Preface. I come to you as a complete stranger, as someone you have never met before. More than likely as someone you hope not to meet. I bring to you a tale, a soliloquy, if you must, of the eve...
It was a normal night for me. Or so I thought. Looking back, certain details of that fateful night were out of place. If I’m going to tell you my story, might as well start from the very beginning.
It started at roughly 11 pm on a brisk November night. I was in the process of climbing out my window. Not something particularly odd for a teenager with strict parents. My two best friends waited for me to sneak out. Their identities are not important to this tale. This was not my first time sneaking out, but it was the first time that my conscious spoke loud enough for me to hear.
I had always been reckless, my inner voice of reason quite often ignored. This, as you can imagine, got me into plenty of trouble. Oh well, life was no fun without risks. As usual, I tucked away that inner voice and very ungracefully jumped out my window.
I dusted myself off and greeted my partners in crime.
“And he sticks the landing,” one of them commented sarcastically.
“I try,” I responded.
Our conversation is also irrelevant. It was just mindless obscene and more than likely immature babble.
One thing that is relevant, however, was our destination. A local band was playing an impromptu show at a local party spot. Where might this be? A mile outside of town, in the woods.
As you may know, this is a common set up for most horror flicks. Youthful kids, out of control parties, some secluded area, yeah, very cliché.
I slid into the backseat of my party-going friend’s car; again, something told me I should not be going to that party. But who am I to listen to myself anyway? Listening to yourself leads to talking to yourself, and that makes you crazy.
Have I mentioned crazy runs in the family? I had a bit of an obsession with my mental stability. I didn’t want to be a loony like the rest of my family. But, family history is not important here either.
Another thing I will not tell you is what happened at that party or most of it anyway. The major events were the fight, and the wandering.
As we’ve all been kids once, we know how the territorial rivalries are between obnoxious sixteen year-olds. It’s maybe ten times worse when said teenagers are drunk. There’s another weird thing about that night.
I don’t drink. Not because you know, it’s kind of illegal for me to do so, nah, that’s never stopped me from doing anything else. Alcohol always made me sick, and not like hangover sick, more like violent food poisoning, projectile vomit sick.
But that night, I thought, what the hell? Plus, constantly expelling predigested crap from my mouth gives me an excuse not to make contact with my parents.
I was on my second cup of beer when everyone started looking more attractive. Some girl who normally I wouldn’t have cared about was hitting on me, and the booze kicked in. Yeah, you figure out the rest.
Apparently, drunken girl had a boyfriend, who didn’t appreciate her kissing other guys. He drunkenly staggered towards me and slurred obscenities at me before swinging his fist at my face, naturally, I moved out of his line of fire, but the alcohol had significantly slowed my reflexes.
Instead of just leaving, or hiding in a nice dark corner where this conflict could have been avoided, I decided to retaliate. I punched him, hitting his mouth, probably harder that I intended to. Fully enraged now, the brute tackled me and pinned me to the ground as our fight escalated into something more violent.
I tried to push my assailant off of me but I’d always been on the scrawny side, so of course I failed. Lucky for me, he was much more intoxicated than I and his punched were easy to avoid. I kneed him, erm… in a not too happy place. He grunted in pain, and I saw my chance for escape. I crawled out from under him and ran into the surrounding foliage. He was too much of a brute to chase after me, but I had no intention of going back to that party. I stumbled deeper into the woods, another mistake.
Soon, the pounding music of the bash settled to a soft throb in the background. I leaned my back against a tree and stared back the way I’d come, making sure I could remember my way back. School on Monday was gonna be a bitch, my exact thoughts.
All of the night’s refreshments were disagreeing with my stomach. I leaned down and wretched on the ground. Did I mention I don’t deal well with booze? I think I did. I whipped my mouth on my jacket sleeve and moved away from my puddle of bile.
From my jeans’ pocket I retrieved my cell phone. The screen was much too bright after sitting in the dark for so long. The time read 2:06. I shoved it back in my pocket and rubbed at my temples.
Another headache. I suffer from chronic headaches; they sometimes get so bad it feels like nails being shoved through my skull.
I should have left then. Gone back to the party, asked my friends to take me home, walk home if I had to. But I didn’t. Instinct was not so quick to come. I leaned my head back against the tree and closed my eyes, willing the pain in my head to stop.
I heard rustling, but made nothing of it. I stood there for who knows how long, eyes closed, totally motionless.
The rustling noise came again. As I listened closely, it began to sound more like soft padded footsteps through the brush. My first thought was that someone had wandered away from the party. But it couldn’t be, the foot steps were coming from the opposite direction. Even so, all of those kids were wasted; their footsteps would be loud and probably accompanied by yells and laughter, not nearly silent.
At this point, I was getting a bad vibe and thus decided to head back to the party. The rustling continued, slightly louder now. I didn’t look behind me, I was a little spooked. I told myself it was just a wild deer or whatever it was that lived in the forest.
I reached the edge of the party grounds; I was illuminated by the soft glow of the bonfire. People were starting to leave.
One girl looked up at me, apparently noticing my entrance. Her mouth fell open, all color drained from her face, she slowly reached up, pointing with her index finger at something slightly above me and uttered a shriek. The other once mirthful kids looked too. They broke into frenzy, dashing towards their cars; away. I dared to look. Bad idea.