Finally, they had enough. It was time for them to leave the place and forget the things that ever happened. Tracy, David, and Sean took whatever they needed and left. They walked on trying to find someone or a place where they could actually stay the night without having to sleep on the hard ground with the small and big rough jagged rocks.
“I can’t wait to get home,” Sean threw an exasperated sigh.
“Will you stop talking about it? You’re making me tired.” David seemed to have enough of him.
“You’re not the only one that’s tired,” Josh put in. Tracy said nothing as she walked alongside David holding his hand. There was a long moment of silence between them. It was quiet under the hot sun. Sean held his side leaning on his right side and holding himself down to relax.
“Hurry up man. There’s a lot more snails that are moving faster than you,” Josh called out and laughed. Their laughter trailed along the air giving some life. Sean stopped completely. He felt triggering hard against his chest and couldn’t breathe. He tried to relax and breathe deeply and normally, but he couldn’t. He reached for his inhaler in his pockets, it wasn’t there. The rest of his friends stopped and turned around to see what he was doing.
“What are you doing man? Hurry up.” Josh called out.
“N....Nothing. I’m j....just trying to look....” He called back but his voice trailed along and he felt like he was losing his voice.
“I....I’ll be right back.” He tried raising voice a bit louder, but he couldn’t, his voice was just a small whisper. Sean turned around and dropped his eyes on the ground looking for his inhaler. He practically looked everywhere. He traced back their trail of where they were the last time. He still couldn’t find it. His breathing became labored and he felt like he was going to faint. From a distance, Josh, David and Tracy could tell that he wasn’t feeling good and knew that he wasn’t up for anything.
“Josh stay here with Tracy, I’ll be right back.” David jogged his way towards Sean and caught up to him to see what was going on. They stopped and turned around to see what was going on.
“Hey Sean, what’s going on man?” David saw him waver back and forth. He closed his eyes and tried to relax. Sean moved his gaze towards something and moved forward towards it.
“Sean. Come on don’t do this to us.” David caught a glimpse of what Sean was looking at. Sean’s footsteps became smaller each time and his knees were giving in. David moved toward the object and saw what he was looking at. He picked up his inhaler and gave it to him.
“Come on man.” He looked at him and gave him his inhaler. His face was pale pale and he couldn’t dare to look at his face. Sean put it close to his mouth. Just as he was about to breathe, he collapsed with no air in him. David pushed him on his side which made the air come straight out of him. He quickly gave him his inhaler and breathed deeply until his breathing became rhythmic. Sean got up ever so slowly and tried to relax and get his breathing right.
“Are you okay man?” Sean felt dizzy a bit but managed to get up and walk.
“I’ll be fine.”
“You sure?” Sean nodded. They walked back towards their friends with no talk between them. When David reached Tracy, he took her hand and held on to it tighter than before.
“Are you okay David?” She saw him worry in thought. He didn’t say anything because he was too deep in thought. He shook his head and smiled at Tracy.
“I’m fine.” He hugged her close.
They walked on forever in silence under the heat of the sun. Finally under all the strain and the heat, they collapsed. They had enough of walking and they wanted to just leave.
“I’m sick and tired of this I wanna go home,” Josh complained.
“We gotta try to stick out from here come on man, get up and lets go before something happens to someone again,” Sean tried to grin and beret. David stopped in midway realizing that Sean and Josh were no longer behind them.
“Hurry up guys.” He stopped and waited for them. He watched them get into a heated discussion with each other and went to go cool it off.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Sean replied to Josh.
“Nothing’s wrong with me. It’s just you that gets on my damn nerves every time we go somewhere.”
“Well let’s try and go somewhere this time without you bothering me”
“Geeze guys what’s wrong with you?” David came up to them.
“Ask him,” Josh walked away.
“What do you mean “ask him.” You’re the one that started it all.”
“Okay, that’s enough,” David tried breaking in through.
“You know what I had enough of you. From here on in I’m gonna pretend that you’re not my friend and I’m gonna pretend that the things you said are worth nothing to me,” Sean yelled at him.
David wanted to break the fight yet at the same time he didn’t want to get involved in something that didn’t include him. When Sean got up, Josh pulled him down and fought him again. They both got up and fought like crazy. They each had a bleeding nose and one of their noses looked like it was broken. One of their arms also looked like it was broken but no one could really tell. Finally David had to break their fight, he had enough of them.
“Just stop it. Nothing is going to turn anything around. Just relax. We all had a rough time. We could use a break we’ve walked enough.” David turned and walked away. They both stared at David who slumped down on the hard ground.
“This is all your fault.” Josh turned away and walked back from where they first started. Sean walked towards David. There was silence between them both.
“I’m sorry we got in a fight.”
“Yeah well this is the first fight I’ve heard in my life between you two.”
“I was uh, how do say it, I was trying to tell him to relax and to calm down for a while. But unlike him he doesn’t listen to anybody. I don’t know what I’m going to do.” David just sat there listening and thinking deep in thought. They both stopped talking. Everything was still. Without Josh, they had nothing to do, nothing to say.
“Where’s Tracy?” Sean thought aloud. David’s eyes bulged out and almost forgot about her. David walked towards the spot she was before, she wasn’t there.
“Tracy?” He couldn’t find her. Sean watched Josh walk back from his walk. He could see that his face was red and his eyes were bloodshot. He ignored him and helped David look for Tracy. Josh jogged back the rest of the way to see what was going on.
“Just shut up,” Sean casted an angry glare at him.
“Let’s not start this again.” David was growing impatient with them.
“You know what I actually felt sorry for you, but now, you can just fuck off.”
“Yeah well I don’t need anybody to feel sorry for me. I don’t need you feeling sorry for me.”
“Oh for crying out loud. Just shut up for once. We’re not going to get anywhere with the two of you fighting. Let’s just try and find Tracy and get the hell out of here.” When David turned around Tracy stood there smiling.
“Where were you?” David smiled back.
“Somewhere. Come on there’s something have to show you.” Tracy took a hold of his hand and led the way. Sean followed them with an angry look on his face with Josh behind with his head down. They walked on for a while with no talk between them. Finally they came up on a place.
“I was walking for a while and this place came up and I thought if there’s someone in the house we could get directions and they could help us,” Tracy replied breaking the silence that seemed to go on forever.
“We could use the help.”
“Are you kidding? Maybe they won’t help us who knows maybe their serial killers or something,” Josh thought a loud.
“Is that the only thing that you can think of right now, killing? What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“The fact that the only thing you can think of is killing and nothing decent for once in your life.”
“Actually I can think unlike you who can’t even sit for at least five seconds.”
“Oh please you’re one to talk.” Sean muttered something under his breath. Tracy stopped in mid stride and came up to them.
“Ask him,” Sean pointed toward Josh. Josh had the nerve to hit him so bad.
“I’m gonna kill you one day. Just watch.” Sean just ignored him.
“Look. Just listen to me for once if you’re not gonna listen to each other. We left Sarah, Heather, and Billy for a reason. I had a reason why I left, do any of you? I don’t really need you to answer that but consider it. We put our life in danger and right now we have to put a fight on hold before we are able to go home and relax. Just calm down for now. We’re going to go and see if anybody is in that house and we’re gonna ask them for help. Just be thankful that we got this far,” Tracy interrupted them and told them off. She had them thinking for a while and they all were quiet. She walked away and took David’s hand and the two of them led the way.
Sean and Josh were both quiet. They didn’t know what to say to each other. Even though they were both angry at each other, they felt sorry for one another. Josh seemed to know what Sean was thinking because they felt ignorant and stupid and selfish for yelling at each other for no reason. They fought for no reason and they yelled at each other only to get their anger out towards each other. No one said a word until they reached the house.
“So who wants to go first?” David looked at the rest of them with a grin on his face.
“Don’t look at me,” Sean cried.
“How about you Josh?”
“Because you were the one who said that they might be killers.” Sean had a big smile on his face. He knew he caught something. He didn’t say a word. There was nothing that he could do so he gave in. They all watched Josh walk towards the door.
Josh walked carefully and slowly. He looked back at his friends and they just smiled at him and encouraged him. He turned around and headed slowly towards the door. As he ascended the big heavy stairs, he breathed heavily in anticipation. Finally he reached the front of the door. He lifted the solid heavy brass knocker and let it fall. The sound of it seemed to have echoed more than ten times in the dark empty house. He stood there for about a minute and waited.
“Well no one’s home,” he turned around and smiled at his friends, glad that no one was there. Behind him the door opened slowly and carefully. He turned around to see who it was.
“How may I help you?” A man no more than his late twenties early thirties looked a lot older than his age. To them, he looked as is he was in his seventies. He gave a gentle and warm smile that welcomed them and made them feel a bit safer from all the things that happened. He was not too tall and not too short. His features were empty and dull. Gray peaks formed around behind his ears. He looked like he was balding. His eyes looked cat-like with a short nose that barely stuck out.
His lips were cracked around the edges and his skin looked cracked for a guy like him at his age. He seemed like someone who was willing help four strangers standing in his doorway. Sean, David, and Tracy just stared at each other with a look on their faces wondering if they could depend on him helping them. They had a choice. One of those choices was taken out. They had enough of sleeping on the hard ground; they wanted to sleep on something warm and comforting. They all looked at each other once more until one of them spoke breaking the tension and the nervousness.
“Uh yeah. We were just looking for some help. We’ve been lost for a while and we were just hoping that we’d stumble by anyone or a house for some help and directions back to the main highway,” David answered.
“Come in come in. I’d be glad to help. Come on in,” he gestured them inside. They stood there in the doorway. Their mouths agape from the sight of the old man and how quickly he let them in.
“Come on in. I’m not going to let four young beautiful strangers stand in my doorway with no food in you. Come on.” They just shrugged and walked in one by one. When they entered the big place, they all gasped in amazement. The place was big they were amazed to see that a person like him lived in a house like this one. The walls were covered with wallpaper rather than being painted. There was no furniture in one of the living rooms as they walked in.
They walked into the kitchen where it was bigger. There were no windows except for a door on the other side that led outside. There was a pantry that led to the back and kept going to who knows where. The kitchen was clean with nothing in it. They walked into another living room that only had one couch and four bay windows out looking the view.
“Come on sit please. Ask me anything if you’d like. You’d be pleased about the things I have seen, the people I’ve seen and many things and people that I see come and go from various places,” he replied with a grin that showed his teeth. His teeth looked rotten and decayed from the inside of his mouth. His gums were swollen and red and his tongue was split in half. Tracy turned away when she saw his tongue slithering out from time to time whenever he talked. They were afraid to ask him anything. They were afraid that they might do something to tick him off and killing them.
“Uh.... no we’re fine. We were just hoping if we can have some answers and leave as soon as we can,” David stumbled on his words and stuttered.
“Please come and sit. I haven’t seen people for a really long time. I’d like to have company for a couple of days. Maybe for a couple of weeks.” Again his teeth showed and his tongue slipped out and he sucked it back in. He made a slurping noise that made Tracy cover her ears and turn away from the sight of him. He moved toward Tracy and stared at her.
“So tell me, what are your names,” he slithered his tongue back and forth. David, Josh and Sean tried to stick it out with him; they knew that Tracy was already shivering in her shoes. Sean did most of the talking for them. Sean introduced them to him. As he did, the stranger’s eyes fell on Tracy’s and couldn’t get his eyes off of her. He licked his teeth and brushed his tongue against his cheeks.
“You are beautiful I can see that,” his smile was nothing but a snarl.
“She’s my girlfriend,” David stepped in holding her close. He didn’t take his eyes off of her. He stepped closer towards her. She could smell the stench of rotting food in his mouth.
“I’d love to get me a girlfriend like you. I would be giving her all that she needs and let her feel satisfied about it all,” He whispered to her, his mouth on her ear. David held her hand and Tracy tightened her grip around him. He went up to her and tried to capture every part of her.
“You smell soo good.” Josh knew there was something wrong. He quickly stopped him from doing anything else and intervened.
“So, uh, how long did you say you lived here?” He quickly turned around and stared at Josh.
“Pardon me?” He replied pretending that he wasn’t listening.
“How long have you been living here for?” David released a sigh of relief, while Tracy was still holding her breath even though he was nowhere near her.
“My whole life actually. My parents thought that this was the house that they wanted and it turns out it is. They wanted to live in a house that overlooked a beautiful sight and they ne’er took their eyes away. They lived a dream that they wanted. They had seven kids; I’m the youngest of them.”
“However, on a sad occasion, they died of a fatal car accident. My parents and my four older brothers died and they suffered a lot. My mom had cancer that time and none of the doctors could help her they only prescribed her pills that made the pain worse each time. My father, well, he was rehab for over a couple of years. They realized it was stupid for him going in every two years, so they just took him out. Ever since, he never did anything bad.
“Now it’s just me and my three other brothers livin’ here in a place that we call home. We were lucky that we weren’t in that accident. We prey for them everyday and night. Oh well, life goes on and we have to live with it eh? Well now that’s enough about me why don’t you each tell me a little about yourselves?” He grinned.They were all silent for a minute they had to reflect on what he just said.
“We’re actually a bit tired. We had a long walk from where we were and we just need to rest for a bit,” Sean finally came in.
“Oh sure of course. Where are my manners? My brothers always reminded me of manners whenever we got company which was rarely anymore. This is the first time we got company in years. This way please.” They all stared at him not sure about what to do. They were crying inside and wanted to leave. They didn’t care about how bad the place was they just wanted to leave. They followed him anyways; they needed something to sleep on rather than the hard ground. They stopped midway in the hallway at the end of the wing. Before he allowed one of them in at a time, Sean spoke up.
“Can we have a room for two people not just one for each person?” Sean backed away trying to catch a glimpse of his look. His eyes twitched and his eyebrows lowered.
“Sure. Of course you can,” he hid whatever expression he had. Both Sean and Josh took the room they stood beside for about fifteen minutes, David and Tracy took the room next to them. When he left, they all breathed in a sigh of relief. Both Sean and Josh made sure that he wasn’t in the hallway and went in the room where David and Tracy were.
“So what do you think?” Josh broke the tension between them.
“I think we should leave now,” David looked at him.
“We just got here how can we leave when he’s literally watching over us?”
“You’re the one who said that we shouldn’t be here in the first place and now you’re changing your mind?”
“He said he could help us.”
“They all say that. That’s how they get you lured in the house and they kill you in the end,” Josh brought in.
“I think we should leave tomorrow. Tracy’s scared enough and I don’t want to see her scared anymore. We came here uninvited and that freak is saying that he’s been expecting people. We’ve had enough from here and I think we should leave,” David announced. They whispered to each other so no one could hear them. They all agreed and stood there in silence wondering what was going to happen next.
“I just hope that we can find our way back home soon.” They were all thinking the same thing. The one thing that was important to them right now was trying to get rid of the guy and leave the place before something happened to them. They didn’t even have the chance to eat anything, but that seemed to be the least of their worries. Sean and Josh quietly left the room and went into theirs. They checked the hallway the first thing and quickly ran to the other room.
“I don’t know if I can keep this up anymore,” Sean complained sitting on a bed.
“Well you’re going to have to until we leave and go home.” They both got under the covers in different beds. It was silent for a while.
“Hey Josh what do you think what’s gonna happen next when we get home?” Sean brought up out of nowhere.
“Are you trying to get us in trouble or something?” He got up and stared at Sean.
“No I just....” Sean lost his trial of thought.
“Why what are you trying to do,” he said with a grin.
“Nothing. I just wanna know that’s all.”
“Don’t worry about it man. Just relax.”
“What you’re not worried or anything?”
“I’m just tired about the things that have already happened. It’s getting on my nerves. I’m just hoping nothing will spring out on us again. Just relax and try not to think about it. Just hope that tomorrow is a perfect day and that damn freak doesn’t eat us alive.” Josh finally went to sleep. Sean lay awake in bed trying to figure out where they were. At that moment for about five minutes, it felt like old times where it was him, Josh, Billy, and David used to talk quietly and laugh and Sean’s mom never used to find out.
They were really best friends, yet there was something that was breaking their friendship apart. Only it was him, David, Tracy, and Josh who were the only ones left. It was only Sean and Josh who were the only ones who occupied the room with nothing to say. No laughter or cries erupted from them. Sean breathed in a heavy sigh and tried to relax. Not only did he not want to go home, he didn’t want tomorrow to come.