“Yeah,” Ally answered, her voice a bit subdued. “That sounds good to me too. I hate long car rides.” Sheena had already opened her door and gotten out, Sarah following her into the cool air.
Regina was getting out also, still frowning, “Whatever. Only for a few minutes, okay? I wanted to party tonight, not drive around with you nerds for hours.” Her tone was not as sharp as it often was; slightly muted and a bit hesitant as her eyes drifted over the area.
The quintet of young people walked forward from the car, their feet stepping carefully among the almost lawn-like wild space before them. The moon shone down brightly, casting silvery light and long shadows over the land, and the air was sweet from the scent of the wild growing herbs; the landscape ethereal, beautiful, and both alluring and spooky all at once. They were silent, looking around at the scene before them. All felt a small but growing fear in the back of their minds as their eyes left the moonlit grass and stared into the deep, thick darkness that waited under the boughs of the trees. The feeling grew and grew, each of the young people tensing up slowly, eyes wide and shifting, tongues wetting lips that suddenly felt dry. They formed a loose, gaping circle, their backs to one another as they sought out the nameless dread that was growing, growing ever stronger in them. Sheena let out a soft whimper.
The witch shook the dregs of the wet mixture into the cauldron and then lifted up a paper bag. She put it to her full lips and blew into it, inflating until the paper strained to hold itself together. “Boo!” She swung the paper bag toward the cauldron and her other hand in from the opposite side to strike it, the force enough to burst the bag with a loud banging pop.
From behind all of the students, in the middle of the circle they’d formed, there was a massive roaring boom. The fear that had grown to fill their minds exploded into panic unlike any they’d ever felt before. Their bodies screamed at them, every fiber, every cell, ever nerve yelling; run, RUN!
They broke like spooked deer; bolting in whatever direction they were facing, as fast as their limbs could carry them. There was screaming but none of them was sure who it was coming from, indeed, none of them could sense or think clearly enough for that. Screaming cries of terror seemed to simple fill the night, all around them, driving them on. They stumbled but ran on, leaving behind the strange clearing, the car, and each other and plunging blindly and heedlessly into the waiting black of the woods. There were cries here and there, the snapping of twigs and branches as they crashed through underbrush, and then nothing. A rising, hair raising howl rose up from somewhere, an atonal call that rang out over the wooded ridge and the valley below.
The witch held her stomach, looking away from the cauldron to avoid touching it as she doubled over. “Oh, my God! Look of them go!” She laughed, eyes tightly shut, reaching out with one arm to support herself against the wall, her tremendous breasts bouncing and jiggling under her dress from the force of her merriment. “Hellfire! Best! Halloween prank! Ever!” She threw herself into a chair, laughing further, kicking her legs, her face reddening. “Oh, oh, damn! That was great! Ohh, and the best hasn’t even started yet!” She took a deep breath, a few giggles interrupting it, smiling and feeling pleased at her work. Which one would she get? “Ohh, oh, boy.” She giggled again, then blinked and shook her head. “I should make some coffee for my guest.”
Branches and sticks cracked under his feet and against his body as he ran, breath ragged and rough, his heart pounding in his chest. Greg hurtled through the darkened woods along a thin trail, the duster flying out behind him and flapping as his legs pumped. Where? The clearing, he’d felt something coming, felt afraid, never been so scared in his life, and then something. And he ran, was running. He was running uphill, towards the top of the ridge. Adrenaline roared through his veins and his body still shrieked at him to run, to escape. But from what? There was nothing there. Calm down; he was panicking. Don’t panic, remember the guide.
He slowed down to a jog, his breathing growing rougher. God, his chest hurt. How long had he been running? He jogged into a brisk walk and then stopped, gasping for breath, looking around him as best he could. “Damn…it’s…fucking dark…in here,” he said, more to have some sound than for any other reason. Where were the others? He turned to face the way he’d come and cupped his hands to his mouth, “Sheena! Sarah, Ally! Regina, can you hear me?” His calls faded away as though swallowed up by the blackness around him and there were no answers. “God, girls, please be okay.”
He looked back over his shoulder and started, turning fully around. Up ahead a way, it looked like past the edge of the forest, at the ridge’s top, there was light. It shone bright and clear, cutting through the darkness. Light. Light meant people and people meant help. Or cannibalistic hillmen. But probably help. Grunting, he forced himself into a jog up the inclined path again, his legs burning under him as he moved with purpose up the trail. Moonlight started to break through here and there and then he could see ahead where the blackness gave way and silvery illumination returned and through it all that gleaming golden light, no, lights, beckoned.
Greg jogged on for another ten minutes before he came out of the woods. The top of the ridge had once been forested as well, but whether by natural means or the hands of men it was clear, a strip perhaps forty yards across running down the back of the rise. Looking down the strip, he could see the clear space went on for miles; small trees here and there as well as standing poles from which a few cables were strung up towards the peak. Standing there, nestled up against the utmost last upward thrust of earth and stone, was a house. It was an older style and solidly made; two stories of brick solidity. There was a chimney, though no smoke came from it, and there were gables over the upper outmost windows. It had painted shutters and though most of them were closed, a few on the first floor were open and it was through these that light streamed. Brick steps let up to a wide porch made of fieldstone and a large and solid looking front door with a deadbolt above the handle.
A house up here? Who would live all the way out here? Greg stared for a few moments before he started for it, trying to get his breathing under control. It didn’t matter; it looked like they had electricity, even a phone. Hell, up here, his phone might get signal. And in any event, they could help him. Greg approached the house and seeing no doorbell, reached up to knock on the door hard; once, twice, again, and then let his hand drop. He stepped back from the door, pushing his glasses back up his nose with one hand.
There was a heavy click as the deadbolt withdrew, and then another softer one as the lock did the same. Greg drew himself up, squaring his shoulders, ready to meet whatever hermit or mountain man resided up here so far from civilization. The door swung inwards and he blinked in shock, his mouth opening a moment before he shut it. Standing in the door was a girl about his age, shorter than him by a good eight inches, with golden red hair pulled back into a ponytail at the back of her head. Her skin was fair, almost alabaster pale, smooth and flawless. Her face was elegantly beautiful with delicate features, soft eyes of a deep brown that was almost black and startlingly bright red, luscious lips. She was wearing a tank top and a pair of pajama pants that were red with bats and pumpkins on them and her feet were bare. She was slender and had a petite figure, though her tank top showed more cleavage than he’d have expected from her build, the swell of her bust filling it enticingly. Her waist was very narrow and she had a round, pert little ass. “Good evening.” Her voice was warm and smoky and it sent a thrill down his spine. Her eyes wandered over him and lingered here and there a good bit, her lips curving in a slight smile before she looked up at him with a concerned expression, “Are you all right?”
“I, uh, feel better now,” he said. Then he blinked, “Uh, no, sorry, miss. My name’s Greg and I’m afraid my friends and I, we were on our way to a party and we got off the track somehow, then we all got lost,” he stopped himself and shook his head. “Please, may I use your phone? Or do you have a flashlight or something? My friends are out there somewhere and I have to find them, please.” He was suddenly aware of how crazy he must look; messed up hair, face flushed from running, still breathing roughly, probably a few rips and tears in his clothing from his run through the woods.
“You look like you could fall over,” she replied, “come in and sit down, Greg. You’ll catch your death if you go running around anymore without a rest and warming up.” She stood aside, holding the door open for him, “I’m Lily. Please, come in.”
Greg hesitated a moment. He shouldn’t go and sit down when the girls might be lost or hurt. But then if he went after them not sharp, he could get lost or hurt and just make things worse. Lily smiled at him and he returned the expression slowly. “Thank you.” He walked past her into the house, the slight young woman pushing the door closed behind him and relocking it. It was warm inside, far more than outdoors, and it made him immensely better just to be in that blessed warmth. He was standing in a small, inset area that seemed to be a kind of foyer before a hallway that rooms went off of. Around the edge of the area he was in, several pairs of shoes were set.
“Take off your shoes, Greg,” Lily said as she stepped up into the hallway. “If you were wandering or running around out there, we should look at your feet.” She then grinned and winked, “And I don’t want you tracking mud anywhere. Your jacket looks like it’s soaked too, just hang it on one of the hooks there,” she pointed at a rack that hung along the wall next to the door. Most of the hooks had coats and jackets on them but a few were bare.
“Uh, right.” Greg took a few moments to unbuckle his boots and pull them off. As he did so, he looked around at what he could see of the house. It was very clean and well appointed; pictures and sconces for lamps were set on the walls and the hardwood floor shined. “Lily, I’m sorry to insist but your phone, if I can use it, I really need to call the cops or search and rescue or something.”
“I understand; you’re worried about your friends.” She smiled at him again, her dark eyes flicking over him before meeting his own and he felt himself blushing. “It’s sweet.” As he got his boots off at last she reached out and took his hand, and he marveled at how soft and smooth and sweet her touch was, “Come on, this way. You smell wonderful, you know that?”
“Uh, thanks?” She led him down the hallway, Greg glancing into the rooms as he passed. In addition to the heavy shutters he’d seen, each window had a set of thick curtains as well. They were currently pulled back on them but if they were drawn, barely any light would get out. The furniture all looked older; very classy and often the kind of stuff you’d find in college student housing as hand me downs, but all in good repair. He did spot a television in one room as well as a large couch. In another, he saw a few sleeping bags spread out on top of a large rug that took up most of the floor. “I’m sorry if I’m interrupting anything,” he said.
“You’re fine,” she answered. “My friends and I were having a slumber party for Halloween; scary movies, that kind of thing. Besides, a cutie like you is never an imposition.” He couldn’t say much to that and she steered him on into a brightly lit kitchen. It had a tall counter that ran bar-like around the cooking area and the dining room beyond it.
Two other girls were sitting at the counter on stools, one of them sighing as she set down the receiver of an old land line phone, “Something fell on the wires again, Lil, the phone’s out. Why you live out-oh!” She blinked as she saw her friend leading Greg in and then smiled, her bright red lips lush and tempting. “Lily, you didn’t say you invited a boy to the sleepover. Hi there, I’m Iris.” Iris was a little taller than Lily, but she also had that same pale and perfect porcelain skin, her lips contrasting brightly red, and her eyes dark. Her hair was a platinum blond that was almost white, and combined with a figure that was willowy and svelte; it gave her an ethereal quality. She wore a tight t-shirt with the Count from Sesame Street on it and a pair of shorts that seemed to stop exactly where her thighs started, barely covering a half inch of long, pale leg.
“He not here for the sleepover, I think.” The third girl slipped off of her stool and walked over to the other side of Greg as Lily pulled him deeper into the kitchen. “I’m Violet. It looks like you’ve had a rough night already.” Violet was the same height as Lily and her hair was a lustrous cascade of raven locks that had a slight wave as they tumbled down past her shoulders. She was wearing shorts as well, though they were far more modest than Iris’ and a man’s button down shirt that was far too large for her, serving to obscure her body for the most part. She had the same incredibly fair and beautiful skin as the other two girls, her eyes also dark, and her lips a scintillating red. She put a hand on his forehead, “Oh, he’s so warm,” she said in a breathy rush and then took a steadying breath, “but I don’t feel a fever.”
“Uh, thanks, um, Violet,” Greg responded. She smiled up at him and did not move back, staying close to him. “Iris, right? You said the phone wasn’t working?”
“Yeah,” she made a face as she hopped off of her stool. “Sometimes a tree or a branch will fall on the lines out here; it’s not as well maintained as it is close to town.” The blond moved to the other side of him, standing close as well and looking up at him. “But it’s all right. You’re here now and safe.”
Greg shook his head, “I am but my friends aren’t. I should get out there and looking for them. Thanks for letting me in and all, but-“
“Hold on a sec, Greg,” Lily interrupted. “You look like you ran up the mountain and it punched you while you did it. You need to sit down and have something to drink.” She exchanged a look with her friends who slipped up on either side of the young man and put their arms through his.
“H-hey, hold on a minute,” he protested as the two ladies turned him about and marched him back down the hallway to what seemed to be a living room. There were armchairs in two of the corners and a long, plush looking couch dominated the room, a coffee table in front of it and an older tv on an entertainment center in front of the window. They pushed him down onto the middle of the couch. “Iris, Violet, please, I need to help them.” Greg half rose off the couch, “I can’t just sit here and-“ Violet put a hand on his left shoulder as he was standing and gave a light push, as if she were adjusting a piece of paper she were reading, and he slammed back down onto the couch with an audible thump.
Before he could speak or react to that, the two girls were on the couch with him, one of either side. “You’re so sweet and you smell sooo good,” Iris smiled. She slid up against his left side, boldly pressing her body against him, one hand moving to stroke his forearm, the other running through his hair at the back of his head. “It’s brave to want to help them, you’re a good friend,” she was speaking strangely, the words pronounced very clearly and precisely, more stressed than normal. “But you need to rest first. Stay here, with us.”
“Stay here,” Violet pressed against him from the other side and he groaned as he felt her warm, soft body through her clothes, her curves teasing him. She too placed a hand on one of his forearms, leaning into run the other down his cheek, stroking it softly. Her too red lips brushed against his ear and made him shiver, “Let us take care of you.” Her words also were oddly clearly spoken and stressed, her throaty whisper seeming to drown out any other noise when she spoke. She breathed in suddenly, almost moaning, “Oh, you smell wonderful.”
“I…need to rest first,” he repeated, nodding slowly. His eyes were a bit vacant as he blinked owlishly and his face twisted as though he were confused, trying to remember something. “I’ll stay here with…with…” He groaned, closing his eyes tightly, then he opened them again they were bright and keen behind his glasses once more. “I’ll rest a little, you’re right about that, but then I have to go.”
Iris looked shocked; her ruby red lips falling open. Violet’s head moved back from him, her dark eyes flicking to meet her friend’s gaze. Then she cupped his chin and tilted his head so he was looking at her; blue eyes meeting her black irises. “You like us, don’t you, Greg? We like you. We want you to stay here. It’s dangerous out there at night. Stay here, be safe,” she arched her back to press her chest more firmly against him, drawing another shiver and a bit back groan from him, “be warm with us. We’ll treat you so well.” Her hand left his face and worked to undo several of the buttons on the shirt she wore, the garment parting to reveal more smooth, pale skin and the upper curves of a pair of luscious breasts that seemed to swell as she breathed. “We’ve been so lonely, just us three girls here. Stay with us, keep us company. You won’t regret it; we’ll take such good care of you.”
His eyes fluttered as she spoke, drawn down to the sight of her glorious bosom heaving. God, he wanted to agree, to say yes. He could feel Iris’s hand leaving his forearm and starting to stroke his thigh, Violet now petting his chest, undoing the buttons of his vest. “I…do like you. Don’t want to leave you lonely, feels so warm, so good. I want to…to stay…” The two young women smiled. But then Greg shook his head again, firmly, “This is so good, so tempting, but this is all so crazy, I can’t…I need to help them. Sheena, Regina, they might be in danger, the others too. I’m sorry.” Again he tried to rise but found he couldn’t move even an inch; their soft, small hands pressed just a bit and it was like trying to push against steel bars.
Lily came into the room with a mug that was faintly steaming. She smiled as she saw the three of them on the couch, “Oh, good. You’re all getting along.”
“Uh, yes,” Greg said, blushing. “They’re great girls and so gorgeous and sexy, but Lily-“
Iris looked at the redhead, “Lily, he still wants to go. Even though we both told him to stay.”
“Really?” She looked shocked for a moment but then her smile returned, growing a bit broader. “Wow. You are a cutie, Greg. I’m impressed.” He didn’t seem to know how to respond to that. She held out the mug to him, meeting his eyes directly. She seemed to gather herself and her eyes were suddenly very bright and clear; the rest of the room dim in comparison. She spoke, her tone clear, firm, and precise. She spoke no louder that she had before but as the word rolled out from between those crimson lips the house seemed to tremble as if shaken by a great wind. “Drink.”
The mug was in his hands and to his lips before his mind even registered he’d reached for it. He tipped it back and drank; hot, almost too hot, chocolate pouring into his mouth though the taste was off. There was something in it. He should stop, ask what it was. But he just kept drinking; downing the entire mug in one long, deep pull. Warmth radiated out from his stomach and seemed to fill all his body; a heavy heat that made him feel alive and vital and suddenly more aware than ever of the lovely and nubile girls on either side of him; his manhood suddenly surging in her pants and growing hard.