The Afterlife: Chap 1 The Escape

The Afterlife: Chap 1 The Escape

A Chapter by snapjack

I ran fast, trying to keep my weak body from falling over. If I fell over, I would die…or worse…I wouldn’t. My camisole strap hung off of my shoulder, but it didn’t matter. My underwear was the only thing I wore waist down besides my shoes, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was survival. Not of the fittest, but who could outrun the other. If I screamed, someone would hear me, so I kept quiet.

I thought I saw a road ahead, but it was an older dirt road that looked like it hadn’t been used in years. I turned around, frantically trying to see if I saw them…Or if they could see me.  I tried not to breathe hard, but my breath came out in gasps. Dirt made my skin feel firm and hard. I could feel the cold sweat running along my back and neck, making my shoulder length brown hair stick to me. In the distance, I could hear leaves crunching as they ran after me. I turned quickly and ran to the older road, dodging a fallen tree.

When I reached the road, I looked both ways to find somewhere to hide. On my right, the road curved and on my left, the road went straight until it eventually curved as well. There wasn’t anywhere to hide on the left so I quickly ran right.

I curved with the road around the tall, muddy and rocky wall. In the far distance I saw what looked like an old, worn down house. My heart raced as I matched its beat with my footfalls as if the two were dueling. The road had little gravel left on it and was mostly grass with sticks and leaves.

My muddy, slip-on converses squished with water under my toes. I heard voices back at the curve of the road debating on which way to go. I tried to stay as quiet as I could without slowing down. I heard them coming, but I stayed unseen by the trees. Eventually, I reached the old, worn-out house.

The house wasn’t very big, but big enough to have two stories with a balcony on both floors. The house had chipped, white paint and the shutters were hanging loosely off their hinges. An old rocking chair was on the porch, but I didn’t pay attention to any closer details. I quietly ran into the open doorway of the house and hid behind the wall that the door was on. I caught up with my breath as I took my shoes off and looked up to find a way to better hide myself.

I looked at the stairs only a few feet from me. The staircase went up a few steps and then took an immediate right turn, continuing up to the second floor. The stairs still looked good, so clutching my shoes in one hand, I ran barefoot across the wooden floor and up the creaking stairs. A Cobweb hit my face, but I paid it no mind. When I reached the top of the stairs, there was a hallway that led back around the stairs.

I quietly and quickly tiptoed through the hallway and picked a room on my left, my heart petrified that I would find a dead body. I looked around and closed the door, putting my back against it. Within seconds, I heard muffled voices looking around the house outside and I held my breath.

I could hear them debating whether I was in the house or not. My stomach grumbled and I hugged my waist. My heart was still racing and I leaned my head back to try to calm myself. I heard the voices make their way into the house. A tear slid out of my eye and I started to shake.

“F*****g b***h slapped me, dude. Little skank hits hard,” I heard the brown haired man say downstairs. His twenty year old face appeared into my thoughts. His black eyes watching my every move. Whoever was with him said something that I couldn’t hear. I saw double doors a few feet ahead of me. I slowly pushed myself from the door and crept to them. I peered inside and saw complete emptiness except for a spider web in the far corner. I ever so slowly got inside and closed the door.

“You check upstairs and I’ll look around here,” the brown haired man said. With that, I heard rough footsteps walk up the stairs. I took a deep breath and listened.

The footsteps reached the top of the stairs and I heard one door creek open. The footsteps walked inside a little and I heard them slowly turn around. They walked out of the room and I heard the creaking of another door. Then another door. Then another door. And then my door opened. I held onto my breath and didn’t make a sound. I watched as a shadow lurked slowly toward the closet doors that hid me. I closed my eyes and got ready to fight to the death or jump out of a window.

Suddenly, the doors opened and I snapped my eyes open. A teenage, blonde haired guy with clear, green eyes stared at me. He was around my age from what he had told me. When we had first met, he appeared as a normal boy like the ones that went to my school. His name was Matt, but they always called him, “s**t head”. He looked at me with a blank stare and his jaw was set. My hands shook and my mind raced to figure out what to do.

“Sure are quiet up there,” the brown haired man stated accompanied with the sound of glass clinking. I looked at the doorway and back at Matt who still stared at me. Matt frowned.

“Just found a lizard,” Math replied, unenthusiastically, and closed the closet doors, concealing me up again. I opened my mouth and almost cried. I clutched onto my mouth as tears fought to come. I squeezed my eyes shut to fight the tears back.

“You and those damn lizards….”

“Yeah,” I heard Matt say under his breath. He walked out of the room and into another. Then another and finally, I heard him make his way downstairs.

“Nothing up there,” Matt said.

“F**k,” the brown haired man grumbled. “Sam is going to be pissed.” I listened to them shuffle around and then eventually, I heard them walk outside. The muffled voices gradually faded off and into the woods.

My breath caught and I began to sob. My shaking hand pushed the door open. I stumbled out into the center of the room and sat down. I put my hands to my face as if to check that I was physically in one piece while I cried. My hands shook harder when I thought about what just happened.

My breathing came out in hiccups and gasps. I looked around the room to see the details of what had helped save me. It had originally been pale blue, but had large water stains that bleached it out. A window was behind me and the upper corner of the glass had a ripple in it. I stood up and walked out of the room. I looked down the hall and goose bumps ran along my arms. I shivered and walked back into the room, shutting the old wooden door.

I sat next to the window and looked out. There were only trees that I could see. I leaned my head against the panel that framed the window.

“Where am I?” I asked to no one in particular. I shut my eyes and unintentionally drifted off to sleep. 

 

 

I stood in the field with my eyes closed. When I opened them, I felt the white, cotton dress hang loosely off me. The tall grass rubbed against my skin and I turned my head to the right. A guy with a white tee shirt and jeans walked towards me in the distance. His hair looked blonde that faded to brown from what I could see. I couldn’t make out any other details. My heart fluttered when I realized he was staring at me. I knew his name and shouted it out. A smile trickled on my face. I felt so comfortable with him around.

He was an angel now.  

 

 

I woke up and sucked in air. My heart pounded in my chest as I tried to recall where I was. I looked around with wide eyes and then remembered. My head that had rested on the window sill, now rested on the floor. Rubbing my forehead, I pulled myself upright and listened for movement. It was now dark outside and I saw bright, white speckles in the sky. I put my hand in my lap and sighed. My stomach growled at me and I patted it to shut it up.

“Yes, everyone knows you’re hungry,” I muttered to it. I looked around the room. The light from the stars casted shadows on the floor and made the room look spookier than it was only hours ago. I tried to recall what the guy’s name was in my dream, but I couldn’t remember. My heart fluttered when I thought of him. How could it be possible to love someone from a dream? I remembered that he was an angel, but I didn’t really believe in angels. I wasn’t sure if I really believed in God after what I had been through.

My thoughts shifted into the previous events only to quickly replace them with movement outside. My head jerked to the window. I moved into the shadows as I looked, peering around the window frame. Some of the image was distorted from the ripple in the glass.

When I didn’t see anything I thought about ghosts. I had always questioned whether to believe in ghosts, but at that moment I tried to persuade myself into believing they weren’t real.

I looked back behind me for assurance that nothing was there.  

BANG!

 I jumped at the sound that came from below me on the first level. I kept back a gasp and got to my feet. I quietly tiptoed to the closet and shut the door behind me. I moved to the back wall of the closet and slid down. My pulse became faster, but my eyes were fixed on the door.

There was movement below me. I heard things being shifted around. Then as sudden as the loud noise came, I heard a man’s voice begin yelling.

“F**K!” He screamed and I heard a loud crashing sound like glass. I sucked in breath and my heart nearly jumped out of my rib cage. Then everything was quiet and it scared me more than the noises did. My breathing started to become labored and I struggled to calm myself.

Footsteps began walking up the stairs, except I didn’t hear any shoes. The sound sounded more padded liked bare feet.

How can there be someone living here? I asked myself, panicking. The footsteps stopped at the top of the steps. For a brief second I could almost hear him breathing. I forced myself to stop breathing. The footsteps began walking down the hall, getting closer and closer to the room I was in. I covered my mouth and nose, still staring at the closet door.

The footsteps came slowly into my room and my eyes widened. I felt the hair on my skin stand upright, but I didn’t look at my arms. I looked at the shadow that walked close by the double doors. I stayed completely still, sure to not make a sound. I watched as the shadow on the floor walked past the closet and stopped. I started to worry that my heart would be heard by the man.

The man sighed and then walked back toward the door of the room. Then he stopped. I watched as his shadow slid toward the closet. I prepared myself for a fight. I had come too far to lose.

The closet doors opened and I screamed. I pushed myself up and lunged forward, pushing the man backwards without even looking at him. He stumbled back and I took off running toward the stairs. I heard him start coming toward me. I didn’t even get to the steps, but jumped over the railing and landed on the stairs hard. I stumbled and fell forward. I yelped as I hit the wall in the stairs.

“Wait!” The man yelled. I groaned and put my hand to my head. There was a little blood, but I didn’t stop. I heard him groan then heard him land on the step that I had landed on. I ran down the rest of the steps and started to run to the now-closed door when hands grabbed me and pulled me back through the air. I screamed as I clashed into him. I hit him with my elbows and kicked him, but only seemed to be damaging myself.

“Let go of me!” I screamed, but his hands felt like iron against my skin.

“Not until you chill-ax!” He yelled back and he turned me around to face him. I pushed my hands in his face with my teeth clenched. His hands pushed me against a wall and he pinned my hands to it. I yelled out and tried to fight harder.

“Stop!” He barked and I glared up at him. I knew I looked crazy and I meant to use all of my strength for survival.

A shadow was set on his face and I was suddenly struck by his features. He looked around his early 20’s with a black tee-shirt on and  jeans. The shadows casted a dark color to his hair, but the coloring still looked like brown. His eyes that bored into mine looked like a light color, but I couldn’t really tell what shade they were by the darkness of the house. His jaw line was strong and his eyebrows were pushed together into a strong frown. I felt a little bit relaxed as I stared at him, but I wasn’t ready to trust him yet.

“Why are you here? What’s happened to you?” He asked in a frustrated tone. His voice didn’t sound harsh like the rest of the guys that I had spent my last two nightmarish weeks with. Hs voice didn’t have an accent of any kind, either.

“Let me go,” I growled. He looked at me sternly and let me go, blocking me from the entrance. I put my hands around my waist and looked at him. I refused to say anything, so he talked first.

“I’ll help you, but you look like a skeleton that just crawled out from a grave,” the guy sighed. “My name is Alex. Do you want some food?” I looked at the floor. My bottom lip started trembling and before I knew it, I started crying. I didn’t want to trust Alex or anyone else for the rest of my life, regardless of how at peace I felt around the so-called Alex. I hugged myself harder. My stomach growled.

“Come on, let’s get you fed,” Alex muttered.

“I want to go home,” I choked out.

“Where do you live?” Alex asked. I looked at him hard.

“Richmond,” I mumbled and Alex whistled.

“Richmond is about a four hour or so drive,” Alex replied and I looked at him with tears falling out of my eyes. “Don’t cry, I’ll get you to Richmond, I promise on my heart, but you’re not going tonight. We’re around the Blacksburg region.”

“Virginia?” I asked, my heart racing with worry. Where had they taken me?

“Yes, Virginia,” Alex said with a smile playing at his lips as he looked away. His face went back into a worried expression when he looked back at me. “Do you mind if I ask what your name is?”

I thought for a minute about answering. “Madison,” I muttered.

“May I ask what possessed you to hide in the upstairs bedroom closet?” Alex asked, tilting his head with his eyebrow raised a little, curiosity crossing his face. By that time my tears had stopped and were drying on my cheeks. I didn’t answer and he sighed, straightening back up.

“Come on, go sit down on the couch, Madison,” Alex finally said, curiosity still playing on the edges of his words. He turned to his left and began walking into an open, square arch that led to a medium sized living area. A dark red couch had its back to me and was in front of a good sized fireplace.

Alex turned to look at me and raised his eyebrows. “If you leave, whoever did this to you might find you. I have a feeling about it. I won’t hurt you. If it will make you feel better, I’ll give you my pocketknife.” Alex started digging in his jeans’ pocket and pulled out a good sized pocketknife that was closed and tossed it to me. I stepped back and it hit the dusty, wooden floor. It slid a little towards my feet and I looked down at it.

Slowly, I leaned toward it and picked it up. It had to of been six inches long. I opened it and saw that the knife had a curved blade with a nice gripped handle. I looked at him. It didn’t look like a typical, just in case pocketknife.  

“How do you know I won’t kill you while you sleep?” I questioned him even though I had no means of doing such a thing. Alex smirked.

“I have faith in human kind, I suppose,” Alex stated and turned around. He walked around the dusty couch and dug in his pocket again. He pulled out a lighter and held it close to the fireplace. I rose up on my tiptoes and saw that wood was actually in the fireplace. After a second, fire began to rise up and Alex stood back up. Looking at the fire made shivers run up my spine from the cool breeze that I had been enduring. He looked at me and smiled.

Alex walked around the couch, into the hallway where I stood and walked past me. I watched him go into another arch that led into a dark room that appeared to be a kitchen. I could make out a stove and a row of counter tops, but couldn’t see anything else. I looked around me at all the things that I didn’t have time to notice earlier. I saw that a closed door on the wall opposite of me was between me and the kitchen. I looked back at the entrance door wondered about my options.  

I looked at the fireplace then looked at the kitchen. I saw Alex moving around. My fingers clutched the pocketknife and I walked towards the fireplace. The sound of a pot clanging against something came from the kitchen and I jumped a little. I peered around the wall to see into the kitchen and saw Alex. He leaned over what appeared to be a stove and whispered something. When he stood back up, a small fire was then flickering on the stove where a burner was. Thinking nothing of it, I turned back and looked around the living room.

It was more of a rectangular shape, but it wasn’t too big or too small. An old, worn out rug was underneath the pitiful couch. I watched a spider crawl away from the fire and toward the couch. I looked out at a window to my left and crossed my arms. Part of the rocking chair that I had passed was in front of it and something moved in the woods. I watched as it kept moving, closer and closer toward the house. My heart rate picked back up again. I knew it was them. More figures came, making five black silhouettes.

“Alex, hide!” I yelled in a hushed whisper. I ran to the kitchen and stopped at the entrance. Alex turned quickly around and looked at me, frying pan in hand. The smell of food came to my nose and my stomach rumbled, but I ignored it. “Alex, if you really do mean good, I’m sorry to have put you through this-” I started, but he cut me off.

“What is it?” Alex replied. His face turned hard as he let go of the frying pan. He walked to the other side of the kitchen and I continued.

“They’ve come to get me, they’re crazy, Alex. They-”

“How many are there?” Alex asked. He opened up a door that was next to the countertops and I assumed it was a pantry.

“Five,” I replied in a hushed voice. Tears started to run down my face involuntarily. I turned around and looked at the door, wrapping my arms around my waist for comfort. I turned around to look at Alex. He had his back to me while looking out of a window that was above the countertop. His hands were by his sides and he seemed relaxed. He turned his head to face me; his expression had more of an exhausted look. I looked at him as if he were crazy.

“Please! Alex, you have to hide! They’ll kill us,” I whispered frantically to him. I heard their footsteps outside. I quickly walked into the kitchen, not sure of what to do or what to say. “Alex…” I started, but thought of why he would be acting like this. “Oh my God, you’re one of them…” I mumbled. The way it had played out; he had to of been one of them. My eyes widened and he looked at me bewilderedly.

“What? No, I’m no-” Alex started, but I ran to the stairs and began jumping them two at a time just as the door slammed open. I was almost up them when….



© 2010 snapjack


Author's Note

snapjack
Any and all comments are welcome! Thanks for reading!

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Reviews

The mystery you hold out through the first chapter is great. The intensity draws me in right away. You also mention that Madison is in her underwear and Alex doesn't seem the least bit phased by that? I see the effect you're trying to create by that. He's deeper than normal guys, but it's slightly unrealistic. A good read regardless.

Posted 10 Years Ago


I love it, purely amazing.
It starts off with a thrill, making you want more.
Good write,

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on June 2, 2010
Last Updated on December 18, 2010
Tags: Madison, alex, matt, shithead, teenagers, teenage, two, weeks, abandoned, house, the, afterlife, dream, ghost, dreams, ghosts, chapter, 1, escape


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snapjack
snapjack

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All original photos that I have used can be located in my blog on here, named: ALL USED PHOTOS.... http://www.writerscafe.org/snapjack/blogs/All-used-photos-can-be-found-here:/10939/ Any const.. more..

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A Chapter by snapjack