"Come on, let's go!"
"I don't want to, Devon."
"Ugh! It'll be fun."
"My mom doesn't like me out-"
"Past dark," Devon finished, "I know. We've been best friends forever, I know what your mom doesn't like." He waited for an answer, "You know you really want to."
The two boys ran outside, into the backyard. In behind the row of suburban homes was the woods. The young kids in the neighborhood always played in the woods together, but this evening it was just the two boys.
They ran deep into the woods, back to a spot where a small lake was at. In the winter it would freeze over and all the kids would skate and play on it, but right now... it was just a lake.
"You go to the right, I'll go to the left," Devon said, "I wanna be the soldier this time. You be the Indian."
"Okay. What's the rules this time?"
"We have to stay as quiet as possible. If I make a noise that you hear, I lose points. Same with you." Devon looked around. He picked up a few pebbles, "These will be our ammo. There's a bunch of them everywhere. Yours will be arrows, mine will be bullets."
"Alright… Just don't throw them at my head this time."
Devon rolled his eyes, "Get hit three times, you're dead. Those are the only rules… Go!"
Both boys grabbed some pebbles and ran off in their separate directions. Once they were both hidden behind trees, the game began.
At first everything was quiet, then Devon heard a noise from the other side of the lake, "Heard that! You lose a point!"
"I don't even have a point yet!.. How do we even get points?"
"We don't! We just keep losing them!"
"Then why do the points matter?"
"Just shut up and play the game, will ya?"
Again everything got quiet as the game continued.
After a few minutes, there was a crunch sound, "Devon, I heard that! You lose a point!"
There was no reply.
"Devon! Did you hear me?"
Everything was silent.
He decided to walk out from the trees to try and see where Devon had gone. When he looked around, there was no sight of him, "Devon! Devon, this isn't fu-"
He was cut off mid-word by someone wrapping their arms around him. Before he even had the chance to scream, the person covered his mouth and nose with one hand, holding him tight with the other.
The young boy fought to take a breath, fought to get away, fought to scream!.. But he couldn't. He couldn't do anything. His life was quickly fading away and he couldn't do a thing.
Tim's eyes popped open and he sat up quickly as he woke from his nightmare. His heart was pounding and he was covered in sweat.
He reached over and turned on his lamp, suddenly not enjoying the darkness. He looked at his clock. It was just past two thirty in the morning.
'Maybe she'll still be awake,' Tim thought, knowing he needed to talk to someone. He always did after one of those dreams.
He picked up his cell phone off of his nightstand and scrolled down his list of contacts. Once he got to the right name, he pressed the call button and waited for an answer.
"Hi," She replied, sounding confused.
"What are you doing?"
"Studying. Why are you still…" Her voice trailed off as it hit her, "It's happening again, isn't it?"
He took a deep breath and wiped the sweat from his forehead, "Yeah. Yeah, it is."
"It always does this time of year. Which part was it?"
"Th… The beginning. The v… very beginning," Tim began to stutter over his words. That always happened when he talked about the nightmares.
"You wanna talk about it?"
Tim rubbed his eyes. He had told her this nightmare so many times that she knew it by heart, "No… No, I- I'm okay."
"You sure? I don't mind."
"I'm sure… Just, don't tell Mom and Dad."
Sarah sighed, "They're gonna know anyways, Tim."
"I know, just… just don't tell them."
"I won't. I promise."
"Thanks. Goodnight, Sarah."
"Goodnight, Tim," Sarah replied, "Call me if you need me. I'll be up."
Tim hung up and, for a moment, he just stared straight ahead, not really focusing on anything.
His sheets were cold from him sweating as he dreamed. His body felt clammy and sick. Past memories swam through his head, crowding his mind with horrible images and feelings.
He shook his head, forcing himself to put those thoughts out of his mind.
Realizing he would not be going back to sleep, Tim got up and decided to take a shower. He'd have to be at work in four hours anyway, why not get ready now?
...Almost twenty-three years. That's how long ago it happened. That's how long since he and his best friend were kidnapped on that mid-June evening.
The nightmares happened every year since then… It had almost become a normal thing. But, this year, something felt different to Tim. His gut was yelling at him, but he wasn't quite sure what it was saying… and he didn't want to find out.
This story has been stuck in my head since mid-way through Triangle. I've been dying to write it, so I hope it turns out to be as good as I wish it would :)
Let me know what you think of the first chapter. Thanks so much!