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beverly stomps down the metal stairs that led up to her apartment building, glancing to all of us with a terrified look on her face. her eyes were red (as if she'd been crying), as were her shoes which were trailing a dark red substance. paint, maybe.

"guys," she whispers, "do not, under any circumstances, make any sudden movements. follow right behind me, and don't touch anything."

we all nod, worried of what's in store for us inside the home. she leads each of us up and to the door, earning a creak from the old wood. it just made the whole experience even more frightening than it should be. i stand behind richie, who held my hand protectively. i felt his body slightly shiver as the could air from the house hit us as we entered.

beverly led us to the back of the house and right in front of a room. she leans forward and opens it, making sure not to step inside.

a horrid, iron odor is what i was first introduced to, followed by the sight of a blood-red color encapsulating the whole bathroom. there were small footprints replicating bev's shoes trailing their way out of the door. every tile was smeared with the color, the fresh and thick paint dripping down from the walls.

although, it wasn't paint.

bill and eddie gag, leaving the area to calm down. i cover my mouth and hide behind the bespectacled boy, who looked sick to his stomach as well. while i was examining the scene more and more, there was an arm hanging out of the small bath. my eyes suddenly go wide and i gasp, scared for my life.

"please. i don't know what to do," bev pleads, looking to each of us hopefully. ben's turned green, and mike had been paralyzed in shock. i squeeze richie's shoulder and bury my head into his neck, my hands trembling.

"you... what happened?" mike mumbles, not tearing his eyes away from the red.

"i.. i don't know... i found it... him, like this and.. i–i don't know what i should do."

"call the fucking cops!" richie growls. a tinge of nervousness was laced in his words. i was surprised he hadn't thrown up right about now. beverly thinks about it, then shakes her head rapidly.

"wuh-wuh-why not?" bill inquires, stepping back up to the scene with a shaking eddie.

"because.." the breathes with a hand to her chest. "that's my father."

we all gasp, glancing at the deceased man in the bloody room. "you.. hadn't? you hadn't done it? right, bev? you didn't–"

she denies, putting her hands in her hair. "no! fuck, ben! i didn't do it!"

"just... call the police. you have to call them, marsh," richie speaks up. we all nod, except the red headed girl.

"richie, i–i can't! i'll get taken away!"

"but you said you didn't do it," i add. she turns to me retrospectively. "so what's the point in not calling them? it's your only option. please."

she heaves and nods soon after. picking up the telephone nearby, bev dials 9-1-1 and let's out a shaky breath. i attempt to keep my eyes from the room, because every time i look at it, my stomach gets queasy.

soon, with an uneasy feeling in my throat, i sprint outside and throw up in the planter beside the door. a coarse hand grasps the hair that had fallen down to my face, rubbing the back of my neck with their other.

i wipe my mouth with my hands and turn around, finding a worried looking richie. he smiles half heartedly.

"thank you," i say in a raspy voice. he pulls me into a tight embrace which i accept, quickly feeling the warmth spread throughout my cheeks.

he pulls away and gives me a goofy grin. "i would kiss you, but you just... you know."

let my baby stay : tozierWhere stories live. Discover now