The Next 24 Hours

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
For this story, I was asked to write a 5 page story for my Creative Writing class. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Submitted: November 08, 2016

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Submitted: November 08, 2016

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“Hey, Owen, Are you ready to go? My mom just came.” said the young boy, with brown tufts of hair falling into his face, across the classroom.

“Yeah, Just give me a sec.” Owen stood up from the card game he was playing and put his navy-colored jacket back onto his shoulders and bent down to begin to pick up the money from the other students who were sitting in a circle.

“You cheated!” said a boy who was staring at the table in disbelief in the fact that he lost. The other kids at the table simultaneously uproared in agreement.

“I told you guys, I’m a psychic” teased Owen who put both of his index fingers on his temple and squinted his eyes to pretend to be reading the other kids’ minds. The boy who accused him of cheating, stood up and pointed at Owen and took a deep breath and yelled,

“Ms. Yurtle, Owen’s gambling in class, again!” At that moment, the teacher in the corner of the classroom looked up from her romance novel, with her thick-framed bifocals and parted her pierced lips, but before any words could come out

Owen quickly blurted out, “Bye! Ms. Yurtle” and waved vigorous towards the corner of the room.

“Come on!, Eli let’s go!” the boy with brown hair and an oversized backpack tottered closely behind and went through the door.

Eli quickly double-backed through the doorway and waved to Ms. Yurtle. “Bye, Ms.Yurtle have a nice Thanksgiving”. The old woman in corner slowly waved back to Eli. she was confused about the events that zipped past her. Eli's head went back through the doorway and he disappeared into the hallway.

“Hey Eli, do you know where we are going this time.” Owen said through his heavy breathing as he dashed through the hallway. Owen slowed down once he noticed his friend wasn't behind him. Until he saw the small boy with his massive backpack pushing through the crowds of kids saying sorry with every single brush of the shoulder or slight graze. Eventually, he made it up to Owen and curled over himself and rested his arms on his knees.

“You're so slow, Eli” said Owen while shrugging his shoulders because he knew it was no use in telling Eli this information because he already knew.

“You would totally die if you're life depended on it”

Eli’s head shot up and through his heavy wheezing he defiantly stated,

“Would not!”

“Would too” Owen said as he placed his fingers back on his temples as he pretended to see into the future.

Eli began to walk past Owen. Owen noticed the disgruntled look on Eli's face.

“What?” Owen said wanting to know what he did to make him upset.

“You know I don't like that stupid psychic act” Eli said as Owen trailed behind him

“it's just act, that's all it is.” Owen said reassuringly.

“Whatever, my mom is waiting for us.” Eli as he continued to walk towards the main doors of the school. Owen sighed loudly and paced behind him. The two boys pushed through the large main doors and both of them slid down the stair railings and landed at the bottom. They continued to a silver sub with scratches and scuffs along the side and a blown headlight.

“Hi Ms. Tucker!” Owen said as he sped past Eli and hopped into the back seat of the car.

“Hey Mom.” Eli said as he opened the door and threw his backpack on top of Owen.

“Hey boys. How was your guys' day” Ms. Tucker said as she turned her head to look at the boys in the backseat.

“Mine was good, Are we going to mama frank’s house for Thanksgiving this year? Owen said in quick succession since his friend didn't answer his question earlier.

“Yeah we are, but I won't be able to stay with you guys this time because I have some work to do” she said as she turned around to face the road. Owen looked into the rear view mirror and saw her eyes become sullen.

“That’s fine, Mama frank is super nice!” he said to try to make her feel better, he knew that she felt bad for leaving them again for another holiday. She had missed about every holiday since Spring of that year since she got a job at a quarry site that sits on the corner of this town and the next. Owen nudged Eli who was already starting out the window.

“Yeah, grandma always takes good care us, mom. We will make sure to make enough food for you at the table because even if you're not there, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy all the great food!” Eli finished off with a nice little grin to his mom. His mom looked up and gazed back at him from the rear view mirror and gave him a gentle smile. Her straight brown hair with strands of grey seemed to shimmer in the setting sunlight from the comment her son gave her. That was Eli’s ability, he always knew what to say or what to do to make someone feel a certain way, he could be your strongest encourager or your greatest depressor.

“Thanks Boys, let's get going” she took the parking brake off and gently placed her foot on the gas and gently rolled out and began to make their way to Eli’s grandma’s house.

Owen began to rummage through his bag, until his hand hit a cold plastic object at the bottom of his disorganized bag.

“Hey Eli…” Owen had taken his hand out of his bag with a Nintendo DS in grasp.

“Wanna play mario kart.”he said while waving his grey Nintendo DS in front of Eli’s face.

“You know I’m gonna beat you, yet you still want to play?” Eli said with a cocky smirk across his face.

“Says the guy who can’t even unlock Dry Bones.” rebutted Owen. Eli quickly reaches into his bag and pulls out his grey DS, and both of the boys flipped on the screens and sat in the back seat playing mario kart for hours while Ms. Tucker gave a gentle smile. The boys yelled at each other, laughed at each other, and playfully hit each other, until Ms. Tucker began to look around the car for something.

“Owen, you see that bag by your feet, there’s something in there for you…” Ms. tucker said. Owen began to rustle through the bag and eventually saw an envelope that read To Owen.

“It’s from your parents” she said as she put her focus back onto the long country road. Owen didn’t say a word as he opened the envelope. He looked at the envelope that read ‘Happy Birthday!’ and opened the card, took the money out the pocket and closed the envelope. Eli stared at Owen as Owen crumpled the card and threw the card back into the plastic bag.

“You’re not gonna read it?” Eli said as he reached into the plastic bag and took out the sad piece of cardstock.

“No, I’m not.” Owen emotionlessly said as he shoved the money from the card into his wallet. Eli uncrumpled the card and read thru the card and the hand-written message his parents gave Owen.

“It’s a nice message, they sent.” Eli stated as he placed the card on his lap.

“Don’t care.” Owen said gazing as the trees whooshed by in the dark country night.

“Maybe, you should give it a look, sweetie.” Ms. Tucker said from the front seat.

Owen quickly turned around to Eli and said,

“I don’t know why, I should give it look, they are just going to write the same stupid corny line that they got from the internet.”

“Maybe it’s different this time!” Eli yelled.

“I know for a fact that that card reads ‘Happy Birthday! Here's to another 365 day trip around the sun.’ and then after that it's just reasons why they couldn't be here.” Owen gazed directly into Eli’s eyes. Eli turned away and looked out the window

Under his breath, Eli whispered,

“I’m sorry...”

From the front seat, Ms. Tucker said calmly and quietly,

“I think you should at least give them the satisfaction”

“Oh!” Owen began to get frustrated at the per distance of the people around him “Just like how they gave me satisfaction by going all around the world to relive the glory days while leaving their only flesh and blood by himself for the last 6 years!” Owen realized that he had been screaming at the wrong person. If he wanted to yell at someone it should be his parents.

“I’m… sorry” Owen turned and looked back out the window. Eli turned around and placed the card into Owen’s lap. Owen couldn't bare to look at the half-assed attempt at reconciliation from his parents, the longer he stared at it the more angry he got. Owen opened up his window in the car and gently let the card outside and watched as it whistled into the wind.

“Hey!” Ms. Tucker abruptly stopped the car.

“I don't care if you don't want to read the card, but you should never disrespect someone's thoughts by throwing them away!” Ms. Tucker had turned around from the front seat and sternly looked at the Owen. Owen had lived with them long enough to know that if Ms. Tucker got mad, it was in your best interest to do what she said,

“Now you are going to go outside and get the card, young man!”

Owen didn't say a word, but started at Ms. Tucker with a defiant look as he opened the car door and stepped outside. Owen took his phone from his pocket and turned on the flashlight and began to search for the card. He saw the brightly colored card reading “Happy Birthday, Sport!” sitting on the road just a couple of feet from the card. He made for the card sitting neatly on the road. He bent down to pick up the card, but from the corner of his eye he noticed something. He saw another card in the pile of leaves next to road. This second card looked a bit more mangled, but it also read,

“Happy Birthday, Sport!”.

Under his breath Owen asked himself if there were two cards to begin with. But then an unsettling feeling fell over him. It felt as if he was being watched. Owen quickly grabbed both cards and ran back to the car. He entered into the car with a hop and faced himself so he could look out the rear window, to see if anything was out there. There was only darkness.

“You ok?” Eli asked as he watched his friend staring out the window.

“Umm… yeah, I'm fine” Owen turned back around sat in his seat.

“Question. Were there two cards?” Owen said as he took out both cards from his pocket. Eli watched as took them out and responded,

“No… No there wasn't” Eli looked at the cards sling with Owen.

“See, your parents do care, they probably just gave you two cards, one as a joke and one real one.” Ms. Tucker spoke as she put the car back on and began to drive on. Owen tried putting the two cards into each other and the happened to fit perfectly so it was possible that cards were just put together. Owen began to relax, but Eli was still looking at card. Something wasn't right.

“Why is one card crumpled but the other isn't.” Eli was weirded out by the two cards.

“You should open it up.” Ms. Tucker said as a small house became visible in the distance. Owen realized Eli was right, if one was crumpled, the other should be as well.

Owen opened the messed up and dirty card and read the same corny message his parents usually have him and scoffed. He put down the dirty card and picked up the pristine card and opened it. Owen took more time reading this card. His eyes glazed over the card about five time before he quickly shut the card and just stared forward. Eli was curious.

“What did it say?” Eli said as he reached for the card the was in Owen hands. Owen quickly retracted his hand and said,

“You guys were right... this card was a lot better than the usual.” Owen was sweating profusely.

“Dude, are you alright.” Eli was genuinely concerned for his friend. He that he was scared of something, but he didn't know what.

“Y-yeah, I’m fine!” Owen was abnormally loud.

“We’re here guys!” Ms. Tucker said to try to break the awkward tension in the car. The car came to a stop and front door opened and Mama Frank was there waving. The boys were in the back of the car getting there bags and began to make for the front door. Eli was still watching his friend, still something wasn't right. Owen was hesitating from going into the house. Eli hung back because he was worried about his friend.

“Hey guys, you ready to have fun Thanksgiving!” said the elderly woman in the doorway who was in her night gown. Here eyes were stuck closed from the grin she had on her face. Owen was staring at Eli, Owen was breathing really heavy and his eyes showed clear signs of fear. Owen looked like he was deciding something, but he had only a couple of seconds to make the decision. Owen dropped his bag and made a crunching sound as it landed in the gravel. The sound seemed to startled the little old woman in the doorway. She opened her eyes wide and then they narrowed as she looked at Owen.

“He knows.” the older woman in the doorway said directed to Ms. Tucker. Owen grabbed Eli's hand began to run to the backside of the house.

“Hey! What are you doing!” Eli shouted as he was forcefully pulled along.

“Shut the fuck up!” Owen snapped. Owen reached into his pocket and grabbed the card. He opened it and quickly read through it.

“In here!” Owen found the door to the cellar of the house and quickly went in with Eli in tow. Owen began to look for objects in the cellar and began to block the entrance.

“Dude! What is going on!” Eli shouted at Owen. Owen quickly placed his hand over Eli's mouth. Eli cries and shouts were muffled. Eli fell silent when finally understood. Through the crack in the cellar door there were extremely heavy footsteps, that sounded like cinder blocks across the floor. The feet were visible under the door, they definitely weren't human. They looked almost animal like. They stopped in front of the door for a few heart-skipping seconds, but continued on past. The boyd waited to make sure they were gone. Eli quickly removed Owen’s hand backed away quickly from him, only to trip over himself and fall on the concrete.

“What was that!” the fear clearly permeated his voice.

“Calm down.” owen said

“Dude! What the fuck was that!” Eli was panicking on the floor.

“You need to calm down.” Owen began to walk towards him. Eli move swiftly away from Owen. Eli found a sledgehammer on the floor and pick it up and pointed it at Owen.

“How did you know?” Eli questioned.

“Put the hammer down.” owen said trying to approach him

How did you know!” Eli took a swing into the air. Owen backed up and slowly put his hand into his pocket and pulled out the birthday card

“It was this.”

“This isn't time to talk about fucking birthday” Eli was hysterical.

“My mom is still out there! you may not care about you parents, but she's all I have!”

“Eli...”

“I’m going to save her!” Eli begins to take steps towards the door. Owen moved in front of him and spread his arms in the air

“Eli…”

“Get out of my way!” Eli hit Owen in the stomach with the back end of the sledgehammer. Owen had all the wind knocked out of him and he fell into some crates that were behind him.

“Eliott!..” Owen managed to yell.

“Read the card, Elliot.” The card had ripped and fallen out of Owen hand when he was hit and it landed right in front of Elliot’s feet. Eli bent down and picked up the card, opened it and began to read. His arms and legs became weak, the sledgehammer slipped from between his hands.

“It's not true” Elliot sat on the floor quivering and staring between the card and Owen.

“It is.”

“Why would write something like this about her!” Elliot spouted as he jabbed his finger at the card.

“I didn't.”

“It's signed with your name and it's in your handwriting, Owen.”

“I know! You don't think I was freaked out either!”

“...”

“That..That was the second card that was sitting outside.”

“But… How…”

“Look... Elliot, I don't know but the next 24 hours are on that card. From someone who knows me… or… is me. I don't know, Elliot… I know she wouldn't do something like this to us” Owen began to well up. He buried his head in his knees and tried to hold back the tears, but it was impossible. “She was the closest thing to a mom I ever had… I know she wouldn’t lead us here on purpose… and Elliot the card told me...”

“Owen…” Owen looked up from his knees

“Owen, we’re going to make it out of here. Listen, I don't know what is going on either, but we will make it out of here, you hear me!”

Owen wiped his eyes and stood up

“You're right.” Owen stood up and Elliot stood up beside him.

Elliot picked up the card and began to read “The card says we have 2 more minutes to stay here before… whatever it is out there... finds us. It says to... stay and fight.”

Elliot went and picked up the sledgehammer that was on the floor. Owen made it over to a wooden baseball bat and took some nails that were lying around and hammered them into the bat.

“You ready?” Eli said staring at Owen

“As I’ll ever be.” Owen reached into his pocket and grabbed the ripped piece of cardstock that read “At 3:24 A.M, Abandon Elliot.” Owen switched his focus back to the cellar door, braced his body and muttered under his breath

“Never.” at that moment the cellar door swung open revealing a tall, slender, humanoid with large antlers standing in the doorway. It's large mouth cracked open revealing multiple rows of crooked and jagged teeth. Out of its mouth came the words.

“Found...you…”

 
 
 
 
 


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