She desired a getaway from the hustle and bustle of her everyday city life, so she made the drive into the country, having booked a week’s long vacation at a small cabin in a forest above a river. The night was beautiful as she sat on the front porch, under the eve, enjoying the sound of a slight breeze rolling through the branches of the ancient trees and the splash and gurgle of the water from someplace below where she sat.
Having exhausted her basket of picnic supplies and the half bottle of red wine she’d brought with her, she drove into the nearby town to purchase a few supplies for the next couple of days. With plans to sit on the covered porch again, she had heard a long guttural cry from deep in the woods and believed it wise to remain inside.
Instead, after a steak dinner, she sat in front of a small blaze in the fireplace, sipping some inexpensive port and relaxing. Shortly after nine, she began her routine before bed.
As she stood in front of the mirror, patting her face dry, she heard a terrific thump on the opposite side of the building. Quietly, she turned off the bathroom light and approached the far window of the small interior, parting the curtain aside to have a look.
Lorri heard nothing.
She returned to the bathroom, switching on the overhead light again, as something once more thumped on the wall, only louder this time. Lorri froze in place and leaned out the doorway to peer at the window.
She quickly jerked back, sure she had seen a shadow cross from one side of the frame to the other. Again, she snapped off the light and listened.
Again, Lorri heard nothing.
But this time, she left the light off and walked over to where her purse lay. In it, she had two things she felt she needed, her cellphone and a snub-nose 38 caliber handgun.
She returned to the fireplace and added two more logs to the dying embers. Lorri pulled the quilted blanket that came with the rental over herself as she sat in the chair, half afraid to fall asleep.
Morning found her still in the chair, having fallen asleep. She woke stiff and tired, having slept poorly.
She got up and slowly moved to the window from the night before. As expected, there was nothing to see.
As Lorri showered, she concluded that it must have been raccoons that had made the noises from the night before. She made a mental note to double-check before she left to tour one of the many seaside villages.
Dressed, she went outside and to the far side of the cabin. As she was beginning to reassure herself that there was nothing to worry about, she saw something on the ground that looked like it did not belong.
Gray and fleshy, it appeared to be much like the upper portion of a squid, yet it had no tentacles and was missing that giant eye squid’s possessed. She picked up a stick and poked at it.
It did not move.
Still using the stick, she lifted it off the ground and returned inside, where she dropped the thing in the garbage can in the kitchen. She’d decided to deal with it when she returned from her outing that evening.
The sun was slipping beyond the horizon when Lorri pulled onto the gravel road that led to the cabin. It had been a full day, and she could hardly wait to get inside, prepare some dinner, and go to bed.
She grew alarmed when she saw the front window to the left of the door was ajar. She couldn’t remember if she had opened it and left it open or not.
Lorri got out of her vehicle, gun in hand, and approached the cabin. She turned the door handle only to find it still locked. She slipped the key in and turned the handle.
Lorri walked through the place, checking everywhere. The closet was empty, as was the bathroom and cupboards throughout the house.
Satisfied that she was alone, Lorri sealed the window and locked it. She also closed the front door, locking it and then moving a chair in front of it, tucking the back up under the door handle as an added measure.
That evening, Lorri had cooked a thick piece of salmon in the fireplace. It was more than satisfying as she again relaxed in front of the open hearth, sipping on the last of her wine.
Slightly after ten, she decided to go to bed, using it for the first time since she arrived. Within minutes after washing her face and brushing her teeth, she fell asleep, head comfortably deep in a soft pillow and under the thick quilt.
Something thudded against the house, and it woke her up. Lorri looked at the time on her cell phone; three in the morning.
She lay quiet and unmoving as the noise came again. She had her hand under her pillow, and in that hand, she gripped the snub-nose revolver.
Then the noise came again. But this time, it sounded different, closer, and less hollow.
Suddenly, Lorri scrambled from the bed and turned on her light. She had realized that the noise was inside the cabin.
Handgun at the ready, she tiptoed towards the front of the place. In the middle of the room stood a figure.
Without waiting or warning, she fired and watched and listened as it writhed and screamed before vanishing into nothingness. Lorri retreated to the bedroom, grabbed her cellphone and purse, and raced outside to her vehicle.
What she’d seen, she did not know and did not wish to wait to find out what it might be. She drove to the largest nearby town and checked into the first motel she found offering a vacancy sign.
The following day, escorted by a sheriff’s deputy and the cabin’s owner, Lorri returned to pack her belongings.
“You must have left the door unlocked and a bear got in,” the sheriff’s deputy said as he inspected the room.
“Yup,” the cabin owner agreed, adding, “Bears can even open a door like a human being.”
Lorri knew better but chose not to argue with the men. If she had shot a bear, there would be blood, if not inside the cabin, then on the porch or ground surrounding it.
She had already put up with enough questioning over the firearm she legally possessed.
She finished cleaning what mess she had made, dropping the trash in the kitchen garbage. It was then that she discovered that the thing she’d put in the plastic pail was what she’d seen that night.
As she got in her vehicle, but before closing the door, Lorri heard the deputy say, “Ph’nglui yaah ot vulgtmoth Cthulhu, any closer ng Y’ would mgep mgep l’ h’ ah’n’gha.”
“I know,” the other returned ominously. “C’ need l’ h’ or’uh’enah mgep nilgh’ri else bug wrong.”
“Weirdo,” Lorri said as she turned for home.