"Its okay, it's okay, the house is locked, it's okay." I have been repeating this thing since a small truck arrived near the daisy pavement of our house.
The sky was black or I think black is an understatement for the never-ending charcoal space above me, where the darkness is opaque and nothing except it. Nothing to see or to hear just silence and its darkness. I felt overwhelmed by the sky and the words I have been speaking are making me thirsty, I guess, so I stopped it.
From my first glance of that broke down vehicle, I knew something was really off. It wasn't a normal white Corolla or a raven Civic to watch going but rather a small, mustard truck with extensive, rugged and uneven tires. One, two, three, four. I counted them, there were four of them as one-by-one they got out of the vehicle.
Their intention was clearly our house. Mommy was out with her friends and she probably expects me to be asleep for the school tomorrow. They reached to the door of our house and tried to rotate the door knob. It was bolted. Mom had locked it and told me this thing at least ten times. Their faces held the feeling of disappointment until they looked upto the windows of the house - actually my window.
The light was off and maybe they had resolved to deapart from our house when my walky talky thought it was the most suitable time to ring. It pealed and screamed and its noise rumbled through the air and into their ears. Awesome now. I appreciated the contribution of the walky talky. Their sudden change of mind made me stop breathing as they started their attempts to actually break the door. When they all did it at once, the door opened with a smooth click, I heard it somewhere inside the house.
"Mommy." I whispered, my vision blurred with water.
Deafening tumult of the joggers and boots filled my ears while my heart thudded with more than normal speed. I heard them getting nearer…nearer…and nearer.
They were just outside my room.
My brain gave way to wild thoughts; what to do? Where to hide? I was relieved to plan to conceal myself in the attic. But our attic was not normal, totally unorthodox. I jumped into my closet and closed the door. Behind the stand of clothes, was a ladder. The ancient wood of it needed repairment, or screw everything, we needed a new ladder. I treaded upstairs only to find dirt, old cardboard boxes from the time Mom and Dad bought this place, nine years ago while shifting, in my absence, and some uninvited furniture.
We needed serious dusting here. The air was dry, but motionless here, everything seemed dreary and dull. I shut the attic after pulling myself up in and covered my face with my arms. I made myself as precise as I could, almost like a little piece of something dinky, compact and uninvited. By the time I settled, I knew they were in my room. I hoped they did not touch any of my stuff.
One was playing with the walky talky, I knew it by its sound only. The second one was in my washroom, flush my friend. Third one was on my bed, the creaky noise of my bed told me and the fourth one would surely have been invested in investigating something when he said, "What's there?" his voice was the nearest which meant he was talking about the closet. I actually forgot to turn the lights off of the closet.
Suddenly everybody was interested in my closet, my clothes and shoes. I suppose, The Flush said, "That blue one's mine." "It is not going to fit your enormous body, bud!" That was probably The Bed Squeaker. "You know, right? That we are not here to steal something." The Walky Talky retorted. "Somebody's behind this stand of sweatshirts" I nearly was about to scream at the words of The Investigator.
In a second, they all had descended my clothes stand and were now climbing the ladder. Every step was like an invitation to something bad or dark. The steps grew louder and nearer. And then it was it. The attic door flew open and it was such an overwhelming feeling that I low-key feared it. It was almost overwhelming, the opaque sky and voices of the stray dogs here, the rough-smelling dust was another issue and the terror in my heart was as never-ending as the sky, therefore, I said nothing, saw nothing and just screamed, "No."
The light of the closet was diluted or somehow nothing in front of the darkness of the attic, my scream was blare and could have been heard by the neighbours, which left the four thieves flabbergasted at once and I found myself thinking about the sky again. Opaque and dark.
"Hey kiddo, show your face, we are not hear to harm you for sure." It was certainly the Investigator and was younger than I thought him to be. He saw me with such determination and affection that I was sure he wasn't lying. I was seeing them with a small space which I had made in between my fingers and slowly my face was bare, no fingers to cover it with.
They were not four thieves or Flush, Bed Squeaker, Investigator or The Walky Talky but patently some people I had seen before . "So you are not here to kidnap me or take my Mommy's money." I asked curiously.
My face was sweating and my back was almost soggy. I realized I was shedding tears unstoppably. The person who I thought was the Bed Squeaker came up in the attic and was coming towards me to console me but I moved an inch distant from him. He stopped in the midway.
"This place is gross!" Flush said. "Come downstairs, we are not here to harm you, lad." Investigator suggested.
"We needed food, actually." Bed Squeaker said. "Food?" I repeated. I found them being at home and registered that they were not rude a bit, I tried to remember the way I had felt when they first arrived. The terror had abated but I still kept my distance and yearned that they would leave before Mom came. The Walky talky was sleeping on the couch, his hat lying on the side table. Investigator was watching TV like it was his own house along with Flush, and Bed Squeaker was in the kitchen finding for food.
"It is in the fridge." I told him. He excitedly ran over to the fridge. His actions were hungry means he was famished. Mommy didn't ate much food at breakfasts or any other meal and those milk cartons and bitten apple was in there since two days. "I found it!" he squealed of joy. The bell chimed. I remember fastening the door after getting downstairs. They all jerked for a moment. It was the Investigator who stood up first only to move the other boys.
"Hey Lucas, you open the door. Joseph, Yusuf, Brian, move!" They moved like wind and got out of the house from the kitchen window to the backyard to the back of the street, leaving two statements, first, Flush was saying, "I didn't know we had someone named Move." and second, they said my name, Lucas which I had never told them about.
Now I was left with two choices; the bell was ringing continuously without any pause and the second thing was following them. I didn't had the time to decide because the boys were brisk and probably would be on the back street by now. and on the door it should be mom, she would be worried that why I am not opening the door. She must think I am asleep, right? She always first sees if I am awake by ringing the bell, in case there is no answer she uses her personal key to unbolt the door.
So without any second thought I also jumped out of the kitchen window and was in the backyard, undoubtedly my backbone was cracked. I placed a ladder on the towering fence of the backyard and climbed on it only to realise that I have to jump down on the other side of the fence too. I told myself to jump, jump but I didn't. I didn't want my legs broken. I was a coward for it.
I reversed my way back to the ringing bell but the house was speechless. Mom's bedroom's light was on. She was finally home. I tiptoed myself to my room but somehow Mommy heard me. Her door knob rotated and I froze for a second. "Lucas." she called. "Yes Mommy." I was reluctant to face her. "Oh God, you are fine. I was so stressed. The neighbors told me that you had screamed. What happened, baby?"
What happened, Lucas? I asked myself. Investigator had opened the attic and I was scared. ok. "I saw someone in the attic." I mumbled. She paused, before saying, "there wasn't anyone there, just a nightmare, you know." She spoke with such confidence that I doubted myself." I had no reason to not to take the name of Investigator. I should have told her about it but I also didn't want them in trouble.
"Go have some sleep. School's tomorrow." She kissed on the forehead and was exhausted, didn't want to deal with me right now, I had sensed that before.
"Your mom couldn't pick you up today. She told us to come home with your cousin who is standing just there." I looked over to find Kai standing there. I developed a sudden urge to not go home this instant as there was an overwhelming feeling within me which told me to go on the backstreet of my house instead, ask them why they knew my name and come back home later, so I went there.
I saw the normal people there, no Joseph, no Yusuf or any Brian was to be found. I asked people about them and told them their appearence but everybody refused to know that there was someone like them here. I was confused, did they go any further in night or they just disappeared. I found my brain tangling over the thoughts, further away from the back street, Someone named move, and the dark and opaque sky.
Then I knew what was to come. I had to wait for the night. I reached my school and found Kai there. Students were still gathered there, nothing was really changed so I casually reached out to Kai. There were greetings under the sunny weather followed the salty chips in my hand which Kai bought me. I thanked him for it and the silence followed.
At night I took a small bag in which I kept one of my walky talky and one at home in case of any mess. Some water and food for Bed Squeaker, if I ever got the chance to meet him there. Mommy was as usual gone to her friend's house and expected me to be asleep. The night was almost like yesterday's except the small, yellow truck, I wished it to be there but it was not there so I moved out of the house in a usual way, out from the main door.
I went to the back street and went further ahead this time, reading the names of the streets along the way. Form, Street 12, Avon… there were just so many. I had thought to find for any street named, "MOVE". I felt myself doing the wrong thing when my collar was snatched by an unknown. "What are you doing here?" The voice was of The Investigator. "Nothing just finding you people." I replied him informally. "You did the right thing coming here." The Bed Squeaker was blissful to see me, genuinely. "I even brought food for you." I told him and handed him the Sushi, Mom brought last night. His satisfaction was like a mask he wore.
"What are you saying Brian, he can't be here right now, it is not safe for him out here." The Investigator was anxious, "Did you tell your mom you were coming here?" He asked. "No." I told him. "We all are going to be in trouble, he needs to go home right now." He was talking to the other boys now. It was Walky Talky who said, "Cameron's right. You need to go home, your Mom's going to be worried, your house is lifeless and you are here. Everything is wrong."
It was that juncture, when it hit me. The house is not locked. "What did I just do? The house is not locked!" They saw me panic and shared confused looks. "We will get you to your house. Fine now?" Flush spoke after a moment. "I want you to tell me one thing," I said. "What?" They all asked in unison. "How did Cameron know my name?" I asked. All of them turned to Cameron on this one who in reply said, "because it was imprinted on one your composed shirts, Lucas Collin." He tapped on my chest, proudly.
Applaud to me, who ran his whole way here to apprehend this sentence, I felt like a complete stupid. I was happy an "outsider" was not here to watch me being embarrassed like this. The other three were on the verge of laughing but they tried their best to suppress their laughs when they saw my expressions. "Well, we should be on our way to your home now." Flush spoke.
On my house door, they stood saying mostly nothing. "You don't miss us okay? We will be around." Walky talky comforted. I yawned, still sleepy from last night. "You sleep now. Go." Cameron was reassured to find me at home. I was stepping inside when Bed Squeaker said, "Thank God, you didn't tell him that we are the pals from his Father's company just here to take care of him and his Mom" I was yawning and I stopped in the midway and looked backed at them, eyebrows arose. They were way too familiar, all of their eyes were stuck to Bed Squeaker.
"He is joking." Flush and Cameron said simultaneously, followed by a nervous laugh. Bed Squeaker ran and followed by him were other three. And I was again left with two things, the sentence by Bed Squeaker, "Thanks for the food, Lucas," and the dark and opaque sky above me.