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Chapter 4 – Consequences

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

“What were you even thinking!?” Dad yells in anger, as he walks back and forth through the living room in Davy’s parental house. “The Miller Woods!?”

“I guess we weren’t thinking.” Davy mutters, him seated on the other bench while I’m flat on my back, trying to ignore the throbbing headache I have ever since hitting my head. I woke up without much memory, but as the minutes and hours passed, I regained most of the memories of the events in the Miller Woods and now I’m completely relieved because I’m on the couch, in the safety of the Bray residence.

We got caught because Davy and Edward yelled as they tried to get us away from whatever tried to drag Edward back, or whatever pushed me. According to Davy, I flew backwards three meters.

They escorted us out through the hole, that they instantly went to fix after we promised there wasn’t anyone else in the woods, trying to be though.

Then they took us to the police station, where they charged us for trespassing prohibited grounds, calling our parents since we’re all underaged.

We’re grounded “for life” and probably will get community service as a punishment, along with the fact we have to pay back the damage to the fence.

We’re so screwed.

And scared. Did I say that before?

I haven’t slept a second since we got out of the woods.

I went to hospital and I couldn’t really explain what happened that made me hit my head, because while everybody was out of the room, Davy pressed me not to tell too much, as they would lock us away like they did with Cory.

Davy, Edward and I all have prominent marks. Them both on the back of their necks, while I have red marks on my throat; as If someone tried to choke me.

All three of us had to be checked by a doctor, who seemed particularly interested in the marks.

But we kept silent about the invisible power, the sounds we heard, the giggling girl, the tripping, the wind, the choking, my lesson in flying, or Edward being dragged by an invisible force. And I told nobody, not even Davy or Edward, I saw a girl figure in front of us right before I blacked out.

I want to talk to Cory first, before opening up about it to anyone else. I want to know if this is why he went nuts. If this is why he is scared shitless in the dark.

“Sid! Are you even listening?”

“I have a hard time focussing...” I admit while covering my eyes.

“Harold, he has a concussion. The preaching can wait.” Mom pulls his arm, as Mr. Bray obviously is on dad’s side, Mrs. Bray nods in agreement, pulling Davy in her arms protectively.

“Promise me you will never do such a thing, ever again.” She tells him firmly, pecking kisses on his head as if he’s a little child that needs to be comforted. And despite me being here, he allows her.

I’m not the only one who is freaking out over what happened.

Annika is still caressing my hair in a loving way, my head resting on her lap.

“Why don’t you try to get some sleep?” She suggests with a careful smile. “I’ll keep an eye on you.”

“I’d love to sleep for a while.” I admit while suppressing a yawn. “Can I sleep in your bed?”

“Sure.”

“Honey?” Mom sits down next to me as I slowly pushed myself up. “We’ll have dinner here, but after that, we’re going home. You are grounded, despite your concussion being a punishment already. And your dad and I want you to tell us what happened soon.”

“Okay mom. For now, I just want to try and get some sleep.”

She nods and I can tell she’s following me with her eyes as I walk out of the living room and towards the stairs in the hallway.

Annika followed me, along with Davy. We’re dead silent, heading towards Annika’s room in the attic.

I slump down on the bed, laying down on my side, pulling the cover over me while I let out a yawn.

“I’ll wake you up in an hour.” Annika pecks a kiss on my lips. “And when you go home with your parents.”

I nod sleepily, while Davy took a seat on the desk chair.

“We need to talk about it.” He looks at me. “And it can’t wait.”

“I can wait.” I disagree with him, closing my eyes. “You don’t have a concussion.”

“Edward was dragged backwards, Sid,” He tells me with a deadpanning look. “By something invisible. I saw it happen. It was there.”

“I know.” I admit with a whisper. “I was pushed, remember.”

“What happened?” Annika sat down on the bed next to me. “Tell me everything.”

But the tune of Davy’s ringtone interrupts us and I open my eyes to see if he’s answering it.

“Eddy What’s up?” He puts the phone on speaker. “I’m with Annie and Sid.”

“Aren’t you guys grounded?”

“We are, but Sid is here, wanting to sleep. His parents are staying for dinner. How about you?”

“I’m grounded, for life. My dad didn’t even freak out because we went into the woods. He was pissed because I left Stefan and Gina home alone when I went to Sid.”

“Well, boo-hoo. Sid and I are demanded by our parents to tell what happened.”

“Did you tell them?”

“No,” Davy scowls. “How do you think they’ll respond when we tell them something invisible pulled you back, and pushed Sid? Throw a branch at me?”

The latter confuses me, but I know I missed some things in the end.

“Right, well, I was calling for a reason.”

“What’s the reason?”

“Did you check the photos you took? I know you took some photos of us in the beginning.”

“I haven’t checked them, why?”

“Check them, right now.”

“And why?” Davy is visibly opening the photos on his phone. “What about them?”

“Are they normal?”

“What do you mean?”

“Are they… is there anything out of the ordinary?”

“No, why?”

“Remember the picture of you and Sid, that I took by the lake? The blurry one? It gets weirder.”

I pushed myself up a bit as Davy moved towards the bed to show Annika and me the pictures. They’re perfectly normal, just us, mostly pulling weird faces.

“They’re normal. Why?”

“Well, I’ll send mine. Hold on.”

It goes silent, and soon, Davy receives a message, coming from Edward, including a couple of pictures.

In the first couple pictures, during the early stops, nothing is off. But as Davy swipes through the photos, he clearly notices something that I didn’t notice right away.

“Do you see it?”

“What is that?” Davy zooms in on two dots of lights in the background, which is weird since there had been a power outage until early in the morning – after we got out.

Edward clears his throat. “I think they’re eyes.”

There’s a chill going through my body, as soon as I realize Edward’s description of them being eyes, seems spot on.

“Go further, after the picture by the lake it get’s freaky.”

Davy quickly swipes ahead, and after the picture with us blurred by the lake, the other three are all with us blurred, while Edward is normal in the pictures by the lake that we took.

It creeps me out to see myself that way. It’s as if a dark, blurry mass is right in front of my face. As if I have no face.

“What the hell?” Davy mutters, swiping further. The next picture, it’s his face that is blurred, and the last picture is nearly completely dark.

“Turn up your brightness in the last.” Edward whispers with a scared voice.

Davy and I exchange a look, while Annika is squeezing my hand nervously.

As Davy turns up his brightness, the outlines of an eye become visible, and it’s staring straight into the camera of Edward’s phone.

Monday, September 19th, 2016

I didn’t sleep, at all, ever since the Miller Woods. Not just because my parents or either of my sisters had to wake me up every hour during the first night.

It’s because I’m scared shitless. I kept a light on, I kept peeking around in my room, I kept feeling as if I was being watched, while I was all alone.

And even though I have a slight concussion, I wanted to go to school on Monday. My parents first disagreed, but eventually, they gave in and let me go.

And I’m not so much excited to go to school. I just want to go to school and talk to Cory.

So, we’re nervously seated at our regular spot outside of school, about 15 minutes before classes start, waiting for Cory Dunn to show up.

All six of us – by now Amara and Amber know what happened too – watch as Cory dumps his bike in the shed, walking up to us casually, as if it’s like any other Monday.

Too him, it might be.

Too us, it’s completely different.

He walks towards us, with a small, happy smile on his face as he sees us, but then he comes to a complete stop, staring at me with wide eyes.

I swallow, wondering if he knows what we did already. The newspapers reported about our trespassing, but not with our names.

Then, he shoots forwards and towards me, pulling down the collar of my sweater.

“What did you do?”

“Eeh, we were actually hoping you would be willing to talk with us…” I drawl awkwardly, wanting to cover the marks with my hand.

Cory slaps my hand away, while using his other to pull down Davy’s hood.

“No.” He shakes his head in disbelief. “No, no, no. Please tell me you guys aren’t the ones who trespassed…” His voice falters, before he runs around the table, pulling down Edward’s collar too, as we sit in awkward silence.

I feel at least a little scared because Cory seems to know what those marks mean. He instantly knew it had been us who trespassed into the forbidden Miller Woods.

“Why?” He’s nearly crying now. “I told you not to!”

“Well, we were curious, because you wouldn’t tell us anything.” Davy grumbles annoyed, pulling his hood back up to cover up the marks.

“You wouldn’t have believed me anyway.” Cory snaps back at him. “I wasn’t in a ward for no reason, fool. Nobody believes me, nobody ever does. My own goddamn parents think I made it up.”

“What happened?” I ask him with a demanding voice.

“You first.” He points to my head. “You have a swelling on the back of your head that wasn’t there last Friday.”

“I got pushed.” I whisper, since I have a feeling Amara, Annika and Amber are all a bit sceptic about it. “Davy got dragged. We all got scratched, and we heard things. We saw things that aren’t normal.”

“Angie.” Cory whispers, looking down as if in thought. He swallows, as he looks back up to meet my gaze. “What happened afterwards?”

“Nothing much, but the photos we took are creepy.”

“Can… Can I see them?” He asks hesitantly, slumping down on the bench beside me.

Davy hands him his phone with the first picture on screen. “These are all the weird photos. We had normal pictures too.”

Cory silently swipes through the photos, until he gets to the picture with my face being blurred by a dark mass. He takes in a deep breath, closing his eyes shortly. “Promise me one thing.”

“Which is?” Edward asks him nervously.

“Never talk to anyone about this.” He holds up the phone. “You’ll end up in a ward, like me.”

“We didn’t talk to anyone yet.”

“And you won’t talk to anyone other than me, and maybe I could introduce you guys to Kim. She was in the woods too.”

“And who’s Angie?” Davy asks curiously. I guess I wasn’t the only one who heard him whisper the name.

Cory doesn’t respond with words, but simply showing Davy the picture in which Edward told us he recognized eyes. “This is Angie, and she probably attached herself to you three.” He looks at us one by one. “You’re marked. And she will haunt you.”

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