The Field | Teen Ink

The Field

January 13, 2020
By CHS2023, Centerville, Ohio
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CHS2023, Centerville, Ohio
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Author's note:

I'm Just a little Freshman looking for people that I can entertain with my writings, or ideas.

As I get to school I see that my friend, Mickie, is not there that day, so the day went by slowly. But when the next day came along he still hadn’t shown up. Then as the week went on my worry grew more and more. Then I tried calling him for the tenth time this week. No answer. Then I tried his Mom. No answer. Then his Dad. Still no one answered their phones. Then I walked to his house hoping to find him there, alive. I would have been more ok with him not answering his phone after like the third time, but after the fourth call worry sprang itself into my mind. I turned the street to his house. The second I saw it I knew something was wrong here. His house lights, all off. His front window, smashed in. As I got closer and rang the doorbell the door shot open and a hand grabbed my shirt and pulled me into the total darkness of the house. I felt a sudden pain as what felt like a bat hit me over the head. I went out almost instantly.

I felt like it was only seconds after that I woke back up. Looking at the wall I saw the clock. If it was still even saturday then I had been out of it for about two hours. As I begin to regain control of my body and I’m fully awake, I realize that I had been tied down. Slowly struggling I look around. Then I saw the one thing I will never unsee again. My friend laying on a table with blood all over himself. As tears filled my eyes eyes I heard footsteps coming down the steps. My first reaction is to close my eyes and wait. Then the footsteps stopped. Not long after I opened my eyes at the slightest. All I could make out was a figure standing by my friend’s corpse. All I could do was sit there. 

After a while I attempted to open my eyes fully. Once open my eye melted into tears as I saw the figure standing next to Mics body. Then the figure slowly turned around and looked in my direction. I instantly closed my eyes and cried. I never had a reason to cry, so I never did, or at least never actually cry for real, since I was about five. Then I heard whispers. Not anything specific. But they kept making one three words extra clear. Mom, Home, and Help. I couldn’t help myself and opened my eyes. The figure was gone. Yet I had not heard any footsteps. Then I began trying to break free, shaking and squirming. Then I felt the restraints give. Without a millisecond of hesitation I shot up and started moving toward the door. I saw the steps going upstairs. I climbed the steps and saw the front door and just then I heard more whispers. With my heart starting to race I turned around and caught a glimpse of the figure. “OH MY GOD” I thought to myself. Getting a good enough of a look at the figure to notice that it looks Exactly like Mickie. I started to walk toward the figure. But then I remembered where the real Mickie was. On the table. In the basement. Bleeding. Lifeless. Right then I stopped, turned around, and ran full force to the door. Bursting outside and running. Just then I looked around and saw that I was in the woods. There was a little swamp in the middle of the swamp. As I got closer a head popped up out of the water and began to start walking as a body slowly appeared out of the water moving toward me. Then I heard the whispers again. But this time they were louder than before. As the figures began to move closer to me I heard a very unnatural noise. A noise that sounded like a scream. But not any scream. A scream of death. I turned around to see an entire line of figures standing besides one another. The faces of all of them seemed familiar. As I scanned their faces more clearly it hit me. They were the faces of the missing kids. They had all gone missing throughout the years. For a second I felt calm being in their presence.

 Then I heard the last thing I thought I would ever hear. A chainsaw revving up at a distance that sounded almost feet behind me. Out of instinct I jolted in the direction of the figures. Then a man with a chainsaw came running from the side of the house screaming like a madman. Originally I thought he was going for the figures. Then as all the figures jumped up and started crowding the man, who was still charging in my direction, I realized that I should be more worried about the man than the figures. As I turned and began running I ran into another group of people. As I tried to confront them, they all started running away from me. I instantly knew they were scared. Once I waved them down they slowed and let me catch up. Then just as I began to get ready to talk they all held their hands to their lips telling me that it's not a good time to talk. After that I followed them to a little shed completely layered with metal from the inside. Then they began to chat. After all that I finally grew the strength to ask what was happening. All they could say was that their worst nightmare. After that I was so stunned that I had no further questions. I just sat there and waited. Waited either for them to clue me in on what they were talking about, or for the man with the chainsaw to come running in and saw us all in half. After a while they all looked at me, giving me a look of question. Instantly I asked who the figures are. They just looked at me. Then they knew what I was talking about. They didn’t have to say anything at all. I could see it in their eyes. One of them opened their eyes wide. Right then I heard a chainsaw off in the distance. The other kids started grabbing their things and getting ready to leave, and for a minute I wondered why. Then I saw heard the sound of the saw getting closer. At first I thought I had lost him, and I had, but on the walls I saw carvings saying things like, “He can hear everything you do, everytime I breathe, nothing you do is quiet enough.” Right then I grabbed what I could and we ran out the door. And for some reason we split up. On the wall I read that he only takes one every appearance. So I knew this was the last time I would see one of them. Then we ran. After about five minutes I hear the saw revv and then I hear a yell. First thing I did was the sign of the cross and give him some respect. Of course that didn’t mean anything at all. In this place I have a feeling that no matter what if you die here. There ain’t no peace for you. That’s the thing. Here there ain’t no peace either way, alive or dead. Anyway once the sound of the chainsaw and screams stopped I ran back to the hut. But there wasn’t anyone there. I waited about half an hour and still no one showed up. My final thought was that everyone else made it out alive. Right as I was getting ready to leave all but one of the kids came back. Then I knew the writing was right. There is an even chance for each of us to survive, which reminded me. We all have an even chance to die. My instant reaction was to go to where I thought I heard the kid get killed. Once I got in the area I realized I was lost. But I kept searching. Then I found what I was searching for. The boys body, along with the answer to my question. What happens when you get killed here. And the answer was in front of me. Another dark figure with the boys face standing next to his body. as  I neared the figure a rustle in the corn startled me, right then I retreated ever so slightly into the field, and waited. Though I expected a man with a chainsaw to come charging out of the other side of the clearing in my direction. A man came out with blood all over him. Right then I wanted to jump out and tell him we needed help. But just before I went on and did I realized right then and there I should really question why he had blood all over him. Then I noticed something even weirder he had no reaction to the body on the floor. He just looked at it. With a face of disappointment. I knew something was wrong. I wanted to run but I knew if I did that I’d be dead in seconds. So I sat there and waited.

In the long while I sat there while the man just stood there and looked at the boys’ body I noticed something I expected from the man since the second he showed up. Crying. The man started sobbing and yelling.

“I’M SORRY, I NEVER MEANT TO DO ANYTHING. HE DID IT, NOT ME. HE USED ME TO DO IT. I SWEAR IT WASN’T ME!!!!” My first thought was “calm down and stop yelling. This isn’t an interrogation. There is no need to confess” But that's where I stopped and thought about what I just said “WHAT AM I THINKING!!!! I JUST SAW MY BEST FRIEND DIE AND LISTENED TO THE AUDIO OF A KID GET CHAINSAWED TO DEATH AND ALREADY I'M GETTING USED TO ALL THE DEATH AND DESPAIR!!!!!” I started worrying for my sanity. At first the thought almost felt welcomed. I felt as though if that men came at me right now the idea of getting to say something to Mickie and get a reply feels better than going insane. I felt myself slipping away mentally. I knew it would be a while before I went fully, but the thought of life without control is not a life worth living. Next thing I know I’m back in the real world. The man is in what looks like immense pain coming from a sort of headache. Then he just stops. He stands up and seems to lose all ability to do anything at all. Then he looks right in my direction. I froze with fear. He started yelling gibberish and walked my way. This was the first good look I had ever gotten of him. He was about seven feet tall, with a pretty muscular set up, he was wearing a catcher’s mask, and he had scars all over himself. The monster charging me was nothing like the usual six foot five man, with a medium build, and no scars. I had never been more confused in my life. Suddenly I felt like I couldn’t breath. I snapped out of the confusion trapping me in my own mind. The man was lifting me up by the throat. And kept looking around for his chainsaw. I kept telling myself that “this was the end, this is how I die. I’m going to get choked out by a madman hulk. I started thinking that I’d get to say hi to my friend once again. I never thought about it before. We were more like brothers. I felt myself take in air out of natural instinct and open my eyes, not even realizing my eyes had been shut until now. The man was so tall I could see the top of his head as he ran back to the house. Just when I got back to the hut and shut the door the last few kids see me. They start looking around the area. I thought they were making sure I wasn’t being followed. It was hard to trust them. I mean they didn’t even trust me with their names. I wanted to trust them fully, but knowing that they seem fine when they come back and one of them is dead. Not a bit of remorse. Just relief that they aren’t dead. When I go out there I hope it’s me so that the rest have more time to live. Then we heard the last thing I thought we would ever hear. A knock on the door. I ran to the corner waiting for death to cover me up. Then to my surprise the others went to the door and started opening it. “WHAT ARE THEY DOING!?!?!?!?!? ARE THEY TRYING TO DIE?!?!?!?” I knew those might as well be the last thoughts I have before I’m turned into a human sushi roll added for decoration. Right at the last second I felt a surge of adrenaline, and picked up the nearest weapon, a piece of metal with a metal handle clearly heated up to melt into a handle shape with a sharp blade, and rushed the door. Closing my eyes, as I burst the door open and swung the “sword”. I felt the sword slow down and almost instantly stop, with a sound similar to a butcher cutting a newly bought in pig. Opening my eyes I thought I was going to throw up. The knock on the door wasn't from the killer, it was from a new kid that probably escaped the killer. But instead of helping him. I just did the work for the killer. I just killed him. The one person who could help us escape, and… and I just killed him. Then I turned around. The other kids just looked at me and shook their heads. “ARE THEY INSANE??? THEY HAVE TO BE, RIGHT??? YEAH THAT’S WHAT IT IS!!!” I kept on trying to convince myself that it was the utter insanity this place gave them, and I didn’t tell myself otherwise. I didn’t want to think otherwise. I mean would anyone want to, let alone doing it at all. Then I kept seeing that kids face. We could have helped him. But instead of helping out of hell I put him through it in his final seconds alive. I would never get the image out of my head. The sight of him bleeding all over the ground while I was the one holding the metal “sword”. I knew the last thing I want to do is feel comfortable with what I did. But on the other hand I would never be able to live with myself if I knew I could of saved that kid. Then I felt it starting to overcome me. The insanity was almost completely under control. I began to put all my energy into thinking about how to beat it back and regain sanity. Then I realized something. This wasn’t a hard thing to do, escaping the house and retreating here. It was an ongoing cycle. There would be new kids that would show up after about a week and the next day the slowest and easiest to catch would get taken out. At first I felt wrong believing myself in thinking to myself that it was “natural selection” but then I realized that the ones that are alive are the strategically advanced, smarter, faster, quieter, and wildlifers who are like ninjas when it comes to the outdoors. The next week came along and I had figured out how to deal with the murder I had committed. I knew it wouldn’t hold up as a defense from sanity if I didn’t embrace it but I embraced the murder, and I willingly told myself that I did it and that I had helped him. It felt as though he was thanking me. Now this hell is below him. He is in a better place. He may not have made it out, but by the way everyone who shows up no one has been home in a while. Then we heard a knock on the door. Right then I had dejavu, when I opened the door a kid about my age came in, but something was clearly wrong. He stumbled in and fell on the floor. He had bandages in his hands and something carved into his chest. A big, red, bloody, terribly shaped 2. I knew it had to mean something. I quickly grabbed the bandages and wrapped him up. I knew he would die if I left him for the killer to get him and I’m not about to just let that happen. Then I ran over to him and picked him up and we started running off to get a head start. Then we heard it. The chainsaw way off in the distance. Then we heard it catching up to us. But there were also footsteps. We got down in a pile of corn and covered ourselves up with the corn. Then one of the kids came by. I tried to help but before I could the killer came up and started his chainsaw up. Then the kid, Jackson was his name, started running away. Then the killer pulled out a… OH MY GOD!!! IS THAT an AXE!?!?!?! WHERE DOES HE GET ALL THIS STUFF, AND WHERE DOES HE HIDE THIS STUFF!?!?!?!? Before I could fully understand what was happening the killer raised his hand and threw the axe full forced at the kid. Right then I heard the crunch of his ribcage break from the force of the impact. I couldn’t take it anymore. Every time he kills there is a crunch. Every time. I wonder how it feels. Then I snapped back to reality. Then I heard the sound of Jackson's body crashing to the floor. I woke back up and saw him lying there. On the ground. With an axe in his back. It was something straight out of a horror movie. Then I saw where all the weapons he hides where. All kinds of melee weapons were lodged into his back. He walked over to Jackson’s body, yanked the axe out of his back, and forced the axe into his own. I felt like I was going to hurle, but I didn’t have time to. Alan (the kid I helped) sighed a little louder than he should have in our situation. The killer turned and looked at us. I was afraid, but ever so slightly because of the “he only takes one” but that didn’t matter after a minute. The killer began to walk toward Alan and I as he pulled out a chainsaw and continued to slowly stomp in our direction. Right then Alan must have had an adrenaline rush because he burst up and began to run away faster than he ever had. The hunter didn’t want an easy hunt though and he must have known Alan had a small amount of stamina, so he ignored him and looked right at me and stopped. “This is insane!!! Is he… is he waiting for me to run before he chases me!!!” I didn’t want to move but I knew if I didn’t I would die. But if I did he would chase me and kill me. After about a minute I stood up and looked right at the killers eyes, expecting to see actual eyes. Instead there was darkness. Off in the corn to the left of me and the killer there was a rustle and footsteps of someone running through the field. A kid who had shown up only the week before Alan named Jayden ran out of the corn and looked at me and asked me why Jackson was lying on the ground. Then he saw the blood and the spot where the axe hit. He looked at me and for a moment I wondered if he thought I did it. Then in the corn behind him two red eyes appeared. Right before I warned him a cracking sound followed by a sound of pain came from Jayden then the killer emerged from the field and pushed Jayden to the ground and he had a chainsaw in his back. I expected the killer to just grab the chainsaw and continue walking to me but then he pushed the chainsaw further into his back and turned it on. I was never going to get the image of him slowly slipping onto the saw and splitting in half stopping at the waist. The killer took a minute and almost admired his work. I felt like I could have saved him had I ran from the killer and distracted him. But then I remembered the difference in behavior. He originally only took one per appearance. But already in this appearance two had been killed. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. And to be honest, I didn’t know what to think.

After a while I went toward the pond and started my wait I wondered if any of the other kids would come to the pond. Then out of nowhere, right when I feel like nothing in the world even matters anymore Alan comes running out of the cornfield. And for the first time in what felt like forever, I finally heard someone speak to me.

“Hey Austin? That is your name right?” He asked, clearly overwhelmed with a question.

“Yeah, it is. What is it? Something wrong?” I replied.

“Is this where we die? I mean like this place, it clearly has a long history of death. Look around you. Nobody has survived this place. Why would a survivor keep a place like this a secret?” After hearing this I realized he had a point. Nobody had a clear or even a doubtable reason to keep a place with a killer who has killed at least thirty kids a secret.

“Listen Alan, you have a point but I don’t think anyone who has ever been here has ever left alive. My thought about this place is that there is a real reason for our being here. I don’t know what it is but it isn’t good.” Then I saw the look on Alan’s face. He couldn’t believe what I had just said and truly neither could I. I started to think about how to fix what I just did.

“What I mean is not what we did, but what we can do. It’s nothing bad. Have you noticed the agility, stamina levels, strength, and pure survival instinct the kids here put to the test when faced with the life or death situations. Such as a ‘killer’ chasing them. Like you, when the ‘killer’ was standing in front of us in the clearing. You had an adrenaline rush and ran faster than you ever did when we tested you. And you ran all the way here even though at the speed you were running when killer started coming at us you might have gone at least half a mile from the position the killer and I were. Which is also about three miles from here. And here we are about twenty minutes after the attack and you ran all the way here. You know that’s pretty fast right. You and I are the two fastest runners here. As long as there are chances for us to take breaks, which we can do as long as we keep a long distance between us and the killer, then we can survive long enough to get out of here. It’s just that if we run but the others can’t really run then how are they supposed to make it. We can’t just leave them to die. I may be more experienced with this kind of stuff, but remember I’ve only been here for about eight weeks. So we might not make it. You think you can take that risk willingly?” I was thinking about what I said, this time the wording had to have been perfect, because there was no getting him ready after two failed inspiration speeches, at least I hoped it was inspirational. After a long pause of Alan clearly thinking it over, he finally came to a decision.

“Well, if there is a way out of here, then I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it out. I just want to get away from here, tell the police, or the military about it, and never talk about this place again.” Alan clearly had something on his mind because he had a puzzled look on his face.

“Everything ok? What’s on your mind? Well, not to annoy you or ask anything personal.” I tried not to be awkward but I kept having little pauses and obviously felt awkward. I felt like an idiot. To my surprise he gladly answered.

“It’s ok, nothing personal about it in a bad way. It’s just we never got to introduce ourselves in a real way. All we got was ‘what is your name?’ I mean we really never actually talked to each other about who we are. So if you don’t have a problem with me asking then I wondered if we could really get to know each other?” I didn’t hesitate to agree. I couldn’t believe in myself when I thought that we couldn’t fully trust each other without knowing each other.

“Ok I’ll go first. So you already know my name is Austin, I’m thirteen, and in March I will turn fourteen. I live in ohio, with two parents, five pets, and three sisters.” I said looking at Alan nodding signaling that it was his turn.

“Same here with the name. As you know my name is Alan. I’m thirteen years old and have  about six months left before I turned fourteen. I have no brothers or sisters. No pets. And uhh…. N-no parents.” I knew he was a little too depressed after that part to talk after that, so I tried to change the subject.

“Do you have any idea on what to do to get out of here? I mean there is no way we are trapped here forever ...right?” I tried not to make it too obvious that I was changing the subject.

“Right. There has to be a way out of here, but I have no clue where it could be. This place is a nightmare, and I don’t think we are going to wake up anytime soon. Do you have any idea? A plan or something?” With that single statement my gears hit overdrive. I knew I would have to think fast, or something could go wrong. Then I saw the corn off in the distance moving. At least I thought I did.

“Hey who’s there?!?!?” Out of the corner of my eye I saw Alan look at me with a face of horror. I almost attempted to turn around but I wasn’t for sure. “Alan, what’s behind me?”


“Then why were you making that face?”

“When you yelled I thought we were going to die for a second.”

“Well don’t think that way.”

“Well, what are we going to do?”

“I’m not sure. We could see what's inside the house, but if the killer shows up then all kinds of crap will have been thrown in our direction. We either run, or hope we don’t get caught. What do you think?” I wasn’t sure whether to hope he chose not to hide, or he did. And honestly, right now, both sound fine with me. After about a minute of thinking Alan expressed with his actions he made up his mind.

“I say that dying trying to escape is better than dying trying to run.”

“Ok then. Let's go. After you.”

Alan looked at the house and hesitated. I was about to start walking when he shook his head.

“Don’t go in there yet.” He said.

“Why not?” I replied with confusion. I knew something was wrong and I tried not to make it any worse by standing in front of the house he told me not to go into. Especially at a time like this. It felt like a whole minute before he gave me a real reason not to go in the house.

I felt even more confused as to why he wanted me to stay out of the house when he pointed up toward the top of the house with a look of horror. I quickly walked over and stood next to him, and followed his finger. There in the second floor window was a tall, dark figure standing there looking out the window. Then as we both began to wonder if it was even alive or not, it moved and seemingly looked down at us. When it stopped moving we thought maybe it was just the wind. As we began to let the fear subside the figures eyes lit up red, and the figure came busting through the window.

As we started running we noticed that the figure looked almost as tall as us. After a minute I started putting one and two together and realized that the figure had to have standing on something. Then I peeked back expecting to be a huge distance from the killer. Insted what I saw surprised me to the point I almost lost balance. The killer was feet behind us. Then we came up on the answer to what was going on.

After about a mile into the chase we passed a huge dead body. My eyes staring at it I learned what had happened. Because as the moonlight peeked out, the face of the red eyed kid following us was the face of a survivor named Zeke, a kid who had shown up only a week before Alan. I looked behind me and yelled “ZEKE!!!!! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS!?!?!?! WHAT DID WE DO TO YOU!?!?!?!?!” and I will never forget his reaction to my last question. “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU!?!?!?!?!” I looked back mid way through my sentences only to see Zeke I saw the sick twisted smile on his face, filled with delight as he turned away and ran off. Not minutes after we heard a scream of pain followed by constant yells and occasional choked yells.

We got closer to the sounds and moved even closer. After about a minute of moving in the noises directions we spotted Zeke and a kid that had only been here for about a month, and hadn’t given anyone the chance to know his name. He was on all fours begging Zeke to stop. Every beg was met with a punch kick or cut. With each of those came a smile. Then came Zeke speaking in the darkest most amused voice ever.

“This is what happens to you mistakes. You don’t deserve to live. You should never have been alive. Just stop begging and embrace it. Give up and face me like a man.” I took it all in then felt my fist tighten up. I wanted to stop myself but out of reaction I ran to Zeke fast enough that he couldn’t even see me coming. When I got close enough I gave him an uppercut to the jaw. He dropped to the floor and looked at me with a delighted look on his face. Before he could rise up I stepped on his hand that held the knife he used as torture for the kid and put all my weight on it. He let the knife go so I picked up. When Zeke tried charging me I waited until he was at his fastest speed and I moved to the side and tripped him. While he was down I walked over and pinned him. He tried struggling so I held the knife to his neck.

“How’s it feel Zeke? Do you enjoy killing? Is it like a hobby? Well let me have a go and i’ll give you some feedback.” I began pushing a little harder on his neck with the knife. To my surprise I saw tears fill his eyes. But making those tears where the red eyes of a cold blooded killer. “Sorry, but i’m not following for it Zeke. Anything you want to say?” I asked with no reply. “Ok then.” I said cutting his throat open. I felt something different. It was like I had no control that whole time and was just getting it back. I began to feel something spray onto my arm. I looked down to see blood all over my arm. The knife deep into the front of his throat. I wanted it to be quick and painless knowing that Zeke could feel it too. Then I knew that it was nothing more that pain for him, when I heard choked noises coming from Zeke. I couldn’t do anything to make the pain lighter but I tried not to make the pain any worse.

Then I saw a nightmare in action. The darkened skin that Zeke had worn since the encounter at the house slowly return its color back to his normal tan look. Then Zeke’s body began to shake almost like a seizure. As his eyes turned solid white, his skin began to whiten. He seemingly had enough fight left in him to speak to us for the first and last time.

“It hurts. It all hurts. I feel cold on the outside. But everything burns on the inside. Why does this happen to us??? What did we do to deserve this???” Just as he finished his sentence he began screaming in pain. “RUN!!!!!! HE IS COMING FOR YOU!!!!!”

I didn’t think he could be any more confused about what he was saying, until his mouth began to open, as two, solid black hands pushed on his top and bottom jaw splitting them apart. I was even more confused until a dark figure forced its way out of his mouth and looked at the group of Alan, the new kid, and me. He jumped into the air and slid into the new kids throat.

Instantly he dropped and began acting paranoid. We sat down trying to talk to him for about an hour and a half. Then he became a little too far out of the range of sanity to be safe for himself. Then we knew it was going to get worse when he finally began to talk.

“I feel him. He is taking me away.”

Then he just stopped talking and looked at Alan and me and ...smiled???

With his smile came the sentence that gave me the worst case of chills in my life. With a low echoing ghostly whisper he looked at me and said “I’m here.”

Then he gave a loud, almost alien like shriek, that made it hard for me to hear anything, let alone think straight. Finally the aftermath subsided as I realized that he was standing, same figure shape, but with a black mist like smoke emitting from him. He was standing there smiling, looking at us like this was a game. Though I can’t tell what the purpose of all of this was. Where we all in a huge dream land. Either way, I would be able to walk through hell without flinching.

Then later on the rest of the kids showed up and saw both Zeke, and the new kid. All of them were shell-shocked. We began to get suspicious as to why he was just sitting there. When we finally let our guard down he reached down and grabbed the knife and charged. We had wicked fast reflexes and where able to dodge it by inches. One of the kids, Harry, pulled out his pocket knife and stabbed the new kid in the stomach, causing him to make another deafening shriek causing huge amounts of pain in our ears and giving us headaches. After about a minute we started calming down and making sure we weren’t seriously hurt.

“Is everyone ok” I asked.

“Yeah. It seems so.” Replied Harry.

“Ok good. So what do you guys think we should do? After that I have a couple of questions.” Alan said with intent to get answers.

“Ok first we need to fully make sure everyone is really ok.” I suggested to the group.

After about ten minutes we had fully searched double searched and triple searched the group for any injuries. “Well it all looks good to be honest. A couple scrapes, bruises, and cuts here and there but all in all its perfect.” Signaling the group that there is no chance of fatalities due to their injuries.

“Ok Alan, what kind of questions do you want to ask?” I asked looking over toward Alan, wondering if he would even reply.

“Well that new kid. You know, the one who was getting beat up by a killer, just to become ‘possessed’ by one. Did anyone even catch his name?” Alan asked, clearly concerned.

Everyone else in the group looked up and shook their heads. “Well, come to think of it, I have never seen him here before.”

The thought settled in. What if he was way more of a seedling than I ever thought he was. (seedlings are newer survivors) Even more so that the only person that thought he had seen him was me. After a while of thought I remembered that he looked really familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“Hey Austin? How do you think we’re going to hold up? I mean we can’t run forever. Right? Let me put it this way. What are we going to do?” Alan asked clearly suggesting that we take a break for a minute.  It took me a second before I fully understood the question.

“Well we could always try the house.” I said trying to sound more confident than I was really feeling.

“Do you think that's smart. You saw how fast he runs now right?” Alan said with a scared questioning face. “I’m not saying it’s a bad plan, I’m just saying it isn’t the brightest plan we can come up with. At least least not alone. You think there are any survivors.” Alan asked with hopeful eyes.

“I don’t want to be the bringer of bad news, but I don’t think the others made it. Do you?” I tried not to sound too depressing. But I honestly didn’t think any of them survived.

“I’m gonna be honest, I don’t really think so. But I hope so.”  Alan looked at me wide eyed. We heard one of the other kids that had been here longer than both of us tell us that there was another group of survivors that we never truly have seen. They supposedly have mastered the skill of survival. By now they are men. They know how to make ghillie suits and how to hide from the hunter.

“Remember that crazy story that one insane dude was talking about? You know about the second group of survivors that are like super ninjas.” I didn’t want to sound insane myself, but saying it out loud I honestly felt that way.

“Yeah, I know what you’re talking about. We used to laugh about it. Wait, you aren’t saying you think it is real, are you???” Alan looked at me confused lost and then I noticed a hint of fear and sadness. I didn’t want to push him any further.

“Never mind. Forget it for now. So, where are you going when you get out of here? You know, what are you going to do?” Alan looked up thoughtfully.

“I think I'm going to give my family a hug. Then when we catch up, i’m gonna come find you. You and me are gonna be the best of friends. I will never forget you. If it weren't for you, I might have just given up. Let the killer kill me or I might even have done it myself.” Alan looked at me depressed. I never felt like I did in that moment. Like the whole rest of the world had stopped. Like it was just Alen and me. Just the two of us, eye to eye. No sound, no motion, no worries. Nothing at all. “I think we should look for the second group. Give them a reason to help us. Persuade them that we are worthy of their help. Maybe something important.” Alan looked around. Then his eyes stopped searching. I looked where he was looking to. Our eyes both hit the same target. The house.

We looked at each other and smiled. What were we thinking. We are losing friends to a killer and we might even be next. And we are smiling about going into the house of this ‘killer.’

“Well then if you agree on going into the house now then let’s go.” I wanted to sound friendly but I was having some bad feelings on who Alan was. He wasn’t as fearful of dying anymore. Just sad of the thought of death. It didn’t seem like something he would do.

“Are you coming???” I snapped out of my deep thought process and realized that Alan was already up and ready to go. Also something Alan wouldn’t do. “Austin? Are you there?” I realized that maybe he was just eager to get an escape, find the second group, and get out of here.

“Alright, alright, I’m coming.” I said standing up a little too quickly and getting dizzy. “Woah hold on. Give me a minute. I need to take a second.”

“What’s wrong?” Alan asked looking at me thoughtfully.

“Just a little dizzy. Nothing big.” I was regaining my strength. “Alright, I’m ready.” I said standing up again. I got dizzy but this time at least I didn’t feel like I was blacking out.

“Think there is a way out of here?” Alan asked looking at me, with his usual thoughtful and deep black broken iris puppy dog eyes.

“Well, how else would that monster be able to get to us? If he could get out, so can we. besides where there is an entrance there is an exit.” I wanted to believe myself, but the dark feeling of depression kept on creeping in on me.

“I guess you’re right.” He said out loud. Then I heard him whisper “I hope…” At the sound of these words I realized that… that he knew all this time how depressed I was, and that he was trying not to make it any worse by doubting me. I pretended I didn’t hear him say anything.

We entered the house. Slowly and steadily, being sure not to make a sound until we knew he wasn’t here. We heard a loud insane howl while we were inside.

“Guess he’s outside.” I said with a little bit of an awkwardly worried chuckle.

“Yeah, lets just hope that was him. Not some crazy person. Well, a different crazy person, I mean.” Alan said with a look of hope.

We kept going deeper into the house being sure not to make much noise. But I couldn’t help myself. I had to make some kind of quiet conversation pop up.

“This place looks almost like a normal house. You know besides the fact that there is a bloodthirsty killer living here, and that there is no end to the cornfield” I stated quiet enough that only Alan could possibly have heard me.

“Huh, you’re right. Look at the wallpaper. Its normal paper, with flowers… wait. The ‘thing’ that’s been trying to kill us lives in a house with flowers on its houses wallpaper. I don’t think I can take this seriously right now.” Alan said with a smile on his face making an attempt to hold back a laugh.

We had checked the main floor, and we knew there was an attic and a basement.

“Do we split up? I go up you go down, or vice versa?” When Alan asked if we should split up I almost laughed.

“We are not splitting up. When we are alone we are vulnerable. We stick together. Understand what I’m saying?” I looked at Alan looking confused. I then realized that I went through the info a little quickly. “Ok let me rephrase.” I said going a little slower. “Splitting up, bad. Too easy of a target. Together we can warn each other. Watch each others backs.”

“Ok. So, up or down?” I tried to remember what was in the basement when I woke up one day. It had been so long and the time in between had been so torturous that I couldn’t remember much. Only how terrified I was when that monsters face looked dead into my slightly opened eyes. Then disappeared.

“Austin, you good?” I opened my eyes a little shock go through me.

“Yeah, I was just thinking. I suggest we search the attic first.” Alan looked at me with a face of question.

“Why the attic first?” Alan looked at me with a scared like face. “Are you sure?”

I realized that he must be a little spooked about the attic. I guessed it was because of when we were sitting around and the killer came out of the attic.

“Alright. We’ll check the basement first. But if we don’t find anything, we go to the attic. Alright with you?” Without hesitation Alan looked a little better.

“Alright.” Alan said as we turned around and crept toward the basement. I forgot all about Mickie and how he was gone. Until we entered the basement. The first thing my eyes darted towards was the dead body of my friend. I hadn’t felt as bad as I did now since the first time I had woken up in this basement.

Then they returned to me. The whispers. I forgot how overwhelming and stress inducing, and painful it was to hear them.

‘Help, Mom, Dad, Home.” They kept on saying. Getting louder. And louder. Louder. Louder. I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much for me. I had no hope left in me. It felt like whatever bit of self worth I had felt, or whatever kind of hope I was feeling, was being eaten away at by the voices.

“You hear this right?” Alan asked. I know it wasn’t as bad as it is right now as it was the first time. It seems to be getting worse every time I hear it.

“Is this the first time you heard it?” I asked.

“Yeah, actually. Why? Have you heard it before?” Alan looked puzzled.

“Well, as a matter of fact, this is my second time hearing it, and the first time I heard it was when I woke up tied up to that big table top thing.” I explained, noticing Alans fascinated face. Then he went from fascinated to what I felt like was confused.

“Wait a second. You woke up tied to the wall? But when I woke up I was outside with that ‘thing’ standing behind me waiting. So I shot up and began sprinting away from it.”

“What? That’s what all the other kids said happened. Then why me? Why was I the only one that woke up tied up?” I snapped out of my deep thought. “Start looking. Report anything out of the ordinary for an insane person to have.”

“On it.” Alan said.

So as the time went we searched and searched. Nothing to be found. Just some weird torture items and some brutally shaped weapons covered in blood.

“I don’t think we’ll find anything else down here. Let’s move on to the attic.” I suggested. I wasn’t sure how ready Alan was for it, but the second I said we should he looked over to the stairs and waved to me to come with him.

“Oh, ok then.” I felt a little surprised but I didn’t question him.

As we got up the stairs to the main floor we noticed all the lights were off. But were they off before we went to the basement? I couldn’t remember. I tried to think, but all I could remember was our talk about the wallpaper.

I looked at the wall.

“Alan!” I said a little louder than I wanted to. “Look at the wall.” as we both looked at the wall we both became dumbfounded. The flowers were no longer flowers. They were faces. Sad, depressed, scared, worried, crying, mournful faces.

“What the hell happened to this place?” Alan said confused. I looked down and saw the paintings and pictures all over the floor. All the glass cups had been shattered.

But how? We didn’t hear anything when we were downstairs. So how did all this happen without any noise?

I stopped and continued to think. But I couldn’t find any logical explanation.

“Ok, forget it. We have to find a way out of here.” I made sure Alan heard me. In all my thinking he had found a way to get on the other side of the hallway without making any noise.

“Alright. Give me a second.” He said as he started walking through the hallway. I watched were he placed his feet. He seemed to be extra careful with his footing. Once he got to me we were ready to go.

“Alright, let’s go then” I said

“Lead the way.” Alan said with a smile.

“Great. Well then I guess you have to watch my back.” I joked.

“Fun.” Alan joked back at me.

As we began climbing the stairs we felt a little uneasy. I had already begun searching before we had even gotten half way up the steps. I felt a cold rush, along with a dark deep feeling telling me this wasn’t a good idea. We got into the attic area, and at the top of the stairs, there was a flashlight. But not just any light. It was a flashlight with a couple light modes. Light, and black light, and UV rays. I wasn’t sure how the other modes would help, but I packed it into my pocket anyway.

We searched the attic for what felt like hours, but we didn’t find anything. I started giving up hope. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw a weirdly placed blanket. It was hung up on the wall, and unlike everything else in the area, it looked brand new.

I walked over to the blanket and pulled it down. My suspicions were right. Behind the blanket was another staircase.

“What? But how? I thought there were only three floors counting the basement? So where do these go?” I looked over at Alan who looked at me with a straight face.

“Listen, Austin, now this place is mostly a corn field. Right? But when you go in one direction for a long time you always end up back at the house. Seems impossible right? So I’m not generally impressed with the fact that there is another set of stairs leading into what looks like thin air from outside.” I was so lost in the idea of the corn to house thing that I didn’t question any of it.

We began to slowly climb the stairs into a little trap door. I opened the door up and it lead… to the backyard of the house. I looked around and was immediately confused.

“Wait, what?” I said.

“Well this takes the cake.” Alan said making a joke.

“Nah dude, this made the cake.” I cracked.

“Hold on. Go out.” Alan said as I walked out of the trap door. Alan followed along with me, then shut the door behind us. He hesitated for about half a minute then opened the door. When the door opened, I saw stairs leading into darkness.

“Where you suspect that leads?” Alan asked.

“Not too sure…” I tried to think and even almost took a wild guess.

“Well after you.”

I couldn’t believe what he just said.

“Are you mentally insane? Like honestly, are you psychotic? You never told me you were a sociopath.” I said turning it into a joke. “Let’s go into a deep dark cellar that is connected to an insane bloodthirsty killers home. Yeah, smart one.” I made myself perfectly clear on how I felt.

“Dang I get. You don’t have to be like that. Like for real.” I saw his deep, terror inducing smile. “But I’m still going.”

I laughed hard “YOU THOUGHT THAT WOULD GET ME TO GO?!?” It took me a second to realize he was serious. “Oh, you’re for real? Well, I guess I don’t have a choice. Damn, you are one messed up human. You know that?” I thought he was gonna be serious but I guess this place gets into everyone’s head.

“Yeah, of course I know. Every once in a while I can get a little crazy. Hell I can even get a little insane, but everyone can get that way every once in a while. Right?” He looked at me with a smile. I didn’t know what to say. I don’t think I had to say anything.

“True, I guess you could say I’m living proof. Couldn’t you?”

“Easily. You’re insane. You suggested that we search the house of a monster that had killed literally everyone else we had known up to this point.” I thought about it and chuckled with him. Eventually turning into a laugh.

“Well I guess we can both be crazy.” I said beginning to walk down the cellar stairs without an ounce of fear.

It’s crazy how it works. You become as close as me to losing your sanity and all for what. Just so you can escape the place that made you someone else. Someone you never had been before. Someone you didn’t want to be. But you feel good being this person. This other being. This other thing that you never were. I began to trip and let my thoughts of being someone insane slip away. Like it never existed. And I said nothing of it to Alan.

I looked around and realized we had made it to the bottom of the stairs. It was dark and it seemed that there was nothing down here. I reached into my pocket and flipped on the switch. At first I looked into the corner closest to us. Nothing special. Just a couple of broken bones. I swept the wall and the bones became more frequent. Alan and I just wide eyes stared as the piles of bones began to rise to the ceiling. Then we began to hit piles of decomposing bodies. I couldn’t believe it. It was all the kids we had in our group at the end and a couple people that we didn’t know. And… one of them was still breathing.

We ran over to the person we didn’t know who began to cough up a little blood.

“Hey you. Who are you?” Alan asked.

“Me?” asked the man. “I am Spencer.” he took a second as he coughed up more blood. “And I’m one of the bushies.” I was lost at that point.

“The who now?” I asked.

“Wait you don’t know about the bushies? What are you? Late bloomers?” I still don’t understand.

“What’s a late bloomer?” Alan asked.

“A late bloomer is someone that's new to the tactics of needing to survive outside our home.”

“What home?” Alan questioned.

“We are the first settled group of survivors, others broke away and made their own groups.” He said looking off into the darkness.

“Well, me and my friend here are part of one of the groups that broke off. Thing is I never knew there was for real another set of survivors.” I wasn’t sure what to think about the guy. He didn’t seem… well stable, but I didn’t question him.

“Hate to say it but I’m glad the people left. We were getting crowded and that monster had been breaking down our wall slowly.” I didn’t know how to even talk about where other people lived anymore. It had been a year since I lived in a house with a family, and it surely had been a while since I had lived in a place where people lived in another building from me.

“What do you mean over-populated. It takes a lot of people to over-populate this place. How long did you say you were here?” I began to feel confused. The kids in my group had been the place people go. None of the other survivors knew anything about this so called ‘elite’ survivor group.

“Well you may not know, but there had been one survivor in the beginning. That survivor was female. And the rest of the survivors had been male. The rest is self explanatory.” He chuckled and I smiled.

Dang, I’m going insane from this place and I’m still immature.

“Well then. I guess there are kids there.” I wanted to know. “No offense Alan but I can’t spend my life hanging out with the same person 24/7.” I said trying to sound as un-offensive as possible.

“I get it. I was sort of thinking the same thing.” Alan said giving me a wave of relief.

“Well what about him?” I asked looking at the man, clearly suffering and bleeding out.

“We have medicine at my home. They might be able to help me. If not promise me you’ll show me mercy.” I was shocked. I never thought someone would ever ask me to kill them. But then again this place it a terrible. We learned that those who were slaughtered by the killer are trapped here. Stuck in an endless pain and suffering. I never brought it up to Alan but it was a couple days before he showed up.

We had a nightmare. We were each one of the spirits. And everything hurt. Our eyes, face, mouth, muscles, bones, joints, and heads. All painful. But we never knew what would happen if you were killed by another survivor, and we think it meant you died and didn’t become trapped. At least we never saw the ‘spirit’ of that one kid I… I had killed.

“We need to get him to this place. And you have my word. If it comes to it… I’ll… I’ll show you mercy. I’ll kill you.” I couldn’t believe I was going along with this. I just promised someone that I would kill them.

“Let’s get a move on then” Alan said with a clean low monotonous voice. I looked over at him in confusion and saw he looked a little depressed. But I wasn’t surprised due to the fact that his best friend just said he was going to kill someone willfully.

The walk was long, hard, and quiet. Nobody said a word. We just peeked over at each other smiled. Of course I was thinking over and over in my head ‘a safe place to rest. People to talk to.’

We got to this wall and instantly I knew it was a new area. Everywhere else led right back to the house. The guy walked to the wall and stuck his hand in a crack in the wall. He felt around and pulled his hand out with a click in the wall. I waited a second and started getting impatient.

I was about to just walk away but then the wall began to separate just enough for us to slip in between the cracks. The guy started slipping into the crack and through to the other side of the wall.

“Come on he said.” I refocused and began slipping through, with Alan close behind me. Since we were smaller in size we easily slipped in.

Suddenly the wall began closing.

“HURRY!!! WE DON’T HAVE TIME!!!” yelled the man. Alan and I began running faster.

Damn. This is my worst fear. Walls closing in on me. Crushing me to death’

I began to breathe heavily. I felt like I was panicking. But then I thought about Alan, and how I promised I would get him out of here. Then all my worries disappeared. I thought about getting out. Only thought about getting him out of here.

“Come on Alan, we’re almost there. Just a little bit further.”

“I’m right behind you, keep going.” I heard Alan say in a gasp.

Then I closed my eyes and kept pushing through. The walls were closing slowly, but I felt like there was still a while to go. But when I opened my eyes, Alan and I were out of the wall crack. Inside the wall.

“WE REALLY MADE IT!!! I thought we were gonna die in there… you good?” I asked Alan taking deep breaths in between words. When I looked over Alan was laying on the ground gasping for air. “Alan?” I said getting worried.

Then out of nowhere he jumped up and yelled gibberish in my face. “WHAT THE HELL?!?!?” I yelled my heart skipping a beat and my blood pressure rising a whole 10 feet. I almost punched me he scared me so bad. Then he started laughing.

“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?!?!?” I yelled getting all angry over what was clearly a prank. Either way I still had a hard time finding it funny. Alan on the other hand found it more than funny. After about thirty seconds of Alan straight dying of laughter.

Alan sucked in a huge gulp of air. “YO!!! THAT WAS TOO PERFECT!!!” Alan laughed away as I started chuckling at the sight of him laying on the ground turning red from laughter. Then I saw his eyes start turning bloodshot red.

“Alan… you good?” I asked with a half chuckle half sigh come out of me.

Alan, who at this point had tears from laughing, was starting to annoy me informed me that “Maybe you aren’t the cold blooded killer, or rough, tough, mean, strong, fearless man you let on.”

Then it hit me. After all this time I had only recently let loose and laughed, or not kept to myself and joked. It felt good…

“Well, honestly I never meant to let people think that of me in the first place…” I waited for a response from Alan, and after about a minute I decided to tell him more about my history in this place. His change of heart was sincerely visible in his facial expression. It seemed to go from a cheery, excited, humorous face to a solomon, depressed, almost lifeless face. Then I started feeling bad.

“Hey, don’t worry about it man. Not everyone is lucky enough to die from someone other than that ‘thing’ this… this killer. I didn’t realize it was a kid. I thought it was that thing. But it’s in the past now. We can put it behind us and forget about it. Ok?” I was hoping for a look of gratitude, or at least some kind of signal letting me know he agrees.

Then I remembered that we told that one guy we found that we would help him so I turned to where he had sat down, expecting some sort of impatient face, but instead I got a hell of a suprise that only angered me more than before.

“He didn’t actually leave us here… did he???” Alan asked, still a little red and teared up from the ‘joke’ he pulled.

“Well, he ain’t here so my guess is that his ass thought this might be a funny joke to play. You think he died trying to prank us?” I said trying to get into the joking spirit everyone seemed to be in.

“But look around. Weren't there bushes over by where he sat down?” Alan asked, showing deep thought. Then it got me thinking.

“Yeah, I think there were, but there aren’t anymore. So the question is, why not?” I questioned, playing around trying to sound like a detective, which made me smirk.

“Well, you have been the shot caller since the beginning, so what do you want to do? Go looking for him, or stay here and wait for something to happen. Honestly, I put my meaningless vote, or suggestion towards staying. There is no way he forgot about us already. Right?” Alan looked a little stressed about the subject.

“When you put it that way, I think he would remember us. But he looked pretty hurt, and we should consider the possibility of brain damage, in which case the way he was bleeding from the back of his head… I think that’s a big ‘might have.’ I say we look around. See what we can find.”

Alan looked a little less stressed about our current situation, but I couldn’t do anything. There wasn’t anything to say. The chances that anyone was gonna come get us became slim.

“You ready?” I asked ready to meet some new people.

“Yeah, I guess. Where are we gonna go when we get there.” Alan said as I turned and looked into the hole where this supposed ‘elite group’ of survivors lives.

“Well then, here goes nothing…” I said leading the way into the cave.

At first I thought maybe the light would help us see where we were going, but with as much logic as ever, the light dies out the second we enter the cave. So I grabbed my flashlight and flipped the mode to light and scanned the surrounding area. It looked liked the walls had some sort of reflective substance on it, but Alan and I honestly didn’t want to question what it was. Or at least I didn’t.

The walk was long, hard, and dark. And honestly I didn’t think a hole could be as deep as this one was. I started turning around to say something to Alan but when I turned around, the entrance to the little cave thing was only about 10 feet behind Alan.

“Yo… Alan, don’t get mad, but the entrance is kinda right there.” I said trying to make it seem like I wasn’t mad about it. But to my surprise Alan just turned around and laughed. After he was done treating this like nothing but a killer joke, he finally spoke.

“You know what… I finally can say that this place is a bunch of bullcrap. What the hell is it with you and trying anymore. Every time we go into a cave or up stairs we end up going somewhere on the opposite side of the house. Or…” Then Alan looked at me with a face of victory. “We end up somewhere else.” Alan said while turning around and running out of the cave.

Out of instinct I followed him, getting super confused as to what his plan may be, but when we got out of the cave there were people all around us. People my age, and people that look about five years old, and a big group that with a guess, I could say were possibly in their forties and fifties. Then out of nowhere, this random kid came up to me with his excited face.

“Hey there. You guys seem new.” He seemed nice but honestly it was hard to tell what was considered nice anymore. 

“Yeah, we’re new. My name is Austin, and my friend here is Alan.” I said honestly not wanting to strike up a conversation.

“Well my name is Julian, and if you ever need me to get you somewhere here, just say where, when, and why.” He said clearly getting a little overactive about newcomers.

“So did a guy come here? With a really beat up body, bloody, clearly dying?” I asked looking around noticing Alan glancing at some of the girls.

“As a matter of fact, yeah. He came in about twenty minutes ago. He was the one who told me to wait for you guys.” Julian said, as I elbowed Alan trying to break his gaze.

“Well where could he be?” I asked. Giving Alan a questioning face, catching him taking another set of quick looks at the group of girls standing on the other side of the clearing.

“Well, the first place to check would be the infirmary.” He said. “I can show you the way if you want. Or I could tell you.” Julian was obviously trying to be nice.

Then before saying anything else to Julian, I elbowed Alan and hit him an eye. “Lead the way.” I said looking at Julian and smiling. After Julian turned and walked away, we followed.

“So what is it that you and this guy have going? When did you guys meet?” Julian said turning his head to look back toward Alan and I.

“Funny story…” Alan said.

“I got this,” I whispered to Alan as I began telling Julian about everything starting from the house to right about when we got through the walls crack.

“Sounds like you guys had some fun.” Julian said with a laugh. “One more thing, but what is it like beyond the walls? Me and my friends always go out to the walls, but we never get to go out into the open fields the scouts are always talking about. I know you guys have been through a lot but it would be cool to know what’s out there. Why it is that sometimes on rare occasions scouts will leave in a group of ten… and only eight or nine come back?” Julian said sounding all questioning and looking like he was saying some deep thought he had.

“YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO LIVE OUT THERE!!!” Alan screamed seemingly snapping over someone talking about the terrors we had to endure so lightly.

“ALAN! CHILL THE HELL OUT!!!” I yelled holding Alan still and covering his mouth with my hand. His eyes went from going all over the place to focusing on mine. Then he stilled.

“Ok, I’m alright” I heard his muffled voice say through my hand.

“Ok, now let me tell Julian the story. Is that ok with you?” I said spinning around toward Julian then back to Alan.

“Fine, but don’t make it sound fun, or safe, or calming. I want to hear you tell him the truth. Nothing but. Got it?” Alan said in an angry, commanding voice.

“Got it.” I said looking over at Julian.

“So… Lemme hear what it’s like. Oh, and listen to your friend. I wouldn’t want him to freak out again and get himself or someone else hurt.” Julian said looking at Alan and smirking.

“When you first wake up here, if you weren't born here like you were, then you are outside a house, or in my case in the houses basement. Anyway though, then originally a big burly dinosaur of a man with knives, chainsaws, metal bars, and a big spear lodged in his back would run out grunting, and screaming. Of course instinct would tell you to run, but if you run from him… the hunt begins, and doesn’t end until you do. We were living, surviving inside a metal shed like house the others that were here before us had built. Then out of nowhere, our old friend Zeke decided to challenge this ‘thing’ and he won, but this thing is not just a being. It’s something more. Because before anyone was ready for it the body of the man we knew as Zeke was just another body for this thing to control. Either way though, no matter what you do out there, something gets into your head. Makes you think things you will wish you never thought. Makes you someone you hoped you never would become. It makes you someone else.”

There was a long silence filled with sad depressed faces. After a while though I dozed out and completely lost all interest in anything going on around me. When I almost tripped I ‘woke’ up and looked around looking confused, just when a kid came up to Julian and began talking with him. I didn’t bother trying to listen to their conversation, knowing anyone that was friends with this ‘Julian’ kid had to be too nice and innocent to make fun of anyone.

“So Julian tells me you guys are new here…” the guy said slowing down and looking at me, keeping pace. He had a deep voice, sounding like he was in his twenties, but when I saw his face I knew he could only be my age. He was about my size, 5 '8, with a fairly Asian look, medium build, and short dark black hair.

“Uh… yeah, we are. So hi. My name is Alan and my friend here is Austin. He is the survivalist. And to be honest I’m only here thanks to him. If he had decided not to be social he may very well be the only one that made it this far. And for his friendship, I am eternally grateful…” Alan said looking over his shoulder looking behind him at some kids running and playing.

“Well, damn Alan, you never told me you could be… deep??? That’s the word I’m looking for. I think… anyway, you never have said something that hit me like that.” I said being as serious as I possibly could.

“You only feel that way because it was about you, don’t you?” Alan said killing the mood.

“Maybe a little, but that doesn’t mean it wasn't a deep thing to say. Does it???” I said feeling a little less inspired.

Then the new kid in the group came up to me and shook my hand. At this point in this hell hole of a place we’re all in, my nerves had numbed up to the point where the only pain I really felt was a sort of emotional, but it still felt a little bit like a needle puncturing into my hand on each side.

“Anyway,” He said in his low, dark like voice. “My name is Evan. Great to meet you guys.” He said being so nice I felt almost sick. No one had been here to be nice to me besides Alan, and I definitely felt uncomfortable when Julian started being nice. At this point though, it was starting to get to me. It felt like this nice feeling tingly feeling.

“Nice to meet you too, Evan.” said Alan, being nice to the new kid. I tried being nice, but then again the only human contact I had besides Alan is the guy we found. But due to the fact that he was more than half dead and still going, he didn’t have much time to be nice. Let alone interact with us in general. After Alan and Evan were done shaking hands, Evan backed up and looked around.

“Welcome to our world.” He said in a cinematic like voice. Then I got around to really looking around. It was a nice, clean, clear area. Little houses all around us. Trees, and bushes in the part of the clearing resembling a park. The air was fresh, with a nice spice of life, and the people were even better. Of course we didn’t blend in too well, but that was mostly due to the blood on our shirts from helping that one random guy. Then I remembered why we were here in the first place.

“Yo, we need to get going or we might be too late.” I said as Evan looked over at me, followed by Julians late timed reaction.

“Oh yeah, forgot all about that.” Julian said in his semi-high pitched voice.

“Wait? What? Did I miss something, or am I just not meant to know?” Evan said reminding me of how he has no clue when we got here, where we came from, or why we are truly here.

“Well, I don’t know if we went over this, but you know that guy that came in here earlier? You know, all broken down and bloody? Well either way he came with these guys. They carried him here and he let them in, and the only reason they kept looking for him is because Austin promised the guy he would personally put him out of his misery. So it’s my job, given the circumstances, to get them to him no matter how long it takes.” Julian said, sounding like a poor attempt to sound commanding.

“Is that so?” Evan asked. “Well in that case, is it alright with you guys if I tag along?” Evan asked in a desperate like way. My guess is that none of us have many friends and honestly that felt like all we had in common, but as the walk continued we learned more about each other. Like Evan likes anime

Evan, who looks like he could kick some ass. Then there is Julian, who though he might not be the toughest, he can still defend a friend when needed. Alan, who as we already know, isn’t  the toughest one out there. Finally there is me, the crazy fight first talk later kid. You want to start a fight you may win but get nothing but a laugh out of the man you’re killing, then I’m your guy.

When all the introduction was finished we continued in silence. I realized how long everything had been taking, and got worried for the health of the man we found.

“We almost there??? We’ve been walking for quite some time, and we don’t have much more time before it gets dark.” I said getting anxious.

Then Evan, and Julian turned to Alan and I with a smile. With what we have been through though I took it as some sort of threat to kill, or rob us, but instead they opened their arms and stepped to the side.

“Welcome to our infirmary.” said Evan getting all excited, to show us around probably, as he lead us up to the door, and opened it. The inside was nice with its lighting, made from some sort of electrical setup most likely, and the floor was a nice checkerboard pattern.

When we finally got up to the front counter, Evan started talking to the person working it. After a while of Alan, Julian, and I was staring off into the distance Evan finally turned to us and spoke up some.

“Well he is in the B wing as we call it. Means Blood wing. We call it that because… well it’s self explanatory.” Evan explained with a semi comedic semi serious tone.

“Well let’s go then. I have a promise I intend to uphold.” I said getting even more worried. Never in my life have I failed to keep a promise. Even if the person I owe doesn’t remember what I owe them.

So while everyone else walked to the way there I jogged up ahead and got a head start. Room 221, 221, 221, 221… come on! Where the hell is room 221!!! I started getting angry with my lack of findings, when down the hall I saw it light up like a sign from god. Room 221. Right down the hall. I started running down the hall toward the room, but just before I entered the room I stopped. I stopped out of fear that I might not have made it on time.

Then I opened the door. Slowly, and quietly. Making sure I was ready to see something I didn’t want to see. I was caught off guard when I saw the man laying on the table laughing with some woman standing next to him. I walked in slowly trying not to interrupt anything, but they still noticed me.

“Hey kiddo.” The man said looking over to me. I felt weird letting him say that to me but I let it slide. “How did you find me???” He asked suddenly looking confused.

“This guy named Julian showed me around and this was our last stop. I thought I’d stop by and make sure our deal was upheld.” I said, as the man looked away looking a little like sorrow, but I couldn’t tell. Then he looked at the woman and opened his mouth to speak.

“Well, I know we haven’t properly introduced you two. Nor you and I.” Said the man. “So then, my name is Alex, and this woman here is Mariah. She is my wife. Well, soon to be.” He said, giving me a smile to think of normal life.

“My name is Austin, and my friend that helped is Alan, and he will be glad to hear you are ok.” I said with a half smile, turning into a smirk on my face. Then I let my eyes move to his stomach and chest where the wounds are… I mean… WERE?!?!?! WHERE WHERE THE CUTS AND GASHES???

“What’s wrong?” He said, with a smile. I looked at him, put on my smile and said,

“Nothing. Just thinking.” I felt like that didn’t mean anything but I tried to sound less surprised and confused than I did. “Well I made some friends and it looks like you are busy so I’ll leave you alone.” I said getting ready to turn around.

“Well then, I would like to say thank you for bringing Alex home alive.” Said the woman, Mariah I believe her name was.

“Thank me… I should be thanking him for staying alive long enough to get us here.” I said with a smile.

“No problem.” Said Alex, as I turned and walked out hearing them continue to conversate.

As I got outside I hear Julian, and Evan talking to each other about some random stuff about this place. I didn’t pay much attention due to the lack of interest I truly had about this place. Then I heard something about a ‘portal’ like thing in the grand hall, wherever that is. So I tried talking to them about where it was, but they wouldn’t let me talk to them about it. So I gave up on trying.

“Yo, Alan. The guy we helped, he said thank you. His name is Alex, and he was eager to return here because his fiance is here.” I said, seeing Alan began to smile.

Damn it feels good to help him. Not being greedy or whatever, but he kinda owes us one.” Alan said, getting me thinking.

He is right. Alex does owe us one. Righteously. Right??? 

“Well then, I’ll go talk to him. See if he can tell us anything about this ‘grand hall’.” I wondered if he could tell us what this ‘portal’ was, or at least where this ‘grand hall’ is.” I said looking back at the infirmary. I wasn’t sure what to think about the place. On the outside it looked like hell, or at least a haunted portal to hell. But on the inside it looked like heaven. It looked clean.

“Well, what are you waiting for. Go find him and ask him.” Said Alan, getting anxious. So I started slowly pacing toward the infirmary.

‘Here goes nothing’ I thought looking at the infirmary feeling awkwardly displeased. I wasn’t sure where the feeling came from though, and honestly I didn’t feel like it was necessary for my current situation. But rubbing the feeling off I continued into the infirmary and down the halls

When I finally got to Alex’s room I flipped on his little light above the door and looked at the bed. Alex was laying there eyes closed, and for a second it felt peaceful. Then I felt worried. What if he had… I thought speed walking toward his bed and making sure he was breathing. I was glad to learn he was.

So I waited, and waited, and waited. Only leaving the room to tell Alan that I might be a minute. Then I returned, and waited a little more. What felt like almost five minutes, was really about an hour and a half.

But then the waiting became worth its while when Alex came to, and greeted me with a laugh.

“What?” I asked, wanting to know what was so funny about our situation.

“Nothing.” He said. “Just thinking. It’s funny, you know? How one minute you two think you are the only ones left alive here. Only to find out about this place.” Alex said with a deeply thinking face on.

I chuckled. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” I said not putting too much attention on the subject. “Hey, Alex. I have a question.” I began again looking over at him.

“What is it?” He asked.

“Well, I heard, I guess you could call it a ‘legend’ about a… portal… and it is in some town hall place. I heard only the higher rank survivors, as I call them, know what it is. Judging by the fact that you were outside the walls and no one else was, I would think that number one, you are a higher rank, or two, you were part of a group and got caught by that thing.” I said getting a little commanding.

“Well, number one is correct. I am a high rank scout. The lead scout, I should say, and yes there is something in the town hall. But I am not permitted to say what it is, or what it does.” He said looking down.

“Not even to me. The one who saved your life. There has to be some policy on things like that. I should get some promotion. Get to be something, and learn about what this ‘portal’ thing is.” I said standing tall.

“Yes, but you can’t be given all that the first day you show up here. You need to let that stuff be earned by you.” Said Alex, raising his head some.

“Well,” I said looking toward the bottom of Alexs’ bed. “In that case, tell me what I need to do for that to happen.” I finished looking up at Alex.

He proceeded to give me a basic tutorial on how to gain the trust of the chief of ranks trust. First I need to help the community until I have gained their trust a little more. After they give me a promotion then I need to do my given promotions tasks, but better than the others. After my third promotion, I will be allowed to do the job of my choosing, let it be scouts, hunters, guards, ect… and after that’s all done I can become a high rank, and I will be the next in line to be the leader of my chosen role. After that all my questions will be answered by the chief of ranking. After he explained everything there was a long silence between us. We just looked around in a weird awkward way. I decided to break the silence before the silence broke me.

“So that woman that was in here earlier… you two seemed close. Who exactly was she?” I asked already knowing the answer. But then Alex looked down, so I decided to change the subject. “Well, what were you doing out there exactly?” I asked him, wondering why he was the only person we saw out there. Alive anyway.

“You want to hear the story, do ya?” Alex said, making himself sound more like those war story telling people, and I knew that voice well. One time during school we had been learning about wars, and the people that had been in those wars. We even got to meet some veterans. They were old, and most of them sounded like they had a southern accent. I immediately became interested.

“Is that even a question? Of course, I want to hear the story.” I said, cheering up a bit. Honestly, it’s been hard to feel any kind of emotions, let alone positive ones.

“Well,” Alex said in his ‘storytelling’ voice. “This is the story of me and my group, unit, whatever you want to call them. So we went to the exit and we were as hidden as ever, as we learned many many years ago, this thing has terrible vision, and a slow pace. It cannot smell, and it can’t feel, nor smell. It only hunts using sound. But something was wrong. We could see the red eyes staring at us, possibly due to the sound of the wall, door thing, closing. But after a while it seemingly left, or so we thought, but I’m not that far into the story yet. Anyway, after we saw it ‘leave’ we began to go on the move. After about thirty minutes, we heard a rustle in the field. When I looked over I saw the eyes again, and this time I noticed something I wouldn’t quite understand. It’s eyes weren’t as high up as usual. Then the eyes began pacing toward me, and there wasn’t any sound. I was struck with a lightning bolt of confusion. So we turned on our mini lights, which we put on our heads, making them blend in with the fireflies. What we saw wat terrorizing. It found a new one.” at first I was confused, but I didn’t interrupt. “So we split up and ran, and ran, and ran. Nonetheless, I still heard the screams as all of my fellow scouts were killed. First I heard the scream of Jax, then I saw blood. Then there was me… I looked over at the lifeless body of Jax as it lay next to me before I passed out. Then I waited for death to come to me, until I heard voices, followed by the light of your flashlight.”

We met eyes and both of us smirked. After a couple of seconds he chuckled.

Damn, I would expect you to be a little depressed. You lost all of your friends, right?” I asked trying not to intrude, and after I said it out loud it didn’t sound as much as a joking question as it did in my head, but Alex seemed to take it alright.

“Well, after the first scout mission we lost a good friend of mine. His name was Luca, and we were good friends, and I was a little depressed at first but then I realized that if I stayed that way, it would have gotten worse, and at some point I might not have had anything to live for. At least, that might be what I would have thought. Besides, when we go out for a mission, one of us always comes back injured, or dead. It’s part of the job.” Alex said with a faked half smile on his face.

“All the more reason to let me in. I know this thing like the back of my hand. It used to be one of my friends that wanted revenge on this thing. He cut at the things ankles until he dropped. He was too fast for it, as well as was I. He just got cocky. It cost him everything.” I said looking down.

“It’s alright dude. Chances are if he had let it survive, he would have been killed in a brutal way anyway. It may seem impossible, but we learned this thing has feelings. We went into its house and broke something it ‘like’ owning, as you could say, and when we broke said item, that thing freaked out. It went on a rampage of killing, smashing, and punching everything in sight.” Alex said getting my attention. Then I thought about what we could use that knowledge to our advantage for.

“If that is so, then we could use that. Question is, does it feel for something in specific or for things that the infected human had a feeling for? All we need to do is test it out. Another question is how we will do that though, and I have an Idea on how we can do so.” I looked at my hand and fidgeted with it for a minute. Then it came to me.

I grabbed my left shoe which had fallen off somehow, and ran out the door.

“Thanks for the info!” I yelled to Alex running out the door, waving to him.

“No problem, buddy! Anytime you need something, come to me. I owe to one!” Alex said giving me a little wave followed by a salute.

I left the infirmary, looking for Alan, but he didn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. So I searched around for him. I found Julian, then Evan, but no Alan.

So I sat and thought about it for a second and then I looked up and saw a woman walking. The idea came to me.

“I know where he is.” I said. “Alan may be sort of a wimp, but he is a player. You know any girls about our age and where they might be hanging out?” I asked knowing where he was.

Evan looked at me, with a smirk, and Julian turned around and laughed.

“Yeah, I know where they might be.” Said Julian, looking back at me. “Follow me.” He said waving behind him, as he turned and walked away from us. It took me a minute but I began speed walking and caught up.

“Yeah, sorry to make you guys get into this, but I have no clue how to get around this place.” I said with a quieter voice than normal.

“No problem.” said Julian. “Any time.” he said as I began feeling a little better.

“Same here. Anytime you need one of us just ask.” Evan said looking around.

We kept walking and talking about random things, stuff like people we know, or in my case knew, for about fifteen minutes. After that we moved on to things like the order of things around here. Right when Julian finished telling me the ‘rules’ or laws of this place, we saw Alan trying to talk game with all the girls. I walked over and interrupted Alan in the middle of what sounded like a story. 

“Yo, Alan. What are you doing? I thought you were going to wait for me outside the infirmary.” I said as Alan turned to me, wide eyed.

“Well, uh, yeah, but you took a while so I thought I would do something to pass time.” he said smiling.

“Whatever,” I said. “But I’m gonna listen to whatever you say and correct you if you are wrong.” I said looking up at the group of girls he lured in. ‘you have to be kidding me’ I thought.

“Great.” Alan said, swallowing and slowly turning to the crowd. “Anyway, while I was running from this thing with my friend here, Austin, I looked back and it was gone. But I didn’t feel relaxed, in fact my heart rate sped up. I had a feeling this thing could have something planned. So we kept on running, and we didn’t stop until we saw the things house. After we came up with our idea that the way out of this place was inside. But, instead what we found was your ‘scout’ group leader, Alex, and now he and Austin are friends.” Alan started stuttering at the end, realizing he went from talking big game for him to talking even bigger game for me. When all of the girls in his group looked up at me, he tried to bring back his fire. But it failed terribly. So I decided to back him up.

“Well, Alan here was the one who found Alex, and if it weren’t for him, in fact, Alex would be more than beaten up. He would be dead.” I said seeing the light in Alans’ eyes light up, and he smiled. Without hesitation, all eyes were back on him, with a little smile on a couple of them. Some, on the other hand… were biting their lips.

“Thanks man.” Alan whispered to me.

“No problem dude.” I said looking at the girls that had been biting their lips.

“What?” Alan asked.

“We need to go.” I said, pointing my finger at the girls that had half of their bottom lips in their mouths, teeth clamped on it. I saw one lick her lips, and make a chomp at Alan, and I could see he was falling into her trap.

“Wait.” said Alan, “Let me talk to her.”

“Not right now man.” I said grabbing his arm.

“Why not?” Alan asked in a sad voice.

I got real close to his ear and whispered. “I think I know how we can get out of here.”

The second Alan processed what I said he shot up, winked at the girls, and turned to me.

“So what now?” he asked.

Then I told him what Alex told me. Then he looked down, and I got confused.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, “We could get out of here but you are acting down about it, so I want to know what it is.”

“Well,” He said in a shaky voice. “I don’t want to leave…” I felt betrayed in a way.

“WHAT???” I said getting mad. “YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS, RIGHT???” I said trying to seem less mad yelling at the top of my lungs.

“No.” He said, as tears filled my eyes.

“What about the plans we made man. I thought we were going to be there, talking to each other. Meeting our new girlfriends, being there for each other if they leave. Dude, because of this I was thinking of you as the man to be there when I get married.” I said tears finally dropping. “Now you are telling me that everything me and you have been through is going to lead to me having to forget you. Bro, you are the only reason I haven’t ended it all…” Alan looked down and cried. But my tears had stopped after the first one fell.

“I… I don’t know…” he said standing up and running.

I let him run. I knew he needed the time alone. As for the crowd he had gathered, they all looked at me with a confused face on each of them. Others had a sad face on, rubbing the effect onto me. I didn’t know what to do. I felt nothing. Not a feeling of sadness hit me. Nor a hit of worry. I felt… empty.

                                   ONE YEAR LATER

It had been a year since I had last spoken to Alan, and in that time I had nothing special happens to me. Almost a month ago, I enrolled in the scouts, and Alex picked me to join him in the training course. I passed head of the class. It felt like an achievement, but I still felt nothing. I hadn’t felt anything since Alan.

I joined the scouts, and today was my first mission. We weren’t allowed to speak. If we did we were nothing more than targets. I hadn’t been outside in a year. Nothing had changed. It was still a place of terrible memories.

“Here we go,” said Luke, one of the other scouts. I looked over to him. Me and him were ‘friends’ but we never really got to know each other. Once he noticed me looking in his direction, he nodded to me.

“Get ready boys.” said Alex.

I learned later on after joining the scouts that there are teams set up based on skills people have, and how well they performed with those skills.

There was Shadow, a group of men who had a skill for going unnoticed for as long as they wanted to be. Then there was Strike, which was the weapon specialist group. Of course there were no guns here so we had to stick with what we had. Knives, bow and arrows, and what you could call a sword but it’s nothing more than a long knife. My group was like the Special Force group, and we specialize in multiple talents. Like some of us are fast runners, or able to stay hidden easily. Others can fight well. I have unique talents though. Over time, since Alan and me stopped talking and I went numb, I have learned to use my sight as, as some of my troop mates called it, a super power. I can focus and drown all distractions out. I can see things that are in the darkest corners. All I have to do it focus, and it all lights up, and I can see. The second unique strength I have has to do with my hearing. If I focus correctly I can hear what I want, like selective hearing, but I can perfectly visualize what is making the noise.

I waited five minutes and listened to what was going on around me, until Alex walked back and shook my hand.

“One year ago you saved my life after I did what you, me, and all these other men are about to do. Question is what has changed since then. Glad to have you here, man. Thanks for everything you have done for me. Let me know if you need to come back. I know some extra traumatic stuff happened there.”

“You're kidding me, man? I’ll be fine.” I said lying to him.

“Whatever you say. It’s your show.” Alex patted me on the back and walked to the front. That saying… it sounded familiar, but I wasn’t sure where I had heard it from. Then it hit me. It was the saying my dad said to me.

“On three we roll out!” Alex yelled, looking back.

Damn, what am I doing.” I said a little loud.

“You and me both.” Braden said looking over to me. Braden was about 6 feet tall, and had some muscle on him, but not enough to intimidate anyone.

“One! Two! Three! Go go go!” yelled Alex pointing toward the walls sliding exit, as it began to open.

“Ah, shit. Here we go again.” said Luke in an angry sounding voice.

“Voices off!” yelled Alex letting everyone know that it’s time to be quiet. Then he signaled for us to move forward, so we did.

Once we got outside we looked around and saw nothing. Not a set of red eyes, and not a footprint in sight. Nothing, but dead silence. Darkness clouded everything. It was darker than I remember, but the air was more clear, and refreshing than I remember.

Then we heard some movement in the field of corn. So I listened carefully, and heard multiple footsteps. Whatever it was it was moving fast, and it was coming in our direction. I took a step back having the sight of all of those I started this adventure with, and their bodies ran through my mind.

Then I focused my eyes on the cornfield, and saw the outline of that things face began to appear. I signaled that it was right there, but I didn’t see any eyes. Nothing but a cut over each of its closed, and scared eyes.

I got right into Alexes ear and whispered, “It can’t see.” and that “We should be ok if we are quiet.”

Then Alex signaled to everyone to get going. So we walked right by the thing. We had everything going as planned, until one of our men stepped on a fallen cornstalk, making it snap in half.

After we heard the snap we looked back to see him standing on the stalk, slowly turning back, and when everything was as clear as it had to be for me to see what the guy was staring at, I could see that things face inches from him.

He looked at me, and I shook my head, spotting his hand on his knife. He looked at the killer, then back at me, and nodded. He hit me with a smile, and he pulled out his knife and attempted to stab the thing. As his knife got to the position of the things head, it vanished. Nobody saw where it went. Then we saw it standing behind the guy. It took its hand and stabbed the man in the back with it. The blood went everywhere. We watched as its hand went into the back of the man, and his stomach.

“Run!” he yelled, as the ‘things’ hand went up into his chest and grabbed the guys rib cage and tears it out of him. There was a small scream of pain before the thing clawed at the, now exposed, heart.

Another man threw up and was killed in a quick and painless looking slash. Then some of the brute force guys got a little kill hungry and charged the thing. It got stabbed by all of them, but it just started laughing.

When it was done laughing like every stab just tickled it, the thing stabbed one dude, and all of them dropped dead, looking like they were stabbed in the same spot.

I stayed completely still, watching as each of my mates died. Tears began to fill my eyes when Alex looked at me. I knew, from the flaming look in his eyes, that he wasn’t planning on making it back alive. I waited for him to do something stupid, but he saw my tears. I couldn’t lose anymore. I had lost too much.

But he grabbed a rock and throw it, and once it landed the thing was off to investigate what was making the noise.

“Go.” whispered Alex, as we began sprinting.

We got to the wall, and we opened it up. As we slipped into it we ran as fast as possible. When on the other side we watched as the wall closed with that thing facing the entrance. Listening to the closing wall.

After a while of sitting down, me and Alan being the only survivors, I looked at Alex hitting a stump.

“Wait… that thing, it didn’t look the same as when we saw it last. That wasn’t the face of Zeke looking at me.” I said seeing the face of the murderous Zeke I had encountered many times before.

“You don’t think there is a new ‘game’ beginning? Do you?” Alex said as it hit me. If these guys had been here all this time, and the hunter hasn’t stopped bringing people, then does that mean this thing could get bored?

“That’s exactly what it means!” I said.

Then we looked at each other and ran back to the town. Nothing special seemed to happen in that time and I wasn’t sure if anything would happen for a while, but we recruited new trainees and went out for a scouting mission. While we were out we heard a yell, and we began running. We found one of our old squadmates and a random dead guy.

“Wait.” I said pointing to the dead guy. “Who is that?” I asked looking at Alex in confusion.

“I don’t know, but he isn’t one of us. Look at him, he doesn’t have a uniform on.” Alex said, making me think.

“Let me process this for a second.” I said starting to think. “Does this absolutely confirm that there are more people being taken to this place?” I asked.

“I think it does.” Alex said, giving me some flashbacks of the time me and the other survivors had been out here fending for ourselves, and what happened to the others. Then I thought of Alan.

“We need to go back. If we are going to get those people we need to get backup.” I said in a low voice. Then I looked back at the recruits. They were all young, eighteen at least twenty five at most.

“Agreed.” Alan said signaling for everyone to turn back.

We got back and when we did Alex looked at all the recruits, still in formation, and some of the more tired ones clearly attempted to look alive.

“At ease, boys. Thanks for the backup. Take a break. You’ve earned it!” Alex said as all of the recruits walked out of formation and dispersed.

“Yo Alex, I’ll be right back. I need to get someone.” I said looking at Alex trying to keep a strong voice, feeling it still shaking. L“Alright. Let me know if you need anything. I know what has happened to you out there. With that I turned around and entered the town.

I looked around in many places, including the infirmary, , the party club, the park. Still no clue where to find him, I started asking people. First I asked the group of women that had witnessed our falling out a year ago, but they had no clue where he was. Then I had an idea. Maybe he was somewhere near the wall. It was the only place I hadn’t looked. I expected him to be in the town, so I just walked past the public area of the wall. So I picked up my pace and started speed walking there. Once I got to the wall I looked around as hard as I could, studying each of the faces my eyes could focus onto. Then I saw him. So I walked over and sat by him.

“Yo,” I said trying to be friendly. “Wassup man? It’s been too long.” I said looking at his face, only to be countered with a blank unamused stare. “Come on dude, don’t leave me hanging like that.” I said again, getting a bigger pain in my head with every second he ignored me. Then after about a minute he finally reacted in some way.

“Sorry I’m being like this man. It’s just that I haven’t talked to you in a year, so I don’t know what to say.” He said looking at me with a dead eyes stare.

“I get it dude. I feel the same way.” I said looking around. “Well, what you have done over the last year?” I asked trying to make nice.

“Nothing. I just ate, slept, walked, breathed. That was about the most I did.” he said. I felt like I should feel bad, or something like that, but I felt nothing as usual.

“Sorry to hear that.” is all I have to say to him. I didn’t want to say anything else to him. I didn’t want to say anything to be rude. I seemed to be good at that.

“That’s it? After all this time, all you have to say is ``sorry to hear that?’ Well then, this was a great talk. Had fun catching up to you. You know, you could at least feel a little remorse, or be a little more sorrowful. You were my only friend. And now I don’t have any.”

“I know what you mean. I should feel something. But since we started fighting I haven’t felt much of anything lately. Not happiness, nor sadness. I’ve just been waking up, doing what I do, hoping that I find something that makes me feel something.” I said looking at Alan, noticing he looked down. “Not only that, but after every night I go home, and get into my room to think. I relieve everything that happened to us.” I said clearly making things worse.

“I do to, Austin. If you think you’re special, then stop. Because you aren’t. You are just another part of a journey through hell. There isn’t anything important you did. So what, you survived, go you. That’s not special. You know why? Because I made it here too.” He said trying to be rude, so I decided to “I do, Austin. If you think you’re special, then stop. Because you aren’t. You are just another part of a journey through hell. There isn’t anything important you did. So what, you survived, go you. That’s not special. You know why? Because I made it here too.” He said trying to be rude, so I decided to try and make him feel a little bad.

“Is that right? Well then tell me how far you would have made it if I hadn’t have been there to help you? Huh? Would you have still made it???” I asked raising my voice out of rage. When I stopped being mad I looked at Alan, and he had tears coming out of his eyes.

“I… I don’t know. No, most likely not. I would have given up long before we even got the guts to go into that house.” He looked at me eyes bloodshot red. Then he looked down.

“So why do you not want to leave here? This place has caused us pain, and sadness. I want to know, and I deserve to know. So why?” I looked at Alan, and he was red faced and crying.

“I don’t want to go because there isn’t anything out there worth going to. This place is better than the real world ever was. There will never be anything out there for me. I was abused as a child… then left at some random persons doorstep when I was so beaten that there wasn’t anything more to brake. I was nothing to my family, besides a punching bag.” He said in a whimpering voice. Though he said it so fast, and there was so much to comprehend. It was just a constant wave of depressing information. I didn’t know what to say, I was speechless. All this time, this cheery happy person I had spent almost every day with was abused….

Then he stood up and walked away. I let him go to. There was nothing I could do. He had me in a stage of utmost confusion. I was lost in thought, and confusion. As well as anger and frustration. I was being overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions that I had long forgotten the feeling of. After about a minute of this event I began having a migraine. My head began to burn. I didn’t know what to do besides sit there. I thought about going to the infirmary but thinking only made the pain worse. So I sat there and let the pain continue, until it had gone on long enough to the point where I just… didn’t feel it anymore. After the pain settled I went home and layed down, to ponder what my next plan of action would be….

The next morning came along and I still had yesterday on my mind. I attempted to forget about it, but in doing so I just kept on thinking about it. There was an attempt and there was a failure. I didn’t know what to do about it… but there was nothing to do about it. I had to figure out how to let it go. That or how to get him to come with me. So I went back to him. Trying to be nice I patted his shoulder, but he rubbed me off.

“Come on dude. Can’t we just be friends? Forget anything that happened to us. Go back to who we were, before all this stuff happened.” I said as a huge crowd ran through the street next to us screaming.

“What the…” I said looking back to where they came from seeing the cause of distress. That ‘thing was inside the walls and was on a rampage.

“What is it?” Julian said from behind me. I slowly turned seeing Julians smile quickly fade.

“Don’t tell me you are serious.” He said in a slow scared sounding voice.

“I assure you… this is nothing less than serious.” I said waving to him and jogging to the street.

We got out to the street and stopped. The ‘thing’ that stood at the other end of the road. Looking like my once fellow survivor Zeke. It was looking the other way so I tapped Julians shoulder and put my fingers to my lips, telling him to be quiet. Then I waved for him to follow me and see where the people ran to. Slowly we began walking to the other side of the street where there was an alleyway for us to use as a secure shortcut out of sight. We started running when we reached the alleyway and didn’t stop. We got to the end of the alley and as soon as we got out there was a crowd of people waiting in a line that went up to where people said there was a portal. Standing off to the side waving people into the building was Alex, so I ran over to him and started frantically asking questions.

“ALEX!!!” I yelled. Then, taking a breath I closed my eyes for a second. Then I opened them and spoke. “What the hell are we going to do?” I asked expecting something more of an appropriate reaction from him. He quickly replied.

“I understand you might be a little scared or freaking out, but don’t worry kids. We got this all under control. That portal I told you about, the one at the top of this building. It’s gonna get us all out of here.” He said in a reassuring way. “And besides, there is no way that thing can get here before we get out of here. As long as we be quiet that is.”

I looked at him and he looked at the line which was moving faster than I thought. As the time slowly moved on, and Alex, Julian, and I were only 2 people away from getting in, me being the one in the back of the line, My nerves began to calm down and I thought that it would all be over.

Then Alex was called up to the portal, and he waved at me and smiled.

“See you on the other side kid.” he said turning around and jumping through the portal. As Julian was called up to the portal.

He looked back at me and waved. “You’re a crazy person Austin.” He said turning to the man calling people to the portal.

When my turn finally came I was worried about what was on the other side. I looked at the man calling people into the portal and became shocked when I saw the persons face. It was Alan and he was looking at me with tears in his eyes.

“What’s wrong man? We made it. Both of us.” I said seeing what he had in his hands. It was a lever.

“No, Austin. We didn’t make it. You did. I was just an anchor holding you back. You’re the only reason that I’m still alive. Now I’m gonna be the hero. I volunteered to close the portal.” He said as tears fell from his eyes.

“The hell you are.” I said as I grabbed him by the ear and pulled him to the portal. “If you think for one damn minute that I’m gonna get you this far, this god damn far, just to leave you to die to that thing, then you are crazier than I am.” I said letting go of his ear and pushing him toward the portal.

“Let me guess.” He said, laughing as tears continued to fall from his eyes. “There is no talking you out of this is there?” He said with a questioning look on his face.

“Not a chance. You better go before that thing gets bored.” I said waving goodbye for the last time. He looked at me, then the portal and he turned around, ran and, while I was expecting a bro hug, he held out his hand, and shook mine. Then he pulled me in for a bro hug.

“I’m gonna miss you brother. You were the fuel to my flame. I always knew I wasn’t the only life you would save.” He let go of me and I watched him wave goodbye just before he turned around and ran into the portal.

I dosed out for a second and thought about all of them. Then I heard a loud angry screeching yell and snapped out of it. I gave a second to process my thoughts and I ran over and pulled the lever. I looked at the portal and watched it slowly die into a little dot that soon disappeared from existence.

Then I turned and saw the thing standing on the street peeked over just enough so half of its face was visible over the roof of a house. Its beady red eyes were staring at me, and its sharp toothed mouth was smiling at me.

I gathered my thoughts and finally came to a conclusion. It was me or it. So I charged down the steps with an angry stomp and went down to the other end of the street. It was standing there looking at me. I wondered what to do. Feeling like there was nothing left to live for I yelled at it.

“You are enjoying this aren’t you. Then I saw something in its eyes. Something that felt almost too familiar was in the center. Then I saw a tear. And it all hit me.

“Zeke???” I said in a choked voice. “Are you there?” I said feeling like this couldn’t get any worse. Then I came to a terrible truth. It was either Zeke, or it was me. “Listen, I um… I am gonna have to kill you.” I said as voices began talking in my head.

“Please, do it.” They said. “Don’t leave me like this.” I listened in a terrible state of disbelief.

Then I faced the thing with a new goal. Free my friend…

I looked at the buildings around me and in the house on the left side of the street there was a katana on the wall hanging there. Without hesitating I ran into the house and grabbed the katana. I walked back out to the street and got ready. Training in the scouts gave me a small amount of hand to hand combat before the attack that had happened to us outside the walls.

I kneeled down a bit and held the katana above my head. That thing holding my friend like a virus and a host, just stared and smiled. Then in a sudden burst it rushed at me. I charged it and yelled. I was seeing images of my friends, all alive and dead. I remembered their smiles and their laughs. I gripped the blade harder and yelled louder. When the thing was about six feet away I swung the blade as fast as I could and the blade made a solid connection. I felt the blade make its clean cut through the meat of that thing. I watched it fall down and lose a section of its arm. Then I charged it while it was on a knee. I lifted the blade over my head and I clamped it down on the things head. It split slowly down the middle and it was smiling even then. I swung the blade once more from the side and made a perfect and clean cut through the torso. I watched it fall over and the body come in half slowly. Then I saw Zeke inside the thing. He looked pained, but he was smiling. He looked at me through the darkened eyes of the thing that had used him as a home for so long.

“Thank you.” I heard him say to me in a small whimpered voice. Then he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, and let it out slowly.

I smiled knowing that he was free. There was nothing imprisoning him anymore.

I layed the katana next to him and laughed in an accomplishing smile. Then I thought for a second. I picked up the katana and carved into the dirt w couple thick lines that spelled ‘Rest in Peace- Zeke a good friend and an even better win. I’m gonna miss you buddy.’ Then I stuck the katana into the ground and walked away.

I opened the wall doors and walked around in the corn field, taking a sort of trip down memory lane. I stopped at the locations of all of my fellow survivors resting place. There was the resting place of my fellow soldiers, then there was Jayden, Jackson, of the quiet kids in the group of survivors I was with, and last but not least. Mickie. I sat there looking at his body, frowning and nearly tearing up.

“You know Mickie. You always did know how to be the reason I got into something I know I’ll never get out of. And I loved you as a brother for that. I even told you one day you were gonna do something crazy that I’m not going to be able to get either of us out of. And here we are. You are… you were one crazy damn person. Imma miss you man. Rest well.” I said as one of my tears fell and hit the dirt beneath my feet. I got up and rubbed the corpses hair through like friends do every once in a while. And laughed.

Then I went outside where the dark figures I remember seeing some years ago were lined up looking at me. They gave me a happy feeling. So I smiled and waved at them. They waved at me and I could see them go from dark shady figures into bright transparent looking people. I was happier than ever to see all my old friends again. Then they opened their mouths… and spoke.

“Thank you. You have freed us all. We are thankful for your sacrifice.” They all said waving to me.

Feeling better than I have since before I got here I waved too. And they began flying up to the sky, and out of sight.

                      ‘Journal Entry (month 6)

I have been alone for about 6 months now and it’s growing. This dark spot that I had gotten on both my hands just weeks after freeing everyone. I don’t know what it is or why it’s there, but it is painful and it won’t stop twitching every once in a while

                    Journal Entry (month 8)

Pain, games, fun, find, hunt, hang, play.

                            Journal Entry (month 10)

You are nothing anymore. I am you. You are me. I own you. I control you. Listen to me. Obey me. Become me…

                    Journal Entry (month 10 day 2)

Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing...

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