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Ghost Stories

It was the first weekend of summer and the Christmas holidays, and we were excited. Four good friends on their first road trip into the outback!

No parents for a week! It was just my best friend Donovan (the star rugby player), Dani (his nice but princess-like girlfriend), Ruby (my girlfriend and the school’s cleverest girl) and me, Angelo. I’ve always been quiet the worry wart, and I wasn’t sure this road trip was the best idea. Two guys and two girls – was this going to work in the outback?

But it was summer, school was over, so I didn’t care. I should have. Four friends left together on that Sunday, and four friends returned to Sydney a week later. But not the same four people…

Angelo was sitting in the front with his best friend Donovan, sitting beside him, driving the car. In the back seat their girlfriends were seated, both chatting happily with each other. All of the four friends were excited about the road trip. The best friends in the front were silent, just listening to their girlfriends chatting and laughing.

Ruby giggled and bounced up and down on her seat, placing a hand in front of her mouth to stop herself from bursting out laughing.

“Seriously? You really said that?”

“Oh yeah!” Dani smirked and placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder. “And then she started screaming. Such a loser.”

With that Ruby cracked up laughing, flailing her arms around, hiccupping from laughing so hard.

“Really? Oh my god! This is awesome! How can someone be so stupid and really believe such stupid ghost stories?” She wiped imaginary tears away from her cheek and took a deep breath.

“I know right?” Dani gasped dramatically. “She is such an idiot.”

Ruby just nodded, too tired from her laughing attack. She closed her eyes to catch a few hours of sleep before they would be in the outback.

In the front, Angelo sighed and shook his head, lightly embarrassed by his girlfriend’s sudden attack. He didn’t want to confess that he was scared, scared of ghost and other scary things. No one knew about his secret and to be honest, he didn’t want anyone to know.

He bit on his lower lip and turned around to look at Donovan who was driving, bopping his head up and down once in a while, to the beat of his favorite song, which was currently playing on the radio.

Not even Donovan knew about his fear of ghosts. Angelo clicked his tongue. Donovan shouldn’t know. This idiot was just an idiot..and a bigmouth. He shouldn’t know that his best friend was like a scared kitten, a scared kitten that would probably cling onto Ruby the whole time during their road trip. Sighing again, he closed his eyes following Ruby’s example and trying to sleep for a bit.

Dani was checking out her finger nails, not even interested in Ruby or anyone else anymore.

Their road trip now began.

Smiling shyly at Ruby, Angelo sat down beside her on a tree trunk. Ruby smiled at him, and taking his hand in hers, she squeezed them. Angelo immediately calmed down. His girlfriend probably knew, just from watching him that he was scared, and she would be here for him, staying by his side for the entire week.

Dani and Donovan came up to them,  laughing and arm in arm and sat down on the ground beside them.

“So what are we going to do?” Dani asked excitedly, poking her boyfriend’s cheek, and giggled when he glanced at her, annoyed.

“Don’t know..” He shrugged, leaning against the tree behind him. Then he placed Dani on his lap, who leaned her back against his chest. Ruby smiled at the scene and stood up from the tree trunk, just to sit down on Angelo’s lap right after. Angelo quickly wrapped his arms around her waist, not wanting her to fall off his lap and land on the hard ground.

He placed his chin on her shoulder, watching Donovan and Dani poking each other. He raised an eyebrow and faked a cough.

“Guys..before this tickling game will start to be something more private, say what do you want to do?”

Dani pouted, and frowning at Angelo, she shook her head.

“I don’t know..and my baby doesn’t know either..” Angelo gagged at her fake sweet voice and looked at his girlfriend on his lap.

“And you?” But Ruby also shrugged, closing her eyes and snuggling more deeply into his arms. Angelo smiled and rubbed her arms softly.

“How about me telling you this ghost story..?” Dani grinned, wiggling around on Donovan’s lap, who smirked at Angelo and Ruby. Angelo gave a nervous smile and Ruby only grunted, half asleep already.

Dani clapped in enthusiasms, jumping up and running to get a flashlight, then sitting back down on the ground. She turned the flashlight on, making it shine on her own face, titling her head to the ground lightly and grinning evilly. Angelo gulped. Dani looked like a scary witch. He wasn’t exactly a fan of witches. The light emphasized her cheek bones, nose and eyes. Letting each shadow ghost over her face, she began to tell the story. Starting with a small voice, she got louder but slower with each word. She leaned forward and in return Angelo, Ruby (who was now awake) and Donovan leaned forward to meet Dani in the middle of their circle.

“It was five hundred years ago, where the girls still used to wear long dresses and be at home, cleaning and taking care of their siblings or their own kids already. Where the men were outside, doing their job, on the field as a farmer, in the town as a baker or carpenter. Or as a hunter. Each man did something else, each man had one woman at home. There were two of them. Two men, two women. Friends, best friends to be exactly. They once had a day off from work, from cleaning. Just relaxing in the outside. Exactly here where we are seated now.” Dani stopped, looking at each of them, smirking, the light still shining in her face. Angelo rubbed Ruby’s arms, who looked at them questioningly. It wasn’t Ruby who was cold. It was Angelo who shivered. Turning around to check if someone was there with them, watching them. He gulped when he thought he saw something sitting in the trees. Red eyes glowing.

“They were all here, sitting around a camp fire, listening to their stories. When one of the women heard something, in the middle of the story of her marriage. She turned around to see eyes staring at her deep in the woods. Gulping, she stood up, ignoring her friends and husband’s worried glances. She walked into the woods, her friends soon running behind her. But they couldn’t reach her anymore, she was already too deep inside. Following the red eyes. Following the sound of heels clicking in the wood, she ran deeper and deeper. Until-“ Dani took a deep breath, widening her eyes and opening her mouth wide, she let out a high pitched scream. Startling her boyfriend and friends. Donovan let out a deep grunt, Angelo screamed like a girl who had just seen a ghost and Ruby shrieked.

Dani bit down on her lower lip, watching her friends’ reactions. She cracked up laughing loudly, letting the flashlight fall to the ground.

“Oh my gosh. This was hilarious!” 

Donovan and Ruby soon followed after her, laughing loudly. Only Angelo was sitting there with wide eyes, gulping from time to time and looking around him frantically.

Ruby could feel her boyfriend’s nervousness and giggled softly, turning around on his lap, cupping his face and pecking his lips.

“Hey Angelo. It’s okay, it was just a ghost story.”

“I-I know…” He mumbled, still looking around with wide eyes. Ruby caressed his cheek.
“Baby, really. You don’t believe it right?” Hectically, Angelo shook his head. No, no, he didn’t believe this stupid story. But still, he felt as if someone was watching them. Watching him.

Ruby and Angelo were lying in their tent. Ruby was sleeping, snoring quietly, and rubbing her face on Angelo’s chest who was still too scared to even close his eyes. He was scared. What if something was going to happen to him, to them all, that night? What if this stupid ghost story was real? What if-?

He couldn’t finish his own thoughts, when he heard someone walking around the tent. Light footsteps, rustling in the leaves. His body stiffened, his eyes widened. The footsteps got faster and faster as if someone was running for their lives. He gulped the saliva knot in his throat down, listening to the footsteps.

When the footsteps got softer and quieter, he suddenly heard someone screaming, a high pitched scream. A bloody scream. He jolted up, waking Ruby immediately. She rubbed her eyes sleepily.

“What is wrong honey..?”  Angelo could only gulp, hearing his friends rusting outside. He placed a hand over his speeding heartbeat, and standing up, he shakily opened the tent and went outside. A confused Ruby following him.

“What happened?” She asked, glancing at Dani and Donovan, who both shrugged.

“I heard someone scream…” Dani mumbled, flashing her light around the trees.

“M-Me too..” Angelo whispered, holding tightly onto his own flashlight. Ruby raised an eyebrow.

“Okay guys? What the fuck? Could you please stop with those jokes? Just because Angelo is scared of them, doesn’t mean that they are funny.” Ruby glared at the couple.
“What?” Dani scoffed. “You think we-? Oh my gosh! I didn’t know that you are that low, Ruby.”

Ruby placed her hand on her hip. “Dani baby, I am not low. And now, please stop with these jokes, seriously.”

Dani rolled her eyes, snapping at Ruby. “Bitch! We didn’t do anything. We were sleeping peacefully.”

“Right.” Ruby said sarcastically. “Right.” She scoffed and turned around sassily. But as soon as she faced the deep wood in front of her, she froze; Staring after from behind all these trees, she saw it.

Red glowing eyes. Gulping, she wanted to turn around. But her body didn’t move like she wanted it to. It moved on its own. Right into the wood. Biting on her lower lip, she tried to turn around but her legs refused to listen, instead her feet only moved further into the deep wood.

Angelo, Dani and Donovan looked at her for a few seconds. Not really getting what was just happening. When they heard a loud bloody scream, the same as outside their tents before, they began moving. Running after their friend. Deep and deeper they ran inside. Nothing around them, then darkness, only their flashlights giving a little bit of light for them to see.

Gasping for air, the friends leaned against three trees. Clutching their chests above their beating hearts, they looked into the night sky. They were silent for a while, until a soft voice broke it.

“W-What do you think…happened?” Dani trembled, tears were shining in her eyes. Angelo was fighting with his own tears, sinking down on the ground, hiding his face in his hands. Sobbing quietly, he thought about his girlfriend. About their idea leaving for a road trip. It had been a more than stupid idea. Dani and Donovan could only watch him. They were worried themselves. What could have happened to Ruby?

Angelo didn’t move at all in the next two days. He was sitting in his tent, staring at Ruby’s things and cried. That was all.
Donovan came into the tent from time to time, making sure he was still alive. They all worried much, but Angelo suffered the most. It was still the girl he had loved for the past years, and now she was lost somewhere deep in the woods. Angelo was sure that it was Dani’s fault. He didn’t talk to her at all. She was the one who had told the stupid story. She was the one who had made them believe it was real. She had probably called the ghost or whatever it was Ruby was following.

Red glowing eyes.

Angelo gulped and fisted with his fingers. He had seen them, too. What if he was next? What if he would follow them, too? ...Would he meet Ruby again then?

With all these thoughts Angelo fell asleep, not knowing of the red glowing eyes watching him intensely. Having watched him for the past two days. Having watched his every move, just waiting for him to make a mistake, come out of the tent and stare back at them. Just waiting for him to follow them.

Donovan and Dani were walking around their tents. Holding onto each other’s hands tightly, they walked past each tent. Trying to find Ruby again, they walked a bit further inside the wood. They had been trying to find her for the past three days already, never even discovering a hint of where she could be.

But they didn’t stop, couldn’t stop searching. They were worried about her, they were worried about their best friend, killing himself in the tent. Yes, he was dying slowly. He didn’t eat, he didn’t drink, he didn’t really sleep. Not even only for a few hours, or minutes. They were worried. They needed to get Ruby back.

“Baby?” Donovan hummed in return.

“What if we find something….like a corpse…” Donovan turned around to look at his girlfriend, who was staring at the ground.
“Don’t even think about something like that!” He hissed, making Dani flinch a bit. She nodded, rubbing her thumb over his palm gingerly.

“I’m sorry..” She took a deep breath and looked up with teary eyes. “I don’t believe in hope anymore..” She sniffled. Donovan reached forward and stroked the tears from her cheeks.

“Hope is the last thing that dies. We haven’t reached the end yet. Don’t let your hope die just yet. It’s too soon.” He said softly, kissing his girlfriend on her forehead.

She giggled lightly after they had begun to walk again.

“I never knew you had this side..” Donovan rolled his eyes, for Dani not to see.

“I always had it. I just never showed it. Image ruiner.” Dani scoffed.

“Yeah, an idiot image. What could you have lost? It would have made you sweet.” Donovan shh’ed her.
“Stop saying stupid things.” He grunted, which earned him just another giggle from Dani,

toddling behind him. They reached a glade, where Dani felt already safer. A little bit more light, she thought. Looking around, she could see it. It was only past 10pm, but it was dark enough for them already.

The red glowing eyes. They stared intensely at Dani, and Dani stared back just the same. Gulping she waddled forward, pulling Donovan with her. Who just followed clueless, not knowing that he was following his girlfriend into the unknown.

Another day passed and Dani and Donovan hadn’t come back yet. Angelo looked up to the sky, sitting on a tree trunk. He sighed. He was alone, alone deep in the outback. Deep in the woods. His girlfriend and his two friends were gone. He hadn’t found her, wouldn’t ever find them.

They were gone forever. He sighed again, looking at his hands which were holding tightly onto his flashlight. He didn’t dare to sleep. He didn’t dare to look around. He could feel the eyes staring holes into his back, but if he turned around he would get lost too. On the other hand, would it make a difference? Then he would be gone with them. They would all be lost. He didn’t need to cry over them anymore, worry, he would be dead, too.

Should he turn around, should he follow these eyes? Should he…?

To be continued…