Brian and his friend hear some kids out in the corn field and go and investigate.
| Pulling into the driveway was almost surreal; it felt like it had nearly 20 years ago. He half expected his grandmother waiting on the porch wearing her worn clothing that had been bleached by the sun. Her lovely gray hair was always pushed into a sunhat to keep them out of her face, and her red glasses always were the most colorful thing which Brian thought was to make sure that her wonderful personality wasn't hidden behind fancy clothing. Now? She would forever be wearing a black church dress that her daughters bought for her, that, had she been alive, wouldn't have been caught wearing anywhere.
Now he was met with sheep that were staring at the car curiously from their pasture and the maze that had already been set up for the year. It was to bad that it wouldn't be used at all, it had been running since his great grandmother bought the farm. Most people who came with their children were once kids that experienced the pumpkin patch and corn maze when they were just toddlers. Now they may never experience it again.
"You'll be ok by yourself, right?" His mother finally asked, forcing Brian out of his thoughts.
"Yeah, no one has ever robbed the place before, I really doubt they'd try now."
"Don't even joke about that."
Brian offered a small smile as the car rolled to a stop by the porch. As he got out, he looked around and took in the fall day. The birds were chirping amongst themselves and there was enough of a breeze to gently sway the stalks of corn. As he looked at the corn maze it almost seemed as inviting now as it did as a kid. He thought he heard someone playing a violin softly from within it but shrugged it off as his mind playing tricks on him.
He heard the window to the car roll down and his mother lean out of the car a moment. Her brown hair blew gently in the breeze as she looked at the farm one last time before her attention went to Brian. Her eyes were gentle yet held a look of seriousness in them.
"Don't forget your medication, the doctor said hallucinations could get really bad in new places. Especially if your anxiety is up." She said, Brian opened the trunk and grabbed his bags before setting them down on the gravel road so he could playfully salute at her. She rolled her eyes but the smile on her lip was evident enough that she was amused at her son.
Brian leaned down to pick the bags back up before turning on his heal towards the porch. The house seemed so much smaller now that he was older. It still was large for a farm house, but he remembered feeling like it was as big as a mansion back then. The yellow outer walls were bright and cheerful; a reminder that they once held countless happy days for a happy woman that did nothing but want to please others.
The inside was a slightly lighter yellow that made the rooms appear brighter and friendlier. Brian had always thought it was a weird color choice for the inside of a building, but his grandmother always disagreed. If it makes people happier and feel more welcome in the house that's how she wanted it. No one could change her mind and people were constantly attempting to do that.
As soon as Brian was inside, he closed the door behind him and sighed loudly. The rooms were dark but the house held that same friendly feeling that it did before his grandmother had died. Slowly Brian walked to the light switch and flipped it on. He noted that the furniture had moved the last time he had been here- most likely the caregivers doing. It made the room feel a bit bigger than it had been when his grandmother moved furniture around. She always liked it cozy and close quartered when Brian was little.
He heard his mother's car outside begin to pull out of the gravel road and looked out the dusty window curiously. As her car started to disappear into the distance Brian moved the curtain back over the window and set his bags on the couch. He walked further into the farm house, noting all the smaller things he would need to pile up when he got the boxes down from the attic. He was sure that Vincent would probably come over and help him with sorting because he certainly couldn't do it all on his own. His grandmother liked special little Knick knacks and she was always bringing home things from thrift stores.
Brian went to work quickly, grabbing what he could in the living room and going up to the attic to get some boxes. The living room took a couple hours to manage but as he stood up and looked at the boxes marked 'Donate' and 'Family' he felt relief wash over him. Sure, there were a lot of rooms to do but if it did it one at a time it would go rather quickly.
He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard someone knock on the door. He walked carefully to the window and looked out from the curtain before he saw the blacked haired young man standing on the porch holding a pizza box and a six pack patiently. With a small smile Brian opened the door and allowed him inside.
"I was starting to think you weren't going to show up at all, Vin." Brian said, trying to make his voice sound frustrated but honestly, he was excited to see his friend again.
"I wouldn't leave you hanging, bud." Vincent replied, walking into the kitchen and setting the pizza and beer down on the table. Brian followed him with a small smile on his face, it almost felt like they were in high school again. Vinnie often got them pizza and they would play video games for hours, now they both worked and had lives outside of each other. Especially after Brian moved away, skype calls had even ceased about a year ago.
The two sat down on the living room floor with their backs leaning against the old couch as they spoke about old times.
"You remember that old jerk, Coach John?"
"Yeah, what about him?"
"I guess he died a couple years back, they found his body in the creek a couple miles away from here."
"That's terrible. I mean he was an absolute asshole, but I don't think he really deserved that."
Vincent took a quick swig of his alcohol and nodded.
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking too."
"So, did they say if it was an accident or not?" Brian asked curiously.
"Police did some digging around, I guess he had a weird symbol on his chest so they thought it might be a murder."
"Ew, like a satanic ritual or something?"
Brian scrunched up his nose a little bit as Vincent nodded. He had heard about that sort of thing happening back in other towns but never here. He couldn't imagine being sacrificed and just dumped in a creek afterword. It all seemed way to barbaric and he found himself rather nervous being alone tonight.
"You down to spend the night? There's no way you should be driving after drinking." Brian said, trying to sound like a responsible adult instead of a scared young man. Vincent stared at the can in his own hand a second as he thought about it before nodding a moment.
"Yeah, don't see why I shouldn't."
"Remember our old sleepovers?"
Vincent paused before a small smile appeared on his face, he leaned his head back on the couch behind them before letting out a sigh.
"Yeah, those were the days 'm gonna grab another can-you want one?"
"No thank you."
Vincent nodded and stood up, his feet a bit wobbly and off balance but once he finally found his footing he swayed slightly to the kitchen. Brian hesitated a moment before also getting up a bit drunkenly and followed him. Vincent was leaned against the table grabbing one of the bottles and pulled the tab before looking up at Brian with a small smile.
Brian wasn't sure if it was the beer whispering to him or if there was something more, but he found himself walking towards the other man. His fingers found there was to his hips a second and he pulled himself closer to him. Vincent smiled a bit drunkenly but didn't seem to protest at all, in fact when Brian looked in his eyes, he could see he wanted this too. Slowly Brian leaned forward, and his lips met Vincent's softly before he took in a breath and found himself kissing him desperately. Vincent wrapped his arms around Brian tightly, moving to pick him up and place him on the yellow tiled island as he kissed back.
After what felt like a second to Brian, Vincent stopped hugging him and instead put his fingers on his shoulders, pushing back. Once their lips parted Brian looked back into Vincent's eyes and all he saw was remorse. The two didn't say anything to each other for a good minute though Brian could swear that it was hours before Vincent walked a few steps away and put a hand to his lips.
"I know, we used to do that a lot when we spent the night together Brian but-"there was a pause as Vincent inhaled sharply before letting the air out as a sigh, "You remember Gena Louis?"
"Yeah- I remember here. She was always the quiet one in the back of class." Brian said, his fingers gently tapped at the tiles below his fingers as he watched his best friend begin to pace.
Brian found his mouth agape in shock for a moment before he closed it. Brian pushed himself off the island and walked over to his friend silently. Vincent was the first boy he had ever kissed and part of him had hoped that he'd have a chance with him someday but now his best friend was engaged to a girl that they used to talk about. Honestly, to Brian, this was a train wreck. He found himself forcing a smile on his face and putting a hand on Vincent's shoulder hoping that he was still as good at acting as he used to be in high school.
"Congrats!" he said, "I always thought you'd end up with another guy but-"
"Brian, I haven't even told my parents about me being gay." Vincent said, shaking his head a bit "This is a small town, I don't want to end up like the coach or something. It's safer to just settle with Gena. She's a sweet girl too; couldn't ask for a better friend."
"I get it." Brian said, feeling himself sobering up and hating every second of it. He had wanted things to go back to what they were when they were teenagers, but it appeared that it would never happen again. Instead Brian felt that Vincent was taking a path that was much more dangerous than just being out.
"Does Gena know?"
"No. I plan on keeping it that way too." Vincent said, his voice held something in it that Brian couldn't believe he was hearing out of his best friend's mouth: a threatening tone.
"I would never even think about outing you." Brian said, his eyes widening in shock at the thought that Vincent would even think he was capable of something so- so- evil. He found himself wishing they hadn't been drinking, he wanted Vincent to go home and leave him in his thoughts. Instead Brian forced a small smile and walked to the living room again. Vincent followed after him after a moment's hesitation.
"For what it's worth, I hope you have a happy life with her." Brian said after a second, walking into the hallway. He opened one of the cabinets and grabbed out blankets. Vincent let out a sigh but didn't reply to Brian's comment, instead he sat down on one of the chairs and put his head in his hands. Clearly, he wasn't really thinking that the marriage would be good for him either but he probably felt trapped. Brian felt pity for him but swallowed it down as he entered the living room again and set the blankets over the couch.
"You can have the bed if you want." Brian said
"Nah, man." He said, "Your house, your bed. I'll take the couch."
Brian was about to argue but agreed, walking down the hallways and turning right. His grandmother's bedroom still smelled of her. Brian found himself comforted; feeling for a moment that she was still there with him. As soon as the door closed however, he found himself overtaken with grief. His body slowly slid to the floor as his back remained pressed up against the door as he felt tears well up in his eyes. He buried his face in his knees and sobbed for the first time since finding out his grandmother had passed away.
Brian woke up with a start at the sound of something crashing outside. He looked at the time tiredly and groaned when he saw 4:08 AM blinking at him. He went to lay down again, assuming that it was just his imagination until he heard someone whispering outside his window. His first thought was that Vincent had snuck Gena into the house but upon listening it was two male voices talking lowly and neither sounded like Vincent.
Slowly Brian got out of bed and went to his phone quickly ad cursed under his breath when he realized he didn't get service out in the country. He pocketed his phone and went to the gun cabinet; he didn't know much about guns, but he assumed that just pointing at the intruders would probably make them flee, he could shoot it into the air too, that would most likely do the trick. He inhaled shakily as he grabbed out his grandmother's old pistol and shakily grabbed the bullets.
He exited the room silently, tip toeing further into the house. He heard soft snoring from Vincent and held his breath as he contemplated waking him up. After a few moments to ponder he heard someone at the door, trying to look in through the small window that was in the door. For once Brian was happy to see that those curtains worked well concealing anyone inside at night; the man quickly walked away. Brian let out a sigh of relief before he made his way to the living room and gently shook Vincent awake
"What the fuck man?" he said tiredly, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Brian shushed him quickly, listening carefully as the footsteps receded until they walked down the steps and off the porch. Even though it was dark in the room Brian could tell that Vincent was now wide awake and tense. Vincent put a hand up to keep both silent as he stood and slowly crept to the kitchen. Brian kept his head down as Vincent opened one of the curtains and saw a small group of people entering the corn maze, he sighed loudly.
"Looks like a bunch of dumb teens trying to be rebellious." He said after a moment, relaxing a bit. Brian relaxed too before a few terrifying thoughts appeared in his head. For one thing he knew there were plenty of kids who wouldn't mind catching the corn maze on fire.
"What if they light it?" Brian asked, his voice wavering, Vincent looked at him curiously before looking back out the window.
"When they're in there? That's be one messed up game of chicken." He said, "Nah, they're probably going to have a make out session or something."
"Regardless, they're trespassing, we should go kick them off the property." Brian said after a moment.
"Come on Brian, we used to do crazy stuff like that all the time. They're probably harmless."
"Probably. We don't know for sure and the last thing I need is finding a body or something from a cult."
Vincent rolled his eyes a moment before standing up and walking back to the Livingroom to grab his jacket. Brian followed him quickly, grabbing his own jacket and waiting by the door.
"They'll probably have a lookout. As soon as they see us, they'll probably all scatter." Vincent stated as he shrugged on the leather jacket and pulled out a cigarette. Brian watched him silently a moment, clearly nervous now.
"Maybe we should call the police?" Brian asked after a moment, "I mean what if they're the ones who killed coach?"
"There's no phone service here and they cut the landline a couple days after your grandma passed away." Vincent replied as he rummaged through the donation boxes that Brian had packed before finding a flashlight. He smiled, seeming rather proud of himself before closing the box again and checking the on and off switch to make sure it worked. He opened the door slowly and stepped out into the cold night.
The two walked thoughtfully over the gravel, trying to be careful not to make to much noise as they walked towards the corn maze. The sound of crickets echoed through the nice making Brian feel a bit calmer. The two walked for a while, carefully going from one trail to another. Brian knew that his grandmother had hosted nightly corn mazes, but he couldn't imagine why anyone in their right mind would want to do that, then again he supposed he was more nervous because he wasn't sure what was on the other side of the trail. It didn't take long to hear the whispers once again.
"Are you sure it's here?" Came one, it sounded older and mellow compared to the other one that was chuckling softly. There was the sound of grunting from the younger one and a shovel being buried into soft dirt.
"Of course, I am. Am I ever wrong, buddy?" the young one replied before giggling softly.
"S'pose not." The other man replied gently. There was silence except for the wind beginning to rustle the stalks of corn as Vincent and Brian slowly made their way around the corner. The younger one looked up, a bright smile was on his face even with the aspect of being caught. Instead of fleeing he opened his arms wide and laughed.
"Hello, boys! I was starting to think you'd never show." He said excitedly in a raspy voice. He was rather short, around 5 foot 4 but stood confidently. He wore a bloodied t-shirt that had some holes in it and ripped jeans on that made him look rather intimidating. As soon as Brian noticed the blood, he recoiled a bit before pulling out the pistol and aiming it shakily at the younger man.
"Get off my property. Now." Brian said, trying to sound like he had some sort of authority in his tone. This made the younger man cackle and shake his head a bit, the older man on the other hand looked a little frightened.
"Ok, Hounds, do your stuff please." He called out, Brian looked confused by that. He didn't know what that meant, instead he stared at the other man, his jaw clenched hoping that the man would just leave.
"I won't ask you again-"
"Oh, I know you won't." The man replied with a smirk, his hand rose in the air before snapping. As his finger connected with the palm of his hand there was a loud clang next to him and a thud as Vincent fell to the ground. Brian looked where Vincent had been standing and saw a woman with a bloody shovel leaning against her shoulders now. His attention went to her before he felt pain at the back of his head as he to was hit by another person. He found his body dropping as fast as Vincent's had. His eyes looked to Vincent a second as he felt darkness envelope him and then there was nothing.