Kasey Hill – Author & Poet
Duke and Larissa ran downstairs, “What the hell was that?” Duke yelled.
John was over at the door peaking outside. When he opened it all the way, they could all feel the heat. John walked out on the porch and grabbed his head with his hands.
“NO!! What the hell!!!” he yelled as he ran towards the car.
The car was completely engulfed in flames. He looked around to see if anyone was around so he could beat the hell out of them.
He looked back at Larissa, “So, do you still believe that Michala was wrong on her feeling?” he asked angrily.
“What the hell are we going to do now, we have no cell reception here,” Michala said.
“Tomorrow we’re going to have to walk and find help,” Duke said.
“What if those crazy people come back?!” Michala exclaimed.
“We will just barricade ourselves in the house,” Larissa said.
“Why so they can burn it down too?!” she yelled.
“Michala, calm down!” John yelled. “We will figure this out.”
“You don’t understand; they don’t want yall. They want me!” she cried.
“Don’t worry, they won’t get to you,” John said sternly.
“Why should the rest of us suffer because they want her? Why not just give her to them?” Larissa asked.
“You bitch!” Michala said grabbing Larissa and pushing her down the steps.
Larissa jumped up, “It’s on!”
Duke grabbed Michala and John grabbed Larissa.
“Stop it you two!” Duke yelled. “Fighting isn’t going to solve anything.”
Michala wormed out of his grasp and smacked him across the face, “Don’t touch me!”
“Why you little,” Duke said stepping towards her.
John let go of Larissa and took a step toward Duke, “You touch her and I swear my hand to God, I will break every bone in your body.”
“Guys, cool it!” Larissa yelled. “Michala, I’m sorry I said what I did. I don’t know why; it just came out. We do not need to turn on each other. That’s probably what they want.”
Everyone grew quiet.
“In the morning, we’ll go for help,” John said. “No telling who we will run into on the highway, unless one of you want to walk in the dark.”
“I could go,” Duke offered.
Everyone looked at him.
“What? I can totally go,” he offered.
“There are people out there who blew up my car! And YOU want to go walking down the very road they’re waiting on?” John asked.
“Yea,” he replied shrugging his shoulders.
“Do what you want man, but this is on you,” John replied back.
“Alright, let me go get the lantern, and I’ll be on my way,” Duke said.
“You can’t be serious,” Larissa interjected. “They could kill you!”
“Well, it’s better than sitting here waiting for them to come here and kill me. At least I died looking for help,” Duke snidely said back to her.
“You’re ridiculous. All because they want Michala. You two would bend over backwards for her. And why? Because she has you both tied around her little finger,” Larissa scoffed.
“I didn’t ask him to go. You can’t put that on me. He volunteered to find help,” Michala retorted bitterly.
“Yes, because he’s trying to save YOU from THEM!” Larissa yelled.
“You know what, fine, I’ll go my damn self you prissy bitch,” Michala said walking down the steps and to the driveway.
“Oh no you don’t,” John said stepping in her way and stopping her.
“Oh, of course, you can’t forget Mr. Perfect. He’s been drooling over you for years now; no way he would let you go off on an adventure without taking him. Have you even told him about the east coast yet? I bet you haven’t,” Larissa laughed. “She’s going to college on the east coast. I find it funny considering how you professed your love to her in a stupid letter.”
“You were in my purse!” Michala yelled and began to run up the steps when John grabbed her around the waist. “Let me go, I’m going to kick her front teeth in,” Michala said trying to wiggle free from his grip.
Larissa started down the steps when Duke grabbed her from behind and stopped her. “Enough you two! God, what is wrong with you two?” Duke yelled.
“I hope you enjoy my sloppy seconds, skank,” Larissa laughed.
“Who’s the skank? You were the one whoring around behind our backs with my boyfriend!” Michala yelled.
“You told her?” Larissa looked back at Duke asking.
“I didn’t tell her anything. She’s not stupid!” Duke yelled.
“Everybody, come on, enough! Look at us. We’re already turning on each other. Just imagine how bad it will be when they’re here,” John said.
Duke let go of Larissa, and John let go of Michala’s waist. Everyone was silent. Duke walked inside and grabbed a lantern.
“I’ll be back before sunrise, hopefully with help,” he said.
He made his way up the driveway and to the road. They watched the light of his lantern disappear.
“Well, since you two did nothing stop him from going on this hunt ALONE, I’m taking a walk,” Larissa said and started for the trees.
“Larissa, wait you have no light and could get lost,” John said.
“Bite me, John!” Larissa yelled and sprinted across the yard and into the woods.
John and Michala stood in the yard watching Larissa disappear from sight.
“I don’t have a good feeling about this, John. I know they were getting inside her head. She has never acted like this before,” Michala said.
“I don’t know what else we can do. They both have their mind set on what they’re going to do and obviously, have done,” John replied.
“So, what do we do? Sit here and wait for them to return?” Michala asked.
“That’s all we can do,” he said walking over and putting his arm around her shoulders.
They walked to the porch and sat down on the steps to wait for their friends to return. Michala hunkered close to John, not from being cold, but from fear. There was an odd feeling tugging at her mind and she couldn’t shake it.
“Something bad is going to happen, I can feel it,” she said to John.
John sat there quietly thinking. A few minutes of silence went by and it was killing her.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked.
“You told Larissa about the east coast before me. How many others knew?” he asked.
Michala took in a deep breath and exhaled, “Does it really matter who all knew?”
“Yes, it does. I’m your best friend, and you didn’t tell me one of the most important decisions you could have made. Why?” he asked.
“I didn’t want to ruin our summer. I wanted to have as much fun as possible without you brooding over me leaving in the fall, which you’re doing,” she said glumly. He sat there without responding to her. She reached for his hand but he didn’t reach back. “Are you regretting ‘us’ now?” she asked.
“No, I’m not regretting us now. I’m trying to figure out how to keep ‘us’ going over 3,000 miles of distance,” he replied.
“Oh,” she said. “You know I would never do anything to hurt you…right?” she asked.
“You mean like cheat? Yes, I know. You’re not that kind of person, but people can grow apart over time and distance. I’m afraid of losing your heart,” he replied.
“John, you’re not the only who has been in love since the day I moved in beside you,” she replied.
“Oh, really?” he asked.
“Yes, really. You had your girlfriends, and I waited patiently for the day you would ask me out to a movie, to dinner, to prom, but it never came around. Did you not notice how few of guys I dated? Duke has been my longest relationship, and I should’ve dumped him months ago. I didn’t want to be a third wheel with you and Larissa, so I just stuck it out until you two broke up. That time never came and it grew tense between Duke and me. I broke up with him a week ago, but he wouldn’t accept it,” she said looping her arm through his. “And, no, to clear up any questions that may be rambling through your head, we never had sex.”
“Because I was worried over your virtue,” he teased.
She laughed, “Oh my virtue is sacred. No one has ever seen the chastity belt or key,” she said winking and smiling at him.
“Because I was sooo worried someone deflowered my princess,” he mocked back laughing.
She punched him in the arm and he threw his hands up in surrender. They both laughed and he put his arm back around her shoulders. “No matter where you go, I’ll be waiting for my princess to return,” he said with his eyes twinkling at her.
He leaned in and kissed her. She couldn’t help but feel frenzied beneath his lips. She reached up and wrapped her hands around his neck and ran her fingers down his cheek. He lightly grabbed her chin while they kissed and brushed her hair behind her ear.
“I love you,” he said as he pulled away from her mouth.
“I love you too,” she said with her eyes closed drinking in the moment.
They heard a twig snap and glanced off into the woods.
“Larissa, is that you?” John yelled out.
There was no answer, just another twig snapping.
“Look, Larissa we were going to tell you two about us, we were just going to wait until the right moment, especially with everything going on tonight,” Michala said.
There was still silence in the woods, with the exception of snapping twigs.
“I don’t like this. I have a bad feeling,” Michala said.
“Michala, go inside,” John said standing up.
“What are you going to do?” she asked.
“I don’t know, but you don’t need to be out here, especially if it’s those crazy people,” he replied.
“Come inside with me, John. I don’t want to be left here alone,” she said.
“Get inside now!” he yelled.
He stepped off the steps and into the yard and she began to walk inside. She turned around to watch him. He walked closer to the tree line and froze.
“Oh, shit!” he yelled and began to run back to the house. “Michala run upstairs now!” he yelled.
What she heard chilled her to the bone.