The Scream Pt. 2

The Scream Pt. 2 by: M. R. Vega

Luca and Tyler Sykes were playing monkey in the middle with a friend while anxiously awaiting their mom to pull up post haste. She’d reminded them to be ready so they can get to the fairgrounds quickly and get in before the lines were beyond a patient wait time. However, once again, Angela neglected them, as she so often did when she’d sounded so collected and ready to have all set.

Luca, the oldest of the two, kicked the grass of the green that wrapped around the pickup lane and peered past parents already waiting for their own children to file in like any other day. Most of the kids for both his 7th-grade and Tyler’s 6th-grade class were all cheering for the rides and elated that it was Friday. Most bragged about how much they’d likely be given for the Ag Palace; known by all to have the best candy grabs a kid could find in town and embarrassingly neither of the boys had even known if they’d had enough for tickets to the rides let alone candy to lug back home after. They’d skirt the inquiries as they both so often had to, knowing they came from little money and it showed every year when they’d come to school wearing shirts from the year before or Tyler would be seen gluing his sole of the Adidas he treasured so much, again. They didn’t like drawing attention to themselves and both were happy that they managed to get some part-time jobs cleaning up the alleys around the neighborhood and the park. The crap of the matter though was that neither of them started until next weekend after the fair was gone. So they both made sure to dress in the cleanest and best clothes they did have for their excursion to the fair. Luca figured it wouldn’t matter how good they looked if they ended up missing out on the startup like their mom had promised would be taken care of perfectly. He kicked at the grass again and gritted his teeth when Angela blared her horn, rolled the window down, and told them to run to the side of the school and jump in.

Both the boys looked at each other with shock and a smile and quickly adhered to the demand made by their mom.

“Hurry it up you two, get in get in.” she said, ashamed of her lateness but elated to grace them each with an additional 40 dollars to split aside from the amount she scrounged from the couches and cleanup earlier that day. Turned out her parents had set aside some funds for this very day to make sure they could be kids without the worry of making ends meet as they usually did every other day and week. “Open the glove compartment Luca, give half to your brother, and make sure to keep that for you. Let’s get you two to the fair, make sure you have your tickets too, and I’m sure you’ll both have more than enough to get those ride bands so you can be having a blast till it’s shutdown time.” Angela was excited for them and didn’t think bringing up her reason for being late would need to be shared, her intention was to get the boys to the fair, and her investigation would be her own, even if her pops had eluded to hearing something too after sliding her that 40 dollars for the kids before she peeled out on the pavement and sped off to pick them up moments ago.

Luca, with a smile and grimace, said thank you while passing Tyler his portion and asked her what had been the hold-up.

“Don’t worry bout that son, let’s get you boys to the fair so you could have a good time, but don’t you two forget to thank your grandparents when we all come to get you tonight. Maybe we’ll even cap the night with a stop at DQ before crashing for the night. Sound like a plan Lu and Ty?” They both smiled at the idea and grumbled at thanking their grandparents, they never would dare to forget or else they’d get a chonkla, they’d both learned that lesson the hard way and didn’t want their mom to fret any more than she already does and had.

Angela swerved and faired a good time after all and found that she was just in time to drop them off before the rides were starting to rev up. They both happily wished her a thank you and kissed her curly-haired head avoiding a lip print she loves to leave them. She waved at them and told them to keep track of time and to be ready for pickup, same spot at 10:30 tonight.

“Me and your Gramps will be waiting for you. I love you boys, be safe!” they quickly thanked her, scrunched their faces up to hers, and shimmied out of the car. She watched them shuffle in, get stamped, and disappear into the crowds with smiles. She was elated to have been able to do that at the least, whispered a secret thank you to her Pops, again, and drove off back to the shanty home. It had only been a bit over 45 minutes since she heard the scream and god forbid there were screams still, but she had a tug at her heart that something was afoot. She pulled up slowly to the house while peering around at the familiar houses she’d grown up watching. She knew most of the houses were old and filled with elders. Only a few had new residents, mostly young and loud groups of college-fueled ideals needing to make noise or cause a ruckus for the sake of attention. Her assumption was that the scream came from a house with the younger renters in lieu of an elder who’d likely not have the strength to hurt anything but kick a dog away or push a cat off a couch.

She pulled into the driveway, slowly rolling the windows closed and anticipating a curdled scream like she heard before she ran to get the boys. It was silent, eerily quiet except for the man pulling that dog again and avoiding eye contact as she waived again and walked up the steps to the front door. Once in the house, she peeked through the blinds to see if the neighbor and dog were in view and decided to go on a small walk up and down the block to see if she was just losing her mind or making things up for the joy of dismantling the monotony she’d come to know so frequently. She took off her slides and grabbed an old pair of sneakers, put her bare feet in them, and went looking for anything out of place. Realizing she’d have an hour if not more before her parents would need a pickup she decided to make it a three-block walk and took her time. Trying not to be a Gladys Kravits, but still needing to know if there was someone begging for help, she mozied about glancing through yards, looked for broken windows perhaps. She felt crazy doing what she was doing and blamed her decision on the old joint that brought her curiosity to this point.

Once she hit that third block, she rolled an eye inwardly at herself and chuckled at her mere stupidity, turning tail to go back home and get cleaned up. She decided she needed to clean up, her feet were already sweating in the shoes tore-up shoes and she could feel the squish between her toes but then came a loud crack and what sounded like a gagged scream, or was that just the shoes she thought.

She turned her head slowly, pinched her eyes shut knowing she likely looked like a mad woman, and waited to hear something out of the normal everyday hum of the city. The cars rumbled by, echoing in her ears, the critters, birds, and televisions within the block could be faintly heard but then there was a faint muffled whine and an angry growl. But it was further back, closer to the house and she clenched her knuckles tightly thanking her intuition. She straightened back up, faced her house, and slowly stepped forward quickly. She knew she couldn’t run, she had to find the source of where the trouble came from, but also knew most of the neighbors were bored and either starting to come out to watch the sun head down or cool off with a beer. Her assumption was that it was only houses away and likely in a shed or a basement. Most of her side of the neighborhood was either falling apart, broken down, or barely hanging together. Meaning that the structures thankfully had cracks enough that the sounds were audible. Even to her. She prayed for her tenacious endeavor and hoped she’d be quick enough to find whoever it was being harmed. She couldn’t tell, not yet.

Published by Matty R. B.

I'm a writer, artist, story teller and avid reader. I preside in the realm between reality and fiction dabbling on memory, dream, and the grasp of darkness that gets us all. I rest when the weary wake and live through the odd hours and hot desert of filed terrors and mysteries. Welcome to DreamDarkStories.

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