"Come on, we have to go to that Halloween party!" Brooke whined in my ear. I sighed and slammed my textbook shut. Brooke' face brightened; she probably thought I was relenting.
"For the last time, no. Go by yourself," I said, irritation blatantly present in my voice. I had already lost count of how many times I had told her no, but she still wouldn't relent.
"Why not? Madelyn, you have to go. It'll be fun, I promise!" Brooke pleaded. I rolled my eyes at her.
"I don't think it's so fun when I'm watching you puke your guts out the next morning. Hangovers are not the definition of fun," I rebutted. I grabbed my textbook and stuffed it into my backpack.
"But, all you ever do is study! It's your senior year. Let loose a little," Brooke whined, using her last argument. My patience was wearing thin; I was about to snap at the next thing she said.
Sometimes, I had no idea why I was friends with her. We were polar opposites, but yet I put up with her annoyingness and she put up with my cold attitude. I guess we had it all worked out. But today, I had a pounding headache and a big test on Monday that would either damage my grade or help it drastically. And two hours was my limit.
"Brooke, just stop," I said, pressing my fingers to my temple. The headache had gotten worse with Brooke's whining, but I wasn't about to blame it on her. I just hoped she understood and backed off.
"Fine. You'll regret when you see how much fun I will have," Brooke said, finally conceding. She stomped out of the room, making sure I heard the anger that her footsteps enunciated. I didn't think too much into; I had much more pressing matters at hand. For one, getting rid of this skull-splitting headache. And two, I knew Brooke would forgive me eventually; she always did.
I tried to sleep the headache off, but I couldn't fall asleep. Brooke's words echoed loudly in my mind, intensifying my headache. The pain rolled throughout my head in waves; just when I was about to fall asleep, a wave of pain would come and jerk me wide awake. I had no choice; I had to go out and buy some painkillers.
I rolled out of my bed, groaning loudly as I missed the warmth of my bed. I grabbed my hoodie draped over my chair and pulled it over my head. I pulled my hair into a messy ponytail before stumbling out of my room. Ugh. The headache was killing me. I swiped my keys off of the hook, noticing that Brooke neglected to take her key with her. She was probably going to wake me up in the middle of the night again just to make me let her in. I hastily pulled on my sneakers. I pushed open the front door and stepped out. I shut the door behind me and locked it.
I didn't take my car. I was in no condition to drive anyways and the pharmacy was only a few blocks away. The pain by now had subsided substantially, enough for me to walk on the sidewalk without looking like I was wasted.
There weren't many cars at this time of the night, for which I was thankful. I didn't feel like waiting five minutes just to cross the street. I wanted to get the painkillers and go home.
I reached the pharmacy and I was in and out in five minutes. I was waiting to cross the street, with the CVS bag in my hands. The wind picked up, blowing a slight breeze. The trees rustled and the leaves rolled further on the sidewalk. I was glad I had brought my hoodie; it was getting cold out.
Another headache assaulted me right as the light turned red and all the cars stopped. It was my chance to cross the street, but that stupid headache prevented me from doing so. I leaned against the lamppost, rubbing my temple trying to ease the pain. God, I should have brought a bottle of water with me and downed the medicine the moment I bought it. But I wasn't thinking about that when I left the door. The stupid headache had prevented me from thinking about anything really.
By the time the headache had subsided, the light had turned green again and the cars drove on. Another gust of wind blew, this time the chill making it's way past my hoodie and assaulting the warmth of body encased in the hoodie. I shivered, wrapping my arms around me to try to preserve some warmth. I had began bouncing a little, impatient for the light to turn green again.
The light finally turned red. I was getting ready to cross the street when I saw a flash of white in the corner of my eye. I turned, out of curiosity, and screamed at the top of my lungs. There was a guy with a white mask holding a chainsaw, running at top speed towards. I bolted across the street; the guy gaining on me. I kept running, adrenaline coursing through my system. I wasn't athletic at all, in fact I cursed myself for not being more active. I was getting out of breath from sprinting, but fear kept me going. I knew if I stopped; I was dead.
I could hear the chainsaw roaring to life, the noise too loud for my comfort. The guy's footsteps kept getting louder and louder; I didn't dare to look back. All I knew was that he was gaining on me and if I didn't reach the vicinity of my home soon, I was dead. I kept running, running for my dear life.
At some point along the way, I lost the painkillers. It wasn't a priority right now though, with the sadistic man right on my tail. I would have screamed, but I was too out of breath to do so. One thought ran through my mind, Run.
I didn't know for how long I had been running or how far, but the next coherent thought that registered my mind was that I was lost. Utterly lost. I was on foreign territory, and I was starting to regret not going out with Brooke more and learning the place. And the worse thing? There was no cars around. I was alone and in the morning, all they would find is a shredded body on Pine Ave. Story of my life.
You would think that I would have some grand ending, but no I didn't.
I tripped over a pebble. I tried to catch my balance, but being the clumsy person I was, I fell face first into the pavement. My palms scraped against the gravel, pain immediately radiating through my hand. I tried to pick myself up, but I was forced down when the chainsaw swung right where my face would had been if I did get up. I tried to roll away from the chainsaw, fear taking over. I saw the chainsaw head towards me and I tried to scramble away but a hand grabbed the back of my hoodie, not allowing me to escape. I screamed, praying that someone would come to my rescue, anyone. Tears were flowing out of my eyes and I was whimpering on the ground like a kicked puppy, waiting for the blade to make contact with my back. I gave up, bracing myself for this gruesome death.
The blow never came. The hand released my hoodie and the noise of the chainsaw stopped. I was still crying when a hand shook my shoulder. Out of instinct, I flung the hand away from my shoulder.
"I thought I would get a thank you," the owner of the hand said dryly.
"Why would I thank a sadistic bastard?" I snarled, my tears drying up. I picked myself off of the ground and came face to face with Nick, one of the popular seniors at my school. Next to him, I saw the chainsaw guy lying face down on the ground, chainsaw damaged beyond use. Things began to click into place.
"Wait...you," I began, the words stuck in my throat.
"Yeah this sadistic bastard saved your life," Nick said, picking himself off of the ground. He took one last glance at the chainsaw guy before he turned his back on me and began to walk away. If it had been another day, I would had let him walk away, but tonight I was scared beyond comprehension. I still couldn't quite believe what had happened. But at that moment, all I knew was that I didn't want to be alone.
"Wait!" I called out, my voice hoarse from screaming. Nick paid no heed to me and kept walking. I forced myself off of the ground, my joints hurt from the impact of the fall. I must have sprained my ankle somewhere along the run, because pain shot through me when I placed weight on my left foot. I hobbled after Nick. I was too slow though. I tried to limp as fast as I could, but Nick was getting farther and farther away. At this rate, he would be gone out of my sight before I knew it.
I gave up. I sat down on the ground and cried. I was terrified and the only person I knew left me behind. I was lost, cold, and scared. The near death experience had left me shaken. The raging headache returned, my ankle was sprained, and my hands were bleeding. How could it get worse? I buried my face in my knees and cried. There was nothing else I could do; I had been stupid enough to leave my cell phone at home. An idiot will pay the price.
"Give up?" came a familiar voice. I looked up at him with my puffy eyes. I didn't show it but on the inside, hope blossomed. At least I had someone.
"Why did you come back?" I sniffled. I wiped away my tears and stood up, careful not to put weight on my left foot. Even standing, he still towered over me. I stood right at his shoulders. He made me feel safe though, and tonight that was all that really mattered to me.
"Because I have a heart. I wasn't about to let you die out here," Nick replied. He started walking, at a slower pace this time so I could keep up. I admired the way he walked, confidently, as he didn't have a fear in the world. I, on the other hand, walked with a limp and with my back slouched. But I didn't care. I didn't care if Nick thought I was weak.
"Isn't it a plunge to your social status by associating with me?" I asked. At our school, there was a clear line between the different cliques. Popular people would never be caught dead with someone that wasn't and unpopular people tend to stick around people like them. It was like our class was divided into two, with the Berlin Wall between us.
"No one is going to see us anyways. Not in this part of town. Besides, I'd think my social status would take a bigger hit if they knew I let you die on the sidewalk," Nick replied nonchalantly. It probably wasn't a big deal to him, but to me it was. I never talked to anyone outside of my group of friends, I had always been too shy to. Much less talk to someone who was way more popular than me. Scratch that, he was the most popular at our school.
"Oh." I didn't know how to reply to that. I wasn't much of a conversationalist anyways. We walked in silence; I still had no idea where I was going. I figured if I followed Nick, he would probably lead me someone where with people. Then I would find my way home. It sounded so simple in my head, but in reality, I knew it was not. I was much too terrified to venture anywhere on my own at this point.
"Where do you live?" Nick asked.
"Montgomery Boulevard," I replied. Was he going to take me home? I hope so; I didn't have enough guts to ask him to but if he was offering it would solve all the problems I was thinking of.
"Well just cut through those woods and you'll get there," Nick said, pointing at the woods ahead. I stared at him in disbelief.
"Those woods? Alone?" I squeaked. I was already trembling just thinking about going into those woods. It was dark and the shadows played tricks with my eyes. And knowing me, I would probably get lost in there. And any small noise at this point would startle me so much that I would start running in a random direction.
"Yes. Is there a problem?" Nick questioned.
"I-" I started to say, but was unable to finish the sentence. I trailed off, not sure how to ask him to accompany me. But he was Nick, would he even help me?
"You're too scared?" Nick asked with a smirk that made all the girls fawn over him. But it didn't have that effect on me, instead it made me quite irritated.
"It's not funny you know. I'm scared out of my mind and here you are laughing at me," I snapped, my mood darkening. All I wanted was to get home.
"I don't think it's nice that you're snapping at the person who you want their help, but okay. I like to help out a damsel in distress," Nick said, winking in my direction. I didn't reply, all I did was trail behind Nick as he led the way into the forest.
It was dark. I could barely see two feet in front of me. I trained my eye on the white lettering of the back of Nick's shirt, the only thing I could really see. The lack of sight was a disaster; I nearly tripped a few times, stumbling into Nick's back. He would mutter something unintelligible, but nevertheless, he would keep walking. I heard a moan and I jumped high into the air. I sped up to catch up to Nick.
"Did you hear that?" I whispered frantically. Goosebumps covered my entire body and I was getting ready to bolt.
"What?" Nick asked, completely clueless. The moan came again.
"That," I whispered, scared to speak too loudly.
"I can't hear you," Nick said. I opened my mouth to repeat what I had said when something white jumped out at me. I screamed and turned to bolt when Nick's hand grabbed my wrist.
"There's a ghost!" I screeched, forgetting about being quiet. Nick glanced behind him at the white figure.
"Are you stupid? That's a bed sheet," Nick replied haughtily. I calmed down enough to take a closer look and sure enough it was just a bedsheet. I felt my face grow hot.
"Why would they be wearing a bedsheet?" I asked, my voice shaking. Nick laughed.
"It's Halloween. Costumes," Nick replied, while he kept walking. I followed him.
"But in the forest?" I questioned.
"Some people are eccentric," Nick said, shrugging it off as if this was a common occurrence for some person under a bedsheet to pop out of nowhere. Nevertheless, I shut up and continued to follow him.
I tried my best to ignore the eerie noises that the forest made, but I couldn't help but flinch every time I heard something. I wished I was like Nick, completely unfazed and fearless. How was he not afraid?
Lost in my thoughts, I hadn't noticed that Nick had started walking faster. By the time I had noticed, he was just a silhouette in the distance. I hurried after him, cursing my sprained ankle, not allowing me to go any faster. Soon enough, he was out of sight and I was left alone in the dark forest. I didn't slow though; I kept at the pace that I was going. The faster I got out, the better, I kept chanting to myself. Sure enough, it made me feel a little, but not for long.
I suddenly skidded to a stop when I saw a dark figure drop out of the tree in front of me. I backed away from it as it stood up and brushed its hood back. I could have sworn I screamed bloody murder as I saw a ghostly white face with long black hair and bloody fangs. I stopped thinking clearly. I tore off running, sprinting right past the vampire thing. I didn't stop, not even when I was out of breath. I kept running and running until I broke free of the forest and into a clearing. Where I saw teenagers dressed in costumes around a bonfire.
"What?" I asked myself in disbelief. Nick emerged from the crowd, holding a red cup in his right hand.
"Took you long enough," he commented, taking a sip of his beer.
"What?" I asked, still not quite registering the fact there was a party in the middle of the woods.
"It's a party," Nick stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. It was but that wasn't the point.
"Wait so those things in the forest was to freak me out on purpose?" I asked. Nick nodded.
"What about chainsaw dude?" Nick laughed.
"The blade's not real. It's made of hard plastic. And he was a bit drunk so I guess he got a little carried away. That's why I stepped in to help you out a bit," Nick explained.
"A bit drunk?" I screeched, "He could have killed me! And what? This was all a ploy to get me here?"
"Well he didn't kill you. And it was Brooke's idea," Nick said. Brooke...when I find her, I so was going to give her an earful. Turned it that I didn't need to find her because she found me. Guilt was written all over her face as she walked up to me.
"You planned this?" I accused. Brooke looked guilty.
"Yeah, I just wanted you to loosen up once in awhile. I swear, I was only looking out for you," Brooke said, apologetically.
"Looking out for me? Do you have any idea what could have happened tonight? Bet you didn't know heart disease runs in my family huh? What if I had a heart attack, what would you do?" I yelled at her, betrayal evident in my voice.
"I'm sorry, Madelyn, I didn't know," Brooke tried to apologize, but I wasn't having any of it.
"And I didn't know you hung out with the elites. I thought we stuck together," I said, hurt lacing my words.
"I'm sorry. It's just none of you guys wanted to party with me so I had to seek out some people who wanted to," Brooke explained.
"Yeah, the popular people," I said bitterly. Brooke took a step towards me, but I backed away.
"Forget it Brooke. We're over. Have fun on the other side," I said, my voice cracking. It hurt me to do this, to sever a few years of friendship, but I couldn't continue any long. A true friend wouldn't have pushed me into doing something I wanted. A true friend wouldn't have befriended the people that made my life miserable for years. A true friend wouldn't have and most certainly shouldn't have done such a thing as she did tonight.
"Madelyn..." Brooke called after me. It warmed my heart to know that she still cared enough about me, but it wasn't enough to make me regret my decision.
"I'm going home," I said.
"How are you going to get home?" Nick asked, his eyebrows raised.
"Walk, I guess," I said, not really seeing any other option.
"Two miles on that sprained ankle? I don't think so. Here, I'll give you a ride home," Nick offered.
"You're drunk," I said, eyeing the red cup in his hand. Nick laughed.
"It's a couple of sips sweetheart. It won't hurt nobody," Nick said.
"You're still not completely sober," I pointed out, "And any amount of beer could cause an accident."
"You're such a goody two shoes aren't you? Fine, you drive, I sleep," Nick said, tossing me his eyes. We walked over to his car that was parked under a big tree. I slid into the driver's seat and turned the engine on while Nick made himself comfortable in the passenger seat.
Nick gave me directions while I drove. It was past midnight already and after tonight, I just wanted to sleep. Today had not been my day at all. Soon enough, I pulled up in front of my apartment that I shared with Brooke. I tossed the keys to Nick, who caught it with one hand.
"Goodnight," I said out of politeness. Nick caught on.
"Cut that bullshit out. If you have something to say, say it. I bet you have a few things to say to me after that stunt I pulled today," Nick drawled.
"What do you mean, stunt that you pulled today?" I said, my eyes narrowing. Nick grinned.
"I may have given Brooke some ideas. Slip a pill into your drink, cause a headache, make you go out..." Nick said, "You get the idea."
"You were the mastermind?" I asked incredulously.
"Think about it. Brooke's not that bright. If she was, she would have found a way to get you to come out ages ago," Nick said. I had a sudden urge to defend Brooke's intelligence, but then I remembered that I was still mad at her.
"Why would you help her do that?" I asked, curious. He had no reason, no motive to do so, so why?
"Because," Nick drawled, "I wanted to get the chance to meet you."
"What do you mean?"
"Think about it, you're a smart girl," Nick said, letting out a laugh, "Now get out so I can get going." I did as he said, getting out of his car. I watched him pull out of the parking lot and onto the road. His words still lingered in my mind, he wanted to me? Why? What game was he playing at? Was this a joke? Sometimes, I didn't know what the popular people were thinking at all.
Forgetting Nick, I unlocked the door to my apartment and stepped inside. I hung my keys on the hook, kicked off my shoes, and padded across the hardwood to the bathroom. I stepped inside the bathroom, fumbling to turn the light switch on. I flicked on and pulled my hoodie over my head. I turned to face the mirror.
That's when I let out the loudest scream of the night. The scream resonated through the empty apartment.
No one paid any heed as it was one out of many on this cold Halloween night.
A/N: Halloween Special! I went back and fixed some mistakes that I saw, if any of you see another grammar/spelling mistake, feel free to tell me. Not a very conclusive ending I know, but I did that on purpose. I will continue this story the next holiday, so it'll be like a series of standalone one shots with the same characters. :) Happy Readings!