CHAPTER 36 - On Guard

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Two phantoms were crawling through a broken window from downstairs, unbeknownst to some members of the group. This caused the group to be on high alert as they were unsure of what was happening below them. Y/N received help from Tyler, who then passed her to Taylor. The other twin assisted Aiden, thinking that if he carried her, Taylor would have to carry Aiden. This resulted in two boys helping each other, Aiden and Ben, with Ben carrying Aiden on his shoulder. Both girls, Y/N and Taylor, also helped each other, while one boy, Tyler, carried Ashlyn on his back.

Tyler supported Ashlyn by giving her a piggyback ride as she struggled to stay upright. Y/N leaned on Taylor, with her arm around her shoulder, trying to remain standing. She felt exhausted from fighting a monstrous creature alone, which would have surely killed her if Logan hadn't intervened. It would have been even worse if she had fallen off the roof, but thankfully, Aiden and Ashlyn were there to prevent that and save her from injury. Despite not feeling great, she knew she couldn't afford to collapse in their current dangerous situation.

"That came from downstairs..." Ashlyn said, holding onto Tyler tightly to avoid falling off his back.

"Probably the phantoms that spotted me on the street." Tyler felt nervous and broke out in a sweat just thinking about it.

"And there's about to be a lot more." Aiden looked out the window and saw numerous phantoms approaching.

Tyler opened the door and was met with a terrifying sight - a phantom waiting on the other side, scaring both Ashlyn and Tyler

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Tyler opened the door and was met with a terrifying sight - a phantom waiting on the other side, scaring both Ashlyn and Tyler. As it was about to attack Tyler, Ashlyn stepped in and pointed the flashlight at its face, making it back away. She then noticed another phantom in the shadow on the ceiling and shone the flashlight in its direction. Some phantoms were even crawling in through the window, but the group quickly used their flashlights to keep them at bay. The group gathered in a circle, each person pointing their flashlight at the phantoms to maintain a safe distance between them.

"… Well this is intense." he said as he shone his two flashlights at the creatures.

Y/N felt a hint of fear as she was surrounded by numerous phantoms, making her feel overwhelmed. Sweat dripped from her face, a clear sign of nervousness, despite her efforts to remain calm. The group had fear in their eyes, knowing that despite their determination, fear still lingered in each of them. It seemed like the phantoms outnumbered them. Even with the flashlight she borrowed from Tyler, she didn't feel safe.

"O-okay... let's just stay in a circle while slowly walking towards the jeep. Me and Aiden will keep watch of the ceiling, and you guys cover all other angles." Ashlyn said as she shone her light up at the ceiling.

As a group, they descended while maintaining a circle formation to watch each other's backs and scan the area for any potential threats. They carefully navigated down the steps, ensuring they didn't trip or fall. When they reached halfway to the exit and were about to descend a few more steps, they all suddenly stopped in their tracks.

"… You've got to be kidding me." Tyler said, his shocked expression mirrored by everyone else in the room.

"Are we seriously… going through that…" Y/N shivered slightly as she swallowed nervously.

The group saw numerous phantoms standing motionless, watching them. There were almost twenty of them, staring creepily in the dark with anticipation. Some were even clinging to the ceiling, twisting their bodies with a unsettling smile. They had no other option but to move forward. Despite the eerie situation, the group continued on, shining their light in all directions as they made their way to the door. The phantoms' forms distorted as the light hit them, causing them to back away.

Logan anxiously waited for the group to arrive, but his worries quickly disappeared when he saw their lights in the distance. "There's lights, that must be them!" he thought happily as he observed the group from afar. ["Guys, there are phantoms on the roof, be careful!"] he warned through the walkie-talkie.

Thanks to Logan's watchful eye, they managed to survive without any casualties. The single key to the car made an unlocking sound from inside, unlocking all the locks automatically. Y/N almost stumbled due to her loss of footing but managed to catch herself. Since Taylor was going to drive, she handed the keys to someone else to help her. Aiden, who was nearby, assisted in the backseat of the car. Taylor climbed over the passenger seat to reach the driver's seat because Ben and Tyler were fending off a group on one side of the car.

They needed to continue defending until she could start the car. Y/N was sitting next to Aiden with Ashlyn on his right. Suddenly, she heard claws scratching on the roof of the car, making her hand tremble. Aiden felt her shaky hand on his leg and when he looked over, he saw her head down, possibly trying to hide her fear. Nervously, he reached out his hand and placed it on hers to calm her down, giving her a reassuring grip. At that moment, a gunshot was heard, causing her to jump up, realizing there were only sixteen bullets left.

At last, Taylor positioned herself and double-checked everything before quickly starting the engine. On the verge of tears, she called out to the two boys outside. "GET IN!"

Realizing it was time to go, they quickly got into the car. Tyler sat in the passenger seat and Ben sat in the back without question. As they slammed the door behind them, the phantoms broke all the windows of the jeep in just a few seconds. They each defended themselves from the glass that scattered around them by instinctively closing their eyes upon impact. Ben squeezed the group slightly in a defensive hug to protect them from the phantoms' claws trying to reach in. Y/N felt squished in the middle, feeling Aiden's hand tighten around hers and sensing Ben's fast heartbeat as his body pressed against her ear. A piece of glass grazed her cheek but didn't cause any harm, feeling like a quick leaf flying past her. Without hesitation, Taylor stepped on the gas pedal, driving off at a tremendous speed.

 Without hesitation, Taylor stepped on the gas pedal, driving off at a tremendous speed

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