Chapter 15. The Bathhouse

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We checked in at the Peachbode Guest- & Bathhouse at seven. Judging by the cleanliness of the room the maintenance was impressive compared to the amount of guests I assumed checked in there.

Nine O'clock sharp was far away, but neither Sam nor I were particularly interested in surfing the streets of Peachbode any further.

Our room was simple, featuring beige drywall and a fake fern in the corner by the window that revealed the empty main street of Peachbode. 

It was the only place in Peachbode were I felt somewhat safe, perhaps it was
because I knew the charming Agent Barnett resided in one of the rooms, I bet he would be able to protect us.

The spring-bed had a metal frame and creaked when you sat on it. I supposed it was big enough for us to feel comfortably far away from one another. 

I lay on the bed; eyes fixed on the ceiling fan, just finished eating the pasta I brought along with me in a Tupperware container.

I asked Sam if he wanted food, he politely declined.

"You never eat, anymore," I pointed out. He just shook it off, said he had a big breakfast. That was half a day ago.

Sam took his sweater off, revealing a grey cotton t-shirt. Then he crossed his legs, sitting on his side of the bed, looking out the window.

"Does Peachbode scare you?" he asked.

"Kind of..."

"Kind of?"


"Me too."

This whole endeavor was making me tired, now I suddenly regretted not bringing any toothbrush or clothes to sleep in.

"I wonder what Sheriff Mondale doesn't want us to know," Sam said.

"I guess we're about to find out."

"Why do you trust that Agent so much?"

"Because he's an FBI agent and he's not from here," I explained, "what reason would he have to cover anything up?"

"What reason would he have for telling us anything?"

I shrugged, hoping it passed for an answer. Regardless of Barnett's clouded intentions, I was set on meeting him. I did feel like I needed to set the bar higher for trusting people, but I could start doing that tomorrow.

After talking to Barnett, Sam and I walked around Peachbode for a good hour. If it wasn't for the lack of people it would strike you as any small town in the Northwest area, really. Barns and silos aligned the roads together with wooden houses, a high school, and a single café. Nothing out of the ordinary.

When we reached the end of the road in a residential neighborhood we came across a closed church with tunes from a pipe organ blasting. The billboard outside said: "Peachbode Community Church: Saturday OCT 24th, go home and think about what you did".

It could be the explanation for the empty streets.

Meanwhile, the lights coming from the houses frightened me, as I was now aware that everyone was at home, possibly looking out at the two kids lurking around.

A thick mist fell over Peachbode, and Sam and I made a quick decision to head to the guesthouse. We had been in our room ever since.

Sam snuck in under the duvet. Beneath it, he removed his jeans. It was only fair that I did so, too.

"I'm tired," he admitted, closing his eyes, and turning around to face his side of the room, "I didn't get any sleep last night because of... you know."

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