Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
Prologue – Wendy
(Suggested tracks: Monsters, by Matchbook Romance or Cat & Mouse, by TRJA)
Wendy ran as fast as she could. She had no time to stop at any of the houses that flew by as she ran, because she knew the darkness was closing in on her. Besides, this was all her fault, her grave mistake. She had allowed darkness into her life, and she wasn’t about to lead it into others’. Her parents had already paid the price for it. She blinked back tears as she remembered, just moments before, how she had walked in to find the disemboweled bodies of her parents lying in a heap on the floor. And how a dark figure had stepped from the shadows into the moonlight, holding a bloody knife, and revealing himself to be…
Wendy shook her head as she continued to run, now was not the time. He was coming for her, and she had to lead him as far away from her little hometown as possible. All of her friends and neighbors were there; she could at least save them. Wendy had resigned herself to her fate; it was what she deserved after all. But how could she have known that the one she loved the most would turn out to be someone, something, wicked. Wendy paused to catch her breath. She was standing in front of the cornfield that separated her town from the next one.
Wendy thought back again to when she had first met him. She was always drawn to strange people, and the new boy in town definitely fit the bill. Everyone stayed away from him at school, so she was the only one brave enough to talk to him. It wasn’t long before she had fallen hard, and despite everyone, including her best friend Abby, warning her that he was dangerous, they began dating. Looking back on it now, it seemed like she had cared about him more than he cared about her. It was like he was void of any emotions. But Wendy didn’t have long to reminisce. A whizzing sound interrupted her thoughts, and before she could turn around she felt a sharp pain in her leg.
“Ah-,” she moaned, as she fell to the ground. Upon examining her leg, she discovered a small pocket knife protruding from it. Looking up, she could just make out his silhouette in the distance. He always did have impeccable aim. She gritted her teeth, pulled out the knife, tried to stand. Because the knife hit her in the back of her knee, she knew that running would now be difficult. She also knew that he knew that as well.
The silhouette was getting closer. Wendy forced herself to stand, ignoring the pain, and limped into the cornfields. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw that she was leaving a trail of blood behind. It would most assuredly lead him straight to her; he must have predicted that as well. Oh well, it didn’t matter now. He was away from the town, and her best friend, that’s all that mattered.
Finally, up ahead she could make out what she was looking for. There was an old abandoned house in the middle of those cornfields. No one knows why it was there, rumor has it that it had been there ever since the town was first established. It certainly looked hundreds of years old. It also looked similar to a plantation house, only not as big. Still, it was pretty big, and spooky. No one, as far as Wendy knew, had ever lived there or even had any interest in buying it. She and her friends used to dare each other to spend the night there when they were kids, who could have known that this would be her final resting place.
Since no one bothered to lock the doors, Wendy staggered inside, slamming the door behind her. The pain in her leg was becoming unbearable, and the loss of blood was starting to make her head spin. Wendy collapsed against a wall in the living room and glanced around the empty house.
As she waited for him to come, she wondered what she should do. She had come here without a plan, only wanting to lead him away. But what happens after? How could she be sure that he wouldn’t simply go back? No, she wouldn’t let that happen. She had let the wrong one in, so he was her responsibility. It would all end here.
Her head snapped up as the front door slowly opened, she was out of time. Using the window sill next to her, she managed to stand. The silhouette entered and, after locating her, calmly walked in. Wendy pressed her back against the wall and held her breath as he inched closer and closer. The closer he got, the more clearly she could see him, thanks to the light provided by the window.
When he was just an arm’s length away, she could examine him in his entirety; the bloody white hoodie, the knife that used on her parents, the long black hair covering most of his face. Wendy wanted to look into his cold black eyes, but he held his head slightly down, making it difficult. Instead, Wendy glanced again at the knife that he gripped in his hand as if his life depended on it.
“Jeff…” Wendy murmured.
Jeff slowly lifted his head. She could only see one eye, but its stare burned into hers. Carefully, she lifted her hand and pushed his hair aside. His face was made up like it always was, like The Joker. She had found his strangeness interesting, but it scared everyone else to look at him. “A demented clown” is what their schoolmates had called him behind his back.
“Jeff,” she said again. “Why are you doing this?”
Tears rolled down her cheeks as memories of their short time together flashed through her mind.
“I don’t understand. What did I do wrong?” she went on. “I-I loved you, Jeff. I thought you felt the same way.”
Jeff said nothing; he simply took a step back and raised his knife, preparing to strike. Wendy nodded, realizing that she might never know.
“Alright Jeff, if this is what you want. Just…one more kiss before I go?”
Before Jeff could respond, she wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned him down for a kiss. His lips were soft, like they had always been, but this kiss was different. He didn’t return it; he merely stood there as she embraced him. Wendy dropped one of her arms to discreetly dig into her pocket. She gripped the pocket knife that he had thrown at her earlier, but did not pull it out. Up until a few moments ago, she wasn’t sure if she could even use it on him. Now, she was definitely sure that she couldn’t, no matter what he had done.
Wendy let go of him, and leaned back against the wall. Wendy studied his face, which was now dumbfounded and his breathing quickened. She couldn’t understand why, but it didn’t matter.
Wendy closed her eyes and waited. And waited. And waited. After what seemed like forever, she slowly opened her eyes.
He was gone. Without a word, without a sound. The front door was opened wider than it had been before, so she was truly alone. Instead of leaving right away, she sank to the floor and wept.
Credit To – Angel Rocket
This is the first entry in the five-part Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm series.