May 14, 2017 by thewashingteenian
By Emily Wise, Staff Reporter
Chapter 1- Dark Night
He looked down the dark hallway, dark hood over his head. No one heard him open the door to his apartment, he silently walked into the hall, closing the door behind him. Calmly walking down the hall he breathed heavily.
The dark seemingly curled around him, making shapes he knew weren’t there. He stopped two doors down from his own, looking at the (seemingly) locked door of his best friend. Friend. He kept walking, down the hall through the night, outside, down sidewalks, to get to the classes he only took at night.
It was 9:30 at night, and Ethan Wilson had to get to class or he would be late.
It was 9:30 at night and Anthony Russet was awake. Again.
Anthony sat, his light-brown-dyed-blue hair spiked with sleep. His hazel eyes were aimed at the window, as he watched the black-clad figure of one of his friends walk through the night. How he didn’t get hit by a car at night was beyond Anthony. Standing up, he walked across the small bedroom to his cork board that hung on the wall. His eyes scanned the pictures of him and his friends, searching for the right one.
He found it.
A picture of him and Ethan, a time pre-night classes, when Ethan wasn’t deathly pale, when he didn’t have bags under his eyes. Sun shone off his red hair, his stormy grey eyes closed, smile consuming his face. Anthony was beside him, light-brown hair dull in comparison to Ethan’s red, but his hazel eyes shone brightly. They both had an arm around the other.
Anthony smiled. That had been a good day.
He sat back down on his bed, then lay down on his back. Remembering that day, he drifted into sleep.
Chapter 2- Frieday
There was a knock at the door. Anthony groggily sat up, wiping the sleep from his eyes. He sleepily blinked, walking down the beige hallway, opening the off-white door. He glared at Ethan, who stood on the other side.
“Mornin’ Sleeping Beauty.” Ethan said jokingly.
“Ha ha very funny.” Anthony replied sarcastically. The right corner of Ethan’s lips upturned, a smile. The only smile you would get from him nowadays.
“It is friday, and that means ‘frieday’ at the Bam.” Ethan said.
“I’ll be there.” Anthony replied. Ethan nodded, walking back to his room. Bam was the on-campus restaurant. It might not have been that good, but at least they had good fries. Anthony yawned, stretching. Anthony and Ethan’s friend, Keyone Washington, walked past.
“‘Sup.” Keyone said, already dressed in a blue sweatshirt. His dark skin contrasted the light colors of the wall.
“Want breakfast? I have more leftovers from stuff than I can count.” Anthony said.
Keyone shrugged. “Why not? Plus, I need to ask you something, not in the hallway.”
Anthony gave Keyone a look. A look that said, ‘what did you possibly do this time?’. In the small kitchen of Anthony’s apartment, Keyone asked his ‘not in the hallway’ question.
“Is it just me, or is something going on with Ethan?” Anthony stopped what he was doing.
“I don’t know, why?’
Keyone shrugged. “Something just seems wrong about him.”
While that exchange was going on, Ethan sat alone, in his room, with the curtains closed. On his desk was a box of pictures. Only he knew what was in this box, and so that will stay secret from from you too. All he could think about were the contents of this box. After a lot of thinking, he heard the hallways clear, and all the students left for class. He stood up and left for work.
Chapter 3- Waiting
It was Friday night. Two boys sat at the farthest back booth in the Bam. Two. They were waiting for their friend, and one was getting impatient.
“Where is he?” Anthony said. Keyone shrugged. Anthony groaned in annoyance. Taking out his phone, he quickly texted Ethan.
Where are you?
He waited for a reply.
Working late. Calm down. I’ll get you your fries momentarily.
Anthony nodded. Ethan worked at the Bam, and that was how they all met. He was usually off work by now, though. He groaned, bored, and slid down in his seat. Keyone started playing Drag The Whale (yes, it is an actual game. My high score is 72.).
After a LONG time of waiting, fries were placed on the table. Anthony looked up, expecting to see Ethan, instead seeing Paul, his other friend. Looking confused, Keyone asked
“Where’s Ethan?”. Anthony did think it though, he was just too busy stuffing his face to ask. Paul pointed out the door.
“He got a call and had to take it. If he isn’t out there, he’s probably at his house. We had some real weirdos here today, and seriously, I wanted to leave as badly as he did.” Keyone nodded, and got up.
“Where are you going?” Anthony questioned, getting up too.
“Going to get Ethan.” Keyone said, leaving. Anthony and Paul blinked, and Anthony grabbed his basket of fries and followed.
“Hey, you can’t take that with you!” Paul said, reaching after him. “I’ll give it back tomorrow. See ya.”
It was pouring. Absolute downpour. And it was dark. Ethan would’ve loved this weather. He loved the rain. Said it smelled good. And he fit in well with the dark. No one knew why, but he seemed to enjoy the dark. If someone were to ask him about it, he would just walk away. Now, walking out in the rain, lit by streetlamps, Keyone couldn’t think of a word other than loathe as to how he felt towards the rain. He was cold, covered in water, and Ethan was nowhere near the Bam. He continued to rub his arms and squint through the rain.
Anthony, on the other hand, was truly annoyed. He finished his fries. His friend was nowhere to be found, and it was COLD. Where could Ethan possibly be?
The duo trudged through the rain, heading to the apartment building where they all lived. They walked up the stairs, the elevators being their usual weird, which included flickering lights, horror movie cliche. They noticed something out of the ordinary as soon as they started walking up the stairs. If Ethan were to have walked home, there would surely be wet shoe prints on the carpet. The only shoe prints were Anthony and Keyone’s. The two friends stood in front of the third’s door.
What was on the other side of that door?
Was it just the usual?
Where was Ethan?
Chapter 4- Where
Anthony took a deep breath in.
He stepped forward.
He twisted the handle of the door.
He opened it.
Everything was normal.
Everything was too normal.
Keyone walked inside. All the lights are off. Normal. Ethan liked the dark. Instead of turning on the lights, Anthony continued to walk through the apartment. He realized something. If the door was unlocked, Ethan had to have been here. Anthony opened doors to the rooms. Maybe he was asleep…?
Anthony quietly opened the last door, to Ethan’s bedroom.
Ethan wasn’t inside.
Did he go back outside? Was he lost outside? How could he get lost, he’s been here for at least a year…
While looking around the room, looking for clues, and saw something new on the corkboard in Ethan’s room. Among the usual pictures of unnamed places, people with their faces markered over, and blurry images, there was a handwritten note.
I guess this isn’t the best time, but I have to go. I’m not going to directly tell you where I’m going, but you’ll find me if you think outside the box. The puzzle will keep you looking long enough for me to get what I have to done. Just… just wait for me. Goodbye.
Chapter 5- Up and Left
Anthony sat on the couch beside Keyone, looking at the paper laid on the coffee table. What did he mean? What did he have to do? Where was he going? Keyone stood up.
“We have to look for him.” Anthony met his eyes. “You know Ethan. He isn’t going to make this easy. For all we know, he up and left us.” Keyone directed his dark brown eyes back to the note.
“Hey, he said ‘think outside the box’. Okay, what could that mean. It obviously isn’t going to mean what we think.” Anthony looked around Ethan’s slightly disorganized livingroom. The pale walls were shadowed in grey, and it gave him an idea.
“Hey Keyone,” said Anthony.
The next morning Keyone stood outside the tall, grey building on the edge of campus. His breath could be seen in the air around him. In his hand was a book, a book of Ethan’s relative’s phone numbers. This wasn’t part of Anthony’s plan, but it might be useful. Anthony walked around the side of the building, and jogged over.
“Hey.” Anthony said. Keyone nodded. Anthony looked around the building, finally finding what he was looking for. Opening a grey-painted door, Antony gestured inside.
“Ladies first.” He said, smirking. Keyone rolled his eyes and entered the building., entering the building.
Inside the building, the old brick walls were covered in writing. All fonts of graffiti made themselves known. From quotes to just names, it was all here.
“Why do you think something from Ethan is going to be here?” Keyone asked. Anthony dug in his pocket and pulled out a picture, showing it to the dark male.
“Found this picture on his cork board. It seemed significant. Just look around for anything that seems ‘Ethan’.” Keyone nodded and started to look around. He gazed over the years of illegal artwork. The faded colors of years old, the bright hues of the words, maybe only there for hours. He read the random words, looking them all over.
Bright Help Look A+E Maybe…
His eyes suddenly caught a sentence.
Good job thinking, guys.
An arrow followed the words, to a letter taped to the wall.
“Anthony!” Keyone yelled, running to the paper. Keyone pulled it off the wall, looking at it, not opening it. Anthony looked over his shoulder at the paper.
“What does it say?” Anthony asked. Keyone hesitated. If he opened the paper, what would he see? What would he be getting into? Yes, this was to find his friend, but what was this all about?
He sighed and opened the paper.
End of Part 1