Riverwood was a strange little town in a remote area of the state of Washington. There were no children playing the sidewalk, no signs of life anywhere, you could hear the wind blowing through the trees leaves. Where is everyone?
“Well, howdy son!” yelled an old man from a thrift store next to my neighborhood.
“Uhh... Hel-oh sir,” I said, surprised by the old man’s appearance.
“You moving into the old Jerry?” asked the old man.
“You mean the house? Yeah my parents, brother and I just got here.” I said.
“Where is everyone?” I asked nervously.
“You don’t know?! There at the town festival. Mayor Dewey is trying everything he can to be reelected as Mayor,” claimed the old man, rubbing his belly.
After a scintillating conversation with the wrinkly old man, I was finally able to go inside my new house but most importantly get away from that old man. He was a nice man but something about him just doesn’t feel right. You know that feeling in your gut that says STAY AWAY! Even though you don’t really feel threatened, well that is what I was going through when I was talking with the old man. Nevertheless, forget about that for a sec, my new house.
“Wow.” I said
“About time.” Said my brother with an annoyed voice.
“Yeah yeah dirt breath. How many fires have you started in the backyard so far?” I said with a mocking voice.
“That was ONE time! Dingus,” screamed Todd.
“One too many,” I mumbled as I headed upstairs.
“Honey! There you are!” said my mother as she was still unpacking some boxes.
“Hey, Ma! Do you know where my camera is?” I asked eagerly.
“Next to the door, Sweetie. Why?” Mom asked.
“I want to take pictures of the house before we place all the furniture and items so I can look back at it when I want.” I explained.
“Well ok but be down for dinner in 20 minutes,” said mom
“Will do Ma,” I said as I race to my room.
Chick chick went my camera as I took pictures of the hallway upstairs and the hallway. Once I passed the bathroom, I saw three doors, one on the left side of the hall and the other two on the right. I assumed the left side one was Ma and Dad’s, so I looked at the other two doors, the first one was obviously Todd’s room, and he had already scribbled his name on the wall.
“Well that wall needed to be repainted anyway.” I said to myself.
After seeing everything but my room, I went to the other door on the right side of the hallway.
“Huh it’s already opened?”
“Ma must have gone in to put my stuff in.” I thought. I had one hand on my camera and the other to open the door. “One two three!” I said as I simultaneously opened the door.
A huge gust of wind struck me right as I opened the door; I almost dropped my camera but caught it by the strap. I peeked up and saw the windows were open and so I quickly went and closed them. Then I noticed more scribbling on my wall.
“Ugh Todd…” I said but then tried reading what it said.
“Jerry.” I read.
Maybe Todd didn’t write this. He definitely doesn’t have a friend or relative named Jerry. Also, his handwriting was nowhere near as nice as the one on the wall. Then who could have written it? And more importantly, why would they write this?
“Tristan it’s been 20 minutes” Yelled calmly mom.
I went down and joined my family for dinner, not thinking too much about Jerry. However, things started to get a little weird after a few weeks had past. As soon as we finished unpacking and putting everything where they should be, we began to find items in different places than where we had originally placed them. This did not happen every day but more like every other, two days or so, because of this no one in the family paid much attention to it.
Nevertheless, I started to recognize that the old man would always be inside his home every time any of our items were misplaced.
But that’s not all, things have been creeping me out upstairs. In my room I cannot rub off Jerry from my wall, I have tried everything, so I just hammered in a nail and hung a family photo in my room.’
“There, out of sight out of mind.” I said proud of myself for finding a solution.
On the third week, I went up to Todd’s room to tell him to clean up his toys in the living room.
“Todd! Go clean up your…..” I stopped
Through my peripheral vision, I saw something on the wall.
“Is coming” I read
It was in the same font and color as how Jerry was written in my room.
“Wait…” I thought
I was able to put the two together, it was saying, “Jerry is coming,” I thought to myself. Feeling nervous, I went down and sat down next to Dad and Ma. They seemed confused at first and then went back to what they were doing. I didn’t tell them what I saw, they would probably think I wrote it and would be too angry to listen to me.
The next day I woke up early and grabbed my camera, chick chick, I took pictures of my both mine and Todd’s wall. Then I went to the old man and showed him the pictures.
“Whatcha want boy… oh,” said the old man.
“Oh?” I asked.
“He-he he’s coming for you boy, he’s coming alright. You better hope he’s in a good mood.” Said the man as he went back in.
“Wait who is coming, when?” I said quickly so he would hear it before he closed the door.
“When? I don’t know boy. But Jerry’s coming for you. boy. he-he.” Said the old man maniacally.
I had thought he was crazy but I didn’t think he was that crazy. He looked like he’d seenm some stuff, so I went back home.
“Get down! Tristan! Get Down!” Screamed my dad from his room in the middle of the night.
I fell off my bed and went under my table. It was an earthquake.
“Stay there son!” Commanded my dad “Don’t move away from where you are until it’s over”
After what felt like half an hour had past the earthquake stopped. Everything was silent. It was like when I first came to town, no noises no children, no birds singing. You could only hear the wind from my one window that I left open since it was so hot. I got up, I immediately noticed that my picture that I hung up had fallen. I looked at where it used to be. It still said Jerry but there was a trail of something that looked like blood from the y. I dashed out my room and desperately looked for the others.
“Guys where are you!” I yelled panicking
Then I heard Todd crying in his room. He must have ran there after the earthquake because he was so scared. I opened the door and reached for his hand to comfort him.
“It’s ok Todd, I’m here.” I tried to say calmly to make him not panic.
“Wheres Dad and Ma” I asked him.
“hmmh… He killed them.” He whimpered out while still crying.
“Who? And what do you mean killed?” I screamed, starting to freak out inside as tears started dripping down my cheek.
It was no good, he couldn't speak through how hard he was sobbing. Then BOOM! All the windows opened and there was strong wind pushing everything over. It was so loud I couldn't even hear Todd crying. At that moment, I was protecting Todd against the wall and saw that the writing on it had changed.
“I. Am. Here.” it read.
At that point, I knew we had to get out of the house; I grabbed Todd with my camera around my neck on my backside and rushed downstairs. Halfway down I looked over my shoulder and saw a dark figure upstairs staring down at me. At first, I couldn't identify it, but then as he pulled out his axe and took a swing at us, but I managed to dodge it and Todd was in front of me so he away from harm's way. I couldn't even think. I just kept running, pulling Todd desperately behind me., I came across the front door and I quickly tackled the door with my left shoulder, and kept running until I couldn’t see the house anymore.
I finally stopped at a gas station and asked for a phone. The woman did not ask anything but just said, “One sec, Hun.”
“It was the old man.” I said to myself.
“What old man?” Todd asked after he heard me say old man.
“Nothing Todd” I said.
The woman came up to me and said there is a man named Jerry on the phone for me. I ran out of the store pulling Todd out of his seat and kept running without looking back. I managed to find a phone booth on the side of the road after a couple miles past the gas station and took some change out of my pocket.
I called my aunt because I didn’t want to risk the authorities thinking that I was some kid pranking them about a psychopath who just killed our parents in our new home. Plus I only had enough change for one phone call. My aunt managed to find us by the side of the road. I started crying just thinking about my parents. Todd and I filled in my aunt on our way towards her house.
She told me to just relax and that we will be home in no time. But I could tell she had no idea what to do, she was probably terrified inside. At a rest stop our aunt stopped gave us some money for snacks. As I was going toward the vending machine I noticed our aunt next to a tree just crying. I knew she didn't want us to see her, so I acted as I didn't see her and bought some chips from the vending machine.
We continued living with our aunt until we finished high school and found jobs and found girlfriends that would stay with us. After that, we moved out and every night we would be reminded of what happened in Riverwood. We never went back to Riverwood or told anyone else about what happened there, every time I think about it my eyes just get watery and I get all choked up. At our parents funeral we didn't mention Jerry, we stated that our parents were killed during the earthquake. But one day I know I'll do something about Jerry, he will pay for what he did. Mark my word he will.