Wake up! Time to get a move on." It's 7 am as a petulant knocking comes to the bedroom door. "Come on, we want to get to the new house before sundown!" Comes the annoyed voice again. There is no movement inside the room. Another bang! Comes from the door. "Get up, or I am coming back with a hose!" A groggy groan is finally heard from the room, as the sleeping party aches to life. "Breakfast is in 5, you miss it, you starve!" The voice yells, with no hint of remorse for the potential hunger. With a frustrated sigh, a hand reaches out from under the cover of the blue sleeping bag, pulling it down to reveal a very sleep riddled teenager.
Fourteen year old Devin Meyers was as lanky as they came. He had no redeeming qualities, with shaggy brown hair, that had an untameable cow lick, face speckled with blemishes, and dark brown eyes that hid behind thick wire rim glasses. He had no muscle, and was practically skin and bones. His poor diet of Doritos, chickens nuggets, and Mountain Dew being the main culprits of his malnutrition, along with hours cooped up in his room playing video games. He was the only child of Elaine Meyers, a 44 year old divorcee. She was tall, and very lean, with little to no curves to speak of. Her hair a short dirty blonde, and deep sunken dark brown eyes, she practically looked like a skeleton, having only passed this trait down to her son.
Her husband Eric Meyers was not in the picture having been caught having an affair in their home when Devin was 8. He was away with his mother's sister at the time, but Elaine was not spared the pain of seeing her husband with a much more attractive woman in their bed. She could have forgiven his infidelity, but he made it very clear that he was not going to continue to stay married to her, and regretted every day having to stay with her, and her failure of a child. He didn't even flinch when she broke down in tears, nor did he have the decency to stop having sex with the homewrecker in their bed. Elaine walked out in shambles, but trying to be a good mother spared her son as many details about the divorce as she could. He never quite understood why his mother would cry so much when she thought she was alone, and he never bothered to ask.
Now, 6 years later they were packing up their small 2 bedroom home in the city of Springfield, and moving east to the rural town of Savoy, Massachusetts. Devin crawled out of his sleeping bag, and threw on a pair of cartoon pajama pants, and went to the kitchen for breakfast. His mother picked up a couple of doughnuts and juice for them. Being that all their things were packed already, it made sense that she wouldn't be cooking anything, not that she could cook well to begin with. He grabbed a doughnut and a bottle of orange juice, his one hint at any sort of healthy nutrition, and went back to his room.
He sat on the carpeted floor of his empty room, they had packed all of their things into a moving truck the day prior, and was only left with some clothes for the drive, and his sleeping bag. This room had been his sanctuary for the last 14 years, and he was now leaving it, and the amenities the city brought with it, for some tiny town. Having seen more than his fair share of teen dramas of the new kid moving to town, he was certain his presence wouldn't go unnoticed, but unlike the movies he wasn't going to be a nerd turned popular.
Finishing his doughnut and juice, he rolled up his sleeping bag and pillow, grabbed his backpack of clothes, put on his tennis shoes, and went to meet his mom in the car. She was already loading up her sleeping bag, and pack when he climbed into the passenger side of their 2004 red Ford Taurus. They had a 20 hour drive ahead of them, and seeing as it was still barely 7:30, Devin was anxious to get back to sleep. She dropped in the driver's seat, and started the car as he was settling with his pillow. They backed out of the drive, taking one last look at his childhood home. "Goodbye house." His mother waved. "Devin, say goodbye." "Why?" He responded bored. "Because this home has so many good memories." She said, trying to keep a positive tone. 'if by good you mean when you weren't crying about dad leaving, or when I wasn't getting beat up. Sure.' he thought to himself. "We are going on an adventure to a new home to make new memories!" Devin sighed and sarcastically waved. "Bye house. Bye room. I'm sure my new room will be smaller, and probably not that great." His mother grimaced, wishing that there was something more positive she could say, but who was she kidding. Certainly not herself, she had just as many bad memories as her son. Taking one last look at their former home they head out for the long drive east.
Elaine made many attempts to make the drive enjoyable for them both by pointing out landmarks along the drive, but Devin was as unresponsive as ever. Having spent the morning sleeping, Devin only woke when the car came to a stop. He opened his eyes to see that they were at a gas station, “If you need to go to the bathroom now is the time, we won’t be stopping again for another 6 hours for the night.” His mother said, as she turned the car off before getting out to refill the gas. Devin looked at the dash to see it was a little past 1 in the afternoon, he still had his PJ’s on, and if they were going to be getting food soon he figured he should probably put some clothes on. He grabbed his bag from the back slinging it over his shoulder, got out, and went inside the gas station to find a bathroom.
The cashier was a cute girl, probably around 18 or 19 he guessed. She had bright purple colored hair, black alternative looking clothes, and her nose pierced. She was chewing a piece of gum, making loud pops as she blew bubble after bubble, and reading a celebrity magazine. He hadn’t realized he was still standing at the door gawking till he heard a cough behind him. A tall, older man was standing in the doorway, waiting for Devin to move. He looked down at his feet quickly and stepped out of the way. After the man wandered past him, he looked up again at the cashier to see her staring at him with an unamused look on her face. He held her gaze for a moment as her eyes traveled down his body, then back to his face with disgust. He looked down to see what she was staring at then remembered he was still in his cartoon pajamas. His face flushed with embarrassment, and he mentally facepalmed himself, before he made his way to her.
He stood at the counter, gripping his backpack strap tightly, his voice cracking when he attempted to ask for the bathroom. She scoffed before pointing left to a large sign reading Restrooms. His eyes shot down again as he made his way to the restrooms. It was a single bathroom, which he was thankful for, no weird encounters faced him here, as he stripped down to his underwear and changed into jeans, and a t-shirt. When he was finished he looked at his reflection in the mirror, his hair still wild from sleep, and the untamable cowlick even more unruly as ever. He had crusted drool on his cheek from sleep, and three large imprints from his pillow. He groaned, frustrated before turning the sink on, rinsing his face, and making a sad attempt at fixing his hair. He stared at himself for a moment in defeat, when he felt a strange prickle at the back of his neck. The fluorescent light flickered slightly, as a shadow flashed in the corner of his eye. He snapped his head to the left only to see the corner of the bathroom and the toilet. He furrowed his brow, and tried to shake off the presence. He quickly grabbed his back and left the bathroom, walking past the cashier who was still popping her bubble gum, reading the magazine she had.
He wandered over to the snack aisle, grabbing some chips, and some gummy bears, then went to the cooler to grab a drink. He felt the same strange presence watching him, and when he shut the door to the cooler he saw a strange figure, with a distorted face standing behind him, the sudden appearance made him gasp, as he turned around quickly to see that no one was there. The cashier was completely occupied checking out the man from before, and there was no one else in the store. He shook it off once again, thinking that maybe his mind was playing tricks on him. He got in line, when his mother walked in the store. “Honey, did you make sure to go to the bathroom?” she said rather loud, catching the attention of the cashier and customer. “No mom, I’m fine.” he grumbled, hoping she would stop bringing attention to him. “Are you sure? I would hate for you to get a bladder infection while we still have nine more hours to drive.” He hissed in response, “Mom! I said I am fine!” She pressed further, not realizing the agitation in her son’s voice. “Well i just want to make sure, last time you were so miserable, and it smelled awful, I just don’t want you to have to deal with that again.”
The cashier and customer were not completely stopped in the middle of their transaction, watching the scene unfold. Devin just wished the ground would swallow him from the embarrassment he was dealing with. At his limit, he pushed the snacks and drink into his mother’s arms, “I SAID I’M FINE! DON’T YOU LISTEN?!” he screamed, then stormed out of the store and back to the care. Elaine stood in shock of the scene, and noticed that the cashier and customer were still staring at her, she looked down quickly and apologized for the scene. The customer left with his items, and she paid for the things her son had given her, then headed back out to the car. She got into the driver's seat and handed her son the purchase, and attempted to speak to him. “I’m sorry if I embarrassed you, I was just worried.” he remained silent and kept his eyes out the window with his arms crossed. She sighed in defeat, starting the car again and they were back on the highway in no time. The rest of the ride was silent. If Devin wasn’t looking out the window ignoring his mother, then he was asleep ignoring her. She just hoped they could get to their new home soon, so they both could rest.
It was late, and they had stopped at a cheap little motel for the night about five hours from their destination. Elaine had hoped they would get to the town before it got too late, but with the few stops they had done, their schedule was pushed back a bit. Exhausted Elaine didn’t think she could keep going. As she walked into the office the manager gave off a creepy, perverted vibe that made her skin crawl, she quickly paid, grabbed the key, and took her and Devin to the room. As soon as they entered the room, Elaine locked the door with the deadbolt and chain lock. Devin looked around the dirty room, there was one queen size bed, a small table and chair, a T.V. that he wasn’t sure even worked, and a bathroom. He crinkled up his nose in disgust as to why his mom would even bring them here. “Why can’t we just go to a normal hotel? This place looks gross, they probably have roaches.” he whined. Elaine sighed exhaustion creeping over her face. “Devin, we are just staying the night, we will be out first thing in the morning. There is no need to spend money on a fancy hotel, when we will be at the new house around noon tomorrow.” she sat down on the bed, rubbing the bridge of her nose. “Let’s just get some sleep, grab your blanket and lay it on top of the bed if you don’t want to sleep in it, and tomorrow we will grab breakfast and head out.”
His mother barely finished her sentence before sleep took over her, and she laid down on her side. She snored lightly, while her Devin scoffed. He had slept randomly throughout the day as a means of avoiding conversation with her, and now she was out, leaving him to his thoughts in this dumpster of a motel. Begrudgingly he took out his blanket and did as his mother suggested, before laying down on the bed as well. He grabbed the remote off the nightstand, and turned on the T.V. it only had a few channels, one being a local news channel, and the other playing old Turner Classic movies and shows. He huffed at his options, as any other channel was static. He put the remote down opting for the local news.
The anchorman droned away with the local reports, causing Devin’s eyes to droop. He blinked a few times slowly, watching the T.V. fade in and out. Once, seeing the blurry light of the T.V. Twice, seeing it blur a little more. Three times, seeing through the small opening of his eyes a dark figure standing in front of the T.V. his brain did not quite comprehend what it was till it moved. This caused Devin to jerk his eyes open, and sit upright, expecting someone to be standing at the foot of the bed, only to see nothing. He rubbed his eyes for a moment, looking around the room, to again find nothing but himself, and his mother sleeping soundly next to him. He chalked it up to his imagination, laying back down on his back looking up at the ceiling. Making up his mind, and ignoring his own instincts he turned to roll on his side to go to sleep.
Before he could even react there was a disfigured face next to his, it’s eyes sunken in, and white with only tiny pupils showing. The nose was missing, showing two gaping holes where a nose should be, and a large crooked mouth smiling with jagged yellow teeth. Its head jerked and twitched as it turned it’s head to the side, causing its thinning long black hair to fall in its face. The smile never left it, as it moved towards him, extending long slender fingers towards him. He pushed himself back away, screaming at the top of his lungs, while the creature croaked out his name. “Devin.” it rasped. “Devin!” it cried again, still reaching for him. He pushed himself so far, that he fell out of the bed, and hit the floor with a thud! The bed creaked as the creature continued to call for him. He closed his eyes screaming, when a hand touched his shoulder. Panicked he swatted the hand away, when he heard his name again. “DEVIN!” His mother shouted. He stopped screaming, and opened his eyes to see the morning sun peeking through the curtains of the motel room. Sweat was pouring from him as he sat up from the floor, looking at his concerned mother. “Devin, you were dreaming and fell off the bed, are you ok?” Devin took a deep breath, “uh, yeah. Yeah I’m fine, just a bad dream.” His heart raced. “Well wash your face, we are heading out.”She grabbed their bags and took them to the car, leaving him in the motel by himself.
He took a few more deep breaths to steady himself, then went into the bathroom to wash his face. Turning on the cold water he splashed it on his face, looking at his reflection. He shook his head. “It was just a bad dream.” he told himself. Staring at his reflection, he saw the corner of his mouth twitch into a crooked smile. He jumped back away from the mirror, as if his reflection would come to life and grab him. He didn’t bother to wait another second before he ran out of the room, jumping in the car as fast as he could. “You ok? You look spooked?” his mother asked as she backed out of the parking lot. “Yeah, yeah fine, let’s just go.” he responded urging his mother to move faster. He didn’t even shut the motel door as he left. The motel was retreating, and he looked into the passenger mirror back at it, a pair of white eyes peeked out of the crack of the door, and gave him a crooked smile. He turned around to see if someone was really there, but the door to the room slammed shut. Sinking back down in his seat with wide eyes, he tried his best to convince himself it was his imagination, and a bad dream, but deep down he knew, there was more to it then that.
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