Twin Peaks Deathbag

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Twin Peaks: DEATHBAG by oneandthesame

Harry Truman sat upright in bed, tearing himself from the grip of an already passing nightmare. His eyes adjusted to the room’s darkness as he spied the clock on the nightstand. 4:43 a.m. He figured it would be another early start on the morning. He dressed before going into the kitchen and starting the coffee. Today’s agenda: serving Mike Nelson with a court summons concerning last week’s armed robbery of the Kash ‘N Karry, to which Nelson had been a witness. Lucy would also be out for the next few days, and her temporary replacement would surely need a little fine-tuning early on this morning.

As Harry finished his second cup, the phone rang in its antique cradle. A chill worked its way down Harry’s spine.The phone rang five times before he found himself moving to answer it. He felt trouble was waiting on the other end.

It was Benjamin Horne.

“Harry- we have a situation over at The Great Northern this morning that may require the attention of the local Sheriff.”

“Ben? What kind of situation?”

“A regular guest of ours complained about a burning smell a few doors down. Possibly a fire or something. I sent a few of my men to investigate. There was no fire, but a section in the hallway nearby was badly scorched. And Harry…there was a strange man in the hall. European-looking, wearing a white suit. He appeared unhinged, and was ranting and raving.”

“Raving? About what?”

“About fire, Harry.” Ben paused.

“Where is this fella now, Ben?”

“He’s here with security.”

Harry felt that cold chill again. “Stay put. I’m on my way,Ben.”

…………………………

Ed Hurley stepped outside to grab the newspaper. He looked around and took in the early sunrise. He felt terrific. God was in his heaven and all was right with the world. Norma was still snoozing inside, and Ed reckoned he’d have breakfast ready for her when she finally got out of bed. Saturday was usually busy down at the Double R, but she’d managed to get the day off. There had been several days off lately, and Ed had tried to make the best of the extra time together.

Ed decided to turn the station lights on, even though the first customers usually didn’t swing through for another hour or so.

The sound of an approaching engine from a mile or so away suddenly erased this line of thought. Maybe it was ol’ Tim and Tom getting an early jump on their day. Then again, it didn’t sound like the taxi they tore through town in.

A few moments later, a dirty brown Ford swung around the bend and made a bee-line for the unleaded pumps. Ed didn’t recognize the vehicle, but strangers needed fuel too, he supposed.

Big Ed’s Gas Farm was officially open for business.

…………………………

Major Garland Briggs sat quietly in his study. It had been another night of strange dreams and little rest. He heard Betty in the kitchen singing “Waltzing Matilda”. This brought back a portion of his dream from just before he woke. In it, he had been sitting in a booth at the Roadhouse with his son Bobby. The entire place was empty except for the two of them. Bobby had a look of sorrow on his face-the reason for such not yet known to Garland. Then, a giant owl had swooped in through the double doors of the entrance. The bird circled overhead three times, then landed on the bandstand and fell silent.

“Garland! Breakfast, honey!” Betty sang again from the other room.

Major Briggs suddenly felt he had lost his appettite.But he also felt drawn to the Double R Diner.

…………………………

“Order up, Shelley!”

Toad’s Ham n’ Egg Special was on its way to being a memory. Shelley Briggs grabbed the doomed plate of food, and headed for an anxious Toad. The Log Lady watched this event in quiet agony from the last booth in the back of the diner. She’d just finished her regular Saturday starter: a bear claw and hot tea. and now she was enjoying a pinch of pitch tar, and wondering why her log had been silent. She could tell there was trouble on the way, even without the wood’s opinion. And now as she saw Major Briggs enter the Double R, she felt the connection. A dream of a ring- a dull golden ring with a symbol cut into its green center. The ring from her dream last night. A dream in which she had told the man with shiny metals on his chest…something…

The Major felt this powerful mental pull from the Log Lady’s direction, and slowly turned to face her. At this moment, the message seemed clear to her, and she stood and walked to him.

“Things are known to me. Not from my log, but somehow known to me…”

Major Briggs stared into the Log Lady’s eyes. “You have a message.” Briggs knew that something strange was taking place.

“The owls are flying. Their wings heavy with sorrow. There is something wrong here. Do you feel it?”,she asked.

“Ma’am…I’m afraid I do…”

…………………………

Harry Truman opened the door to Ben Horne’s private office, and stepped into the room. Ben sat behind his desk, smoking a cigar. He stood and motioned Harry over to have a seat. “Please, Sheriff. Have a seat.”

Truman looked him over. “Ben, what’s going on?”

“Everthing’s fine Harry. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

“The man that you spoke of? Where is he?”

“I don’t know. He left.”

“I’ll have Hawk and Cabbie search the premises. I’ll have a couple of my men set up a few checkpoints…”

“No need, Sheriff. I’m not pressing charges. A little minor fire damage, which I will surely be reimbursed for. No big deal.”

Harry fell silent. “This man…what the hell happened here, Ben? I want some straight answers. A man tries to burn down your hotel, takes off while you’re not looking, and you’re not going to press charges? Did you know him from somewhere?”

Ben looked at Truman. “I think maybe I know him. Yes. Alas, my memory fails me. He said he had attempted to light a cigarette, and somehow, the wall beside him went up in a flash. Anyway – no harm, no foul. I’ll contact you immediately should he return and begin destroying property again.” Harry got the feeling that he was getting rushed off.

“What was his name, Ben?”

“Jeffries. A Mr. Phillip Jeffries. He apologized for the accidental damage, and offered to reimburse me if need be. He’ll be returning next week on business. I’ll call you over then, if you’d like.”

“Are you sure everthing’s okay here Ben?” Harry felt Ben was covering for this stranger, even though he didn’t seem to really know him.

“Harry. Again, I’m sorry to waste your time.”

And with that, Harry was on his way. But not yet over to the station.

It was time to visit an old friend at the Bookhouse.

…………………………

Joey Paulson opened the rear door of the Bookhouse, and motioned Truman inside. Harry stepped in and closed the door behind him. They shook hands and said hello. Without knowing the exact reason for Harry’s arrival early this Saturday morning, Joey walked over to a high shelf crammed with encyclopedias, reached to the small unadorned ledge at its top, and produced a ring of keys. He knew who Harry was here to see.

“He’s resting. I checked in on him about a half-hour ago.” Joey started down to the basement level with Truman following close behind. “How long since you’ve talked to him, Harry?”

“Too long, I guess…” Harry could already feel his presence from the basement entrance. The dark hall in front of the two smelled of engine oil. That – and the smell of heavy cologne.

They proceeded to the single door at the hallway’s end, and Joey slid the largest key on the ring into the lock. He turned the key counter-clockwise, and pulled the heavy pine door open.

“I’ll wait out here, Harry.”

Truman gave Joey a hard double-take, and then went inside.

…………………………

Miss Avery looked at her watch again. She took a deep disgusted breath. Where was the Sheriff? He had left a note posted on the front door stating he would be in early today to help her get started and show her the ropes. Now she was feeling she’d just as soon hang herself from said rope. She’d been out half the night, and she had a killer hangover this morning. She was in no mood for this, and felt angry at herself for offering to fill in for Lucy while she and Andy Brennan took a few days to travel to Seattle. Sure she was Lucy’s friend. But she was no secretary, and she felt pretending to be was just a bit too much for her to handle this morning.

She got up from the desk and walked out into the station lobby. She looked out the double set of glass doors, and saw a man approaching on foot. He seemed to be walking along on auto-pilot, and possibly a little drunk himself. Now she saw that he had a camping pack on his back, and that his clothes were soiled. He was now almost near the station’s entrance, and Miss Avery thought this could mean trouble. So she stepped back toward Lucy’s desk and braced herself for whatever was about to happen.

The man entered through the double doors and turned to face her.

“Good morning, Miss. I’m here to see Sheriff Truman.” The man now appeared to be exhausted instead of drunk.

She put on her best fake-smile. “I’m sorry, sir. Sheriff must be running behind today. He should be here soon – if you’d like to have a seat over there and wait, you can…”

“Thank you.” He was turning to find a comfortable chair in the lobby area when Miss Avery spoke again.

“Was the Sheriff expecting you this morning?”, she asked. “You got a name?”

“I don’t believe he is. My name is Chet Desmond, and I must speak to him about some private matters. I’ll just wait over here, thanks.”

Chet turned back to the selection of seats, and picked the most inviting. He had spent several days walking through the forest, and a little cat-nap was a creature comfort he simply could not turn down.

He slumped into the seat facing the entrance,and dozed off right away. The dreams came a few minutes later.

…………………………

…..”Excuse me sir…sir, I was told you were here to speak with me….I’m Sheriff Truman..”

Chet floated back to the land of the living. He saw Sheriff Truman standing over him. He sat upright, offering his hand. “Sheriff Harry Truman? Hello, I’m Chester Desmond. It’s good to finally meet you, Sheriff. I’ve been looking foward to it for quite a while.”

Harry was puzzled. “Have we met, Mr. Desmond? I’m sorry I can’t recall…”

“I believe we can help each other.” Chet was now attempting to stand on his tired legs.

“I’m sorry I don’t follow you…Help each other? How?”

“More to the point, Harry. May I call you Harry? I’m looking for a man I believe to be a resident of these parts…this town…Do you know a Dale Cooper?”

Harry looked into Chet’s eyes. “Dale Cooper? Never heard of him. And I’ve never heard of you either, fella. And unless you tell me why you’re crashing in the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Office lobby without an invite, then we’re going to have problems, Friend.”

Chet was now standing face to face with Harry. “You’re lying to me Harry. And there’s zero tolerance for zero cooperation with the Federal government.” Desmond now was pulling something from his back pocket. It was his badge – a little dirty, but an honest-to-god Federal Bureau of Investigation badge.

“Did I mention I’m an Agent of the Bureau, Harry? I’ve had little sleep in the past few weeks, and I think I’ve failed to introduce myself properly.” Agent Desmond waited for Truman’s reply.

“Agent Desmond, I’m sorry to inform you, but Agent Cooper left town nearly a year ago. Right after the murder case he came to Twin Peaks to investigate was solved.”

Hawk was now standing beside Harry, studying this man Desmond before the two of them. “Harry – should I have Miss Avery put on a fresh pot?”, Hawk asked.

“That sounds like a good idea, Hawk. Agent Desmond, would you care to step into my office? We have some things to talk about…”

…………………………

Donna Hayward rolled over in bed and smacked the snooze on the alarm clock for the third time this morning. Her head was busting and her throat was dry as driftwood. She managed to grasp the glass of lukewarm water from the nightstand without spilling it, and raised up on her elbow and drank heartily from it. Too many Tom Collins at the Roadhouse with…well, what did he say his name was anyway? She figured she should roll over and shake the guy snoring loudly beside her and ask him his name again. Maybe later. Not enough energy for that now. Or maybe by the time she was ready to get up and start her day, he would have left before there were any proper introductions.

(That’s how Laura would have liked it) she thought.

So she buried her face in the ruffled pillow, and again tried to fall asleep. She’d worry about what’s-his-name later.

Then the phone rang, and she knew sleep would be on hold for a while.

“Hello?” She felt her throat scratch as she managed to answer.

“Donna? It’s James. I’m calling from Oakland, California. Are you still asleep?”

Donna rolled her eyes and tried to add a little sunshine to her voice. “James! No – I’m up. How are you doing? How’s Oakland treating you?”

This last bit of Hayward sunshine tore what’s-his-name from his loud slumber.

“What time is it? Where the hell am I?” What’s-his-name looked over at Donna. He was obviously as confused about last night as she was.

“Donna? Is there someone there with you?”, James asked on the other end. Donna put her finger up to her lips to signal What’s-his-name to keep quiet. “No…How are you, James?”

James sounded excited. “I’m coming to Twin Peaks in a couple of days, and I’m just calling to let you know I’ll be seeing you again soon. I can’t wait..”

Donna used up the last of her fake-sunshine. “That’s wonderful, James! When will you arrive?”

“Three or four days – at the most. I can’t wait to see you again, Donna. Oakland’s been insane!”

(So have I, James) she thought.

What’s-his-name was already gathering his clothes from various parts of her bedroom, and she felt glad that he was on his way out, witout her begging him go. That’s how it was most of the time with guys she picked up. They wanted something from her that she couldn’t give. Just like James did. Stupid, lovesick James. God – she could kill herself for answering the phone without checking the caller I.D…

“I love you, Donna.”

Here it came again. No, she told herself she wouldn’t say it again. There was no love in her heart for him now. And maybe there never was…

“I love you too, James”

It had slipped out anyway.

By the time she’d hung up, What’s-his-name had already closed the door behind him.

…………………………

Bobby Briggs shuffled into the Double R Diner. He had just seen his father on the way out with that creepy lady with the log. Dad looked preoccupied with something, and hadn’t even noticed that Bobby had pulled in to the parking lot. Just as well, for Bobby was here to meet Shelley on her break, and make plans for later tonight. Dinner and dancing at the Great Northern was the perfect choice for a Saturday night.

He walked in like he owned the place. Perhaps someday he might. Being Mr. Horne’s full-time Executive Assisstant had started to pay off with some decent money, and he was already beginning to learn the ropes of real estate under Ben’s guidance. And everyone in town knew Norma was too tied up now with Big Ed to really care about the diner’s future. The Future was something Bob Briggs had no trouble planning.

He saw Shelley sitting in a booth to the right side of the diner, and slinked over to her as he pulled the cigarette from behind his ear and lit up.

“And how’s my beautiful wife this fine morning? Covered in grease again?”

“Bobby, my love. Have a seat. I’m just going on my thirty-minute. How’s my Executive Assisstant?” Shelley took a deep drag from her own cigarette.

Bobby sat down beside her. “Some strange dude apparently tried to set fire to one of the hallways this morning. Mr. Horne was furious! Then the guy skipped out. Lawdog Truman showed up soon after. But I missed the action. I was going over some things with Jerry in the Timber Room. And speaking of the Timber Room, how does an evening of wine n’ dine sound to you, babe?”

“Delicious – all the way around!” She leaned over and kissed Bobby. For once, married life was not a living hell. Then again, Bobby Briggs was not the late Leo Johnson.

“What time are you out of here?”

“No later than four, Bobby. I’ve got to pick up a few things, then I’ll meet you at home shortly after that.”

Bobby paused for effect. “What’s my father doing with the creepy Log Lady? I just saw the two of them leaving in his car when I pulled in.”

“I don’t know. Did he say anything?”

“No. I don’t think he saw me. The last time they started chumming around together was when…whatever. Probably classified! Anyway, could a guy get some service in this dump? I’m starving over here!” Bobby raised his voice with this last bit. Heidi was already on the way over with a menu.

…………………………

Miss Avery sat in Lucy’s nook working a crossword puzzle. Things had been quiet at the station other than the strange F.B.I. guy’s arrival a while ago, and she wouldn’t have had it any other way. Her hangover was subsiding, and the Sheriff, Hawk, and the stranger had been in a closed-door meeting in Truman’s office. Now all she needed was an eight letter word for ‘clinging creature’…

…………………………

“Agent Cooper was the best lawman I’ve ever known. His extended stay in Twin Peaks was a great help during the events of last year. I would consider him a true friend.” Harry paused and looked over to Hawk, then back to Agent Desmond. “Now you’re telling me he’s in some kind of trouble…and I want to help you, but I have no idea how to find him.”

Desmond considered this for a moment. “We believe Agent Cooper to be located somewhere in these parts, Harry. I too consider myself a friend of his, and I need to find him. So, if any information comes up as to his whereabouts, contact me over at the Great Northern Hotel. I’ll be staying in room 315.”

Hawk shot another look at Harry as Agent Desmond rose to leave. What did this guy really want to find Cooper for?

“We’ll speak again soon, gentlemen.” Desmond left the office and closed the door.

Harry waited until he heard the double entance doors open and close outside.

“Hawk…I paid our friend at the Bookhouse a visit this morning.”

“How’s he doing?”

“He said that there was a man coming to town to look for him.”

Hawk’s eyes widened. “If this Agent Desmond is for real, then maybe we’d better explain what’s happened.”
…………………………

Sarah Palmer lit a cigarette, and eased back into her chair. She had just gotten out of the shower, and had a while to relax before her appointment with Dr. Jacoby. She had been visiting him less and less lately, as the shock and distress of her familiy’s passing had diminished. She felt she had regained a lot of self-control. She now was remembering more of the good things from the past, and letting everything else fall away. She had taken on several duties in Twin Peaks in the last year, and staying busy had helped to ease her mind and soul as well.

The doorbell rang.

Sarah wondered who would be paying an unexpected visit. Maybe it was Eileen and Will.

She opened the front door, and there stood Garland Briggs and the Log Lady.

She felt faint merely at the sight of these two, but steeled herself to welcome them.

“Mrs. Palmer. We are sorry to drop by unannounced, but we felt that you could help us with something…” Major Briggs had a grim look upon his face, which matched that of the Log Lady’s.

Sarah felt darkness continue to wash over her slowly.

Briggs spoke again. “May we come in and talk, Mrs. Palmer?”

“That man….dirty long hair?”…and with this, Sarah collapsed on the doorstep.

“Yes..This is Sheriff Harry Truman calling from Twin Peaks, Washington. I would like to speak to Chief Gordon Cole, if he’s not busy.”

“One momment, please…”

Harry and Hawk stood leaning against the conference room table in silence. They heard a series of clicks popping up from the speakerphone between them.

“GORDON COLE HERE. MAY I HELP YOU?”

“Gordon, this is Sheriff Truman calling from Twin Peaks.”

“HARRY? HOW THE HECK ARE YOU?”

“Gordon, we’ve just been paid a visit by an Agent Desmond. He wandered in…”

“AGENT DESMOND DISAPPEARED ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO HARRY. HE WAS SENT IN TO INVESTIGATE THE BANKS MURDER, BUT HE VANISHED AND WE HAVEN’T SEEN HIM SINCE. ARE YOU SURE IT WAS AGENT CHESTER DESMOND?”

“He showed us his badge, Gordon.”

“IN A FLASH??….HELLO?..”

“HE SHOWED US HIS BADGE. AND HE SAID HE WAS HERE TO FIND COOP. WHAT’S HIS STORY,GORDON? DO YOU HAVE TIME TO TALK NOW?”

“SHERIFF, I’M ON THE NEXT PLANE TO SEATTLE. WE’LL SPEAK SOON.”

The speakerphone clicked again, and the line was disconnected.

…………………………

Chet Desmond entered Room 315, and closed the door behind him. He walked straight over to the bed and fell face-first onto it. He was exhausted. He had spent several days wandering around in the forest, working off of intuition and strange energy, looking for the clearing in which the twelve-tree circle stood. He had known that this area was the entrance proper to the place he had been taken over a year before.

He remembered that he had gone back to the Fat Trout Trailer-Park to find out why Theresa Banks’ murder had been labeled a “Blue Rose” case by Gordon Cole. He had been drawn to the trailer, where he found the ring underneath it, placed upon the small dirt mound. Then a strange humming had filled his head, and this is when the one-armed man had appeared.

“Your search is akin to mine.
Devil hanging on the line.
The doorway is very near.
(The keys are love and fear…)”

Agent Desmond fell asleep.

…………………………

“Ed, there’s going to be an emergency meeting at the Bookhouse this evening at nine-thirty. I’m leaving this message at…(Harry checked his wristwatch)…It’s now four-fifteen. If you can make it, your two-cents would be much appreciated. This concerns our live-in guest. Someone’s come looking for him. Call me, Ed. And thanks.”

Harry hung up, and Ed continued to stand by the answering machine. This was one call Ed was glad to have screened.

…………………………

“Mrs. Palmer, have you had any visions or possibly dreams about the F.B.I. agent who helped solved your daughter’s murder? Any reflections you’ve had at all…”

Major Briggs was interrupted by Margaret, the Log Lady. “I have seen the man with your daughter. They are together – inside a dream.”

A tear rolled down Sarah’s cheek. She found herself looking to Laura and Leland’s photographs on the mantle above the fireplace. “Are they really gone from here?” She turned again to face her uninvited guests. “Why do you come here? What is all of this about?”

Briggs spoke again. “We believe that the dark forces that took your family away from you are at work again in some way. We can’t explain why, or how, but we think you may be able to help us.”

“Help you? But I don’t understand…Is it that man who took them away? The man with the filthy, long hair?”

“Fires take a long time to put out. The amber coals may cool, until a steady wind rolls through, and the required oxygen is given.” Margaret touched the log in her arms. “My log cannot speak of this. There are secrets hidden in men’s hearts. There are dark secrets kept from plain sight. These are things you must speak of now.”

“Mrs. Palmer, Agent Cooper is the answer to the question.”

…………………………

The Little Man hollered a high-pitched cry that floated around in the small red room, before it fell short of reaching those who could read its open letter. The cry signaled a new beginning for the restless spirits that wandered this place, waiting for flesh vehicles to take them in travel to the other side. The Little Man turned in slow, strange circle, as he held the strange gold ring in his left hand. He began to rotate in the center of the room. Faster, then faster.

Someone heard him from the other side.

BOB looked down at Dale Cooper’s body. He twisted about, trying to free himself from the small cot he was strapped to. They thought they’d keep him trapped here as long as Cooper lived. But BOB had plans for Coop that didn’t include dying in this dungeon.

“IT’S ALMOST KILLING TIME AGAIN! LOOSEN THESE STRAPS AND LET’S MAKE SOME HISTORY!!”

BOB screamed wildly. Joey Paulson heard this from outside the door, and came rushing in to check on Cooper.

BOB turned to face him. “POUR SOME MORE COLOGNE ON HIM! TRY TO KILL THE SMELL OF MY SUCCESS. FORTY-WEIGHT AS A GATEWAY! LOOSEN THESE STRAPS, AND I’LL PROMISE NOT TO KILL YOU, BOY!!!”

BOB howled with laughter. And at the same time – within the eternal red prison of the Lodge, Cooper cried in quiet pain.

…………………………

Phillip Michael Gerard knew where BOB was hiding. He had went two days without his medication in order to locate the exact spot where BOB’s familiar presence radiated from. He had once again neared death in his search for his former partner-in-crime. He cursed the meetings that had brought he and BOB together. Many strange lifetimes spent within the empty walls above that damned convenient store.

He also knew exactly where Phillip Jeffries was at this moment. Jeffries was at this instant standing in a clutch of pines fifty yard away from the Bookhouse’s rear entrance. The one-armed man knew this because he himself was standing about fifteen yards behind Jeffries at the edge of a small clearing. At the northern edge of the same clearing, a small path led into a thick stretch of forest, which was only a short hike away from Glastonbury Grove.

He knew that Jeffries was about to attempt a rescue of sorts. Jeffries had bad intentions in mind, and whatever his plans were concerning releasing BOB from his makeshift jail in the cellar of the Bookhouse, Gerard was sure returning Cooper to the Lodge was the first thing on Jeffries’ mind.

So he would simply wait for BOB’s release, and then end this suffering for good. He was tired and wanted only relief in death. He wanted no more to chase BOB, and wanted the killing to stop forever. So he sat patiently, ignoring the pain and shakes he was enduring, and waited…

…………………………

Harry was getting ready to drive over to the Great Northern and check on Chet Desmond. He wanted to get a better sense of the agent’s intent in finding Cooper. He needed some reassurrance that Desmond would even remotely buy the story he and the other Bookhouse Boys were debating on telling him. If Chet had anything in common with Cooper when it came to open-minded possibilities, then maybe they could end the secret that they all kept grudgingly. They wanted nothing more than to see Cooper returned to the light of day. But they also knew that they had housed a demon in the Bookhouse cellar, and that releasing this evil that they had dedicated themselves to ending would result in blood. Of course, this just couldn’t happen.

But Harry hoped that there was a way to free Dale Cooper from BOB’s terrible taking.

And little did Harry Truman know, but his life, as well, was soon again to be changed as a result of Killer BOB’s touch of death.

…………………………

Phillip Jeffries knocked at the door, and Joey Paulson came to answer. Gerard was waiting still in the shadows, and knew that the time to act would soon come. Joey opened the door and came face to face with his destiny. Jeffries quickly produced a long knife from the inside of his white suitcoat, and plunged its blade deep into Joey’s neck. Blood jutted out onto the virgin white arm of Jeffries’ jacket, and Joey Paulson fell forward, and knew nothing more. Jeffries let Paulson’s body slide to the earth below his feet, and moved quickly inside the Bookhouse.

Gerard bit his lip, and took pleasure in the pain it brought.(I am so much alike you still, BOB..),he thought. (It has come time to end this!)

Special Agent Dale Cooper stepped into the fading evening sun, and took a large gasp of fresh air into his lungs. A large smile was stealing his face. Freedom at last! How many months had he spent wasting away in this pit when there was so much work to be done?! So much killing to experience! And with a most valuable host at last! If he could just hide for a little while…

Jeffries exited the Bookhouse behind Cooper with an equally evil smile. His good deed for the day was done. He would be rewarded for Cooper’s release in some way – this he knew. But Jeffries never could have imagined that he would be repaid so soon, and with so little appreciation.

Cooper turned with the knife he’d just pulled from Joey Paulson’s neck, and stabbed Phillip in the chest, piercing his left lung. Jeffries searched Cooper’s face in horror, looking for a sign of reason. He saw only BOB standing before him now – his eyes wild with glee. He had crossed time and space to free this spirit from capture, with hopes of being rewarded with acceptance into the Black Lodge. His luck was no better than that of Windom Earle, who thought he would gain power in the strange red halls of the Lodge as well. But BOB had quiclky ended those foolish hopes.

Jeffries felt white-hot light wash over him, and then nothing.

Gerard rose from hiding at the sight of this, and called out in terror. “BOB! There must be stillness! The formica table! The corn is not yours forever, BOB! It must be returned!”

Killer BOB turned in the direction of Gerard’s screaming, and saw the one-armer across the way. He screamed back through Cooper’s mouth.

“MIKE! YOU CAN’T CHASE ME FOREVER! YOU WILL KNOW MY FEVER AS YOUR OWN! I’LL CATCH YOU WITH MY DEATHBAG! YOU MAY THINK I’VE GONE INSANE, BUT I PROMISE…

…I WILL KILL AGAIN!!!”

Gerard rose the pistol he’d been holding, aimed, and fired at Cooper. Dale’s shoulder exploded in a blur of bone and bloody tissue. He glared at the one-armed man, and took off running in the opposite direction. Gerard started after him, but his head rushed with blood and he felt his legs go soft under him. He fell face down into a scatter of shrubbery, and blacked out.

BOB was finally free.

…………………………

Sarah laid on the couch in Dr. Lawrence Jacoby’s office, and felt a sharp pain in her chest. She had been retelling the experience of Major Briggs and Margaret’s visit earlier today, and Jacoby had been listening intently. From the sound of it, their short talk with Sarah had erased most of the progress she had made during the last several months since Leland and Laura had passed. But he was most definitely interested in her psychic ability to connect with the unknown and unseen, and the reversing damage really didn’t concern him. If Sarah was about to take off on another vision quest, then he would simply tell her to lead the way.

Now she bolted up, and covered her mouth with a trembling hand. She suppressed a scream, and whispered something that made Jacoby’s blood turn ice-cold.

“He’s coming for both of us…He’s running through the woods, and he’s coming right for us!” Sarah was now working toward a breakdown, but Jacoby saw a chance and encouraged her to continue.

“That man! He killed my family! He’s killed so many others…and now he’s killed again!” Sarah screamed bloody murder, and then fell back, and seemed to pass out.

Jacoby stared at her in wonder. Suddenly he knew he needed to go to the Sheriff. If something was going on, then Harry should be told of what had happened here today, and of the Major’s visit to Sarah earlier as well.

…………………………

Donna kicked the fender of her car, and cursed loudly for all of the forest to hear. Heavy smoke poured out from under the hood of the station wagon, and oil spilled from the troubled engine. She cursed again, and swore that this Meals On Wheels gig had to go. She’d joined in on this service to the community only at the request of the late Harold Smith, and had done so to find out if Laura’s murder was in any way connected to the route she ran delivering dinners from the Double R Diner. All of that seemed ridiculous now. Laura’s creepy father had been the one who’d killed her. And she guessed that Leland might have done the same to her that day in the Palmer’s living room, had Sheriff Truman not sent for him.

She looked around in desperation. She was several miles from the corner of Sparkwood and 21, and so she decided to wait and flag down the next passing motorist for a little roadside assisstance.

She turned back to her station wagon, and there stood Agent Cooper. He had a look of wonder on his face, and she then noticed the gunshot wound he’d taken in the shoulder.

“Agent Cooper? What are you doing out here? What happened to you? You’re bleeding…”

“Oh, Donna, madonna…There’s always manana!” Cooper smiled at the last of this, and Donna felt a goose walk over her grave. (How could he know that? That was what Laura had used to say to her!)

Killer BOB now appeared in Cooper’s place, and she remembered once again that afternoon at the Palmer house. This was not the Cooper that had helped her nearly a year ago.

BOB moved faster than Donna could react, and he grabbed her by the arm and reeled her in.

“FELL A VICTIM!”, BOB shouted into her ear. Then he wrapped his hands around her neck and throttled her throat. Tears welled up in her eyes, and she struggled to free herself from his grip.

Soon, the struggle was over.

…………………………

Will Hayward hated a cold dinner plate. It had now been nearly thirty minutes that the family had waited on Donna to arrive. Lately things hadn’t worked out so hot between Will and Eileen and their rebelling daughter. She had gotten her own apartment several months ago, and she didn’t come around as much anymore. But Will couldn’t shoulder this as his fault. He blamed Ben Horne for destroying the relationship that Donna had had with him and Eileen. This little episode furthered his opinion that they were slowly losing touch with their daughter, and that soon she would be lost to the family altogether. He looked across the table at his two other daughters, and then at Eileen.

“We’ll wait just a few minutes more…she probably had car trouble. You know how old that car is Will, and…she’s never missed out on the Hayward Supper Club…” Eileen managed a smile with the last of this. But she too felt the growing distance between them and Donna.

“Five more minutes, and then we eat with or without her, Eileen.” Will was more angry than he was worried. He thought of saying something else – then decide to keep silent.

…………………………

Harry knocked on the door of Room 315 at the Great Northern. Chester Desmond opened the door. “Sheriff Truman, please come in. I’ve just called to have some coffee sent up. Would you like a cup?”

Harry walked in and closed the door behind him. “In the worst way, Agent Desmond. It’s been a long day already.”

“Any news on Cooper?”

“Not lately, as I said earlier. But I do have a story to tell you concerning Agent Cooper that may clear some of this up. Do you have a few minutes of time?”

“Of course. Have a seat.”

Harry remained standing. “When Agent Cooper’s former partner Windom Earle escaped and came to Twin Peaks looking for him, we discovered that Earle had a second agenda in locating him. We found out that Earle had worked on a top secret project for the government years ago. Are you familiar with Project Bluebook, Agent Desmond?”

“Yes I am, Harry. But what does that have to do with Cooper?”

“Earle thought he could access the powerful dark forces that originated from a place called the Black Lodge. I feel that he abducted Annie Blackburn – a local girl who worked as a waitress, and who had developed a relationship with Dale during his time in town – and he used her as bait to draw Cooper into the woods. Cooper and I followed them to an area near Glastonbury Grove, but Cooper and I were separated, and I haven’t seen him since.”

Chet looked suprised. “This Glastonbury Grove…I know it. I believe that I was taken there myself – sometime during or before Cooper came to your town, Sheriff. I can’t explain how, or why, but I think there’s a connection with Cooper’s disappearance. So you’re telling me that former agent Earle was trying to locate this Black Lodge for underhanded purposes, and that bringing Cooper along with him was neccesary somehow?”

Harry studied Desmond for a moment. “You’re not here on official business, are you Chet?”

“To be truthful Harry – no. During my investigation of the murder of Theresa Banks, I believe I had an experience of what U.F.O abductees call ‘missing time’. I was searching for clues in the trailer park where Banks had lived, and there I met a strange man. He approached me, began speaking, and days later I came to in the dark woods. I was dehydrated and weak, but no worse for wear. Only one thing was physically different…This…

Chet rolled up his shirt sleeve to reveal a crude tattoo. It was the symbol that Cooper had gotten by combining the tattoos of the Log Lady and Major Briggs.

Harry was shocked. “What did this stranger look like?”

“Harry – he was missing an arm…”

…………………………

Hawk pulled his cruiser up behind the station wagon and parked. He got out and walked toward the body sprawled out in the ditch a few feet away from the car. He stood there for a few seconds before he could bring himself to turn the body over. He finally knelt and did so. It was Donna Hayward. Her neck was colored with dark blue and purple bruises. Her lifeless eyes stared up at him in horror. A few flies were buzzing around her, and one landed on her pale forehead as if to seal the deal. In the distance Hawk heard the scream of ambulances and police sirens. Harry and the others were arriving back at the Bookhouse where he’d been only a few minutes ago.

“He’s loose”, Hawk said to himself as he shooed the fly away from Donna’s pretty face.

…………………………

Harry looked down at the sheet-covered body in the roadside ditch. He was speechless. Chet Desmond knelt down beside the body and gently lifted one corner of the sheet. The smell of Donna’s perfume drifted up to him on the lazy breeze. “Who is she, Sheriff?”

“Donna Hayward. Local girl – born and raised.” Harry was quiet again for a minute before adding, “This is all my fault. All my fault…”

Desmond considered this as he looked upon Donna’s pretty face in the hazy light of dusk. He replaced the sheet and rose to face Truman.

“Agent Cooper killed her.”

Harry swallowed hard, and felt his stinging eyes water up with tears. “Dale Cooper could not have done this. Not the Cooper I know…” He suddenly thought of Josie. He remembered how he’d rocked her dead body in his arms. He also remembered Cooper telling him that the night she died, he had seen BOB crawl out form underneath the bed. “This was the work of BOB, Agent Desmond. The same as Laura Palmer, the same as Theresa Banks, the same as Annie Blackburn…..the same as Josie…” Harry felt his throat tighten – yet he steeled himself and held back the flood of grief and loss with a dam of impeccable control. “The night that Cooper and I followed Windom Earle and Annie Blackburn into the woods, we picked up a pair of footprints that led to Glastonbury Grove. Cooper then insisted that he continue alone, but I stayed with him. What I saw…I cannot fully explain.”

“Agent Cooper disappeared right in front of you, correct?” Desmond waited for Harry to agree – as if he himself would describe the events that had taken place. “You waited there for his return. For how long?”

“Nearly twenty-four hours. Then a strange light appeared where he had vanished the night before, and there he was…lying on the ground. Annie Blackburn was lying beside him. She was already dead.”

“Sheriff, Agent Cooper possessed a strange power that enabled him to see the unseen – to pick up on things in the situatons and people around him that are seldom revealed to the common observer.”

Harry was staring again at Donna covered in the white sheet he always kept in the back of his cruiser. The need for such a sheet had risen only a handful of times up until Laura Palmer’s murder. (How many times have we used it since? Harry thought grimly.) “I know exactly what you mean, Chet.

“I thought that he was dying himself. I called Doc Hayward – this young lady’s father – to check on Cooper’s condition. We assumed that he was in shock, so we put him down for a spell of good old-fashioned bed-rest. When he came to the next day, he asked about Annie’s condition, then excused himself to the restroom. Doc and I heard a loud crash come from inside.” Harry seemed to be twisting himself to get the rest of his story out. “I kicked the door down and found him on the floor. He had tried to kill himself. He had bashed his own head in on the bathroom mirror. Once again, I thought he was dead. We rushed him to Calhoun Memorial and checked him into emergency. Sometime later that night he came to again. But he wasn’t the same. The look in his eyes…it had somehow changed. That was when I knew for certain…”

Desmond searched Harry’s face and tried to read the feeling behind it. “Knew what, Sheriff?”

“That BOB had taken his soul – just as he’d taken Leland Palmer’s, and who knows how many before that.” Truman had run out of things to say. He felt used up and tired. He now turned and faced the other direction. The two lawmen heard the approaching siren of the ambulance they were waiting on.

“Sheriff Truman, I am beginning to think that something other than a simple murder investigation drew Agent Cooper to your town of Twin Peaks. I am beginning to believe that dark forces had a hand in not only the Palmer girl’s death, but in pulling Coop in for a more complicated reason.”

Harry was suprised to hear Desmond say this – it was the backbone of reasoning that led to the decision to hold Cooper where he could forever keep an eye on him. It was the unspoken credo of the Bookhouse Boys’ suggestion that they house him in the cellar of their clubhouse in an attempt to stop the evil responsible for all the death and loss which the town had suffered since Laura’s murder – and the darkness that hung over the town ever since Truman was a child himself. Whispers of things that should never be mentioned in the bright sunshine. Rumours of things hiding in the black forests that passed from the lips of the young and old alike.

“I swore – we swore that as long as any of us were around, this dark presence would never again be free.” Harry found his throat was almost completely dry. “And now…it’s happening all over again.” Truman walked over to greet the paramedics that had just pulled in behind the police cruiser. “Agent Desmond – see the body to the hospital. I’ll catch up with you in a while.”

“Where are you going, Sheriff?”

“To tell a good friend of mine that his daughter is dead.” Harry hopped into the driver’s seat of the cruiser and sped away into the darkness of evening.

Ben Horne sat behind his desk and stared at the photograph of his daughter. Audrey had been gone for over a year now, and he figured that he was actually accustomed to the loss by now. But he only pushed it out of his mind most of the time – and with no small amount of effort. He had nearly pissed away the entire family business. His greed and short-sighted hunger for power had almost landed him in prison. He had been wrongfully accused of murder, and his name was eventually cleared of that. And he guessed that he had been lucky not to have been brought up on any other charges related to his hand in the Packard Sawmill fire, or his ownership of One Eyed Jacks across the border. But karma had eventually settled up with him. His only daughter had been killed. And worse than that – she died trying to help him save the business. He felt a cold chill begin to work on his bones as he ran his fingers over the smooth surface of the photograph.

There came a knock at the door, and he slid the picture of Audrey back into the desk drawer where he kept it most of the time. He closed the drawer, cleared his throat, and said, “Enter lively.”

Deputy Hawk stepped into Ben’s office – and Ben recalled the night that the sheriff, Agent Cooper, and Hawk had burst in to arrest him for Laura’s murder. So with this image in his mind’s eye, he felt that he was about to be implicated in some sort of trouble once again. Trouble that he did not need.

“What is it, Deputy?”, Ben asked shortly.

“Mr. Horne – I’d like for you to come with me. This is important.” Hawk guessed that there would be more than simple asking involved in getting Ben’s assisstance. Benjamin read this on the deputy’s face, and he decided that this police business had nothing to do with him, nor did he guess it would hurt to offer a helping hand to the local authorites. (No matter if they were simple-minded bumpkins kicking about in the dirt for something important to do.)

“How can I help you?”

“We need you to come over to the hospital and identify a body.” Hawk took a few more steps toward Ben at his desk.

“Body? What’s going on here?”

“The man who tried to torch the hotel hall this morning – we believe we have found his body. He was killed late this afternoon. And you were the only one that actually saw and spoke with him – so, if you’d please come along…”

Benjamin grinned a bit, in spite of the way it must have looked to the deputy. The man in the white suit! He had totally forgotten about the whole incident! “Of course, Deputy. Let me grab my overcoat, and I’ll meet you in the lobby.” He was now rising to his feet, and still barely grinning at the deputy standing in his office.

Hawk took a long look at Ben, wondered if he should personally escort him to the lobby, then decided to go on down and wait for him anyway. “Three minutes, Mr. Horne.” Then he turned, walked out, and pulled the door close behind him.

…………………………

Will Hayward sat in an uncomfortable chair, looking down at his hands. They seemed to be wrestling with each other, and he felt he’d lost control of them. They felt distant – disconnected from the rest of him. He heard voices around him humming one long, meaningless song that he’d temporarily forgotten the words to.

His daughter lay dead in the room across from where he now sat. And that was the full extent of all that he knew. He felt nauseated and tired. He assumed that he was in shock, but this was not exactly shock as all of the medical textbooks he’d slaved over in college had described. Suddenly, he got an awful craving for a cigarette. He’d given them up just before his college days were done, and hadn’t even thought of smoking one ever since.

“Harry – I need a smoke.” He said this in a distant, far-off voice that he barely recognized as his own. “I need a cigarette, Harry”, he said again in that strange tone of voice. Harry Truman looked at him for a minute, then called out, “Cabbie! Come over here for a second!”

The deputy walked back down the hospital hall to where the doctor sat. He turned to Harry. “What is it?”

“You got an extra smoke on you? Doc here would like one.” Harry thought for a moment that a cigarette sounded good to him as well – even though he had never picked up on th ehabit at all.

“Sure, I’ve got one.” Cabbie produced a box of Winstons from the inner pocket of his jacket, and pulled one form the pack. He offered it to Doc Hayward, who sat there still staring off while his hands twisted in some never-ending fight. Harry took the cigarette and placed it behind his ear. “Come on, Doc. Let’s get you home.”

…………………………

Sarah Palmer sat quietly in front of Dr. Jacoby. Her eyes were closed, but he could see them woking left and right as if she were in the grip of a deep dream. He felt another momentary stab of guilt for bringing her here tonight for a session. Whatever the Major and Margaret had said to her earlier had gotten her out of sorts, and he seriously thought that all the progress they’d made in the last year might be erased by pushing her farther over the edge. She had talked all evening of the man with the long hair. The man had taken her family away and haunted her home and her dreams. He had crawled up from the depths of hell to steal terror over the town, and had gotten his hands dirty a time or two in the blood of a few local girls. If he could help uncover what this man really was, and prevent another death – then he had no qualms about testing the limits of Sarah’s sanity.

Jacoby broke the silence that permeated the air in his office. “Sarah, do you know where this man comes from? Can you see where he is?” He studied the look of conflict she wore in the deep hypnosis she was under. Tears ran gently down both of her cheeks, and her lips trembled as if she was trying to form words that had difficulty coming out.

“He’s in the woods. And…he’s covered in blood. My god! He scares me! I can’t see…” Sarah tossed her head to the left and right. she reminded him of a child avoiding a spoonful of medicine from its mother. He pressed on. “Where is he right now? Can you tell me?” Jacoby sat up on the edge of his seat.

“He’s killed another girl. A short time ago, and….Dear God! It’s Donna! Oh….Donna!”

“Donna Hayward? Are you talking about Donna Hayward?” Jacoby was enthralled.

“Yes! She’s dead! Laura’s dead! Leland….Leland, come quick! Our daughter is dead!” Sarah burst into a fit of tears, as Jacoby placed his hand on hers, and began to form a plan in his own mind.

…………………………

“That’s him alright. He said his name was Phillip Jeffries.” Ben turned towards Harry and Hawk, who were standing in the doorway of the autopsy room. “Who did this to him?”

Harry shot a glance at Hawk. “The investigation is under way. Did this man say anything else about who he was – or why he was here in town?”

“No, Sheriff. Not to me.” Ben wanted to get out of here in a hurry. He could feel death enveloping him in this room.

“Okay, Ben. Thanks for coming down. We’ll contact you if there’s anything else.” Harry stood aside and let Ben pass. He waited until Ben was out of earshot. “Doc’s on the verge of a breakdown. I took him home a short while ago.” Harry checked the large clock in the hallway. “I have to meet Agent Desmond back at the station. I want you to go back up to Glastonbury Grove and keep a watch. Take Cabbie with you.”

“What about Gerard? What’s his condition?”

“He’s near death himself. He appears to be in severe withdrawal. That strange medication of his is about gone.”

“Do you think he will lead us to Cooper?”

“It may kill him trying, Hawk. But – at this point, he’s all we’ve got. We’ll check in on him in the morning. Report back to me in a few hours at the station. If Cooper returns to the Grove, do not attempt to apprehend him without calling me first. Good luck.”

Harry put his index finger to his temple and flashed the Bookhouse Boy greeting. Hawk returned it, and then headed down the hall. Truman turned and looked at Phillip Jeffries’ body once more, and then was on his way.

…………………………

Windom Earle sat alone in the red room for an eternity. His hands were clenched into tight fists, and were posted atop his knees. He looked like a symmetrical statue – a soul-less gargoyle doomed to forever remain on some terrible watch. His eyes had gone the shade of skim milk, and his mouth was frozen in an awful smile that in and of itself could drive a man to insanity. He was consciously aware of his surroundings – he knew that he had found a way into this place. But he could not remember exactly why he had come here.

From time to time, Earle realized that the thoughts that crossed his mind were not entirely his. Memories and flashes of things would come to him – mental photographs projected onto his mind’s eye, which were pictures from forgotten times and things that were yet to be. He knew that his soul was damned for seeking the dark truths of this awful place. Although he could see no one, he could hear the twisted speech and painful screams of a million other souls who were, like him, bound here forever.

With this thin image in his mind, the ongoing sound of restless wind – a constant in this world – fell away, and there came an awful silence. He could now hear the reverse footfalls that were approaching him from nearby, and he summoned all of his strength to face in their direction. A complicated shadow kissed the blood-colored drapes that hung from the room’s unseen ceiling – and then the drapes shuddered at the touch of this thing’s arrival.

BOB parted the drapes and slid into the room – as if he were slipping into a nightmare. He, too, wore a smile of his own. Windom Earle at last began to grasp the ghost of his own memories.

BOB worked his way slowly from the opening in the drapery over to where Windom sat, and took a seat on the sofa next to him. Their eyes were locked in horrid understanding. Earle knew that his soul was now the property of this godless spirit. He had hoped to gain power and immortality, and for this reason he had sought this world from the other side. Instead, he had lost everything to this devil beside of him.

“YOUR SOUL IS MINE!”, BOB hissed into his ear, and all of the hair on Earle’s head which had not yet gone completely white did so immediately. “NOW YOU CAN GO!” Earle felt a large, shapeless weight lift from his body, and he realized that things were changing. He felt the stiff quality of his tensed body fall away, and noticed that his feet were not touching the zig-zag tile of the floor. He rose higher and higher into the air until he hung there – suspended like a coat on an invisible hook. And now BOB was rising to his feet again – his eyes growing wider with demonic glee. Windom looked down at BOB, and tried to speak. He could now recall even more of his arrival here. He had brought Annie Blackburn here, and had used her dreadful fear as a key to enter the Lodge. Once inside, he had stabbed her and left her to bleed to death in the waiting room. Then he had roamed the halls of this dark world for what seemed like centuries.

And then he had crossed paths with Dale Cooper.

Now as he fumed with hatred for his former partner, he saw that beneath him, BOB was looking across the room at something else. Earle could not turn his head, but he could hear another person stepping heavily across the room to where he still hung motionless in the air.

Dale Cooper walked over and stood quietly beside BOB. Earle knew that this was not Cooper’s dark double – this was actually Cooper himself. His face had begun to show slight signs of ageing, and his eyes were dark and sad. Cooper looked up at him, and something else crossed his face – was it a look of understanding? Windom thought so. BOB turned his glare on Cooper and began to howl loudly into the surrounding silence. Earle instantly gained his own understanding, and he smiled again in spite of himself.

Windom Earle was about to get a second chance.

…………………………

Dr. Jacoby knocked lightly on the door to Sheriff Truman’s office, then entered without waiting for any further invitation. Harry looked up, threw him a half-hearted wave hello, and continued with the phone conversation he was having. “That’s great, Gordon. We’ll be seeing you in a few hours then…Okay…Thanks.” Truman hung up. “Dr. Jacoby, what can I do for you?”

“Harry, I think we should have a little talk. Do you have a few spare minutes?” As Jacoby asked, he seated himeslf in the black leather chair across from Harry.

“Well – to be honest, I’ve got several fish to fry today. Is this urgent?” Harry attacked the tall stack of paperwork that had been piling up for a couple of days. He knew there would be another stack – bigger and badder than this – tomorrow.

Jacoby went on. “I had a session with Sarah Palmer last night, Harry.” Jacoby studied the sheriff’s face. “Was there a murder in town last night?”

Truman dropped what he was doing and looked at Jacoby. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “As a matter of fact, there was. How did you hear about this?”

Jacoby grinned. “I didn’t, Sheriff…Mrs. Palmer had a vision during hypnosis.” He licked his dry lips. “It was Donna Hayward, wasn’t it?”

“Yes. But how…?”

“Sarah said she could she the man who had killed Laura…That he was in the woods, and that he had murdered Donna Hayward.”

Truman was shocked. He had forgotten that Mrs. Palmer had had those visions of BOB after Laura’s death. He now knew that these visions had been because BOB had possessed her own husband, and had used Leland as a human host to carry out his evil deeds in the flesh.

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