Chapter 1: The Cottage
Anyways, she took her briefcase, stuck a note on the refrigerator and drove to work. Sean - Mrs. Vincent's oldest child and probably the most sensible and caring for her mother out of all the 4 children - came downstairs from his room after hearing his mother leaving in her car, he saw the sticky note on the fridge and read it:
Forgot to wash the frying pan, Please do that! and I prepared biscuits and gravy early in the morning, it's in the fridge, the biscuits and gravy are only for you, Teresa and Austin. Scott's bananas and shredded salted chicken is in the bottom shelf of the fridge. I will come home late today, so tell Teresa to do all her remaining summer vacation homework and you and Austin, can play anything without messing up the house, okay? I will be late because I have to pick your dad from the airport too, so don't wait for me and order some healthy food at night.
Love you all.
Sean stuck the note back on the fridge and went to the kitchen sink to wash the pan. Their dad had gone to Malaysia for a business trip with his company. Austin was just half year younger than Sean and so, they were both in the same class in high school. While, Teresa was 13 and was still in middle school.
Sean washed the pan and went upstairs to call Teresa and Austin for breakfast, Sean made an egg for everyone and they all ate cereal too, because the food that Mom made, was for lunch.
They all had breakfast and went into their own rooms, Sean put Scott to bed, then he and Austin went to their room and started to set up their gaming console.
Teresa was in her room, with her airpods plugged in, she was listening to "Believer by Imagine Dragons". Suddenly, a notification popped up on her phone.
Teresa clicked on the notification and it took her to her friend's - Ophelia's - chat. The message read:
Ophelia: Hey! Emily and I are going to the woods, Emily says she discovered a hidden cottage there, so we decided to explore it. You comin'?
Teresa: Hi! I have to complete my homework, so I don't know!?
Ophelia: Come on!!! Summer vacations will end in like a month or two, you can do the homework later, Can't you?
Teresa: Ok, but first lemme ask my older brother, he'll call mom if I leave the house without telling.
Ophelia: Yeah yeah! Tell me when you do.
Teresa took off her airpods and left the room to go upstairs to Sean's and Austin's room. She knocked on their door. "What is it? Come in!" shouted Austin. She opened the door and peaked in. "Uh! guys, I will do my homework later, I am going with Ophelia and Emily to explore something." Sean took off his headphones and said "Yeah, OK! but don't go out of the street, just stay at Ophelia's house and don't go any further, the woods are dangerous!" then, Sean put on his headphones again.
Teresa closed the door and left the room. She put on her hoodie and left the house to go to Ophelia's.
She reached there and her friend was standing in her yard, they hugged and then Ophelia shouted "Emily, Teresa is here!". Emily came running from the backyard to the front.
"Hi, Tess! Ready for the hike? I am pretty sure that the cottage we're going to is gonna send chills down your spine!" said Emily.
"Yeah, I am kinda ready. Is the cottage scary and is it in an isolated location?" said Teresa with a little bit of apparent doubt in her voice.
Emily said "Obviously! It's scary. Haven't you watched any horror movies? A cottage in the middle of the woods is scary!"
"Yeah!" Teresa said and then smiled and rolled her eyes.
Ophelia said "Ok guys, enough talking! Let's leave. We have to come back early 'cause my parents will return soon and Teresa has to go early as well."
They left Ophelia's house and walked to the woods.
As they entered the woods, the voice of the cars and people faded behind them and after some time all they could hear was the crunching of branches and leaves under their feet.
At home, Sean and Austin had finished playing and were heading downstairs for lunch. Sean remembered suddenly that Teresa wasn't home, he picked his phone up and called Teresa.
On the other hand, The friends were still walking down the woods. All of them are suddenly shaken by the ringing of Teresa's phone. "Damn! I got scared!", shouted Ophelia.
Teresa let out a sigh of relief as she saw Sean's name on the phone.
"Hey, Sean! Why'd you call?", said Teresa.
Sean said with concern while he took out his portion of biscuits and gravy from the fridge, "When will you return? Me and Austin are having lunch."
Teresa replied while walking, "Uh!" She bit her lip "Sean, I'll be back in about 1 and a half hours, I'll eat lunch later, Bye!"
Sean said, "Ok!" and then hung up. He and Austin began to eat.
The friends were still walking quietly, the silence was suddenly broken by Emily "It's here!", she said. Teresa and Ophelia looked to their left and there it was! The cottage was right by a swamp.
They walked closer to the cottage and started to notice its dull appearance, they could literally feel the energy from it. "Ew! When will mother nature know that swamps are filthy?!" said Ophelia as a frog jumped in the swamp and the swamp's water splashed on her leg. She wiped the water with a piece of cloth she had in her pocket.
They walked further towards the cottage until they were on its front porch. Emily reached for the door knob. "Wait! Are you sure guys? 'cause I have a bad feeling about this.", said Teresa. Emily replied with a smirk "Yes Obviously! It's safe". Ophelia said "Emily! That was not obvious! I mean... Look at the cottage, it's creepy and that filthy swamp beside it is much creepier!"
"Guys! We are friends! We'll stick together if anything bad happens, besides, we really needed this hike 'cause I wanted us to get closer and be better friends, so that we can trust each other. Trust me! It'll be fine!"