I unpacked my bag in small room that was going to be my home for the next month. I wasn’t the only one who was not satisfied with our arrangement. It was already half past seven, till now I didn’t even realized that we were driving for whole day. No doubt we all were bloody knackered. We were at the edge of our town from where the reserved forest start. It was our vacation and everyone in my group were discussing regarding where to go when I might have mentioned this place.
“Dinner’s ready everyone!” Richy shouted from the kitchen.
I could notice how famished everyone was, it merely took about 10 seconds for everyone to fetch their seats at dining. The atmosphere was getting lively when I observed that Sarah was somewhat distant from other. Being the lone foodie of our group her plate was surprisingly empty.
“Is there some issue, Sarah?” Dave asked while closing his seat toward her. It was deducible as since the beginning he was trying his best to win her.
“Oh… it’s nothing. I should just get some rest… Goodnight Guys.” she stood up while refraining from providing any suitable answer. While not thinking much regarding it everyone get back to enjoy their dinner.
The whole house was so old that even the trees in the forest were younger then it. The house was my uncle’s who died two years ago due to extreme blood loss. To my amazement in his will he left this house for me even though his own son got nothing, till now no-one knew why that happened.
We all had finished our dinner, Zack rushed in his room to bring his favorite board game- The Hunted. It was a very popular game that was available in stores for a limited time. Due to the complexity of game and it’s absurd punishments it soon became a matter of concern for many parents but it didn’t stopped their kids to not play it.
“Wait, Shouldn’t we ask Sarah to join us?” The moment Dave uttered these words all eyes were shifted on him and then to each other. We all burst with laugh while Zack arranged the board and appoint everyone with a role.
“As usual he will be the narrator, It’s really boring while knowing that one of us knows who’s who!” Kristy sighed as she folds all her cards and was about to leave when Richy pulled her arm discreetly so to make her stay.
“Come on, we can’t play without the narrator. Also we all are already exhausted, so why not complete this game and we hit the bed.” It was the first word that I spoke since today as I had no idea how I got mixed up in this vacation camping in first place.
There was a complete silence after my remark, it felt like everyone knew that I was being a grumbler but no one dared to speak seeing they were the one who asked me to join. After sitting silently looking at each other for half hour we all finally started to play our game when suddenly it started raining cats and dogs outside out of the blue. We all continued playing our game as it was their made up rule to always finish a game that has been started.
“Man! (shouted) I was hunted… No!!!” I acted a bit while showing my cards to everyone deliberately.
“He did it on purpose.”
“Why would you even play if you had to do this.”
“I don’t think there’s any point in continuing our game.”
With in seconds everyone started to get on each other nerves and I could only control my laughter seeing how the game they wanted to play didn’t even survive for merely 10 minutes before everyone decided to get back in their room. It’s not like I wanted to spoil their fun, I was tired from all that drive and just wanted a nice sleep which I knew wasn’t possible before everyone goes to bed. After all we do have a long day coming tomorrow.
The House even though was huge but it was only containing four rooms in total while the smallest one, I was occupying it leaving the rest for my six friends to share. Being the only girls Sarah and Kristy were sharing one room, Dave and Richy were staying in the one which was besides the girls. Zack was staying in the last room which too was small but it could be shared if only barely. Zack being himself didn’t wanted it to be shared with anyone. Thus leaving Adrian who unfortunately sleep on the couch downstairs in dinning area.
It was around 4:20 am, I was having trouble sleeping due to extreme body pain. I remembered having some analgesic along with some soporific drugs near the entertainment center just outside the dinning room. To my amazement it was still raining outside but there was something unusual about this rain, the problem was I just couldn’t quite comprehend that yet. It was unusually dark for a house with lots of windows. The moment I was about to take my last step a noise followed, it was very low that even the rain drop was loud enough to cover it but there was one.
“Hmm.. Who’s there?” Adrian said while facing toward couch’s support. Just by looking I could feel how uncomfortable it might be for him to sleep there.
“I ASKED WHO’S THERE!” This time he shouted even though he still was deep asleep. That instant I remembered how everyone told me before coming here that Adrian have a habit of talking in his sleep. I had never noticed that before so I didn’t provided much thought in that.
I picked the pills while ignoring his unnecessary talk and went toward the kitchen to fetch a glass of water. When I noticed that the refrigerator’s light was open, I went to close it when suddenly head popped out from it. It was Sarah she was deciding regarding what to eat when I might have arrived. She looked at me with a cold stare, for a second there I don’t know if it was the same Sarah that came with us. I realized I should say something to break this awkwardness but we never even shared a ‘hello’ till now, honestly I never realized her presence till yesterday when we came.
“What do you want?” With that cold glare she asked while facing toward the refrigerator.
“…” I didn’t knew what to say to her considering her cold nature toward me for some reason as if she loathe me.
She looked at me again but this time I noticed that she was trembling, might had been the weather. It was already cold when we arrived yesterday and that uncontrollable rain was just icing the snow.
“Here take the pill, it might help you with the fever.” I don’t know what came over me, it was the first time I might have helped someone since I start studying here.
She grabbed the pill so violently that my hand got a small cut from her long nails. I didn’t reacted at all, it was like as if nothing happened while I saw that her eyes dilated the moment she realized I got hurt. I could saw embarrassment in her eyes but due to some reason she didn’t said anything at all. She took the pill and went in her room while keeping her head down. I was still having extreme headache but unfortunately there was none analgesic left for me. I still took the soporific pill so to sleep soundly and was standing there in kitchen observing the rain. It was an old habit of mine, since my third grade I found the rain exceptionally soothing for some reason.
It was around five in morning, the sky was significantly purple due to twilight that fudged with an unforgivable rain that at this point had turned into storm. The windows were surprisingly calm even in this terrible weather. It wasn’t dark outside anymore which was much more that I could have said about the house. For a moment it was so quiet that even the raindrops were not making any noise when I realized the drug might have kicked in.
I was about to went upstairs to have my good sleep when I saw him for the first time. That large silhouette of what I precede a man in hat standing just outside the window near the entrance.
“I need to hit the bed now, even the mind is playing tricks on me” I ignored the shadow considering it might be the adverse effects of soporific drugs.
Around 5:10, still struggling with the sleep I just kept looking at the roof thinking what my life had become when suddenly someone knocked on my door three times. Assuming it might be the wind I ignored it, after five seconds someone knocked again this time it was so loud that even Zack who was sleeping in the room beside mine might have heard. I went to open the door when suddenly the window of my room shattered and all the water from violent storm drenched my room. The shattered glass mixed with the water and was now scattered in the room.
I rushed downstairs and tried to wake Adrian up but was unsuccessful. I started moving all my stuff downstairs carefully as it might be containing the glass’s pieces. Around six Zack woke up with the disturbance that all the shifting was creating.
“ What happened? Why is your room drenched?” he asked while rubbing his eyes. His mind was processing all the stuff as he was still half asleep.
“The window suddenly shattered and with in seconds my room was covered with water and glass.” I explained while packing all my clothes in the bag.
“Lemme help.” He wear his shirt and start checking if anything was left.
Zack was the only person in our group whom I knew. We studied in same secondary school and used to live near each other but he then moved to different city. Zack took my bag and went downstairs so to place it on the spare couch. I was still trying to put things together to why would the window broke in first place. There was no alien material in room, so it was deducible that nothing hit it from outside. It was the only room left and now there was no place for me to sleep. Even though there was a spare couch downstairs but Adrian’s sleep talk will kept me awake. I was estimating the hours it would take for my room to be usable again when suddenly Zack shouted from downstairs.
“Quark… come here fast…” I got startled as I could sense Zack’s fear from his voice. I was about to rush downstairs when Kristy came outside wearing Richy’s yesterday’s shirt. It wasn’t the moment to brought that up so I rushed toward Zack.
“What is all this ruckus about? Not everyone is an early bird, you know.” She rolled up the sleeves and buttoned up the shirt. I knew they were together last night but that moment I was more focused on Zack.
While running down the stairs I saw Zack facing toward the entrance while sweating uncontrollably. He wasn’t even blinking and after I reached a bit close I noticed he was clenching his teeth. It was his old habit that only I knew from back, when ever Zack feel afraid he automatically clenched his teeth so hard that you could hear them pressing against each other.
“What happened? Zack…Zack…hey!” I shook him for a bit and tried to make him to see me but nothing worked. He still was facing the entrance in fear.
Kristy joined us with her half closed eyes. It was obvious she didn’t sleep properly last night. She was limping as her mind was still asleep as she approached us. “What are you looking at?” she asked Zack who was still shocked. Kristy too looked at the entrance when she screamed so loudly that even Zack responded to it.
“Not you too! What is with you guys” I said while this time I looked at the entrance. To my surprise there was a good reason for them to behave like what they did.
It was the same thing that I saw just before I went to bed. That same silhouette of what I assumed a guy with hat but much clear. I mean this time I could easily recognize his face. The most creepy part was that he had tilted his head to left side while still wearing the hat on top.
“Wh..wh..what is th..th..that, Quark?” Zack stuttered while keeping his head down.
“And why is he smiling at us…?”Asked Kristy who was as scared as Zack maybe even more.
I myself had no idea what we were observing and from where he came as there was no house near by just a deep dark forest. I did heard many baseless myth regarding this forest but I had never paid any attention to it as no one had ever approached to this part of town in hundreds of year. Two years ago I had no idea that there was a house built near the forest hell there was really a forest to begin with.
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