The car finally gave out. Jeff hit the dashboard in frustration. It was bad enough that the car had to break down, but at night, in the rain, in the middle of God knows wherever he was, it was a fitting end to his bad week. The week had seen his wife leave him, taking the kids with her. He had been demoted at his job, and was now forced to go back on the road as a salesman. Now this had happened, and things weren't going to get any better anytime soon. Jeff decided that he might as well try to find a way out of this mess. He considered waiting in his car for another car to come by and help him. The road wasn't often used though, and that might take hours, so Jeff decided to first walk down the road to see if there were any other choices. After walking for a half hour in the pounding rain, Jeff finally came across an old house in the woods. Now Jeff had seen enough horror movies to make him turn back, but the rain alone was enough to override his sense of fear and trepidation. He walked up the winding road to the door. The house looked to be very old and not kept up well, and Jeff wondered if anyone even lived there anymore...

He knocked on the door, and to his surprise, it was answered rather quickly. An older man, looking to be in his late 70s, asked him what he wanted. Jeff explained his situation and asked if the man had a phone or someway to help. The old man said he was wary of travelers, but decided that Jeff looked honest enough, and let him use his phone. Jeff thanked him, and asked his name. He said his name was Joseph Palmer, and told Jeff the number of the nearest garage. Jeff made his way through to the phone, noticing that the house looked about as old inside as it did outside, and was surprised that there was even a phone at the place. He called the garage, but they said there was nothing they could do until the morning, and they would meet him at noon at his car. Mr. Palmer offered Jeff the guestroom to sleep in for the night. Jeff was a bit wary at spending the night in such a spooky old house, but decided that the walk back in the rain and sleeping in the car couldn't be much safer than staying at the house. He accepted, and was shown to the room.

The house was adorned with antique everything, not a piece of furniture seemed to have been purchased in at least the last 60 years or more. Mr. Palmer showed him the room, and bided him good night. The man was nice, but the whole situation still left Jeff unnerved. He just tired to tell himself that he had watched far too many horror movies as a child. The bedroom had a canopy bed, one old lamp, a single window, and a red carpet. The house was eerily quiet as Jeff laid himself down on the bed. Quiet...except for a creek here, and a thump there. By now, Jeff's imagination had him too paranoid to sleep, as he heard Mr. Palmer outside the room, walking up and down the hallway outside. Up he went, and down he went. Then, the footsteps stopped, right outside his room. Jeff waited, yet nothing happened. A half hour passed, and yet he heard nothing except the rain beating outside, and the wind howling as the storm blew on. Finally sleep slowly overcame Jeff, even with his nervousness heightened. Slowly, his eyes closed, though he thought he could almost hear something scratching at his door...

Jeff awoke, the stormed had passed, and daylight was shining through the window curtains. Happy that all his nervousness was for nothing; Jeff got out of bed, and checked his watch. He had slept in until 11:20, and had to leave quickly before the people from the garage got to his car. Leaving the room, he was greeted by Mr. Palmer. Palmer asked him if he had slept well. Jeff replied that he had, though he had trouble falling asleep. Palmer laughed and asked if he was afraid of the old house at night in the middle of nowhere. Jeff admitted that maybe, he was a bit afraid, but he felt silly for it now. He thanked Palmer, and said he had to leave quickly to get to his car. He turned to leave, when suddenly, something banged his head and everything went quite dark. ..

When Jeff came to, he was tied to a chair in the basement. The place reeked of horrible smells. Mr. Palmer walked up to him, with a large knife in his hand. Jeff screamed and tried to free himself, but only tired himself out. He looked up in horror at Mr. Palmer, and asked him why he was doing this, and why now. Palmer answered that last night, he would have been nervous, full of fear, and ready for any attack Palmer would do. No, that wasn't the right time, everyone expects attacks at night. But during the morning...people are more relaxed and the fear is low, making them blind to any chance of harm. Jeff asked him again, why was he doing this, what was he going to do with him and said someone, like the garage people, would find out what happened. Mr. Palmer said that mishaps happen on highways at night, mainly during storms, so hardly anyone would even think twice as to why he was gone. If anyone actually did start asking questions...Palmer said he had ways to discourage that kind of activity...As for why he was doing this, Palmer simply said that Jeff need not worry about that, in fact, he need not worry about anything anymore...Jeff looked into Palmer's eyes as he walked towards him, his eyes were completely black, and Jeff tried to scream...
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