Panic filled the group as their screams filled the night sky. AJ could barely see as he rushed through the woods, almost tripping over the many rocks and twigs that littered his path. On and on he ran, trying to escape the dreaded woods.
“This is crazy! I’m out of here!” he shrieked, not seeming to care if his friends were following him or not.
Suddenly, a gust of wind broke through the forest, knocking him on his back. AJ could feel himself gasping for air and trying to get his bearings. At this point he noticed two things. Number one: his friends were nowhere to be seen. Number two: everything was silent. The trees no longer rustled, the air was stale, and sounds of chains clanking had completely dissipated.
Once AJ got his breath back, he let out a sigh of relief. It appeared to him that whatever just happened was over. Cupping both hands over his mouth he yelled “I’ll go get help as soon as I get out of here!”
Trying to get to his feet, he noticed he couldn’t move his legs. All of a sudden, his feet were being dragged back deeper into the woods by some unknown force. He let out a strangled noise as he scraped desperately at the ground. He tried to cling to a branch only to have it snap in his hands.
“Please no!” He pleaded. “I only wanted to have a good time with my friends in the woods!”
“Then why did you leave us?!?”
Screams rang out among the silence. The voices were warped into one eerie cry.
“Mariah?! Jason?!? What is going on?!?!” AJ screamed even louder after hearing what sounded like his friends voices echoing through a deep tunnel.
While continuing to struggle, AJ was able to glance at his foot to see what was dragging him. Chains. A blood curdling cry escaped his lips as he realized what his fate was likely to be. Pinpoints of light suddenly came up from thin air, surrounding him. He could just make out faces among the lights after his futile attempts at freedom. Rachel. Lila. Jason. Jordan. Everyone. But they didn’t look like the same friends he had made at the beginning of the fall semester. Instead, they were zombie-fied versions with a look in their eyes that could literally kill.
“Why?! What happened to you guys?!” AJ begged.
Instead of answering, the group started to wail and shriek unintelligible noises. These noises formed to make a sort of chanting that only increased with intensity. AJ closed his eyes tight waiting for the end to come. In an instant the noise stopped. Wondering what had happened, he couldn’t help but peek with a single eye.
His friends remained in the same spots they were before, but instead of facing AJ, they had their backs turned. In the center of the circle, only inches from where he lay, a young boy with mousy brown hair stood.
“But… But you’re just a kid,” AJ managed to squeak out.
The boy’s expression changed from neutral into a pout.
“I am not a kid,” he said with blatant defiance. “Now I’m bored with this. Why did you summon me if we weren’t going to play?”
“Wah..What? Summon you?? I have no idea what you’re talking about,” AJ stuttered. “What have you done to my friends?!” His voice was starting to become angry.
At this accusation, the boy smiled. AJ cringed at the look on his face.
“My mom didn’t want to play, so I made my own friends and sent her away,” he stated like it was the most normal thing in the world.
“Wha-?” AJ started but instantly started to gag on his own tongue.
“That’s enough out of you. I prefer my friends to be quieter.”
AJ clawed at his face desperately to shriek for help once more. The boy rolled his eyes and sighed.
“Time to add another prisoner to my collection. Come on AJ. Let’s go home.”
Without any warning the ground opened up, hands clawing through the cracks, groping for AJ. Without any voice to scream with, he could only stare in horror as he was pulled into the darkness awaiting.
“Sup,” he replied, kicking back nonchalantly in one of the many Tower C study rooms.
“Whatcha’ working on?” Angela asked as she continued to approach the couch he was sitting at.
“Oh, nothing. Just some stupid project for class. My professor wants us to look up some of Towson’s history.”
“It looks like you could use a break. Grab some lunch with me and Kevin?” she asked innocently.
Kyle smirked and put down the book currently in hand. “Sounds great. I’ll just get back to this later.”
Leaving his belongs behind, no one noticed the article lying open on the coffee table. The article titled “Youngest Serial Killer in History Arrested: Responsible for Over 15 House Fires,” with a picture of a boy. A boy with mousy brown hair and a devilish grin.