The horror descended on sleepy Louisburg, Kansas two years ago. Not that anyone was paying attention at the time. The young couple moved into the Old Cabin at the edge of town on a hot, windy July night in a suspiciously silent manner. Only later did we learn they were called the Hewleys – Grace and Tom. Or at least, that was the name they used.
Louisburg is a small town, just 20 miles south of Overland Park and four miles from the Missouri border. So small, in fact, that the local newspaper’s website doesn’t even register in the search rankings. 3500 souls, including 450 Louisburg High School students, had lived there, peacefully.
Louisburg had been growing rapidly until a month after the Hewleys arrived. There’s even a local web hosting company in town. That’s when townspeople started to notice that something was wrong. The Director of Public Safety was starting to get phone calls about strange lights emanating from inside the Old Cabin. The lights were a brilliant ruby red, and flared out in all directions except true North. They would start around the same time each night, 1 AM, and increase sporadically until 3, when they would suddenly cut off. During the two hour window, you could hear a low-pitched hum coming from the cabin, barely comprehendible.
You knew that something strange was going on inside the Old Cabin by the way the birds acted. When the lights came on, the birds starting cheeping and singing as if morning, even though it was pitch black outside save for the ruby glow. On the other hand, the omnipresent din of the crickets died back to silence when the red lights came on.
Sam Perkins was the closest neighbor, if you can call him that. Sam might have been sober once back in 1997, but no one will swear to it. He’s been living in the same trailer for 32 years, comes to town every night and has his way with a bottle of rye at Ginger’s, our local bar. Hell, it’s our only bar. The good folk of Louisburg don’t cotton much to demon alcohol, and if the bar didn’t belong to the Mayor’s wife’s family, they would surely have been closed down by now.
Sam disappeared on August 14. Not a trace. He left a half full bottle of rye on his kitchen sink. Next day, the Hewley’s were gone too. When the Director finally inspected the abandoned cabin, he found an odd crystalline structure where the toilet bowl should have been, surrounded by reddish scorch marks. They sent it off to the FBI, who found DNA traces that matched the DNA of Sam Perkins.
They tore down the Old Cabin in a Christmas bonfire that year. Then, the town failed to renew its Internet domain name. It’s the darndest thing.