Night Swim Inn
Beth and I had a week away from Beth’s family’s summer home last August. It’s taken me a while to talk about this because…Wanting to do something romantic and remote, we booked a ferry to take us north to a island fishing town. On the way, I used my phone to look up some cottages we could rent. One was called, “Night Swim Inn”.
“Here, I’ll get us this one,” I said, trying to show Beth the listing. But the page stalled, and looked like it was loading. “Oh…” I said, my voice trailing off. We were already kind of remote, and I figured we just had bad reception. I closed the window and opened it up again—and the screen read: BOOKED!
“Got it!” I said. “This place looked awesome. Restaurants, the beach, a boardwalk—“
“Shared bathroom?” Beth said. “I don’t trust these listings people put up themselves.”
“Oh, come on. That just means we share a bathroom.”
“I’ve seen these bad spots before. I’ll believe it when I see it.”
I pressed her just a little bit, “Babe—We’re doing a romantic getaway. Even if it’s not as advertised, that’s part of the fun.”
“Not as advertised,” Beth said. Indeed, when we arrived at our cottage, cars were whipping by at break-neck speed, and the sound of the nearby ocean was swallowed by grizzly and grueling engines. There were no restaurants, and very few other people.
We certainly had our cottage to ourselves, but we were separated by the water by a good three hundred feet of thick shrubs. A cab had driver had driven us about an hour from the nearest town to get us here, and his overhead light was now fading into the distance. There was definitely no going back unless we paid another couple hundred dollars for another ride.
We looked around. All the other cottages looked like they had been abandoned, but you could see the outlines of figures sitting just inside windows.
“Jesus Christ,” Beth said. “It’s like we’re stuck inside a Stephen King book.” I reached into my pocket and felt for the little velvet box I had been keeping secretly. No matter what, I was going to surprise Beth by the end of this.
We stepped inside our tiny cottage, and noticed there was a tiny back porch. The sun was beating down overhead, and Beth decided to do some sunbathing. I coated her back with sunscreen and she laid down flat on her stomach. I quickly plugged in my phone into our only outlet—when I heard a voice.
“Watch out for that sun. It’ll rip the skin right off ya.”
Beth responded with a shaking voice, “Oh…I…I’ll only do it a little bit.” I walked over to the back porch and saw a man who looked like he was over 90 years old leaning over the porch railing.
“Hi, sir—“ I said, but he cut me off.
“Who the hell are you? There are too many guests here all the time!” he said, sharply. Then, without saying another word, he walked away.
Beth was terrified, and wanted to leave. I put my hand into my pocket. All I needed was one quick walk by the water under the moonlight to show her the diamond ring. I was able to calm her down, but she squeezed my hand so tight at that moment I thought she was going to break my hand.
That night, as we prepared to go for a quick walk, we started to hear what sounded like chopping or banging from the nearest cottage. This was followed by a short burst of yelling—and we could tell it was the man from earlier. The lights were on in both levels of his house, but as soon as we looked, the screaming subsided, and all the lights shut off.
“Weird old guy, huh?” I said. I wasn’t going to let this freak ruin our moment.
Down on the beach, everything was peaceful. Beth and I exchanged words about how happy we were together, and I reached for my pocket. At that moment, someone walked up to us. It was a young man about our age.
“Hey, who are you guys?” the man asked. I couldn’t help but notice that he was wearing what looked like the old man’s clothes from earlier.
“I’m Charlie, and this is my girlfriend, Beth,” I said. I could tell Beth was uneasy. “Can we help you?” For a moment, I could have sworn his eye drooped, but it was so dark, I couldn’t tell.
“No, no…” the man said. “The moon is so much more forgiving, huh? Not like the heat of the day. See you later.” The man kept walking. When he was a safe distance away, Beth grabbed my arm.
“These people are terrifying. Can we please leave tomorrow?” She was so distraught, and that man had ruined the moment.
“Sure,” I said. The diamond would have to wait for another time.
The strange thing is, that’s all I remember.
I woke up the next morning on the couch—facing up. I still had my clothes on, and the diamond was in my pocket.
“Beth? Beth?” I called out, but she was nowhere to be seen. I ran all around the cottage, down by the water, and across the boardwalk. Nothing.
I finally ran over to the other cottage where the man had come from. I banged on the door repeatedly, but there was no answer. Angry, I kicked the door down and walked inside. No one was there. In fact, the house was empty except for a few pieces of furniture. There was no food, and it lights wouldn’t even turn on.
“Beth? Beth?” I shouted, but heard nothing except the sound of my own voice.
Only a few minutes had passed since I had woken up. I called the police, and after about an hour of worrying myself sick on the back porch, two police officers arrived. They looked around and found nothing, either—and asked me to fill out a missing person’s report.
Then, I saw it. From the corner of my eye, I could see the other police officer talking to someone at the door of the other cottage—a woman. I ran over—and it was Beth. But it wasn’t quite her. The body was all-wrong. It looked like her, but her eyes were stretched, and her chin protruded. Her hands were all contorted and her neck looked stretched back.
“I’ve got nothin’ for ya,” the woman said to police officer in a rather low voice.
“Okay, sorry to bother you,” the police officer said, turning away. With the officer’s back turned, the woman stared at me sharply, with the same devilish eyes from the day before.
I knew it was her. I knew he had harmed her. And every guest that had come before. But I couldn’t prove or say a thing. Who would believe me?
I never saw Beth again, and I never got to show her how much I loved her.
Submitted by: Mr. Creepy