"
Will gave the waitress a playful tilt of his head,
displaying a big grin, he winked.
"Been a long time since a young man has winked at me,
Will." she said behind her laughter.… "Too long." They
heard her as she walked towards the front of the room
"We need to contact Chuck as soon as possible." Will
suggested to Deanna, as he sipped his coffee.
"Yes….we should." she quietly agreed.
"I’m going to try to talk to him, he said he was
staying at the hotel…I can go up to the desk and ask
his room number."
"You need to do that now, Will. I will stay here,
"No." he cut her off… "I’m taking you with me…. I’m
not leaving you alone."
"Will, honestly…I’m fine now…" leaning forward and
placing a hand on his forearm. "I’m feeling much
"Yeah, and I’d feel better if you would listen to what
I said for once." Riker’s jaw was set.
"Will…Good Gods" she rolled her eyes.
His silent gaze, steadied its self on her.
"He *isn’t* going to come after me in the cafe." she
"I’m not giving the mad bastard a chance to come after
you at all." Through clenched teeth, he returned her
challenge. His federal blue eyes flashed…he wasn’t
going to back down. Not now. Not ever.
Deanna knew Will Riker, she could read him almost
instinctively, she knew when she could push an issue,
and when she couldn’t push an issue…she recognized the
latter of the two, Deanna sighed in agreement.
"Mr. Quillings, isn’t in his room at this time." The
desk clerk’s squeaky voice answered. Never looking up
from his work.
"Could you possibly tell me what room he’s in."
"I’m not allowed to give out that information." he
stated rather bluntly, and sarcastically. Working
behind the desk apparently gave this kid some sort of
power, he was the king, and he wasn’t going to allow
anyone to change *his* laws of the land.
"It’s imperative that we speak to him." Will stated.
"You can leave a message. Or, you can just leave."
This wasn’t a suggestion.
Will bit his lower lip, he stepped forward and, leaned
on the counter
"What’s your name?" His question made the young clerk
Will held his gaze on the clerk, he wanted to grab
this puny little smart-ass by his neatly placed
bow-tie and toss him across the room. The clerk gave
Riker a roll of his eyes, as an answer to hi question.
"What’s your name, boy!" Riker demanded, grabbing the
young lad by the collar, lifting his feet off the
"Gilbert" his squeaky voice answered.
"Your age!" The Starfleet commander’s voice demanded.
"Sixteen, sir." he nervously answered.
Riker let the boy loose, and straightened his
shoulders. He rose to his full height, "The next time
I enter this lobby, I expect some respect. Is that
understood." He clarified, with a voice of authority.
"Yes, sir." the boy nodded.
He glanced down at Deanna, readying himself for some
sort of chastisement for allowing his temper to get
the best of him. She was standing beside him. Her eyes
were fixed upon an object in the room. She hadn’t
noticed what just took place between her husband and
the young clerk. Her mind was far away….light years
away. Riker noticed that his wife was staring at the
life size portrait hanging on the wall.
"Gilbert…..tell him…to contact William Riker as soon
as he returns." Will told the clerk, his anger turning
from the boy, into concern for his wife.
"I’ll do that, sir." the boy replied respectfully.
It was getting dark and Charles Quillings hadn’t
returned his page from the front desk…Will had
contacted the desk, and the boy had stated he would
tell him the minute he returned.
Riker drew open the drapes and looked through the rain
soaked glass window…noticing how the water from the
streets below had formed gray swirling pools across
the streets. He watched as the people walked up and
down the sidewalks…slowly disappearing into the rain.
Deanna was reading, she sat on the couch with her
legs tucked under her. Riker glanced over at her, and
smiled. She raised her head up, and simply smiled,
acknowledging his presence, before returning to her
Riker turned his head to the window, and watched the
gloomy, dreary town through the wet glass.
Deanna was reading material written by one of her
colleagues back on Betazed. She had told her she
would look over her report on Interplanetary
Psychology. She thought now would be a good time to do
As she was reading she saw something out of the corner
of her eye, she looked over to the vacant side of the
couch, nothing there…. "hmpt." She thought returning
to her reading material.
She saw it again, squinting, it now came into focus.
It was similar to a tarantula, yet larger in size, its
long furry legs moved in unison as it slowly made its
way up her thigh. Slowly, it creeped…leaving a trail
of icy coldness that produced goose bumps upon her
skin. Deanna’s heart raced. She was terrified, afraid
to move. She felt the spider’s touch, fiendishly
feather light ….it’s legs… ever so slowly…..it
creeped……and then she heard the singing…softly she
heard the icy cold taunting voice. She felt all the
blood rush from her face, as she focused on the deadly
spider now near her abdomen, it’s furry back taking
on a shade of an evil metallic bluish-black, it slowly
moved, crept along her body, she could see it’s fangs,
as they dripped with poison…
She couldn’t blink…
She couldn’t move…
Then she heard the singing, the ice cold taunting
…singing, the same murderous, brutal voice whispering
his deadly tune.
"Deanna." she heard the hushed voice. She felt the
vibrations on the floor of his steps slowly coming
"Deanna." the voice was getting closer, louder.
"Deanna!" she felt the strong hands on her shoulders
She jumped up from her frozen position on the couch
and screamed, "Get it off!! Please, get it off of me!
Get it off!!" she pleaded in tears, as she
frantically clutched at his shirt.
"What Deanna. What!! Get what off of you!!??" he
desperately demanded, holding her at arm's length.
"The spider!!!" she cried. "The spider!!!"
"She claimed there was a spider on her, and she heard
Edward Hedgepath singing." Riker informed the Doctor,
as he watched the doctor administer the medication
into Deanna’s neck. "I practically tore the couch
apart, and I found nothing, no spider, nothing."
"I would say she is hallucinating." The Doctor stated
as he rose to his full height.
"Or she’s living something, we can’t comprehend."
Riker said more to himself than to the other person in
"You wanted to talk to me." Charles Quillings stood in
the doorway. "What the hell happened.?? He asked,
noticing that the Doctor was standing over a sleeping
Riker acknowledged his presence with a nod of the
"Is she okay?" he asked as he entered the room.
"She will be fine physically, but mentally I think
you should consider therapy for your wife Mr. Riker."
The Doctor answered both men, as he began to leave the
room. "Call me if you need anything." He said, looking
back towards the two men, as he walked through the
"Therapy??" Chuck asked in confusion.
"Deanna said there was a spider on her, and she heard
Edward Hedgepath singing. That’s what I wanted to talk
to you about." He sighed.
"Deanna claims that this Hedgepath, is the one
committing the murders…and she said, she witnessed the
murder of Tulips, last night."
"Hedgepath? He’s been dead for…God." Chuck’s voice
lowering with each word.
"Who is this Hedgepath?" Will asked, glancing over at
his sleeping wife.
"He founded this Hotel, his portraits are hanging
everywhere in the lobby. But Will, he died in the
early 1800’s centuries ago."
"So my wife is sensing a ghost….a spirit….some sort
of entity?" he questioned to himself.
"I’ll get a hold of Violet and see if she will stay
with Deanna. I don’t know about you Riker, but I could
damn sure use a drink…." His long body stretched.
"After what I saw today, I could damn sure use two."
"Yeah" Riker agreed, his eyes never leaving his wife.
"Yeah, me too."
"Leave the bottle." The inspector instructed the
"She saw Tulips?" Chuck asked, as he swigged the first
drink, pouring himself another, he added… "get
"Yeah, she said that Hedgepath had Tulips. He
tortured her somehow, and then killed her." Riker
answered, as he swigged down his first drink, pouring
himself another. "Tulips wasn’t in for breakfast this
"She wasn’t?? Usually, she’s in there every morning,
flashing those breast of her’s." he said as he sipped
Riker gave him a look, as if he knew exactly what
Quillings was talking about. The memory of her huge
breast in his face flashed in his mind. "Maybe she
found someone to leave with." He said.
"Around here?" he almost laughed. "Hell, we all know
Tulips. The only person that would leave with Tulips
would have to be an out of towner. I’ll use some of my
men, and we’ll look for her. Hell, she’s probably at
home ill or something…." Chuck changed the subject as
if Tulips wasn’t a concern right now.. "We found
another body today, in the lake….same make over as the
others…All three of the missing persons have been
"The victims appear to be showing up a lot faster
now….three missing, three bodies…if Deanna is correct,
you got four missing, three bodies."
"And no clue as to who the mad man is…." He took a sip
of his drink.
Looking at Riker he continued… "You believe your wife,
"I’ve known Deanna for a long time. She doesn’t go
around and make up ‘shit’ like this." He defended his
wife. "I can assure you, she does not need therapy."
"Didn’t think so." Was all Chuck could say.
They silently finished the rest of their drinks, while
each concentrated on all the information they had been
""Mr. Riker!!!" the frantic voice of Violet made both
men’s neck snap towards the woman, standing in the
doorway of the bar. She was out of breath, panting as
if she had run all the way down the long staircase…
"Mr. Riker!!!…She’s…" she was inhaling and exhaling,
"she’s" exclaimed the old woman, as she held herself
up with one arm on the door facing, the other on her
"What!" Charles’ question came out more of a demand,
as he firmly gripped the older lady’s shoulder.
"Gone." she breathed…forcing the words out.
Riker was already on his way to his room, running as
fast as his long legs would allow him, he tore up the
stairs' two at a time, using the banister as leverage
in order to give him more speed. Racing down the
hallway, he practically dove into his room. Upon
entering he found the bed un-made, and empty. He
called her name…again and again…his heart racing, he
ran from room to room, continuing to call her name. He
was on the verge of ripping the room to shreds. He
tore open the curtains, and threw the window open,
half way leaning out of the opening, he yelled his
The same dull silence Deanna had spoke of.
Turning around his brain racing…he headed back down
stairs…running out of the room, he came to an abrupt
stop. Charles, was standing in the doorway.
"Get out of my way." Riker said, as he tried to move
around the tall man.
"She’s not here, Riker." The tall thin man calmly
stated. He stood, unmoving with both hands flat on the
"I said MOVE!" Riker demanded.
"Will, she’s gone." Chuck said, calmly and serenely,
as if Deanna was lost forever.
Riker without thinking, moving only on pure fear
filled adrenaline. He reared back, and hit the bony
man with his fist, making perfect contact with his
jaw. The tall man staggered back out of the doorway.
Riker quickly moved past him. He ran down the
hallway, and proceeded to run down the stairs.
Chuck stood there stunned. Twisting and turning his
face as he
rubbed it. "Damn" Those were his only words before he
raced down the hallway after Riker. Phaser Ready and
set on Kill.
Screams at Midnight#7
Riker flew down the stairs as if in flight, calling
his wife’s name. He knew. He could sense she was in
the hotel somewhere… ‘Gods, Deanna where are you!!’
His mind screamed. His lungs hurt. His head was
pounding….he could hear her pleas for help. He felt
her fear. Panic was beginning to take over his entire
being…he had to gain control. Bending himself over
and pressing the palm of his hands on top of his
knees, he inhaled and exhaled…he concentrated. He
tried to focus…he had to focus. He lowered his head
and closed his eyes.
"Hold it right there."
Riker slowly raised his head, standing five feet in
front of him, was Chuck, his weapon ready and aimed.
"Hell, I didn’t hit you that hard did I?" he asked,
out of breath.
"You assaulted a police officer, Riker." He informed
him, never lowering his weapon, or his gaze.
"Yeah. I did" Riker slowly stood upright, "I’ll do it
again, if you stop me from finding my wife." He said
bluntly, behind the stare of the weapon.
The two men stood holding each other in a steady gaze,
both playing out a scenario of a showdown.
"You’ve got a pretty rough punch, Riker." Chuck
finally stated, lowering his weapon. "What did you say
you did for a living?" he asked as he walked towards
"I fight with Klingons." Riker answered not meaning it
to be a joke.
"Well, what’s a broken jaw between friends."
Chuck’s humor landed flat. "Deanna is here in the
hotel." Riker stated with certainty "I can feel her."
Chuck gave Riker a look of surprise. "She’s the
empath, right? How can you feel her?"
"We’ve got this…." He decided he didn’t have time to
explain the bond. "Is there a basement? A cellar?" he
asked, expecting a quick answer.
"Yes, Will there is." Still teary eyed, and upset from
Deanna’s disappearance. The fat lady approached the
two men. "It’s in the kitchen, this way."
The two men followed the older lady as she lead them
through the kitchen. "Right down there." She nodded
towards a door. "You’ll need this," she said handing
him a flashlight.
Riker began to open the door, and was stopped by
Violet grabbing his arm.
"Please forgive me. She woke up and wanted some tea.
When I returned to her room, she was gone. I’m so
sorry." She began to sob, compassionate soft sobs.
Riker felt pity for the white haired lady, and quickly
hugged her. "We’ll find Deanna." He assured her.
Pulling away from her, he lifted her chin up with his
hand, bent his head down and kissed her on the
He turned and opened the door, revealing a long narrow
stairway. Glancing over quickly at Violet and nodding,
he slowly began to descend down the stairs.
Chuck had to duck to enter through the doorway. He
followed Riker down the narrow stairway, the door
closing behind them…musty smelling, cold, damp
darkness….the only light they had was the flashlight,
slowly swinging the portable light from side to side.
Riker noticed the walls consisted of dirt, black, dark
soot. Riker cautiously descended down the
stairs,…calculating in his mind the drop of each step…
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, he slowly impelled
the flashlight, noticing how small the room really
was…dirt floors, dirt walls…empty.
There were no shelves, the space was a huge carved out
"What is this room?" Chuck asked, as his eyes followed
the portable light.
Will drew a deep breath. "I’m not sure."
"We need more light to dig through these walls." Chuck
"Mr. Quillings.!! Mr. Riker!!" Came a cry from
upstairs. "something terrible has happened."
Quillings was standing in the center of a group of
men. Riker knew they had to be part of his
Dismissing his colleagues, and walking over to Riker,
Violet and Gilbert. Chuck sat down in a chair joining
his small group of friends.
"They found Tulips in the lake tonight." Chuck gave
the grimly news. As he put both elbows on his knees,
"Deanna sensed it, witnessed it." Riker said under his
"I’ve got the whole team searching for your wife,
Will." The lanky man raised his head.
"I didn’t much care for Tulips, but who…would…"
Violet’s voice trailed off, as new tears began to
"Wow…." The squeaky voiced clerk said in disbelief.
"Well, none of us are going to sleep tonight." Violet
said, rising from her chair as she wiped her hands on
her apron. "I’ll make you boys some coffee." She was
already walking towards the kitchen. "Good hot
coffee." She repeated.
"None for me…" Gilbert yelled to her.
Looking at both of the older gentlemen she explained…
"It’s almost Midnight…and I told my mom…" he stopped.
Not wanting to explain that he had a curfew.
"Yeah, go ahead, you want me to have one of my men
escort you home? Chuck asked.
"No…I’m not afraid." He sounded insulted.
Holding his hands up in surrender, Chuck smiled,
Both men watched as the young kid walked through the
double doors into the night.
"Tell me, Riker….Can you still *feel* your wife?" he
asked, hoping he chose the correct words, not wanting
to offend him.
Riker exhaled loudly, " I know she’s still alive. I
"We’ll find her…try to relax." Chuck said quietly.
"I take it, you’re not married."
"Me. No. Not Married." Chuck answered.
"You ever have a wife?"
"No. Never had a wife."
"Then don’t tell me to relax." Riker quietly warned.
There was a thick silence between the two men. They
both heard the huge clock in the lobby strike as it
announced strong and proud the Midnight hour.
From somewhere within the town, they heard the scream.
A frantic, terrified woman’s piercing scream.
Both men felt an icy-chill that flooded their veins.
And then silence. A sickening silence.
It was Deanna.
Screams at Midnight #8
Will Riker sped out of the lobby in a hurried frenzy.
His body charging through the double doors. He
found himself in the middle of the wet, cold street.
His body automatically jerked to the left and then to
the right….all he could see was rain, cold hard rain.
The huge drops fiercely beat against his body,
bringing millions of tiny invisible stings to his
face, and torso.
"Where are you!" his mind screamed. "Oh Gods, Deanna.
Where are you!"
Deanna had suddenly vanished from his life.
He couldn’t think.
He couldn’t breath.
Then it hit him.
Just like the rain that surrounded him.
It bombarded him, and it declared war on his sanity.
And it forced him to his knees.
"Will?" Chuck’s long body stood over him. "Come on,
let’s go back." He calmly urged.
Looking up at the thin man, Riker glared. His eyes
possessed a deep vengeance, that made Chuck take a
step back. Slowly rising to his feet, Riker shoved the
man out of his way.
"Hey! Don’t go and do something stupid." Chuck called
out over the sound of the rain.
Totally ignoring the Inspector, Riker continued his
pace. He was stopped by a hand grabbing his upper
arm, "We will catch this bastard." Quillings said.
"You can’t interfere with an investigation, Riker."
"Screw your investigation, I’m going to go find my
"And where in the hell do you begin to look?"
Riker answered the man with a steady gaze.
"Let us handle this, Riker. Sooner or later, this
ass-hole is going to make a mistake."
Jerking his arm free, "He just did!" Riker said
"And you can’t do shit about it!!!" he yelled over the
sound of the non-stop rain.
"She’s still alive!!."
"How in the hell do you know!!!"
"She told me!!"
Quillings looked at him in astonishment. "She did
what??" he asked.
A long silence passed between the two men.
Riker was the first to turn away. He continued his
steady gait down the narrow paved street…his body
slowly disappearing into the cold rain.
Chuck stood in the street, concentrating on Riker’s
Exhaling, he looked up into the sky. He took both of
his hands and ran them through his wet hair,
"Told you, my ass." He finally said aloud, running to
catch up with Riker
After jogging what seemed to be miles, the men
"Down here." Riker instructed, referring to a man hole
that was located in the center of the street. "I’ll
just," he grunted as he lifted the heavy solid steel
lid off of the circular opening. "move this."
"Riker you’ll never survive that current running
through there…" Quillings shouted over the sound of
the rain. "after a rain like this, you’ll drown."
Not taking heed to the warning, Riker began to lower
himself into the dark hole. Blindly, using his feet to
find the ladder; he began to slowly descend down.
Down into the dark, damp, cold intestines of the city.
Disclaimer: still in force.
Where was she?
Deanna stood in the darkness.
Like a blind man, she began to search. She felt the
cool dampness of the rough walls, scratching the palm
of her hands.
Using her hands to slowly walk along the walls. She
soon discovered that her prison was some sort of
enclosed canister type structure.
She could hear his footsteps as they echoed towards
“Why are you doing this!” she yelled.
“It will be over soon, my little spider.” She heard
his deadly voice.
Staring out into the nothingness, she strained her
eyes as if they could pierce the darkness that
“Why are you doing this!” she demanded.
She would not show her fear. She could not show her
fear. Trying to hold back the fear that was beginning
to encompass all around her. Her emotions fought her,
battling with her mind as it spun towards panic.
She sensed his presence in the chamber.
“Do not fight, little spider.” He whispered.
She felt his presence come towards her.
Focus…her mind…. She had to focus…
She had to send a message to Will.
Shutting her eyes, she forced herself to concentrate.
Then it began.
The singing…. The slow…. Cold…. Icy singing….
He sang in a whisper:
“The its-seee bit-seee spi-der”
“ Went up the wa-ter spout.”
She couldn’t concentrate. She couldn’t think. She
couldn’t send. She felt all the blood drain from her
His icy cold long fingers wrapped themselves around
her upper arm. She felt his breath against her neck.
“Down came the rain and”
“Washed the spi-der out”
He continued to sing…. His slow whispering
His evil whispers of the tune…. Over and over again…
She ran…. In a panic.
A wall on the opposite side suddenly stopped her.
She put her hands on the wall and felt the thin film
of water as it cascaded slowly down the sides of her
prison. She could hear the water, echoing throughout
the silo as it began to fill.
“Down came the rain and”
“Washed the spi-der out”
The only thing she could think of was that this
ring-shaped vault she was trapped in.
Was going to fill up with water.
And she was going to die.
The singing continued…. Getting louder, as the chamber
“Stop!” she screamed. “Please stop!
“Oh, Gods…. Please stop!” she cried, and she began to
claw the walls.
“This way.” Riker gestured with the wave of his hand.
Fortunately, both men were long legged and the water
reached just above their knees.
Dodging the debris that floated past them, they
resisted the steady flow of the current, and continued
to trudge through the dark, cold, narrow tunnels.
Within the swishing, swirling sounds of the water,
Riker tried to concentrate on Deanna.
She had always been his driving force. With the memory
of her frantic scream still fresh in his mind. His
body automatically moved through the waters fueled,
only with a vengeance.
He could sense her fear.
He knew that if she was afraid… then, she would at
least still be alive.
He attempted to block the fear out of his mind, but it
continued to harbor within his chest.
Will Riker was scared.
He couldn’t discern whether it was the coldness of the
water producing goose bumps all over his body, or if
it was the fear itself.
Riker came to a sudden stop. “Oh Gods!” his heart
“What!” The tall man flinched, quickly readying his
Riker exhaled, “Rats.” Taking his flashlight, he aimed
it on the huge rodent that was floating within the
“Oh, shit.” The thin man said, as his eyes followed
the light. “Big ones.” He added under his breath.
Glancing quickly at one another, both exhaled, and
“Deanna claimed there was a spider on her, correct?”
Quillings broke the silence with his question.
“Yeah,” Riker answered, never taking his eyes off of
the path of the flash-light that he wove in front of
A moment of silence passed between them…as Chuck
considered Riker’s reply. “What the hell does that
mean?” Chuck sounded puzzled.
“I don’t know….but,” Riker added. “I’m sure we will
The farther the men walked they noticed the lower the
water receded, which aided them in gaining some speed.
With the water now ankle deep, they began to jog down
the dark, long nar-row tunnels. Until they reached an
intersection of the tunnel that formed a ‘T’.
Placing both hands on his knees, inhaling and
exhaling… Chuck slowly lifted up his head… “Which way
Ri…” his words stopped… his voice turning into
confusion, as he whispered to himself. “What the
“Flash that light over here.” Quillings instructed the
other man in a low tone of voice.
Riker swung the flashlight in the direction that he
“Whooo the hell?” he squinted.
Slowly progressing out of the shadows was a mysterious
Revealing only a dark silhouette of a face.
They noticed it’s upper lip as it curled in
It’s voice a grated whisper…
It was slowly
It was singing.
Standing with his legs spread, elbows locked, the thin
man aimed his weapon directly at the alien being.
“Stop, or I’ll shoot.” He ordered.
Riker watched, as the being ignored the warning, his
rising, as the creature came closer.
“Stop! I’m warning you.” Quillings demanded. There
was nervousness to his voice.
Using perfect aim, Quillings fired at the being.
The first blast of the laser made the being flinch.
The thin man fired again.
The being lunged towards the thin man swinging its arm
forward. With great force, it slapped the thin man’s
chest. Quillings bony body
skidded across the slippery floor of the tunnel,
smashing into an opposite wall.
Riker ran towards the creature like a matador bull.
Using his full body weight he dove forward to tackle
Riker’s force made the creature falter backwards, its
spine slamming into a nearby wall. The creature
grabbed Riker’s shoulders as it brought his head out
of its torso. Riker and the creature were face to face
now. It looked directly at him. It wasn’t the alien’s
eyes he saw…it was an image of Deanna. As if looking
through a window, he saw Deanna as she screamed in
agony for the constant tormenting singing to stop.
Taken suddenly off guard by the sight of his wife,
Riker felt a huge strong fist slam against his chest.
The bone-crushing blow sent his body staggering
Whirling around, the creature ran through the long
dark, wet tunnels.
Both men gathered to their feet, as they watched the
alien disappear into the darkness.
“What the hell is that thing?” The question flew out
of Quillings mouth, before he realized he would never
receive an answer.
Riker stood, rubbing the now bruised sternum area of
his chest. He ignored the question. He looked at the
man for only an instant. Bending down to pick up the
flashlight, he secured it in his jacket. He took off
run-ning down the long dark, wet corridors of the
The thin man inhaled and exhaled deeply, before he ran
alongside of Riker, both in pursuit of the being.
Deanna was in a panic. The cold water was continuing
to rise all around her, filling up her dark prison.
Begging for the evil singing to cease, “Stop!” She
cried desperately “Please stop!” Holding both hands
over her ears.
Suddenly the singing stopped. The tormenting voice was
Her brain was in a whirl.
“Think. Think. Deanna think.” She ordered herself,
taking the palm of her hand hitting her head.
‘There has to be a door’ she thought. As her hands
searched in the darkness.
Using her hands to walk along the walls, like a blind
man, she waded in the water. She began to desperately
search in the darkness for a door.
The water had risen to her waist and continued to flow
down the side of the canister prison she was entombed
She stood in the wet blackness. Her body shivering
from the cold.
Her teeth chattered.
Tightly closing her eyes, she began to concentrate.
She forced herself to concentrate. Her mind began to
block out the cold, the water, and the blackness.
She could sense Riker. She sensed his urgency to find
her. She sensed his desperation to find her. She
sensed his fear.
*** “Help” *** she called out to him. *** “Imzadi”***
Riker suddenly came to a halt. “Deanna.” He said
aloud, whirling his body around.
“This way.” He instructed. Both men took off running
at a high pace down the dark corridors.
At the end of the long dark tunnel, they noticed a
They glanced at one another. “What the hell is that
doing here?” they both thought. Neither one having the
answer to the unspoken question.
They continued to head towards the oddly placed
Riker was the first one to attempt to open the damp
It was locked.
“Stand back.” The thin man said, as he aimed his
The stench of wet burning wood filled their nostrils.
The laser from the weapon had burned a huge hole in
the wooden door, sending smoke throughout the area.
With his weapon ready, ducking his head as he entered
the tall thin man cautiously and slowly walked through
the archway of the door. Riker followed. The room was
dark, musty smelling, damp, and quiet…too quiet.
Neither one knowing if they had just entered into the
creature’s lair. Or, if the alien was somewhere,
silently, lurking in the shadows waiting for its prey.
They could hear the running of water.
Step by step they slowly walked further into the room.
Riker could feel the icy coldness surround him. He
could see his breath in front of him; sending goose
bumps and shivers though out his body. He could smell
Looking up to the ceiling as if in amazement, his eyes
scanned the room. His gaze finally rested on Riker,
“What the hell is this place?” Quillings asked.
“I’m not sure, but” His body slowly moving in circles
with the flashlight, as he examined the room. “Deanna
is here somewhere.” Riker added quietly.
“How do you do that?” the thin man asked.
Riker ignored the question as he cautiously began to
walk further into the room.
The flashlight illuminated a canister type structure
standing alone in middle of the room.
The two men cautiously walked towards the odd shaped
structure. It was a tall, and canister shaped. They
could hear the echo of the waterfall inside of the
Looking up the tall tower towards the ceiling, the
bony man spoke, “That damn thing goes way the hell up
“Why in the hell is it here?” Riker questioned
“Why in the hell *are* we here?” This wasn’t a
question. The bony man made the statement before he
had time to think.
Both men slowly began to walk around the ring shaped
“There’s water falling inside this damn thing.” The
thin man said. Putting the palm of his hand flat on
Riker felt all of his blood rush to his face. His head
pounded. He felt the tiny beads of sweat on the back
of his neck. He immediately became encompassed with
fear. He felt sick.
“Deanna!” Riker shouted frantically. Hitting the sides
of the silo with his fist.
“Will!” Both men heard the distant echoed cry from
inside the walls.
“There’s got to be a way into this thing!” The thin
man quickly added, his voice sounded of a man in a
panic. As he began to search for an opening along the
side of the structure.
The men headed in opposite directions of the round
frantically searching for the door, silently praying
to themselves that there was one.
“Over here!” The thin man yelled.
Riker ran around the structure as if in flight,
heading towards the sound of Chuck’s voice.
“I found a hatch!” He said with urgency tinged in his
Grabbing onto the round wheel of the door, both men
grunted; as they used all their strength to turn the
wheel that would free Deanna.
They tried again, their faces reddened as they
strained against the wheel.
The wheel wouldn’t budge.
“You Bastard!” Riker screamed in a frustrated grunt.
Suddenly all that Deanna meant to him flashed before
his eyes. She was his eve-rything. All the years he
spent without her seemed empty and foolish. As if
regaining new strength, he exhaled quickly.
Riker and the thin man began again. He was wild with
anger; his brain was in a whirl. Riker felt the veins
in his neck bulge as he used all his power to open the
door. He felt his face begin to burn, as it turned red
from the strain. His knuckles turned white from the
massive grip he had on the wheel.
The wheel began to turn.
Both men noticed it; they gave each other an instant
look of hope. Adding new strength to their bodies.
They began to frantically turn the wheel faster.
Riker heard a click of the hatch.
Trying to brace himself on the wet slippery flooring,
he pulled the wheel; the heavy steel door opened,
The gush of water began to flow, flooding the dark,
empty, cold room.
“Out… came… the… sun”
“And dried up all the rain.”
Riker heard the echoed spinning sound of a blade, as
it swung around in force hit-ting the side of the
canister emitting sparks that caused flashing instant
light in the dark room.
His brain was reeling; he whirled his body around
towards the sound of the blade. Suddenly he felt the
hands, and the long icy cold, bony fingers as they
clutched his upper arms, and violently threw him
across the room. His body slid, as if on ice across
the wet slippery floor. Slamming his right shoulder
into an opposite wall.
He knew Quillings was firing, he saw the red lines of
the weapon as they streaked across the dark room.
Forcing himself to his feet, he used the wall behind
him as leverage to stand. His left hand grabbing onto
the now injured right shoulder, he winced in pain, as
he rose to his feet. ‘Deanna!’ his brain flashed. All
he could think about was Deanna. He had to get to
Disorientated, he ran blindly in the darkness, heading
towards the center of the room. His brain was reeling,
his head was pounding, his
shoulder hurt like hell. Blindly he ran. Dodging the
laser fire that was flashing throughout the room. He
could hear the whirling sound of the blade, as it
thrashed through the dark-ness. His brain was
spinning. He felt his lungs as they began to expand
and swell in his chest. He blindly ran.
Losing his footing, he began to fall to the ground.
Without thinking, he thrust his arms forward and used
his hands to stop him from landing on his face. His
brain was spinning. He had to get up. He had to get to
He had tripped on something.
What was it? A Body.
It was a body.
It was Deanna’s body.
“Holy Shit!” he heard the thin man’s voice yell from
across the room in the dark-ness.
Chapter 12 (The Conclusion)
Keeping his head low, Riker quickly grabbed Deanna’s
body under the shoulders and drug her out of the line
of the laser fire. Her limp body easily slid across
the drenched slippery floor. His heart pounded in his
chest. The sound of the whirling blade sang through
the darkness. He could feel the icy sound of the voice
as it spoke, as it sang. It was all around him, its
evil essence filled the dark room.
Deanna began to cough. She coughed loudly. Her body
jerking as she gasped for the much needed air. She
began to fight Riker; not knowing where she was or who
had a hold of her, she began to struggle not only for
air, but also for what she thought was her life.
Forcing his own inner fear, and the constant turmoil
that was soaring through his body aside; Riker began
to comfort his wife, through their link, sending
thoughts to her telling her that she was safe, that
she was with him. Sending her some of his own
strength. Speaking out loud to her, telling her it
was okay. She was safe.
Her struggling began to cease, and calmness began to
envelop around her. It was the strength that he was
sending her through their link. She realized he was
there. She knew he would do all within his power to
keep her safe. She began to feel secure again.
The room suddenly became silent. The sound of the
cascading waterfall was all that was heard, in the
darkness of the room
“Damn thing ran off!” Quillings yelled through the
darkness. His voice had a tinge of relief to it.
Riker immediately cradled his wife. Sitting in a
corner of the pitch-black, wet room, he rocked Deanna,
as she continued to refill her lungs with air, her
breathing heavy. He continued to send comfort, and the
knowledge that he was there, and that she was safe.
Continually, reassuring her that the creature was gone
now. He continued to use the link they had. He could
feel her wet body begin to shiver, and tremble. And it
felt good to him. I was a silent sign, that she was
alive. He embraced his wife tighter. He spoke into
her hair, hushing her, telling her aloud she was all
right, and safe now. Relief flushed though his body,
knowing that he was with her again. She returned the
embrace as she clung onto her husband, her face buried
into his damp shirt. They stayed there both sending
each other comfort through their link. He was grateful
she was alive. She was thankful that he was there.
“You okay.” Riker yelled. Raising his head from his
wife’s hair. Looking in the darkness for Quillings. He
was trying to distinguish where the voice was coming
“Yeah.” The tall man yelled through the dark wet room.
“You?” he asked,
attempting to keep the conversation going so he could
radar in on Riker’s voice and
follow the sound.
“I’m okay.” Riker yelled.
“That scary bastard has a sword!”
“I know.” He quietly said, as he cradled his wife even
tighter. Speaking into her wet hair. He noticed her
shivering was beginning to cease. Her breathing was
becoming more normal, as she became less disorientated
to her surroundings.
“Where’s your wife!” Quillings voice sounded as if it
was getting closer.
“I got her.” He yelled, “She’s okay.” Riker replied a
sound of relief filled his voice. Deanna responded.
Her mental faculties coming back to her fully now
“What the hell is that thing?” Riker asked the
question as he looked up towards the tall man.
Noticing that his bony face was now only a black
shadow in the darkness.
“Hell if I know. We definitely need more light. I’ll
send my men in here as soon as I can. So we can
further investigate this hellhole.” He said, “I’m not
sure as to where the damn thing ran off to. But I
don’t want to hang around here and find out.” He let
out a breath as he urged, “Let’s get out of here.”
Riker stood to his feet, his shoulder hurt like hell
as he rose. He brought Deanna up with him. She
clutched his shirt, as she stood next to him. She
wrapped both arms
securely around her husband’s waist.
Riker looked down at Deanna, She nodded and gave him
a slight smile. She was giving him the silent message
that she was ready and strong enough to leave.
All three cautiously headed towards the charred door.
Not knowing if the creature would show up again…they
hastily exited the dark, damp room.
Walking through the corridors, Riker held onto his
wife, wrapping one arm around her waist, they steadily
walked through the damp, narrow tunnels of the sewer.
Suddenly Quilling fell to his knees, gargling sounds
emitted from his throat. The thin man’s face turned a
blood red color. The creature was behind him. The thin
man could feel the icy cold breath on his neck. He
could feel the icy long fingers as they began to
tighten their grip, as they wrapped around his throat.
Riker whirled around, shoving Deanna to the side,
away from the danger, and away from the creature. Her
body hit a nearby wall, suddenly coming to a halt from
the force her husband had no idea he had used to shove
her out of the way
Riker saw the phaser Quillings was holding tumble to
the ground. The thin man blindly attempted to move his
hand around the area on the floor, searching for the
lost weapon, as he gasped for breath. His eyes rolling
towards the back of his head.
Deanna stood against the damp wall as she watched in
horror as the two men
battled the creature.
Riker immediately lunged forward and grabbed the sword
that was sheathed at the side of the creature.
Tumbling to the ground he rolled on the floor of the
wet dark tunnel floors. He never let go of the huge
sword, as his hands gripped it tightly.
In fury, the creature howled. It reared back, forcing
the thin man’s body to rear back with him, as it
tightened its icy grip around his throat. The thin
man’s body began to go limp from the lack of oxygen.
The creature lifted its head up towards the top of
the dark damp sewers, its red eyes glowed in anger, as
it began to scream in the fury of its wrath.
Immediately, rising to his feet, Riker rushed the
creature. He took the huge S-shaped sword and whirled
it around, it made a singing sound over the screams
of the creature as it echoed through the narrow
With one mighty swipe, the huge S-shaped sword
severed the creatures’ head from its body. The head
flew through the air, landing on an opposite wall of
the damp dark tunnels. The aliens icy grip slowly let
go of the thin man’s throat, as it body began to
limply fall to the ground.
Gasping for air the thin man slowly made it to his
feet. With all the strength he could muster his bony
body pushed the decapitated remains of Edward
Hedgepath away from him. It landed on the floor of the
tunnel, its body twisting and jerking.
“That damn thing is a demon.” The thin man said
breathlessly, as he staggered away from the creature,
holding his throat.
Riker looked over to Deanna, who was standing against
the wall. He noticed her eyes were wide with terror.
He ran to her, and pulled her body into his, as all
three watched in horror the body of Edward Hedgepath
began to change. It began to deteriorate, slowing
melting in the sludge on the floors of the damp dark
tunnels, turning back into its original state of
fleshless bones. The remains blending in with the
watery floors of the tunnel.
“Where’s the head?” Riker asked breathlessly, tossing
the huge S-shaped sword to the side.
“It’s over there.” The thin man struggled with the
words, as he pointed his bony finger towards the site
of where the severed head had landed.
There was silence in the tunnels as all three took a
moment to regain their
“Let’s go home.” Riker finally said breaking the
silence. He tightened his
embrace around his wife. Looking down at her he gave
her a quick smile.
All three began to walk slowly through the damp
tunnels. All three were relieved that it was over. All
three walked in silence.
Deanna gave one last glance over her shoulder as they
began to ascend out of the
tunnels as they headed for the surface. Her body
shivered. She quickly held onto her
On the surface, in the schoolyard, the teacher smiled
as she heard the nursery children as they innocently
“The its-seeee bit-seee spider”
“Went up the wat-er spout.”
Riker, Troi or Quillings didn’t notice the small black
spider, with the glowing red stripe down its back, as
it crawled out of the mouth of the now fleshless,
bodiless, skull of Edward Hedgepath.
They had no way of knowing, as it slowly made its way
up the side of the dark, damp tunnels of the sewers.
They weren’t aware of the fact that the little black
spider, with the glowing red stripe down it’s back had
That it was going back to the place where it all
It was headed towards the town’s cemetery.
Looking for another body it could rejuvenate
Looking for a body it could control.