A Story by Fernando91

Failed writer Raymond Baker returns to his fathers hometown of Baywitch to pursue a simple life. Or so he thought. His past returns to stalk him in this psycological thriller.




Baywitch mountains was my summer retreat. It was where my father grew up. It was a typical rural zone, simple folk, small festivals, the raising of farm animals and the threat of the superficiality and rottenness of a metropolis  was very far away. Perhaps this is the main reason I enjoyed visiting this old rural town. The fact that I could get away from all the problems in my real life, my divorce, my dull career, and the woman who threatened to be the next parasite in my life. I had to do something.And maybe deciding to stay a year in Baywich mountains was exactly what I needed to get back on my feet. Or so I thought. Many times we believe that leaving behind the people and places where weve done wrong, is a chance for a fresh beginning, a time of rebirth, where we can effectively change our fates, without the lingering past to deal with. Unfortunatley, I discovered in a very painful way myself, two years ago in the lonely mountains of Baywitch, that the ghosts of our past and the darkness that follows always has a way of catching up. And sometimes, some take it up to themselves, to make sure you deal with these demons.


My mind races with thoughts of despair and fear everytime I remember what happened in those mountains. My daughter, a brilliant 19 year old student of psychology at NYU suggested I write my experiences in the third person, to detach the negative emotions and memories from my mind. Ive read my story countless times, and not once can I read it without picturing myself again in that dreaded place. Who knows. Maybe there was a scientific explination for everything I saw. Ill let you be the judge of that. Even if it was a dilussion, its intensity burnes into my brain and left a scar like a hot iron poker. It branded me.  It changed me. Baywitch mountains, baptized me in the flames of insanity, something I will not soon forget.


The beige Toyota truck headed south down the long, wet highway. The surrounding green woods and the classic preacher on the AM radio gave Raymond Baker the solace he always sought in the city. He had decided to move, leave everything in his former life, and to keep things simple, by returning to the rural town of Baywitch, a charming little village, which was the home of his father in his youth, and had been his summer retreat for the past 15 years. Raymonds thoughts of the simple life had him excited beyond any doubt. He had already bought an old terrain not 25 km away form his grandfathers house, and he had the good fortune of having invested in his grandfathers business for the past two years, insuring he would have income if ever he was to engage his crazy but liberating plan. And it was that moment.


He had left a week prior from New York where he had faced a criminal trial for supposed plagiarism in his work as a short story author. The thing that plagued him most was that he had copied a few ideas, and nonetheless from one of his ex girlfriends, Molly Pine. Molly and he had collaborated in many a story, both of them having a natural knack for writing from personal experiences and fleshing out characters in a way that brought them to life of f the page. They had both won countless awards, and had bought a apartment in the upper east side. He remembered the romantic times, the evenings full of talk of history, politics, wine and their love of classic literature. Raymond now focused on the road. He had decided to leave behind those memories, and the lawsuit and the loss of half of his fortune made him remember that if he were in  Mollys position he would’ve cut her some slack.


Of course, thought Raymond, when one is a middle aged man and everything in your life goes to hell, you see what your wife is made of. And unfortunately for Raymond, his now ex wife Ashley was made for seducing one of the best divorce attornies in New York. So Raymond continued to drive, and force himself into thoughts of raising his animals, working the land, and meeting with the locals, and did his best to leave behind the thought of Molly, his b***h of an ex wife, and his teenage daughter, who was too smart for her own good. No one cared about dad anymore. If anyone of them would have told him to stay he would’ve. But no one did. And Raymond realized, as he drove throught the now misty road down a never ending cornucopia of trees, that he was at the exact same place in his life when his father returned to Baywitch. No one cared. The prodigal son of Baywitch, he thought to himself, was forced to return where no one could see him because the real world doesn’t give a s**t about him anymore. It didn’t suit him just fine, as he led others to believe, but this plan to leave everything behind was the next best thing.


Raymond arrived in the small locality of Markers point, a small town much like Baywitch, but with a gas station, two diners, and a mcdonalds. He remembered that when he was a small boy, he used to head over to Rudys diner, with his father, after coming form a long exhausting, but fun trip to Baywitch lake for fishing lessons. The clouds and grey mist seemed only to dissolve when the sun made its brief and final appearance of the afternoon. The sunset in Markers Point seemed to give it a dozey feel, and the simple folk he saw entering and exiting the small stores had easygoing expressions. If he remembered correctly, it would be a little more than 2 hours from this small town to reach his the small cottage in his piece of land, so Raymond decided it was best to rest up at a local motel, since he had been exhausted from the entire day of driving.  Raymond Baker drove until he saw it. Rudys. The old diner that has home to a great deal of his precious memories.


He felt the nostalgia take over him, and he drove into the worn down gravel filled parking lot. The majority of vehicles were tow trucks, 4x4 all terrain Toyotas and a host of Harley Davidson motorcycles. It seemed that a few bikers had stepped in to grab a bite. Raymond hoped they didn’t drink, so as to cause a riot inside the homely diner. When Raymond entered, he saw few of what he remembered. The tables looked unkept and dirty, the dim lights and the unfriendly faces of the waitresses gave the place a general feel of unwelcome. Still, he thought to himself that he could use a cup of coffee, and a place to gather his thoughts. A middle aged woman with a nametag in a most dull font came to his table, with her name written on it. CINDY. ´Whatll it be kid?´, asked the woman. Her face was so excessevley drawn in make up that he couldn’t help but imagine what she would look like if she were to sweat. ´A cup of coffe would be good. Hey, can I ask you a question?you know any good motels I could stay at for tonight?you know, a place without that many roaches?´. Cindy the waitress stared back at him, unamused. ´Your best bet would be Ol lincolns motel. He has the best. Or so they say´. Raymond smiled at her, but it seemed a herculean task to make this woman change her cold manner. Raymond looked around the diner. He saw the bikers, drinking beer, talking in a polite, sound tone to the now apparent owner of Rudys. He was nothing like the kind old man who used to give him free ice cream as a child. It was a rather angry looking man, whos large red nose and uncouth manner gave the impression he had a drinking problem. Still, his cold reception in Markers point didn’t bring his spirits down, and he felt he just needed a cup of coffee.


 Raymond continued to look around. Before he had noticed, fifteen minutes had passed. Jesus, what s****y service, he thought to himself. Across from his table, sat a perturbed looking man, with long strides of loose black hair, baby blue eyes, protruding ears and a skinny neck. He stared shamlessly at Raymond in a way that began to make him uncomfortable. The man stood up, and walked over to his table. ´Hi´, said the man anxiously, his face with a nervous expression . ´Can I sit down?´. Raymond wasn’t bothered by the man now that he had at least had the decency to introduce himself and not just stare. Perhaps this crazy looking individual was the only one left with manners in the whole town. ´Im Craig, Craig Bartlett. My dad owns the supermarket in Baywitch just a couple hours down the road’.´ Yeah yeah, I know the place, that’s where Im headed right now´, replied Raymond, introducing himself and shaking his hand. It was clampy and unpleasant. ´I- I think I know you sir. You came here a long time ago, you look about the same, ya haven’t changed a bit. I was a kid though, I probably looked a lot different than I do now’. Raymond looked at the man puzzled.


´I think you got the wrong guy buddy, I mean, I dunno if you’ve noticed, but you look about the same age as me, if not more, no offense´. Craig stared back at him, dumbfounded. ´But uh, hey maybe it was my dad, he came here when I was leaving for college. I never saw him again, so, maybe he lived here for a couple of years?everyone says im almost identical’. ´Your, you’re his son?yeah, that must be it. Listen, I know this is gonna sound crazy, and your probably gonna wanna punch me or something, but uh, I got something to tell you.’ Raymond began to tire of this stranger. ´This place, this place does things to people, bad things. I- I found the cave, I found it and I discovered what it was, and everybody knows it but nobody says anything. And they hide you. They hide you so You don’t tell anyone’. Craig whispered as  he said these words. Something entered his eyes, he was frightened beyond anything Raymond had seen recently. Craig Bartlett must  have some sort of medical condition.

 Still, for fear of a scene, he humored him. ´So if they hid you, why are you here?why are you telling me this?´, said Raymond, with a smile on his face. Craigs face began to look disappointed, like a child when his favorite candy is taken away.´Please mister, you don’t understand, I can tell because people like us, people with something dark inside us, were the ones that are envied. Please sir, pay attention, don’t listen to the one with a thousand voices, or the puddles happiness or any of that stuff that it shows you to make you…like me..’. Craig  began to bother Raymond heavily now. ´Ya know Craig, your not making a lot of sense right now, and your making me uncomfortable. Just, leave me alone friend, lets not make a big scandal out of it.’Cindy the inpolite waitress returned with Raymonds coffee, and it poured it into his cup. ´Jeez missy I thought this place would work quicker without as much people. How many are there in this town, like 10 people?´. Raymond realized the rudeness of his words as they escaped his mouth. ´Hey Im sorry Cindy. Theres just a lot goin on, and my friend Craig who is just leaving kinda made me uneasy.’ ´Yeah he does that to people. Cmon Craig move it. Let the gentleman enjoy his coffee’. She smirked. Raymonds first thought was that she probably spit into it. But at this point, he seemed not to care, and decided to take his chances. 


After finishing what seemed like liquid mud, Raymond stood and headed over to speak to the owner of Rudys, the old, bitter man amongst  the bikers. He preferred the guidance of the owner, since he was more prone to know of close accomodations, and he was at least less pissed off at the out of towner. Raymond approached the counter and introduced himself. ´Hello sir, hi, um,my names Raymond, im just passing by, I wanted to ask if you know any good places where I can stay, like a motel or something. Something with the least number of roaches possible’.  The balding, middle aged man looked at him as if Raymond had slapped him in the face. ´Im trying to have a conversation here,Sir. Were simple folk around here, and I dunno how they do it in the big city, but around here, we don’t interrupt conversations just for directions´. The people in this diner seemed hellbent on annoying him.


 ´Im sorry. Ill just go. Didn’t realize the hospitality in small towns was just an urban myth.’ Raymond felt pleased with himself. Until he looked back and saw all the bikers stand up and face him, some pulling chains and other dangerous objects from their pockets. Everyone else in the diner stopped talking, and the old jukebox playing old country music seemed to stop, just like an old western.  ´Listen sir, Ill be on my way, don’t want any trouble´. The owner smirked and raised his hand. ‘Boys boys, is that how we treat a guest in this here diner?where are my manners, Im sorry. Sometimes the drink gets the best of me. Names Carl Reagan.´ Carl proceeded to shake Raymonds hand. ´Accomadations?of course boy, youll do fine at Kips. Its fifteen minutes down the road, it’s the highest class place around. But spose a fellow like yourself can afford it.´ Raymond knew that Carl was being insincere, perfunctory at its finest. But he dared not to defy his help, since he didn’t want nor need a beating by a motorcycle gang. ´Thanks. Im sorry we got off to a bad start. Ill be off now.´ Carl walked away quickly, and noticed Craig and Cindy the waitress were both gawking at the scene. Craig, with a look of awe and Cindy, with a scowl. Raymond bolted out of the old diner and got into his car. Carl Reagan had probably already put the call in at Kips, and Raymond didn’t want to risk not going and then running into the bikers. All he knew was, he didn’t much like Rudys anymore.


Darkness fell in the wilderness, the loud chirps of the insects and scurrying of the tiny mamals abroad gave life to the blanket of shadows that had fallen. The moon was bright in the sky, and its beacon shined through the old, run down windows of Kips motel, and into the plain, old room that was now inhabited by a one Raymond Baker.  He was greeted by a burly old man, a scruffy white beard covered his face, and the flannel shirt and the hospitable attitude painted the perfect portrait of the stereotypical old lumberjack. His name was Dean Garden. He owned Kips and it seemed he had not had a guest in a very long time. The old motel was a practical joke by Carl Reagan, half of the power didn’t work, and the rooms with power were uninhabitabledue to broken pipes and vandals that had had their way with the place. Instead, Raymond had to settle for the back cabins. They were a homely place, their only defect being the general abandoned feeling about them. Most couples and tourists who passed by avoided the place, out of fear of being robbed and its close proximity to the woods, since Markers Point and Baywitch had an unfortunate reputation of bear attacks.


 And then of course, there was the fact that the only source of light was that of candles. Dean offered Raymond a large discount and a complementary breakfast on the house, but he was already paying a ridiculously low fee, he didn’t want to privy the simple old man of money just because he didn’t get light. Besides, a back to basics approach to life was exactly what Raymond was looking for in this new chapter in his life. ´Now remember, any pranksters try to give ya any trouble, just give a blow on this here whistle. If you here sounds in the night, don’t worry, it aint a Hollywood axe murderer, just animals. And if ya here gunfire, which, I assure you, I highly doubt ya will, its just me scarin off bears or those godamn kids. Ya sure ya don’t want that breakfast tomorrow?I really feel bad ya wont be able to stay in one of my nicer rooms, most guests usually love stayin at Kips!’. The old man scaring off bears and juvenile delinquents with a shotgun close to his room wasn’t a reassuring thought.But he appreciated the sentiment. ´Thanks Dean, but Im okay. You sleep tight now.’ Mr.Garden made an approving gesture with his head, and left, leaving Raymond to his privacy. A small useless TV and a plain bed, with an old nightstand were all that adorned his room. The floor was made up of a cheap green carpet, and the walls had a plain yellowish wall paper. The room seemed like it was pulled out of one of Kemmons Wilsons first roadside motels.

Raymond stripped inside the warmth of the bed covers, daring not to change standing up because of the roaches he had noticed in the dim lighting of the candles. He was left wearing his boxers, staring into the blank roof of the old room. He closed his eyes, wishing to just fall asleep. Ten minutes passed. Twenty minutes passed. Nothing. Nothing. He was as tired as hell, but he still couldn’t fall asleep. His mind still troubled him with the events of the day. He remembered the last fight he had with his wife. Well his ex-wife now. The look of disappointment in his daughters eyes. When Molly cried when she realized he had betrayed her. Was nothing in his life real anymore? Raymonds face now wore a three day stubble, his greyish eyes and chiseled features hid his age fairly well. He was fit for forty, training on his own mainly via pushups and pullups as his daily routine, followed by a good cup of black coffee, and writing at least two pages of his newest project. He had stopped doing the latter for three weeks now. The candles were now put out. Raymond couldn’t stand not getting his rest. He listened to the slight breezes of wind outside, reminding him of the luck he had to be lying down, warm in a bed. At least he had this. Then, to Raymonds amazement, the winds mood swifted from restless and bitter to angry and out of control. He felt as if the whole cabin might fall down. The television shook furiously, falling to the ground and breaking into pieces. The now extinct candles tumbled aggresivley to the floor, and the window sill seemed to rattle in a furious way. 

The wooshing of the wind made the night seem howling with laughter, as if overjoyed by some sinister joke. Then it stopped. Raymonds logical mind tried to find an answer, unsuccessfully to as what might’ve caused the phenomenon. He came to no logical conclusion. It could not have been the wind alone. Perhaps an earthquake? There it was. It was an earth quake. Raymond stood up quickly, and changed into his blue jeans as quickly a possible. Mr.Garden was an old man, and the main part of the motel where he was stating seemed unstable at first glance. He probably needed help, since earthquakes are seldom known to strike just once, especially one fo this magnitude. Raymond was on his way out of his room, when he heard a knock on the door. Had the old man made it out here that quick?He opened the door, his curiosity beating out any other sense of logic.

An old man stood, with a lantern in one hand and a bible in the other. ´Are you alright, Mr.Baker?´,asked the old man. He wore the strangest set of clothes Raymond had seen in years. They looked like rugged, dirty garments of almost Victorian antiquity. Clearly the old man was a bit out of his mind, like all the other inhabitants of Markers Point, he had met thus far. ´Who are you?how do you know my name?’. ´It’s a small town mr.Baker, besides, my little brother tells me everything that goes on in these cute little rooms.’´How is Mr.Garden?´,inquired Raymond. ´Sleeping, nice and soundly. Those tremors you felt, they haven’t happened round these parts in a long time Mr. Baker. You should know that´. It was almost as if the old man was blaming Raymond. 


´I didn’t know this place had any sort of reputation for earthquakes. I ve been coming round these parts since I was a boy, and neverdid I hear of any eartquakes. Anyways, do you want to come in?Its pretty cold out here in the night, and I wont be able to sleep now, at least until im sure another one doesn’t hit.´ ´Sure. Thank you mr. Baker, it is the Christian thing to do. Most people around these parts have forgotten how far a little hospitality goes to a stranger. It seems my fellow townspeople only care about themselves´. ´You can say that again. Didn’t expect to get treated quite like I did when I arrived. Anyways, Mr. Garden, how long has Dean owned this place?Kips doesn’t seemlike a very good place to say, and your brother doesn’t look like the lazy type to me´. ´He isn’t. My dear brother inherited Kips form our grandfather about 6 months ago. But Dean was laid off his job in Baywith some time ago, and his plans for investing have gone downhill. He has nothing more than this place.´ Both men were sitting on the bed.

 The old man looked down on the ground. ´Markers Point doesn’t have a nice history, Mr. Baker. Its out of towners like you that bring any sort of optimism to this place, so please forgive me if Im intruding.’ ´I don’t mind at all mr. Garden, relax. Please. ´Raymond felt bad for the old man. He could imagine the loneliness he had to face out there every single night, especially in the face of an earthquake. In all that darkness. ´Kips is the first stop in your journey mr. Baker. Ill leave you to your sleep now. Im sure your daughter is proud of you.´ The old man stood up,and headed towards the door. ´Wait!´. Raymond Grabbed a coat he had brought from his truck. ´Here. Its cold out there, an old man like yourself might catch something out there.´ ´Thank you´. The old man put on the coat, and went out the door.´I am sorry, Mr.Baker, I truly am, but it must be. Farewell.´ ´Sorry for what?´,asked Raymond. Mr. Garden the elder, walked into the darkness,his small lantern disappearing, engulfed by the shadows. All of this was quite bizarre. And Raymond tried to remember, in which moment he had mentioned his daughter to Mr. Garden, any of the two. He tried to recall ever writhing it in any of his books….

© 2012 Fernando91

Author's Note

Please ignore some typos I havent reviewed them yet. English is not my first language. I would like your input story wise, does it make you want to read more? what do you think of the main character?

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I would read farther on in this story. Overall, it is very decently written, and I think you could make a good book out of it, provided that you handle your action sequences well.

Generally, I found the story to be competent in all areas, but you were especially good at using imagery to make descriptions more interesting. Also, for a non-native speaker of English, you handle rendering dialogue in sub-American dialects very well. Sometimes your vocabulary I found lacking though; for instance, you used the world "old" many times throughout this piece, and could have benefited from throwing some synonyms for that word like aged, venerable, etc. That is a tough criticism to make to a person who wasn't raised speaking English, I know, but I recommend using an online English thesaurus if you need help thinking of synonyms for words that you feel you're over-using.

Your narrative was engaging from the first paragraph thanks to this passage:

"Many times we believe that leaving behind the people and places where weve done wrong, is a chance for a fresh beginning, a time of rebirth, where we can effectively change our fates, without the lingering past to deal with."

I found myself able to relate to that notion, so it made me more eager to keep reading.

I see that you're an admirer of Stephen King, and he presumably served as an inspiration for this story. Reading this, I definitely get the King vibe from your plot and setting--this is both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, you're effectively emulating his style, but on the other, I feel like you are shortchanging yourself and your readers by doing so. So far, there are a lot of cliched tropes in the story: the creepy old town with a vaguely minatory name, the unfriendly townsfolk, the warnings from said townsfolk foretelling danger, etc. These are things that I feel I've heard and seen a hundred times in various books and movies. It's early on in this story, but I hope that you can break away from King's influence enough to develop your own style and tell your own story, because you clearly have the talent to do so. I don't mean to imply that everything that you've written about so far is unoriginal though.

Ironically, the part of your story that had me most interested wasn't the somewhat trite eeriness going on in Baywitch, but the back story of the protagonist that was gradually revealed. His daughter intrigues me, as does his author-wife, and the divorce that they went through. I also find it very interesting that he plagiarized material from her, and I'm really curious to see how that background gets further developed.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on February 26, 2012
Last Updated on February 26, 2012
Tags: horror stephen king scary tensio