Title: Mulder's Creek: 09. Three Strange Days
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: XF/Dawson's Creek crossover.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to the
characters, except those I've created, as they belong to Chris Carter and Kevin
Summary: A ski trip goes off course, and strange events make
everyone wonder if they're alone in building they pick to shelter them
from a blizzard.
Mulder is packing up his Christmas village while
"Do you think you could give me a hand with this?"
he asks, sounding slightly annoyed.
"No...it's more fun to watch,"
Scully says, ignoring his glare. "Why didn't you do this a week
"I don't know...I didn't think of it."
Scully sighs to
herself. "I bet you had other things on your mind."
"And what is
that supposed to mean?" Mulder demands to know.
Scully shrugs. "I
mean Fowley leaving."
"Sure, I've thought about it, why do you
care?" Mulder asks, getting a bit defensive.
"I care because you're
my best friend, and you haven't said a word about it. Even Reyes has, and
we're only just beginning to become friends." Mulder raises his eyebrows
when she says that. She pretends not to notice.
"Well, there hasn't
be a lot to tell. It's not like we were friends, not like she and Reyes
were, but it hurt a little that she didn't think enough of me to believe I
was worth saying good-bye to. Besides that I haven't really thought too
much about it."
"Really?" Scully asks, sounding surprised.
"Really, it's not as though I care as much about her as Doggett. Or you,
for that matter. She was just someone I had a crush on."
picks up a house and asks. "Where does this one go?"
her the box. "Right here. Lazy..." he says, grinning.
Theme song -"Stranded" by Plumb
McPhee home, Wednesday afternoon-
Before she checks her new mail,
she re-reads the message she sent to the person claiming to be
While I'd like to believe that this really is Fowley, I
think I need some proof to know that this isn't someone just pretending to
be her. If this really is you, I'm sure you'll understand.
The message from the mysterious FLindley, had simply said
"Reyes, it's me, Fowley. Talk to you soon." and since then Reyes has been
struggling for days, trying to decide if she should believe that this
person really is Fowley. So she finally decided the night before to ask
Her hands tremble a little bit when she opens her inbox
and sees a new message from FLindley. Taking a deep breath she opens it
and begins to read what it says:
Hey! I should of know you'd ask me
to pass a little test, because, well...you've always been one of the most
pragmatic people I've ever known. It's good that you're watching out for
yourself, and me, I think, like this too. So here's a piece of proof I can
offer. When you and I were talking to Kersh in his cruiser about the
librarian, you told him that your being Doggett's girlfriend was good for
his career. Since there was only the three of us there, it's not as though
anyone else could have known it. If that's not good enough, Ms. Cautious,
let me know and I'll think of something else =)
Like how I teased
to about the school ghosts when we were alone right before Christmas
break, for example. Let me know if you believe me yet,
Reyes sighs with relief- it has to be Fowley.
Thursday night, Leary home-
Mulder is helping clean up after
dinner, by putting the dishes in the dishwasher; which he hates to do.
When he's about to drop the last of the spoons into the silverware tray,
he hears his dad call for him from the living-room. He slams the
dishwasher door and mutters to himself about wishing that his parents
would be so kind as to actually walk into the room when they wanted to
talk to him.
"Yeah, Dad?" he asks, sitting on the couch.
Mulder thinks he'd rather not, but still asks
"What?" His father looks happy, but the last time he looked this happy was
Thanksgiving dinner, so Mulder doesn't feel any more at ease.
spoke to Mr. McPhee, so it's all arranged."
"What is?" Mulder asks,
"See, I wanted you to ask...I've arranged a ski trip for
this weekend. Mr. McPhee and his twins, as well as Scully and Doggett are
going to be joining us. Does that sound good?" Mr. Leary asks with a
"Of course! Thanks Dad!"
"Your Mom won't be joining
us, though. She doesn't like to ski much anyway, and she said that the
baby has been making her feel too sick most mornings to enjoy the
vacation. She's going to visit your Aunt Gwen, so she says we shouldn't
"As long as she's happy..." Mulder says, thinking
happily of a weekend without adult females around to keep people in line;
his father has been the more permissive parent Mulder's whole
"I think that Mr. McPhee is going to lend Skinner his SUV to
drive you kids up, since he and I have to work on Saturday morning, and
there's supposed to be a little storm, so we want you kids to be there
"Ok, sure. I need to call Doggett," Mulder says,
already mentally planning ways to torment Reyes and Scully during the
Friday night, Potter home-
Scully sighs loudly for Bessie's
benefit. She shoves clothes into a duffel bag then slams it on the bed.
Bessie looks amused.
"I can't believe you're making me do this,"
she says to Bessie.
"I don't see what your problem is. Most people
would be delighted to go away for the weekend. But you...you sulk."
"Most people don't hate snow," Scully complains. "You know I do. I have no
interest whatsoever in skiing!"
"You'll live," Bessie says,
patronizingly. "At least you'll have a good company."
Just me and Reyes against four boys. They're ok when we're not
out-numbered, but when they have the advantage they're suddenly eight
years old again, and determined to drive us insane."
"Four? How do
you get four? Surely you're not including Mr. Leary or Mr.
"I'm not. Jack's boyfriend, Ethan, is coming too."
"You and Reyes will just have to be crafty."
going," Bessie says firmly.
"Have I ever told you how much you
"Yes. Frequently. It's never done you any good, though,"
Bessie says as she walks away.
"You're so insensitive..." Scully
mutters to herself. She can't understand why Bessie won't believe her that
the trip isn't going to be as much fun as she thinks, because every single
time Scully has gone on a trip with Mulder and Doggett they've made her
the butt of endless pranks. At least there won't be any poison ivy around
this time, Scully thinks, trying to look on the bright side.
Saturday morning, McPhee home-
Reyes opens the door and pulls the
dark-haired young man standing on the porch into the house, and gives him
"Ethan! It's so good to see you."
"It's good to see
you too. Where's Skinner?"
"He's getting his skis. Said he'd be
down in a second."
Neither of them notices Mr. McPhee until he
startles them by saying, "Glad you could make it, Ethan."
you for inviting me, sir."
down the stairs, but at the last second before he's in the others' sight
he tries to appear nonchalant. "Hey," he says by way of a
"Hey yourself," Ethan says, smiling.
Scully is slumped in the back of the McPhees' Landrover with a frown
on her face as she listens listlessly to Mr. McPhee's admonishments about
having a safe trip.
"...and Skinner, if the roads do happen to get
bad, you know how to shift into four wheel drive, right?"
Dad," Skinner replies patiently.
"Ok, good. Call me when you get
"I'll expect to hear from you in about
three hours then," Mr. McPhee says, still looking worried. "Mitch and I
should be joining you around seven tonight. Oh, the lodge knows that you
kids will be checking in first, so don't worry about that."
Dad, see you tonight," Skinner says, then waves and rolls up the driver's
"Finally!" Doggett says, from where he is sitting with
"He just worries, Doggett," Reyes says
"You'll have to excuse him, he's just not used to
parental concern," Mulder tells her. Reyes says something in reply, but
he's too focused on trying to decide if tickling Scully would jolly her
out of her bad mood, or make her slap him. He decides that inaction is the
"Actually," Ethan says from the passenger seat, "I
think your dad has loosened up a lot, Reyes. He seems less..."
"Uptight?" Skinner suggests.
"I would have used a less harsh term,
but yes. He seems to have changed a lot since I last saw him."
"Dad's coming to terms with a few things," Skinner says.
there yet?" Scully asks plaintively, making everyone but her
Though the forecast didn't call for snow until the late afternoon, it
begins snowing lightly less than a half-hour into the trip. Reyes,
Doggett, and Mulder take it as a good omen for the ski trip, but Ethan and
Skinner are more worried than optimistic. During the conversation Mulder
occasionally looks over at Scully, willing her to wake up and join the
conversation. He isn't surprised though, because there's always been
something about car trips that makes her fall asleep when she's not the
one driving. He shrugs to himself and hopes that the nap will put her in a
If she was actually sleeping instead of merely
pretending too, he might have gotten his wish. Instead she's thinking of
the last trip she had gone on with Mulder and Doggett. They'd been twelve
years old that summer, and completely unaware of the news that would be
waiting them when they returned home to Capeside. Mr. Leary and Sheriff
Witter had been the chaperones for that particular trip, which none of
them had thought was strange because the parents usually switched off on
that duty. Since the two men were friends, they spent a lot of time
fishing together, which left the three kids with a lot of unsupervised
time alone together.
The fact of which Mulder and Doggett took
shameless advantage of, and tried to come up with the most outrageous
tricks that their young minds could conceive of to harass Scully. Though
she acted appropriately annoyed, it wasn't that bad. She didn't like
finding worms in her shoes in the morning, and their trick of rubbing
poison ivy all over her soap-they smartly raided the first aid kit for
rubber gloves to do it unscathed- did leave her with a painful rash, there
was something she really liked about the trip. When she had time to think
about it when she was a little older, she hit upon what it was; they
treated her differently than Bessie did. It was as if on that trip she got
to experience, at least for a little while, what it would be like to have
had a brother.
Though she claimed to Bessie that she didn't want
to go on this trip because of the teasing, it isn't the real reason. She's
afraid that this trip will open up the barely healed scars that were
gotten from mental wounds right after the trip. The day after Scully got
home from that trip, she and Bessie learned devastating news: their mother
had terminal cancer. For some inexplicable reason, thinking about the fun
she'd had that week with Mulder and Doggett made her feel guilty.
She's abruptly lifted out of her sad trip down memory lane when she feels
the SUV move sideways. "What was that?" she asks, opening her
"The wind. It's gotten wicked windy all of the sudden. I'm
going to pull off the road in put this thing in four wheel drive," Skinner
says, making a general announcement.
Scully peers out the window,
and is surprised how bad the weather has gotten. Snow swirls wildly in the
wind and a half-inch or so is piled up on the road. "Have you driven in
weather like this before?" Scully asks Skinner, because she
"Yup, don't worry, we'll get there safely. You were out for
quite a while, so I bet you don't realize that we're over halfway there
already," Skinner says as he puts the car back on the road.
she says, returning her gaze to the window.
They pile back into the vehicle after stopping for lunch at a roadside
diner. Though Reyes and Scully had insisted that the place looked like a
dive, Mulder and Skinner protested that it had a certain charm about it.
Their meal only served to prove that people who base their entire opinion
of diners on what they've seen in movies don't spend a lot of time
pondering the quality of food. Feeling fuller and distinctly more queasy,
they head back out into the storm.
"Dad expects us to call in an
hour, are we almost there, Skinner?" Reyes asks.
"I think so.
Ethan, check the map, would you?"
"The map says that it's about 30
more miles, I think we'll make it there in plenty of time," Ethan says, as
much to reassure himself as her.
"Besides," Skinner adds, "He must
know by now that the storm has slowed us down a little."
you're right..." Reyes says doubtfully.
As they drive on they
finally encounter plow trucks, though they try to avoid driving directly
behind them. Doggett points at one.
"Look at that, proof that my
Dad is wrong. He said that the plow trucks were hibernating this year
because of the unseasonably warm weather. Looks like this sudden cold snap
has woken them up!"
No one laughs, because it is just then that the
snow picks up in earnest. Within a half an hour the snow is coming down so
hard that they are driving in white out conditions. Skinner tries not to
let his nervousness show, but he is frightened by how little he can see
beyond the beams of the headlights. He's never imagined that snow could
come down so fast that it's as difficult to see through as the cotton
batten that his mother had used to stuff toy animals with when he was
Trying not to let his panic show, he asks Ethan. "Where do
we go next?"
"The brochure from the lodge says that it's off of
exit 27 on Pine Tree road."
Skinner relaxes a little once they're
finally able to see the exit. They drive down the road, looking for street
signs. As the miles pass they feel more desperation because they can't
really see the signs well enough to read them. Since New England roads
often stretch out for miles and miles this way no one feels out-right
panic, but they are on the edge of it. Finally, once he spies something by
the road side Ethan tells Skinner that he sees a sign that might be the
right one. Skinner decides to risk being wrong, and drives up the steep
Four miles up the road they come to a large well-lit
building, and everyone sighs a breath of relief. They park in the lot in
front of it, and begin to walk through the stinging snow towards their
salvation. Before they are halfway up the walk they see one of the rarest
of weather phenomena's- lightening during a snowstorm. For a moment they
pause in awe of this, because it is unlikely they will ever see it a
second time. The bolts of lightning are harder to see in the snow filled
sky than they would be during a rain storm, but their electric brilliance
does allow them to stand out more than anything else in the leaden skies.
When they hear a bolt of it strike a nearby tree the trance is broken, and
they pick up their pace.
Doggett has a smile on his face as he
pushes the heavy oak door open, but it fades as he looks inside and sees
that there is no one at the reception desk. "I guess the staff is
somewhere else in the building," he says, and the others nod in agreement,
not really listening as they stamp their feet to get the snow out of their
boots. "Hello?" he calls, and listens to his voice echo throughout the
"I think we should go and look for the receptionist so we
can check into our rooms," Reyes suggests. They decide to check both
directions at once. Turning lights on as they go they find no one on the
ground floor, so they gamely go up the stairs and search there too. Both
groups meet back down stairs a few minutes later.
"We didn't find
anyone," Reyes says.
"Neither did we," Mulder replies.
"That's odd. You wouldn't think that they'd go off during the middle of
the afternoon. Suppose they went outside to get something?" Ethan muses
Scully half listens to them, but is more interested in a
plaque she notices by the desk. "What's the name of this lodge?" she
"The Lincoln," Skinner says, irritably. "Why? I must have
mentioned that three or four times already."
"How come that sign
says 'Fairchild' then?" she asks, pointing to the plaque. "There's no one
here because this isn't the right lodge."
Before an argument can really start, Doggett decides to
intervene. "We have to look at this rationally. There's no way we can go
back out into the storm because, if it isn't obvious to everyone else
right now, we're in the middle of a blizzard. The wind has been picking up
even as we've been in the building. If we go out there again we're going
to get lost or worse."
"What could be worse than getting lost?"
"We're in the middle of old growth forest. Old growth
trees tend to fall during heavy winds, and being crushed by a huge tree
sounds worse than being lost to me. We're going to have to stay here, at
least for the night. There's power, at least for now, and there's a cord
of wood stacked by that fire place over there so even if we do lose power
we're not going to freeze to death. No one is here so it's not as though
anyone is going to bother us for trespassing, and no one would be
heartless enough to send us back out into the storm again today, anyway."
"If there's no one here, why are there lights on in the lobby?"
"They probably didn't want potential looters to think
the place is abandoned," Scully says.
Reyes sighs deeply, "I guess
we should take a look around and see if there's any food, too."
They walk down the hall in the direction someone thinks they remember
seeing the kitchen.
The kitchen is approximately the same size as the one in the Ice
House, so that comforts both Scully and Skinner for some reason. They are
also the only ones who know what to look for when it comes to checking the
cabinets for food.
"There is a ton of canned goods, so we won't
stave," Skinner tells them, peering into a pantry.
for one of the cans and says, "Ravioli! My favorite! But why hasn't anyone
looked in the fridge or freezer?"
Scully gives him a look he can't
read, so he's not sure if she's making fun of him or not. "Since we don't
have any idea how long it's been since there were other people here, it's
probably not in our best interest to look in them. Even if the food hasn't
evolved into a new life-form yet, the smell could make us wish that we
were back out in the storm."
Doggett gives a good-natured grin as
he thinks about what she's just said. "This," he announces, "Is why I'm
glad that we have at least one scientifically inclined person among us.
Had it been up to me, the fridge would be open by now, and we'd all be
throwing up in the snow. Thank you for saving us, Scully."
rolls her eyes, and then notices that Reyes has a phone in her hand. "Any
"No," Reyes says unhappily. "There's no dial tone. Mulder,
do you have your cell phone?"
Mulder hands it over, and shoots
Scully a look that suggests that the necessity of having one is something
they've long argued about. Before he can say anything to the effect that
he's right, Reyes hands it back to him. "No service," she says.
guess there's no tower here, then," Mulder says.
"Or it blew
down," Doggett says cheerfully. "Let's have some ravioli!"
isn't distracted by this tactic. "Dad's going to be awfully worried," she
says to Skinner.
"I know. He might even be mad too, but when he
finds out we're safe that's all that's going to matter to him...I hope."
Skinner can resist adding, which coaxes a reluctant smile from his sister.
"Food now?" Doggett asks.
"I vote for a fire now, and food
later," Mulder says.
"But I'm hungry!" Doggett insists.
"You're always hungry. We only ate two hours ago, anyway."
Doggett opens his mouth again, Scully reaches into one of the cabinets,
picks up a can, looks at the bottom for the date, than tosses it to him.
"Have some fruit to tide you over."
"Can peaches! My second
favorite!" Doggett says, pulling the top off. He happily sticks a fork in
the can and trails behind everyone else back to the lobby. He's so intent
on savoring the sweet goodness of his snack that he almost walks into
Ethan because he doesn't notice that everyone has stopped abruptly. No one
is saying anything, so he looks over Ethan's shoulder to see what it is
that has them speechless. A fire roars merrily in the fireplace.
Sticking the fork back into the can he says, "That wasn't there 20 minutes
ago. I know it's obvious, but some situations call for the stating of it.
We're not alone here." No one contradicts him.
4pm, McPhee home-
Mr. McPhee and Mr. Leary look at each other in a
grim silence. While they both know that one of them is going to have to
call Bessie, sheriff Doggett, and Ethan's parents, neither of them is
eager to do so.
At last Mr. Leary speaks. "I called the lodge
again about five minutes ago, and they still haven't checked in."
"The state police said they haven't seen anything yet, though, so perhaps
"You know, it could be that they're just lost. The
snow was pretty heavy for a while there, so maybe they just took the wrong
exit. For all we know they're at a hotel somewhere, safe and
"If they were, wouldn't they have called by now?" Mr. McPhee
asks. He doesn't really expect the other man to answer, and he's sure that
his thoughts mirror his own- they called and left a message at the lodge
at noon, to let the kids know that they weren't going to be able to join
them until the next day. The receptionist at the lodge agreed to give them
the message to call home as soon as they got there. But now, four hours
later, the lodge still hasn't seen them come in.
Mr. McPhee picks up the phone again, this time dialing the Potter's
number. "Hello, Bessie? This is Reyes and Skinner's father. I'm afraid I
have some worrisome news..."
At The Lodge-
After the shock of the spontaneous fire wore off they
went and looked in all the rooms again, trying to find the person who had
started it. Again their search was unsuccessful, which leads them to be
even more worried than they have been so far. They sit around the sinister
fire, and try to puzzle out what is going on.
"I think the answer
is obvious," Mulder insists. "We're dealing with the paranormal. Since
the ghost has thoughtfully provided us with a fire, I think it's a
Reyes is inclined to agree with Mulder, but
Scully objects. "There are no such things as ghosts."
know that for sure, Scully," Mulder says.
"Isn't the high school
haunted?" Reyes asks, then is confused when Doggett, Scully and Mulder
"No, it isn't," Doggett says when he catches his
"But Fowley says it is," Reyes says.
and you, don't know is that the only spooks in that school around
Christmas time are Byers, Frohike, and Langly, who have been paid to
provide evidence of haunting," Doggett says.
"Hey, did you know
that they're calling themselves 'the lone gunmen' now?" Mulder asks.
"That doesn't even make sense. There are three of them," Scully
"I know, that's what I told Frohike, and he got all huffy
"I think Scully is right," Skinner interrupts. "The
likelihood of the fire being the result of a ghost's prank rather than
that of a potentially dangerous person hiding in this lodge is low. We
need to be prepared for the possibility of someone else, whose motives
aren't friendly, to be in this building with us."
"What do you
suggest we do?" Ethan asks.
Before Skinner thinks of anything,
Reyes says, "I think we should stick to the original sleeping arrangements
we were going to have at the right lodge. While there are a lot of rooms,
it's probably better that we double up as intended. There are two beds in
every room I looked in, and....well, safety in numbers and all that. The
rooms have locking doors, too, so no one will be able to get in while
"Reyes is right. Besides, that will be less rooms
to have to clean up in the morning, so we don't leave a mess for whomever
it is that owns this place."
"Are the rest of you ok with that?"
Reyes asks, waiting until they all nod. "Ok then. Doggett and Mulder in
one room, Ethan and Skinner in a second, and Scully and I in the third.
Now we just need to find three rooms together that we like." The lights
flicker as they troop upstairs, and the wind continues to howl outside.
Despite several more searches, no one has been found in the
lodge. Eventually Skinner and Ethan yawn and say goodnight. Not too long
after Reyes and Doggett also decide they're tried and say they'll go up to
their rooms too. Reyes asks Scully to come up soon because she doesn't
want to be alone too long. Scully barely acknowledges that because she and
Mulder are still in the middle of a heated debate about the plausibility
of a ghost being in the lodge.
"Scully, you know that we've seen
things before, so why can't you just admit that there's a world beyond our
comprehension? Can't you just accept things without definitive proof? "
"If it was that easy, I'd believe everything that anyone ever told
me. Would it be better if I had believed you when you told me that the
Chinese food place was serving cat?"
"Well, it would have been
more entertaining, anyway," Mulder says grinning.
funny, Mulder. That you'd propose blind acceptance to anything is quite
"Could you lighten up just a bit?"
don't think I can. I'm going to put out the fire, then go to bed."
"Ok then. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you. Good-night."
"'night," Scully says, looking up from the fireplace.
Doggett knocks on the door of Reyes and Scully's room. Reyes opens the
door and yawns. "What are you doing here?" she asks.
"Me? What do you mean? You and Mulder are supposed to
share a room."
"We're supposed to, but we're not going to."
"But nothing. You are scared, and I don't think
you'll feel safe even with Scully in the room. You girls need someone to
"Am I supposed to think you're my knight in shining
armor, or sexist? " Reyes asks, sticking out her tongue.
prefer the former, but that's up to you. Come on, get your stuff."
"They're not going to like this..." Reyes says, but grabs her bag.
"They'll get over it," Doggett says, pulling her down the hallway.
Since Mulder makes a detour through the kitchen in order to get some
of the canned peaches, he doesn't come upstairs in time to see Doggett
coax Reyes into their room.
He tries the door then knocks when he
realizes that it's locked.
Doggett opens the door, looking sleepy.
"Mulder, there's been a change of plans."
"What are you talking
about?" Mulder asks, surprised that Doggett is blocking his way into the
"Reyes is scared of ghosts, so she's going to sleep here.
And you're going to sleep in Scully's room. Good-night," Doggett says,
shutting the door in Mulder's face.
"Doggett," Mulder whispers
loudly at the locked door. Sighing deeply, he goes looking for Scully.
He unintentionally startles her as he walks up behind her and says
"How's putting out the fire going?"
"Not bad. I think it's safe to
leave now," she says, standing up.
"You're not going to like
this...we have a problem."
"It seems that
Doggett and Reyes have decided that our sleeping arrangements needed
"Since Doggett locked me out of the
room, there are two options the way I see it. The first option is that I
take a fourth room, and you stay in the room that you and Reyes were
supposed to share. The second is that we share a room." Mulder looks at
her expectantly, figuring that she'll choose the first option.
look on her face suggests that neither option strike her as being ideal.
"Um...since we don't know who is wandering around this place...and there are
two beds in the room..."
Mulder holds out his hand and says "In that
case, miss, I suggest we go up to our room," which gets a reluctant smile
out of her.
Ethan shakes himself out of a troubled sleep, and notices a figure
standing in the darkness. Before he convinces himself that one of his odd
dreams has come to life, he realizes that it's Skinner standing at the
"What are you doing?" Ethan asks.
"Did you hear that?"
Skinner asks quietly.
"I heard someone walking
down the hallway just now. I've been trying to decide if I should open the
Ethan sits up and asks, "What's to stop you? It's probably
just one of the others getting up to use the bathroom."
looks at the door, and it seems to Ethan that he's about to object.
Instead he shakes his head and climbs back into his bed. "I hope you're
right." Is all he says.
Mulder looks over at the other bed and nearly strains his eyes trying
to make out Scully's form in the darkness. Eventually he's able to tell
that she's lying curled up on her side, but he can't tell if she's awake
"Scully." He whispers into the gloom, hoping not to
wake her if she is in fact sleeping.
She rolls over and asks
drowsily, "What is it, Mulder?"
He is a little surprised that she's
awake. "I'm lonely," he tells her.
"How can you be lonely?" she
asks. "I'm not twelve feet away from you."
"This bed is too big,"
he complains. "I feel like I'm lost in it."
"What am I supposed to
do about that?" she asks grumpily. "Oh..."
doesn't say anything for a long moment. "Do you swear, on your honor, to
be a gentleman?"
"Of course," he says quickly.
probably going to regret this..." she mumbles to herself, but climbs onto
the unoccupied side of Mulder's Queen sized bed.
Mulder says before rolling onto his side. "My security Scully..." he says
yawning, making her giggle to herself.
Reyes blinks a few times and tries to identify the scraping sound that
has just waken her from a sound sleep. A quick glance at the clock shows
her that it's nearly six am. The scraping sound cuts off abruptly, but not
before she realizes that it's coming from outside the door. She shakes
Doggett awake and makes him open the door with her.
As soon as the
door is opened they see that someone has dragged all their ski stuff up
from the lobby and piled it in the hallway. "Another prank from our
friend," Doggett notes sardonically.
"This isn't funny." Reyes
"I didn't say it was." Doggett reminds her. "Let's get
everyone up for breakfast."
A knock on the door wakes Scully
up, and she untangles herself from Mulder's arms. Mulder doesn't stir even
as she abandons the bed. She looks down at him, and can't quite remember
when it was that he had snuggled closer to her. She remembers, though,
that he was whimpering, as if in the throughs of a nightmare, at the time.
She hadn't been able to wake him to ask what his dream was about, and
hadn't had the heart to push him away.
Down in the kitchen they ate pancakes made from a mix, and discussed
the events of the night before. No one claims responsibility for the
moving of the ski equipment, nor does anyone own up to have been walking
outside Skinner and Ethan's door in the middle of the night.
don't want to alarm anyone, but when I first got down here, I opened the
door. We got about three feet of snow yesterday, and there's no way to get
the SUV out."
"So what are we going to do?" Skinner asks.
"When I was poking through a closet during one of our 'searches'
yesterday, I found a bunch of cross-country skis. I figure that a couple
of us could use them to get down to the end of the driveway, and maybe out
to the highway to leave flags for anyone who might be looking for us,"
Doggett says. "I'm a good skier, who else will come?"
"Then let's go," Doggett says, grabbing his
Once they're outside they find that the situation isn't as
grave as they worried it might be, because they find that the dirt road
has actually been plowed, leaving just the extended driveway to block
"So," Ethan asks. "Any idea how we can most
quickly clear a path for the SUV?"
"Since the driveway is a good
half a mile long, I think we're going to need to leave the idea of doing
anything quickly out of the equation."
"I guess you're right. Let's
tie these up and go give people the good-bad news," Ethan says, sounding
Not long after Ethan and Doggett return, they find where the lodge
stores its cache of snow shovels. Working three at a time, they spend most
of the day shoveling a path through the snow. The other three wait inside
until it's their hour to shovel, which keeps them from staying out in the
cold too long, and lets them rest for a while near the fireplace. Though
they work until right before it gets dark, they only get halfway down the
long winding driveway. Somewhat dejected, they go back inside once the sun
starts to set.
"I can't believe we got so little done!" Skinner
exclaims as they wait in the kitchen for the cocoa to be ready to drink. "We worked all day and only have that much to show for it."
cleared out a quarter of a mile of snow, that's a hell of a lot of snow if
you really think about it. I don't think we could have expected to do more
given how short the day is this time of the year." Scully points
"You don't suppose we could pile into the Landrover and then
sort of let gravity bring us down to the road?" Skinner suggests
"We'd get bogged down in the snow before we got through
six feet of it. The snow is too deep to try something like that," Mulder
"How would you know?" Skinner challenges him.
explain it to him, Doggett?" Mulder asks.
"Ok, sure. You know how
we got all that snow last March? Anyway, Dad asked Mulder and I to clear
the driveway. Our driveway is hilly like this one, so we had the brilliant
idea that if we cleared just part of it, we could do what you just
suggested. It worked great- for about four feet. We spent over an hour
digging the snow out from under the car so we could even move it once we
cleared the rest of the driveway. I don't recommend it."
stuck here at least another day," Skinner says.
says, sounding it, but wondering why he's so impatient to leave.
"I think we ought to get to bed early," Reyes suggests. "That way we can
get started as soon as it gets light."
"Whatever," Skinner says,
They all go to bed at ten, and are slightly less
scared than they were the night before because nothing strange has
happened all day.
In their room Reyes leans on an elbow and looks towards Doggett as he
undresses. He throws his shirt on a chair and asks her, "Are you enjoying
"You know it," Reyes says, grinning. "I'm worried about
"Thank you Ms. Nonsequitur. Unless there's some
sort of horrific connection in your mind between me undressing and your
brother. Since you don't strike me as the least bit redneck...
Reyes laughs. "No, it was just what I was thinking about. I'm
worried that things aren't going so well between him and Ethan."
"Because of his mood?" Doggett asks.
"That, and how quiet Ethan has
"I guess you'll have to let them work it out. I know that
siblings sometimes try to help, but it usually just makes thinks worse.
One way or the other, Skinner will be ok. Eventually."
probably right," Reyes says. "Aren't you going to fold your shirt?" she
asks, ducking as he throws it at her.
10pm, Leary home-
Mitch doesn't realize that he's dosed off until
he hears the phone ring. By the time he realizes that he's on the couch,
where he must have been watching TV, the phone is already in his hand.
"Mitch, this is Joseph McPhee. I just talked to
the lodge again, and they confessed that there were some brochures that
went out with a typo in them- they gave the wrong exit number off the
highway. They tracked down the mistake and let the state police know what
exit was given in error. We'll get a call as soon as they know
"Thanks for letting me know," he says, hanging up the
phone and hoping desperately that the call from the police is good news
when they call.
4am, The Lodge-
Mulder nearly jumps when Scully shakes him
"What? What?" he asks.
She doesn't say anything, but
instead points to the window. A stooped figure is standing there, barely
illuminated by the dim moonlight. At first Mulder thinks it might be a
ghost indeed, but as he swings his feet over the side of the bed to
investigate, the figure spooks, and runs to the door. It flees out of the
room, slamming the door behind it. Mulder opens the door, intending to
track the intruder down, but whoever it was is already gone.
you track down the ghost?" Scully asks shakily.
"While I appreciate
the attempt to humor me, but you're right about it being a non-ghost. A
ghost wouldn't have needed to open the door."
"So what do we do
"I think we need to wake everyone up and stay together so
we're safe," he says.
"Solidarity in the face of
"Something like that."
The six of them sit in silence, waiting for the sun to come up.
Finally, as the sky starts to lighten, they grimly put on their winter
gear and prepare to continue shoveling. Right after Scully and Mulder woke
everyone, they decided that they'd work twice as hard to get the driveway
cleared as quickly as possible. They'd already trudged outside once and
threw their stuff in the Landrover, and would have preferred to stay in it
as well had it not been so cold out.
Just as they're walking to the
door they hear the unmistakable sound of feet coming from the hallway.
They all whip around in time to see a figure running towards them. The man
is elderly, and has a long white beard. The thing they notice most is the
mad gleam in his eye. He waves his arms and shouts "Get out of my house!
Get out! I own this place, you get out!"
Though his threats didn't
scare them overly much, the presumably loaded double-barreled shotgun that
he's brandishing does. They do as he demands and race out into the snow.
To their horror he seems likely to follow them, so they jump into the SUV
and drive it as far as they can. They hope that they can use the shovels
to defend themselves if necessary, happy that they thought to put some in
the SUV the day before after finishing the last session of shoveling.
As they round the corner and out of sight of the lodge, they see a
welcomed sight- a state cruiser and a plow truck are headed towards them.
They run through the snow to hail the cruiser and hysterically tell the
officer about the crazy man with the gun while the plow truck makes a path
for the other vehicles.
The officer insists that they drive back up
with him to the lodge to point out where they last saw the man. They
describe again what they saw, but fall silent as the lodge comes back into
view. Twenty minutes have wrought inexplicable changes in the building.
The formerly sound building no longer is. The siding is now weathered and
many of the shingles are missing. A huge portion of the roof has fallen
into the second floor.
As they stare at the lodge in awe, the
officer remarks that it doesn't seem as if the man is still around. "I
can't believe you poor kids stayed in this place for going on three days.
I'm glad you made it through ok, because you couldn't have paid me to stay
Doggett recovers first and asks, "Why not?"
says the officer. "You know how old run down places like this get the
reputation for being haunted. I guess the squatter you ran into knew that
too and was hoping to scare you with it. "
"I guess," Doggett says,
staring at the lodge again.
Produced by CC, KW and Neoxphile
This episode of Mulder's Creek featured music from:
The Cure ("Fear of Ghosts")
3rd Eye Blind ("Good For You")
School of Fish ('Three Strange Days")
Stay tuned for scenes from
the next Mulder's Creek