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It was a clear night, not a cloud in the sky. The moon, although only a sliver, cast shadows down on the beach where Alex was sitting. Sinking his toes down into the damp sand, he thought about how he had gotten here. All alone, he pondered this strange question. Under normal circumstances, this would not be a strange thing to ask oneself. But the peculiar thing was, Alex couldn’t remember. As hard as he tried, nothing came to him. Not a spark, or a light bulb. Nothing.
As Alex gazed into the horizon, he realized the sheer beauty of this vast landscape. The night had engulfed almost all of the hues, and only shadows of deep navy and black remained. The obscurity was riveting. There were only the outlines of the cliffs against the sky, the sea stretching for miles on end, and only the outline of Alex.
Although he wished he could stay and drift off to sleep, he knew he couldn’t. His mother would be scared to death if he didn’t return before sunrise. He slowly stood up, painting one last mental picture of the horizon. When the painting was complete, he picked up his knapsack, and brushed the sand off with his hands. Although this was somewhat of a waste, due to the fact that Alex’s hands were also covered in sand, he did it anyways.
Abannon eased the binoculars from his eyes. Turning around, he glanced at his boss. “He’s perfect.” Abannon said, with a sinister grin enveloping his face. Abannon gathered a few materials, and jumped into his car.
Alex took out his compass and pointed it towards the woods. It was his best guess for a safe route home. Even though he did not remember how he had gotten there, the woods just felt like the right place to be. He followed the compass through the dense vegetation. The darkness had overcome this forest, and it could best be described as never ending opaqueness. Alex was blind in these woods. The only way he knew he wasn’t dreaming were the vines and pricker bushes tearing at his legs and arms, slicing him open. But Alex pushed through the pain, and didn’t turn around. He knew, somehow, this was the right way to go.
After what seemed like hours of walking through utter darkness, Alex grew weak and tired. He could not tell what was blood and what was tears. How he longed to be home, tucked in his warm, comfy bed. “Only a few more minutes,” he told himself: hoping, praying, that he was right.
And in a matter of seconds, as if God was looking down on him, a faint brass color illuminated the trees. “Home,” he said aloud. Alex sprinted towards the light, using the last ounce of strength he had left. Finally, he came to a clearing. A random road, swerving through the forest. A sigh of relief came about him, for this must lead to civilization! But he couldn’t keep going, his eyes were drooping and his legs shaking. He leaned against a telephone pole, catching his breath. He sunk down, his body collapsing. He needed sleep, so he started to drift off...
Headlights came around the corner, waking Alex from his deep sleep. Alex scrambled up to his feet. He knew this might be his only chance to get home before the morning. Sticking his thumb out into the road, Alex yelled, “Please, stop!” The car slowed down, finally coming to a halt right beside Alex. The car looked beaten up, and old. In a perfect world, Alex would feel comfortable getting into the car. But this was not a perfect world.
The man in the car rolled down his window, “Hey, kid,” said the man.
“Hi, uhh, can you give me a ride home?” Alex questioned.
“Sure kid. Jump in.”
Alex walked around to the passenger side of the car. He seriously hoped this would work out as planned.
“Where do you live?”
“36 Winslett Drive.”
“Ah, I know where that is, just a few miles away. Oh! How rude of me, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Abannon.”
“Abannon? What kind of name is that?!” Alex thought. “Alex,” he said.
Alex’s eyes scanned the car. A baseball bat, a garbage bag, gloves... Alex’s mind raced with thoughts. He had been watching too much CSI lately. Was it just him, or did this seem like a murder waiting to happen? Alex trembled with fear.
“You okay kid?” Abannon asked.
“Umm yeah,” Alex answered shyly. “Turn left,”
“Wait, turn where?” Abannon responded.
“I don’t see it!” Abannon chuckled.
“That’s because you missed it!” Alex screamed. They had just passed his house, and he didn’t know where they were headed.
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner? It’s not like I know where I’m going!”
Alex thought back to a few moments ago, “Ah, I know where that is, just a few miles away...”. He thought of reminding Abannon, but it was no time for fighting. “Well, I assumed you could see a giant opening on your left!”
Abannon laughed. One of those horror movie laughs, the sinister and terrifying kind. “God kid, you’re horrible at giving directions.” Abannon locked the doors.
Alex quivered, his heart skipping a beat at the clicking of the locks. Terrified, he screamed, “Let me out!”
Abannon just giggled.
Alex shed a tear, hoping Abannon would turn around in the next parking lot. Just then, Abannon swerved, making the wheels screech loudly on the pavement. Abannon had pulled into the church.
“I did it.” Abannon said proudly to his boss.
“Good, did anyone see you?” His boss replied, quite satisfied.
“I don’t think so, it was behind a church.”
“Good, good, and the evidence?”
“Gone, behind the dumpster, never to be seen again.”
“Great work. I have another job just like this one in California. Are you up to it?”
“I would be my pleasure.” Abannon smiled.