Chapter 37. There You Go Again

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And to think my ordeal with Sam was bad enough, I had now come to learn that it all began as a joke in Greg Müller's mind. That was not to say things couldn't get worse. 

*

Five laps around campus, the usual jog for the baseball team. The other had outrun Sam long ago, he could hear his legs creak under him.

He hadn't slept, as with every night lately, either kept awake by his mistakes or haunted in his sleep by things he couldn't comprehend. The uppers kept his nightmares away and the downers relaxed him enough to dare step outside, but Sam felt his every breath brought him closer to a complete collapse. 

Sam stopped by the outskirts of the parking lot; afraid he was about to pass out. The wet pavement shook as another jogger passed him; Charlie and his dandy, long legs, already on his fourth lap.

"Hey, Charlie!" Sam yelled, croaking with exhaustion. "Hang on! I gotta talk to you." 

Charlie made his irritation obvious, overstating it by rolling his eyes as he stopped and turned around. He wore only a mesh tank, showing off his newly toned arms that glistened under the morning sun. 

"What is it?"

The investigation was over, but Charlie still spoke to Sam like he was in charge. 

"Remember the warehouse?" Sam asked.

"Yeah, and?"

"What made you wanna go down there? I'm sure you told me, but I forgot." 

Charlie grunted, repeating himself was a definite waste of his time. 

"I told you I got a phone call from the landlord saying rent was overdue, I hadn't heard of any warehouse before and figured Dad might have been hiding something," he explained. "We gave up on this investigation thing, remember? Why do you care?" 

Sam wasn't sure where he was going with the question, he only knew he had to ask. The things he had seen in his sleep: the neon signs from the seedy downtown, the smell of the warehouse, the dark, it all reminded him of... it.

"Did you see anything in there?" 

"No," Charlie answered. 

"Are you sure?" Sam pushed on.

"It was dark, Sam. So, no, I didn't see anything." 

Sam followed Charlie's slow descent down the parking lot, his desperation becoming as prominent as the taste of blood in the back of his mouth. 

"Charlie, man... I think something happened that night," he admitted, forcing Charlie to stop once again. "I-I-I keep thinking of the warehouse, a-and I remember seeing it, the monster. The more I look back at it the more I'm starting to think... maybe it happened." 

Charlie looked at him, deadpan, his mouth hanging open. 

"What I remember is turning the lights on and seeing you rolling around on the floor," he said. "We were the only ones there." 

Sam's expression reeked of confusion. Why was Charlie so quick to dismiss his claims?

"But-" 

"You're absolutely right, Sam. There is something wrong with you," Charlie stated, folding his now goosebump-covered arms. "You're a drug addict." 

"No, I'm not!" 

A group of sophomore girls heard Sam yelling his defense across the parking lot, giggling at the sight of the boys arguing. The last thing Sam needed was attention. 

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