By this time we were halfway through our allotted Kodak 32. I think we were both surprised by the house. Because of the overgrowth of trees and bushes, it was difficult to get a good look at Lizzy’s driving down Lincoln Rd at 45mph.
Run down, consumed by ivy, broken windows, and fading brick were all that was left. To anyone else outside of the town it may have been just another forgotten house, but there was something eerie about it. It was if all sound was muted before it got to the house. I never heard the camera’s click. Not a peep from a bird or a snapping of a twig. It may have been that I knew of it’s haunted origins? Whatever it was the hair on my arms was standing up.
With each picture we snapped, Ben and I moved closer to the front door. If he would have reached out, I would have sworn that Ben could have turned the rusted doorknob. Then we heard Matt.
Now you might assume we had an elaborate call from a tropical bird or mating mammal laid out for when cars or people were passing by? I’m not zoologist but, “Etts! Deebs! Car. Get down!” was from no animal I know of(and thereby making your assumption dead wrong). We heard our warning and immediately jumped back into the bushes in the front of the house(right back into the poison ivy). It was the first time I could hear my heart beating. The car passed by unaware of what we were doing. Before we could get up from our positions we got another warning.
This time a pickup truck, spitting out exhaust and decibels from a broken muffler and in sore need of a paint job, lumbered up the gravel driveway. Ben was in front of me but close enough that I could reach him. I was closer to the road(and still in the damn poison ivy). The truck went right by us and unless Lizzy got her driver’s license at some point, the man in the truck was the psychopathic owner we were warned about.
As the truck roared to a stop, a man jumped out. Burly may have been the nicest description I could think of. A good 100 yards away from us, Ben and I heard mumbles of talking. Then we heard a dog begin to bark. Not a LabraDoodle bark either. This was a bark of something more akin to a Grizzly Bear. The mumbles continued. Without any warning, Ben swung his face towards mine and in a wide eyed panic said to me, “They know someone is here!”.
I could now not only hear my heart beating but I could feel it too. I tried to tell Ben there was no way they could know. He kept saying, “Dude. They know. Dude. Dude we have to get out of here. They saw Brian’s car!”. Crouched in deep and now in a state of complete fear(and not so much from the haunted house 30 feet in front of us but more from the wolf/bear/dog barking like it wanted to get out to hunt for blood and it’s scarier than ghosts owner) I told Ben to stay low and wait for Brian. It was time for an extraction.
We both looked across the street to see if we could spot Matt to warn him. He was tucked in tightly and there was no sign of Brian. With that we heard the 8 cylinder engine crank to life on the pickup truck. The back wheels spun as it headed back to Lincoln Road. It was heading towards Dairy Queen(surely to capture then kill Brian).
The truck zoomed down the road and when it was out of sight, Ben made a break for it across the road. I was frozen in fear(and poison ivy). The brush was fairly extensive on the other side of the road so finding Matt was no small task. This was our time to get the hell out of there if Brian wasn’t busy being abducted.
All I can remember next is seeing Matt dive headfirst into a red car that looked suspisciously like a Ford Tempo. The driver looked exactly like Brian. Brian was not abducted. He was coming from Birdsboro and slowed down enough that Matt took his chance. Ben and I were not so lucky because Brian sped off down the road with Matt sprawled out in the back seat(it seems Brian was a bit panicky too because he ignored Matt telling him to stop and get us).
It was probably a good thing that he didn’t hang around because as he went down the road the pickup truck passed him and barrelled into the driveway again. I was almost lying completely flat and Ben was on the other side of the road. The truck turned off and the burly fellow jumped out. Cujo was barking again. This time what I heard were not mumbles so much as crystal clear voices heading down the driveway to the street. In between looking back and forth down the road, the man, who was dressed in flannel and reminded me of what Conan the Barbarian would have looked like at 50(You know, rounded belly due to his love of Budweiser but still having a menacing look about him. Like you knew he was skilled with a long sword and probably used to scream things like “By Crom!” when he was slaying people in the Hyborian age when he was younger. The kind of guy who started bar fights because the peanut bowl was empty. The sort of guy who could be a feature on ‘Deadliest Warrior’.), was screaming at his dog to quiet down. “Abner! Shut the f~ck(I leave it to the reader to figure out the expletive Conan chose) up!!”. I really wished Abner would have shut the f ~ck up too, because with every bark Conan got angrier.
So between my pounding heart, Abner, the barking Tyrannosaurs Rex, and the yelling Cimmerian, things had taken a turn for the seriously worse. Ben and I were still hiding and unseen(bonus) but Conan was determined to flush us out. He threatened police intervention. He threatened using Abner.
All we had to do is hide. If he was going to call the cops(or get his broad sword) he would have to trudge up to his trailer to call(or unsheath it). If he was going to get Abner he would have to go up to the trailer too(or maybe just tell Abner to attack and the dog probably would have bitten through the 3 inch chains around his neck). That would give us our chance to run. All we had to do was hide. Stay low Ben. Don’t get up. We can wait it out. I didn’t care if we had to wait till night fall or until we were Seniors…in college. Just wait. Keep hiding. The last thing we needed was to stand up so he could see us.
My heartbeat calmed. I was thinking we could get out of this. Then Ben stood up.