Eric Watson: What Do You Go Home To?

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The street lamps were inadequate for this foul night. If it wasn't for the late-night clouds looming in the sky, the entire town would look like it was caught in a black hole; voided and singled out.

No one in town was more alone than Eric. He couldn't bear to enter the house he had shared with his father; he could only lean against his car in the driveway while staring at the vacant building. It was pitch dark inside; all the lights were off. A street lamp that was barely working illuminated a fraction of the lawn. He preferred to be in the darkness anyway. He didn't want anybody to see him crying.

Eric didn't notice that it was cold. He felt numb as he looked down at his phone to see seven missed calls. Eric had previously texted his friends telling them that they shouldn't bother with work the next day. He didn't explain why, though they would probably assume it was due to Stacey's death.

His mother was missing and his father was now dead. Eric was lost; he didn't know what to do next.

His phone started to ring. He looked down to see Shenae's picture and name show up on the screen. He didn't feel like speaking to his girlfriend, or anyone, at all. He rejected the call with no feeling of guilt then returned to staring absent-mindedly at the exterior of the house. It was a big house where he also grew up. Eric remembered the day he moved into it with his mother and father. He was in nursery and so excited to see his new room, the new room his parents decorated before he even saw it. The last place he saw his mother before she vanished ten years ago.

The neighbours must have all been asleep – the street was so silent, so still. Eric tore his eyes away from the house to admire the quiet neighbourhood. The houses were all dark as if nobody lived there. Eric preferred this time of night, when all the kids were inside sleeping and no cars passed through. They would cause enough noise to wake everyone up. In all honesty, Eric wouldn't have had it any other way. He loved the way his life was going. Now everything was different.

Eric thought nothing of the streetlamp at the end of the dead-end street flickering violently until he looked over and saw a man standing beside it. The man. Same mask, same build, same clothes – the man who killed his father.

Eric was surprised at first and he almost stumbled away from his car. He felt nothing but pure rage once his shock died away. It was this rage that forced Eric to charge forward and run down the street with athletic ability. The man took his time to turn around and walk into the shadows of the trees, disappearing before Eric's eyes.

He knew better than to run straight into the forest – all manners of dangers lurk among those trees. Unfortunately, his body didn't listen to his head. Deep down, he didn't want to stop. He had to get his hands on his father's killer and seek justice for the unfair cruelty that was shown tonight. The man in the white mask had to pay with his life.

Eric kept running and running. He knew he should stop and turn back around. He had no defence, no weapons, nothing to protect himself with. Despite this, Eric still ran through the woods and disappeared into the darkness.


Eric watched in horror as he finally realised where the man in the white mask had led him. Eric had chased the man for nearly half an hour before he lost him. He still continued in the direction the man was heading in. After seemingly being lost, he stumbled across a stretch of trees that surrounded a perfectly circular pit. Inside the pit was a house.

The house was more like a wooden two-storey death trap than an actual house. It was currently lived in; he could tell by the faint candlelight inside, but the owners had not been taking care of the house. All of the windows were boarded up, the porch looked like it was about to cave in, the brick chimney had been smashed to shards, and mould covered all sides of the house. The trees around the clearing drooped down and kept the house in a bubble, shrouding it in obscurity. Not even the moonlight would be able to reach this dank place. The trees were too confined and the house was too far into the forest for any wind or light to touch it.

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