“Hey! Wait up!” Jasper called, jogging after me. We were about thirty feet away from the house when he stopped me.
“Hey!” I exclaimed, taking his hand off of my shoulder.

“You don’t understand,” he said.

“And what is there exactly to understand?” I asked, crossing my arms.

Jasper looked away from me for a second then back at me and frowned. “She’s just trying to help you.”

I looked at him before laughing. He stared at me like I was crazy, but I kept smiling. “Help me what? Master hide and seek? Is it really that serious with you guys? It’s just. A. Game,” I said.

“No, Emily. It’s way more than just a game,” he said, taking a few steps backwards. He then ran off back to the house. I watched him leave.

What was that about?

***

I placed my hand on the doorknob to the mansion and almost turned it but something stopped me. I heard Mr. and Mrs. Harmon arguing.

“I don’t want to do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore!” Mrs. Harmon yelled. “I thought we’d start over!”

“Honey, we’ve gone over this many times. I don’t have to explain to you. Now if you say anything more, the box goes out of here and you can kiss this luxury life… goodbye!” Mr. Harmon yelled.

The argument was over. I waited three minutes before walking inside the house. Mr. Harmon was standing right in front of the door.

“Well well,” he said.

I was speechless. My heart stopped. I was afraid.

“Oh, don’t be alarmed. Tell me-” Mr. Harmon said, walking outside with me then closing the door, “where did you go today?”

“I was just walking around. Getting some air, you know?” I asked.

He wasn’t buying it. He leaned toward me until we were only a fingers length away from each other. I could smell his breath, which smelled like beans of some sort. “Don’t leave this house again. Or there will be consequences.” He then opened up the front door to let me in.

***

I went up to my room to Skype with Abby. I had told her everything. I told her about the strange things that had been going on, about the Harmon’s, about Caleb, about everything.

“Wow, Emily. That sounds… rough. I’m sorry you’re going through this,” Abby said over Skype. “Something about the Harmon’s doesn’t add up to me.”

I nodded. “Me either.”

Emily!?” Mrs. Harmon yelled from downstairs. “Dinner!”

“I gotta go eat, Abby. Talk to you later.”

Abby sighed. “Alright. Later. Be careful.” She smiled.

I ended the call, closed my laptop and headed downstairs for dinner. Mrs. Harmon was holding some note book and smiling at me.

“Hey. I thought dinner’s at seven? It’s 6:28,” I said.

She smiled at me, her eyes were super wide as she held the note book.

“Oh. Well, I thought I’d cook dinner early,” she said opening the first page of the notebook. There were huge letters on it.

Run
Now
And never
Come back!

She then closed the notebook when Mr. Harmon walked down the stairs.

“Hope you’re okay with that,” she said before going off into the kitchen.

Mr. Harmon walked down while fixing his tie. “Hey there, Emily. What were you and my lovely wife talking about?”

“Oh. Uh. Yeah, she was just asking me if I liked my…tacos…spicy,” I stuttered.

He studied me a while.

“Hey, have you seen, Caleb?” I asked.
He tilted his head upwards. “Upstairs…” he said in a monotone voice.

“Thanks,” I said slowly heading for the stairs.
When I got upstairs and into Caleb’s room, I saw him on the floor playing with a toy car. He was wearing a blue jacket with some sweat pants. That was quite odd, it was so hot inside.

“Hey, Caleb,” I said, running toward him. I then squatted down next to him. “I know you don’t want to talk to me, but we have to go.”

He shook his head.

I grabbed him. “Caleb, come on!”

“No!” he yelled.

I picked him up but he struggled against me. “Why?”

“I can’t leave!” he whined.

He fell out of my hands and I then noticed a stain on the back of his jacket. It grew wider like water had just spilled on him. I quickly ripped off his Jacket which exposed deep cuts and slashes on his back. I put my hands over my mouth and held in my scream.

“Caleb,” I whispered. I turned him around, which was also horrifying. His chest had multiple stab wounds in them. I wondered how he was still alive.

Without arguing, I picked him up and carried him downstairs. He kept telling me that he couldn’t leave. I told him I would keep him safe.

Mr. Harmon wasn’t in sight, so I headed straight for the door. Luckily, I got out without anyone noticing. I ran to the only person I could think of. Violet.

I still held Caleb in my arms but sadly, before I could even make it twenty feet away from the garden, Caleb looked at me and said, ‘Can’t leave.’ Then he disappeared. Just like that, he vanished, right in front of me.

I looked around. My heart started beating faster and I felt the tears fall on my cheeks. I screamed Caleb’s name.

I looked back at the mansion. Caleb and Mrs. Harmon were standing in the door way. I ran back to them.

When I got there, Mrs. Harmon hugged me. “Emily.” She started to cry. “I thought he would change. I thought we could have children again…I’m just…so sorry. You have to go! He’ll kill you!” she said, looking back over her shoulder.

“I’m not leaving without Caleb!” I yelled at her, reaching for him.

She pushed me back until I fell on the ground.

“I’m so sorry. Caleb’s… Dead…” she said before slamming the door.

I ran back toward the door and started banging and kicking on it, yelling Caleb’s name. Around me, I kept hearing whispers. Over and over again saying, “Can’t leave. Can’t leave. Can’t leave. Can’t leave.

I then heard glass shatter behind me. I turned around. My heart felt like it stopped as the two of them stared back at me.

 

Hide & Seek © Copyright Jakayla Toney.

 

    

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