High school was far different from middle school. The lessons had become more complicated and there was no trace of those permissive teachers. Instead serious teachers -most of them were strict men- had this burden to teach freshmen. But Miss Olson was none of them. She was a good-hearted woman at her thirty, and the bra she wore was stood out under her white dress. She was busy writing words in her firm, no-nonsense script.
The classroom was hushed and sleepy. Allen was sitting in the second row with his hands folded neatly on the desk. He had heard rumours from older students about Miss Olson over the lunch table that almost half of the school’s staffs had asked her out and she had rejected them one by one.
“Well,” She clapped her hands together. Her lips wearing a smile which could melt any man’s heart.
Allen pushed the thought away.
“Who can guess who’s the poet?” she asked and eyed the class in search of a raising hand. The hot September sun glistened on her glasses and made it impossible for Allen to catch Miss Olson’s eyes for a moment.
“William Shakespeare,” a tremulous voice said from the back row. “He lived in the sixteenth century, and was a playwright and actor, too.”
Allen craned his neck and caught a glimpse of Emily White’s pimple-free, overweening face. She looked at him and gave him a haughty smile.
Miss Olson pointed out at Emily. “We’ve got a genius girl here, thanks, Emily”.
A snort of laughter escaped from Bob who was sitting next to Allen. Miss Olson dropped a threatening look at him and the laughter began to dry up.
Allen stared down at graffiti scratched on his desk. Someone had written a nice! piece for the physic teacher in sprawled letters.
That old McCain is a fucking psychopath
His eyes widened. He spent rest of the class struggling to scratch out the name from the desk.
The yard was a hell of students. Girls were giggling at a little boy whose fly was unzipped and the boy would pass in front of them, blushing up to his ears. In one corner, a fat guy had been gripping another guy’s arms so stringently behind him that balls of his shoulders stood out through his shirt.
Allen felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Bob. He sat beside Allen and brushed the hair off his forehead. He also had noticed the bullying guy.
“Everything’s going well?” Bob said.
“Thinking of tonight,” he said, his face tightened in a momentary wince, then relaxes.
“You seem nervous. I told you before and I tell you again that there’s nothing to worry about”.
” I hope so, but—“
“I’ve works to do now. I must exchange some cards with Steve. He says he’s the complete collection of the Red Sox team…well… see you tonight.”
Allen watched him as he brushed by Mr Hanning and started down the hall to the boys’ lavatory. The he rested his head against the stone bench and looked up at the sky above that was turning to lavender.
The night was overcast but not rainy, mild for late September. Overhead, a quarter moon was struggling to make its way through the cloud cover. The clock struck 10 o’clock downstairs. Allen had lied in his bed, his arms tucked under his head, waiting for the signal from Bob.
Outside the wind gusted. He shuffled toward the window and looked out at the street. The room was total darkness except for the fitful yellow glow of the blinker half a block up the street.
Allen narrowed his eyes and saw a figure on the other side of the road. It was impossible to guess what it was. Then Bob stepped toward and Allen recognized him. He was wearing a black jacket and a jean. Allen waved a hand to him and went down to the living room. His mother had gone to bed two hours earlier. He stepped out into the street. Bob was standing there with hands in his jean’s pockets.
“You should’ve been here by twelve, it’s ten now,” Allen said.
Bob opened his mouth but instead of words stream of cold air puffed out.
“Cat got your tongue?” Allen protested.
Bob limped toward him. Allen smelled something that he was utterly unable to describe- a sort of smell that was rotten and repulsive at the same time- something dead. The word formed in the back of his mind in a sudden flash.
A half smile crept across Bob’s face. “It’s getting cold, better to move your ass,” he said, his voice sounded grave and guttural.
Mrs Kelly’s famous house was located on the farthest part of the town, at the foot of Moore Hill. During the journey, Allen rethought of the plan over and over.
“We enter the house, you will watch the road and I’ll pick up those silvers just as much as we need,” Allen said. Then he emphasized his last words. Bob wasn’t speaking.
Allen peeked at him and noticed how his breaths wheezed and screamed. He was limping in an awkward way and Allen for a moment thought that it was as if someone had removed his right leg from its socket and then reattached it improperly.
“Are you all right, Bob?”
He just nodded.
They kept moving. The temperature had been dropped significantly since they started. Allen’s stomach felt bloated and suddenly as still as death. Spots danced in front of his eyes. He took in a deep breath and then let it out. His stomach was settling back down a little. Cold sweat rolled down his neck and spine and for a moment, he wished to be at home, sweet home as the saying is.
Half an hour later they found themselves in front of the big house. They barely could see the minute details of it. Again, sickness was rolling through his belly in gripping, peristaltic waves. His hands squeezed into fists. The house was guarded by graceful oaks that had stood for two hundred years. Loons were crying in the far distance. They went onto the porch. The boards creaked and squeaked under their weights. He grabbed the freezing doorknob metal. Coldness dug into his palms and reached his bones and made him shiver.
He blew out his cheeks and stamped the door open. A soggy smell wafted from inside and filled their nostrils. He looked at Bob whose blank eyes had been fixed on the doorway.
“You better watch the road,” Allen said. Then he entered the house. He waited until his eyes adjusted to the living hall. His hands scrabbling around on the wall feeling for the light switches. Finding the light switches, he flicked them. Nothing happened. He delves into his pockets, comes up with a flashlight. He glanced back at his company over his shoulder. Bob was sitting on the porch steps, his head lowered down between his knees.
Allen observed the living hall in the weak beam of his flashlight. The furniture was untouched since the death of old Mrs Kelly. Her bedroom was on the second floor. Think of all those jewellery. The voice whirled in his head. His heart beat crazily against his ribcage, his temples throbbed. Allen rolled his shoulders and stepped up the stairs. He staggered, but he grabbed the railing in time. He stopped at the corridor. A weak ringing rose from his hip pocket. He reached his pockets and took out his cell phone and pushed the green button.
A feminine voice began to talk in choked, gasped, shaking tone. It was Dori, Bob’s mother.
“Allen,” she paused, “it’s about Bob”. She was on the verge of crying. “He had an accident when he was…he was on the way to your house”.
There were stamping steps behind him on the stairs. One could clearly realize that the owner of the footsteps suffered limping. Allen’s chest rose and fell with rapid breaths. His eyes were going to jump out of their sockets and hung on his cheeks. He lowered his hand, now he could hear weak cackling voice coming out of the cell phones’ speakers. It was far and dreamy.
The smell of fresh blood was heavy and coppery in the cold air. Fear seized him. Death was in the house, ready to devour him into the darkness. Allen returned and momentarily he was losing his balance. Strength had drained away from his knees. He jerked his glance from the ex-live-Bob’s face, but a strange inhuman power was forcing him to stare. Tear prickled his eyes.
Allen gaped at him. Bob’s face was paper white. Blood pouring down his –its- dislocated leg and darkened his jeans. A tiny roll of blood oozed down from the corner of his mouth and struck the boards in dime-sized drops.
The archaic clock in the hall struck. The ringing sound filled the empty corridor and crept into Allen’s ears. He closed his eyes and threw up. It seemed to come all the way from his heels, convulsing his stomach like a sick fist. A dozen afterimages of Bob whirled blackly before his eyes. The last heave had brought up little more than mucus and salty saliva.
He opened his eyes again. Outside, the wind gusted. Overhead, a quarter moon was struggling to make its way through the cloud cover. He sensed the cool and smooth mattress against his sweaty skin. Allen sat up by one elbow. Then he got up and went toward the window, dazzled. He rested his throbbing forehead against the frigid window and recalled the nightmare vividly. The yellow blinker light seemed purple behind his eyelids. A truck roared and passed the intersection. Allen looked up and his heart didn’t beat for a second. He drew back his breath. On the other side of the street, in the darkness, Bob had stood with his hands tucked into his pockets, staring up at him.
This was my first short story ( I was 17)
What do you think about it?
Hope yu enjoy the story:)