Thirteen Things To Do, Rather Than Dying, On Friday The Thirteenth
The season of autumn brings us humans the colorful aroma of leaves, pumpkin flavored everything, and more importantly it brings us a few more days til our own death. That’s the Halloween spirit, right? October is usually seen as the month of Halloween, but days before this holiday takes place there is another day which sparks curiosity in those who believe in superstition—Friday the 13th. This year more directly of 2017 has two friday the thirteenths: January 13 and October 13. Having a day full of human based superstition and the fear for bad luck in the most spooky month of the year is very exciting. For this early holiday, having fun and scary events planned on the day can create an even more riveting atmosphere for your day to day life. Here are thirteen things you or a group of people can do on this October’s Friday the 13th, rather than being haunted by the superstition and dying, to get a little spook out of your day!
1. First of all, since this date is known to be sprinkled in horrid superstition, you should remain cautious of the most common ways to earn bad luck. In your day to day life, everyday items can serve as unlucky when used incorrectly in the minds of believers. For one example, many believe to knock on wood to avoid overall tempting fates. This is something some of us do daily that sort of becomes a usual gesture, but other superstitions can go from breaking a mirror meaning you’ll get seven years of bad luck, onto a black cat passing you sparking overall bad luck, and even to things like dropping an umbrella in a house meaning a murder will occur soon. I’d just avoid anything that screams, “Hey! This isn’t good. Normal everyday people don’t do that. You should not. Thanks!” during the 13th, and keep on hold to a rabbit’s foot for luck while you pass anything with the number six.
2. Spread the word to everyone you come face to face with so they know what day it is. In all honesty, a Friday the 13th in October is something that does amaze many because the odds are just incredible. Telling your close friend or even your dog could inspire them to stay safe that day and to avoid anything that looks dangerous, because this day won’t pity those who purposely play with their fate. Also, it’s fascinating to see the way people will act towards it being this specific date. Humans are weirdos.
3. Try and scare yourself to death with a intense horror movie marathon. Coming from a lover of the horror genre, I can tell you that watching flicks on days that actually scare people all over is pretty thrilling. Turn off the lights wherever you are, get together with some victims, and hunt for the highest rated horror films you can get! The first movie I’d suggest to go for is “Friday the 13th”, obviously for reasons you should understand by now, and it does have an intriguing antagonist and plot. Next, I’d recommend the first “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Like why wouldn’t you go check out this one on this day, and jam out with my main man Freddy Krueger on his horrifying adventure from nightmare to nightmare? The concept is great and Krueger makes a unique killer—not like I have a wall decal on my wall of him or anything… or that my funko figure of him sits safely on my shelf…or my collection of shirts... he is alright. Some of my other favorites are the “Saw” franchise, “The Conjuring,” the “Scream” franchise, the “Chucky” franchise, and most definitely the new “IT” movie. I do suggest watching the original “IT” film from the 80s before the new one; the comparisons had me out of my seat in the theatre, freaking out at the new scenes and concepts for each character. It’s gotta be one of my new favorite horror films, in all honesty. Pennywise is getting close to Freddy Krueger in my horror villain appreciation club, but that’s a whole other topic.
4. Listen or read an intense amount of horror stories to send goosebumps all over your body. I personally never entirely gotten into a vast amount of horror books as I grew up—being more on the movie side—but a nice horror story every once in awhile can be fun. I choose to read stories with my best-friend, and I think that the experience is a unique one to dig into. Some stories off the top of my head that I do remember being obsessed over are from this horror story website by the name of Creepypasta.com, where people get to share their own scary stories for people to read. My two favorites are 1999, one about a horrifying kids show our author talks about airing as a kid that only few remember seeing, but has a dark secret underneath, and then No End House which I’d rather just have you to read to discover it’s plot. I’d do this at night for a better effect.
5. Act as if it being Friday the 13th in October has changed how you act. This can go in various directions on account of how serious you are about making those around you think you’ve changed. You could possibly act the polar opposite of yourself. For example, I am usually very shy and quiet, not a fan of participating or answering in class, but maybe on the thirteenth I could go around greeting others, and being more engaged with everyone. People who know me well will be confused if they truly pay attention to the twists in my personality, and when the ask I’ll just respond with a cold, “thirteen.”
6. Practice gore-type makeup on yourself to look like you belong in a horror movie. I’ve always been an admirer of Special effects ( classified also as SFX ) gore makeup people all over the Earth are highly skilled in, where it involves a type of makeup that relates to gorey, bloody, and disturbing types of design on the human body that looks realistic. Though showing images for examples of this style of makeup would be easier for understanding the concept, people can get triggered by the gore and it can be too real and graphic for them. Instead I will suggest where you can find examples. An account from Instagram, a social media app, that I enjoy looking at for SFX inspiration is called @sfx.stuff, where this fifteen year old girl does an amazing variety of gore makeup that is just astounding to look at.
7. Send yourself down a rabbit hole of Conspiracy Theories. Growing up, I’ve invested myself with the theories on everyday things around me that people scoped out for the truth, and sometimes learning that everything you know could be false can become the biggest scare of all. It’s a hit of realization that slams in the form of a punch to the gut, sending an ache to your mind that keeps wondering what else is out there. Get yourself in a dark room, deck out in a comfy atmosphere, and then adventure out on the world wide web for theories. Some can lurk on youtube while others are discussed on social media networks with a group of individuals picking out the truths. It’s an eye opener for the 13th.
8. See how many times you can successfully jump scare a loved one on the day. We must all know that one person who gets really jumpy, and has a tough time not getting frightened by the smallest snippets. Apologize to them, but if they are good sports about it, then the 13th of October should be a feast for you to get in some scares. If you know that you and a friend barely get spooked on an average, you could also lean towards creating a game of which you both try and scare each other throughout the day. Whomever wins gets to claim their prize at the devil's hour on the following day, which is at 3am on the 14th of October. It overall is an exciting way to be on edge on this spooky day.
9. Ask those around you, teachers or fellow strangers, if they have any personal scary stories. When people you see every day tell you that they’ve experienced something mind blowingly ballistic, it will hit you with this enormous batch of curiosity. I may do this myself on the day because I really am curious about my teacher’s beliefs on superstition, the paranormal, and such. Everyone has an opinion to share. They have stories hidden beneath their sleeves, and you may not ever get to hear them if you don’t take the time to ask. Although Ronald Reagan High School doesn’t have school on the date, try and use your resources to get the most intriguing stories out of people.
10. Surprise someone with an odd gift to have them a tad weirded out. This is another idea of which your personal creativity and commitment defines the way things turn out. Weird gifts are determined by who the person, that you are planning to give said item, is. For example, if my brother isn’t grossed or confuzzled by bugs then giving them a fake dead insect as a present may not feed the effect you want. Make it uncanny, but also legal—don’t hand your friend an animal’s decapitated head thinking it’ll only frighten them a teeny tiny bit. As much as the idea is definitely unearthly, it isn’t something that’s meant to be done in this situation for a joke gift.
11. Decorate your house ( if you haven’t already of course ) with homemade Halloween themed decorations! The minute September comes to a close, I personally am all the way in for Halloween. My decorations are plastered from room to room, and my bedroom isn’t an exception to the spooky related decor. Some things that I do to decorate is replace the quotes on my walls with Halloween related vocabulary. There is a wall decal above my bed that states “You Got This,” and I’ll be changing it to “You Got Death” because nothing says Halloween like a saying that almost sounds like “You Got Mail” when the last word is changed to “Death.” Another decoration you can take into consideration is buying yourself a roll of crime scene tape, a whole lot of it, and literally wrapping it over anything you can possibly lay your eyes on to make where you sleep a crime scene. It’s not too convincing if you over do it, like yours truly, but when people wander into your bedroom they have to ask themselves: “What the heck happened here?” Be spitefully creative with your decorations, and feel the festivities cover you all over on Friday the 13th.
12. Bake something spooky to devour down to shreds on the day. Some of us have cooking come to them fairly easy, being skilled to the touch of creating edible meals. On Friday the 13th, however, the simple meals that we are more skilled in creating, like a nice bowl of cereal for me, can be turned into a horrific looking creation. If you like baking you can try turning the average cookie batch into a gory crime scene of deliciousness. However, if you prefer to create an tastefully pleasing plate instead of something that purposely looks like the undead, then try searching up specific recipes that make the time of Halloween far more cutesy. For example, I saw these adorable looking marshmallows with witch hats upon them that were placed on pretzels, mocking broom sticks. I internally screamed and saved the picture almost immediately onto my phone to obsess over later.
13. Face your fear in a small way. This one can be glimpsed at in several directions based on the fear you have at hand. This doesn’t mean to truly leap out of your comfort zone to take on the world’s biggest scares, but to at least take a tiny dip into the pool of exploration. Since I have a fear of needles, I am not going to try and find a needle to inject myself with— that’s a little too much and is also fairly dangerous. That fear may not be the best to test, although if I was afraid of maybe volunteering in class then maybe I could take on that risk to test out my adrenaline. It just races your body to take on something, pushing and pulling your courage with to make you succeed. This is the thrill for most of us to do something that we usually don’t act on in our daily life.
A large shadow was painted across the wall, the figure lurking closer with every passing second. The tension in the room was thick, and fear was filling in the hearts of every person at the party.
“BOO!” cried Mark, laughing hysterically as he saw the faces of his victims. Louis rolled his eyes: he had definitely had enough of Mark’s antics, along with everyone else at the Halloween party.
“Oh, did I scare you?” Mark said sarcastically to Louis.
“No... I was just..not expecting it,” whispered Louis.
Mark was the biggest bully at school, and he took pride in to making fun of people who he thought were less than him, especially Louis.
“Ha, I doubt that. I’m shocked you didn’t scream like a little girl,” exclaimed Mark.
“Leave him alone, Mark! You aren’t scary. Nobody here thinks you are!” Monica yelled.
Monica was Louis’s best friend, who was a little more bold than he was.
“Well, since you and Louis seem like you don’t think I’m scary enough, I’ll make you a deal. If you spend a night in Bourgeois Manor, I won’t make fun of Louis anymore.”
“What is Bourgeois Manor?” Louis had never heard of the place before, and honestly, he didn’t want to know.
“Bourgeois Manor belonged to a family back in the early 1900’s. The youngest son, John, was possessed by a ghost on Halloween night 100 years ago. John killed his entire family and himself that night. The remnants of the Bourgeois Manor are now abandoned. People still think it’s the most haunted place in New Orleans,” Mark said spookily.
Louis looked at Monica, startled. She was usually really confident in herself, but now she looked panicked and anxious. He didn’t know what her answer was going to be, but he was hoping that she would reject his offer.
“Aww, come on, that’s easy! Right, Louis?” exclaimed Monica, returning to her normal state, “I’m not scared are you?”
“No, I guess not,” Louis said tentatively.
“Have fun!” Mark said, confident they wouldn’t succeed.
As Monica and I were walking, I was scared. I hated anything remotely scary, and I was not happy that Monica had to go and accept Mark’s offer. I wasn’t going to say anything to her though. I had enough on my plate having to stay in some haunted old mansion. I don’t know why I even bother following Monica around anymore.
“This must be it,” Monica said, pointing down the street.
The mansion was huge: it stood at the dead end of the street, ominously empty, almost like it was waiting for us. Although you could tell it was once owned by a very rich family, it was not treated well throughout the years. The roof was peeling, and the walls were wrapped in thick vines. It looked like no one had stepped foot in the house in years. I was not particularly happy about that. Monica gave me a reassuring glance, almost telling me everything would be okay. We walked up the front steps to the door. It was made of dark, rotten wood, and it was off one of its hinges. Monica tried to open it, but it seemed to be jammed shut.
“Oh, well it won’t open. Can we go back?” I said, hoping she’d give up.
“No, I think you should give it a try Louis,” she said.
I did not want to open that door, but Monica didn’t look like she was asking. I walked tentatively up to it, and gently pulled on it. It didn’t budge. This time I tried with greater force, and to my surprise, it popped open. Monica wandered into the house as if she was a child walking into a candy store. I waited at the door, hoping she would forget I was there. I was scared and didn’t want to go in. I had such a bad feeling about this house. It felt as if the house was like a cat, trying to catch us like we were mice.
“Oh, come on, Louis! It’s actually really cool in here. It isn’t scary at all I promise you!” Monica said. I couldn’t tell if she was lying or if she really meant it. Either way, she was not going to let me off the hook that easy. I took a step in. I had to force myself to move further in, almost as if my body was warning me to not go any further. The inside of the house was much nicer than the outside; it was well furnished, with velvet covered chairs and mahogany tables. Everything had a thick coating of dust over it. I was about to agree with Monica that it wasn’t that scary when something crashed behind me.
It was the door. I ran to it, hoping that it wasn’t jammed, but it wouldn’t open. We were stuck, and it was all because of Monica.
“Why did you make me do this?! You always drag me around and make me do things I don’t want to do! Now look what you’ve done! We’re stuck in a stupid haunted house, and nobody is gonna worry about us because they think we are spending the night! Are you happy now Monica?!” I screamed, louder and angrier than I meant to. She looked hurt, and just shook her head at me.
“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice small, barely a whisper.
She walked upstairs looking hurt. I never meant to do that to her, but I had just bottled up everything she had ever done. At this point, I was just hoping that we could get out of this stupid house.
I turned towards the door, but it closed. On the back of it were two bloody handprints. I needed to get out of there, but the room didn’t have any windows. Suddenly, a vase rose into the air by itself and flew across the room. It slammed against the door, shattering into a million pieces. I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do. I screamed, hoping Louis would come and help me, hoping he could hear me. Then everything went blank for a second. When I was conscious again, it was almost like I was watching myself from a TV screen. I started to panic, but I couldn’t move. Then I realized what had happened. The same ghost that possessed John, had just possessed me. Then the door opened. It was Louis.
Monica was on the floor and had a menacing look on her face. I had heard her screams and was worried that something had happened to her.
“Monica, are you okay? I heard you scream and I got so-” Monica got up, but I could tell there was something wrong with her. Her eyes were black, and her skin was bruised and bloodied. She was possessed. I had seen enough horror movies to know that things were not looking good for me. Then whatever was possessing Monica spoke.
“Your friend is gone! Now I’m going to kill you!” she said. Her voice sounded rough, and her cackle sounded like some kind of dying goat was screaming. I was scared. Monica, or whatever this thing was, was going to kill me!
Monica lifted up the teddy bear that was sitting on the bed, and grabbed a knife that was hidden underneath. The knife was rusty, and was covered in blood. This wasn’t the ghost’s first kill, and he seemed prepared. She charged at me, and I dodged her first jab at me.
“Monica, listen to me,” I said, still dodging her while talking, “I know you’re in there, and you need to fight it. You don’t want to kill me Monica; I know you don’t. I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier; I was just scared!” I started to cry tears I didn’t even know I had. I was not ready to die - I knew that.
Louis started to cry. I had known him since we were babies, and I had never seen him cry before. He looked scared and helpless. I finally realized what was going on, but I had no clue what to do.
“STOP,” I screamed, but nobody could hear me. It wasn’t more than a pathetic whisper. Louis heard, and I saw a sliver of hope in his eyes. I was not going to let some ghost kill him. I got him into this mess, and I will get him out of it - alive.
“I told you, you stupid ghost, STOP IT! GET OUT!” I screamed, this time angry and commanding. Everything went blank again, and when I woke up I was outside laying in some grass.
I sat up and realized I was outside the house, and sitting next to me was Louis. I took a deep breath, relieved that nothing had happened to him.
“How’d you get me out?” I asked.
“After you had, well, gotten rid of the ghost, I picked you up and kicked the door down and got you out of there. I was so scared that...well, that you didn’t make it,” he whispered, more tears streaming down his face.
“Hey, it’s okay. I’m okay,” I said.
It turned out to be morning, and we went back to my house, not bothering to go anywhere near Mark. We were just glad we made it out. Years passed and kids went missing, their last known location being near or at that mansion. Every Halloween, kids were dared to go to the house, and never came back out. We were just the lucky ones.
“Danny’s a freeessshman! Danny’s a freeessshman!” Daniel’s older sister, Alice, teased towards Daniel as he sluggishly paced down the stairs. Today was Daniel’s first day of high school, and he was not so awestruck about the idea. Daniel opened the oak overhead cabinets, the squeak of the rusty hinges making him wince. The cereal boxes were perfectly aligned and Daniel blindly grabbed one—he was not in the mood to take his time, nor did he care which one he got. He poured his cereal and milk and sat down to chow it down before the bus came by.
“So, Danny, are you gonna make a lotttt of friends, huh? Do you even know your locker combination, or even your classes, or maybe you don’t even know the teacher's name. Orrrrr maybe you—” Alice annoyingly said before Daniel’s dad interrupted her.
“Alice,” he said, “chill out, it’s his first day. He has enough stress already.”
“Alrightttttt,” she responded.
Daniel finished up the last of his soggy corn cereal, got dressed, and got outside to the bus stop before the bus arrived at his house. This is the first time he’s ever been to the bus stop this early. All that was going through Daniel’s head was how many people were going to come up to him wanting a full whole-hearted conversation, and how he wanted the opposite of that. He wanted no more than a “Hi!” and then a “Goodbye!” The big yellow bus rolled up in front of Daniel’s new, white sneakers. The bus door opened as a wave of roaring freshman chatter filled Daniel’s ears, bombarding him with fifty or more conversations at once. He hopped on his bus and nervously went to an empty seat next to someone who he did not even want to sit next to.
The bus made an abrupt stop, and Daniel snapped out of his bored gaze to see that he was there: Thompson High School. It was the most notorious high school in the city, and here he was stepping out of the bus and walking up the marbled stairs leading up to the front door. Each step felt longer and longer as he went up. He got into view of the glass doors and saw hundreds of kids littering the halls. Although he was coming to the most popular school in the city, all of his old school friends had gone to another school out of the city. Daniel took a deep breath and pushed on the glass door, feeling a cool breeze inside the school that countered the blistering hot August day. Daniel tried to maneuver his 5’ 1” body through the mob to get to his locker which is on the first floor, conveniently. The blue lockers lined the halls but he was looking for one.
“1874, 1874, 1874, 1874. Wait, 1784? No 1487, uh,” Daniel thought in his head. In no time, Daniel got to his golden ticket, locker 1874. Now he needed his combinations. He rustled through his pocket to find a ripped sheet of lined paper reading “64-20-5”. He tried the combination on the lock. Turned left to sixty-four, right to twenty and left again for five. Didn’t work. He did it again. Turned left to sixty-four, right to twenty and left again for five. Didn’t work. Daniel then said it outloud.
“Sixty-four,” Daniel said as he furiously turned the faded knob right to sixty-four, “twenty,” he turned the knob left to twenty, “five,” he turned the knob to five. He tried to take off the padlock but it didn’t budge. He tried one more time but, in the midst of turning the knob to twenty -rinnnnnnggggggggggg-
“ ...the late bell,” Daniel said aloud. He tried it multiple times until he eventually gave up and brought his bulky backpack to his first class, English. He walked in and everyone was sitting down and quiet while the teacher was going through the syllabus. The entire class of forty looked at Daniel with his messy, long brown hair, and obviously frustrated face.
“You must be Daniel, right?” The teacher asked.
“Uh, yeah, I think,” he said uncertainly.
“You think?” the teacher questioned. There were scattered giggles that made Daniel more nervous.
“Well, my name is Ms. Plom—I’ll be your English teacher for this year,” Ms. Plom said, “and you will be sitting right there behind that gentleman in the blue sweater.”
It was the seat farthest from the board, farthest away from people, except the blue sweatered kid. All factors were perfect except that Daniel had to sit in front of someone, making him vulnerable to social interactions. Daniel walked over to the seat and the blue sweatered kid gave him a friendly smile and a wave.
“Also next time, Daniel,” Ms. Plom said as Daniel turned around, “leave your backpack in your locker, okay?”
“What? Oh, yeah yeah sure,” Daniel stuttered. He sat down and Ms. Plom continued with the syllabus.
“So anyways to get a full grade in my class...” Ms. Plom continued. While she talked the blue sweatered kid turned around to Daniel.
“Hey, my name’s Jacob,” he said.
“Cool,” Daniel said, unintentionally coming out as a jerk.
“And you must be Daniel, right?” Jacob asked.
“Hold on let me finish it,” Jacob said, interrupting him, “yeah, I think.”
Jacob chuckled at his own joke while Daniel didn’t even seem to be phased.
“Sorry, it was pretty funny, you gotta admit,” Jacob said, reassuring Daniel from embarrassment. Daniel just sat in silence, wanting this day to already end.
The P.A. crackle cut off Ms. Plom, “Excuse the interruption, can I get the following students to come to the office,” the man started listing off names of students.This gave Daniel a pristine time to start dozing off, thinking about what class he had next, or maybe when he’ll get out of school, what will he do... maybe play video games? In the middle of the daydream he heard “...Daniel Wertz…”
His name was called from the P.A. Daniel’s heart sunk to his stomach like a bag of bricks. What did he do wrong? It’s the first day and he’s already in trouble. Daniel got up from his desk, leaving his backpack on his seat, and proceeded to the office. There were a good 30 or 40 kids at the office.
“Alright kids! Welcome to Thompson High School! We are gonna split you into 2 groups, and you are all going on a school tour!”
Daniel got excited—at least he got out of class!
“So everyone on this side,” the old man with a big Santa Claus Like beard said, “are going with me.” Daniel was on that side. He wished he was with the other group, who had a youthful, more fun-looking tour guide. The tour group walked out of the office and Daniel trailed behind in the back of the group.
“So, my name is Mr. Mackeralonto, you can just call me Mr. M,” he started to say Daniel tuned him out completely and just walked where the group walked and stopped where the group stopped. They moved on through the halls swiftly, and Daniel looked around frantically, collecting every detail of the halls; the trophy cases, the paintings on the wall, the giant mural at the end of each hall. They turned around a corner and there was a closed door at the end of the hallway—not a mural signifying peace, but a closed door with caution tape covering it and burn marks around the frame. Daniel snapped out of his bored trance and starting listening to Mr. M for the first time.
“And over here is the Biology classroom—Ms. Jener teaching the Seniors right now so we should not bother her now.”
A girl raised her hand as they started proceeding away from the classroom.
“Yes?” Mr. M said while pointing at the girl.
“Where do those doors lead?” She said, pointing towards the burned door.
“Oh, that? That, uh, thatttttt,” he said uncertainly, followed by a long pause, “That—I do not know where it goes. Probably boiler room?”
The intrigued Daniel.
Why did he pause? Does it actually go to the boiler room? Why is it burnt?
So many questions were rushing through his head.
“Can we go through it?” The girl asked Mr. M.
“I-I wouldn’t if I were you, because,” Mr. M said nervously, “The, uh, janitors may not like that.”
“Okay!” she responded.
They walked right past it and Mr. M continued with his spiel with the history of the building. Daniel really wants to go through those doors. Something about how the teacher reacted when that girl questioned about it made him suspicious of what’s behind the doors — even if it was just a boiler room. His hand shot up.
"Yes?” Mr. M questioned.
“How long do we have left?” Daniel asked.
“Well, I’m supposed to have you till 10, and it is 9:30 so, a half an hour.”
I can’t wait a half an hour, Daniel thought, and plus, this is a perfect time to sneak into the door.
Daniel waited for the crowd to move forward enough, then he dashed the halls to the prize he’s been eyeing out. The burnt door. He turned the semi-rusty door knob, and the door creak pierced Daniel’s ears and echoed across the halls. The door revealed a long hallway, dimly lit with one almost burnt out light bulb every 5-6 feet. Daniel took a step into the hallway and the doorway shut. He opened it again to make sure he wasn’t locked out. It shut again by itself. Daniel shrugged it off and walked forward. The narrow brick walls and linoleum floors made Daniel claustrophobic, but he wasn’t just gonna chicken out, so he proceeded to walk. As the hallway became longer, he started to walk faster and faster until he started running and then sprinting—but there was no end. He choked on his breath and collapsed on the ground, panting like a sick dog. One light flickered until it blinked out. Daniel was exhausted on the ground in pitch black, in a place he didn’t know. He felt for the wall and put his back to it, contemplating what he had done. He had placed himself in an unknown area because of his curiousity. Daniel is regretting his decision, feeling terrified and afraid.
He saw a light, coming ever so closer to him, as if it were a lantern. Daniel felt relieved yet — scared. The light became brighter till Daniel was blinded by its flickering whiteness. His eyes adjusted, and he saw a man about four inches taller than him with a full beard and messy brown hair, just like him.
“Well uh, howdy,” the man said.
“H-Hi,” Daniel said awkwardly.
“What made you come down to these parts of town, huh?” the man said.
“Uh, I do-don’t know,” Daniel nervously said.
“Here,” the man gave Daniel a cold bottle of water that he pulled out of the aged, leather satchel he had strapped on his shoulder, with condensation still running on the bottle.
“Oh, th-thanks,” Daniel responded, snagging the bottle out of his hand and roughly getting a sip of water.
“How’d you get here, son?”
“I just went through a door that were in the hallways,” Daniel said.
The man stretched out his hand to Daniel, who was still sitting on the floor. He grabbed his hand and the man yanked him up, abruptly standing Daniel onto his shaken feet.
“The name’s Cricket,” the man said.
“Cricket?” Daniel said, confused, “What kind of name is Cricket?”
“It’s my name, sir, don’t make fun of it,” Cricket responded.
“Sorry,” Daniel said sorrowfully, “So, uh, how do I get out?”
“That—my friend,” Cricket chuckled, "is a good question.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get out of here, and I've been tryin’ for a looong time,” Cricket started pacing in circles, “I’ve walked for—I have to say hundreds of miles trying to get out!”
“Haven’t found a way out?”
“Nope,” Cricket sat down onto the floor and Daniel followed suit.
“Listen here, kid, wait—I never caught your name,” Cricket questioned.
“My name’s Daniel,” he responded confidently. This is the longest conversation he’s had since he’d gotten to the school.
“Daniel, huh. My father’s name was Daniel,”
“Really?” Daniel responded.
Cricket stood in silence,
“What’s up?” Daniel asked kindly,
Cricket didn’t respond. It was like he was frozen in time, looking at the old checkered flooring.
“Cricket?” Daniel said concerningly.
“I haven’t seen my father in, well, It feels like years, kiddo,” Cricket said as if he was talking to his shoes.
“You’ve been stuck here for that long?”
“Daniel,” Cricket said and looked up and made stiff, serious, eye contact with Daniel, “what year is it?”
“It’s 2017, Cricket,” Daniel answered.
“I was supposed to be apart of the class of 01’.” Cricket said as his now glossy eye twinkled in the light of the lantern.
“Oh,” Daniel said.
“I haven’t seen a person in over 17 years,” Cricket said.
Daniel slid his back down the brick wall next to him. Daniel was stressed out about how he is gonna get to out but as he put his entire body weight onto the wall—it starts to come down.
“That—has never happened to me before,” Cricket exclaimed,
What laid behind the wall was something so underwhelming that it was overwhelming to Cricket since he has only seen brick walls for most of his life.
“Man, Mr. M, wasn’t kidding,” Daniel said in awe. Two burning fires are crackling in the echoey room. The wave of heat crashed on them as they both wince. It was a boiler room.
“What do you mean? This is amazing if there’s an open fire, then that means there has to be an exit from here,” Cricket explained. Daniel got up for the second time of falling today and walked over the cardboard painted wall and into the musty, oil-drenched, boiler room. Daniel opened a grated door to one of the machines and saw a gigantic fire, as if someone just renewed the fuel in the inferno.
“You’re right Cricket,” Daniel said in shock.
“See, I’m always right, bud.”
A bead of sweat dripped into the fire and sparked up as Daniel closed the grated door, and started to inspect the area.
“Do you know where an exit would be?” Daniel said, looking behind Cricket, behind the boilers, anything he can get his eyes to. Clip clip clip. Daniel and Cricket both locked eyes. For the first time, Daniel saw fear in Cricket’s eyes. This wasn’t just “scared of the dark” fear, no, this was “we are going to die” fear. That—is true fear.
“Wh-what was that?” Daniel said with a shiver in his voice,
“I-I-I don’t know, you’re asking the wrong person,” Cricket responded.
Click click click. The fire began to diminish until it was pitch black once again. Daniel felt lost again, he was doubting himself again.
Why did I go through those doors, why didn’t i have just gone back?
Yet while he was worrying about his regretful decision, another problem arises.
The pause between the click got longer and longer until there were barely any clicks.
“Hey,” Cricket said in the darkness, “maybe that clicking was just the boilers.”
“Yeah, and maybe anytime soon, a maintenance person will come down and fix it, right?” Daniel explained.
“Yeah,” Cricket agreed.
The room was quiet. They didn’t know what to say because there was nothing to be said They are awkwardly standing in pitch darkness, in a place they just discovered a few minutes ago.
Cricket started whistling to comfort himself but Daniel’s legs were still shaking and his face was still white like a ghost.
Cricket was whistling some tune that didn’t make sense and was just a jumble of notes.
“I think the clicking stopped, Daniel!” Cricket exclaimed.
“Yeah, I think it did.”
The silence was bone-chilling now there were no more clicks.
“So what now?” Daniel asked Cricket.
“Now we wait,” he responded.
And so they did. They waited for someone to come down and rescue them. Then, a spark flew in one of the boilers, igniting a small fire.
“Well, there’s the boilers now!” Cricket said, pointing to the increasing flame.
The room got warmer.
The flames got bigger.
“Gosh, them flames are getting really big, huh Daniel?” Cricket said
Daniel watched them get big.
The flames filled the entire oven in the boiler.
Clicl Click Click
Daniel stood there, frozen, staring at the flames bleeding out of the cracks on the door of the boiler.
Click Click Click Click Click
“Daniel?” Cricket said nervously, “Daniel, the clicking is getting faster.”
Click Click Click Click Click Click
Daniel stared at the boiler like it was the first time he saw fire before. Cricket pull Daniel’s shoulder.
Click Click Click Click Click Click Click
Daniel wasn’t staring at the fire.
“The pressure gauge,” Daniel whispered.
The boiler door unhinged and a ear-piercing blast made Daniel and Cricket blow back as the rusty, metal shrapnel punctured Daniel’s leg, crimson blood oozing and coagulating into Daniel’s new, white sneakers. A wall stopped them from flying back too far, Daniel’s back made a loud crack. Daniel snapped out of his daydream like trance and ringing in his ears.
Daniel looked to his left, dazely and slowly. It was Cricket, waving him to come over to him and stopped abruptly. Daniel got confused.
Obviously he would keep telling me to come over to him.
Cricket looked off into space like he had seen a ghost. Daniel looked to his left, and saw everything covered in harsh, sharp flames. The opaque flames made it impossible to see what’s left of the boiler anymore. Daniel got up but fell back down and looked down. He forgot there was a two inch piece of tetanus filled piece of shrapnel stuck into his left thigh. Daniel limped towards Cricket. The flames started to spread closer and closer.
“Hurry, Daniel!” Cricket yelled.
Daniel limped towards the seven steps Daniel needed to climb as well. Daniel took his hand and manually lifted his left leg onto the step,but trying to put pressure on it was not working out. The flames were almost hugging his back.
“Here!” Cricket exclaimed as he took off his satchel and extended it for Daniel to grab onto it. Daniel flailed his arm to try to grab it but in the midst of Cricket trying to extend the bag as far as possible, he drops it and it gets scorched up in the flames.
“Daniel,” Cricket said calmly.
Cricket started to back away into the doorway.
“Cricket! No," Daniel said as if he were talking to a dog.
“I’m sorry Daniel,” Cricket said sorrowfully. He started to close the door.
“Cricket!” Daniel screamed, “Cricket, open that door! Cricket you better open it!” Daniel began to sob into his blood ridden hand. “Cricket!” His screams made Cricket wince each time, “Cricket! Keep it op-”
The oak door muffled out the ear-splitting screeches of Daniel being slowly, painfully being burnt into a crisp.
The day went on as normal and no one questioned Daniel’s strange disappearance. Nobody knows where Cricket went but some say that he’s still lurking in neighborhoods like your’s, wanting to stay at your house for the night. He could be in your friend’s house, or, maybe even in your house.