I managed to get away somehow. I wasn’t sure what I was running from, but some others from the house and I were trying to get away. We’d just entered a forested area that was harder to run through, but we were almost out. There was another street just across the way, with houses. I couldn’t tell if they were safe. They might have all just been part of the entrapment scheme.
But one thing that became more and more evident, the further we got from the house – we had nothing to lose. That house had evil in it. People were being held prisoner and they didn’t even realize.
We prepared to go down the hill and cross the road. Every foot of distance we put between ourselves and the house, and the woman in it, was a foot closer to safety. And we had miles to go.
But then they spotted us. The woman was beautiful, older, with shortish wavy brown hair and big brown eyes. Eyes that she was really good at getting to seem kind. I thought I saw otherwise.
And here, outside and so close to a world away from hers, I knew I hadn’t been paranoid.
“You’re evil!” I cried. And she looked gobsmacked. No one ever was rude to her. Something in her eyes flickered, and she faltered, for the briefest of moments. I pounced on that, and cried out again, “You’re evil!” This time more forcefully.
Then she gave us a stern, “Time to go” gesture. I felt myself weaken, but didn’t want to go. Still, the road to escape looked so dark, and the hill to get there, so steep. The houses across the way seemed to have cobwebs. And the others were following the woman. If I stayed out there, I’d be all alone in the darkness.
I followed the woman and the others back to the house and into the yard. People were mingling and it would have been nice if I didn’t now see that it was a prison yard. We weren’t free to come and go. I wished I’d kept going. Now that the woman had walked away, I was feeling stronger and wondered why I’d ever let myself come back here. Something bad was going to happen.
Then we saw it, in the sky – white lights. They were so beautiful, but they were going to hurt us. People started screaming to run for cover, and so we did, as the lights hit the ground as little meteors. They created a wave of physical chaos that pulled people down, but a tornado that held people in the sky, powerless. I heard someone scream out, “Cassie!” in that way that people can only scream when they see their friends dying. I turned around and I didn’t see Cassie, but I saw the shark. For some reason, we had a shark corpse that lived with us. I never liked it, but I really didn’t like seeing it spinning through the air, its guts spilling out, helpless…but maybe finally allowed to rest at last.
As quickly as the destruction came, it ended. And just as before, we obediently followed our leaders, this time to a basement. The horror of moments ago was quickly forgotten, as there was a party going on. So many of my friends were there. Perhaps the problem with the house was that I hadn’t been here at the party the whole time. We all laughed and hugged and drank and sang.
I went to use the restroom, and when I came back, the party was locked away and I couldn’t get back inside. The room they were in looked so warm and inviting – but from the outside, they looked vulnerable. All put in one place for the next attack. I screamed, banged on the door. I needed to warn them. They couldn’t hear me.
I had to get help. But I felt myself weakening. My bones weren’t supporting me. But there was a tunnel. Maybe if I could just get through it…
I dragged myself along the ground because my arms were all that were working now. The ground cut me and I was getting filthy. But the only thing that mattered was this, doing this, I had to do this. Every bit of adrenaline and resolve was being thrown into this task. The closer I got to the end, the more confident I was. My body could repair itself. What mattered was freedom. Salvation.
I got to the end. The light was so bright and beautiful. Everything would be okay.
The woman was there. She had changed in appearance; her hair was blonde now, and her eyes were light, but the same. Worse. Now she didn’t have to pretend for the benefit of the others. It was just me. Her face contorted into rage like I’d never seen. She pointed a gun in my direction.
The light beamed even brighter, and then disappeared completely.