|Old Roger's Pass
Author: DayAndNight PM
Danny Thurston was an odd boy. But Todd Wakefield didn't care about that. That's why he gets to live beyond Friday night.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Supernatural - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,090 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 06-05-09 - Published: 06-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2680142
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Old Roger's Pass
Danny Thurston was an odd boy. Neighbors watched him walk up the street to school each morning behind their blinds, hands held to their chest in an almost protective manner. The bus driver, dropping off the rest of the little snots, would always see the boy lumbering up the stone steps to the front door, and silently shuddered before closing the door and driving off, holding whatever spoils he had collected from the oft-forgetful masses of children. Teachers watched him with one stray eye, in the case that he graced their classrooms with the unmistakable stench of abnormal. Students parted in the hallway, a rare feat, and accomplished only from the fact that this boy, Daniel Thurston of 422, 2nd Avenue in Washington Heights, was an oddball.
But this was least prevalent to Todd Wakefield.
Todd, himself, was not the most loved boy, but not hated and made fun of, either. You would find him at parties, but maybe sitting down and having a nice little talk with a girl; his report card, you'd see, was mostly B's, with the occasional A and the rare (but not unheard of) C. He played football, but wasn't the star. He dated sporadically, and was considered on the handsome side, but mostly average. The only way Todd differed from his classmates was his communication with the bizarre Danny.
This was not extensive, of course. Perhaps they would have greetings every now and then. Perhaps Todd would lend his pen to Danny and Danny, in return, would lend a ruler. Perhaps Todd would make a joke and Danny would laugh, chiming in a good one himself every now and then. Popular opinion still held in Todd's mind, and he recognized openly that Danny was not a regular person, but they could be called friendly acquaintances, he supposed.
So this is why Todd Wakefield was stopped on his way walking home, sweaty and tired, from the dance on Friday night.
He'd gone with Shannon O'Shea. Not so bad. She was definitely on the prettier side of the spectrum, and they'd even danced close for that Cyndi Lauper song, the one all the girls think is cute and romantic. He didn't really care about the song; it was just nice to smell her coconut skin cream and to feel her boobs pressed against his chest. So, a good night, all in all. But it was late. Lord, it was late. The moon was crescent, but still somehow luminous and splitting through the clouds. The only sound was his shoes, clapping against the sidewalk. They sounded dogged, just like he was. He knew he should've taken the ride home back with Mark Peterson's van, but Mark Peterson was into "Let's-take-a-pit-stop-and-steal-some-beer-for-later" kind of activities, and that just wasn't Todd's sort of thing.
His hips hurt, like they always did when he'd been running or dancing or doing something that required extensive leg use. He wasn't a wimp, of course, and his legs were actually pretty well toned, but that's where the pain always seemed to go, so, usually, he just pulled out the ibuprofen and waited for the ache to dissipate. This time, though, he was about to be in the soft confines of his bed, so he figured he would fight the pain and stay drug-free. Hah. As if he was hooked on drugs. Nah, he stayed away from that business, brother. Too many negative effects just for one thrill, honestly. Nah, his mama always had said—
Todd stopped, breathing heavily. He walked by the Thurston house everyday. It was as freaky as everyone else thought Danny was. But now? Oh, boy, it surpassed the status of outlandish. The windows emanated purple light. The chimney spouted red smoke. The bricks flashed green and yellow and blue, in that exact sequence. The grass had grown into little black claws, groping at cement and fences and the air. The front door had grown a face, and looked him in the eyes with murderous intent. At first, he thought it was just the hallucinations coming back again, and reached for the emergency medicine bottle in his jacket. Everything else, however, remained normal and natural. That never happened. Not with the visions, at least. So Todd dropped the bottle into the pocket, and stood back to watch the show.
Of course, he wasn't just watching for long. Someone came out the hole the murderous door kept covered. It was a familiar figure; tall, lanky, uneven, and walking with the attitude of a man who has just faced defeat.
"Yeah, Todd," he spoke, in a silky voice. It nearly lulled Todd to sleep, but he stayed awake.
"The hell?" Todd said.
"This town… you don't even know half its secrets. The Browns? Holding a meth lab in their basement. The McDermott family? Hate Jews with a livid passion. The Johansen family? They've been inbred for three generations."
"What the hell's going on, dude?"
"Pretty lights," Danny grinned. "Fireworks. The good stuff. Everybody in this damn town deserves to die, for one reason or another. Except you. You've been good, Todd. So I'll give you something, here it is; you get to live. Take it and run, buddy boy. Get to your ol momma and your dog in time, and you get to have your entire family survive. Hell, maybe even some of your friends. But run, Todd. Washington Heights ain't gonna be here tomorrow morning at sunrise."
Todd would've liked to think that he was hallucinating, that Mom would shake him and he'd be in the hospital and the nurses would scold him about not taking his meds as often as he should've, but Todd knew his visions from reality on a primal level in his brain, and Danny Thurston was no mirage. What was he? Shit, Todd didn't know. Didn't really care. All of the sudden, it seemed like his house would be gone by the time he got there. Forgetting the pain in his hips and Shannon O'Shea's boobs, Todd ran from the Devil. He'd been given a free pass. Why not share it with a few loved ones? Maple Street was only so far away. And Todd never did run faster than he did on that night.
If you ask anyone from the rest of the world, they'll tell you that Washington Heights was the victim of nuclear bomb-testing. A routine test gone awry when a young assistant mixed up the original coordinates. A true tragedy, in all senses of the word. But Todd Wakefield lived through that day. He sat in his basement, listening to the Sound of the Devil ahead with his crying mother on one side and his whimpering dog on the other. He sobbed into his hands, knowing that there was evil occurring above on the ground. He knew that he would emerge into a barren wasteland, devoid of any evidence of previous human existence. And no one would believe his story. So Old Roger had given him a pass. But he might as well killed him with everyone else at Washington Heights, because no man can live with a terror like that one his mind.