07 Mar Graduation
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Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
Westley was rich. Not in the manor in which he was stuck up or thought he was better than everyone else, but in the manner where the only friends he could find were those who really only cared for his money and not him. That being said, life was rather difficult for him. He was a senior in high school now, with acceptance into his first choice school on scholarship. To many of the less impressive, less well-off students in school he was well on his way to becoming the most secretly hated student on campus. Still, it made it easier to weed out those friends of his who weren’t in fact friends at all. They would treat him well, but he was well aware of the whispers and glances of envy that he’d been receiving from those who claimed to adore him. And he wasn’t about to allow them to spoil his last few days of school.
His parents were going away on holiday, you see. And they had assured him that while they were away, he could have the house to himself for the summer to do with it as he wished, so long as he cleaned up the mess. He’d decided to give himself one final hoorah; a commemoration for making it through the most confusing and disheartening four years of his life, and he decided to do so with five of his truest and least malicious friends.
He chose his compatriots carefully; there would be Alisson, his long time crush who, despite her disinterest in him, had always been very loyal to him; Rodney, who had been in theatre with him and always pushed him to do his best, regardless of his shy demeanor; Micheal, who occasionally made comments about their English teachers rear end, and seemed more intrigued by what his groin wanted then gossip about the spoiled rich kid; Lester, who rarely spoke but sat with him at lunch and seemed thankful when Westley packed extra food for him; and last was Gretchen, a foreign student with very good English who, for whatever reason, had a thing for the sweet little rich boy before she knew of his wealth.
He’d asked them to come over, after convincing his parents that their night wouldn’t be complete without drinks and assured them that nobody would be leaving while intoxicated, at 8 sharp after their final day of school.
The two girls arrived first; they had become friends themselves through their mutual companionship with Westley and arrived together. Lester was next through the door and then Rodney, who was followed quickly by Micheal.
After a brief greeting by each guest, Westley took a good look at his group; a strange combination of faces surrounded him, but they were the closest thing to a gang he’d ever get, and it made him happy that they had chosen to begin their final high school summer by his side. He lifted his bottle of beer in the air. “Here’s to making it.” He offered, and everyone returned the gesture with theirs, cheering in agreeance. He was just about to begin telling them of his plans for the evening, when a sudden ringing echoed through the massive, endless house.
Westley’s brow furrowed. The doorbell? But everyone was already there… “What the hell?”
He sauntered from the dining hall and through the foyer, to the door peering through the peep hole. A youth who couldn’t have been much different age from himself stood there in a navy hoodie, despite the ninety degree weather, head down as though in prayer. Westley was confused; he couldn’t see the youth’s face, but he was certain he didn’t know him. And moreover, he felt like something simply wasn’t right.
Slumped over his shoulder, in a pink hoodie which also hid a face, was a female with long, blonde locks that hung past her chest. She was holding her stomach, where deep red liquid had seeped through her sweatshirt.
Westley bit his lip. He could clearly see that she was injured, and badly in need of help, but he just didn’t feel right about the whole thing. It was a small town; everybody knew everybody. How were there two youths that he should have gone to school with standing on his steep, and he hadn’t a clue who they could have been?
He kept the chain on the door, but cracked it just enough to draw his head through the crack. “Can I help you?” He asked, heistant.
“Please, My girlfriend is hurt. You have to help us.” His voice fluctuated, but there was not shaking to it. No panic. It felt rehearsed.
“Who are you?” Westley asked. “I know everyone in town, but I’ve never seen you…”
“Please, sir. You have to help us.” Demanding, but not terrified. Steady.
“What happened?” Westley asked.
“Car accident. Please help.”
Westley took a moment to think. “I’ll call an ambulance for you. Just wait here.”
He went to close the door, but a hand that seemed too strong for such a narrow youth swung out and held it opened. “I have to tell her mother, sir. Please, let me in. Let me use our phone. I have to tell her family what’s happened.” He insisted. There wa an urgency, but not one of panick, but of anger. He was frustrated with Westley.
“I don’t know…” He started.
“what’s going on?” The Voice was soft and dainty, and it came from behind him.
Alisson came upon his shoulder, and the rest of the pack was sure to follow. Westley shrugged. “They need an ambulance. I told them I would call.” He offered.
“I need to call her family.” The young man insisted. “To let them know what happened.”
“Let them in.” Alisson offered.
“I don’t think I should. Something doesn’t feel right.”
“Come on, dude,” Micheal chimed in. “You going to let them lovely thing die out here?”
Westley hesitated. “please wait out here. I’ll go call an ambulance.” He insisted before closing the door on the couple and vanishing into another room in the maze of a house.
Rodney frowned. “What’s his problem?”
Micheal shrugged. “Hell if I know. She looked hot though. I say we let them in.”
Alisson shoved him. “Don’t you ever use your other head?” She questioned. “Look, I agree that they shouldn’t have to sit out there, but it’s Westley’s house. If he says he doesn’t want them inside, we have to respect that.”
Rodney lifted an eyebrow. “So we should just let them sit out there and die?”
“Ali is right.” Said the blonde with the light German accent. “Have some respect.”
Micheal rolled his eyes. “You just want to get in his pants, Geretch.” He offered. “You know she shouldn’t have to sit out there as much as we do.”
“But it is not your house!” She insisted.
The four of them were so busy arguing amongst themselves that they seemed to overlook the young, silent boy in the group as he made his way to the door. Lester wrapped his fingers around the handle, and released its hold, swinging it open. The room fell silent as the door swung wide open. “Come in.” He offered, and everyone stared in awe at the open threshold.
A smile crossed both of their lips, as though on cue and they lifted their pale heads. Their flesh was blue and pale like death, but that wasn’t their distinguishing feature. No, their eyes, solid black all the way through, like voids into another world. Four devilish black eyes lay upon the room, and with said invitation, they vanished before the groups eyes.
Westley returned to the room within seconds of their vanishing, to a room with an entirely new aura. Those who had been against leaving the teens in the cold had certainly changed their outlook now. “The ambulance is on its way.” Westley offered with uncertain assurance. “What did I miss?”
Micheal raised a shaking hand to the doorway. “They…. They vanished.” He offered, amazed and terrified all at once.
“How do you…?” Westley started.
“It was Lester!” Gretchen accused. “He told them they could come in, and they vanished.”
“You were going to let those… those things into my house?!” He shouted at the silent youth. But he gave that some thought, and turned to Gretchen. “Wait: what do you mean ‘vanished’?”
Alisson interjected. ‘Gone. Poof! Up in smoke. “They vanished right in front of us like some sort of ghost.” She offered as explanation, though it raised more question in Westley’s mind. “Whatever they were, they sure as hell weren’t Normal.”
Westley felt a sickness creep through his body. It started at his knees, then worked its way to his stomach, heart, and stopped just shy of his esophagus. He wanted to vomit. He had no idea what had happened, but he got the feeling that his little friend had just invited a nightmare into his home. And if that was all they needed to hear was an offer of entry, he was certain they hadn’t left. They were inside, somewhere. “They are here.” He muttered to himself.
“Here?” Rodney questioned.
He looked up at them. “In the house. They… they must have needed to be invited in.” they returned his declaration with blank stares. “Don’t you get it? They couldn’t enter without our permission, and they got it!”
“Are you trying to say that we’re dealing with some sort of… vampire or something?” Alisson questioned. It just seemed silly to her. “That’s ridiculous. Look; maybe we just imagined this whole thing. They probably just… I don’t know, left? She looked like she was in bad shape. Maybe they just went to another house for help.”
“Or maybe they are going to drain our blood and leave us for dead.” Micheal Retorted.
Gretchen crossed her arms over her full chest. “We should stay together either way. We’ll be safer if…”
A door swung open, and with a gust of wind a shade of mist, Gretchen went flying across the room and into the void that was once their kitchen. She screamed the way there, until the door slammed shut behind her, and silence befell the room.
The group stared at the door with fearful amazement. “Gretch?” Westley muttered, but after several seconds, there was no response. “Hey, Gretchen…” He tried again, but not a sound came from the room.
He inched closer, the other four following close behind him. His hand inched toward the door, slowly. He was careful and hesitant as he reached out for the only barrier between the group and the monsters inside. But as he finally gained the courage to turn the knob and push the door open, he realized that the room was just as barren as they had left it.
“G—Gretchen?” His voice shook as he called her name, but there was no answer.
“Maybe she got scared. I can’t say I blame her…” Alisson offered.
Westley shook his head. “No, she has to be here. They have her.” He insisted. “She couldn’t have just up and run, there’s something inhuman in here. I can feel it.”
Micheal rolled his eyes and pushed forward. “Very funny, Gretch!” He offered. No response. “Look, we get it; Funny joke, haha. Now come on out.” He insisted. Nothing.
Rodney crossed his arms. “I don’t think it’s a joke, Mike.” He offered. “If it was, those were some pretty spectacular special effects, don’t you think?”
Micheal shook his head. “No, this is too messed up! It has to be a joke. Some stupid prank, one last hoorah before we go our separate ways. Westley’s probably in on it too, that’s why he invited us here, right? Right?!”
Westley took a step back. His friend sounded almost threatening, and it made him uncomfortable. “I had nothing to do with any of this.” He insisted. “I swear.”
Mike sneered. “Oh shut up! You’re the one spouting off all this nonsense about some crazy creatures coming in here. It’s straight out of a horror movie!”
“We are all scared!” Alisson interjected. “But this isn’t anyone’s fault! If Westley was a part of this, he would have let us know by now. He wouldn’t let it go this far.” She insisted. “Right, Wes?”
“Of course!” He insisted. “When have I ever tried anything like this? Come on, this isn’t me!”
Mike was just about to continue his accusations, but the door closed behind them and, when they tried to force it open once more, it simply wouldn’t budge. Panic filled the room, as the ever present evil that now occupied that house overwhelmed the remaining five.
They turned, ready to try the door leading outside, but stopped dead in their tracked. Something blocked their way. A young boy, about their age, with solid black eyes and a malicious grin. “Going somewhere?” He asked.
What do you want?!” Rodney shouted.
“Calm down, sweetie.” The voice came from behind the group. Female, and full of malice. “It’s just a little fun.”
They turned to face the falsely injured girl before shifting their gaze back to the other creature in the room once more.
“Where’s Gretchen?” Westley insisted. But to his question, they simply gave a vicious giggle and disappeared.
The female figure appeared behind Rodney, wrapping her arms around him before vanishing yet again, pulling the boy with her. “Rodney!” Alisson shouted.
A hand grabbed her arm and, with a shriek, she was pulled through the outside door and vanished without a trace. Micheal rushed to the door and pulled on it, shouting her name endlessly before he sunk to his knees, tears swelling in his eyes. “What’s happening?! Where are they taking them?”
Westley would have responded, but he was in shock. He simply stared out the window of that closed door in terrified astonishment, horrified by the events. Three left, he though, Just three more of us. We are going to go wherever they are going. We are going to be killed or tortured or… who knows what will happen to us. We will vanish just like they have.
Micheal was now back on his feet, determined to reunite with the others. He slammed his body into the door, but despite his efforts, it simply wouldn’t break. They were trapped in the room with no hope.
But something was happening to the paralyzed Westley. He body was, literally, disintegrating before his eyes. He watched as his hands and feet vanished, and then his arms and legs, and then his torso began to leave him. “Mike…” He muttered, too stunned to explain.
Micheal halted to turn to his friend, but he was gone before he could reach him, and then he was gone. Mike was now desperate. He grabbed a pan from the cupboard and slammed it into the glass panes on the door, shattering it, but before he could leave, the glass reappeared before him. “What the….”
Before he could finish this thought, a light shined down upon him, and he two was gone.
And then there was one. One boy who had been silent throughout this whole endeavor. One boy who had let the evil in. He stared with wide eyes as his friends vanished one by one, and now he stood alone in the kitchen of a house he did not own.
The black eyed children appeared behind him, each with a hand on his shoulder. “Ready?” They asked in unison. And to that, he nodded, and the light came and took them away.
Credit To – Liz loveless
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