Nataly and I had been neighbors since childhood. Meaning, we were destined for one of two things: hating each other, or becoming best friends.
We chose the latter.
My name is Danny, and I have been living in Champaign, Illinois, since birth. My family lived really close to the movie theater, which meant that I saw a ton of movies.
Nataly moved in when I was seven. At the time, I still thought girls were gross, but she proved me wrong; we soon became best friends.
Nataly and I were very quiet; we didn’t like to go on adventures in the nearby woods, and we didn’t like exploring the town. We liked staying indoors; this was odd, since in central Illinois, almost everybody is a redneck, and there were very few people who didn’t like running around outside. Of course, there were also very few people who had all of their teeth, but Nataly and I had ours.
My last name was Granston, and hers Graer, which meant that in school we were always put together. That was great; we always ended doing better than everybody else, and we also got done first.
Things would probably have stayed that way forever if she hadn’t come over to my house one afternoon, more excited than I’d ever seen her.
I opened the door to my house, and she shoved a thin, plastic card in my face, yelling as loud as she possibly could.
“I got my license!”
“That’s great,” I replied. “Now, could you quiet down? You’re giving me a headache.”
“Of course,” she said. “But you have to go on a drive with me.”
Of course. Whenever she got something new, she forced me to use whatever it was with her.
The two of us had decided to wait to get our drivers’ licenses, since neither of us was a very good driver, and we would rather not die, but she had told me the day before that she might try to get hers.
Obviously, she passed.
The two of us walked out to her new, yellow convertible. I thought it was ugly, but I didn’t voice this thought. Instead…
“It looks great,” I said with fake enthusiasm.
“Don’t lie to me, it looks like shit,” she replied.
“Okay, it looks like shit,” I said.
I climbed in. She started the ignition, and we drove off.
“So,” I said. “Where do you want to go?”
“How about the mall?” she suggested.
“Sure,” I said. “Why not?”
She drove the two miles to the mall. It was a Tuesday afternoon, but it was summer, so the place was packed with high school students. The two of us walked in through the building, looking at the clothes, until we came to our least favorite place.
We hated it because of what it did to your senses; it was extremely dark, so you couldn’t see; the perfumes were so strong, it not only smelled disgusting, but it also tasted disgusting; and, lastly, the music always blared so loudly that you couldn’t hear once you left. We didn’t know why people even bothered to shop there.
And just as we walked by, our least favorite people walked out of it.
Katie and Chris were our school’s celebrity couple; everybody loved them. The only problem was that Katie was a whore who screwed every guy she met, and Chris was a dumbass who had absolutely no idea what was going on half the time.
“Hey,” said Chris as he saw us. “It’s the nerds.”
Oh, yeah. They were both complete assholes, too.
“So, what’ve you two been up to?” Katie asked us. “Raping books?”
“Go fuck yourself,” I said.
“I’ve got a boyfriend for that,” she said. “Come on, Chris. We need to follow Danny’s instructions.”
And with that, the two of them walked off towards the family bathrooms. Chris was giggling the entire way there.
“They’re fucked up,” Nataly said.
“Let’s go,” I said.
We turned and walked back towards her car.
The girl screamed again; she was trapped.
Escaping wasn’t going to happen. She couldn’t move.
Then, all of a sudden, she felt a blast of furious pain in her chest, and she fell to the ground.
Nataly and I drove towards the school. We were going to get back at Chris and Katie for all of the shit they had always put us through. We were done.
We had all gotten our locker assignments around a week ago, and they were all on the Internet. So, Nataly and I were going to go break into the school, and dump ink into their lockers. It wouldn’t really affect their stuff, but it would be funny to watch them running around, trying to find out who did it, before they got in trouble for it.
We arrived at the building, and Nataly took out her screwdriver. She used it to force one of the windows open, and the two of us climbed in.
“They’re locker numbers 308 and 704,” I said.
We ran down the hallway to where Katie’s locker would be. However, before we got there, we stopped.
In the middle of the hallway, there was a person on the ground. I walked over.
“Hey,” I said, “you okay?”
I arrived at where the person was lying, and I bent down to look at them. It was then that I realized that the person, who I now not only knew to be a girl, but also a girl our age, wasn’t breathing. I checked her pulse.
“Nataly,” I said, “call an ambulance.”
Nataly pulled out her phone and began to dial the emergency number. That was when I saw the drawing.
Hanging from one of the lockers, there was a white piece of paper. On that paper was a pencil drawing.
It was perfect, almost as if it had been made on a computer, using image editing software. I knew what it was, and what it meant. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t.
“They’re sending someone,” Nataly said.
I didn’t respond.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, and then saw what I was looking at.
The picture on the wall was a pentagram.