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The Monsters are Here

By Paige Sophlick All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Horror

The First Won't be the Last

"Hey watch this!" Sam jumped from a rotting log across to the other side of a five foot wide stream, his long overcoat trailing behind him. I laughed as he slipped foreword and fell on his face. He jumped right back up onto his feet, and immediately claimed. "I didn't fall. Nope, not a bit. Didn't even stumble." Sam is one of my good friends in my friend triangle, and....an interesting soul, that is to say. Common place he'll be found at: the library.

Cassie smiled, and walked over to a thin stick that crossed the entire width of the stream. She tiptoed across it, and look back at me, grinning. "Come on, Jay! Stop walking so slow." She hopped off the stick at the other end, her skirt waving as she dropped. Cassie is the other friend in my triangle of good friends. She's the optimist of the group, always happy and chatty. Common place you'll find her at: no where quiet.

The last bit of sun fades away from the edges of the horizon. "Just admiring the view, Cass." I said to her. Darkness fell slowly across the forest floor, spreading across the dirt pathway that we were straying from. A bit of nervousness flooded through me like water being poured into a long thin container slowly. "We probably shouldn't wander too far off the path. Who knows who or what we could come across." I said, implying about the said monsters that lived on the further end of the woods. 

"Aw, come on Jay! Don't be a scaredy feline." Cassie shouted over. She has a unusual way of insulting people. Like in a way it's not very insulting but still insulting. Yeah, it's confusing. 

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever." I mumbled, looking down at the small bugs crawling in the grass. An ant carrying a dead ladybug with ease. A faint rustle in the bushes to my left, and I heard Cassie gasp. I glanced up quickly. "What?"

"Behind you..."she whispered in a feigned frightened voice. I moaned, not them.

I turned around to come face to face with Damien, Gabriel, and nerdy Simon. "Aw, not you guys again. Can we ever walk in the woods alone?" I complained. 

Damien, adorned in a black leather jacket and ripped jeans, grinned maniacally. "Yeah, when you're dead." He laughed. 

"Dude that doesn't even make any sense." I heard Sam shout from behind me. A smile slipped across my pale face. "Yeah, he speaks the truth, bro. You suck at insults."

"And you suck at life." He promptly replied, flicking me on the ear.

"So do you, in that case." I replied, annoyed with him. "Just be on your way, we were just having a walk, dumbo."

He held up a fist in my face, "Don't. Call me 'dumbo'" he growled. I was tempted to throw my hands up and feign terror, but he'd probably punch me then, so I decided against it. Damien suddenly smiled, and we were all laughing hard. "You guys suck at acting" he laughed, and lightly punched me in the shoulder. "So what're you guys really up to?" 

I grinned, "Aw, you know. The usual. A casual stroll in the woods at sunset." I paused. "It's the greatest time of the day."

Gabriel walked over, and clapped me on the shoulder. His hair was a mess like he'd just woken up, and only run his hands through his hair. "I'm surprised you got Jay here off the path. I thought he was too much of a chicken to go this far off", he said looking to Sam and Cassie. 

Cassie laughed. "Your acting like we got him to cross the stream. He hasn't gotten very far yet." I glanced back behind me. We were only about 50 feet from the path.

"The Nite's will have your heads if you go too far off, guys." Simon mumbled nervously, and pushed up his glasses. 

"Why do you even wear those glasses, bro?" Sam called over. "It's not like you have bad vision or something." 

Simon flinched, "Please don't mention that. I just think they look cool, that's all." 

"Pretending to be disabled is cool? Come on bro." Sam said. After a few seconds he said, "Come on guys, cross the stream. It's not that far from the path. The furthest we've gone is 500 feet. Wanna bet we can beat that?"

"Coming!" Gabriel and Damien shouted in unison, as they made a running jump across the stream. Ugh, these guys will go to all ends to not lose a bet. I watched Simon cautiously walk over the stream on the stick. Finally, as being the last one on the other side of the stream left, I crossed over in one jump. 

"Dude," Gabriel said, clapping me the shoulder. "that was awesome." I rolled my eyes, but he didn't notice. 

"Hurry up, guys." Cassie shouted, running ahead of us. The forest thickened ahead, so before we knew it, she was out of sight and hearing range. A fearful thought came to me suddenly, but I pushed it away. 

"Hey Cassie, slow down! Don't stray too far from us!" I shouted to her. Silence. No reply came joyfully back. My breath suddenly quickened. "Cass?! Hey, Cassie!" I shouted. Nothing. Silence crossed all of us. It was too quiet. No crunch of leaves ahead of us, no voice happily talking to us. She was gone. Simon shivered beside me. I glanced around as I ran foreword to look for her. There weren't many bushes, so she couldn't hide in them. A crunch came from my far left. "Cassie?" A sudden silence fell from there. Something had stopped. I backed up a few feet. "Cassie, this isn't funny." I shouted. 

A cold hand grabbed my shoulder, and I nearly shrieked. Nearly. I stopped right after a girly voice said, "Yeah, it's pretty funny." I turned to face Cassie, who had a smirk across her face. "Your face is priceless!" If she wasn't a girl, I would've punched her. Well, more like if she wasn't a daughter of a Nite. I would've punched her then. I should probably explain to you about Nites. They're the higher ups in our society. Don't get on their bad side...ever. Trust me, it won't end up good in the end. They pretty much have control over our little mundane town.

I slapped Cassie's hand off my shoulder. "DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW WORRIED I WAS!" Tears started to slide down my face. Memories flashed across my mind, striking pain like needles. My voice dropped to a whisper. "I don't want to lose you the same way." 

Sam laid a light hand on my shoulder, "Hey, bro. It's all right. Calm down. She's fine. We're all fine", Sam said to me soothingly. "Right guys?" He shouted over his shoulder to Simon, Gabriel, and.... no one? 

Simon and Gabriel were looking around frantically. "He's not here!" Gabe shouted. Simon turned in a full circle, scanning the trees. "Damien this isn't funny anymore!" Gabriel worriedly shouted out. "Jay doesn't like it, so stop!" 

I glared at him, "Hey, don't act like you aren't scared either." I said to him, wiping my face with the sleeve of my gray jacket.

"Be quiet!" Gabriel shouted at me. You could say that Gabriel and Damien were very....close. Joined at the hip, you could say, for as long as I can remember. It was only natural for him to be worried sick, like I was for Cassie. I glanced at Simon, who was standing behind Gabe seemingly trying to look invisible. 

"Hey, Simon." I said to him. He flinched and looked up at me. 

"Y-yes?" He stuttered nervously. "Is something wrong?" He seemed oblivious to the fact that Damien had just dissapeared. 

"Do you not care that Damien is gone?" I inquired, noting that he was nervously sweating. Jeez this guy sure is a scaredy cat. "Dude, it's all right. When we are all close together nothing is going to get us, right Sam?" I glanced back at him. Sam nodded encouragingly. 

A shriek pierced through the awkward and fearful silence, and you could nearly hear Gabriel's heart shatter. "DAMIEN!" He shrieked back. The only reply was a louder scream, and to our ears we could hear a small voice say, "I'm sorry, Gabriel." Then a final bloodcurdling scream and then silence.

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