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  • Writer's pictureToshi Drake

It was a dark and stormy night

It was a dark and stormy night…. No, that‘s a bit trite. People always start the stories with that. Even though it was dark and the thunder was rolling, it was a terrible way to tell you what happened that night. The night I almost died. Or something. My memory is a big foggy on the details. It’s the lack of sleep. I don‘t think I’ve slept more than a couple hours since it happened. God, the dreams I had. They were the worst. They haunted me. Every time I closed my eyes, he was there with blood dripping from his eyes and his hands reaching out toward me. I did try to save him. I swear that I did but my timing was wrong or something. Maybe it was right for me. I missed out on the death claws of that creature. Wait..

What do you mean you want me to start at the beginning? I was trying but you kept interrupting me. On that summers night, me and my two buddies decided to check out an abandoned house out near the edge of town.

I didn’t want to go. I had more important things to do, like bake cookies for the some sort of service group. But I liked Atticus and he had these arms that were thick and veiny and shit. You should have seen his hair. So wavy and shiny blue. Anyway, there was a situation between Atticus and Paul that only I could alleviate. So here I was, outside this abandoned house on the outskirts of town refereeing some enemy to lover shit with my bloody ass crush. Was this what I wanted to do on a Friday night? Hell no. “Nash, what are you doing?” Atticus asked as I hesitated before stepping on the rotten riser. ”Don’t be such a wuss.” ”I don’t want to spend the night in the hospital, Atty.“ He hated the name and I was just that annoyed. I honestly thought I had a chance with this guy and now I find out he has or had a fucking thing with Paul. Definitely wasn’t my night. Just had to get through the guys’ curiosity and then I‘d get to go home, to my pyjamas and my bingeing of the latest quirky J-Drama.

“The boards are fine. Just watch your step.“ Atticus went up the stairs and I winced as I heard the telltale creak of rotted wood. “You gotta see what’s in this place. It’s fucking awesome, dude.“ How come I never noticed what a bro Atticus was? I thought he was different, more introspective or something. Not this dumb jock shit. We weren’t kids anymore. At least I wasn’t. But again, on with the show and all that shit. I didn’t notice when Paul slipped into the house but he must have because I could hear his exclamations when I finally accepted my fate. Accepted my fate. What an interesting concept and how a propos. See, this is where things got interesting. While Paul and Atticus were thinking they were cool dudes, exploring an abandoned house, I stuck to the main level and hung out in areas where I hoped the floor wouldn’t cave in. And then a cold finger drew a line along my neck, sending a wave of goosebumps across my body. Did I scream? Hell no. I wasn’t going to give any more ammunition to them. My crush on Atticus withered like a desiccated flower. I did jump a mile high and I might have bumped into a dining room chair but that’s it. “Who’s there?” No one answered. Not like I expected them to but… but I had to try, right?

Cool wind blew across the tip of my ear and I spun around, hunting for this person who kept circling me. What the hell was going on? I stopped moving and cocked my ear. Atticus and Paul were still stomping around upstairs. I could hear their crude remarks and their footsteps as they searched every room. You have to get out. This isn’t safe for anyone. You have a chance.“ I heard the words but they weren’t from anyone in the room. I was alone. I know I was. There were only three living souls in that worn out house. And two of them were not in the same room as me. Get out now! He’s coming!”

My instincts agreed with the unearthly voice and I hauled ass. Mind you, I didn’t have to go far. I was still in the front of the house and the door was right there. Just as I stepped on solid ground, Atticus and Paul were exiting the door. They were pale as ghosts and they moved faster than I had ever seen them move. “Come on, Nash. We gotta go. There’s a beast in there and holy fuck. Paul? PAUL!” I glanced over at Atticus who was screaming and nearly shit my pants. Half of Paul‘s neck was scratched off. I dove into the driver’s seat and scrambled to turn the engine over as Atticus tried to slide in with Paul in his arms. I don’t remember the drive home but I made it. We sat in the garage of Atticus’s house, pressing gauze on the shredded skin of Paul’s neck. The gore stuck with me. I’d have that image burned into my brain for the rest of my life. “I think it’s mostly closed. Fuck Man. What the hell was that? I’ve never seen that thing before.” Atticus slumped on the side of his car and scrubbed a bloody hand down his face. I passed him a wipe and he dutifully cleaned up. “What the fuck is going on, Atty? Why? Just why?” I snapped, tired and scared. You’ve been marked. The beast has scented you and won’t let you go.”

Say what? Yeah and that’s when things got real interesting.

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