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Looking into the Eyes of Death
The thin, dirt path was making it hard to maneuver as Lilly and I rode our rusty, old bikes up the shadowed hill. The sun was just beginning to set as a warm Lake Michigan breeze flew through Lilly's long, silky brown hair. “Just a few more minutes. I promise you it's worth it,” says Lilly as she moves her head slightly to the side so I can hear what she is saying while trailing behind her. Sure enough, a few minutes later, the path broke open into a wide open field that dropped off to the view of Lake Michigan. The setting sun in the west lay across the crisp blue lake and reflected up onto the cliff that I was currently standing in awe on. “Man you weren't kidding. This is beautiful! Is this what you wanted to show me?” “No, not just this,” replies Lilly. “I wanted to show you this.” she says as she starts walking over to the edge of the clearing where the tree line starts and a pile of white boulders lay. She then gradually gets down to her knees creating dirt marks on her faded blue jeans and lifts up one of the small boulders. With a hint of struggle in her voice she says “Here, come look at this.” Under the rock, etched into the bottom, is a series of lines that appear to be written many years ago. They read as follows. “If you are reading this you could be in great danger. On August 17, 2000, a man died on this very cliff. I pushed him off. I jumped off after him because I didn't want to live with the guilt. He told me before I pushed him, that he will come back every five years to haunt anyone that dares to come up to this cliff. I didn't know how to tell people this so I just found the nearest item which happened to be this rock and wrote this letter to whom ever might find it. He is due to come back on August 17, 2005 and will emerge from the trees that are right in front of your face and go harm your family. You won't be able to stop him so don't try. Save yourself. Take your family tonight and flee this city for his spirit can not leave the city of Mishawa. But if you chose to stay. . . well, my greatest sympathies and best of luck goes to you.”
I looked up through my chocolate brown eyes into her crystal blue eyes and I noticed that fright was smeared across her face.
“Do you know what day it is Lynn?” she asks as her voice cracks a few times during the short sentence.
“Friday?” I cautiously say.
“Not day of the week. I mean like number day. Today is August 16th, 2005.”
“No way. This can not be happening. I bet this is all a joke. Some teenager probably wrote this on here to try and scare people. Nothing is going to happen. Don't worry about it.”
“Lynn, you don't get it though. I went online last night after I got home from seeing this. What I found made my heart stop. It had this same exact story in a police file from August 17th, 2000. The thing was, that they didn't make it publicly known. No one knew about this. That police file that I found was put on earlier that day. That means that five years later it was finally made public. And the only reason they made it public was probably because they thought no one would look anything like that up, especially five years after it occurred.”
“Are you sure those were real police reports?” I ask skeptically.
“Yes. 100% sure. That's why I'm freaking out and you should be too!”
“Okay, okay, okay. Let's take a deep breath now and think for a second. If this is true, how do we even convince our parents that it's true and tell them that we need to move out of town by tonight? They won't believe us, and even if they did, we wouldn't have enough time to get everything in our house packed up to move away in a matter of three hours.”
“Well Lynn, it's not going to do us any good if we sit here another hour and talk about our possibilities. We need to get home and warn or parents so at least we can maybe do something to protect them.”
“Yeah you're probably right...” I say.
Our trek back home seems even longer and more gruesome than the ride there. Thoughts were bouncing around in my head as my bike jostled back down the steep dirt pathway. The sun was near to fading behind the cliff as we emerged from the woods and our bikes struck solid ground. Luckily, our house was only a block from where we were at the current moment. We had so much adrenaline pumped up inside of us, that we were home in a matter of seconds. We raced up the paved driveway and threw our bikes down under one of the big oak trees on our perfectly manicured lawn. We blew through the front door yelling their names. We sprinted up the freshly swept stairs and burst through all the bedroom doors trying to find our parents. Right at that moment was when we realized that something was wrong. All the cars were in the driveway but no one was in the house. No one was answering. Tears of sadness start running down our faces as we realize it might be too late.
“Lynn, do you smell something?”
Sniffing the air I reply, “Yeah, it smells like gasoline.”
A streak of fright crosses both of our faces as we realize that we are set up. We stumble back to the staircase and right as we whirl around the post to retreat downstairs, a swarm of flames comes climbing up the stairs pushing us back into the smoke-filled hallway. With our main exit unavailable, we then rack our brains to think of some other way to escape this fire maze.
“The window!” yells Lilly. “The window in my room! We can jump off the roof lining the outside of my window. There is a bush right below, and if we aim for it, we won't get hurt.”
“Perfect.” I say, “Let's go.”
We hurry for her room which is already filled with a layer of thick, black smoke, and fling open the window. The drop that was only about fifteen feet looked like it was two stories above the ground and my fear of heights kicked in.
“I can't do this Lilly. You know I'm afraid of heights.”
“Lynn are you serious? This is a life or death situation. I promise you it's not scary at all and it doesn't hurt one bit. I've done it numerous times before. Trust me, you have nothing to worry about.”
“Wait. You have snuck out of our house before without mom or dad knowing?” I ask.
“Not the time to talk about this.” At this point I look back and notice that the fire is starting to engulf the door to her bedroom and I realize it was only a matter of minutes before the door is not the only thing it will engulf. “Here, I will count to three and we will jump down together. One. . .”
“No Lilly I can't do it!”
“Two. . .”
“Seriously Lilly I can't!”
“Three!” She yells as she tightens her grip on my arm and we leap down to the mound of green brush. The last thing I remember from that moment was hearing a loud crack and then I blacked out.
I slowly open my eyes to see Lilly's singed face leaning over me.
“Oh thank God you're awake! I thought I lost you!”
“What happened?” I ask in a groggy voice. I notice that she had pulled me out to the cold concrete street in front of our now flame entrapped house.
“Right when we were about to jump, the roof caved in. I managed to still reach the bushes but you fell down with the roof.” I looked down at my body and noticed that my arm was lying in an awkward position at my side. It was completely limp and the part of my elbow that should be going out was now at a 90 degree angle the other way.
“Hey, at least it was only your arm. It could have been a lot worse,” Lilly says in a way that was supposed to be comforting, but was instead was just making me wallow farther into my sadness.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we still need to find our parents. . . and I think I know where to find them. It was the only place I could think of.”
“Where?” I ask from my helpless position on the ground.
“The cliff. We need to go back to the cliff. I have a feeling that they are already up there because the ghost dude must have gotten them already.”
“And how do you suggest I get there with my arm how it is?”
“You're going to have to bike sis, sorry. I know it will be hard but it's for Mom and Dad. Just keep thinking that and it will be easier.” I give her an 'I don't want to do this' look as her strong, toned arms pull me off the pavement and we walk over to get our miraculously untouched bikes.
Then, there we were once more. Back on the same dirt path that we were on only a mere three hours before but yet, so much had changed. We were now biking to go find our parents, not just to see an amazing view. Our house was now completely demolished. On top of all that, we also have a ghost murder man out to get our family.
“Come on Lynn! We have to get going! We only have 30 minutes to get Mom and Dad and leave the city!”
The rocks in the dirt jerk my bike back and forth across the trail. Considering I have only one use-able arm, I fell nearly 15 times in a matter of ten minutes. It didn't help that it was already 11:30 and every time I turned my bike, I was hoping that you didn't come face to face with a big oak. Finally, I can hear the waves crashing up against the rocks in the distance and it gets considerably colder as the strong Lake Michigan breeze nips at our faces.
Once in the clearing, we desperately start looking around to see if we can find our parents. I yell their names at the top of my lungs hoping to hear a simple 'sweetie we're over here!' but I heard nothing. All I could hear was my sister on the other side of the clearing searching for them as well, and the waves smacking against the jagged rocks that lined the bottom of the cliff. All of the sudden out of the corner of my eye, I see it. Three black figures staring at me. Well actually one was staring at me and the other two had their heads towards the ground. The man that was staring at me seemed almost like a ghost, it was as if his legs weren't there but it was impossible to tell since at this point, midnight had already struck. He looks like he is wearing some sort of cape that flows silently in the cool breeze. His eyes are an eerie white and appear to almost glow in the dim moonlight. It feels like those mesmerizing eyes are just staring deep down into my soul. I can no longer feel my legs. As much as I want to run away, I just can't. I feel myself weakening as my legs give and I collapse to the cold, unwelcoming ground. I am trying to yell for Lilly but no words are coming out. The man then proceeds forward and starts stalking towards me. It's as if he is walking in a taunting fashion but there is nothing I can do about it. The last thing I remember is my sister screaming my name as I black out.
My eyes slowly flutter open and I jump from my place on the unforgiving earth as I recognize the two faces that are staring blankly at me. “Mom! Dad!” I yell but they don't respond. I start to walk closer to them but something stops me in my tracks. There is something wrong with them. Their faces aren't the happy, smiling ones I usually see. They look possessed, like they want to kill someone. I look around for my sister and notice that she is no where in sight. All I see is the man in the cape, standing some distance behind my parents and staring at me with his laser white eyes and his head tilted to the side in a creepy manor. It had to be around two after midnight since the moon was high in the gloomy night sky.
“Wh.. wh.. where's Lilly?” I manage to stammer to my parents. “She's no longer with us. Let's just say, she took a dip in the water,” they reply in unsettling unison. “What did you do to her?!” I demand looking at them with a fierce expression. The man in black starts lurking closer to my parents. I yell for them to watch out but neither of them move. They both laugh a gut-wrenching laugh then tilt their head to the side. The second they do that, both of their eyes spark and blaze into the same laser white that the man in blacks eye's are. I feel faint. I start stumbling backwards. “Mom...Dad....what's happened to you guys?” There heads jerk up and flames burst through their crystal clear white eyes and they scream “WE’RE NOT YOUR PARENTS!!” All of the sudden, sparks start bursting out of the wretched soil underneath them. The sparks begin to entangle them. The light of this is blinding. It set rays of light into the woods creating mysterious shadows behind all the helpless trees. Then, in the blink of an eye, they vanished into the earth and everything went black. Pitch black.
“Lynn, Lynn!” a voice says to me as someone softly shakes my body back and fourth. I slowly peel my eyes open and look up into the clear blue eyes of my sister. “Lilly!” I yell, “You're alive!” “Of course I am silly! And you're going to be late for school if you don't get your butt out of bed right now and start getting ready! You know you're driving me. Dad already started up your Laredo outside so it would be warm for us and mom made us some of our favorite hot chocolate to help wake us up.” “How did I get here? How did YOU get here?” I ask her in confusion. “Well, we kinda both live here... and you're freaking me out with all these weird questions..” “Sorry, forget I said anything. I'll be down in a minute,” I say softly as I stagger away from the warmth of my bed. Could that really have all been a dream? I think to myself as I look out at the rising magenta sun from my perch in my cozy room. Then I look down at the sidewalk beneath me and there he is. The man in black. His blazing white eyes are staring up at me, but then I blink, and he is gone. I slowly back away from my window and head downstairs to see my family. I keep on telling myself that it was all just my imagination. Maybe someday, that actually will be true, I think to myself as I look down at the singed cast on my arm.