Chasers

It was night time in a small neighborhood in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Winter had just arrived. The air was thin and frigid, and smelled like the absence of life.
I was with four other friends that night, we were waiting for a fifth. We went for a walk. It is incredibly dark. There are no tall lamps that give off that artificial glow, so we only relied on our eyes when they adjust to an advance darkness. We were walking on the main road that goes through the entire neighborhood, but there are a lot of ups and downs. There are many trees around, there are no large wooded areas or anything like that, but there were tall trees, where bears resided, so there was always that worry in the back of our minds,
I was walking only a bit just ahead of everyone else, and I noticed something missing, a voice that disappeared from the conversations, and no one brought had thought to bring it up. I turned around and counted three heads. The two in the back, let us them the Twins, and the one friend that was beside me is Baldie. The friend that was no longer among us is Below. Below had been in the back with the Twins. “Where is Below?” I had asked.
They looked at each other, puzzled and curious. The both of them gave me a shrug.
I was mystified, how could you lose a person that was walking right next to you? “ You guys did not hear or see anything?”
“No.” One of the twins said. “He was literally just behind. I have no idea where he went.”
We had been walking for probably a little more than half an hour, we were standing for most of that time, so we were not far from home, but we all began to worry and panic ensued.
Baldy raised his voice. “Okay. When was the last time we saw Below?” No one could give an answer, we did not have any idea how long he had been missing. I suggested we all try calling him. By phone and by yelling his name. No answer.
A car with its bright lights on came up the hill to a slow stop, and our friend we had been waiting for finally came. Tomato greeted everyone, but he saw the worry on his face, and we had filled him on what’s going on. He was so confused, and that’s when we began to run.
It began to snow. Light flurries that danced to the ground at first, but then the flakes grew in size and came down faster and harder. The ground became slipper. Running downhill became difficult. The twins decided to backtrack to see if we missed something, or maybe even if he had returned to the house.
After what felt like hours of searching, but it had only been mere minutes, I received a phone call from Below, but his voice was low and raspy. His words were mumbled. “The…rocks. I…fell.” Then the call dropped. I yelled to Tomato and Baldie, “He’s at the rocks!” Now, the rocks is where we hung out a lot, a neat little sanctuary that was nothing but, well, rocks. Huge boulder that were piled on top of each and it went on for a few miles before hitting a patch of woods. But we did not have this place to ourselves. There was trash everywhere. Smashed T.V., needles, mattresses, and there was graffiti on almost all rocks. It truly was a work of art, the epitome of a cool hangout spot. It was high enough just to see the lights of the towns below, and the cars that drove at the base of the mountain.
I remember the wind howling. I never ran so fast in my life. The flakes of snow pelted my glasses making it almost impossible to see anything. I ran so fast that snow left streaks in my vision. It looked like hyperspeed, when a spaceship travels so fast dotted start become bright lines.
We had reached the highest point, and the rocks were slippery. I wanted to find Below so bad. “There!” I pointed, and hopped and skipped over jagged boulders and fell myself, but I was so hopped up on adrenaline that I felt no pain. I reached to where Below was, but alas, there was nothing there. I thought I had seen him in the crevice of two large rocks, but my mind was only playing tricks on me. Below was nowhere to be found. I had nowhere else to go, and nowhere else to go.
My phone began to vibrate inside my jacket. “Hello?” It was one of the twins.”
“Below isn’t at the house.” But there was something in his voice that left me wondering. Or maybe it was the subtle cackle in the background.
“He’s at the house isn’t he?”
“No! I swea-
I yelled at that twin, and the truth came forth. Tomato, Baldie, and I ran back to the house after I told them the call I received. I don’t think I was ever this angry in my entire life, and frankly, I don’t think I have ever seen the other as angry as they were either. We made it back to the house, and I saw Below’s face. That smug bastard thought he was funny, but I never ran up a flight of stairs with the immense rage that I had, nor the pure intent to murder one of my best friends.

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