Bay City, OR 4AM
Douglas finds himself standing barefoot in the road, struggling to reconcile two conflicting sets of memories that encompass the same three week period of time…one of being a patient at Morningside, and another of going about his life as usual. There’s a kind of ripple effect in experience that stretches over the consequent years, and then the two timelines merge at a point roughly a year before the night of the Eugenia Taylor estate auction.
-Douglas remembers being at Morningside in 1919, but also remembers starting at the paper in 1920…somehow both events are real though they don’t seem to correlate to each other.
Marion and Troy fetch Douglas’ shoes from the hotel. When they return, they pile into the car in pursuit of the man in sunglasses. There is no sound of a car starting, so they assume he is on foot. Clara is driving, Troy is shotgun, and Marion and Doug are in the backseat.
As they creep along the darkened streets, the car’s headlights glint off something metallic in the gravel next to an apartment building, so they stop to investigate. They see a fire escape on that side of the building has been semi-lowered (unhooked but not extended), the end still too far from the ground for a person to grab from the ground.
Walking over to the building, they don’t detect anything, no smell of smoke…of course it’s breezy now so that isn’t surprising…Marion gets on Troy’s shoulders to pull down the fire escape ladder. While they are busy with that, Clara looks down at the ground and sees taht the metallic glint they had seen earlier was from what appears to be a teaspoon that somebody has flattened and shaped into a scoop-like device. It is stained with a dark, dried liquid, which looks like blood. Scattered around it are some cigarette butts.
Marion then notices a dark, wet patch on the ladder, like clotting blood. The group hurries to the roof, but the creature has escaped. There’s no way a human could’ve gotten up the fire escape and away from the roof…all the buildings around are too far away. They suspect that the man in sunglasses is the same type of creature they encountered back in Forest Grove the night Troy got pulled into the nightmare.
They opt to go back to the hotel and get some rest, rather than chase after the horror in the dark. Everyone sleeps except Douglas, who is still wracked with existential confusion.
Douglas recalls a snippet of conversation with Roger/Steve at Morningside:
“That fella, he was a vet like you. Got him out. I can get you out, too. Good guy, kinda crazy. Named Troy. Let me know,” Roger/Steve had murmured to him.
After breakfast the next morning, the group heads to Tillamook in search of Mulligan. They decide to go to the railyard first. On the way into town, they pass a restaurant called Doug’s, and a hotel called the Siren by the Sea. Douglas notices more high-end cars parked around than one would expect, especially for a Tuesday morning in September.
Upon reaching the railyard, the group try to find out if anybody has seen Mulligan, without tipping Mulligan off that they are looking for him. Cara strikes out when she tries to convince the foreman that she is Mulligan’s sister, and that she’s looking for him because their mother is ill. Marion has better luck with a man named Charlie, who states that Mulligan caught the train to Skookum Lake the day before.
Clara and Marion then use their charms (and a wad of cash) to secure spots on the train to Skookum which is set to depart on Wednesday morning.
With nothing else to do and a day to kill, the group book rooms at the Siren by the Sea and lay low for the day.
They notice several men who don’t fit in…they, like their cars, seem a little too fancy for Tillamook. These men have noticed our group, too.
While Douglas is picking up food from Doug’s Diner, the rest of the gang are in the smoking lounge of the hotel. A young, sandy haired man asks Marion to dance. He introduces himself as Charles in a vaguely Irish accent, and proceeds to tell her that his boss is in room 211, while he himself is in room 213…he extends the offer for Marion to join him later for ‘bible study.’ He then mentions that his boss (who ends up being Mulligan) is away checking on the camp.
Armed with this piece of information, the group plan to search Mulligan’s room while he’s away.