The Grinning Man Part 2 by Samuel Beck
Sorry for my quick conclusion earlier on. I am simply just astounded. I never wouldâ€™ve believed that my involvement in this project was going to lead to this. Due to the research I had done, I can only assume that I involuntarily began a new pattern. The grinning man has thus far only been cited in North Carolina throughout the years. His goal would seem to be to start in untouched lands.
Iâ€™ve been watching the red balloon outside floating around. I know he watches me. I know he is there. Liv is uneasy too. She said that he was coming to kill her and ultimately she could not stop him. I knew the only thing I could do was hope to get some answers through my research. Maybe these lose ends would just lead me to some relief. There had to be a way to stop him. There justâ€Ś had to be. There was no record of the grinning man being seen before 1693 in Winston Salem. I decided to go to Winston Salem, and see if I could find any records. Liv decided to go with me, she said I was the only person who had kept her safe thus far. I obliged. Tuck and Brett were hesitant at accepting our new ally. I insisted that she was the only one would could truly lead us to answering a list of questions. We arrived in Winston Salem, and I began researching in the Library for the year of 1693. This was the year in which the witch trials began taking place. As I looked through books about the victims of the witch trial, it was then I saw it. A red balloon. I had one of two options. Trust the balloon as an ally spirit, or take it as an enemy. I decided I had no other choice, and followed the balloon. It lead me to a bookshelf, where a book rested on the ground. It was a leatherback journal. The journal of one young girl named: Caroline Burr. It was dated 1692 to 1696. I picked up the book, slipped it into my bag, and walked out of the room to find Liv, Tuck, and Brett. I found myself lost in the midst of the long halls. Had I gotten turned around? I had not recalled the library being this big. I tried to simply shrug it off. But I knew better when attached to the bookshelf was a charcoal image of the grinning man. I ripped it off crumpling it and
throwing it behind me. He appeared in a parallel hall, walking towards me. I was frozen as if paralyzed, but had hoped my face would show my determination. He tilted his head as he stepped forward leaving only a foot distance between us. I sternly spoke, “Go away!” He shook his head, but said nothing. I tried to throw a punch but it was if an invisible force field was between us. He walked passed me, I felt electric shocks erupting along my spine. I turned as he edged down the hall, he looked back once, but stepped forward. I heard the sounds of Liv, who was calling for me. I finally broke from my invisible cage, turning the hall to witness the grinning man grab Liv around the neck. The powdered charcoal erupted from his fingers, engulfing her. I ran to her, digging through the charcoal which had unified into a charcoal tomb around her. I finally reached her pulling her out. She latched her arms around me weeping. I comforted her, and we were soon accompanied by Brett and Tuck. We returned to the hotel we were staying at. I stood outside of the bathroom as Liv took a shower, still sobbing uncontrollably. I felt so sorry for her. It was not only the realization that I too would be in her shoes in a mere ten years. It was also that Liv was a kind heart, who had been brought into this unjustly. I waited till everyone fell asleep, and I began examining Caroline Burr’s diary. There was mostly talk of the life she lived, her family, religious talk. All until she met the man she grew to speak sweetly of: Benjamin Smirk. Though I plan to transcribe her journal entries, the gist I was able to get from them is that Benjamin and Caroline’s love was not approved by Caroline’s betrothed Arthur Dugford. Dugford was in fact after further research, Liv’s ancestor. Arthur framed Benjamin for witchcraft, when in fact Caroline documented herself as practicing witch craft. When Benjamin burned at the stake, Caroline summoned a demon within his form, that
would take revenge on all who had been against their love. This would come at a price however, in that the demon would only do Caroline’s wishes as long as her family would continue to serve him and bring more souls for him to collect. Further research shows that one of the ten victims was a descendent of Caroline Burr. She later married Nicholas Packerson. My heart sank upon this realization. My own friend Brett, had brought us here to continue the cycle. I knew then that I was somehow going to have to talk to Tuck and Liv, and remove them from this. I shut my laptop, and went to the room where all the beds were. I called Liv’s name, only to here whimpering. I grabbed my phone, using the light to reveal that there was Brett, holding a kitchen knife to her neck. The noise woke Tuck, who turned on the lamp to adjust to the situation. “She has to die Sam,” Brett scowled, “We all have to die so that the grinning man may live.” I shook my head, “Why Brett?” He laughed at me, “Because it’s the promise made by my ancestor. You see Caroline suffered all because of the Dugford family, and the grinning man was kind enough to punish them.” I watched as Tuck slowly moved from the bed towards Brett. Brett shook his head, “If you won’t let him have her, I’ll spill her blood in his name.” Tuck jumped on top of Brett, and Liv managed to pull the knife from his hand. She handed it to me as Tuck managed to throw Brett into one of the side tables knocking him out. We left the hotel room in hopes he’d stay unconscious. Tuck had all his camera equipment in tow and I took only the necessities: my wallet, suitcase, and laptop. Liv had her suitcase in tow and we packed everything within our van. It was then I noticed there stood the grinning man in the parking lot watching. I looked to the ground, written in charcoal were the words: “There is no escape.” I shook my head protectively reaching a hand to Liv, putting her
inside the backseat. Tuck volunteered to drive. We’ve been driving for twenty minutes. We’re finally in High Point. This is where the next citing was, my hope is that I can find more clues. I will transcribe Caroline Burr’s diary. I hope that perhaps reading this over again will get me more answers.