TENMature

Their voices called to me, urgently; they tugged at my brain, trying to force me back into a body I hadn't left, but felt like I had. I was terrified, not knowing what was happening. When I felt someone's hand close around mine, I opened my eyes.

“Oh, thank God.”

Charlotte sat beside me, her face pale, eyes puffy. Her hair looked like she had been running her fingers through it constantly.

“Perry, he's awake!” she shouted, relief flooding her face.

“What happened?” we said at the same time.

“You don't remember?” she asked worriedly. “You collapsed, Parker.”

Perry came into the room, carrying a glass of water, his eyes wide.

I sat up slowly and glanced around; I was upstairs, on the couch, in a room that overlooked the corn field. “How long was I out?”

“Not long,” Charlotte said,but her voice told me that she was lying. “How do you feel?”

“Like I got hit by a truck,” I muttered.

Perry handed me the glass of water and sank down beside me. He looked rattled. “Shit, Parker. When Charlotte screamed for me, I thought it was over something stupid – like a spider – but then I saw her holding you. You were so pale and limp I thought you'd died.” He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed. “I'm really glad you're didn't.”

This was Perry's way of apologizing.

I sipped the water slowly, wondering how it tasted so good when no one had been here in a long time to take care of any of the plumbing. I decided it didn't matter. I was alive, with my friends, and tomorrow we would be out of here and back on the road.

“There's a shed full of tools,” Perry said suddenly. “Didn't you see them when we walked up? Maybe there's gasoline we could take.”

I shook my head.

“Why would whoever lived here just have gasoline around?” Charlotte asked.

We stared at her. Perry took this one.

“Whoever lived here before was a farmer, genius. They obviously needed gasoline for that tracker I saw outside. We just have to find the can, and we'll be able to get back to the car.”

“I don't think we should move him,” Charlotte answered, gesturing to me.

I sighed. “I'm fine. But Hansen's right. We need to find that gas can.”

Neither of them spoke as I stood and walked to the window. Outside, the wind rustled through the corn field, and I watched as it turned the scarecrow around so that it faced the house. And when its head twisted upward to look at me, I recoiled, my heart pounding.

There was no fucking way that had just happened.

“Parker?” Perry said from behind me. “Dude, what's wrong? Your entire body tensed.”

I shut my eyes, then opened them; the scarecrow was facing the field again. God, I was losing my mind. I turned and spoke.

“Let's find that gas can.”

We should have left after that. But it wouldn't let us.

The End

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