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The First Step

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Optimus Rhyme

Better than Ken at LoL
Jul 31, 2008
this is a story I submitted for my creative writing class. I know some parts probably seem a bit rushed, but there was a page limit I had to stay under. It was C/P from word so there might be some errors here and there

The First Step

I. “Get in and shut the hell up, McAllister.” a woman yelled at me, her voice hoarse from presumably repeating the same line a few times today. I stumbled forward, placing both hands out in front of me to brace myself when I collided with the wall. The fuck… I turned back to see the bitch who dared to push me like that, only to be faced with a metal door slamming shut. The only light emitted from a small hole about a foot long which she looked through. The woman removed her aviator sunglasses and looked me in the eye. Man, the years hadn’t been kind to her. Her pale blue eyes drooped with signs of age, with her raspy voice complimenting the yellow shaded teeth she had received through years of smoking cigarettes, one of which she lit in front of me now.
“Look, I’d recommend that you be nobody. You’re not any more ‘special’ than anyone else here.” she said between drags of her cigarette.
“Really? I’d recommend that you shut the fuck up.” I spat back at her.
“Whatever,” she murmured, slamming the hole shut with a latch. “Psycho bitch.”
I heard the sound of her footsteps leaving the cell block, and then nothing. The only light shown from the moon through a window about fifteen feet above. Another night in solitary confinement awaited me.

II. Sometimes I get letters from family, friends, people I don’t even know. ‘How could you do this? I’ve seen you in the newspaper, you’re an honors student!’ That’s what I used to be. Sarah McAllister, the quiet one. Sarah McAllister, the unnoticed one. They tell me that it’ll all be ok, that they’re praying for me. Almost all the letters ask me why I did it, if I’m sorry I did it. Here’s the thing: I’m not. I’d do it all over again. He told me, “Don’t be scared, and just take that first step!” This time, I did.
Hell, it only started like a month ago. I was normal… We were normal.

III. “Saaaarrrrahhhhh,” Devon whined. “It’s time to goooooooo!” I jolted up from my half awake state, eyes wide open.
“Wha-? Yeah, I’m up, I’m up.” I stuttered, caught somewhere between consciousness and sleep. Oh, right. I was going to some concert tonight. Despite being only a junior in high school, my parents had learned that I could be trusted with this kind of thing, going out on school nights. I never got caught up in any trouble; I usually just kept to my small circle of friends, including Devon. I had known Devon Subditus since 5th grade, and he was my best friend. I loved him like a brother, even though he was kind of a dork. I rubbed my eyes and tried to focus.
“Mmmm… yeah… when is that again?” I’d been in a daze for the last week and a half. My sleeping patterns were all messed up for some reason; I don’t know why. Waking up at 2 or 3 AM wasn’t really a shocker nowadays.
“Uhh… Right NOW? Don’t tell me you were falling asleep again?”
“No… Of course not,” I lied. “Gimme a sec and we’ll go.”
I ran into the bathroom and checked out how I looked in the mirror. My makeup looked fine; hair could use a little work. I quickly brushed my blonde hair until I thought it looked presentable, and checked my eyes. The contact lenses made my blue eyes look brighter somehow. I was ready to go.
IV. We arrived at The Dreamer Blues, a local venue where concerts and other kinds of social events would be held. I wasn’t really sure what to expect considering the place was about the size of an average high school cafeteria, but for a small town like Prestine, Illinois, it was pretty big. It was OK, though, there was a very relaxing atmosphere about the place. It was well kept, with local band posters and other memorabilia scattered along the walls.
“Wait, so who’s this band we’re seeing again?” Nope, I didn’t even know the band name. These types of occasions weren’t really my thing; I just promised Devon I’d go. This was one of his new favorite bands, and he insisted that I’d love it.
“They’re called Böser Traum. They’re the next big thing to come out of Germany.”
“The NEXT big thing? What was the first? Hitler?” I asked, smirking.
“Cute, really cute.” He rolled his eyes. “Let’s get closer.”
We made our way through the crowd, and found some good standing room about twenty feet away from the stage. Admittedly, the melodies of the music weren’t too bad, but I couldn’t shake this weird feeling I had the whole time. Something about those lyrics… they scared me.

V. That’s when it all started.
After feeling sick the next day, I woke up refreshed. I slowly made my way out of bed, and pulled away the curtains to see the weather outside. But I didn’t see a bright, shining sun greeting me hello. Instead, I’m welcomed by what I think is the apocalypse. The sky turned a dark red; all the buildings around me are completely destroyed. People all around are dying, and there’s nothing I can do to help them. I can’t move. I hear a ghastly “You can’t stop me…” and when I turn around, a tall figure in a grotesque mask is in front of me. I scream, and stumble backward. I’m falling, but instead of hitting a wall or the ground, I keep falling, screaming.
And then I woke up.
VI. I shot out of bed, sweating. What the hell was…? I gasped, and jumped out of bed. I immediately ran over and tore the curtains to the ground. A sigh of relief. There’s the sun I longed to see. Where were you when I needed you? Turning back to bed, I looked over to my clock radio. 5:16. Well, I had worse nights than this before, but something about that dream… It seemed so real… What was I talking about? Dreams are just the brain functioning while the body is in a subconscious state. Nothing to worry about. But still… I couldn’t shake off the odd feelings I got, and the chills that came with them.
When I brought it up to Devon at lunch that day, he laughed.
“Dude, it’s probably just because you haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. No biggie.”
I pouted. “There was something different about this one. Something real. Something that made if different from the other nights.”
“Whatever, go see a psychiatrist, I guess. I’m no Dr. Phil, sorry.” He shrugged.

VII. Another week passed. The same cryptic dream every night. What did it mean? I had no idea. The man with the mask… he was there every time, too, and he told me that this was his fault. And I believed him. I believed that he could somehow cause this much mass hysteria and damage, and I also believed it was my responsibility to stop him. Do you ever have those life changing moments, where you know you have to do something, but you don’t know exactly what that something is? I was having that problem now. But I knew this… The next time I saw him, I was going to be ready.

VIII. There he was. Under the red sky, amidst the rubble of the destroyed town, amidst the dead bodies of my friends and family. The man with the black masquerade mask. The mask that had stains of blood. The mask that had been haunting me for a week.
“What do you want from me? Why do you keep coming to me?” I screamed at him, on the verge of tears.
“I’m here to show you what’s going to happen if you don’t take the first step toward solving this problem. This is your future.”
“No! It’s not! Who ARE you? How do you know?”
He removed his mask. That was the breaking point. I saw the familiar green eyes, and the scruffy brown hair. No… It couldn’t be. There’s no way it could.
“D-Devon?” I choked out.
“The one and only! Your best friend and the creator of the beautiful, beautiful scenery you see before you. Problem?’
“You’re lying! This is just a dream! Devon could never do something like this!”
“Oh, but I could. And I will, unless you stop me. You remember that concert, and you remember how you felt uneasy? That’s because I brought you to Satan worshipping freaks! They’re brainwashing you. I’M brainwashing you, and you’re letting it happen. You’re not even fighting back! You’re pathetic!” he smirked.
I broke down. “How…Why…It can’t…” I was unable to bring together a simple sentence. “You…You’re right? You’re right.”

IX. Unlike the previous ‘visions’, as I had now deemed them, I faded into consciousness, rather than falling into a screaming fit of awakeness. I didn’t bother looking at the clock, the time didn’t matter. I knew what I had to do. I left the house with a carpenter’s blade in hand and began walking, as if entranced. The old me was gone. This was someone else. Two miles later, I approached my destination. Moving to the side of the house, I peered into the window. Darkness. Perfect. With a running start, I broke though the window with strength I didn’t think I had. My ears tuned out to everything, all I heard was inaudible confusion. I jumped onto the bed, and attempted to subdue the figure beneath.
“Sarah? What the fuck are you doing? It’s pas—”
It happened. I drove my knife into his chest. Screaming out in pain at first, he slowly began to lose the battle. I pulled out the knife and stood over him, covered in blood.
I killed my best friend, and I didn’t care.

X. Sometimes in life, there are decisions you have to make. I made a few. I decided to kill my best friend. I decided to ask his mom if he was really dead. I decided not to run from the cops. I decided to plead guilty in court. But you know what? I did the right thing, and I know that, even though no one else seems to. But there’s one thing I didn’t decide – and that’s what the visions that told me what to do.
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