The weekend had come and Dolly was worried about everything. She had talked to Will shortly after she had that incident in the Safe Haven and was alarmed to find that he knew nothing about any of what she had to say. She’d seen that hooded figure before and had no idea who it was or even what it was. That it could appear in a place that Will said only Dolly had access to was disturbing. She had wanted to think that it might just be Will in some form, but that was quickly becoming difficult to believe. If it was Will, she didn’t know why he sounded so sinister when he was dressed in the hood and why he would bother with it. It made her wonder about all the things that he might be doing on his own, even though she didn’t think he was really a threat. On the other hand, if it wasn’t Will, who the hell was it? The figure would never answer her and that only made her more worried. That said, it had given her an idea on what to do about the Shadow and that was going to have to be good enough for now.
When she was able to talk to him, Will more or less agreed that it was worrisome that the other two were acting weird and it was even more alarming that it was persisting so long. Lydia was having trouble getting to work and Stuart couldn’t string a sentence together to save his life. He was even having trouble at home now because it had gotten so bad. It didn’t help that neither of them were sleeping anymore and when they did, they stayed in bed for long hours and couldn’t get out of bed for anything. It was hard to see them like this and even harder to try to convince them to come to the set this weekend. Dolly wanted so badly to try to help them or tell them what was going on but she already knew that no one would believe her. She also hated that she had to essentially trick them into coming out. Both of them were getting worse by the day and she knew that nothing short of an emergency was going to bring them to the set. It also had to be an emergency, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to get both of them at the same time and Dolly knew that this had to be done in one shot or the Shadow was going to be even harder to catch the second time around. She knew it was a flimsy premise but Will had backed her up on it anyway and the other two were so tired, they just went along with it after she told them that they were only going to be there for a short time and could go home immediately after.
Dolly had come up with the plan after her encounter with the hooded figure. There had been a single throw away line that she’d forgotten about in her review and she was pretty certain that she’d even cut it from the script that she gave Will because it was just a comment on the filming location in Killer Dreams. It had given her an idea on how to get the Shadow in a place that it wouldn’t be able to hurt Stuart or Lydia anymore. From there, they would have to figure out a better plan on how to trap it. She hoped that this would work because she could tell what kind of strain it was putting on her friends and if she didn’t do something, both of them were going to get seriously hurt or sick. Even if it was for the moment while they figured out a better plan, it would do. Dolly didn’t know if she could kill it but for the moment, that was all she had to work with. She was feeling less than confident about this seeing how Will was trying to act like he believed this would work and failing at it.
Dolly had to leave early to set up with Will and it was tough to make herself want to go without the cat. She didn’t know how much Trioxin would be able to help in the matter but if she was going by what Will said, she had to trust that most things respected cats enough that they wouldn’t cross them. Still, that just asked for trouble on the bus and she already had enough to worry about without worrying about losing him if he got out. Considering that even the hooded figure seemed to back off from him, Dolly didn’t know how she felt about the prospect of trying this without him but she really couldn’t deal with losing him in a situation that she couldn’t get him back.
The sky was moody and darker today and she hoped that this was going to work well for them. Will said that as long as they were able to cast the shadows that they needed the other two had, they should be able to draw the creature out. It was rare that Dolly was here on her own this early and it made her nervous to be wheeling around here when there was no one around. She was relieved when she unlocked the door and from the inside, Will was already helping her to open the door. She was even more relieved to find that he’d gone out of his way to put things up for her that she wouldn’t have been able to reach and would have struggled with. With the lights on, it was bright enough and they could cast shadows where they needed them.
“Here’s hoping that things go smoothly,” Dolly sighed. “When I talked to Lydia the other day, she sounded dead on her feet. I feel bad making them come out.”
“Honestly, this is probably going to be the best option we have to get the damn thing away from them. That part will likely work but it’s what to do afterwards that we need to worry about,” Will frowned. He sighed. “One thing at a time, though. We need to get that thing off them because it’s going to do some damage soon if we don’t.”
“I wish I could have brought Trioxin with me,” Dolly replied, helping him set up. “I know that it probably wouldn’t have helped but I feel better knowing that Oxy might be able to hurt that thing.”
“Well that would have been a dead giveaway that we know,” Will replied. He patted her back. “Besides, you hurt it just fine the other day. Maybe we can scare it off for good this time.”
“You think so?”
“All we can do is try, right?” he shrugged. “Come on. Let’s set up the lights so that they get all the corners.”
The others arrived about an hour later together with Stuart driving. He waved but wouldn’t speak and Lydia was in a pair of fox pajama pants and a baggy sweater. Both of them looked like they had just rolled out of bed. Both Dolly and Will knew that they had to work fast to get things going or they were going to fall asleep on the spot. Dolly tried to act chipper as she got them seated but inside, she was terrified. It was so much worse seeing this in person. She could see her friends suffering as she watched them trying to stay awake. All their personality was drained away and both were just robots waiting for instruction. She prayed inside that this was going to work out okay because she couldn’t let this happen a minute longer.
“I know you guys aren’t feeling well so I’m going to just get your help with something really small,” Dolly said, cheerfully. “Once we’re done, you guys can go home and get some rest.”
“Is it okay if I stay sitting, Dolly?” Lydia frowned. “My legs are killing me and I have the worst headache right now.”
Stuart said nothing but nodded along.
“That’s actually perfect,” she replied. “I need you guys just to sit tight for a couple of minutes here. The lighting isn’t right in the video so I needed someone to help me block it is all.”
Stuart mimed something with his hands and when no one understood what he was saying, he pulled out his phone. He texted Dolly that the lights were going to bother his eyes and his headache was so bad that the painkillers he took weren’t working anymore.
“That’s okay,” Dolly insisted, motioning for Will to get ready. “You guys can just close your eyes for a second or two and we’ll be ready right after.”
Dolly pretended not to notice but she could hear the familiar hiss of the Shadow lurking nearby. She didn’t know if it sensed that she knew it was there but she knew that if she gave it half the chance, it was going to do something. She could hear it in its tone. It took all she could to avoid glancing at Will to see if he was getting nervous too. She didn’t need to look at Stuart to know that he was getting anxious and she knew she had to act fast.
“Okay guys, just relax,” she said, forcing herself to stay in character. She prayed that this was going to work. “Close your eyes and we’ll get those lights in the right spot.”
Their eyes were barely closed when Will jumped the gun and turned on the lights at the highest setting, immediately bathing all of them in blinding light. The hissing that Dolly had heard was more feral this time as the brightness bathed over her two friends while they winced. Squinting, Dolly saw something like a veil come off both of them and was relieved for only a second before she heard a loud pop. Dolly looked over to see Will fall over his feet and the other light popped seconds later. She heard Lydia yelp and felt her grab onto her arm as they were suddenly plunged into darkness. Will scrambled to get closer to them just as the door to the storage unit slammed closed.