The Runaways of Pinespike
The Adventure of Nick Owen Oliver Benson (NOOB)
And Noah Oliver Benson (NOB)
It has been 40 years since my terrifying adventure, and yet I still cannot pull it out of my mind. The brutal experience still gives me nightmares. It scares me. Yet, I also feel mighty and proud, due to the fact that I simply was able to survive it. Therefore I am happy to retell the adventure, even if it's going to give me shudders.
The terror all started in Nobbs : an isolated and boring town in Northeastern Ontario that my family had to move to. It sat next to a horrific forest called Pinespike, where few go in and even fewer come back. In other words, no one wanted to live there.
It was the first day of spring break. I wanted the free time to spend with my parents and annoying twin brother Noah Oliver Benson (NOB). I thought no school meant that I would finally be able to have some fun for once since we moved to the miserable little town.
On that day, NOB and I made the best of our time. We played hide-and-seek, tag, and other games. We went swimming at our local Krapp Lake. We even ding dong ditched a few dozen houses. We thought it was the best day ever!
But we were dead wrong.
All the fun abruptly ended in the middle of the night, when the whole family was asleep. Well, at least we were until I heard a bloodcurdling scream. NOB and I immediately woke up with fear. We heard another scream. That's when we realized that it came from my parents' room! We scrambled to that room. But when we got there, Mom and Dad were laying face-down on the floor. There was a black puddle around them. They seemed to be asleep, but I knew they wouldn't wake up— ever.
I immediately became mad and furious! I could see NOB was as well. Who? Who would have the guts to slaughter my mother and father like chickens?! I instantly wanted revenge. I wanted to kill them just like how they killed my parents.
Just then, I heard a long, harsh laugh. Outside, crouching on the window sill was an ugly figure. His eyes were the size of oranges, his skin gray and sagging. He was wearing no clothes. I knew this person was the murderer. Except he's no person, he's an alien!
NOB suddenly became deranged (way more then he already was). Curses burst out of his mouth. He began to charge at the window, trying to smash it and kill the evil extraterrestrial. But the alien had already got of the window and vanished. He has escaped, leaving us with nothing but our parents' corpses.
NOB went berserk! He tried to destroy everything out of anger, including himself! I tried to contain him while I tried to call the cops. My heart pounded as I waited for an answer.
Finally, a voice groaned, “Nobbs Police, what's your problem?”
“C-C-Come here...”, I nervously stuttered.
“What name kid?”
“N-N-NOOB—I mean Nick.”
“I f-f-found m-p-parents d-d-d-d-dead... k-killed b-buh a-a-alien...!”
“Look Nick, I'm very tried and—”
“J-JUST GIT YOUR FRIGG'IN BUTT HERE!”, I yelled with anger. “I'M N-NOT M-MESS—”
“Beep!” The cop had hung up.
Surprisingly, I heard sirens 20 minutes later, and a team of about 40 cops showed up. They investigated the entire house, searching for “clues”. While there was chaos indoors, there was a mob of neighbors outside (whom have been awoken by the sirens). They were making a ruckus, chatting, shouting, and complaining.
“Poor poor poor kids...”, said one.
“Whaddya mean buh 'poor kids?' Aliens ain't them killers, they is!”, said another.
It took until 8:00 in the morning for everyone to calm down and leave (except for NOB). That day, we were taken by the cops to a short, sad funeral arranged by the town. After that, we were made to go to trial; because they had actually accused us to the murder! In the end, the judge concluded that we were innocent and that he did not think that we would murder our own parents. But he did think that our blame on the alien was the most rubbish he had ever heard! Since we had lost our parents, he also put us in the foster care of of Mary: a grouchy hag who apparently is our cousin's wife's grandfather's sister. Great, now we are parent-less and stuck with this “Mary”. Our life was worsening by the minute.
A month had passed, and it had been the worst month of my life. NOB and I missed Mom and Dad miserably. It was only more miserable due to the fact that we had to share the same roof as “Mean Mary”, who couldn't control her explosive temper or awful cooking skills. I felt like we were being treated like rabid dogs. I wished that I could get away from her.
My wish did come true eventually, but not in the way I expected at all.
It happened on the first day of April. NOB and I were made to do Mean Mary's laundry and that time. Just before we were done, we hear a shriek upstairs. This time, we already knew what had happened, the alien strikes again. When we we gone up into her room, Mean Mary was already on the floor, dead.
I have to admit, that moment wasn't nearly as sorrowful as the incident with Mom and Dad. What do you expect? We hate Mean Mary. But that didn't mean we were overjoyed (maybe NOB was a little). A person is a person, no matter how mean. So, we dialed 911.
Wrong decision. That just caused us even more problems and misery.
You see, when we called the cops again, they became super suspicious. So was the judge at the court. It was kind of strange for two murders to happen just a month apart, and with both NOB and I in their presence, they thought. Plus, this time, it isn’t our parents, it was a mean old witch. They still didn’t buy our alien story. This time, we’d been successfully accused of murder!
NOB and I felt depressed and terribly misunderstood being locked behind bars. We could never go outside or see any light (except for the haunting glow of a few dim bulbs). We were frequently harassed by murderers, thieves, drug dealers, and even prison guards. The food there tasted worse than Mean Mary’s compost. We were treated like zoo animals. NOB and I had enough! We wanted to get out of this hellhole. But how could we? We were behind bars for most of the day. Even when we were not, we were tied with chains. Plus, there were an army of guards in the entire facility. It was impossible to get out!
Or was it?
One night, our opportunity to escape came. NOB and I were allowed to go take a shower, a rare privilege in prison. NOB suggested that we escape at this time.
“Pss...sst hey NOOB! Come ‘ere!”, he whispered.
“I'm tired of rotting in this dump. I sure you are as well. Let's scram outta here!”
“What?! Are you nuts NOB? Do you have any idea Do you have any idea how secure this place is? We'll never get outta here!”
NOB was getting excited. “This is our chance to escape! Look at us. We're not chained up! We can finally run away!”
“Still, there are guards and cops all around us! Not to mention security cameras and who-knows- what. They'll stop us for sure! We don't stand a chance—”
“Don't say that you scaredey-cat! So what if they catch us? They'll make us stay in jail, which is what we are doing already. Even if the chance is slim, we should at least try. It's now or never.”
“Hmmm...”, I thought. “Fine, let's give it a go!”
NOB looked extremely excited and satisfied, and so was I. We might finally get out of this dump! After we finished the shower, we put our clothes on. Then, we made a run for it!
NOB and I ran like there was no tomorrow! Of, course, there was an angry mob of law enforcement guys madly chasing us, but our will to escape somehow allowed us to outrun all of them. We outran the prison guards, the cops, and even the cop cars! NOB and I just kept on running until we reached the one place even they wouldn't dare go into: Pinespike Forest.
A wet storm stirred up later that night. It made our situation then it already was. We were now orphaned, homeless, and on-the-run. Plus, we were trapped in the deadly Pinespike, and also soaking wet! I never thought that so much tragedy could even occur in just a month and a half.
“Well, at least we are back outdoors”, NOB said optimistically. Despite his words, he doesn't look or sound glad in any way. In fact, he was probably just as miserable as I am.
That night, we slept under an ancient tree. We huddled close together to conserve our body heat. But it didn't help much. The tree gave us minimal rain protection and the wind still exposed us to the cold. I couldn't sleep that night; for I kept on hearing wolf howls, which sent chills up my spine.
The next day, I thought of building a shelter to protect us from the harsh conditions last night; which I didn't want to go through ever again. I guess the idea came from watching too much episodes of Survivorman. I wasn't sure if the stuff on the show worked, but it looked like we were just going to have to take chances. NOB went to collect the building materials (which was mostly tree branches), while I built the shack. Our finished result looked pretty darn impressive! It kind of looked like a shed made by the First Nations. The roof was thatched with pine needle branches, and the walls were made from branches without needles. Inside, the floor was laid with dead leaves. There was also a “bed” made from leaves. We even had a rain catcher made from tree bark. Hopefully, we'd be safe under there.
That night, the storm returned. Our thatched roof kept the shelter and us almost completely dry. I felt warmer as well, but NOB and I were still shivering, meaning it still has to be a lot warmer.
“Burr..gh! I think we desperately need a fire NOOB”, NOB suggested
“NOB, how the heck do we make a fire?” I rhetorically asked. “By rubbing sticks? No, that's just crap that comes from TV! Unless you g-got a match, it's highly unlikely, almost impossible!”
“I got a magnifying glass though.”
“What? How did you get it?”
“I think it was a p-part of my explorer's kit. The bozos from jail must've thought that it was s-some kinda toy, so they let me keep it. I just found it in my pocket. Could you make a fire with it?”
I thought about it. I knew that magnifying glasses could make fires (I've made one when I was 10 years old). A fire would be able to warm us up and let us cook stuff that we may get. It would be hard to make one (because it depended on the amount of sunlight available), but it wasn't such a bad idea. “Fine I'll try it tomorrow. Now let's sleep.”
The next day, we woke up from our relatively peaceful night. The rain had stopped, and there was plenty of sunshine. Good, the magnifying glass trick might actually create a great fire. I could also see that the rain catcher had worked. That was even better news to us. We wouldn't have to worry about water for a while.
NOB and I drank a bit of rain water for “breakfast”. After that, we went off to work. I was going to improve that shelter (try to make it bigger and warmer) and try to make a fire. NOB was going to gather some building materials and whatever else that might be useful to us. He returns once every few hours, storing his load in the shack. After our day's work was finished, we discussed our day.
“How's the day NOB?”, I asked NOB.
“Great, how's yours?”
“Okay, I guess. Most of the time, I just worked on expanding the shack and—”
“What 'bout the fire?”
“Meh... Wood was too wet. I'm gonna leave 'em inside to dry. Just gonna have to wait for another sunny day. Hey, why do you look so happy?”
“Because I got a surprise!” He almost looked giddy with joy.
“It better be good!”, I joked. But from the looks on his face, I knew it was.
“Trust me, it's good. I've found a blueberry bush! I even brought some back!”
“This is marvelous news indeed!”, I cried. Suddenly I became just are overjoyed as he was. “Finally, some food!”
It didn't rain that night. We had a happy feast of blueberries. They were sweet and juicy, much better than Mean Mary's or the jail's garbage food. After that treat, we told scary stories and then went to sleep. Unlike the last few nights, that night was actually warm and comfortable. Finally, a bright night in the Pinespike.
The next couple of weeks were just are wonderful as that day. One of us gathered, and one of us stayed at camp. We switched positions every two days. We lived well. It was way better than living with Mean Mary or being in jail.
Everyday was better than the previous one. NOB and I have turned our tiny “stick shack” into a giant “pine palace”. We had also made quite a few achievements as well. For example, I had finally created a fire! We give it leaves and branches, while it gives us heat and light. A few days later, NOB had found a small stream so full of fish, that we could easily catch some with nothing but our hands! That discovery created a plentiful resource of water and fish (which we cooked on the fire). I now love Pinespike! My perspective of it has completely changed.
But shortly, my perspectives would return to its original position, as I would realize the true dangers of the forest.
It happened at the end of one day. It had been NOB's turn to gather and my turn to stay. I was worried, because he was supposed to come back about an hour ago. At first, I thought he had made another great discovery and got carried away examining it. But as the time passed, I got nervous and went searching for him. Eventually, I found him at the stream; but not in the condition that I accepted to be in. He was covered in scratches and being pounced on by a black bear!
I immediately took action. I grabbed then nearest dead tree branch and furiously whacked the bear on the back thrice. The beast became irate, and charged at my direction. He chased me for almost five minutes, which seemed like an eternity to me. Suddenly, I tripped on a tree root and fell. The bear looked like he was going to claw me with all his might. I closed my eye..
But nothing happened. I opened my eyes, and saw that the black bear had run away. But why? I thought. The answer came to me when I saw NOB with a branch in his hands. He was smiling.
That night, NOB and I tried to get back to camp. It seemed impossible. The sky was inky black and the forest was an endless labyrinth. Plus, another storm had hit. We were cold, wet, and miserable. Our fingers and toes were paralyzed from numbness. Our injuries only made it worse. It was the first night where we wondered, why did we ever come here?
The next day, we continued our search for camp. It wasn't that easy, due to the fact that we walked into some unknown direction during the night. We were just as lost as last night, but we still kept on aimlessly searching. We kept on walking, until we found it. That immediately opened up our eyes.
It's wasn't the camp, it was the alien.
The extraterrestrial was dead. He just lay there, not moving at all. In his webbed hands were a few blueberries.
“I guess he choked on 'em and died”, NOB said expressionlessly. He did not know how to react because of the mixed feelings from the sight of the alien. My expressions were the same.
We walked straight pass the thing, not glancing at its hideous face ever again. But as we walked, we had then found the alien's nest: a silver spaceship the size of three minivans. NOB and I decided to go inside. We knew that there might have been other aliens in there, but we didn't care anymore. It was about time we paid them a visit.
As we walked through the strange automatic doors, we saw no one.
“The alien must've travelled alone.”
The ship was full of buttons, gizmos, and monitors. As amazing as everything was, the four monitors were the things that interested us. NOB and I couldn't stop staring at them. We weren't admiring it (we didn't admire anything that belonged to the alien); we were shocked by the projections on them. The first one showed the map of Nobbs, the second one showed a plan of an alien town, the third one showed a picture of the ugly alien beside a crowd of men in chains. But the last one was the most disturbing: the pictures of Mom, Dad, and Mean Mary; each photo with a big red X on them.
NOB and I looked at each other, wondering why the monster had planned to kill those three unfortunate souls. We sat in that ship for hours, until we figured out the entire story of the alien.
The alien probably thought of enslaving the entire town to build a town for it. Like world domination on a much smaller scale. Why Nobbs? Probably because it’s so isolated; nobody cares about them.
But why did it plan to kill those three people though? It may be due to the fact that the alien was a little ignorant to human races. The one thing in common those three people had, were that they were all black! It must have thought that they where aliens and a “threat to his mission”. NOB and I didn't get killed because we were white kids that were adopted. The alien's lack of knowledge was the cause of the dead of my family!
“That should explain it”, said NOB. There was a tear in his eye.
“Yep. Let's get outta here.”
You might have thought that we returned to Nobbs with all the evidence and stuff, but that's not what happened. Now with our beloved parents dead, there is nothing Nobbs could offer us anymore. Instead, we continued to search for our camp until we found it. You see, we decided to live in the Pinespike for the rest of our lives! Despite the hardships we must endure, NOB and I realized that we belong here. We are happy here.
If you think I'm bluffing, then here's a fact for you: 40 years has passed, and are still living here, happily
And we'll live happily ever after.
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