The school bell sounded at a startling decibel following the countdown of the children in the classroom. It was Friday, and they
were all elated with the anticipation of an exciting, school-free two days. Summer vacation was now only two weeks away, but for one boy it would come sooner than expected, although, perhaps
not quite how he had anticipated.
Aiden and Blake had been inseparable best friends since third grade, spending every waking moment of their time together, playing
video games, talking about girls, and getting into trouble the way boys generally do. They hung around after school playing some soccer in the playground until shortly before dusk when they
finally decided to call it a night, and head home. Both boys had told their parents they would be back right after school, and had ignored a slew of texts from them in order to delay turning
in for the evening. Anticipating the wrath of their angered keepers they decided to take a shortcut through the woods to the east of the school-ground.
Both Aiden and Blake were quite familiar with the forest, they had grown up walking through it, and playing in it almost every day of their
short lives. Little did they know at the time, for one of the boys it would be his last.
Aiden stopped just short of the forest. He wasn't quite sure what it was, but something in the air that evening seemed a bit off. The moon
hung above them in a dim, eerie silence. The night was quickly becoming frigid, and not even the slightest chirp of a cricket, or scurry of a raccoon could be heard. The street light to his
left flickered for a moment, and then burned out completely. Aiden jumped back with a brief shudder.
"Are you seriously afraid of walking through the forest?", teased Blake, with the faintest shake in his voice.
"NO!" Aiden defended, "I've been through here loads of times, I just wish I brought a sweater with me!"
With that Aiden started off into the woods, and disappeared into the darkness. Blake hung back, becoming a little uneased
"Are you coming or not?!" Aiden hollered out of the darkness. "Now who's a pussy? Get in here!"
Blake went into a slow sprint and caught up with Aiden just inside the woods. For whatever reason it seemed like a completely different
place in the darkness. Trees almost seemed to be reaching out to strangle you, instead of waving gracefully in the daylight. There was no specific path on the floor of the woods, so the boys
made their way through the trees, and towards the direction of their homes, as they would any other time.
For the first time since the two had entered the dense, and for whatever reason tonight, eerie woods, there was a sound. From what seemed
like only a few feet ahead of them in the darkness there was a loud snap, as if someone had broken one of the branches off a tree, or a bone from a limb. Aiden let out a brief
high-pitched sequel, akin to that of young girl.
"I guess you answered your own question about who the pussy is", Blake taunted as he howled with laughter. "You DO realize we're in a
forest right? Branches break all the time. I didn't realize I was going for a walk with your twin sister".
"Shut up faggot!" Aiden chortled back. "You could barely bring yourself to drag your ass in here in the first place."
Aiden stopped dead in his tracks as a sudden haze washed over him. His eyes glazed over as he went into what could only be described as a
heavy daze, or deep trance. Not knowing what had washed over him, and not really caring, his gut burned suddenly with a deep, undying hatred. He was no longer fully himself, and felt a great
threat from Blake, like he had never felt from anyone before. He wasn't entirely sure why, but he knew he had no choice but to eliminate the threat, before the threat eliminated
"Too afraid to move now, pussy?" Blake joked to Aiden. "Hey dude! Snap out of it, stop screwing around and say something, your starting to
freak me out!"
Moving briskly, Aiden said nothing. He had nothing to say. He knew what he had to do, it was obvious. His mind was made up. He guided
himself over to a brick that lay haphazardly near the base of a large oak. It was shrouded in total darkness, but he knew it was there, as if something inside him was guiding him to
Blake wasn't able to see Aiden moving, but he could hear the crunching of leaves in the darkness ahead of him... or was it behind him? He
wasn't sure, be he knew Aiden was near by. Before he was able to think another thought, there was a loud thud, like someone hitting a watermelon with a sledgehammer. He blacked out and
dropped to the ground.
Aiden looked down on his threat, brick still in hand, he bent over and flipped his victim onto it's back. Blake's eyes glowed a
bright-white in the moon light, bleeding into the forest from the treetops. Aiden looked over his shoulder and saw a man. A man who was at least 8 feet tall, and thinner than anyone should
be. His legs were like stretched out ski-poles, as were his arms which were stretched out towards Aiden, like it was anticipating an embrace from a long time friend. The man was wearing a
full suit, Armani? It wasn't important. Aiden looked up into his eyes, only to be met with a face as white as snow, but as featureless as a store-front mannequin. Generally this
would render one speechless, and terrified, but the boy felt only comfort.
Aiden knelt down, straddling the chest of his unconscious victim, and former best friend to finish the job. He raised
the brick far above his head as if making an offering to a God, and brought it smashing down on Blake's face. Flesh, blood, and splinters of skull flew like shrapnel as he continued to repeat
the process, leaving his friends now unrecognizable face a concave pulp. The job had long been done, but he swung down with one final, refreshing blow, and stood up. He brushed the sweat from
his brow, tossed the brick off to the side, and turned to face his new best friend.
Aiden walked with a skip in his step, into the cold but welcoming embrace of the tall, pale, faceless man. With a snap like someone
breaking a branch from a tree, or a bone from a limb, the two disappeared from the night. The forest came back to life, leaves fluttering, raccoons scavenging, and crickets chirruping, as the
sound of sirens sprang to life in the streets just beyond the woods.
To Be Continued...