Cold

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
experimental collaboration with fellow booksie member jason woods (https://www.booksie.com/users/j-woods-148797)

we took turns writing until it became a story

Submitted: December 30, 2016

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Submitted: December 30, 2016

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**A collaborated story by J woods (https://www.booksie.com/users/j-woods-148797) and myself, loosely based off my poem "Poppy".**

 

 

We sat at the table as the wind pounded against the hospital’s window frames; the three of us, staring blankly as we discussed what was next.

 

“Well, I suppose we should work towards taking care of the effects of Peter,” Sam said as a matter of factly.

 

“What do you mean Peter? Grandpa, Pops, or Poppy- or whatever but Peter- how could you so coldly refer to him that way?” Becca glared.

 

“Fine. How would you prefer to address the creep?” Sam answered, a bit annoyed.

 

“How about with some dignity, some sense of family?” Becca slammed her hands down on the table as she propped herself to stand.

 

“Look,” replied her brother Jonathon, raising both hands, indicating to the others to stop, “I think what’s most important is that we try to figure out what the next course of action is,” Jon tried to remain calm, “We have to find a way past whatever was out there.  Whatever happened there with Pops..I don’t know…..we just need to get home.”

 

Becca nodded recalling the events of last evening as they arrived at the Indiana Farmhouse; the feeling of dread as she and her brother’s approached their Grandfather’s house.  To the east, clearly marked on the barn was the word: ‘Run’ which was written in what appeared to be black tar.  The porch rails that her Grandfather had so carefully maintained stood broken in front of the screen door, swaying in the winter wind.  The visible marks on the gravel driveway of something being moved and the scuffed paint on the porch that wrapped around the entire house.

“What came next……they came……they wanted them...us,” she thought aloud- remembering what took place:

 

It was December 24th, Christmas eve; Becca, Jon, and Sam were told they would be staying the night at Peter’s, their step- grandfather's house, while their parents were out of town.  Peter’s house was also out of town in the opposite direction, surrounded by fields and a whole lot of country road.

 

Their parents drove them up the long windy pathway that led up to their grandpa’s house but due to the fact they were in a hurry, they let the kids out at the top of the hill. It had just began to snow and the three of the kids sighed and grumbled. Usually they would be happy to see snow but it was bitterly cold.

As they approached the old house, they all stared in stunned silence; to their left they could all see in the distance the word, “Run”, had been eerily written on the barn door.

 

“What the heck?” Sam whispered, looking at the other two. They reluctantly went and knocked on the door.

 

No answer.

 

“Hey!” Sam pounded on the door once more, “Peter, you in there?”

 

Jon shrugged his shoulders at the other two and opened the door.

 

It was pitch black inside and smelled like beer.

 

“P-pops, where are you?” Becca called out.

 

They heard crumpling sounds coming from the dining room.

 

“What was that?” Becca nervously grabbed Jon’s hand.

 

Sam quietly walked over to the other side of the room and he began to hear someone breathing very close and then some man aggressively began to grab him by the arms and was...growling.

 

Sam screamed at the top of his lungs and the other two started to run the opposite way when suddenly, the lights turned on and they heard a familiar voice….It was Pops.

 

They turned around to look at him and he started to laugh.

 

Confused, the kids continued to glare at him.

 

He gave a few more chuckles, “I got you good, didn’t I?”

 

“What?” Becca replied with a breath of disbelief.

 

Pops smiled and said, “What?” as he mocked her and then continued half-playfully, “You guys didn’t think I’d get you back for the prank you pulled last time?”

 

They stood there for a second then Jon spoke up, “W-what about the barn door?”

 

Pops nodded his head, “I did that.”

 

“But when we were at the porch- there was a bunch of scratch marks in the paint like something had been dragged,” Becca said.

 

“Yeah, I noticed that too. It looked like something had been drug through the gravel,” Jon added.

 

Their grandpa laughed again but more softly, “You kids are funny. I had someone help me rearrange the house and move stuff around; the marks are from the furniture.”

 

Sam rolled his eyes. Becca sighed then said, “Well you didn’t have to scare us half to death!”

 

“Come on, you know you good and well you deserved it.”

 

They all thought about it. Honestly, it was true- they did.  They had stayed at their grandpa’s house many times before and each time they’d play a little prank on him and if they weren’t playing pranks, they were misbehaving- well, mostly Jon and Sam, Becca was the reasonable one; she would try to talk them out of things but sometimes- she’d give in.

 

Their grandpa grabbed another beer out of the ice chest, “So your parents said you guys might have to stay here for a couple of nights.”

 

“Grrreeat,” Sam replied sarcastically.

 

Grandpa took a sip of the beer, “Well at least it’s snowing. Kids like snow don’t they?” He walked over to the window and pulled open the musty, old curtains. Pops almost let the beer fall out of his hands, “Oh, no,” He whispered. The kids watched as he stared at the window with his mouth open.

 

“Yeah, like we're gonna fall for that again.” Becca laughed.

 

He didn’t seem to hear her- he kept mumbling unintelligibly then whispered again: “No...not yet...not now…”

 

Jon walked over to him, “What is pops?”

 

“They’re here!” He cried.

 

Pops stepped from the window, his hands moving to his mouth, his eyes focused downward.

 

Jon anxiously made his way towards him, “Pops; hey, are you okay?”

 

He looked as if the blood had been drained from his face- it was now a pale shadow compared to his normally vital appearance.

 

Becca moved towards the window. She could see what looked like hands on the outside- a pair and then another pair- then another….

 

“What the heck is that?” Becca howled. She couldn’t help but think about all the crazy stories Pops had told them over the years- about the black eyed children that haunted him.

 

They could hear the subtle thumps on the windows as Becca peered about. There were hands as white as snow. “Children’s hands,” Sam said.

 

Becca nodded acknowledging that they were far too small to be of adult age.

 

Pops slumped into his chair “I’m sorry kids; I know it’s about time... You see, long ago my father’s father made a pact,” he looked up as the sounds of what sounded like a hymn broke the silence- a choir perhaps.

 

“What’s going on?  Who are these people?  What do they want?” Becca said

 

Jon moved towards the window, “uh, where did the hands go?” he asked.

 

Suddenly there came a knock on the old wooden door. It was quick at first: Knock, knock, knock- then slowed: Knock….knock…. knock.

 

Jon hesitantly moved towards the door. Pops warned him not to and looked at Becca with pleading eyes, “Don’t let them in- God save you if you do.”

 

Becca was quite confused; this farmhouse had always been a place of solace for her growing up- a place where she could be free of the shackles of her suburban home. There was a freedom that had long lost in urban sprawls- something older when mankind didn’t worry about what her Mother would call: “The Crazies out there” or “Don’t talk to strangers”. It was something children of modern day had to take seriously.

 

Jon opened the door and Becca could clearly see two children staring at him, “Knock…...Knock….” the young lady said cheerfully.

 

Jon stood in the doorway anxiously waiting for the young girl to give some sort of response.

 

She looked about twelve and her skin was almost as white as the snow. Jon figured it was because of the cold. A few kids a bit younger were behind her throwing snowballs in the yard. They were all dressed in caroling outfits.

 

The girl coughed and out came an excitable, “Hello, may we use your phone?”

 

Jon looked behind him and pops shook his head and gave all sorts of gestures that suggested that Jon should get rid of her.

 

“Um..” Jon nervously turned back around, “Who are you? Wait I know. You’re carolers, right?”

 

Pops interrupted before she could reply, without making any effort to whisper he yelled, “No they ARE NOT carolers! They’re little devils! Didn't you see those devilish little hands on the window? Now shut the door if you know what's good for you!”

 

“Gramps, I don't know what's gotten into you; just let her use the phone for crying out loud,” annoyed, Sam went over to the door.

 

“Sam, no!” Becca protested as she stood next to pops, looking like she was on his side.

 

Confused Sam quickly glared at Becca and looked at the girl outside, “I'm sorry about that; you can use the phone- I'll show you to it.”

 

Jon shrugged his shoulders at Becca and Pops.

 

The girl thanked him, “Our power went out and phone was dead. My Ma sent me to see if I could borrow someone's phone. Plus, she thought we could earn some money caroling why we were at it but don't worry- I'll spare you that… if you want.”

 

“Why didn't she drive into town?” Jon asked.

 

“Yeah, we're in the middle of nowhere.” Becca added.

 

Pops slowly nodded in agreement feeling suspicious. There was an awkward silence and Pops pointed accusingly at the girl, “Look at her eyes Becky, look closely- they’re black as a Raven!”

 

The girl got an angry expression and her demeanor changed. She creepily stared directly at pops. Sam didn't want to admit it but the girl's eyes did look rather dark- extremely dark, actually.

 

Ignoring what pops was saying, the young girl entered first.  Everyone could feel the temperature change in the well heated home as if the moisture, the heat- no, the life from the home was removed.

 

“Why thank you,” the young lady smiled.

 

The boys from behind her ran towards the home in a skirmish lined fashion; encircling the home. Pops stood up from his chair, reaching for a fire poker, “Out! I want you out of my home,” he ordered in a low voice, “Now no one here has done you any harm. Just get!”

 

Becca, seemingly in shock, stared at the pupiless eyes of the young girl.

 

“What are you guys worried about,” said Sam, “They’re just kids. Look guys, just follow me- the phone is in the kitchen.”

 

Jon, visibly nervous, followed up, “ Look, you can use the phone but you have to go immediately afterwards. You’re upsetting my grandfather.”

 

 

 

Suddenly Becca felt her mind real, her body clenching and she let out a yell, “Stop!”

 

The children halted in fear on their way to the kitchen.

 

Becca could visually see the walls peeling themselves away- the old led paint, the wooden stain, the framework and dizziness began to overtake her.

 

“Becca,” she could hear her name being yelled from what sounded so far away, “It’s happening again.” Popes cried an echoey voice.

 

“Listen to me. You can’t go there, Becky,” she could hear what sounded like Jon.

 

She felt her knees buckle she could no longer fight the feeling overtaking her- a feeling of confusion and destitute of all hope.

 

Becca didn't understand what was going on; it's as if reality was shifting- she was changing and something was taking control. She blacked in and out and nothing was making sense; it was like a nightmare of some sorts.

 

Pops was running towards the children with his pocket knife and the black eyed girl began to yell at Becca to shoot pops. Becca looked into her hands and there was a gun. She looked to Jon and he just stood there staring at her, looking horrified.

 

What was happening?

 

It seemed like she kept missing chunks of time; she just stood there shaking. Not knowing what to do.

 

The young girl was cursing now, “Just shoot the old nut!”

 

The young boys continued to circle the house singing carols in a ritualistic fashion.

 

Jon shook his head and whispered softly, “Don't do it.”

 

The young girl’s voice was deep and she kept telling her to kill.

 

Becca couldn't take it anymore. She closed her eyes, quickly shot the gun. Her ears rung and everything became muffled and everything went black.

 

*************†***************************************************************

 

Becca awoke, her vision blurry, her head throbbing; panic swept her as she went to move her arms but couldn’t as if she was being held down.

 

Her eyes began to come into focus as the distinct sterile hospital smell filled her.  With all the strength she could pull, she kicked as her legs were being restrained by strong arms. Lifting her head, she could see a woman approached her in a blue uniform with what appeared to be a white laboratory coat.  

 

“How are you feeling today, Jon?” She pleasantly smiled at Becca

 

Confused, fear filled Becca and she couldn’t help but scream, “Who are you?  Where’s Pops?  What’s happening?  Where’s Sam?  Where’s Jon?  We have to get out of here; LET ME OUT!  Those kids, they’re coming.  What do you mean Jon?  Where is Jon?  Did they get him?”  

Becca could hear the stress in her own voice; she sounded like maniac.

 

“She’s beginning to remember,” The male doctor warned.

 

The woman said in a soothing voice, “Okay, okay, Becca. Sorry for the mistake. I’m just a little confused. Last night you were Jon so I wasn’t sure in what way to address you.  I’m new here. I apologize…Becca,” She paused then continued, “You’re safe and sound right here sweetie.  Your Pops brought you here to get better. Let me go get the Doctor- maybe he can help.”

 

Becca began thrashing her body with as much might as she could muster, trying to somehow relieve herself from the restraints. Perhaps she could somehow break away.

 

“Let me out of here, right now!” She screamed her voice cracking as she writhed, her body bucking against her nylon trappings.

 

She could hear them running towards the room; they were speaking loudly, “Restrain her!”  

 

Fear filled her as these people moved towards her and restrained her even more.

 

“Where am I?” She screamed, “Who are you people?” her voice drifted into a sob.

 

Filling her ears she heard a male voice, calm and clear, “50 milligrams of Thiopental, we need to get her sedated before she hurts herself.”

 

She could feel the needle piercing her neck as the voice said, “Just be calm, it’s going to be okay”

 

***************************************************************************

 

Later in the afternoon, Becca slowly walked over to an empty lunch table. She waited for Jon and Sam to arrive. It was so strange how they were all here together. She was still confused about what had happened. The doctors weren’t any help either; they said she was confusing dream with reality and that most things she thought were real were just imaginations. One psychiatrist had said she had brought herself here but the nurse told her pops had dropped her off.  Even her brothers were confused; Jon said she had killed pops and Sam said Jon had killed him and how could she even trust what Jon and Sam were saying? They were supposedly crazy too.

 

She wished she hadn’t realized; Jon and Sam’s eyes had become black like the girl’s did at grandpa’s house.

 

Wind and rain pounded against the institution windows.

 

Sam cleared his throat, “Well, I suppose we should work towards taking care of the effects of Peter,” he said as a matter of factly.

 

Becca felt faint.

 


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