Chapter 1: Lights off

939K 23.9K 17.5K

When you live in a small house owned by strict parents, hiding spots are limited. Don't touch this, don't touch that, watch out for this and watch out for that. My mom would explode at the sight of a pillow on the floor and my dad, well don't get me started. He hated messes more than my mom, which is why I was always careful in the house.

I had lots of friends, but only one could come over and her name was Abby. My mom and dad knew Abby was a clean freak, but, they did not understand how reckless she could be when they weren't home, just like now.

The wooden floor creaked beneath my bare feet. I tip-toed through the hallway as my brother, Caleb, counted to twenty.

"7... 8... 9... 10... 11." He shouted out loud.

Abby, my best friend, grabbed hold of me, accidentally pushing me into the wall. "Emily, where should we hide?" She whispered into my ear. Without waiting for my response. She pulled me into the laundry room before I could even say a word. It was dark, and I couldn't see a thing. That's what made hide and seek in the dark more fun.

"Ready or not, here I come!" Caleb yelled, running down the hallway and past the laundry room. I could hear his little feet stomping hard against the floor. Abby and I both hid behind the dryer, struggling to keep our giggles contained. The darkness played tricks on my mind. Shadows formed and spiraled around me, shaping into strange figures and sending my imagination out of this world. The dark was scary, very scary, but I loved the thrill of it.

Abby took out her phone for a quick second. Using my hand, I covered the screen where she had been texting her father. "He's going to find us if you don't turn that off," I said.

She did as she was told, placing it inside her pant's pocket.

Quiet giggles escaped from our lips as Caleb rummaged around in closets. I pulled Abby's ear closer. "Let's run to base."

Abby stepped out from behind the dryer first. I shook my head because she was so gullible, always falling for my tricks. To win hide and seek in the dark, sometimes you had to eliminate those closest to you, and that's what I had to do.

There was a door behind me that led into my parents' bedroom. While Abby stepped out of the laundry room, I snuck into my parent's room, closing the door behind me. There was a loud clicking sound when it shut, and I thought it would give me away. I sat against the door, fearing Abby had figured out my trick. I was alone in the darkness. I felt the surrounding nothingness. My mind started to play tricks on me, filling my imagination with monsters and creatures that could lurk through the darkness. I closed my eyes, feeling afraid, but I enjoyed it too much to get up and leave.

"Found you!" I heard Caleb scream. "You're it, Abby!"

"Yes," I muttered under my breath. I ran out of the room and into the hallway to turn on the light. The look on Abby's face made me laugh. Caleb smiled and danced around knowing he would not be it again. He had been it three times in a row.

Abby looked sternly at me. "Ha-ha. Hilarious."

"Come on, it was funny!" I retorted with a smile. Abby, it's just a game."

Abby continued to argue with me. "You know this isn't the first time you've done that. It's the hundredth. And the only reason he found me is because of you. That noisy door gave me away. You should be it." She pointed at me.

I am never it. I'm the best when it comes to hide and seek. If anyone wants me to be it, they have to find me first. It's not my fault I'm so good at the game. My dad even told me that I should get a trophy for my excellent hiding skills. I was the best at hide and seek. Everyone knew it.

"Look, I wasn't caught, you were. You should've heard him coming." I said defending myself. "Why are you so upset? Just step up your game. You act like our lives depend on this on Hide and Seek. It's. Just. A. Game." I smiled then punched her on the shoulder.

Abby sighed and placed her hands in her pockets. "I think I should head home; it's getting late." I followed her into the living room where she packed her homework and pencils away inside of her backpack.

"It's only 7 PM." Caleb moaned in disappointment. He tried his best to make her stay by pulling her backpack off her back.

Abby smiled at him and ruffled his hair. "I'll be back another day." She gave him a weak smile.

"You can't possibly be that mad," I crossed my arms.

"Mad? Why would I be mad? My dad just wants me home," Abby sneered at me.

"That I'm the best!" I said proudly. I might as well admit it since it was true. If Abby wanted to get jealous, then okay. But why get so upset and leave a game?

She rolled her eyes. I thought she'd say something back. I wanted her to, but she just smiled at me and walked away. She knew that was the best way to upset me and it worked. I hated when she left things alone without trying to work it out. Abby had a temper, but she didn't show it much. She would just leave you there by yourself then act like nothing happened the next day.

I watched as she walked out of the front door, not daring to say goodbye to me. I wondered if she was getting tired of me. Before, me tricking her during a game wasn't a big deal, but lately, she has been distant from me. She was my best friend but the good days between us were dying. Games always ended with her leaving in a miserable mood, glaring at me as if she almost planned a revenge scheme. My parents said it was puberty. Abby was two years older than me, she was sixteen and I fourteen. I doubted it was puberty. Whatever it was, it was killing our friendship. She didn't come over as much as she used to, but one thing she could never turn down was a good game of hide and seek in the dark.

Caleb ran up to me holding a small box of black hair dye. "Can you dye my hair now?" he whined. I snatched the box from him.

"No way, little dude," I ran my fingers through my hair, and long strands of it fell onto the floor. "You don't want this to happen, do you?"

He smiled then snatched the book away from me. "I'll ask mother when she comes," he stuck his tongue out at me.

***

Caleb being only six, went into his room to play with his toys. He asked me to play with him, but I turned him down. I watched a movie on TV instead. My mother and father walked in, catching me red handed not watching my brother. I hadn't heard them come inside.

"Having fun?" My dad said, unbuttoning his jacket while leaning against the corner of my wall.

Mother smiled at me. It was one of those disappointing smiles. "TV off," she demanded softly.

I was about to do so, but a movie called "Murder" was playing. I clapped my hands together. "I'm sorry, mom. Can I just watch one more movie?"

My father sighed, looking at the TV. "Horror films. You watch them so much that I'm surprised that you're not afraid of the dark."

My mother laughed. "She is," she crossed her arms. "otherwise she wouldn't sleep with a nightlight."

I stuck my tongue out at them playfully. Dad stuck his tongue out. "Goodnight kiddo. See you tomorrow," he said. Mother blew me a kiss. "Love you. See you in the morning, dear."

My mother grabbed his arm, whispering something in his ear almost as if she didn't want me to hear it. "Can you make sure the door is locked and the windows are closed."

He looked at her strange then nodded.

After they had closed the door, I got comfortable with my blanket and watched Murder. It was one of my favorite movies. It was about these teenagers lost in the woods. They would get murdered if they broke any of the rules that had been given to them by the dwellers of the woods.

I sat back and enjoyed the movie. I would often have dreams of hide and seek games with my friends, but I wished I had a chance to play in a haunted house, forest, or an abandoned place like in the film. There was something about the thrill of it that made me want to try. As long as my parents were around, I would never get a chance to play hide and seek in the dark anywhere outside of the house. The only way that would happen is if they were dead or if I moved.

(Feel free to follow my Instagram for more live streams on writing help! @ Ms_horrendous )

Hide and SeekRead this story for FREE!