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Hello, this is my entry into the Halloween contest so please rate it if you liked it. Comments are always appreciated. Thank you.
It was Halloween and I was thirteen. Life was supposed to be good that day. I mean adults would give you candy just for knocking on their door while wearing a costume. I was dressed as the Little Prince from the book of the same name, I was trick- or-treating alone for the first time in my life, and I mean that in two ways. My parents had decided that I was finally old enough to go trick-or-treating on my own, but what sucked was that this had to happen after we moved to a new town. If I had been back at home then I would have had a whole group of friends that I could have gone with, but instead I was here alone.
I was quiet in school. Back home I had made friends because we had all been in the same classes my whole life up to that point so I was able to warm up to my friends and come out of my shell. I hadn’t had time yet so far this year at a new school to get comfortable and make friends. Most of the kids seemed nice, only they already had their groups of friends and I wasn’t about to shove my way in the middle of those.
While most of the kids were nice, not all of them were. There was a gang of kids a grade older than me that were the school troublemakers. Most students at my new school seemed to not get in trouble, so the group of the bad kids seemed to take it upon themselves to cause as much trouble as possible to make up for the deficit. Even the smallest one in the group of five stood a head taller than me. At first no one seemed to notice me when I first started at this school for the new school year. I wished someone would. I got my wish because Henry’s group of friends didI hadn’t hit puberty so I still looked like my age whereas some of my new classmates were stretching out and had the scaffoldings of their future facial hair starting to sprout up. I was new and small, a perfect target for them.
Before that I had never been bullied before. The first couple of months played out like a greatest hits montage of cliche bullying events I had seen throughout my life on T.V. shows and in movies. They would steal my lunch money, slap my lunch out of my hand, steal my homework from out of my bag (I had started to rewrite my homework assignments so that what they stole was only a copy), and hunt me down before and after school. I would always try to run, but I rarely got away. The only way they were smart was that when they caught me they never did anything to leave too much of a mark on me. My dad was only an old fashioned type in how he believed that boys should handle their problems amongst themselves. Figures my dad would have progressive ideas about everything but bullying. My mom would have made too much of a fuss if I tried to talk to her about what was happening to me at school. I was tempted to tell her so that she could storm down to the school to put a stop to it, but I had heard from some of the kids around school, both victims and witnesses how they react to their victims when they try to seek out help.
I had gotten into a pretty good rhythm over the last couple of weeks of dodging my bullies as I grew accustomed to my new town. This was the longest I had managed to go so far without an incident from them so I was really thinking that tonight was going to go ok. I had a small guilty hope that maybe they would move on to some new primary target if I could just stay away from them long enough.
I was an hour and a half into trick or treating and my pillow case was already halfway full. I had been nervous about my candy haul this year because we had moved to a town in the middle of the woods. The houses were less numerous and the town was more sprawled out between neighborhoods, There was some foot traffic of other costumed kids out and on the prowl for candy, but not nearly as much as what I was used to. It seemed as though the adults at each house were just throwing handfuls of candy into my pillow case.
The town was sprawled out in a series of winding hills. The main roads meandered up and down those hills like a lazy coiled river, with most of the businesses on the main roadway and neighborhoods branching out into the woods like the leafs on a flower. Unlike back home in the middle of the desert where the city was beating back nature with each new housing development, here the town seemed to better integrate with nature. Depending on the curves of the main road, some off branching neighborhoods from different sections of the bends would curve towards each other. According to one of the tourist brochures I had skimmed over while waiting in line at a gas station on our way up here, the town was known for its hiking trails. Pockets of woods were left uncleared between such neighborhoods. They were left surrounded on three sides with roads and homes, like peninsulas of the forest.
I had followed the main road, walking down the side roads only along one side of the main road. güvenilir bahis My plan was to hit the houses in the neighborhoods on the opposite side on my way back home. My bag was starting to get heavy so I started to reach in and eat some of my candy. I had planned on going further, but My legs were starting to get sore and the thought of being back home to go through my candy sounded like a good one. Also I didn’t want to tempt fate and risk running into my bullies.
I crossed the street and started down into the neighborhood. These were some of the biggest and most decorated houses I had seen so far. I was glad I decided to go down this street. I wouldn’t have wanted to continue with my original plan and risk these houses running out of candy. Here was where my pillow case really started to fill up. By the time I reached the last house on the block I was starting to strain to carry my haul. I walked down from the last house, ready to head back home. The yard was decorated as a graveyard and had several fog machines that worked too well and obscured visibility. There was a low brick wall with wrought iron rails sticking out from it that wrapped around the entire yard. It really looked like a cemetary wall. The brick wall rose up into a gated archway at the path that had lead up to the house. I pushed through the fence and stepped out into the street. I was just a couple of steps out of the yard when I was shoved from behind. I ran with the sudden momentum for a moment and then stumbled down to the street. I tried to catch myself as I hit the ground. My knees and the palms of my hands were scraped by the asphalt. Candy spilled out of my pillow case but I was able to keep a hold of the bag.
Back by the gate I heard laughter that I had heard too many times before while I was in pain. “He really went flying didn’t he?” Henry said.
“Yeah, that might have been a new record,” one of his cronies laughed.
I groaned as I stood back up. I kept my eyes to the ground, not wanting to look my tormentors in the eye.
“We have been looking for you all night you little freak, and where do we end up finding you? In my own neighborhood trying to poach away our candy. What do you have to say?”
His neighborhood? If only I had stuck to the plan and kept on going, I could have avoided this pain. I had been in this situation too many times before. No matter what answer I gave it would be the wrong one. I glanced back and forth across the street, looking for someone, anyone to come to my rescue. The street was empty.
Too much time had passed since he asked me the question. The only thing worse than saying the wrong answer was not answering Henry at all. He seemed to not respond well to being ignored. He punched me in the gut, causing me to exhale in pain. “Answer me,” Henry demanded.
“I didn’t know this was where you lived,” I wheezed out. Two of his goons held my arms as I gasped for air. He punched me again. And again. And again. Normally there would have been more banter between Henry and his friends as they tormented me, but tonight he seemed to be out for blood. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball until this was all over and be back home. I didn’t ever want to go trick-or-treating again. Henry was in the middle of a punch when the front door of the house I had just trick-or-treated at opened up. A couple dressed as vampires stepped outside. I prayed that they were leaving so that they would walk down the path and see what was happening and break it up. My hope died when I saw the spark of a lighter as they lit their cigarettes.
My bullies looked up at the smoking adults, and then they stepped a little bit away from me so that it didn’t look like they were menacing me as much as they were doing. I could have tried to shout for help from them, but the yard was so big that I doubted they would really be able to hear me because of the distance and also the loud music would probably drown out my plea for help. I wouldn’t find help in that direction, or probably from any other of the adults near by. I was desperate. There seemed to be more of a threat of violence tonight. Apparently they were not too happy that I had been avoiding them successfully for so long. They had grown accustomed to me not fighting whenever they caught a hold of me. I had learned not to fight back, it would always make things worse. That had been my default reaction whenever they caught me, but not this time. The two bullies who had been holding my arms while Henry punched me had let go and stepped away a little when the smokers had first emerged.
I took a step back just as Henry turned back towards me when the smokers turned back to go inside. “Hey, where are you going,” Henry asked as I took one more step back. I didn’t realize what I was going to do until I was already in the motion of swinging my pillow case at Henry. All I knew was I was sick of the months of fear and pain. I couldn’t be a victim anymore. The candy smacked Henry right across the face as türkçe bahis we was in the middle of another question. The surprised grunt of pain was beyond satisfying. Henry clutched at his face and said “you little fucker.” Henry’s cronies just stared as blood started to leak from some wound at the side of his cheek. I wanted to stand and savor Henry’s moment in pain but I knew that this was my chance to get away.
I turned and ran to the middle of the street. I had two options to get home, I could run back to the main roadway of the town to get home, or I could seek refuge in the woods. I knew that this neighborhood was one of the ones that extended deepest down into the woods. It actually stretched a good amount of the distance down towards my neighborhood. I could go deeper into the neighborhood and then run through the woods. Several neighborhoods would border the woods along my path so I could use those as way markers and if needed exit the woods into one of them and then continue on the roads to my home. The thought of the woods in the middle of the night on Halloween made my imagination run wild, but I was willing to face the abstract terrors of the woods if it meant I could avoid the tangible fear of Henry’s rage.
I started to run deeper into the neighborhood. Henry bellowed behind me for his friends to not let me get away. The sound of them pursuing me gave me an extra burst of speed. I thought to maybe chance it and try and run to one of the nearby houses for help, but as I passed them I noticed most houses had bowls out front for the take one honor system. I didn’t want to chance running to one of them only to have no one be home. The sound of footsteps behind me terrified me. It was hard to judge how far away they were because the streets were so empty that the steps seemed to echo loudly in the stillness of the night. I wanted to turn around and check to see how far away they were, but I didn’t dare do it. Knowing my luck tonight I would end up tripping and ending the chase before I could even make it into the woods. Henry would occasionally yell at me in between breaths about all the things that they were going to do to me once they caught me. This was a mistake, it only strengthened my resolve not to get caught.
As Henry and his goons started to wheeze behind me I became more bold. My lungs were fire and my heart seemed to be trying to beat back the flames with its frantic tempo. The longer I evaded them the more bold I became. I shouted over my shoulder “I bet you hate all those cigarettes you smoked now that you can’t even keep up to me.” Henry’s response was a bellow that sounded like it came from an asthmatic bull.
The neighborhood was curving south towards my neighborhood. Up ahead the curve became more pronounced. When I past the bend I saw the last section of houses and then the darkened woods behind them. I was so overcome with joy that for a moment I didn’t pay attention to my senses. I heard several rapid footsteps coming from behind me. I sped up just as I felt fingertips brush along my back. “Fuck,” I heard one of the goons cry as he became off balanced and tumbled to the ground. This time I took a moment to glance behind me. I saw the goon that almost grabbed me struggling to get up off the floor, and further back Henry and the others just barely making it around the bend.
I ran past the last house and plunged into the darkened woods. I was shocked at how quickly the street lights became obscured by branches. As the darkness swallowed me I was tempted to go back a little and hug the edges of the woods more so that I could use the light to navigate like planed. I stopped for a moment and was about to do just that when I heard my pursuers enter into the woods. There was no going back so I walked in what I hopped was the direction to take me home. I slowed down so as not to make too much noise. I was exhausted. I wanted to sit down and rest, but as long as I kept on moving I could get away from them. I heard them crashing along in the woods behind me. After about ten minutes of walking into the woods the sounds of their crashing around started to disappear.
Once I finally put the sound of their pursuit far behind me I finally allowed myself a moment of rest. My eyes had started to adjust to the gloom of the woods, and in the gaps of the canopy above me the full moon’s light provided a little extra light for me to navigate. I saw a dead tree that had fallen onto its side and sat down on it. I caught my breath and let my heart rate lower. I was still scared to be in the woods after dark, each animal noise and crack of a twig sent a chill up my spin. The woods were also in a way peaceful, but I would have rather spent time in them in the light of day.
Once I caught my breath I stood up and looked around for which way I had been going. I scanned the woods, trying to figure out where I had even came from for that matter because the worse thing I could do was accidently head back the way I came and end up in Henry’s güvenilir bahis siteleri not so loving arms. I spun in a circle, trying to suppress the growing fear of the knowledge that I was lost. Great, I am lost in the woods on Halloween. This could only end in two outcomes. either I’m going to be attacked by some monster that supposedly doesn’t exist, or I am going to end up with having a search party come looking for me and I will be another one of those kids who gets lost in the woods. Whenever I had heard about kids needing rescuing I had always thought how stupid could they be. Now I was going to be one of them. A dark voice whispered in the back of my mind that what if I end up as one of those kids who is never found. I shuddered again and tried to ignore that thought. I had to make it out of the woods. I picked what I hopped was the right direction to either home or the town and started walking.
The only brightside to the whole thing I thought as I trudged through the woods was that Henry and his friends were the last ones to see me alive, and adults at the house party had seen me with them. If the worse did happen to me then maybe Henry would be convicted for my disappearance. With his permanent scowl I bet he would end up being tried as an adult. These thoughts of round about revenge and how satisfying it had felt to finally stand up to him were the thoughts that distracted me from how scared I really was. The deeper I went into the forest the thicker the trees became.
My exhaustion caught up with me as I struggled to move deeper within the forest. This was nothing like the tamed woulds near the edges of the town. There was no clear paths in between the trees. Roots tripped me up and bushes snagged against my clothes and scraped my skin. The trees grew so thick together here that I no longer had any moonlight to guide me. Now I wished I would have headed back earlier, back when the safety of civilisation had been just right behind me, but I didn’t know which way that was.
I lost track of time as I trudged through the woods. I must have been wandering for at least an hour when I came to a point where the trees and bushes became impassable. I was determined to win against nature and I continued to push against the stand of trees that had been a solid line of darkness because they overlapped so much. I wiggled between two trunks and got down on my knees to pass under the brush when I noticed there was a opening leading under them that some animal must have made. It was a tight squeeze, but if I could ignore the occasional scratch on my back then I was able to make it through. The path twisted and curved, making its way in the spots in between the growth. I must have gone about ten feet when I felt something clammy and smooth under my hand. In this land of bristles and curves it’s hard angles stuck out. I pulled it up from the dirt that it was partially buried under. It was a brick. Bricks meant buildings, which meant people.
I set the brick aside and continued down the hallow with a renewed haste, ignoring the scratches along my back now. Just a few feet away from the wall I found its source. Behind the wall of bushes was a brick wall. The hallow I had been crawling through lead to a hole in the brick wall. It seemed much brighter through that hole. The hole was too small for me to squeeze through. I ran my hand along the bricks and one of them wiggled from that light touch. I looked up to gage how high the wall was to see if I could climb it. My view was obstructed so I couldn’t see how high the wall was. It had to at least be about 6 feet tall, which I could have climbed if it wasn’t for all the plants crowding right up against the wall. I pulled the loose brick free and set it to the side of the hole. I repeated the process on the other side of the hole and found the loosest brick and pulled it free. I tried to spread out where I took bricks from in a hope to not make one spot of the wall too weak. I got the hole nearly big enough for me to slip through but then I couldn’t find anymore loose bricks. I ran my fingers along the gaps in between them, seeking out a spot where the mortar had started to rot away. I started to feel desperate and claustrophobic. The trees and bushes seemed to press more firmly against me, as if trying to snare me before I could make my exit. I cried out when one of my fingernails snagged against the cool stone and broke. As I sucked on my finger to ease the pain I tried again with my other hand to find a loose brick, only this time I didn’t let the panic affect my efforts. I found a brick right at the top of the hole and with some wiggling I was able to pull it free.
The hole still looked on the small side but I was pretty sure that I could fit inside of it now. I went in feet first. I slipped the bottom half of my body through the hole with little effort, but when I got up to my shoulders I got stuck. That moment of panic returned again. I pictured being the boy who was found stuck in a forest wall. I held my arms up and was able to start to wiggle through. It was a tight fit when I made it to my shoulders but I was able to make it through. I inched through it the rest of the way, careful not to disturb the wall and risk bringing it down on me.
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