Away From the Crowd

by Aishling Wray

Preface

I couldn't understand why everyone was acting so strange around me lately. The only one acting stranger was my best friend, James.


I couldn't understand why everyone had been acting so strange around me lately. I was a bit nervous because of it, to arrive at the house of the party.

I entered into the doors and saw my schoolmates talking around the house. They laughed and giggled as I passed them, and I felt the atmosphere was a happy cheery one.

I saw my best friend James standing away at the corner of the room. He was wearing a scary monster mask. He had always been quirky like that. Everyone else at the teen costume party were dressed in more tame wear. Wanting to be seen as cool and sexy instead of scary.

"Hey, James." I said to him with a sad smile, feeling ignored from everyone else.

"Hey..." he said back, just as quiet. His voice sounded like it was pained... he had been struggling lately with our peers at school, and I wondered why he had came.

"You look cool." I said to him, with barely a whiff of a smile and he nodded his head back at me.

"Need to look scary today... I feel scary."

I nodded back in return, and he tilted his head at me, as if questioning something and asked.

"How'd you know it was me?"

"Because you always stand out from the crowd."

"That's what I hate." James said sourly. He stood still for a couple of minutes before turning his head towards the direction of the rowdy crowd and uttered. "Everyone thinks they are so superior."

"They must be doing something right... if they are fitting in."

"We're all told to be ourselves..." James whispered in hate of it all, "That other's will accept you. But instead you just get beat to a pulp by the very people that are meant to be your friends."

He was talking about the incident that had happened a couple of days ago to him. Some of the guys at this very party had followed him home, and others cheered as he lay there quivering on the ground.

"I'm sorry, man." I said to him, in sympathy. I felt his pain, but I had never gotten his unwarranted punishment and he just chuffed.

He pulled me closer and pointed down to his hand that was going into his pocket. I watched, the crowds around us chatting and laughing, as he showed me a silver gun and I swallowed at the sight.

"Where'd you get that?" I asked him, quietly. He was only silent and I saw him lower his gun hand slowly to his side.

"Go home, David." he said to me.

xxxx

I snapped out of it when I saw the teenagers from the house slowly fade into the emptiness of the abandoned building. The party had been ten years ago, and I hadn't stepped into this house since that night.

The last thing to disappear from the empty chilling room was my friend James. All I saw was him taking off his mask, and a bloody smiling mouth, and his eyes staring back at me.

After that, I was alone in the building of the high school massacre.

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