Dinner seemed to drag on. Don’t get me wrong, it all tasted fine. The chicken was juicy and well-seasoned, the vegetables were the same as always, and the potatoes were mushy. I had already showered and was all ready to go. All I had to do was stop watching the clock. It was so odd, how could I have not been over to James house before? I don’t think it was done on purpose, just one of those things that worked out that way. Which was cool, cause that made this sleepover all the more interesting. Finally I could take a look into the candid life of James. You can tell a lot about a person by their house, especially their bedroom. A teen’s bedroom, is a look into their soul.
After dinner, I attempted to entertain myself with the usual day-to-day things. Video games weren’t doing it for me and there was no way I was cleaning my room. There would be no point anyway; I wasn’t even going to be there. Television was boring as hell, and well, there wasn’t too much more to do on an early Monday evening. The time now was 5:47p.m. If I paced just a little longer it would be fine. But then again, the last hour was really only ten minutes. GAH!!! I hate waiting for things to happen. I mean would it be so terrible if I marched over there a little bit early. Or do I make a complete dork out of myself in the attempt to be casual and wait it out till just after six? I wish James hadn’t said anything until six. That way I wouldn’t have been waiting and I could have just thrown together whatever was laying around into a bag and ran over there without a second thought. But no, he had to be difficult and tell me several hours in advance. Life can be so frustrating sometimes!
I settled on finishing an episode of Family Guy on the tv. I was completely distracted by the birds circling outside near the end of the trees just past the lawn. They seemed to really want to land, but every time they made contact with the branches they scared themselves and flew off again. I could so relate. Peter just got stuck in the stairs… wow that was abstract, especially as I was only half watching. Very glad I caught it though. The trees stood still and silent. Only the random branch would occasionally wave back at me. The birds had flocked further down closer to the road, and were now quite content with the telephone poles near the road. My mind wandered off again into the abyss of my thoughts. I was not focused on anything in particular, just randomness that I can’t quite verbalize.
The only distraction was the humming sound from behind me. It was very staggered, almost like an 80-year-old fat smoker trying to sleep on a hot summer day. It was kind of a muffled wheeze with a partial hollow groan at the end. They were short and constant. I’m not sure why but something about it just gave me the chills. I lazily gave an attempt to figure out where it was coming from, but my head couldn’t turn all the way around. Considering all the strange occurrences that had taken place around here, a good portion of me didn’t really want to know what the sound was.. Then it hit me; it was after six! I was so out of here!
I jumped from the couch and ran across the den to my room and grabbed the bag I had put together earlier. Then I bounced down the stairs saying goodbye to my mom. I looped through the kitchen, and leapt out the back door. With a lively rhythm in my step, I shuffled and skipped to James’s house.
Approaching the door, I felt an uneasy feeling drop to the pit of my stomach. I got a chill up my spine, and for some reason felt partially nauseous. With a deep breath, I reached and knocked on the door.
Only a moment later, the door swung open, and there standing at the door with a huge smile on his face was none other than Austin, James’s little brother. He was a small kid, already dressed in his pajamas. His hair was styled the same way James usually wore his. Close to the same color too. But his eyes, though really big and lively, did not compare to the beauty in James’s eyes.
“Hiya Austin.” I smiled awkwardly.
“Hi. You’re James’s friend right?” He asked while tilting his head sideways.
“Yeah, you’re James’s brother right?” I too tilted my head.
“I guess.” Austin shrugged then turned and ran inside.
“Don’t mind him, he’s a weird kid… even weirder once you get to know him.” Said James, seemingly appearing out of nowhere.
“I can see that.” I giggled awkwardly.
“Well, come in.”
With a smile, I stepped into James’s home. The walls were painted a sky blue, and had a band of flowery wallpaper bordering the wall about four feet off the ground. It struck me as odd, but who was I to judge. The landing when you first walked in was sunken in the floor, with a bone colored rugged ceramic tile. There was a semi-circle floor with two steps up to the main level. Once you took the two pointless steps, the rest of the floors appeared to be a maple hard wood in thin strips, and waxed to a shiny finish. There didn’t appear to be a spec of dust anywhere. It was kind of off-putting, they had two sons living here after all. The furniture was made of that microfiber upholstery, in a smooth looking mahogany colour. Did anything in this house not clash? Wow… can you hear the gay in my thoughts hehehe.
James took me on a quick once over tour of his place. It had an older home look to it, but the structure itself was no more than five years old. His stairs were squared off to the side, and disguised as a closet or something. There was one step up, then a door. The kitchen just past the stairs was large and empty. There wasn’t a single thing on any of the wooden counters. The sink was empty, there was no table, and again the floor was spotless. The thing I really liked about the place was, all the doors and cabinets, even baseboards were hand carved solid oak. Apparently his dad was a carpenter. The dining room was narrow, with a dark stained table in the centre, with a small counter on the wall next to the door to the kitchen. Moving along was the family room. It was quite large. There were the mahogany couches, scooted against every wall of the room, except one where there was an old projection t.v. Then there was the front door again. Before heading upstairs James pointed to another door that I hadn’t noticed the first time around and told me that was the door to the basement but they weren’t allowed down there.
Opening the large door to climb the stairs the house took on a whole new feel. The walls were made from logs, and climbed vertically up the stairs. For some reason, the logs only continued to the top of the stairs, then it was back to painted plaster. There was a long hallway, maybe 40 feet to the end. The ceiling was arched, with the lights on either side of the doors, which lined the hall. I counted 7 doors. Two when you first got to the hall two directly in the middle, and the last three clustered at the end. I could see this causing some confusion at night when you’re half asleep, all those doors, one on either end of the hall and 6 more on the way. Every door was exactly the same, every light was exactly the same, and the entire hall just seemed to blend into a blurry painting. Gee nothing about this house seemed real. How could James live here and still be so normal?
I was lead to the very last door to the right. As we walked in, James pointed to the door right at the end of the hall next to his room and declared it the kids’ bathroom. If I had to go, that was the only one the kids were allowed to use. Which was okay with me, I didn’t know of any other bathroom anyway. James then continued and walked into his room. GAH! Finally some reality. It looked like he had made an attempt to clean up, but ended up just cramming things in corners, and underneath furniture. The walls were filled with movie posters, mainly that of horrors. The walls were painted a dark green, and the ceiling left white, but had silky looking black sheets hanging in bubbles and dancing from the light in waves. In my opinion it looked awesome. Although it was a bit dark, it was comfy. He had a squishy looking well-used love seat against the wall next to his closet, and his bed scooted beside it underneath the window. There was a nice looking television placed in the opposite corner facing his bed and couch. It looked to be about 32 inches and was an LCD. And last of all he had a small corner desk in behind the foot of his bed, which was definitely built by his dad.
James flopped on his couch and stared up at me blankly, apparently waiting for some reaction; some kind of sign that his house, or at least his room was acceptable to me. It was cute. His eyes just kind of glimmered in my direction with his lips parted just enough so I could see the shine of his front teeth. Hehe what a cutie.
“Your room is awesome James!” I blurted out with a little more energy than I had planned. This caused James to spurt out a sloppy cackle, which made his eyes water.
“Wow… Thanks Adrian….” James teased.
“Shut up!” I returned, while my face flushed red.
“Awe now you’re blushing, so cute!” He giggled.
“Well at least I didn’t send projectile drool across the room!”
“So, I did that on purpose, for effect!” His comment made me role my eyes.
“Hey, what’s with all the other rooms?”
“Umm, well the one across the hall is my brother’s room, and the one at the other end on this side is my parent’s room. Ummm, the one across from that is their bathroom, and the two middle ones are nothing, just empty rooms.” James explained.
“Well why are you keeping them empty? You guys can have like a game room or a study or something for your dad.”
“Well, my dad’s never here long enough to study, and even if he was he’d be in the garage building stuff. And I don’t know. My parents keep those rooms locked. We’re not supposed to go in there.”
“Hmm, that’s weird. Oh, sorry it’s none of my business, I don’t mean to be so nosey.”
“It’s okay, I wondered the same thing for quite a while. But my parents seem to just want to keep them as a waste of space. But I do think it would be awesome to fill one of them with a bunch of cushy foam, right to the top, so that we could go and get lost in there.”
“That would be awesome! Or even a bunch of balls!”
“Nah, balls would fall out ever time the door opened and we’d spend hours just cleaning up the mess. Foam would just stay in the room.”
“Well, you have a point. Foam it is.” I agreed, as I sat down on the couch next to James.
For the next little while we just snuggled up in silence enjoying the company. The best part about James’s room was, it smelt just like him. Not too fruity, not too perfumy. It was then, out of no where, James began to laugh like he had just been assaulted with a canister of Nitrous Oxide, I’m talking snorts, drool, tearing eyes, and beet red face.
“What?!?” I smiled, holding back the laughter, which was becoming contagious. But James couldn’t get out a word, without losing his breath.
“Geeze… If you’re gonna do that and make me start, then you can at least let me know what it is we’re laughing at!” I begged. James was holding his sides, and leaning into me, I could feel the drops of tears from his eyes fall on my arm.
“Leave…. Ooh Heehe hehe Ha *SNAUFF* OOH I!... SnOrted! He ah hA HA! It… *Heeee HAAA* Can’t…. teeEeEeEEEEE BreAth!.... HA HAHA He Leave, it… TO You to want…. Tooo ThrOw BALLS Into…. A rOom!! HeeHA HA HAHAHA *BOORPH* AHH!!! Oh God I FARTED!!!!” James ran off into hysteria. As I thought about it, hmmm, it wasn’t even that funny. Well the farting was, but the balls thing; granted it was chuckle worthy, but wow….
“You DorK! GAH!!! THAt Stinks!!!” And that was all it took. I gave in, and joined James in his crazy escapade. We laughed so long and so hard, that our sides felt like they were going to cave into ourselves and then blow up. Then James just kind of froze… He stopped laughing, and leapt to his feet.
“OH GOD!!! I SQUIRTED!” With that being said, James ran for the door, and belted it out of the room.
I waited there for a few minutes. Another door slammed shut just after James left, so I was guessing he ran to the washroom. Than it hit me, did he say he squirted? Hehehehe! That’s the best! With that being connected I instantly drove off into another set of the giggles.
“Wow, that was a close one! I almost wet myself.” Said James as he re-entered the room. Noticing me still rolling half on the couch half on the floor. “What are you laughing at?”
“You SQUIRTED!” I chuckled. The very sound of the word was just so self-explanatory, so… blunt, that it crashed dead centre into my brain and lodged itself in my funny bone.
“You dork!” James said while shaking his head, and trying to prevent himself from starting up again. “Hey, I should go check up on Austin, he’s been awfully quiet.”
“Okay… Hey! Dork was my word! You can have SQUIRTED!!!” I chuckled some more.
“Yeah… I should probably clean myself up when I get back.” James smiled. Then he turned to search the house for his little brother.
I decided to tag along with James, and assist in helping find his brother. We crossed the hall and opened his brother’s room. There were toys scattered all over the place, and sheets ruffled all over the bed, but no brother in sight so we kept searching. Bouncing down the stairs in behind James, and hopping into the kitchen, we still had no brother. But as we ventured from the dining room into the living room, we found him sprawled on the couch watching King Arthur.
“I knew you were being too quiet. Move over, we’ll watch it with you.” James smiled.
“This movie’s awesome! This guy crossed the river that was frozen and hit it with a axe then all these bad guys fell into the water and all these arrows were shooting past them and there’s these blue people in the woods with magic….” Austin explained without even breathing…
“Wow, slow down buddy, you’re gonna blow a lung!” I joked.
“Hehe, sorry.” Austin smiled than sat back down at the end of the couch.
“Have you ever seen this movie Adrian?” James questioned, holding the remote in his hand.
“Yeah, I loved it.” I replied with honesty.
“Oh good, so we won’t be ruining the movie by catching it halfway through.” James then sat down next to his brother.
“Nope.” Was all I could think to say in reply, so I just sat down and snuggled next to James.
My head found its way under James’s arm, he wrapped it around me instinctively as my body hit the couch. It was so awesome. I buried the side of my face into his chest and relaxed. Looking over at James he seemed to be half asleep. But every time an action scene would start, he would jump to his feet and wobble all over the couch waving his hands frantically. Wow, I missed getting into movies that intensely. But I couldn’t concentrate that well. I kept hearing this weird scratching sound. Like running a stone across glass. It was just loud enough to be annoying, but quiet enough that if you weren’t paying close attention then you probably wouldn’t hear it. I was really wishing I hadn’t noticed it.
Every few minutes, the noise would randomly come again. Every time I heard it, it sounded louder than before. When I’d look over at James and Austin they didn’t seem to be effected by the noise at all. They were both glued to the movie. After the last screech, I could have sworn the lights flickered, and from every noise after that they would flicker again. I felt my heart thump a little faster, as a strange odor filled my nostrils. It was a moldy smell, like bad eggs and cheese. Gross. The noise was so loud now I could feel it in my bones. The smell was becoming stronger. Looking back at James and his brother, they were still watching the movie, and never noticed a single time that the power would flicker and make the movie do a freeze. They would just causally sit and watch the movie. It was becoming irritating.
I felt my arm go numb, and my chest began to spasm with pins and needles. The walls seemed to be breathing and my heart was pounding heavily. I couldn’t separate my imagination from reality. As the walls throbbed and created ripples like waves, which spread along the floor and ceiling, the tasteless blue shifted to a dark grey. In the far corner just off from the television I noticed the wall had vein like strings spreading from a dark stain on the wall. That was the one place the ripples dared no to touch. From the centre of the blackness I noticed an obscurity molding from the wall. As I watched it take the form of what appeared to be a face, all attempts of movement failed me. Thick wire like hair began to emerge and flow in my direction, while the mouth slowly widened and took a more human-like form. The screeching noise seemed to be originating from that spot.
The eyes grew large, and opened slowly only to reveal blackness. A red thick substance resembling blood leaked from the sides of the eyes. Thoughts of helplessness and fury ran through me. I was powerless to do anything. I watched as hands crept out from the strands of hair reaching towards me. With every moment more of this anomaly became visible. It looked to be a woman, made from ash and tar. Her body slowly mangled itself out from the wall and continued towards me. I could feel my brow drip with sweat, and my heart pound with fear as her deformed fingers came closer to me. I needed to scream to alert James and his brother, but they were still watching the movie completely unaware of what was happening. Why was I the only one that saw this? God Help Me! The stench made me sick to my stomach, I felt as if I was going to puke. She was reaching for my face, I could not move! Now only inches away from me, I cringed with fear and squeezed my eyes shut as tight as they would allow me to.
I could now feel her fingers on the cheeks of my face, the heat was unbearable, the smell was god-awful, seeping into my pores and infecting me with but a touch. I could feel myself being drained of life. My heart was slowing and the room was spinning. The world around me grew dark, as everything dimmed. As the pain intensified, I gave in.