Being discharged from a mental hospital following suicide attempts after the loss of her only son, Zaria Martin goes with her husband for a getaway weekend. Not only does the hotel bring back terrifying memories but a familiar child is haunting Zaria's dreams. Is there 'something wrong with this place' or is she slipping from sanity again?
Zaria smiled to herself and looked sideways at her beaming husband. He took a hand from the steering wheel and took hers from its position on her right thigh. He smiled back, keeping his head forward but squeezing her soft hand gently. With a glisten in her eyes and a wide smile from ear to ear, she reached her free hand forward and pressed play on the cassette player. The sound of a romantic pop hit faded in and Zaria laughed to herself instantly.
“You remember this song?” She asked her smiling husband. He nodded and turned his head to face her. Their eyes locked for a second, both of them looking deep into the soul of the other and smiling as a newly wed couple would on their first night together on a honeymoon under the stars. Zaria’s heartbeat steadily quickened, her emotions swinging like a child’s on Christmas Eve.
There was a sudden bump and the front left wheel jerked as the car drifted slowly left onto the gravelled side of the road. There were a few seconds of rattling; as the stones flew up behind the tyre and onto the metallic bodywork of the car, before Darren pulled the car back onto the smooth tarmac road.
“Sorry about that,” He laughed awkwardly, a little off edge, having being interrupted in such a deeply intimate moment. Zaria breathed a sigh of relief and nodded quickly, returning a small smile of hesitation that was unseen by her husband.
The small, beat up car drove on down the winding deserted roads, until they reached the top of a large hill and Darren slowed the car to a gradual stop and turned to his wife.
“What’s going on?” She asked, startled but amused. Darren simply nodded to the road with his head and unstrapped himself from the seat. He opened the door, its rusty hinges creaking and groaning as he got out. Zaria also unclicked her seatbelt and reached for the door but Darren was already standing with it open, a wide romantic smile spread across his face. He gestured again with his head and Zaria swung her legs out of the car and clambered out. Darren grabbed her hand instantly and walked forward with his excitedly confused wife beside him. The car’s radio slowly faded as they walked forward across the bright green and lightly swaying grass.
Zaria opened her mouth again as if to ask what was happening but stepped forward and the large river running the distance of the road beside it came into view. Zaria gasped at its beauty; the blue clear water flowed smoothly down the river, lapping at rocks and logs and the riverbank as it passed. Darren bent his knees, still holding Zaria’s hand so that her arm outstretched to give him slack to squat and he picked up a smooth stone from the gravelled floor. He straightened up and waited for a second in anticipation, rolling the stone over in his hand then reared back with his strong arm and forced the stone forwards as it fell rapidly into the river below.