Ever find yourself in a place that you would never in a million years think you’d be? Doing things for or because of people that maybe you don’t really know. Maybe It’s simple curiosity or just stupidity, but right now, I am so wondering what the hell I’m doing. When I went to school this morning, I thought it’d be an ordinary day like any other day in the past eighteen years of my life. You get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, I didn’t, but most people do and you go to work or school. I haven’t graduated yet so I head off to high school. Stopping at my friends’ houses, I picked them up; usually I drive them all to school because I’m the only one with a driver’s license not to mention a car. And to be honest, they’re not even really my friends. I’m not delusional; I know some of those I think of as friends, in truth don’t like me much. Most of them think I’m stuck up, a rich kid with an attitude who is always trying to get one over on the teachers. It’s pretty much the truth. Me first, that’s my moto. Let’s just say this, my dad didn’t get where he is today by waiting around for someone else to hand him anything. He went right up to them and took it. Don’t get the wrong idea, he’s not ruthless, but he’s not afraid to take what is rightfully his, just some people might object to what is his and isn’t. Doesn’t matter, I am where I am today for it.
But I am side tracking. So here it is. I picked up the first friend, Gareth, he and I sometimes don’t get along even though we’ve been buds since second grade, and the first thing, he starts in about, is our other friend. Igz, has only lived in the neighborhood for two years, but she grows on a person. She’s kinda quirky in a good way. Well, Gareth starts on about how they were supposed to go out last night, but he couldn’t get a hold of her. Yesterday was her birthday, I knew this, tried to get her to dump Gareth and hang with me, but she blew me off. Well then we picked up Edgar and Alice, they live next to each other and Alice is on about the same thing. She was in the middle of a convo with Igz about going to a movie when she just quit texting back so she called her and Igz never answered. So we pull up in front of Igz’ house and I honk and wait like always. Here’s the thing though, she doesn’t come out. Maybe for someone else this would be normal, but Igz lives for school. She loves to write and actually enjoys getting good grades, ok, she’s weird, but there you have it.
So what, right, you go up to the door, ring the bell and wait and if no one answers you go on to school without, right? Well, we did that. On the way home Alice insists that we need to stop again because Igz never showed up and since Alice works in the office part time, she also knows no one answered or called to confirm she stayed home. So we go back and should have simply rung the bell again, but that didn’t happen. Alice went to the door and when she went to knock, why she didn’t ring the bell, I don’t know, but she knocks instead and the front door swings open. Next thing we know she’s screaming bloody murder, I mean like someone has actually been murdered. So we all get out of the car and go up to the door to see what has her all upset. Murder. I mean like real murder only the bodies aren’t …um… human. There, laying in the foyer of Igz’ house, are two humongous bodies of creatures that look like some mythical Greek god or something. They have heads of, oh I don’t know, cows or bulls or something and bodies of humans only their heads aren’t attached so maybe they don’t go on them, but… blood was like in huge puddles around the stumps.
I’m eighteen, male and healthy, I love zombie movies and shoot ‘em up video games and live to play paintball, but this… this is real and way too real. We could talk about the smell, like road kill or something worse, good thing I have a stomach of iron. In fact, it kinda smelled like iron or something worse. It tasted like I had put a nail in my mouth and sucked on it for an hour. So I look around the foyer and see Igz’ shoes and backpack against the wall next to a mirror so we all figure she at least came home last night. Edgar doesn’t like blood and Alice, who usually is the first to pick a zombie movie, is like freaking out, total hysterics, so the two of them head out the front door and sit on the porch swing leaving Gareth and I to investigate. I don’t know why the police never come to mind, but there it is.
So now I’m standing inside Igz’ kitchen, we walked around the bodies. We’re are such idiots, followed bloody foot prints into the kitchen and find more bodies. I’ve met Igz’ parents, her mom writes great fantasy books. I don’t remember what her dad does, but I know what they look like and the bodies… kinda look like them, but not. Ok, sounds odd but they kinda look like one of Igz’ mom’s creatures from one of her books and they’re dead. Not like cool dead, decapitated, but like slashed by Samurai swords dead. Like a huge battle was fought and in the end they died. Not like I see any swords lying around, but you can def tell that the cuts are from swords cause like I play Guild Wars and some other MMORPG games. I’ve gone to a couple of LARP events and watch movies about Ninja’s with that kind of stuff so I know what sword slashes look like. And the room, blood is covering everything, sinks, counter tops, walls, even the windows are dripping with it, ok not dripping, but you can tell that when it first happened, it did. A red tinge covers like everything and the overhead lights that weren’t on until I turned them on make the scene look like a Hollywood movie set. If I wasn’t standing there in the physical, it would be awesome.
So I’m standing here asking myself, what the hell am I doing?
Gareth stands near the door his eyes like saucers and I go closer. Ok, I pull my t-shirt up to cover my face and nose cause I think I’m going to hurl. In the middle of the floor, my foot hits something. I jump and Gareth shouts ‘shit’. Bending down, I see an empty water bottle and Igz’ cell phone. Guess we know she’s been here since. I have to laugh, picking the cell up I toss it to Gareth and he about leaps out of his skin. Beside the bodies I kneel down. They really do look like Igz’ parents, but they also have the features of the elves her mom writes stories about. Well, that said, they are still mutilated, like if you put a puzzle together you know what it would look like. My mom’s a criminal psychologist and she’d say this was a crime of rage, because of the facial slashes.
“Maybe we should just call the police,” Alice said coming into the kitchen. I whirl around and see her next to Gareth.
“Where’s Igz,” I point out. “Don’t you think first we should find her? She could be hiding some place inside here. Provided she wasn’t here when it happened, which I don’t think she was.”
“How can you possibly know that,” Gareth asks. He steps closer and toes one of the bodies. “They don’t look… I mean… is that Iggy’z parents?”
“Pretty sure they are,” I answer. I start to walk out the door and follow Alice.
“Where are you two going, I think we should call the police,” Gareth says.
“That’s what I said,” Alice replies, but keeps going down the hallway.
“Then where are you going,” Gareth asks following us. “We should leave before we screw up the crime scene. I watch cop shows. We don’t want to screw up the crime scene.”
“I’m with Henry on this one, we need to find Igz.” Alice keeps going. She’s the only one to have been here before so I figure she knows where Igz’s bedroom is. “I’m just going to look in her room and maybe….” She pauses at an open door and walks in. “Some one has been in here. Look, everything’s been thrown about.” I watch her from the doorway as she picks up several books that look like they were literally thrown against the wall. Bending down I pick up some papers and read.
“What do you make of this,” I ask Alice handing her the paper. It’s a small sheet of 5×7 paper with writing on it. Looks to me like the start of another one of the stories her mom writes.
“Igz’ mom is nuts, she writes all these fantasy books about mythical creatures, this looks like that start of another one.” She hands it back to me. Alice reads fantasy, like she says it as if she doesn’t. “Iggy,” she calls out.
“Not sure you should do that,” I hear Edgar’s voice coming from behind Gareth.
“We really shouldn’t be in here,” Gareth urges to us. “I think we should leave now before we get into trouble.”
“I want to know where Iggy is,” Alice insists.
“And we are so not going to get another chance. Once the police get here, we won’t get anywhere near this place.” I turn around and head down the hallway. There’s another door open and I go in. Her dad’s den, from the looks of it. I suddenly remember what he does. Archeologist. There is like a ton of old shit in the room.
“Hey,” Alice calls from the room I left. “You should look at this drawing.”
I go to the room and look over Gareth’s shoulder. The drawing looks like Igz, if Igz was an elf.
“Ok this is just weird.”
“You know, her mom used to claim that most of her stories were real, right? There’s this one book that she claims is entirely true.” She says. Alice looks at me and I look at Gareth, we both make a face like, right. I know all her books, read them at least twice, ok, it’s true. Gareth and I are also huge “Harry Potter” and “the Hobit” fans. The books are like that, mythical creatures in a long gone time. “Don’t you think this looks just like Igz? I mean if she had pointed ears and,”
“And didn’t have big cheeks,” Gareth laughs. “Maybe.”
“Remember the book she wrote… what was it called,” Alice looks around the room picking up books looking for the right one. I know which one she’s going to say. “The one about escaping to a time in the future… you know which one I mean Henry?”
“Yeah, I know, Escape to Freedom. I think you’re wrong Alice.” I turn around again, and keep going down the hall. The house is big, two story with a basement and an attic. I get to the stairs and look up pausing before deciding to go further. Hell, I’ve gone this far. “I’m going up, which room’s Igz’?”
“You’ll know,” Alice calls. I hear footsteps behind me and figure Gareth is following.
On the second floor, the first thing I notice is the attic door is open. It’s at the end of the hall and I can see the steps leading up and feel a cold breeze coming down. There are two doors to the right and one to the left. I open the door to the left. Gotta be her parents. A huge bed is in the middle of it and old people clothes hang in the open closet. Going to the one across, I find it devoid of anything. This strikes me as odd, but whatever. There isn’t a thing in the room, not pictures, furniture, boxes anything, so I close that and go to the last door. Inside the first thing I see is a picture of the current president. Mister. Harvard looks out at me with that stupid ass grin on his face. Ok, Alice was right, I knew which one was Igz. Looking around the room, like I should be surprised is a poster of every political candidate that has run in the last, I don’t know, hundred years probably. It looks like she wallpapered her room in political posters. The bed is still made and everything in the room is neat and orderly. It smells like ink or something along those lines. I notice next to the laptop is an old typewriter. Number one, I didn’t know that they still made them, two, I didn’t think you could still buy ribbon for them. But there it sat. No stone unturned, I look under the bed and in the closet, not even a dust ball can be found.
“Wo,” Edgar exclaims. “She’s like, ate up about that politics stuff. I thought it was just a show but jeez.” I turn around and push Edgar out the door.
“Did you see the empty room,” Gareth says. “What’s with that?”
“Don’t know,” I answered.
Motioning down the hall, Gareth follows me to the attic steps and we pause at the door listening for anything. I can hear Alice down stairs call out for Igz again, but nothing else. Once fully in, I see the round window at the far end is open. The light is already on and we both head toward an open trunk near the window. I assume someone has been in it recently because I see blood that looks like it was made by someone’s shoes, small shoes. I can see where the dust has been disturbed, and several books lay in a circle on the floor, and the clothes Igz wore yesterday are in a pile beside the books. I look at Gareth who is standing behind me waiting, I guess, for me to do something. I bend down and inspect the books, the first one I notice is the one Igz’ said was her mom’s favorite. It also happens to be the one Alice said she claimed was true. There are two books I’ve never seen before along with some I have. I look closer at the two. They are much bigger than the average book, more the size of photo albums my mom has. I pick the one up, the title is Ælfin Magic and Customs and I open the first few pages and scan a few farther back then hand it to Gareth. The other book Alvefolket, whatever that means, well I think it means Elfquest, but that’s just something I heard from some Hobit types, so who knows. When I pick up the clothes, I find a scrunched up piece of paper that looks really old.
Gareth stops me before I smooth it out, “Do you think we should read it, maybe it’s personal or something?”
“Did you miss where there are dead bodies downstairs, I think we passed personal?” So I ignore him and read the letter. “You think this is from her mom I mean it doesn’t have any names on it or dates or anything,” I say to Gareth and rereads it again. He frowns at me and takes the paper away reading it himself. When he finishes he hands it back to me.
“Could be to anyone or from anyone, it means nothing.”
“Yeah but,” I stop myself. I stand and look at what’s around again and at the clothes in my hands. I open the bundle and point out the blood on the knees to Gareth, he frowns again, and we just stand there for a few minutes. “We really need to find Igz.”
“What we really need to do is call the police,” Gareth says. He hands me back the books he was holding and heads down stairs in a hurry. “This is too weird.”
“You know the book,” I ask following him down into the foyer where we find Alice and Edgar standing by the front door. Call me stupid, but I have the books and letter still in my hands, not to mention the bundle of clothes. I press the clothes into Edgar’s arms and turn to Alice showing her the books. “We found these upstairs in the attic.” She shrugs and looks at Gareth. “You know this one,” I hold up the one Igz’ mom claimed was true. “And these, are like, manuals or least the one is. The other is like a history book, I didn’t read the whole thing, just scanned it. And this,” I press the letter into her hands. “Read it.”
Alice reads it and hands the letter back to me. “We should leave and call the police.”
“What, the police,” Edgar’s voice ratchets up an octave, “We’ve been all over this house, they’ll find our prints and we’ll be like suspects.”
“Get a grip,” Gareth offers with a strong hand on his shoulder. “Those aren’t even human,” He motions to the bull looking creatures, “Maybe none of this is real, and we just came into a scene for the next book her mom’s writing. I think we should leave everything and go.”
“What pretend we didn’t see any of it,” Alice asks.
“If you want, go ahead,” I say. “I’m not. Something’s happened and I intend to find out what and where Igz is.”
“I thought you didn’t even like her? What happened to you first,” Gareth sneers.
Alice ignores us both and goes back into the kitchen returning with Igz’ cell phone. She then takes her back pack and heads for the front door.
“Come on, we should go before someone shows up and starts asking questions.” Alice says.
“What do you intend to do with that,” Gareth asks.
“We’re going to take this stuff back to my house, or Henry’s and look at it closer. This,” She motions to all the blood, “Is making my stomach turn.”
“You think there’s something to it,” Gareth asks.
“Yeah, I do, but I’m not hanging around here,” She opens the front door and leaves with us looking at one another. Quickly Edgar follows and after shutting the door, Gareth and I join them. I deposit the stuff in the trunk plus the clothes I gave to Edgar and we drive off.