The dusk was surrounding the house in Palm Beach in moist dew and bluish shades. Josh was sitting by his laptop in the open kitchen, editing the latest episode of Film Riot. It was to be uploaded tomorrow, so he didn't have much time to get it finished. The house had been empty most of the day and Ryan had just been in the studio down the hall to film some tests for the upcoming episode of Film State. Looking out the window Josh scratched the back of his neck and realized that he hadn't had anything to drink for a least three hours. With a sigh he got up from the wooden chair by the kitchen desk and headed for the fridge to fetch a Coke. As he passed the hall he could hear the muffled sound of Ryan talking in the studio behind the closed door, and he let out a small sigh. Tired as he was he didn't notice that Ryan was saying his name multiple times, almost incoherently. Clicking his tongue absently Josh sat back down by the computer, sliding the Coke can some inches across the smooth wooden kitchen table. Staring at the screen he began working in the editing program and put various effects on a film clip shot the day before. It was a scene of himself standing in the backyard, having a conversation with Bruno as a part of a sketch - only now did he realize that Ryan was standing in the background in plain view.
"Oh, great...!" Josh burst out and leaned back his head in annoyance. Rubbing his face he started contemplating how on earth he was going to somehow remove Ryan from the shot... If he couldn't, then obviously the shot was useless.
"What's great?" a voice suddenly said directly behind him, and Josh jumped in his seat with a small shriek of surprise. Snapping his head to the side Josh found himself staring directly at Ryan, who had apparently been so quiet that Josh hadn't detected his footsteps in his attempt to save the film clip. Looking at his older brother, Josh had an almost pleading look on his face.
"Don't scare me like that, man..." he said and exhaled deeply, trying to calm down his speeding heart. He then pointed at the laptop's screen.
"I don't think I can work around it... Why were you in the shot? " Josh asked as he clicked multiple buttons in the program to try and figure out some sort of solution to the imminent problem. A small sigh came from behind him.
"Yeah, sorry about that..." Ryan said and looked at Josh who was clicking away feverishly, using both mouse and keyboard. It was the only shot they had of that scene... and it was in broad daylight, so it couldn't be re-done before tomorrow... AFTER the deadline.
"How do I fix this?" Josh asked. He knew how much experience Ryan had with Adobe After Effects, so he could probably come up with some sort of gimmick that would work. For a moment there was silence, and Josh looked up at his brother, who was more or less just standing there.
"Ry...?" Josh asked, and finally Ryan seemed to snap back to reality. With a rather nonchalant movement of his hand Ryan looked down on Josh:
"Can't... Sorry," he just said and turned around, headed for the fridge. Frowning Josh followed him with his glance. As if there was nothing to worry about Ryan opened the refrigerator door and grabbed a bottle of milk, screwing off the lid.
"What do you mean? It's due in a few hours," Josh said lowly as he kept watching Ryan, who was now chugging down mouthfuls of milk directly from the bottle.
"That's not... very hygienic..." Josh mumbled as he eyed Ryan up and down confusedly.
"Are you drunk?" Josh suddenly asked, discovering that Ryan's eyes seemed to be somewhat glazed. Ryan slowly turned around to look at his younger sibling, holding the bottle of milk in one hand and the lid in the other.
"I wish," was Ryan's simple reply as he screwed the lid back on, put the milk back in the fridge and slammed the door. Blinking a few times, Josh looked at him incredulously. Something was definitely off, but for some reason Josh hesitated to ask. Sighing Ryan grabbed a chair and sat down next to Josh, putting an arm around his shoulders, and looked at the screen without a word. Starting to feel uncomfortable, Josh began pulling away slowly.
"I think I'll go to my room and see if I can fix..." he started, but Ryan strengthened the grip around his brother, holding him in place as he tried to move. Starting to worry, Josh didn't resist and stayed in his chair. With his free hand Ryan was tapping his fingers on the table top.
"It doesn't matter..." Ryan said in a soft tone of voice and finally looked at Josh as he stopped tapping his fingers in the steady rhythm. Again Josh frowned.
"Yes, it does...! It needs to be up by tomorrow... And you're acting really strange, it's creeping me out," Josh said and swallowed as Ryan dug his fingertips into his shoulder. Josh grimaced.
"How's this for strange?" Ryan whispered as he suddenly delivered a hard shove, pushing Josh out of the chair and onto the floor. Flabbergasted and frozen in his sitting position Josh glared up at Ryan, who slowly got up from his chair and looked down on him. Josh blinked in disbelief and started to get up - but Ryan quickly moved towards him, intimidating him enough to freeze in his tracks.
"Stay," Ryan just said as he turned sideways and opened a drawer. Confused Josh looked up at his older brother.
"No...! What's wrong with you?" he snapped and continued his motion to get up from the tiled floor. However Ryan turned back towards him, this time with a kitchen knife in his hand. Josh's eyes grew wide as he stared at the shiny steel of the blade, and instinctively he started backing away towards the living room. Ryan's eyes were wide open too, but they portrayed a different emotion that Josh couldn't decipher.
"Ryan, stop... What are you doing?" Josh heard himself say as he automatically scanned the room for a hidden camera. Was this some sort of sick joke? Continuing to walk backwards with his hands lifted in front of him, Josh stared back at Ryan.
"It's not funny!" Josh yelled, thinking of a possible escape route. Ryan tilted his head a bit.
"Never said it was," he just smiled as he walked towards Josh, slowly raising the knife. This time Josh could sense in Ryan's voice that he wasn't kidding...
"Oh god..." Josh burst out as he finally turned around and sprinted for the nearest door. There was no one else in the house, and in order to get to a phone he had to pass Ryan... Of course he had left his cell on the kitchen desk.
"Yeah, run, little bumblebee..." Ryan murmured silently under his breath. Josh sprinted across the living room floor and finally reached the glass door to the patio and the backyard. Tearing at the handle he tried to open it, but it was locked... Staring at the blinking red light from the alarm by the doorframe, Josh looked over his shoulder. Ryan wasn't there. Breathing heavily Josh pushed the buttons on the alarm, entering the code for the door. He needed to get out of here as fast as possible. Sweat droplets were running down his face as he hit the ENTER button. However nothing happened... the light was still red?
"What the...?" Josh whispered frantically and grabbed a hold of the door handle again... it wouldn't budge.
"That's right, little bumblebee...!" Ryan's voice said from somewhere in the living room, and Josh spun around with a gasp. There, by the couch, was Ryan... still with the knife in his hand. An insane smile was decorating his face.
"Changed the code!" he laughed and waved at Josh with the knife.
"Now let's play!" he hissed and started to slowly move towards his little brother, who was backed up against the door.
"Have you lost your mind..? Leave me alone!" Josh burst out as he moved along the wall back towards the kitchen. However Ryan was quick to cut him off, driving Josh further into the living room towards the sitting area. Ryan smiled.
"Won't do..." he said under his breath.
"Defend yourself...!" he added and shortened the distance between them further, slowly cornering Josh by the couches. Looking to and fro, Josh swallowed.
"With what...?" he asked feverishly, but Ryan just grinned.
"Don't care!" he hissed and moved forwards again.