Beginning of the story by @zeldacroft
An inky air crept through the twilight hours, and now pressed against the windows of the house. Inside, Nathan aimlessly flipped through the TV channels, the living room calmly lit. He was getting impatient.
A thump, thump down the stairs made him jump, but he managed to keep his composure. His mom hurried into the room. Her oversized coat and mittens signaled she was ready for the autumn chill outside.
“Alright, I’m heading out,” she said. “I’ll probably be gone for a few hours, so call me if you need anything. Remember there’s leftovers in the fridge, and try not to just watch TV. You know that book from—”
“Mom,” he interrupted.
“You’re going to be late.”
“I am, aren’t I?” She agreed, but ran over to kiss his forehead anyway. “I’ll lock up, be sure to stay safe.”
“Yes, Mom.” He rolled his eyes. Their corner of suburbia had always felt like the most boring. Nothing bad could happen here.
As soon as Nathan heard the front door close, he leapt up and looked out the window. The streetlights cast heavy shadows on his mom’s car as she drove away. When she was out of sight, he whipped out his phone and texted his best friend, Mark. “It’s time.”
Mark had gotten his hands on some horror games, including the much coveted Bloodhunter 4, but his family wouldn’t let him play.
Nathan wasn’t allowed to either, so tonight was finally their chance. Impatience turned to excitement as he switched the TV to his Xbox. Mark lived on the same street, so it wouldn’t take long for him to get there. After gathering soda and snacks from the klitchen, he heard a sharp knock on the door.
This Week's Prompt- Home Alone
“Mark, is that you?”
Nathan whispered from behind the door on the back entrance. He knew that under usual circumstances, Mark would have appeared from anywhere but the back entrance on a night such as this. However, he also knew he wasn’t expecting anyone else but Mark.
“Mark, I’m serious man…is that you?”
There was no answer from the other side of the door except for the intermittent twisting of the door knob left to right. Nathan stood there transfixed but shaking all over. His facial expression was a mixture of horror and dexterity. He didn’t know what to make of the whole situation, could it be Mark playing pranks on him or…
Well, he didn’t want to think of the possibility that their house is under invasion.
“Mom said this part of the town is safe,” he concluded within just to have a hold of inner peace even though it only lasted few seconds.
He could hear rapt movements of feet on the exterior, along the kitchen terrain, no longer willing to succumb to chance of his mom being right, he leaped in the direction of the living room, and went straight for the landline positioned to the left of the dining hall. He dialed the apartment of the Doyles, but this time, it was Mark’s dad on the phone.
“How’re you doing Mr. Doyle?”
I’m fine Nathan. Thanks for asking!
“Is Mark still at home?” Nathan asked, almost sounding impatient.
“No, he left a while ago.”
“Hope there’s no problem over there, son?”
Then it happened. He heard a knock on the front door and he could only assume it to be Mark’s.
“Don’t worry Mr. Doyle, I think Mark just arrived.”
“Be sure that both of you finish your assignment and go to bed early, and tell your mom I sent my greetings.”
“I will, Mr. Doyle.”
Thanks and goodnight sir.
Nathan made a rush for the door, but cautious because of the recent back door and kitchen episode.
“Mark, is that you?”
“Open the door Nathan,” Mark whispered back.
Nathan opened the door after fidgeting with the key in the keyhole for a while.
“Thank God it’s you,” was all that came out of Nathan’s mouth.
Nathan closed the door behind as soon as Mark stepped right into the living room, still, in his opinion, he wasn’t going to leave anything to chance.
“What’s up buddy?”
“Why the jumpy attitude?” Mark sounded sarcastic in his outburst.
“Were you at the back door entrance earlier?” Nathan asked, he looked serious in an unserious, yet funny kind of way. There’s no way he’d know how he looked like that instance except he’s opportune to see his reflection in a mirror.
“No, why do you ask? Did something bad happen?”
I think someone was struggling with the backdoor earlier, and I almost opened it because I thought it was you.
“Don’t try to scare me Nathan!”
“I think at this point, no horror movie or story can ever scare me.”
“You think I made it all up, don’t you?”
“Just… let it go Nathan!”
“I can’t wait any longer for this game to begin.”
“Me too,” was the response from Nathan but sounded weak.
While Mark was busy setting up the game, Nathan went ahead to arrange the refreshments. To the duo, it was going to be one of the best nights of their lives.
About twenty minutes to the start of the game, a great sound came from the kitchen. It was a splattering sound, and it came from the kitchen windows. Finally, both were sure an outsider was just about entering the house or perhaps was already in the house. They froze for some seconds, then as with car with a rebellious engine, they kicked back to reality like a dead brought back to life with shockwaves. Both felt the need to act, and fast. It was however stupid on the part of Nathan, not because it was instinctive, but because they were under attack and he’s somehow clueless, no idea on how to neutralize pending threat. However to Mark, the game had just began. It was more like a Bloodhunter4 extension in real life, and definitely not in a virtual reality. He knew the risks, having played a series of them, and watched how assassins operate stealthily. There he was, immersed in a fantasy where he pictured himself as a Pro-hunter, hence failure was no option for him. In the midst of their desperation, Mark’s composure gave Nathan added strength.
Mark tiptoed towards the kitchen section, and all Nathan could do was copy him because it was so obvious he had no clue. Earlier, he contemplated calling his mom but he changed his mind almost immediately.
“What good will that do?” He wondered aloud.
He knew his mother was probably three miles across town already, and calling the Doyles somehow skipped his mind.