“It’s great that my uncle let us used his backyard to camp out tonight.” Said Bobby enthusiastically.
“Yeah, its great.” Said Damien.
“Is everything okay with you?” asked Bobby worryingly.
“uh, yeah! I’m fine, I was just mesmerized by the fire.” Said Damien reassuringly.
“Right, I love fires something about them.” Bobby responded.
“It’s definitely something could you imagine the first person to discover fire? How scary that would of been to see that?” Said Damien eyes still locked on the flames.
“He probably tried to fuck it.” Said Bobby, both boys erupt with laughter.
Their laughter filled the quiet darkness of the North Carolina woods, a starry night filled the sky and when their laughter subsided the crickets as if on que began to chirp.
Damien looks over at Bobby, “You know you can find out the temperature outside by counting the chirps of crickets for fourteen seconds and then adding forty. ” Said Damien.
“Bullshit, I want to see this done.” Said Bobby.
“Do you have your phone on you?” Said Damien
“No, what for?” Said Bobby.
“To double check the temperature, I’m going to prove you wrong.” Said Damien
“Ha! Okay, I’ll be back give me five minutes.” Said Bobby getting himself up dusting off dirt from his shorts.
As Bobby walked off Damien kicked his legs out, laid down and began to stared at the starry sky, he held his watch out in front of him and started the timer. He started to count the chirps out loud watching the digital clock spew out a frenzy of numbers before one second elapsed. One, two, five, eight he began to trail off closing his eyes feeling himself sleep.
Damien found himself dreaming of the same North Carolina woods he physically laid in. The chirps were distorted & menacing now, he got up and looked around at the growing impending darkness that look as if ready to swallow him.
He heard a commotion in the heavy brush around him.
“Bobby, are you around?” said Damien
The rustling stopped momentarily.
“Must be the wind.” Damien thought to himself.
A figure in the dark began to emerge from the bushes seemingly making no noise, movements erratic as if fighting for control.
“Bobby?” Said Damien.
The figure stopped moving, keeping itself in the shadows.
“I’m not afraid of you.” Said Damien nervously, clutching a small pocket knife.
The figure and Damien fell silent for what seemed like eternity, the crickets chirps with crescendo to deafening levels. The ground seemed vibrant as if a low earthquake was occurring, the once starry night sky began break away into a violent red.
The figure in one swift motion threw an object that rolled swiftly to Damien’s feet.
Damien wanted to run but felt frozen in time, he looked at the ground.
“Bobby…?” Damien said weakly, eyes widen in horror.
Next to his feet lied Bobby’s head, dismembered without the accompanying body cuts jagged around his neck as if cut with a dull knife.
Damien was unable to physically move himself at this point, he began to panic and started to shout for help.
Bobby’s head had begun gasping at the sight of Damien which frightened him more, he could see tears coming down Bobby’s face.
The figure began its erratic movement towards Damien.
“Stay the fuck away!” Damien yelled.
The figured continued to trudge forward unflinchingly, step by step time seemed to move slow.
The chirps from the crickets began to pick up speed.
The figure moved closer, the crickets chirped faster.
The figure moved closer, the air got warmer.
Damien began to sweat profusely, he was uncomfortably warm.
The figure emerged in the light wielding a small pocket knife doused in blood.
“What the fuck…” Damien said trailing off.
The figure was no other than Damien himself staring back at himself, although his doppleganger bore strange marks on his face.
“Wake up, ass”
“Hey you fuck get up.”
“Wake up, fucker.”
Damien awoke to Bobby hovering over him with his phone glowing at his face.
“Did you count?” said Bobby.
“Count what?” said Damien confusingly.
“The chirps, ass” said Bobby laughing.
“Oh, yeah my guess is 78.” Said Damien slowly getting up from the ground.
“Oh wouldn’t you know its actually 79, looks like your little trick is a bunch of bullshit.” Said Bobby half-jokingly.
“That’s really amazing though, didn’t think that’ll work.” Bobby said.
“Yeah, its cool.” Said Damien.
“You cool man? You look like you just ran a couple laps.” Said Bobby.
“ha, yeah I’m fine just still mesmerized by this fire is all.” Said Damien.
“Well, I’m going to go sleep its getting late.” Said Bobby grabbing his sleeping bag.
“Night Bobby.” Said Damien without breaking his gaze.
Damien watched the flames as they danced into the night, getting brighter and warmer accompanied by the accelerated sound of crickets chirping.
Damien took out his pocket knife and began to cut his face.