I walked up to the clearing out in front of the forest. Matthew and Jacob were walking up with their backpacks and sleeping bags. I held up a middle finger for them both and then cupped my hands while shouting in their direction.
"What's up bitches?"
They both laughed and waited to get a bit closer before replying. Matthew was the first to reply, with his imposing Linebacker figure.
"Oh, right. We're the bitches, huh?"
He gave me a smirk and slapped me on the back. Jacob chimed in as well.
"Yeah, Corny Corby, treating us like the punks. Ha!"
"Get it right, guys. I'm Carvin' Corbin now."
I moved my hand around like a snake before popping Jacob on the back of the head with it.
"Ouch!" Jacob exclaimed as he began to rub the area.
"That's what the ladies call me while I'm riding my longboard in the streets."
Matt laughed and got to the point, as Jacob shrugged it off.
"So, where's this cabin at anyway?"
"It's not a cabin in the woods, we're not in a slasher movie or something. It's a house. An abandoned house, sure. I checked it out, though. Everything is still in good enough condition for us to crash in it for the night. There weren't any wild animals inside, and it wasn't too destroyed by whoever else partied there before.
It's a pretty good hike down this trail right here, but it's pretty cool too. I've seen a pack of coyotes over to the side before. I think it might have been their den because they were all just kind of hanging out right there by it."
Jacob gave me the side-eye and seemed apprehensive.
"So, there's a bunch of coyotes right by the house that we're going to? Don't they, like, gang up and tear people to shreds?"
"Nah, man. The coyotes aren't anything to worry about. Keep your eyes peeled, though. There are dangerous things all throughout these woods. That's for sure."
I waved for them to follow my lead, and we began to make our way down the trail.
The trails were cleared well, and there was plenty to see on the way. We passed a stream of running water that passed under the natural bridge we were walking on. Plenty of rabbits and squirrels were running about along either side of us. At one point, we actually saw a hawk swoop down and snatch one of the squirrels.
As we passed the area where the coyotes made their den, I pointed it out and explained what it was. The guys seemed to not believe me since there was not much of a sign of them. I took the chance to ham it up a bit and set the mood for a night of fun.
"No really, they were right over there. They're probably out hunting or something. In fact… Jacob! Watch out!"
I pretended to duck out of the way and pointed in the distance behind him. He let out a loud screech that had Matt laughing.
"Aw, come on, man. You really let him get you with that one?
Jacob pushed me on the shoulder and shrugged it off, laughing himself as he did.
"Whatever, man. Wild animals give me the creeps. Wolves, Coyotes, they're all the same to me."
It wasn't much longer before we reached the house. When we arrived, I noticed that there were about 5 or 6 ravens on the roof. I pointed them out to the guys.
"Look, it's an unkindness of ravens."
They both busted out laughing. Matt looked at me crazy.
"What did you call them? Were the ravens mean to you, or what?"
I opened the front door and answered his question as I showed them into the living room.
"An unkindness, it's the term for a group of ravens. You know, like a murder of crows?"
Jacob tossed his sleeping bag on the ground and spoke in a mocking tone.
"Riiiiight, like that's just common knowledge or something."
Matt tossed his to the ground as well and looked around the living room.
"So, this is where we'll be staying, huh? I guess it could have been worse. You have some beer, right?"
I smirked and made my way towards the kitchen. It was connected to the living room with a bar area that probably looked much nicer in years before but now was in disrepair. I ducked behind it and came back up with two cases of light beer. This elicited some celebration from the two. That celebrating was doubled when I reached down again and came up with two bottles of rum that were so potent you could light the stuff on fire.
I poured three shots and lit them one by one with my lighter. The guys had dropped their backpacks and rushed over toward the flaming shot glasses. They were about to take them straight up, flame and all. I entertained the idea of just letting them but couldn't bring myself to let it happen.
"Guys, guys, guys! Seriously? Come on, now."
I busted out three glasses and filled them halfway with beer.
"On the count of three. Drop it in and chug. Let's get this party started in style. 1… 2… 3!"
The shots went in the glasses and extinguished. We lifted them up and emptied the contents, slamming our glasses on the counter as we did. I patted each of them on the back as we finished.
"You guys go ahead and get set up. I'm gonna go upstairs to grab a few things that I left and drain the lizard."
I turned on a few of the gas lanterns that I had set up around the living room and kitchen, as it was going to be dark soon. I grabbed one before heading into the other room and cut it on. As I made it to the stairs and got about halfway up, I stopped to make sure I wasn't being followed. Being sure that they were nowhere behind me, I pressed on the wall that revealed a small room to the side of the stairs.
I ducked in and closed the door behind me. I had to crouch to fit in the space, but I walked my way over to the side that was closest to the living room. As I did, I set the lantern down and leaned in towards a hole that gave me a perfect view of the two jerkoffs that I invited for this night of redemption.
I saw them rummaging through their backpacks and talking to each other. Matt laughed as he pulled out a large mason jar full of brown and watery contents.
"I've got something special saved up for that little fucker."
Jason pushed his shoulder as he cackled and grabbed a mason jar of his own. Jacob's was full of an amber-like dark yellow colored liquid.
"Yeah, I got my part of it as well. Jesus, man. You need to lay off the tacos and hot sauce, huh?"
"Haha, I took some laxatives to make sure it was extra raunchy. You, on the other hand, look like you haven't had any water in a year! What the hell, man. Is that piss brown?"
Jacob laughed again as he shoved it back into his backpack, and Matt did the same with his.
"Hey, it all works for the best. Like your saying, even better for the live stream, right?"
I smirked to myself. How stupid did these two jock assholes think that I was? I knew without a doubt that if I invited them out for a night somewhere secluded that they would plan some devious crap like this. That didn't matter to me, though. They were playing right into my hand. Just giving me even more of a reason to follow through with what must be done.
I picked up the lantern and checked my own backpack. All of its contents were still untouched and intact. I grabbed it and my sleeping bag that was beside it. I snuck out of the secret compartment and went back down the stairs. I walked into the living room, and they looked towards me shiftily as they pushed their backpacks to the side.
"I'm back, ladies! Don't look so excited. Anyways, I brought some party favors."
I threw my sleeping bag to the floor and reached into the backpack. With a goofy smile on, I pulled out a baggie with three fat blunts rolled up and ready to go. Taking out the biggest one I shoved it into my mouth and sparked it up. As the cherry blazed, I puffed to ensure it stayed ablaze and tossed the lighter and the baggie over to Jacob.
"Smoke up, chumps. We got a long night of scary stories and fuckery ahead of us."
Matt laughed while lighting his up.
"Oh yeah, you have no idea."
I let them have their fun as they laughed at my presumably ignorant self. This amused me, but I didn't show it as I kept my backpack on, strapped tight, and walked over to the fireplace. I held the blunt in my mouth and began throwing some logs into the fireplace.
The smoke stream started to run into my eye. I hated it when that happened. I decided to set it up on the mantle as I finished. I placed a starter log at the bottom and lit it up with the long lighter that sat by the pile of wood. As I did, the starter log caught fire, and the rest of the wood slowly began to catch on as well.
While I was distracted with this, Jacob came up from behind me and grabbed my blunt off the mantle and placed it in his mouth beside his own. He puffed them both hard and then blew out a large plume of smoke while appealing to Matt.
"Look at me, I'm Jakey Two-Blunts."
As he cackled in delight at what he thought was a hilarious joke, we heard howling from out in the woods. His face lost its humor, and he went slightly pale at the sound.
"Oh no, Jakey. It sounds like the coyotes came and found you."
I snatched my blunt back from him and looked him intently in the eye. There was no hint of humor in my face, or my voice, as I said to him.
'I already told you. The coyotes aren't what you need to be afraid of."
A beat passed of cold silence as I stared him right in the eye, then another one. After it lasted long enough for him to become uncomfortable, I smirked and took a drag of my blunt. I inhaled deeply and blew the smoke directly in his face. He shoved me on the shoulder as I was walking away, but I disregarded him as I took a seat by my sleeping bag. I looked up towards them and gestured towards their spots.
"Well, are you gentlemen ready for some scary stories?"
They looked incredulous but sat down in their spots.
"You think you're going to be able to scare us or what?" Matt asked.
I tapped my blunt, letting the ash fall to the floor, and responded.
"Oh, I have some ideas."
Jacob laughed and gave Matt a glance.
"Sure, why don't you go ahead and try to scare the crap out of us."
They both busted out laughing at this. Again, they thought I was none the wiser, and I made sure they kept that impression.
"Great. I think I know a good one to start with."
I paused for a moment and looked at them. They were smoking and watching me intently, so I laid mine down and took it as my cue to begin.
"A long time ago, about 16 years or so, to be exact. There was a baby boy. That baby boy was left in this very house. Abandoned, crying, and all alone. Not a friend or family member in the world, no one who cared. The last bit of grace that the mother of the boy showed him was when she called the police anonymously so that he could at least be found and turned in to the foster system."
I could tell their attention had been piqued. They leaned in towards me and showed great interest in my words.
"The boy grew up and did as best as he could, considering the circumstances. He put up with a lot of shit from bullies and assholes. But honestly, who didn't at some point in their life? The worst part, though, was wondering why his mom would have left him there. He would wonder if there was any family that he could eventually meet, just to have some kind of a connection and not feel so alone in this fucked up world.
When he was 13, he had a glimmer of hope. He heard about a girl who was an orphan, a girl who had been left at an abandoned train yard in the same circumstances as him. The police were called, and she grew up in the system. She probably hoped for the same things as him, to meet someone who was family. To have someone that she was connected to, to help when times would get hard."
I looked at the two bastards who thought they had lured me into a trap. They were beginning to look very drowsy and were nodding as I made sure they understood my connection before they inevitably passed out.
"Her name was Raven. You two might know her as the girl that you drove to killing herself five years ago. I don't know if you meatheads have caught on to this by now, but that little boy was me. Raven was my sister. I was able to get the info from the foster home, and just as I was going to approach her about it, I heard the news of what you guys had done."
As they realized what was happening, they tried to get to their feet, but they both plopped down hard on the ground. I shook my head and prepared to drag them to the center of the room.
"Storytime is over, boys."
By the time they woke up, they were tied together tightly in the center of the room. They had slashes across their arms. On the ground beneath them, there was a pentagram. Following the ritual, this was painted in their own blood. To the side of them by the fireplace was a picture of my sister that I was never able to meet. I slapped them both hard as I circled them to make sure that they were awake, and I had their attention.
"You guys really thought that I didn't know what you were up to, huh?"
They let out mumbling noises as I had rags tied tightly around both of their mouths. I picked up the jars that had been in their bags and presented them.
"Really? Pretty juvenile, if you ask me."
I poured the jar of Matthew's shit on top of Jacob's head and did the same to Matt with Jacob's piss. They squirmed around and let out squeals of disgust.
"Let's get to the real business, though. The plan that I have been perfecting for 5 years now. You see, I knew that you two had no idea about my relation to Raven. So, I thought I would get close to you guys. At least close enough to one day catch you slipping like this.
I made sure that every detail was perfect. I knew I could drink or smoke either of you fools under the table without a problem, but I wasn't going to leave it up to chance like that. Not like your sloppy plan that you hashed together after some drunken night of conspiring. That's where the crushed sleeping pills came in to play. It was a pretty neat shot though, wasn't it?"
I picked up the large knife that I had used to make the gashes in their arm and held it up towards them. I grabbed the large chalice made of bronze and made my way towards Jacob. He screamed a muffled scream as I approached.
"Time's up guys, sorry that your shitty plan didn't work."
I slashed Jacob's throat and let the blood pour out into the chalice. Matt was shaking and thrusting around in fear as I walked around to his side. It made no difference. I finished the deed by slicing his jugular as well and filled the chalice with the blood that dripped from his wound. I walked over to the fireplace, which had the picture of Raven right in front of it. I uttered the words that I had practiced so many times over those years.
Soror mea haec et porcos.
Suscipe pro commutatione sanguis miseris in sanguine ex pura."
As I finished the chant, I splashed the blood out into the fire. It swirled with a green blast that spun like a tornado in the chimney. The logs exploded into thick black ash that obscured my vision of the area. After a moment, the ash began to fade, and I saw her.
She was coughing on the ground, right next to her picture. I ran and helped her sit up and embraced her. She was confused and looked up to me as I backed away.
"Who are you? Where am I?"
"I'm your brother, I was so close to finding you a few years ago, and these two drove you to end your own life. So, I did them a favor and righted their wrong."
She gasped as she saw the carnage in the center of the room.
"I... I don't know what to say. Thank you, I guess? This is so much to take in all at once. What are you going to do with their bodies?"
I paused for a moment and considered her question. A slight smile forced its way onto my face as I answered.
"There's a pack of coyotes that I think is ready for a good meal."
[Here's a link to C.D. Kester's work. So until next time everyone...]