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Horror High School Mystery

Tim was excited to find out that his family was planning a trip to the annual festival in town. He had been there last year. It was great. He had enjoyed all sorts of fun activities in the carnival - music, great food, fizzy drinks, and even cheap comics. Although he found the carnival was great, he was never a great fan of the horror house. There was this camp in the middle of the carnival. The entrance to the camp was frightening. It was the mouth of a dead bear, lolling its black tongue out with its empty sockets seemingly pulling people towards the entrance. On the other hand, Tim's sister had been a fan of this haunted house. She had been advertising it to her friends at school.

"It wasn't that scary!" said Sarah, beaming with confidence one Sunday morning.

"It was scary! I don't want to go there anymore!" Tim was a 12-year-old boy who was frightened of any creature that had a face and a mouth with razor-sharp teeth. "I don't want to go there. If we're going to the carnival again, I just want to stay outside."

"Okay dear," said their mother who looked haggard from last night's shift at the general hospital. "You can just wait outside. You don't have to if you don't want to."

"See!" Tim lolled his tongue out at his sister.

"Fine! I can just tell everyone in school that you're afraid of puppets!"

"No I'm not!"

"Yes you are!"

"Stop! Both of you!"

Tim and Sarah stared at each other from where they're seated. Bar light beamed across their mother's face. "Just stop okay. Mama got a headache now. I need a rest okay."

Sarah smoothed her forehead as she turned towards her mother. Guilt was clearly drawn across her face. "Sorry mama."

"Tim?" said their mother. "Do you have something to say?"

"I don't want to see dead people any more."

Something dark dawned on Tim's face. His mother was looking at him carefully that morning. "What did you say Tim?"

---

Tim was getting ready for the carnival. He was eager to fill his bookshelf with his comic collections. He had two more slots to fill in. Once these two slots were filled, he could show it off on his Instagram. He had been following a local horror book collector who had been posting challenges for his followers. Few of the challenges included buying a set of HP Lovecraft books from him which he had imported from Michigan. Tim wanted to purchase them. However, his mother disapproved of it because she didn't share the same interest as a 12-year-old boy does who was into horror.

"My mum is a traditional woman. Ever since dad left, she has been controlling my life. Like I can't do this. I can't do that. It's crazy dude."

"Yeah? Wait till I tell you about what I have gone through in my house," said Tim's best friend, Allie.

Tim pressed his lips, annoyed. He wanted Allie to listen, but he ended up having to listen to his story instead. Allie told his story and Tim was half listening. He wasn't interested to learn about Allie's boring life as an only child.

"You know what dude," Tim interrupted. The thing he had been an expert in since they became friends.

"What?"

"I wish I'm like you."

Allie was taken aback, eyeing at Tim's remark. It sounded crazy to him. "What do you mean you want to be like me?"

"Oh. Come on. You know what I mean. I wish I'm an only child and my dad is still around and I am from a wealthy family. You got it all. And look at me."

Allie rolled his right sleeve up to his elbow.

Tim continued. "Look at me. I have a dreadful stupid sister. I live in a house without a dad. My house doesn't have a high speed broadband. Just the normal one. My mum is always angry all the time. And I have a thing that I don't really want, but have been cursed with since I was born."

"Curse?"

"Yeah. Curse."

"Like what?"

Tim considered this for a moment. The last time he revealed his secret, a girl told him to stay away. He looked at the creature behind Allie just above his right shoulder. "Like seeing things that normal people can't see." Tim glanced at the creature again and followed its movement towards the cabinet.

The cabinet door squeaked a little, and Allie took notice of this. "What's that?"

Tim returned his attention to his best friend. "What what?"

"That sound. Did you hear it?"

Tim smiled at his friend. "I don't hear anything."

---

Tim's mother picked him up from Allie's house. Allie tailed Tim and entered the van. "You boys ready for the carnival tonight?"

"Yes!" The boys cheered.

"And we're going to the haunted house, don't we Mama?"

"No!" answered Tim.

"Oh my god. Are we really going?" chipped in Allie.

"Stop it or else I'm not going to drive you there!" Their mother's stern voice scared Allie a bit. He was reconsidering his decision whether to join the Beasley's family trip to Gadong.

The siblings kept still in their seats. Allie was clueless and remained silent too. The driver was happy that the children were quiet throughout the journey. It's going to be a great night, she thought to herself.

---

"Okay boys. What do you want to buy?"

Tim and his best friend exchanged looks of triumph. The rare collections of Dragon Ball Z were lying majestically in front of them on a long table. Rows of colorful Anime characters in golden spiky hair and muscular physics frowned at them. The boys were excited.

"Can we spend more time here Mama?"

Tim's mother was not impressed when she thumbed through the pages. The ripped bodies of the Anime characters were like men in steroids. She had this crazy notions that his boy would grow up to become gym rats just because of these Anime characters. She shook her head and said: "Just be good okay. I'll be around. Just stay together. It's a good thing our country is Covid free. Don't forget your mask when you're asked to wear one okay."

When Tim's mother walked away, Tim turned to Allie. "I think it's alright to remove this mask now here. Look at him." Tim pointed at a man in his early 20s in a T-Shirt with Vegeta in Super Saiyan 2 chilling out behind the counter. "He's not wearing a mask. I guess it's alright not wearing one here."

They removed the masks and began browsing through the bookshelves. They were in heaven.

---

Sarah and her mother walked past a number of vendors selling similar items like cheap bracelets, non-branded shoes, China-imported plastic toys and food. They continued their walk until Sarah pulled her mother's arm to her.

"Ma! I want to go there!"

It was the haunted house. Sarah had been nagging about going inside the second time. The experience she had last year was long forgotten. She wanted to renew the experience tonight.

"You sure you want to do this alone, Sarah?"

"Yes. I'm not afraid."

"You've got your phone with you?"

"Yes."

"Check the battery."

"It's full," said the teenager without even checking her phone."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Mum. My phone is a part of me. Like part of my limp. I know it without even looking at it. Can you tell your hunger level by checking your stomach in the mirror Ma?"

"I suppose not."

"Yes. Just go. I'm fine going through the haunted house alone."

---

Allie made a purchase at the counter while Tim was still considering whether to buy another Dragon Ball series or starting out a Marvel comics.

"Have you made your mind Tim?"

Tim walked up to his best friend and said: "Yes. I made up my mind. I think I want to let my sister die today."

"Huh what?" Allie let out a light laugh, like a puffing out a coughing noise that sounded between a blown horn and a laughter.

"I think my sister will die today. I can see the creatures around her today."

"What are you talking about?"

"I think yours will be soon too buddy."

Tim checked the creature with long lolling tongue above Allie's right ear. "Soon." Tim smiled.

May 11, 2021 18:06

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