Every year, when this night arrives, we wonder. How long has it been? How long have we been trapped here? Years, years. We can barely remember how it was, how to be alive under the sun. Barely, but we still do remember. And we know what needs to be done.
The problem is, how could we even imagine it would take it so long for anyone to be back to this place? On the one hand, it could be considered logical. After all, Hadley House is scary enough as it is, and our experience must have added to it. But nobody actually came searching for us.
But on the other hand… It was in the route. There should have been more people around. More kids. But nobody’s come. And we stay here, waiting, rotting. Wasted. Hoping, hoping, for someone to come the correct night and deliver us from this prison.
Still we’ve observed. Always by night, but we have. And what years ago were only a handful of buildings at the end of the park has grown hugely. More and more people, and still no one has come. It’s become one of the busiest suburbs of the city… Only the city gave us a wide berth. What would it look like from up in the sky, we’ve wondered?
“I tell you, this is strange. have you seen it on Google maps? Weird. It’s gotta be haunted!”
A voice? A man’s voice? Tonight of all nights? Could it be that our freedom is closer?
“Yeah. I made a search, look. The city has been avoiding this place for years. No way to find the owner. No digital records, can you imagine?”
A second one. A female this time. Both young, though older than we were. Teenagers, not children.
“And the disappeared kids?”
“Oh yeah. That’s scary as hell. Gone forever that Halloween night ten years ago.”
Ten years… ten years. It has seemed longer, yet also shorter at the same time. We know it doesn’t make sense, yes we do. We want out. We did nothing. Nothing to deserve this cruel fate.
“Do you still want to do this?”
There’s a pause. Is there? We cannot afford it.
“Yeah, I guess… It’s… it’s getting chilly.”
“Want my jacket?”
“Oh, now you’re a gentleman, aren’t you? Any hidden intentions?”
“In there? On a night like this? No thanks.”
Something else we miss. A kick? We expand and move closer, closer.
“So, do you want my jacket or no? I do have a jumper underneath, and it’s not that cold.”
“Yeah, I’ll take it. And I didn’t say cold, I said chilly. Don’t you feel it? Down your neck?”
“Here, have this. Damn, you’re right. And here I always thought that a chill down your spine was just a figure of speech.”
Oh, they’re definitely getting closer. On this night, on this night! We must get ready, darling, we must get ready. This is our chance to escape, yes it is. All we have to do is what they did to us, and we’ll be free to go, free to go.
“Dammit, this fog is getting thicker. I can’t see my nose.”
“You never see your nose. At least I don’t. Do you?”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Yes, but you’re wearing my jacket. That counts, doesn’t it?”
“Hm. Don’t tempt me or I’ll leave.”
“A-ha! You want to chicken out, don’t you?”
“I told you. I’m not going to chicken out. Damn this chill and this fog!”
We move. We need to get closer or it won’t work. They must be suspicious now.
“Have you heard that?”
“That… that noise.”
“I didn’t hear anything. You idiot, now you’re scaring me! I tell you, I’ll just leave you here and I’m taking your jacket with me!”
“Sorry, sorry! I really thought I heard something. Must have been some animal.”
“Oh great, now a raccoon or something will jump us in this damned fog! And I cannot see anything! I don’t even see the screen of my phone.”
“Here. I brought a torch.”
There’s light. Bright, powerful. But it’s not the sun. Had it been, everything would be over. This is our chance. We step closer. Closer, closer.
“Your torch is not that useful.”
“It’s because of the fog. At least we see each other.”
“Oh, seeing you is great. As if I don’t see you enough in the day.”
“I can switch it off if you like.”
“No! No, that’s all right… Say, what direction is the house?”
Ah, they’re disoriented. We still can do it. We just have to time it right. Edging closer, we are getting ready. The light will hurt us, but we can make it. We can, we can. The taste of freedom is so sweet…
“Isn’t it that way?”
“I don’t know… I’m not sure any longer. Just stop, I don’t want to fall over or just run into a wall or something. Stop!”
“Ok, ok! Look, have the torch. I’ll just fire up my phone GPS and we’ll see. I always have it off or it kills my battery.”
We don’t understand what they’re talking about. All we know is we’re creeping closer, we’re almost there…
“Did you hear that?”
“Now you’re the one trying to scare me, aren’t you?”
“No, really, I think I heard something! Dammit, I’m getting tired of this.”
“Ok, look, let me see where we are and we leave.”
“You said that. I’m not chickening out.”
“All right. I won’t say anything if you don’t, OK? Let me check the GPS and we leave. It’s taking forever. Move the torch closer or the fog won’t let me see anything.”
And we’re there.
“What’s that? What’s that?”
“That way! Let’s go, hurry!.”
This is my entry for this week’s Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: A Scary Story, Part Two. We had to write 1000 words of a scary story, as a follow-up of the first part of a story written by somebody else.
I like to have my stories here self-contained, so this was a double challenge. I was lucky, because writer Rebecca Douglass posted her Part One, Witching Weather, as a self-contained story as well, even though it could be continued. So I chose her story. I read it, enjoyed it, and immediately an idea regarding how to write Part Two formed in my mind.
And here it is, after a switch in perspective. I’ve done things I had never done in this story, so I’m quite happy with the result.