“The story was pretty good,” Justin observed. “I never expected the end.”
“It wasn’t that good,” Don said. “I’m sure I could do better if you gave me awhile to think of one.”
“I think it was very amoral,” Eve remarked. “I mean, the girl who was trying to help everyone and kill the killer got killed and blamed for being the killer. That’s not fair at all.”
“That’s life, baby,” proclaimed Don. “Not all stories have happy endings.”
“Well this one was kind of happy, in a weird way. At least Jennie and John got together,” I put in.
“Yes, they did. But look at the cost,” Eve could not help but argue.
“Where did you get the idea for it?” Jill asked. She was obviously impressed, but then there was nothing Karl would do that she wouldn’t be impressed by.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “It was a stroke of genius, I guess. Miss Bennett didn’t think so, though.”
Everyone laughed. Miss Bennett would have been totally appalled to read that.
“She gave me a D on it,” Karl continued. “She wrote that I need not to concentrate so much on the ‘dark’ side of life, but instead focus on the beauty and joy of life. Then she wrote, ‘make it more flowery, the way life really is.'” We all laughed again. Karl was lucky to get a D. She got upset reading about a cloudy sky.
“Wait till you hear what my story is.” Justin said. “She didn’t like mine too much either. It might even be worse.”
“Let’s hear it tomorrow night,” I suggested, truly looking forward to the experience. It was agreed upon.
“I go after Justin,” Don said. “By then I’ll think of something to out–do all of you, something that will really make Miss Bennett scream. And it will be scary, so scary none of you will be able to sleep.” His voice was menacing.
“I don’t think so,” Eve said. “I will go before you, Don. It is unfair to have all the guys go first.” No one argued. Eve could not be argued with when she set her mind to something.
Don put out the campfire. Everyone got up and began to leave. I walked with them up to the porch of the cabin and inside it, but there I stayed. The windows in the porch were open and the light was off, as all the others had gone inside. The moon was bright and high in the sky, almost full. I could feel the chilly air breeze through the open window as I stood staring out over the nighttime landscape Usually I did not like the cold too much, but tonight I let it seep through my body, absorbing it. I felt I could be consumed by the night and its darkness and be content. It was truly beautiful. The trees were many, and the shadows cast by them looked ominous. It was so very still and dark that it seemed twilight itself was speaking to me deep within my soul. The sky was so dark, such a deep blue, that it could appear black, but I knew it was not. I could see a star or two between branches of the trees. There were a few clouds, but not many. I had always been interested in the celestial world, and tonight if I had been in a field, I felt sure I would be able to see to the far reaches of the universe.
As I was losing myself in the spectacular scenery, a voice seemed to come to me from miles away. “Aren’t you getting cold?” I heard someone say faintly. I realized it was Justin, but I did not jump for joy or anything silly like that. In fact, it did not even fully register with me. I was so oblivious to goings on inside the cabin. Then I felt Justin next to me, only inches away. Images of being this close to him before, dancing at a party once a very long time ago, flashed through my mind as I began to pull back to reality and take myself away from a world in which I felt I truly belonged. I never did answer his question.
“Andi?” he asked with a note of concern in his voice. I jumped. That really did bring me back to reality. I gave him a confused look.
“Sorry to startle you,” Justin said, sounding a little confused himself.
“It’s no problem. I was just . . . mesmerized by my surroundings, I guess.”
Justin smiled easily. “Yeah, it can really have that effect on people.”
So do you, I thought. What I said was, “Yeah either that or I’m just a freak.”
“You are not a freak, Andi,” he said quietly.
I came to life. “Oh yeah? How would you know? You barely know me at all.” With a mischievous smile I added, “I could be a demon from the underworld for all you know.”
“But I do know you,” he replied. “I know you more than you think I do.” He never said anything though, about my being a demon.
“What have you been doing, spying on me or something?” I was not angry; in fact I was flattered.
“Well . . . ” he let his voice trail off. “For all you know I could be passionately in love with you, so much so that I follow you everywhere.” His tone was light and playful, but I wished more than anything that he actually felt that way. I wished that upon all the stars in the heavens. I wished for it, but did not expect to get it.
To Justin I said lightly, “Yeah, in your dreams.”
“You think I have dreams about you? Don’t flatter yourself.” But he was smiling, and I knew he only meant to joke around with me, not to insult me.
I grinned. “Well you were the one talking about being passionately in love with me.” When Justin did not reply I continued. My tone was different, more serious, more trite. My mood changed as a strong cold wind blew through the window. “No, I don’t flatter myself. I can only do that in my dreams.”
He chuckled, thinking I was referring to the comment I had made to him before about dreams. Then he felt silent, probably noticing the change in me. The chill from outside seeped through the window more, colder than before. It began not to content me as it had, and my usual antipathy to cold grew more prominent. After a few moments of silence, Justin put his hand on my shoulder. “We should really go in. It’s getting cold. And late.”
He had a point there. I followed him inside. During the short time we’d been talking, the sky had clouded in, and little flakes of snow had begun to fall.
Just before Justin entered his room, I softly called, “Sweet Dreams!” to him. He smiled and said the same to me. I went into my room and sunk into my bed with exhaustion. It had been a long day, but a fun and interesting one. I was happy, content for once.
Before falling asleep the thought entered my mind that it was the beginning of the end of my life. A common cliché, I knew, but it was how I felt as I drifted off to the world of oblivion. I dreamed.
My dreams were not sweet. I dreamt of knives and guns and psycho killers. Mixed in were sweet angelic faces twisted with love, hate and deception, demonic faces that haunted me. Benevolent people were changing faces and becoming devils. It was a land of horror. There was no justice here, only terror, pain and death. The good guys fell victim to the evil side. A flicker of a question crossed my mind. Was I just watching all this or was I the cause of this? Interesting concept, I must say.
I woke up shaking, relieved at having found it to be only a dream. However, even being awake, I could not shake the dream from my mind. Tortured images of cruel smiles and black hearts flew through my mind, letting me know that waking up did not necessarily mean escape.
Nevertheless, I thought that maybe if I splashed my face with water I might relieve myself from the horrid images. I got up to do so and stretched my tired limbs. As I started for the door I was met with a sickening sight challenging all of those I’d dreamt about. Eve lie on the floor and I knew she was dead upon setting my eyes on the horrible sight. Her skin was a ghastly color, sort of bluish. There were scattered dark drops of blood all around her. For a minute the blood appeared black and oozing; a horrified scream was caught in my throat. The moment passed and I realized the blood was just a very dark red.
Then I screamed and its horrible, wretched sound echoed throughout the cabin, resonating off of every inch of surface. The cabin became consumed by my terror-riddled screams.
Another installment of Affinity for Darkness, a novel I wrote in the winter of my junior year of high school. To read from the beginning:
- Affinity for Darkness – Prologue
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter One
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Two
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Three
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Four
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Five
- Violets are Blue
- The Perfect Couple
- The Colors
- Night of Evils
- Dark Fey: Chapter Seven, Part Two
- The Prologue and First Chapter of Treasured Dreams
- Uncharted Stars: Chapter 4-6