What started out as a simple game, turned to something much more. Only, when I found out what was to come, it was too late. My friends and I; Mike, Rose, and David, was having a talk about what we should do. Something…Different. Daring. We came up with the idea of playing hide and go seek in the woods, and in the grave yard. You know, to show how brave we are. Did we ever think of the idea of possibly being murdered? Game over for us. If only we could restart all over, and try again.
• • • • •
I quietly tip toed down through the woods, with caution not to step on a branch to give away where I am. Although it was in the late July, a cold chill ran down the back of my spine. Hugging my arms across my chest, I took a look around my surroundings. Somewhere in these woods, my friends were waiting for me to come get them.
"Whether you guys like it or not, I'm going to find you," I jokingly yelled, hoping they'd hear me. Knowing I'd get no response back, I stopped and listened for a clue of where they might be. A small crack, probably a little stick being stepped on, sounded behind me. Instinctively, I turned my whole body around to see that nobody was in sight. Heading to that direction, I glance up in the trees, thinking they must've climbed one of them. I stumble on a root, and fall, barely catching myself. I cuss under my breath as I get up and brush off the access dirt that decided to stain my jeans. That's when I saw it…A foot. Rose's foot. It was just sticking out just inches from an old oak tree.
'Rose!" I yelled, running over to her. She was laying on the ground, eyes closed, arms and legs out. Seeing no wounds, I saw a puddle of red liquid makes its way from her head. Just as I was about to crouch down next to her and check her pulse, she started laughing.
"Hahaha, got you," she said, getting back on her feet and wiping all the dirt that got on her when she was lying down. "You actually thought I was dead." Teasingly, she gave me a little nudge.
I felt my face flush. "Well yeah, I mean, what about the blood that was-"I stopped as she took out the fake blood packet she had in the back pocket of her jeans. "I absolutely hate your guts!"
"Love you to, Lakynn," she said in a sing-song voice. I smiled as we made our way through the woods. "Where are the boys at?"
I stop dead in my tracks. "I thought you knew where they were," I asked.
"No, I thought they were with you?" A mixture of confused and worry washed over her face. Clearly, she was worried about her younger brother, Mike, and her friend-well, our friend-David. "Wherever they are, they better be found because I'm not trying to stay here all night looking for them. And if I go home without Mike, I'm going to be in trouble. No way, can't be grounded again. I just got off punishment not to long ago."
I chuckle a little to myself at Rose, with her hand on her hip. She had a snarl on her face, and was looking around. I saw the fake blood still matted on the back of her head, surprising me that she actually put it in her hair. If you knew Rose like I did, you'd know that she's the 'preppy' type. Not that much though.
"Come out come out wherever you guys are," Rose shouted, cupping her hands around her mouth to make her voice louder. "We're going to find you one way or the other."
She starts walking in the direction I was, before I heard the noise. When I walk, I have a habit of looking on the ground, so I bumped into Rose.
"Did you just see that?" I looked around trying to see what she's talking about.
"Um, see what, exactly?"
"Nothing must be my imagination."
I shrugged and walked on, taking the lead. Pulling leaves and branches out of the way, I see David ahead, helping Mike out of a tree, oblivious to me. "Rose, I found Mike and David." But there was no response behind me. "Rose," I whisper a little louder. Silence. "Rose, if you don't answer me-"I cut off when I turned and saw that Rose wasn't behind me anymore. Is this some kind of joke? I kept going, thinking Rose is somewhere watching me, laughing behind a tree.
"Found you guys!" I say, startling them. On the looks on their face, I could tell they aren't very happy I found them.
"It's about time, we were getting worried about you and Rose," Mike said.
David asked, "Speaking of Rose….Where is she?"
I one more glance back, before I answered. "Well, she was behind me, but now she's not."
Just as finished my sentence, a piercing scream rang out through the woods. It was a high pitched scream, coming from where I last saw Rose. All three of us take off towards Rose's voice, ignoring the branches scratching our faces. We didn't stop until we saw her figure laying on the ground, eyes wide open, and mouth forming the letter 'O'.
"Rose!" Mike was kneeling beside his sister.
Since she did it before, I thought it was her little game. "Ha-ha, we had our laugh. You can get up now."
David just stood there, no expression on his face. It was kind of weird, because he always shows his expression.
"She's not breathing! Can't you see she's dead! Somebody killed her!" Mike was crying into his sister. That's when it came to me that she wasn't playing a game. A blade was jabbed into her side, where dark red liquid oozed out.
"We got to get out of here," David said, "NOW!" I could tell he was now on the verge of crying.
"I can't do it. I can't leave my sister!"
Tears blur my vision. I can't believe Rose is dead. Who would do such a thing? This can't be happening. Not now.
"NO!" Mike screamed at David. "I'll die with her. I'm never going to leave my sister."
'Mike…" David trailed off, a pained look lurking in his eyes. Before he could think of a way to finish his sentence, an arrow came and shot Mike right in the back. A shocked expression covered Mike's face as he realized he been shot. I screamed, while David tugged at my arm. I tried to pull away, but he kept a firm grip on me. Panicking, I search the woods to see where the killer might be. There was a black shadow coming in our direction, and with the fog, I couldn't make out his features.
"Lakynn, we need to get out of here, before we both get killed."
I looked down at Mike, who was still alive, trying to take the sharp object out of his back. Releasing the grip David had on me, I crouch down to help Mike pull it out, as gently as I could. "This is going to hurt a lot, but we need to get it out."
"Make it quick." Mike sputtered. It voice low, and filled with pain. I could tell that he was weak, but with David and me on both his sides, we might have a chance of making it. Looking back to where the mysterious killer was, he was about 21 yards away. We need to get out here, and fast!
Once the pointed stick was out Mike's back, David ripped a piece of his shirt and tied it around Mike's chest. I helped him to his feet, and wrapped my arm around him, with David doing so to. He grunted and muttered under his breath, but I wasn't really paying any attention. My mind was racing with questions. Who is this person? What does he want? Why is he killing us? I didn't know what to think, and I certainly didn't have an answer to any of my questions.
A stick cracked behind us, letting us know that the stranger is getting closer by the second. We had to move faster. "Mike, get on my back or something. You're taking to long, and we need to get out here." David said. Mike nodded and motioned for me to help him onto David's back. I did so, and once he was settled, we jogged. I took a look back to see that nobody was following us anymore. The coast was clear. At least, so far it is. You never know if this maniac would come jumping out of nowhere.
A faint sobbing sound drifts through the woods, which startles us a little. We keep walking, half following the crying, and half going our way we think is the grave yard. It didn't take long until we found out where the sobbing came from. It was a little girl, maybe the age of 12, head ducked in her knees. I guess she heard us coming, because she sharply turned her head up with a scared expression on her face. "What the-"David said not finishing his sentence.
"Please! Please, you got to help me! He's out there, and he's going to kill us if we don't get out here soon enough!" The girl cried. Her eyes were puffy and red, and she had a big gash in her cheek, completed with bluish purple bruises on her arm.
"Come with us." I said, helping her up. Her hands were cold, which sent a cold chill down my spine. "We'll help you out." At first I didn't believe myself, but somewhere deep down, I had faith.
"Who are you guys and what are you doing in these woods?"
I looked over at David, to see if he'd answer, but his pained expression said he wasn't in the mood to explain. I understood to, it was painful, especially when your friend dies right in front of you.
We just stood there, until my legs started aching. Of course they would, we been walking for hours. Clearing my throat, I decided to explain. I tell her all about how we were playing a game, and we were walking. How Rose died, and Mike-who was now fighting to stay awake, probably from loss of to much blood- was nearly dead. I told her about the killer, and if she knew anything about him.
"No, I don't know anything about him. My friend, Ashley, and I were walking to her house when we saw a rabbit, and started to chase it. It ran into the woods, and we didn't notice we did until we lost the sight of it. Then before I know what's happening, Ashley disappeared. I yelled for her, and that's when I heard her screaming. I ran, and found her body lifeless. I didn't know what to do…I...I…" She broke out crying, and I wrapped her to my side. I know how she feels. That happened to me, just a few hours ago.
"What's your name?"
"Lily." She sniffled.
"Lily, I promise we'll make it out alive. But for now, we have to stick together. We need to make a move, before one of us gets murdered." David nodded in agreement, and Mike gave a slight murmur.
I took her by the hand, and once again we made a run for it, David and Mike leading the way.
We went through a thicket of bushes, and as David was pulling out his way, it swung back and smacked me right in my face.
I let out a painful cry, as I slowly gain my vision back.
David turned around instinctively, and relief found his face when he saw that it was just his tree branch. "Sorry."
Taking away my grip from Lily's, I rub at my eyes.
First I see clearly, then all black.
"Lakynn? Are you up?" I mumble a yes as David slightly hits me cheek.
I open my eyes, and see that we aren't in the woods anymore.
A tear glides down my cheek, and I lay there silently crying.
We made it.
• • • • •
What turned out as a simple game wasn't so fun after all. Four friends went into the woods for some fun; three came out injured, companied with a little girl. Sometimes, you just want to push stop, and rewind it, and start all over. That's what I wanted to do when we went into the woods. But, it was too late. I couldn't restart, couldn't push pause. I just had to push play, and beat the game.