The inside of the car smelled like mildew, and cigarets. As I looked in the front seat, I saw a frail man driving. He didn’t look like some sort of psychopath. The man looked back at me, and smiled.
“So, you’re Lucas’ new play mate?” The question was something I hadn’t heard since I was six. It left no doubt in my mind of what was happening. This was no kidnaping. They weren’t going to drag me into an alley to slit my throat, or rob me. This was just me, going to spend the night at a friends house.
“Yes sir.” I answered. “My name is Noah.” He was still staring at me, which made me uncomfortable, given the fact that he was driving. But the whole time, he was able to keep the car perfectly on the road.
“Oh, I know who your name,” he said. Then he turned back to his original position. I looked over at Lucas. He had his body fully turned toward me. He wouldn’t look away. I decided to try and make the ride more bearable by talking.
“So, Lucas, what do you do for fun?
“I like to sew things.” His voice sounded like he was in some sort of daydream. The comment sounded strange to me. This boy, with his odd masculinity, was spending his spare time sewing.
“Why do you do that?” I asked, desperately thinking of ways to make the ride less frightening and awkward.
“I find that it relaxes me. It also makes me think clearer about what I really want in life. About what I should focus on next.” His voice still had that odd tone to it. I pulled my backpack closer to my stomach. What was going on? What felt like hours, turned out to only be minutes. We climaxed our drive down an old suburban road. Most of the houses looked vacant. The others that had people living in them, looked like they owned a house and nothing else. This was a very poor part of this city that I had never been in before. Then we pulled in front of the house at the end of the street. One glance at it made the most logical question come to my mind, “How could they afford to send Lucas to my school, if this is where they live?”
“Well, here we are!” His dad’s voice sounded excited, almost like we had just gotten to a theme park. “Everybody out.” All three of us slowly got our of our seats, and unloaded our bags. I looked at the decaying front yard and house, and felt my stomach drop. This place was not meant to be lived in. We walked through the front door, and Lucas’ dad turned on one of the lamps. It was extremely dark, and all of the windows were boarded up, causing me to put my hand out in front of me to make sure it didn’t hit something.
“Can we turn on another light? I can’t see very well.” I saw the shadow of Lucas move across the room and turn on another lamp. That helped a little. The lamps gave off the affect of a nightlight, instead of a real lamp. The dark, orange glow faintly stretched across the room, just giving enough light to make out where I was.
The room was some sort of living area. It had two raggedy couches making a half square in the middle of the room. filling in the other side of the square was an old TV. Something straight out of 1999. To the left of the couches was a staircase, which I saw Lucas run up just after turning the second lamp on. His father walked into the room adjacent to the living room and gestured for me to follow. It was the kitchen. A very basic set up. A fridge, table, and oven. The walls were lined with cabinets giving the room a closed in feel. Behind the table was another door. I wasn’t sure what it was for, but I did notice a large lock on it. Lucas’ dad was standing at the sink, putting some food items into a paper bag.
“I just wanted to thank you for coming to spend some time with Lucas. He never stops talking about you.” I thought about that for a moment.
“But I just met him yesterday.”
“Oh, well he’s had his eye on you for a while. The last boy he had his eye on, never came back. It hurt him really badly.” His dad walked over to me and put his hands on my shoulders. Even though his dad was much smaller than Lucas, he was a large man compared to me. But instead of intimidation, he gave the feeling of a man who is trying to also be the sweeter of two parents. “But you won’t leave my little Lucas now will you?”
“No, no I won’t.”
“Well, good.” He said, then left me and picked up his sack of food. The then gabbed a jacket that was hanging on one of the chairs at the table, and put it on. “I have the night shift at work tonight. Lucas will probably stay in his room for a while. The bathroom is upstairs, first door on the right. The fridge is all yours.” He started to walk away, then turned back to me. “Don’t go into the backyard.” With that final statement, he left the house. I was left alone. Standing there in the dimly lit kitchen all I could think of was one thing. Why didn’t I just leave now? Then there was a rumble from upstairs, reminding me of what awaited me if I didn’t fulfill this bargain.
I started to plan out my night of survival. Lucas’ dad said that he would mostly stay in his room, so my main area of safety was going to be down here. At the worst possibility, I might have to go upstairs with him. My second idea was that, if I could find something that was “cop worthy,” then I could use it to keep Lucas away from me after this night. But I didn’t know if there was actually any of that kind of stuff here. As far as I knew, Lucas was some mentally ill teenager who just happened to be focused on me today. I didn’t know if he was going to be doing anything with me the next day or the day after that. Then the door came to mind. Why didn’t they want me going into the back yard? Why did that one door have a lock on it? Where was the key?
This door was going to be my goal for this evening. Something was behind it that I just knew would help me. It would answer some questions. There was no sound coming from the distant second floor. I wondered if Lucas was doing something normal that just didn’t require a lot of movement. Or if he was listening for me to do something. Something that he wouldn’t like. I decided that stealth was going to have to be my number one rule. The second one would have to be listening. I would need to keep my ears open for any sounds that might come from upstairs. Thus the hunt began.
Then I started looking around the kitchen. Slowly moving as I noticed that the house made creaking noises every time I moved to fast. I decided that I should first use my eyes to look around the room. If I didn’t find anything, I would start moving to look into cabinets and such. As I contorted my body, and peered into the dark corners of the kitchen, I found the it was just too dimly lit to truly find anything. For all I knew, I could have been staring at the key the whole time and not have seen it. With this in mind, I slowly took my first step. There was a slight sound, but nothing too dangerous. I kept a constant pace as I roamed around the dirty kitchen. Each corner, each cabinet, each surface held nothing that would open the lock. It wasn’t in the kitchen.
I made my way out, and back into the living room. There was much less furniture, but the room was bigger than the previous. This room was carpeted, thus my feet didn’t make as much noise when hitting the floor. That meant that I could move slightly faster here. I took advantage of that, moving at what now felt like a slight jog across the room. Nothing was to be found. I walked over to the TV, and looked on the table that it sat. Nothing was there. I looked under it. Still, nothing. I stood up, feeling more frustrated anything. I had almost forgotten the real danger I was in.
“What are you doing?” My heart had almost leaped out of my chest, and I could feel the pain of fear in my lungs. Lucas was standing on the opposite side of the couch by the stairs. “What are you doing?” He repeated. He didn’t seem angry, just more confused. Like a young child who is getting his facts together to tattle on someone. That was when my mind came up with the best response under pressure than I had ever heard.
“I was just looking for the TV remote.” The words made me remember that I had to outthink this guy, if I was going to get away. He pointed down to the couch in front of me. The remote was sitting in plain view. I chuckled fearfully. Surely, he could see that any nitwit would have seen that, if they were really looking for it. “I guess I just wasn’t looking in the right spot.” I said, traces of shudders falling off my words.
Suddenly, Lucas leaped over the raggedy couch and landed right in front of me. I stood there, like someone who was turned to stone. Waiting for him to do whatever was on his mind seemed like forever. He then, just as suddenly as he had leaped, fell back on the couch, and grabbed the remote. I was taken back by this.
“Come on.” He said. “Lets watch some TV while my dads gone.” He then patted the cushion seat next to him for me to sit down. I wasn’t about to deny him what he asked. He hadn’t noticed me looking for something. For now, I was safe, but I needed to make sure he felt like nothing was wrong. The moment he guessed, would be the moment I was dead. I sat down next to him, and he pressed the power button one the remote. The TV turned on to static. I waited for him to change the channel, but he didn’t. He just sat there and stared at the screen. Dead eyed, no movement, glazed. It was almost as if someone had turned on a switch for him. I sat there for a while, not sure of what I should do. He then turned his head to me, and spoke.
“I heard you walking around down here.” Fear of those words struck me like a punch. “What were you doing?” I desperately searched for words that I could use. What could I possibly say?
“I was just looking around. Your dad said I could.” His face remained unchanged.
“He wouldn’t say that.” Lucas sounded confused by my words. I decided to get his mind off of this topic.
“Let’s just watch the show, ok?” He paused for a moment, and looked at me questioningly. I knew something that I said was wrong. He pointed at the TV screen. I looked at it, and then back at him. “Whats wrong?”
“That’s just static. You think I didn’t notice? You think I was really watching that? Only a crazy person would watch that.” He paused, and lowered his arm. “You think I’m crazy?” He seemed hurt, and angry. I felt sick. It seemed that no matter what I did, this guy was on top of the situation every time.
“I didn’t think that, Lucas,” the words held apparent fear, “you’re my friend, man.” He stared at me for a little bit longer, then turned back to the TV. He switched the channel to some cartoon.
“Ok.” His words brushed off the previous encounter as if it never happened. We both sat there, staring at the TV. I couldn’t tell if he was actually watching it or not. Soon, I couldn’t take the tension any longer, and stood up. He looked at me, shocked at my sudden movement. I knew that I had to cover it up fast.
“I need to go the bathroom.”
“It’s upstairs.” He said, then returned back to watching the TV. I quickly walked up the stairs and into the hallway. It was completely dark, except for a little sliver of light coming from one of the rooms. As I walked by that room, I saw that It was Lucas’. I quickly looked over my shoulder to see if he was there, then I poked my head through the opening. The light was coming from his window. The sun was setting, causing the little bit of light that was left to be slightly orange. I looked around the dimly lit room, and felt my mind race at what I saw. It was the normal room of a teenage boy. It had a bed, a dresser, a closet, and a desk. It was strange to see this normality in this particular house, but the one think that caused my new mood was what I saw on the shelves. Small little dolls. The dolls looked like something home made. There were hundreds of them.
I walked into the room, almost forgetting the stealth factor that I had to keep. These dolls were not some sort of voodoo dolls. They weren’t dolls that were used to play with. They were dolls that were set up to reflect something, or someone. They each had their skin sewn on. I looked around, but no sewing machine, meaning that Lucas had done all of these by hand. I looked back to the dolls and noticed something. All but two of the dolls were pressed close together. They all looked like a military group, except for these two, which stood out. I took a closer inspection of these two rouges. They both looked familiar. One was on his phone, the other was in some sort of karate outfit. Then it came to me. Kevin and Don. Sitting next to these two dolls were the needle and threat that Lucas had just used to make them. I felt my knees start to shake, when I looked over and saw the closet door slightly open. I knew that there was something in there that I could use. Something that I needed to know was there.
As I walked slowly across the room, foot moving slowly so that I was sure Lucas could not hear me this time, I felt a sickness fill me. I was going to throw up soon. I pushed the closet door open and let my eyes adjust to the light inside. There on the back wall were hundreds of pictures. Each one was of me. I felt my knees go out from under me, and I fell on my side. That was when I saw the boxes that lined the walls. They were each marked with the names of different cities. I wasn’t sure of all of them, but some I recognize. They came from all over. I lifted the lid of one of them. It was full of pictures of another boy. He looked my age, and had the same hair color and build as I did. The more I looked, the more I noticed the similarities between us.
With that I rushed out of the room and into the bathroom. I threw up in the toilet. As I was getting my senses back together, I felt the final true of the danger that was in this house. Just one floor below me was a maniac. Some sadistic teenage stalker. Someone who was clearly following what he thought was the same boy every time. This time, I was the boy he was after. I needed to get out of this house, but I wouldn’t make it on foot. I needed to survive until four. I didn’t even know if Kevin had seen my message, but it was a chance I was going to have to take. Even if he wasn’t, I would be able to tell Lucas that I had state the night, and I needed to go home.
As I stood up to leave, I saw into Lucas’ room. On his desk was a key. I hadn’t noticed it before, but there it was now. I quickly, without thinking, rushed over and grabbed it. As I was walking down the stairs the join my stalker for cartoons, I thought of the possibilities of him noticing that the key was gone. I decided that I would just lie, and tell him that I didn’t even know he had a key, and that his dad must have taken it away.
For the next few hours, I sat next to him, pretending to watch the TV, when in realty I was watching him. I think he was doing the same to me. At around eleven o’clock, he stood up and told me that it was time for bed. I told him that I was going to stay up for a bit longer.
“No, you aren’t aloud to do that. You need to go to bed now.” He didn’t sound like a child anymore. He sounded like an adult giving a child orders. I slowly stood up and followed him upstairs. He spent the next fifteen minutes making a pallet for me next to his bed, and brushing his teeth. He got into his bed, and turned off the lights. I forced myself to stay awake. I couldn’t take any chances in this place.
As the hours passed slowly, I eventually felt my lids droop over my eyes. Then the light in the room change.The sun had just started to come up, but my watch had just jumped ahead an hour. It was now 3:47 a.m. I had fallen asleep. I looked around, and saw him. He was at the foot of my bed, sitting cross-legged, watching me. Lucas didn’t even look like he was breathing. He had a needle and thread in each hand, and appeared to be getting ready to use them on something until I had woken up.
“Hey Lucas. What are ya doin’?” He didn’t answer. I knew that I didn’t have much time before Kevin, if he was coming at all, was going to be here. I sat up and grabbed my bag. “I have to leave.” He was now broken from his trance.
“My parents want me home by four. I have to leave now.” As I stood up he did too. He looked as if he wanted to bare my path, but he also knew that my parents wanted me home. He started stammering and trying to ask if I could stay longer.
“Sorry man, I can’t. You look tired. Why don’t you go back to sleep?” I lifted the covers on his bed for him to get under them. He slowly agreed, and slid back into bed. He watched me, as I finished packing and eventually fell asleep. I looked back at my watch. It was 3:50. I had ten minutes to open the door downstairs and see what was behind it. Keeping my nerves, I quietly moved through the house. The pail light coming through the slits of the boards over the windows, mixed with the orange light of the lamps, gave the house a sick feeling. I used the key on the lock. It didn’t work!
I hated my self. Why didn’t I even check this before? I did a quick walk through the kitchen, and my eye rested on a frying pan. I looked over at the lock. It would do the trick, but now Lucas would know that I had been through here. I had to find some evidence, and I couldn’t get the pictures now. Without a second thought, I broke the lock. The noise ran through the house. I waited to hear Lucas upstairs, but nothing. I opened the door. It wasn’t a door to their backyard. IT was a door to a basement.
Walking down into the darkness, I felt the walls on both sides of me. My hand hit a light switch. I flicked it on and saw the room. Filling the room was life size dolls. Each one had a piece of paper taped to it with a name on it. I looked around and saw one with no skin sewn on. However, there was a name.
These were the boys who he had stalked. He had them all here. This wasn’t their real skin was it? I slowly moved to the closest one and felt it. No, it was some sort of fabric. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then I saw something. It was a desk in the far corner. Walking over to it I saw letters and envelops. They looked old fashioned. The handwriting was very neat, and there was even a personal seal. I picked the one with the most resent date up, and read it.
“I have found a new boy. He wants to be my very best friend. He even invited me to a movie! None of the others ever did that. None of them even talked to me. All I could do with them is watch. But this new one, I will make him stay. Somehow, I will make him stay.”
After a minute if feeling dizzy, I grabbed the note and rushed out of the basement. I had found what I needed. Maybe this was the backyard that Lucas’ dad had been talking about. Was this his version of going outback to “play?” As I walked out of the kitchen, I didn’t see the figure standing in the light of the lamp until it was too late. He noticed me. It was Lucas’ dad. He had gotten through the door right as I had come from the kitchen. We both stood staring at each other. He took a step forward, and I took a step back. His face was visible now. It was angry.
“What did you do—“ He cut himself off when he saw past me into the kitchen. Looking behind me, I saw why he had stopped. I had forgot to close the door. Lucas’ dad suddenly became fuming with rage. He charged at me, screaming as he did. I ran back into the kitchen, and as I felt his hands grab my bag and start to pull me around, I felt my hands grab something from the table and swung it at his face.
The frying pan sent him to the ground. As I stood in horror at what I had done, I saw blood start to ooze from his skull. He was dead. There came a rumbling from Lucas upstairs, and if it was the screaming that filled the house, or some other sense that told him this father needed him and that his pray was getting away, Lucas woke up. I could here him running for the stairs, and the only thing I could think to do was run into the basement. I closed the door behind me, and rushed down the stairs.
I could hear Lucas running through the house above. I could hear his screams when he saw his father’s corpse. I could hear him searching the house for me. I didn’t have much time left. Looking around the room, I saw a small window that was level with the ground. It was high up, but I wouldn’t let that stop me. Grabbing a manakin’s head, I threw it at the window, shattering it on my first try. Lucas must have heard me, because I heard him slam his body against the door. He must have not known the lock was broken.
As Quickly as I could, I rushed over to the window, and leaped. I missed the ledge. I leaped again. Got it. Now I was dangling. I started to pull myself up as I heard Lucas stomping down the stairs. Squeezing my way through, I felt a hand grab my foot. I was being pulled back through! At the same time, I felt another hand grab my arm and start to pull me the other way. Right as I thought I was going to get torn in half, my shoe came off and I flew through the window. I was out. Looking up, I saw Kevin. He had come.
“Come on, let’s go!” He screamed. We both rushed to the car that was parked on the street. I nearly closed the passenger door on my leg trying to get in. As we were pulling away, I saw Lucas burst out the front door. He was screaming something at me that I couldn’t hear. I had made it.
We called the police when I got home, and with the help of Kevin and Don, we were able to explain the story to my parents and the cops. They told us that they were going over to Lucas’ house to arrest him, and that we should all stay here. I told my parents that I was sorry for letting this happen, but they told me it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t think so. I was the one who approached Lucas. If that hadn’t happened, I would have just been another box of pictures in his closet.
“No one would have caught him then.” Don reassured me. “Your’e kind of a hero now.” I smiled, but only to make them feel better. We waited at my house for an hour. When the police did show up, they said that Lucas had fled the scene, but that he couldn’t run for long.
“Just to be safe though, we are going to have an officer patrolling the street.” That was the last thing they said before leaving.
I never did see Lucas again, except on the news after they caught him. I didn’t feel safe until then. The only communication I had that had to do with him before that was when I found my phone. His text had come through. I remembered that he said it sometimes took weeks for his messages to send. The message was a picture and a text. The picture was of a dark room, with a TV turned on. It wasn’t his house though. The TV was much newer, and the show wasn’t cartoons. It took me some time to recognize what I was looking at, but when I saw the text below it, I knew exactly where and when this picture was taken.
“I like your gym shorts.”
End of Part 2