Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Four

afd4indexI slept through most of the ride. When we arrived, the cabin was much bigger than I had expected. It was actually more like a house in the woods than a cabin. There was electricity. In fact, there were fluorescent lights in each room. There was one bedroom that was small and had one double bed in it. I assumed it to be Justin’s parents’ room. Then there were two other bedrooms, each having four cots and four cubby-type things to store belongings in. The living room was huge and had in it three couches with blue cushions. There was even a TV, but it didn’t get cable. The kitchen was small but had a refrigerator, freezer, and gas stove. With all the advanced equipment, it was really strange that there was not a single phone. All the walls were wood paneled, and only the living room had a rug, a brown one. There were two bathrooms, which was a good thing considering there were six of us. In the front there was a beautiful porch with windows on the three walls that were not part of the actual cabin. It was spacious compared to what I had expected. Eve, Jill and I chose the room that was more towards the back of the cabin for our own. It had a back door so if any creepy people came to kill us, as one would in a cheesy horror movie, we’d have an escape route. The guys stayed in the other bedroom, where there was no such escape route.

After unpacking, we decided to go straight to bed. It was late and we were all tired from the long ride. It was nice being away from all the noise we were accustomed to at home. I felt very peaceful when falling asleep.

When I woke up, it was late in the morning, around eleven. The sun was not shining. Instead ominous clouds covered the sky and hung below the high tree branches.

I got up and entered the kitchen, where all my friends were already eating breakfast. I poured a bowl of cereal. None of us spoke much. It was almost awkward being at the cabin with all of them. I felt weird because I didn’t know Don or Justin very well.

After breakfast, Karl plunked himself in front of the TV; Jill told me he was an addict. I tried to work on Stranger is Me, and actually made some good progress. Since I didn’t know the exact plot, I just wrote the chunks of the story that I did know, the scenes that were clear in my head, getting at least those parts written out. Though I made progress, I only ended up writing about fifteen pages. I was interrupted by Jill. “This is stupid!” she exclaimed. “We’re all going to be here for a week. Do we want to just sit around without talking to each other for the whole week? I seriously doubt it. Personally, I find the idea very boring.”

“I agree,” Don said. “Why aren’t we talking?”

“Maybe because we don’t have anything to talk about,” Karl muttered, absorbed in the happenings on the TV screen.

“OK, then, I’ll think of something,” Eve said. After a minute or two of thought, she came up with an idea. “In my Speech class at school, we do this thing where we each get a piece of paper. On this paper each person writes a topic or question. Next the papers are put into a box or a hat, something like that. After this, either each person picks out a topic and speaks about it, or one topic is pulled and everyone goes around and talks about it. It might sound kind of cheesy, but it’s really fun. You get to know stuff about people you never would otherwise.”

The game was agreed upon, even by Karl who turned off the TV reluctantly. To me, it did sound like a lot of fun. On my paper I wrote, “Childhood Memories.”

We decided to go with Eve’s first idea. Eve wanted to go first. She pulled the topic “The Most Embarrassing Day of Your Life”. Eve laughed and thought for a bit before speaking. “This will probably sound stupid, but it really stands out in my mind. I was in fourth grade and I had to give an oral report about the parts of a flower, or the different types of flowers or something like that. Anyway, I got up there, and I could not speak. I tried, I opened my mouth, but no words came out. The teacher kept yelling at me, but I could not make myself talk. Finally, I burst into tears and ran from the room.” She looked embarrassed, but was laughing at herself as well.

“I remember that!” I exclaimed. “I was in your class that year. I felt so bad to see you up there, trying to talk.”

“It’s hard to believe now, that you ever had trouble talking,” Don remarked.

“You better believe it,” Eve said. “I used to be more shy than Andi when I was younger.”

“Hey!” I protested. “Don’t bring me into this; it’s not my turn yet.”

“Well, speaking of that, why don’t you go now?” Karl asked matter-of-factly. I obliged and pulled out a paper saying, “What You Hate Most About School.” This should be easy, I thought. “Well, I’d have to say the class I usually hate the most is Science, but since Mr. Brown is such a cool teacher, I actually like it this year. English is the opposite for me. I usually love English, but this year, Miss Bennett makes it unbearable.”

“Oh I know,” Jill cut in. “I don’t think she can complete a sentence without the word ‘sunshine’ or ‘flower’ in it. She’s always so happy too. I can’t stand it!”

“She has a really distorted grasp on reality,” Justin put in.

“Exactly,” Karl agreed. “When we had to hand in short stories last week, she really tore mine apart because it was a horror story and didn’t have enough sunshine in it.”

“Me too.” That was Justin.

“I know,” I said, caught up in the conversation, forgetting my shyness. “I feel I can’t even write what I want to because if I do, I will probably fail her class. I don’t like to write about rainbows and flowers.”

“It’s not realistic that way,” Eve agreed.

“I wish I had her for a teacher,” said Don. “I’d show her a thing or two about real life. I’d write things to give her nightmares for years.”

“Anyway, next topic,” Karl interrupted.

Karl picked mine. “I was a strange child. I used to chase my little brother around the house and tell him I was going to eat him aJlmost every day. He would run away screaming for my dad, scared out of his mind. It was funny, but I got yelled at every time I did it.” We laughed. I could picture that easily.

“Older brothers are so mean,” Jill commented. “I should know. Mine used to steal all my toys. He told me he had to give them to the monster in my closet, otherwise the monster would get me. It took me awhile to figure out that there really was no monster.

“I’m glad I’m an only child,” I remarked.

The rest of the day went on like that. We learned a lot about each other, while having a few good laughs and interesting stories. Soon it was time for dinner. Time had flown. I decided this really would be a great week.

~~~

Another installment of Affinity for Darkness, a novel I wrote in the winter of my junior year of high school. To read from the beginning:

Feel free to check out other Samples (including more current work), and Published and more early work.

~Emilia J

Next Up: AfD Chapter Five

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