Other stories filed under BHS Fiction
Other stories filed under Showcase
“The city that started it all” By Iven Vest Noret
May 1, 2017
Such stories like this might start with the fabled “Once upon a time”, or “It started like any other day”, but if it was stated like that, then it would be a blatant lie. For where I begin, it didn’t start at all like a normal day. In fact, it started with a loud crash and bang that woke up two teenage boys, George Gold and Ben Morton, who were having a sleepover in the Gold’s basement.
“…Huh? … Ben.. Ben wake up.”
Or rather… one did while the other tried to ignore it and remained passed out on the floor.
Ben didn’t reply, so I crawled over and to see if he was awake. He wasn’t. I wanted to wake him up, but I didn’t want to disturb him from his pleasant sleep and have him be annoyed at my gesture, possibly revealing ourselves to the noise.
While I puzzled this, I realized that his phone was by the head of his pillow. I decided to grab my phone and text him. Like I figured, his phone vibrated and he shot up to read it. Though my basement was dimly lit, I could see the emotion in his face switched from delight to terror so suddenly I thought he would have a heart attack.
He looked up at the sky and back at me manically. He got out of his sleeping bag and crawled over to me, and quietly begged, “You better be shitting me.”
Now, Ben rarely swore… well “rarely” is a little bit of an understatement, as he swore whenever he was scared, which happens more than he’d like to admit. I tried to calm him down, reassuring him that it wasn’t Aliens by sheepishly remarking that I heard a loud noise. He was simply about to swear at me but was cut off by another loud bang. He looked at me and muttered, “In the chance it is Aliens, you’re going in front of me.”
We stood up and walked to the stairs slowly. Ben and I had slept in our street clothes, so we weren’t confronting whoever it was in our pajamas. Ben was wearing his normal navy “DC” sweatshirt and jeans, while I had the Ninega 32 system logo on a graphic tee, with blue jeans. My hair was in a curled mop on my head and I even thought of fixing it on my way up the stairs but resisted the temptation. Ben sometimes combs his straight black hair, but he didn’t seem too worried about it.
I cautiously looked around the living room, but nobody seemed to be there. For a second I eased up before I heard footsteps upstairs. I gestured Ben to be quiet as we turned the corner to go upstairs.
Whatever confidence I had stored up, it drained when I had stepped on the third stair, for it had let out a slight creak. I winced and waited for whoever was upstairs to notice. A good ten seconds went by, and I figured we were safe. I shifted my weight off of the step and stepped over to the fourth. Fortunately, the other steps didn’t creak like the other one, so we scaled the stairs slowly.
When we got to the top, I looked around the corner, I was surprised to see the whole upstairs living room a mess. Books laid across the floor at the base of the bookshelf, papers that should’ve been on the coffee table were all over the floor. Even two pillows that should’ve been on the couch were on the ground.
I walked over to the books to pick them up when I realized that the only books that were on the floor were photo albums of my family. I looked through them and realized that photos were missing, including some entire pages torn out. Why would someone take pho-
My thought was cut off when I heard someone yell, “Who the hell are you?!” from the kitchen and I turned my head to realize that Ben slowly opened the kitchen door a bit and snuck in without me noticing, which was impressive. I slowly walked over to the sliding door cautiously and peered in. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
An adult man dressed in all black was in the kitchen, cornering Ben with a knife at his throat. My heart was pounding as I tried to think of what to do when I realized the man had a gun strapped to his belt. It struck me as odd that he didn’t use the gun, but I didn’t want to think about it too hard. I had to think of a way to get Ben out of this.
Before I could, Ben replied to the man, “Uh… I live here.” He lied of course, but guessing he was trying not to get cut, he had to think of something. Though I didn’t expect how he’d take it.
“Wait, you’re the Gold’s kid?!” The man responded quizzically, almost if he believed it for a second, but as soon as that second was over, he brandished the knife harder on his neck, “I don’t believe you.” At this point, Ben was a bit freaked out, but tried to stay calm.
He gulped, and answered, “I-I can prove it. I’m sixteen years old, my name is George Gold. I have two younger twin brothers. My parents’ names are Patrick and Marie Gold, my mom’s maiden name is Swa-” The man surprisingly cut him off.
“Alright, alright calm down. Jeez. Lemme just see if I can verify it with the photo…” The man, who was probably a robber, dropped him and pointed the knife at him like he thought he was holding his gun. While he tried to fish out the photo from his pocket, I had just realized I had carried the photo album over to the kitchen door, and I decided to use it to my advantage. I knew I had to act fast.
Since the robber’s back was facing the door which I was peering behind, I decided it was my best bet. I slowly approached the man, who just got the photo out of his pocket. He turned toward Ben, who I didn’t realize was staring right at me. Ben tried to look away, but it was too late, the man saw.
At that moment I decided to bring the photo album up toward his skull to knock him out, but at the same time, the robber slashed his knife across my arm. It stung, and blood started to spray everywhere. It almost crippled my arm of its power, but I was determined to save Ben. I finished the swing and slammed the album over his skull. He dropped the knife and he fell to the ground, appearing like a murdered body with all the blood coming out of my arm.
(Continued in the next chapter…)
“Holy hell, George, that was incredibl-” Ben stopped himself when he realized the state I was in since I had just fallen to my knees in pain. “Jeez, George. Lemme.. Let me help you, man.” Ben pulled off his sweatshirt, revealing his white PlayBox shirt. He hesitated, but grabbed the knife and cut off his sleeves of his sweatshirt, and tied it around my left arm, as a makeshift sling. He helped me up, and I slightly groan, but I manage.
We looked down at the knocked out body of the robber. “So.. what should we do now?” Ben asked, a bit shaken from what happened. Given the fact that he was at knife point by someone who broke into my house, and he’s deadly afraid of sharp metal objects being cut into him, I think he has a right to be shaken up.
I looked up at the clock, it read 5:15 am. “My parents are sleeping upstairs, we should tell them what happened. They’ll know what to do.” He nodded in agreement and we both left the kitchen and walked up the stairs to my parent’s room, “Also, what was that about you pretending to be me, and giving out all my personal information? Like what the heck man!”
“Hey, I had a knife to my throat. A knife! I have a red mark from it, I had to think of something.” Ben exclaimed as we walked into my parent’s room, which I was surprised to see empty. The covers look to be pulled back like they both got up already, but they were nowhere to be seen.
We both looked at each other, first confused, but then realized what might have happened. We tried not to think about it. We turned around and started down the stairs.
I started to think out loud, “Why would this guy come to my house, and steal photos out of family photo albums? It doesn’t make sense.” Ben agreed and didn’t have an idea of what was going on. We walked into the kitchen once again, and I inspected his body.
“Should we do something with him?” Ben asked, with his hands in his sweatshirt pockets like usual, “I mean, what if he wakes up?” I knelt down the best I could with my sling, which by the way still hurt. I picked up the photo and examined it. My heart sank. It seemed to be a family photo that we took at my sister’s graduation, though it seemed to be drawn on with a red pen. My Mom’s, Dad’s, and twin brother’s faces were X’d out. I showed Ben. He didn’t seem to happy about it either.
It was when I flipped the photo over that I saw a weird symbol drawn with the same red ink as before. It was a pentagon with a single eye which was slightly closed. It had five pupils as well, and there seemed to be five seed-like shapes that were all connected in a ring surrounding it. Though I thought I saw that symbol before. I looked up and saw that the same symbol was on the man’s black hat, and even more to my surprise that the man was getting up, holding his head.
I quickly looked at Ben and simply stated, “Follow me, now!” I shoved the photo in my jean pocket and bolted out of the room, with Ben following behind me. It took me a second to get up with my injury, but as soon as I was up, I wasn’t stopping.
As soon as we got out of the kitchen, we heard the man, “..Huh..? Hey, get back here, you brats!” We ran down the stairs and practically slammed the sliding patio door open. I quickly ordered Ben to shut it and we raced down my backyard. Nearly a few seconds later we heard the sliding door open and he swore. Suddenly we hear gunshots, and with whatever energy we had stored up we jumped over the fence and booked it into the woods. We didn’t stop running until we knew we had lost him, and even then we ran a bit longer.
Exhausted, Ben and I stopped to take a breather, and the first thing Ben said didn’t surprise me, “I’m never… running… again.” He rested on the trunk of the tree, putting his hands into his sweatshirt pocket. I panted as I held onto my arm. Ben’s sweatshirt sleeves seemed to stop the bleeding, but it still stung a lot. I didn’t tell this to him, however, we had other problems at the moment.
“Why did this guy steal my family photos?” I pulled out the photo, “What does this symbol mean? Where are they keeping my family?!” My mind was almost racing as fast as my heart was, which thankfully it was starting to slow down.
Ben grunted, obviously not happy with the state we’re in, “We got bigger problems. It’s dark. We’re lost in the forest. There’s some guy with a gun after us. And worse of all, I’m tired.” Something about what he said struck a nerve with me.
“Excuse me?! For your information, my family has been kidnapped! All I know, they could be dead! Now if you could please help me figure out what’s happening, that’ll be much appreciated.” I shouted, unable to believe that’s what Ben had just said.
He took his hands out of his pockets, and stood up from the tree, “I’m sorry, but in case you forgot, I was at knifepoint a few minutes ago! I’m gonna have a scar on my neck!”
“You’re gonna have a scar? Look at me!! I’m gonna have more than a scar! I’m probably gonna need a blood transfusion if we get outta this. Also, do I need to remind you that I saved your life back there!”
“Saved?!” Ben hollered, “Because of what you did, it pissed off the very guy we’re trying to avoid!!”
“Then why on God’s green earth did you wander into the kitchen, the very place the guy was at!?!” I argued, getting fed up with this conversation.
“Well, I don’t know” Ben exclaimed, “Maybe I was trying to find out who he was!”
“Why would you care about that?!”
“I don’t know, get off my back!” Ben snapped, turning around, “I’m going for a walk.” He started to walk deeper into the woods.
I yelled at him, “A walk?! And where on Earth would that be?!!”
He barely turned when he responded, “Away from you!”
I clenched my fist in anger, as I shouted, “…Well, you better return with wood for a shelter!!”
“Maybe I will!” He announced loudly.
All I could muster up was shouting, “Fine!”
I watched him walk into the distance in his sleeveless navy sweatshirt until he disappeared. When he did, I sat down on a nearby stump, and my eyes started to water. I held my face in my hands as I silently wept, something I haven’t done since I was a little kid.
(Continued in the next chapter…)