Only in the Dark

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Chapter 14

Two days had passed since the “Miss. Fluffkins” incident. Aris did not want to go to school, but it was finals week, and she needed to pass her classes. Part of her did not care because of what was going on in her life, but at the same time Aris wanted to have some sort of normalcy amongst the chaos. If she skipped, then the school would call her parents. If she tried to stay home sick, her parents would get suspicious. In the end, Aris just found it easier to suck it up and go to school; she figured she could use the distraction at least.

Billy was apprehensive to leave her side. He worried that something could happen like in biology the week before, but Aris eventually convinced him she would be fine until the end of school. Neither had studied for their finals, or expected to get good marks, but grades did not seem to matter anymore. All that mattered was figuring everything out, and finding a way to stop it.

Aris had to take her English final first. It was easy enough. All they had to do was read a couple of stories and write about them. Mrs. Watson stood in front of her desk taking down attendance. Aris was not really paying attention until Simon’s name came up.

“Simon Edwards?” The teacher looked around. “No?” She gave a disappointed sigh and moved down the list.

Aris glanced at the desk in the back of the room, near the window where Simon usually sat. It was odd that he did not show up to class, since they only had a few days left. She wondered if he was okay, or if something had happened to him. When Mrs. Watson called Aris’ name she snapped out of her thoughts and decided she did not have time to worry about Simon when she had enough problems of her own to deal with.

After English Aris had to take her math final; the one she dreaded most. All the numbers seemed to blend together. At the end of the period Aris was certain she failed, but she hoped that her past grades would be enough for her to pass the class. After math it was time for lunch. Aris met up with Billy, and they decided to go to the courtyard instead of eating. They continued to throw theories around about what could have caused everything, but both were too burnt out from tests to come up with anything useful.

Once lunch ended they finished out their day, happy only one day of finals remained. School was almost over and summer could soon begin. If it were any other time, Aris and Billy would be planning everything they would do over the break. They would jump for joy knowing they were one year closer to graduation. At the moment, however, they had much more pressing matters on their minds.

The walk to Billy’s house was silent. Both still tried to figure out anything that would give them a clue to what was going on with Aris. They had settled in Billy’s living room and turned on the TV, but it did not take long for the two to fall asleep. Exhaustion set in for the duo, and school did not help. Billy dreamt of the night Aris killed Miss. Fluffkins. He could remember how close he had come to being in the same situation as the dog. Something else popped up in his dream though; it was when Aris’ parents came into her room that night. He was looking at her parents when he noticed something green with a slight glow in Aris’ mother’s hands. It was only for an instant because Aris’ mother hid it behind her back when she saw Billy.

Billy shot straight up from his place on the red recliner next to the couch. He was not sure if it was just his imagination, or if Aris’ parents were really hiding something that night. He thought about all the times they had thrown theories around as to what her parents did in the basement. Ever since Billy was little he thought they were mad scientists creating freakish monsters. Aris always said he watched too many horror movies, but right now he was not so sure his theory was too far from the truth. The more he thought about it, the more it all made sense. Aris’ parents loved experimenting on everything; why not their own daughter?

Billy looked over at Aris who was curled up on the end of the couch. He knew there was something about Aris’ parents that was bothering him, and deep down he knew he suspected them all along. He got up from the recliner he was laying in and shook Aris awake.

When Aris woke up she could tell by the look on Billy’s face that something was wrong. She sat up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Billy sat down next to her, and stared for a few minutes. The silence was getting too intense.

“Billy. What?”

“I think I know what happened.” He looked at Aris, fiddling with his fingers.

“What do you mean?” Aris could not possibly understand what Billy could have learned while they were asleep.

“I think I’ve known for awhile, but I wasn’t sure until now.” He looked into Aris’ eyes. “Your parents.”

Aris let out a breath. “What are you talking about?”

“Think about it, they are scientists. We have no idea what their job really is, but they study everything. How else could it happen?”

Aris shook her head. “No, you’re wrong. They wouldn’t do that to me.”

“Aris, I know they’re your parents, but they’ve tried to make you their test subject for small experiments before.” Billy could tell Aris was thinking about his accusation, but she could not bring herself to believe it.

“No.”

Billy sighed. “That night they came in your room, I think your mom had something with her, something she hid behind her back. I think it was a syringe with some weird green stuff in it. I think they were going to inject you with it again. Make this worse.”

Aris looked towards the window trying to stop herself from crying. Billy made sense, as much as she hated to admit it. But just because it was a logical answer did not mean it had to be right. They were still her parents and they loved her, there was no way they would turn her into something this horrible. If she was going to believe her parents caused her problem, she needed more proof.

Aris turned back towards Billy. “We need to get into that basement.”

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