Entertainment Voices

The Mystery Man

A chilling creative writing piece by staff writer Tevin Leachman.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Today was one of the darkest days of the year. “It’s raining its pouring, my grandfather sits in his rocking chair snoring” I thought to myself. 

BOOM! CLAP! SNAP!

The sounds from nature crashed into my house like a wrecking ball. As I glued myself to the window in the living room, all the lights in the house flickered on and off sort of like a firefly maneuvering its little body through the dark evening sky. Sitting in a house on a rainy day is one of the most exasperating activities for a thirteen-year old. I thought about going outside to play football with my best friend and next-door neighbor Cooper, but when I mentioned the idea to my mother, she gave me a quizzical look that was followed by her scolding me. “LUCAS FITZGERALD HAVE YOU LOST ALL YOUR MARBLES? NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS WOULD I ALLOW MY SON TO DO SOMETHING SO… SO RECKLESS AND IRRESPONSIBLE.”

From that moment on I knew that my decisions were not always rational when trying to have fun; instead they were selfish. After scolding me for nearly forty-five minutes about responsibility and being reckless, I was sent to my room. I sat upon my bed desperate for something to do. As I rummaged through my closet for my PlayStation controller, I tripped on one of my soccer cleats and hit my head on one of my tennis rackets which caused me to feel dizzy and nauseous. My head was spinning uncontrollably; it’s kind of like watching someone ride a tilt- a -whirl at an amusement park while eating a chili cheese dog and you can feel your stomach become a bottomless pit. For a moment everything was still until a bright flash of light nearly blinded me and a mysterious figure wearing a black cloak and a creepy mask came towards me and hit me over the head.

When I finally gained consciousness, I woke up in my room– or at least I thought I did. Before I knew it, a peculiar voice said “Bonjour! Guten tag! Please exit your room and follow the lighted pathway!” I walked into what seemed like a narrow hallway connected to an old warehouse, but soon I realized that I was in a place that looked like… my house.

Everything that I had in my room was there and every piece of furniture from our house was there. There was a note with my name on it attached to the lamp sitting on the table we keep in the hallway. The note contained instructions about “how to play the game.” In order to win the game, I had to follow the instructions that would be announced over the intercom. The mysterious voice came on again and asked everyone to come to the living room to eat and play games. “Wait, ‘everyone’?, I thought I was the only one here?” I thought to myself.

I was officially terrified now. I tried to break the window but an alarm went off that could make a person go tone deaf. The door to my “bedroom” opened. Slowly walking towards the door, I felt my heart beat rapidly. I finally reached the threshold and walked into the hallway. A familiar voice greeted me, “Hey Lucas.” It was my best friend Cooper. He looked scared as if he knew we were in grave danger. We walked side by side until we reached the living room and discovered some of our classmates were there. Now I knew that we were kidnapped by some freak – but who could do something like this and why? Everyone looked so pale and so zombie like, they all had the same clothes on, they were dressed like dolls and… “Oh my gosh, we are being used as human dolls for this creep to play with, dress up, and feed?” I whispered to Cooper that we have to get out of here before this psycho kills us. Cooper nodded.

A camera in the ceiling seemed to point directly at me glaring, almost smiling with some sick satisfaction. I saw a vent near the fireplace that looked out of place and I dashed towards it and unhooked the clasps. I looked inside and it seemed alright. Before I even tried to climb in, the tone deaf alarm blared loudly. I shouted, “Come on everyone we have to get out of here!” All my classmates looked at me and one by one they climbed through the vent. Finally, it was my turn and Cooper’s. I was halfway through when I realized Cooper wasn’t behind me anymore. I crawled back to the spot where I saw him last “Cooper where are you?” I saw him laying down with a puddle of blood next to him.

“Cooper! Cooper!” I shook him until I got a response, he mumbled and groaned something about being hit on the head by a hooded assailant. After almost losing my best friend I knew that I had to do everything in my power to survive. Cooper and I managed to reach the room where all of our classmates were and it was the creepiest room i’d ever seen. It had security cameras and pictures of us covering the walls. One picture stood out to me- it was a picture of us from our trip to the Metropolitan History Museum. Cooper tapped me on my shoulder and pointed to one of the screens that showed images outside. I nearly wet myself because on a hunch I realized our history teacher Mr. Harrington was our kidnaper! Now everything made sense. Mr. Harrington was a very popular teacher at Cambridge Preparatory Academy, and my parents knew him since I was a baby. They always invited him over for dinner or when we had family trips, he would always come with us. But after he left Cambridge my seventh-grade year he didn’t come around as much.

“Lucas!” That’s Mr.-

“Cooper, I know I feel devastated too.”

“We really have to get out now, I think Mr. Harrington has lost his mind”

I watched Mr. Harrington come in and he looked angry; he didn’t have the same happy expression he used to have. I looked around the room for something I could use to break the only window in the room. I found a long spear- like stick with a sharp point and I started to hit the window, I hit the window so hard that I busted the glass and the wood frame that was behind it. I looked out the window and I could feel the breeze on my face and the fresh air heightened my senses. I thought about my mom and how worried she might be since I am not at home and I left my cell phone behind. I looked down and saw how far the ground was from the window- we must have been on the third floor. I saw a set of stairs that descended down the side of the wall, and, I asked Cooper to help me climb through the window. It was hard because he was still weak from being hit in the head, but he managed to help as much as he could. I fell from the window and landed on the stairs, luckily dignity broke my fall.

Cooper and our classmates looked out the window to see if I was still alive and then each one climbed out the window and followed my footsteps: a hard fall and a road to freedom. After everyone escaped, we ran as fast as we could, never taking the chance to see if we were being followed. Cooper had the hardest time though, because he started to lose his balance. We reached the nearby woods and I was so tired but I knew I needed to push myself to keep going. I looked around and I saw an open road. I walked towards it and I tried to get a car to stop, Cooper pushed me out of the way and ran onto the road and he collapsed. I started to cry because my best friend was dead and I couldn’t do anything to bring him back.

A black SUV was flying down the road and I thought it wouldn’t stop. The car stopped and a woman jumped out. She looked at Cooper’s seemingly lifeless body and she pulled out her phone to dial 911. She asked if she could take us all to the nearest hospital. When we arrived, she ran in to get help and four emergency medical technicians came out with gurneys for each of us. They picked Cooper up first and rushed him in before coming back for the rest of us. All the stress was getting to me because I started to feel dizzy and before I knew it, I blacked out.

The last thing I remember was the woman asking questions about what happened. Somehow someone called my mom and told her about what happened and she was hysterical. She told me I had been in a coma for five days after the kidnapping and that Cooper was still alive, but he was really sick and he needed intensive care. I told mom about Mr. Harrington and his life-size doll house and she hugged me so tight. The doctors came in and checked to make sure I was okay and told me I could leave. Before I left, I went to see Cooper and he was still pretty messed up from everything that happened. I was so happy to know he was alive, I gave him a hug and I saw a tear roll down his cheek which surprised me because he never cried about anything. My mom took me to a therapist to talk about my experience and it was so hard because I was ashamed.

It took weeks for me to get back to normal but I managed to return to school like nothing ever happened. I was glad to be back and glad to see Cooper back to normal too. Our first class together was algebra and our regular teacher was sick so we had a substitute. I felt my stomach bubble because something was wrong. “Good Morning class I am your substitute teacher Mr. Harrington.” Cooper and I looked at each other and Mr. Harrington flashed a sick grimace at us, winked his eye and said “Nice to see you two again.”  The nightmare wasn’t over because Mr. Harrington revealed that he would be our permanent teacher. I looked at Cooper and nearly barfed on him because there was something unsettling about Mr. Harrington. His personality seemed more sinister than usual. It dawned on me- Mr. Harrington wasn’t exactly Mr. Harrington. He’s an imposter, and a fraud. I slowly pulled my cellphone out of my pocket to look at the news report about our abduction and there it was: the person standing before the class is not the same person we believed abducted us. I showed Cooper the picture and he turned pale because the man in the picture looked like Mr. Harrington but everything else about him was a mystery.

TO BE CONTINUED?

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