Kai stands outside of his uncle’s house staring at the chipped red paint on
the front door. His packed bag bulges at the seams and the music pumping
through his ear buds is turned up as loud as he can stand. He makes sure
that the expected scowl of a teenaged boy is fixed but he knows that the
best thing about staying with his uncle for the weekend is that he treats Kai
like a peer.
His quick rap at the door is met with a long silence. Kai pulls a bud from one
ear and takes a few steps back, looking over the whole front of the house.
Hmmm… no lights are on. Maybe he’s out back in the shed.
He leaves his bag at the door and strolls to the side of the house.
Please let this not be the weekend Unc wants me to help him finally tear
that derelict thing down. If I knock on the door, it’ll probably come down all
Kai chuckles a little as he bends down to peek through the keyhole instead.
“Ah!! There you are.”
Kai jumps and turns away from the shed. “Geez, Unc. Did you have to pull
out the big voice?”
They both laugh as the older man casually gives Kai’s shoulder a couple of
quick pats. They then turn towards the back door of the house. As Kai
follows closely behind, a dull thud brings his attention back to the shed.
“Hey Unc, did you hear that?”
“I guess,” Kai says with a shrug.
The night is still and Kai finds himself awake an hour after tearing himself
away from instant messaging his friends.
Gah… I could have taken Trent up on heading out to the pier. I bet
everyone is already there by now.
Kai rolls over to sit on the edge of the bed. Restless, he heads downstairs
to the kitchen to rummage through the fridge. A little sliced turkey, some
provolone and dijonnaise… perfect. Closing the door plunges the kitchen
back into darkness and the blank stare of his uncle.
“Geez! If I knew you wanted a snack too…” Kai stops mid-sentence
because his uncle didn’t flinch. In fact, something was just off. He turns
around to reach for the light switch and feels a blast of cool air on his back.
The door leading outside is open and his uncle is no longer in the kitchen.
Crouched down in front of the shed’s door is Kai’s uncle, unmoving and
barefoot. Something tells Kai to not call out to him and that it would be
best to just walk up to him quietly. It’s late and, to be honest, beyond
weird to be out there like that.
What is he looking at in there and why not just open the door and go in?
A loose board catches Kai’s eye and instead of going to his uncle he goes to
the opening and peers inside. He sees a straight back chair that is bolted to
the floor, a rusted sickle directly in front of it braced against the wall and
someone loosely strapped to the chair with a dark bag over their head. As
the person stirs awake and begins to panic finding themselves in darkness,
their head turns from right to left. In seconds, the realization dawns that
they are just loosely bound and they jump forward, still masked, unaware
that the sickle is in front of them.
“There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself,” comes a voice directly behind Kai.
© 2009 (All rights reserved) 3/31/09