Seven Minutes Early

Uncertainty crept into John's throat and his voice wavered heavily as he asked, “What are we doing here man?”

Mark looked down at his phone then showed it to John.

“I have to get something. Don’t come in until 11:15. Do you understand?” Mark's voice was serious and his tone had dropped an octave. John nodded calmly, unsure what was going on. Why would he need to come in at all? Why were they even there? What the hell was going on? But John calmed himself, looked at Mark and said half-jokingly,

“Don't do anything stupid.”

Mark didn’t answer, he got out in silence and made his way to the house. Once at the front door, he pushed it open and disappeared into the darkness. Immediately, John regretted allowing him to leave.

Minutes passed unhurried by John’s increasing panic. No lights turned on, so Mark must have walked around in the dark. What was he getting? What was he doing? I should have stopped him. These thoughts and questions flooded John's mind and just as he was about to go in to end this, an ear-piercing woman's scream cut through the silence. Muffled by the house, the scream was still audible outside. John looked around to the neighbor's homes but no lights turned on. Remarkably, no one else had heard. More muffled yells continued to break the silence, each softer than the last.





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