The Set Up

Zak tapped his fingers on the table, his forearm muscle pulsing with every movement, his foot tapping on the floor in anticipation. He blinked repeatedly, his eyes scanning over the screen in front of him, "So, is that it?"

Billy's eyebrow arched upwards, starring at Zak curiously, "Um… Yeah, easy as pie."

Zak didn't like the idea, a slaughter house that hundreds of people have disappeared into and never returned, now they were suppose to take twenty innocent people and stick them in that building just to see who could face the most demons and ghosts possible? He couldn't do it, wouldn't allow it. His fingers stopped tapping the table and he ran them through his hair, messing up whatever was left of his dark Mohawk, "I don't think this such a good idea…"

"I'm with Zak on this one" ,Nick said as he watched the screen. A picture of the building with animated ghosts and ghouls popping out of windows and making scary faces. Something that would scare little kids not grown men. Nick shook his head, "I think it's a bad idea. This place is seriously messed up."

"Oh come on, you boys don't seriously believe this place is haunted" ,Billy asked as he leaned further back in his chair and crossed his arms, "I've been in that building a hundred times, there are no real ghosts or demons or… whatever. All the stories behind it are myths, pure camp fire stories."

"I still don't know" ,Zak said as he watched the screen move over and over. Bold letters in red sat on top of the screen "Can You Handle The Lockdown?" their famous catchphrase. Details on the history of the place sat off to the left side, still making Zak uncomfortable. He would lock himself inside with a camera along with his buddies, Aaron and Nick, and prove this place is seriously haunted, but twenty innocent people? Especially after all the history they dug up and all the encounters, the interviews, this was real.

Billy laughed and rested his elbows on the table, "Trust me, if it was as bad as everyone says it is than I wouldn't have recommend this place. If you want, you guys can lock yourselves in there before and if its as bad as expected, then we can just call it all off."

Zak scratched his chin, he kept his face clean shaven all the time but felt a little stubble where he had missed the previous morning. He sighed and looked over at Nick, "What do you think?"

Nick shrugged, "Lets check it out first."

"Yeah" ,Aaron had been quiet the entire time. Zak looked over his shoulder and watched him out of the corner of his eye, Aaron looked just as uncomfortable with this as he did. He sighed and nodded, "Alright then, but if for any reason at all we feel something wrong, its off."

Billy cracked a smile, rubbing his hands together in excitement, "I don't think you'll be disappointed."

~0~

Hannah looked at the computer screen, a lockdown at the Young House Plantation, one of the most haunted places in America. A place not only where the people who were killed there haunt the building, but supposedly a gateway to hell had been opened there. Now the place was crawling with the demons and other damned souls, and they were hosting a public lockdown!

Hannah shook her head, "No way."

"Yes way" ,Philip said behind her. His hands were tucked away in his pants pocket as he watched her stare at the computer screen. She turned and shook her head, "I will not…"

"You will and you will like it" ,Philip interrupted her, "you're the only one that can save these people."

"Well, you know these little ghost hunters should really do their research on a place before nose diving through the front door. This isn't one of their fun slumber parties, they could seriously get hurt and now they could possible injury twenty other people…"

"Which is why you are staying with those people to be sure nothing bad happens" ,Philip said with a smile. His blonde hair was so long that it covered some of his green eyes, making him even more mysterious than he already was. He flipped his hair over to the right, revealing his stunning features, not looking anything like a hunter at all. Hannah rolled her eyes, "You know that doesn't work on me any more."

He stuck his bottom lip out as if to pout, "It use to…"

"Puppy dog pouts don't work on me either" ,Hannah said as she jumped to her feet and walked out of the room but not before calling over her shoulder, "you can cover this hunt all by yourself."

Philip sighed and began to chase her down the hallway, around the corner and down the stairs towards the garage, jumping in front of her before she could open the door to her black Chevy pick-up truck, "You have to convince them to shut this thing down. I'm a guy, why would they listen to me? You are young and gorgeous, do your little hunting thing and then your flirting thing and then it'll all be over with."

Hannah crossed her arms and began to tap her toe on the ground, "That little speech will not work on me either."

Philip crossed his arms and leaned against the truck door, "Hannah, please. You can handle this, you're the best hunter we've got. You have to take this job."

Hannah sighed and avoided eye contact with Philip, why would he say this to her? Any other job he would push her out of the way and take for himself, just like he had always done in the past, making their relationship crumble.

"Please" ,Philip pleaded with her, making her look him in the eye. She shook her head, rolling her eyes away from him, she couldn't believe she was giving in to his pathetic plead, "Alright."

Philip leaned in and kissed her cheek, smiling down at her, "You're a doll."

Hannah rolled her eyes again and watched as he walked away, leaving her alone in the garage. What was wrong with him? Just yesterday he was his regular, stuck up, nose in the air, "I'm better than you" attitude and all of a sudden… a complete one eighty. Philip was so confusing, a figure no one could figure out. Hannah had known him since middle school, they practically grew up together, graduated together, had the same friends. They even hunted together! Never had he been so strange…

She walked back through the house, back up the stairs and into an empty room, only the walls were decorated with weapons and tools they carried on their hunt and a table in the center of the room. Hannah was fond of the diamond, a bow and arrow with a silver tip that could pierce anything in its path. She was an archery champion, never missed…

"We got these cool little things, now" ,Jakob said as he lifted a gun up off the center table, "I don't see anything special about it. Looks like a regular hand gun."

Hannah snickered under her breath as Jakob looked it over and clicked a button, jumping back when wings popped out on the sides. He gasped, "Oh man, I have got to get me one of these. Its like a miniature crossbow!"

Hannah took it from his hand and reset it back to it regular hand gun styles, "That's because it is. I designed it myself. Its hard to carry around on these monster things and go unnoticed, so I drew this up. Took me years, but its perfect."

Jakob starred at the crossbow in her hand, wide eyed and amazed, "I want one…"

"You have to learn t shoot it first. Load it, reset it, carry it without shooting yourself. It takes time to learn" ,she said as she tucked it into a gun holster and strapped it around her ankles, tucking her bottom of her jeans over it, hardly recognizable unless you looked really close, "I'll show you when I get back."

Jakob sighed, "Heard about the Young House Plantation, sucks."

Hannah nodded, not saying, just loading herself with weapons and other things such as holy water, an iron cross, and throwing knives. Silence filled the room, only the sound of the air conditioning could be heard. Jakob broke the silence, "If I could, I'd take it off your hands, just to be sure nothing bad happens to you."

Hannah looked over at him, he was young, a hunter in the making, about fifteen, the same height as her, short brown hair and bright blue eyes that made all the girls his age weak at the knees. Cautiously, she placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and smiled, "That's sweet. One day, we'll partner up and hunt together."

He nodded his head, fighting back an ear to ear grin but not being very successful, "I'd like that."

Maybe a little too much, Hannah thought to herself. Jakob was a good hunter for his age, still young but with a couple more years of training, he would really be something. He set high standards for himself, as they all did at that age.

"If you ever need a partner while up there" ,he started to say when Philip walked in and interrupted him, "Call me. Sorry pup, you're not ready just yet."

And he's back, Hannah thought to herself as Philip slapped his back a little bit harder than a playful pat would have been, making Jakob whence, but covered it with a smile. Hannah rolled her eyes, "Question is, how am I going to get in? it's a contest, I can't just march in and demand a slot."

"Bobby is taking care of that" ,Philip assured her, "he's got you down on the winning list. That little mole…"

It was all set then, no backing out now. Hannah sighed and looked over at Jakob, who gave her a cheerful smile. She gave him a nod and looked up at Philip then, "See you later then."

With that, she walked out and climbed into her pick-up, ready to fight whatever got in her way.

~0~

Zak stepped out into the sunlight, all night long and nothing happened, was this place even truly haunted? Nick and Aaron followed behind him, neither of them impressed either. He turned to the both of them and raised his hand as if to ask a question, "There is nothing there. All night long and nothing happened. What are we doing then?"

Nick shrugged, not knowing how to answer his question. Aaron just stared at him as if to tell him he was suppose to figure something out. Zak sighed, slapping the back of his neck, "What should we do?"

Aaron was the first to speak, "I know all these stories about this place are probably made up and over dramatized, but look at it this way, no one will get hurt. We don't have to worry about scaring anybody too much."

"If we scare them at all" ,Nick said as he rolled his eyes, "bro, its lifeless. We need some place haunted, some place real. That's what these people want."

"We'll spook it up for them" ,Billy said as he stepped out behind them, locking the door shut, "I told you there was nothing in there. It has all been urban legends and spooky stories told to scare the pants off of people. Besides, if there really was anything in there, I'm sure you guys would scare it."

Billy was trying to make a joke, but the guys weren't laughing, didn't even crack a smile. He stopped laughing and tried again, "Listen here, I can assure you by the time you get here next weekend, it'll be what you and your fans expected… maybe more."

Zak didn't like the idea of a fake haunting, it just didn't set right with him. After all, his purpose was to prove ghost exist, what if someone found out it was all rigged? They could get shut down for good.

"Guys, we've put good money into this place" ,Billy said as he rested a hand on Nick and Aaron, "think about it really hard. What do you say?"

Zak looked at Aaron who shrugged as if to say "sure" and then at Nick who didn't looked to happy about it, but didn't have any other conversion. Zak sighed, against his better judgment, and nodded in agreement. Billy smiled, "Let the games begin."