Fears Chella

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[Page 1: Randolph Calls the Police] Mr. Randolph liked Rose, that little smile she had, how she was still sweet when life had tried so hard to make her bitter. It wasn't any of his business what she did in her trailer, but those strangers -- the writer and his smartass sidekick -- looked like trouble, and they'd been in there for hours, way past her normal bedtime. He reached for the phone and called the Sheriff's station. [Page 2: The Dark Presence Sleeps] For decades, the darkness that wore Barbara Jagger's skin slept fitfully in the dark place that was its home and prison. It was hungry and in pain. It dreamed of its nights of glory when the poet's writing had called it from the depths and given it a brief, terrible taste of power and freedom. The rock stars had stirred it from the deep sleep the poet had sunk it back to in the end. When it sensed the writer on the ferry, it opened its eyes. [Page 3: Nightingale in the Radio Station] Nightingale stared through the broken studio window into the dark woods. He turned around, started to walk out, but Maine grabbed his arm. "Young man, you almost shot me! You don't shoot off rounds at people like that. What's the matter with you?" Nightingale shook his arm free, marched out. His cheeks burned with rage and humiliation. [Page 4: Sarah Distrusts Nightingale] Sarah trusted her gut, and her gut said agent Nightingale was an asshole. He felt wrong, and it wasn't just the smell of stale booze. It was in the way he flashed his badge, pulled rank, the look in his eyes when he wanted answers. Where was Alan Wake? What was this about an accident? Where was his wife? And most importantly, why did she let Wake go? He wouldn't answer her questions. "Federal business" was all he'd say. [Page 5: Wake Attacked by a Possessed Object] The pipe wrenched itself loose from the bridge's steel framework. Wrapped in darkness, it floated in midair, twitching spastically. For a moment, I didn't understand what I was looking at. The heavy object lurched at me with impossible force. I threw myself out of the way, but just barely. When I turned my flashlight on it, it shook in a dark rage, before it flew at me again. [Page 6: Wake and the Dark Presence in the Lodge] I slammed the door shut right in his smug face. He pleaded for me to open the door. True to form, the asshole actually thought I would obey. I had no sympathy left. No guilt, either, not for him. I took a moment to savor the scream. I bet I had a smile on my face. It was all that I had time for. The Dark Presence was inside the lodge with me. [Page 7: Wake Attacked by the Dark Presence] A darkness surged toward me, sucking everything loose from the ground into its depths, tugging at my clothes. I saw the flare the kidnapper had dropped and threw myself toward it just as I felt my feet leave the ground. The darkness embraced me with the force of a tornado. Somehow I managed to light the flare. The darkness roared and cast me away. I fell, toward the dark waters of the lake far below. [Page 8: Rose Visited by the Dark Presence] Rose didn't know how the strange old lady got in her trailer. And she looked...wrong, somehow. The woman showed her teeth in an approximation of a smile and traced a finger down Rose's cheek. "Pretty girl," she said. Rose felt as if she was falling asleep, but her knees didn't buckle. The crone spoke in a whisper, her words ice cold and dark in Rose's ear. [Page 9: Rose Touched by the Dark Presence] Touched by the Dark Presence, Rose was lost in a dreamland where everything was drawn in black and grey crayons. The old lady had promised her that all her wishes would come true. She would be Alan Wake's muse. She was smiling so hard it hurt her face. She crushed a bottleful of sleeping pills into the coffee. Deep down inside, she was screaming in terror. [Page 10: Walter Fights Danny] Danny had stepped out, but what stumbled back in was something else, something alien, a monster. Walter tried to kill it, first with his fists, then a chair. It wouldn't die; instead, it kept coming, unaffected by the beating it had taken. After Walter managed to kick it down the cellar stairs, fear took over. He ran, got behind the wheel, gunned the engine. The booze wouldn't make him forget, but he knew he had to try. [Page 11: Wake Attacked by a Bulldozer] The bulldozer's engine roared to life. Mud and rocks flew as it fought for traction. It crashed the concrete wall and landed heavily in the yard. If it were an animal, it would've shaken its head after the impact, fixed its eyes on me, and charged. Of course, it had no head, nor eyes. Shadows crawled on its form, twisting it into a monster. Then it came for me. [Page 12: Wake and Night Springs] Even after all this time, hearing the Night Springs theme caused a surge of conflicting emotions in me. It had been my first real writing gig. Barry had known a guy who knew a guy, and suddenly I'd been a semi-regular writer on the show. I'd always been ashamed of the job, felt it was trash. I had wanted to be an artist, a novelist. I'd been naive back then. It had taken a long time to learn to be proud of the work. [Page 13: Sarah in the Radio Station] With Nightingale gone and the night wind blowing in through the broken studio window, Maine stared at Sarah. The Sheriff looked away. Maine's voice shook with barely controlled anger. "That boy's doing more drinking than thinking. I hope you know what you're doing, Sarah. He's got a sickness in his eyes. You take my word for it: he wants Wake for a reason, and it's not for anything good." [Page 14: Thomas Zane in Love with Barbara Jagger] When Thomas Zane fell for Barbara Jagger, it happened fast. She was young, vibrant and beautiful, full of life. He had never been a very happy man, and without any seeming effort she had changed all that. Zane felt good for the first time in his life. Everything she did was another piece of a jigsaw puzzle he hadn't even known he'd been missing. And best of all, she made the words flow, strong and sharp. She was his muse. [Page 15: Wake Touched by the Dark Presence] Some of the Taken retained echoes of their former selves, but these were just the nerve twitches of a dead thing. Nothing remained but a shell, covered and filled with darkness. In most cases these puppets were enough for the purpose of the Dark Presence. But for anything more elaborate, as with the writer, it was different. It needed his mind. And so rather than taking him over completely, it merely touched him. [Page 16: Wake and Barry in the Cell] I stared through the bars of the jail cell. Barry stood behind me, swaying on his feet, looking as ill as I felt. Agent Nightingale stood on the other side of the bars with Sheriff Breaker. Nightingale had a stack of manuscript pages in his hand. He seemed unhinged as he gloated: "Well, I've got you now, Raymond Chandler. It's all here, all the evidence, including conspiracy to murder a federal agent." [Page 17: Wake and Casey] Things were never as simple in real life as in fiction. I had lost count of the times I had wished there'd be a clear reason for my writer's block. Something to fight, something to lash out on. There wasn't. I was filled with doubt. I was nothing like the hero in my books. Alex Casey had gone through his life with single-minded determination, never wavering from his goal. Even now, I was angry at myself, angry at Alice, angry at Barry. I was fumbling and I had no plan. [Page 18: Nightingale in the Majestic] Even behind the closed doors and curtains of his grimy room at the Majestic, the local motel, Nightingale could feel the locals' eyes on him, the unrelenting pressure of their judgment. He forced it out of his mind. For all he knew they could all be under Wake's spell already. You do what you have to do to get the job done. He took comfort from the bottle in his hand: "Please," he thought, "just let me get through this." [Page 19: Mott at Cauldron Lake] Mott had checked all of Stucky's rental cabins. There had been no sign of the Wakes. It was dark when he'd found their car parked at the end of the road by Cauldron Lake. It made no sense. They must have taken a wrong turn, but there was no sign of them, and the car had been there for hours already. Frustrated, Mott stood on the rotten ruin of the footbridge that had once led to Diver's Isle, before it sank beneath the waves years ago. The boss wouldn't be happy. [Page 20: Wake Wakes Up in the Lodge] I tried to hold on to Alice, but her form melted away. I was losing control. Dr. Hartman stood in her place. I wanted to hit him, but my arms were jelly. He smiled. It was a reassuring smile and I hated him for it. "I had to give you a sedative, don't fight it. You went through another rough period. Right now it's very important that you stay calm. We don't want you to have another episode. You're a patient at my clinic, have been for a while now." [Page 21: Mott on the Ferry] For Mott, spying on the writer on the ferry had been a disappointment. His boss had made Wake out to be something special, but Mott hadn't been impressed. He'd gotten a good, long look of the wife, though, and liked what he saw. Mott had fantasized about goading Wake into a fight, but it hadn't happened. Still, he'd get his chance to see if the writer had anything in him. He'd been promised as much. [Page 22: Hunters Taken] The hunters were big, thickset men, confident and at home in the woods. They were feeling good, running on beer, ghost stories and camaraderie late into the night. It did them no good as they were taken by the Dark Presence, sucked deep into a darkness far worse than any ghost story they ever told or heard. [Page 23: Doc Examines Barry and Rose] Doc sat down heavily. He'd examined Barry and Rose. Barry was already recovering. Rose was another story: she was conscious, but she was barely present, almost delirious, disturbed, "touched in the head," they used to say. It wasn't the first time Doc had seen someone in such a state, but it'd been over thirty years. Doc poured himself a stiff drink. He hadn't forgotten a thing. [Page 24: Wake Reads a Page] I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. In it, I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. In it, I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. In it, I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. In it, I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. In it, I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. [Page 25: Tor Hits Nurse Sinclair] Lightning flashed behind the windows of Cauldron Lake Lodge. Tor Anderson laughed and held the steel hammer above his head. Nurse Sinclair was trying to calm him down without success. Tor grinned madly and shouted: "My hammer's up! Here's a friendly poke from Mjöllnir, wench!" He brought the hammer down with all his might on Sinclair's head. "We're on a comeback tour, baby!"