CW: A trip of a lifetime.

Public announcement:

It has been a little over a week since we began the annual Block Party. Even though it started off slowly, things have definitely picked up since, and I am enjoying it immensely. Hopefully, other participants feel the same way.

The initial plan was to keep that party going for a week, but I decided to prolong it for a couple of days (until Friday; time unknown). There are new faces arriving every day and I definitely want to give everyone a chance to discover new blogs and make new friends.

If you have not come by yet, please do so TODAY so you do not squander the opportunity to gain new readers and new blogs to follow. If you already mingled, please feel free to stop by again and meet the new faces.

My annual Block Party is right –> THIS <– way.

***

“A green glow could be seen in the cave. Curious, they entered.”
– a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
[Source: @DailyPrompt]

 

Eddie, what happened over there?” – the male officer asked.

I don’t know. Isn’t that why we have the POLICE? To find missing people?” – I replied.

Agitated, I stood up and shuffled towards the window. It was a warm, sunny day. Mr. Brooks was mowing the lawn, Mrs. Rogers was walking towards her house with multiple grocery bags hanging from her forearms. They both smiled and nodded towards one another when their eyes met. Nothing has changed. Life was still the same as it was yesterday, or the week before.

How could that be?” – I wondered.

Ed?” – Dad asked coming behind me and placing his hand on my shoulder.

I don’t want to talk about it. I just want the cops to find them” – I replied, wiping my nose with the back of my hand.

I know, but the police need your help” – my dad said, showing me back to the couch.

Reluctantly, I sat down next to Mom, who immediately hugged me tightly. She’s been doing it a lot since I got back.

Oh, honey” – she muttered and squeezed me even tighter; if that was even possible.

Mom” – I grunted, uncomfortable.

She let go, but she did not take her eyes off of me.

Please tell us what happened. Anything you remember. Even the smallest of details. Even if you don’t think it’s important” – the female officer inquired gently.

This summer was supposed to be the one to remember. I can now safely say that I will never forget it. Whenever I close my eyes, I see their faces. I hear their screams for help, but I do nothing. Nothing but stand there, as if I was rooted in the soil around me.

Rick, Tommy, Al, Vernon and I met at the sandbox where our moms would bring us when we were little. Soon enough they became fast friends, and so did we. Walking to school together, kicking the ball around, studying for tests, playing pranks on girls; we were inseparable. When the time for college applications came around, we all applied to the community college in town. But it was only our backup plan. Our first choices were internationally recognized institution scattered around the country. Vernon even applied to University of Oxford in England, which meant we might not be able to see one another on a regular basis.

Even if one of doesn’t get in, we all go to the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton” – Rick reminded us about out pact.

We all nodded with approval and tore our letters open.

I got in!” – exclaimed Al, the now student of Standford.

Me, too!” – Vernon said and high-fived Al.

Me three!” – I could not contain my excitement.

Princeton was always my dream.

And I” – said Rick, who got accepted into University of Chicago.

All eyes set on Tommy. No one would ever dare to say it out loud, but we were all worried about him. If someone was not to get in, it would have been him. Collectively, we held our breaths.

Tommy?” – Al broke the silence and asked.

A frown appeared on Tommy’s face. For a split second we all mourned our dream colleges, but we all quickly recovered and rallied.

We get to stay together” – I said, trying to make my fake smile appear genuine.

Now I wish we decided to stay here…

Just kidding! You assholes really thought I would mess this up for you?” – Tommy jumped up, showing us the acceptance letter to University of Pennsylvania.

We all got up and jumped around like we were little kids.

Time to plan our trip!” – Rick said excitedly.

In case we all got in where we wanted, we agreed to go on vacation together every year. Before we shipped off to different parts of the world, we decided to go on a trip to celebrate the past and cheer to the future.

Thailand seemed like the perfect destination, so we packed our bags and went on an adventure of a lifetime. Our house was located in the jungle, which we thought was great so we could party without attracting any attention. We could be stupid and run around naked, if we wanted to.

Once we arrived in Asia, we rented a truck to drive up to the house we would stay in for the next month. The five of us barely fit in it. The car stalled a couple of times during our drive, but we were able to get it back up and running. That should have been our first red flag, but we pressed on. A dirt path led to our rented house. On the way there, we passed multiple waterfalls.

This is INSANE” – Vernon said, marveling at the beauty of the landscape.

There were so many things that we wanted to see and do and we were so excited.

Well, this house almost looks haunted” – Rick said once we arrived at our destination.

How would you know how a haunted house even looks?” – I asked, rolling my eyes at him, making my way up the stairs.

It’s just the atmosphere. The jungle makes it appear darker. That’s all” – Tommy tried to ease Rick’s worries.

Even though there were five bedrooms in the house, we chose to all sleep in the living room the first night. We just tossed our bags in a corner, put the music on loud and opened up the booze.

Well, this was a sausage fest. Maybe tomorrow we can pick up some chicks” – Al garbled as we were falling asleep on the floor.

We slept in the following day. I was woken up by incessant knocking.

Who the hell?” – I wondered, stumbling to my feet.

As I opened the door, I saw a tall Asian man with warpaint on his face.

Even though his lips did not move, I distinctively heard him say: “Get out of here“.

I shot the door and rubbed my eyes. How was I hallucinating? There was no way to smuggle any drugs through. When I opened the door again, the man was gone. And so was our truck. We were all hungry, so we set off on a hike to the nearby town.

There’s no cell service over here” – Rick noticed as we walked.

Who cares. Do you need to call your mommy?” – Vernon mocked him.

I’m gonna go take a piss and see if maybe I can get a bar or two. I’ll catch up to you guys” – Rick said and walked off the path.

We walked slowly, talking about the parties we were going to host in our respective colleges and all the girls we were going to make out with.

What was that?” – I asked, stopping.

What was what?” – they all asked in unison.

I don’t know. It was like a muffled scream? A howl? An evil laughter?” – I tried, but could not properly describe what I heard.

The guys shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders. No one heard anything.

Where is he?” – I asked, turning around.

“Wow. It’s been about an hour since we separated” – Al noted.

We never saw Rick again. We yelled, we waited, we walked back a little and then we yelled some more. With our stomachs growling, we proceeded to walk to town, sure that Rick just walked back to the house because he didn’t want to hike such a long trail. We made it into town after another two hours. Once there, we were able to eat, buy some weird-looking food that the natives assured us was delicious, and rent a new car.

Rick was not there when we returned to the house and we were getting worried, but no one wanted to jump to conclusions.

I’m going to go take a shower and shave” – I said, heading for the bathroom.

Once in the shower, I thought I saw a shadow pass by behind the curtain.

Who is it?” – I asked, pushing the shower curtain slightly to the side.

There was no one there. Maybe it was just a shadow from the trees outside swaying in the wind.

The shadow reappeared when I was shaving at the sink. This time I KNEW I saw something, so I turned around slowly.

Don’t let me interrupt you” – said Tommy, sitting on the toilet.

I exhaled.

We tried calling Rick, but none of us was able to get a signal, so we agreed to go hiking the next day in search for higher grounds.

Where does this door lead to?” – Vernon asked, turning the door knob to the right.

It’s some sort of a basement” – he added promptly.

I don’t see a light switch though” – he said before placing his foot on the first step.

I’m going to go check it out” – Vernon said.

The rest of us were comfortable on the couch in front of the TV with a beer in our hands.

To no one’s surprise, we all heard a thump after just a few moments. Vernon tripped and fell down the stairs. Who would have thought that going down unknown stairs with no light might be a bad idea? But we cared about him, so we all got up to go and help him. On the second step, Al tripped, but was able to steady himself with the use of a railing.

That was close” – he said, wiping the sweat away from his eyes.

I’m OK, you fools” – Vernon said, appearing from the darkness.

He had a few bumps and bruises, but he looked like he was going to be alright. We spent the rest of the evening watching movies and drinking Asian beer. The moment I put my head against my pillow, I saw the man in front of the door.

Get OUT!” – he said angrily.

I got up and chugged another beer, which lulled me to sleep perfectly.

Guys, maybe we should call the police?” – I asked the next day during our hike.

Do you have reception? My bars disappear the moment I press “Dial” – Al replied.

Screw Rick. Maybe he met some local chick and is cooped up with her in some mud hut” – Vernon said, giggling.

We’re here on an adventure of a lifetime. Remember?” – he added, pulling our phones out of our hands.

Do you see what I see?” – Tommy asked, pointing at a cave in front of us.

Green light was glowing from inside the cave.

Pracau” – said Vernon.

What?” – I asked him.

My god” – he replied, took his backpack off and headed towards the cave as in a trance.

Al shrugged, and walked in after Vernon.

I’m not going in” – I said, sitting down, hoping to have them reconsider.

Oh, come on. Aren’t you curious?” – Al asked without even turning around.

Tommy hesitated, but ended up sitting down next to me.

I have a bad feeling about this” – he said.

The green glow seemed to intensify as these two walked in and disappeared from our line of sight. Tommy and I decided to arm ourselves with patience and wait a few minutes for the others to get back. After all, they didn’t even have flashlights. An hour and a half pas passed.

Did you hear that?” – I asked Tommy.

Hear what?

That noise. The same one as the one I heard when Ricky disappeared” – I explained.

He shook his head.

If you heard a scream, it means they might be in trouble. And I’m not sitting here and doing nothing. We couldn’t do anything about Rick, but we know where Vernon and Al are” – Tommy said, standing up.

Don’t.

I tried pleading with him, but he wouldn’t listen.

The glow got even stronger the moment Tommy disappeared in the cave.

I waited there for hours. I even spent the whole night out there, prepared to be eaten by a wild animal. They never came out.

So do you think you can find them?” – I asked.

We will do our best” – replied the female cop.

***

I enjoyed writing this story around various horror movie cliches. Did you yell at the characters for making the wrong decisions as you read the story?

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post, so that I can get an alert and check out your post. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

signature5c0482f66325e1

***

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14 thoughts on “CW: A trip of a lifetime.

Add yours

  1. In this story, I didn’t feel like telling them to watch out most of the time. The number of cliches in such a short story prevented me from bonding with any of them. Rick was gone, I didn’t care. When the guys fell in the basement, I didn’t care. The only time I would have shouted RUN was the appearance of the Asian man the second time. Going in the green light made them foolish to me so I didn’t care if they died or not.

    This is the true power of storytelling. It can be written to make us care, hate, or feel indifferent.
    Nice one Goldie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, and for your honest feedback, Darnell.

      I have to admit that the idea for this story felt like it required A LOT of words. I kept writing and I knew it was already getting too long, yet there was so much that I could explore.

      When I thought of a green light coming from a cave I thought of every cliche horror I’ve seen and an idea for the spoof was born. I wanted it to be a bit of a mockery with yet interesting plot.

      I realize that all of that prevented me from developing the characters better.

      Yes, ultimately I did not expect sympathy for those characters, In fact, I would not be surprised if you said “I’m glad they’re gone. They deserved it”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol 😂
        I didn’t hate them, I just didn’t care for them. Don’t get me wrong. The spoof theme was good. The Asian man telling the kid to get out the second time got my attention. The teen doing nothing caused me to not care too.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I wanted to do more than just yelling. I created a picture of them in my mind and pulled out the hair of all four of them till they started bleeding!

    In their shoes, heaven knows I would have acted differently. I might not have made the right decisions, but my decisions will be better.

    You said something I’d wanted to say in your reply to Darnell’s comment. This story is interesting, but I feel it would be MORE interesting if it were written in more words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Obi, you made my day with the pulling out the hair. Just precious.

      I, too, hope that I would make better decisions if faced with some of those events.

      I definitely realize the missed potential of expanding the story. Thank you for mentioning that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You! Every time I watch a horror story with my daughter we joke about it “the character in horror movies NEVER watched a horror movie themselves! if they did they’d would know not to go in the woods alone (or enter a cave that glows lol)” A party! How fun! I’ll check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I never thought about it that way. To me, it just seems like they are a bit brain damaged sometimes and are lacking logic skills. But then again, who knows what I would do in such high adrenaline moments.

      The party ran for well over a week. It is now closed (the comments), but you are more than welcome to read through it and maybe find some new blogging friends.

      Like

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Rachael Ritchey

Worlds of Fiction

from famine to feast

recovery and growth, things that interest me, occasional deep-thoughts, and semi-regular poetry

Skeptical Heartism

Views from a skeptical heart

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