The Haunting of Oliver Hartfield

     The bedroom stank of fear and depression. Out of all the apartments in the building, Oliver's was the most dreadful. For he himself was so filled with fear that anyone who dared to step into the room would probably be greeted with a paralysing chill down their spine. The blinds were closed and the lights off. Oliver was no alone in total darkness, ready to accept any death that would be handed to him tonight. His thoughts were focussed entirely on death. What will death feel like? What will death sound like? What will become of me? These questions plagued Oliver's sickened mind like an entire species of virus suddenly targeted Oliver and Oliver only. 

     His smartphone rang, emitting the only light source in the entire room. Unlocking it, he found that it was a text... from Ryan's number. "Hi, Ollie :) Miss me yet?"

     Like any guilt-ridden murderer, Oliver was experiencing a confrontation with his victim. "All in your head, all in your head", he muttered, barely holding on to the remainder of his sanity. 

     He threw the phone across the room. It hit the wall with a smack and fell to the carpet floor. A second text arrived, causing Oliver to flinch. He initially refused to go get the phone and read the text, but curiosity eventually, forced Oliver to give in. "That wasn't very nice, Oliver :P Just answer me, huh?"

     At this point, Oliver's hands were trembling uncontrollably. "youre dead ryan dfead dead dead stop texting ,me", Oliver managed to reply, through shaky finger movement. 

     "Dead? Of course I am. But... you're not."

     Oliver gasped and threw the phone once more. A new text came in moments later. "You seriously have to stop doing that, Ollie. Seriously, this thing's expensive."

"what doyu want form eme?"

"Well... mainly an apology."

"im sorry ryan, okay? I'm sorry. I was overwhelmed byt hr desir eto live, and i'm sorry, but you need to stop texitng me RIGHT NOW."

"I never knew that you were scared of ghosts, Oliver. Whenever we watched those horror movies... you were the only one who didn't scream. Remember?"

     Oliver felt like screaming then and there. He hoped that maybe, just maybe, if he screamed loud enough, he would shatter the last bit of sanity in his brain. Maybe then, he could live the rest of his short life in peace, away from all of this psychotic torture. Ryan. Dead Ryan, come back to haunt him. It was a fitting finale before the end. Oliver deserved this, he really did and he knew it, too. Although these last few days had been fixated on his desire to outlive his brothers, there seemed nothing more tranquil or desirable to him at that moment than death. 

"But enough teasing you, Oliver. I'm here for a reason, after all."

"and what reason is ttat/."

"You can stop trembling, Ollie, it's embarrassing. I'm merely here to tell you that the witch is going to refuse Ethan's offer. It's most likely that he's going to die."

     All of the anguish and horror that Oliver had felt before vanished. He was suddenly very calm, very composed, and desired to live once more. "That's great news, Ryan. Thank you.

"Aren't you going to save him?"

     Oliver put down his phone. Save Ethan? Why would Oliver save Ethan now? This was fantastic. Everything was falling into place. With Ethan dead, Oliver could have his final 31 years at last. Why would Ryan even suggest that? 

"April of 1995. We were all three years old. One day, you found a knife in the kitchen and played with it. I ran by and tried to take it from you, causing it to fly up into the air. The knife would've fallen onto you and killed you, but Ethan came between you and the knife somehow. He took the knife to the stomach and spent a year in the hospital, constantly flickering between life and death."

     Oliver didn't have any recollection of this event, but he knew it had to be true. Ethan had always been selfless like that. It became clear to Oliver that if the witch was planning to kill Ethan, he would have to attempt a rescue. If the brothers were doomed to die, they would die together, at the exact same time. That's how it was planned from the start, after all. But... Ethan still betrayed Oliver. He attempted to trade his soul for more life. That was unforgivable. If the witch was going to kill Ethan now, then he deserved it... right? 

     He got up from his bed and opened the blinds, letting some light into the room. It was early morning and the first rays of sunrise were leaking in. He then shut his phone off and got dressed. Even without any sleep, Oliver was surprisingly energetic. Inside the drawer of his bedside table, Oliver found the ticket for a tour of London that Ethan gave him just two days ago. He picked up the small tokens and slipped them into his wallet. "So, this is my decision... I really hope it ends well", the nineteen year old murmured to himself.

     Oliver took the next available flight to the UK at around nine in the morning. His flight was decent, apart from the typical wailing babies and generally disruptive people. Four hours after the plane landed in London, Oliver was at the gates of the Onyx Woods. It was four in the morning local time now. Once again the first rays of sunlight were beginning to bloom. It's been a day. Is it possible that Ethan's already dead? Maybe he is and this is just going to end in a very pointless death... too late now.

     He opened the gates to the forest and took his first few steps inside. The leaves on the trees were practically black, something unheard of. 

The End

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