It’s dark outside when I decide it’s safe to relax. I look to my right. Jay is sleeping beside me, not even fazed by the sudden commotion I’ve created.
I get out of bed, tiptoeing across the hardwood floor to my desk. I lift my laptop’s lid, worrying about it being on.
It isn’t, praise Jesus. I hear too many stories about the freaky things that happen if technology was left on overnight.
I shiver at the thought. Cronus could very easily use this tactic to his advantage.
I look back at Jay’s sleeping form. I’ve been suffering from the same recurring dream for a few weeks now. I want to bring it to his attention, but I know it will be futile.
And to think it all started when Theresa got me to watch that horror movie based on an urban legend. . . .
It’s kind of weird, how just a few scenes of blood and gore from a movie can trigger such vivid dreams. I’ve seen plenty of it in the past four years, and it’s weird how often I find myself having nightmares.
I found Jeff the Killer to be more tragic than horrific. Theresa pretended to squeal when the leading character killed off his parents and his brother. I cried watching that scene. It was heartbreaking as opposed to being horrific.
I notice the balcony’s door is open. The slight breeze is blowing the sheer curtains in. I walk toward it, careful to not make a sound.
Ever since Jeff the Killer was released, the murder count in New Olympia has been rising. Just last night, a whole family was brutally murdered. Hacked to pieces, apparently.
I’m through with hearing crap like this. It was enough I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I’m only in college! What more would Cronus want from me?
After the events in Sleepy Hollow, I’ve been on edge. I worry too often that urban legends will come to life, and all too often, I’ve been reading creepypastas. Especially that of the likes of Jeff the Killer.
What? It was to brush up on my memory so I could criticize the movie coming from reading the actual story first.
“And just what would you be doing up at five in the morning?” I hear Jay mumble.
“Nightmare,” I reply, looking back at him. The disoriented look on his beautiful face is so adorable I almost have to swallow my would-be fangirl shrieks.
Jay yawns and perks up. “About Cronus?” he asks.
“Creepypasta,” I answer. “If it had anything to do with Cronus, it was very little.”
He moves the disheveled blond hair out of his eyes. “Like, just a voice?”
He watches me, like he always does when he knows I’m holding something back. “What did he say?”
“He said something about how running makes the chase fun for them.”
I shrugged. “Creepypasta characters?”
“Like BEN DROWNED and Ticci Toby?”
“Funny how you should mention a couple of friends of mine,” a gravelly voice states. I pull out my knife. I never went to bed without it ever since seeing that movie.
“Show yourself,” Jay and I demand, him jumping out of bed with his sword in hand.
“I’m surprised you don’t recognize me, Morrow. It’s been a while,” the same voice announces.
“Who are you?” I ask. “At least give me a rough idea where I would’ve last seen you.”
“Middle of sixth grade, lunch recess.” There was a pause before, “You were crying because me and Lui were moving to Fargo.”
“Lui?” Jay murmurs to me.
“My older brother,” the voice confirms.
My eyes widen. “Jeff?” I question.
The rising sun lights up the bedroom, and I see a dark haired guy standing beside the balcony door. His skin is white as paper, and his blue eyes are bloodshot and ringed in black. I see a crude smile carved into his cheeks, his hoody is bloodstained, and he carries a bloody kitchen knife.
“You’ve changed,” I manage to get out.
“Like I said, it’s been a while,” my childhood friend agrees. He puts his knife on the nearby dresser, and crushes me into a hug. “And what about you, Cheese? Boyfriend, new piercings, a tattoo, I see.”
I tear up at the use of the nickname only Jeff used to use. “Why? How did-”
“I hear things. I talked to Caitlin about your whereabouts,” Jeff answers. He tries to smile a small smile as he lets me go, but the scars on his cheeks make it wider than it’s meant to be.
“Childhood friend of yours?” Jay asks, putting his xiphos back.
“I’m Jeffery Woods, but you can call me Jeff,” Jeff answers, thrusting a hand toward him. “Colbie and I went to school together until I moved away.”
“Jeff, huh? Like Jeff the Killer?” Jay took my friend’s hand and shook it.
“That’s what they call me nowadays.”
I shake my head. “You’ve gotta be kidding, Jeff. It’s just an urban legend.”
“No, Cheese, I’m not kidding.” Jeff’s unblinking eyes glaze over. “Something started gnawing at me once we moved to an upper neighborhood in Fargo. Bullies attacked me and Lui. I fought back. Lui took the blame for me. Went to a little kid’s party. Bullies attacked again. I killed them, and they almost killed me in the process. Woke up a few days later in hospital. Lui was released shortly after I woke up. Then my bandages came off. My sanity snapped.”
“I know the story,” I whisper. “You went home that day. Your mom found you in the bathroom cutting a smile into your cheeks that night. You’d already burned off your eyelids.”
Jay nods. “You ended up killing her, your dad, and Lui.”
I hug my childhood friend as I see his blue eyes tear up. “I missed you, anyway. Would you like to stay for a little while? We could catch up on everything we’ve missed.”
Jeff throws his head back and laughs weakly. “I wish. You’re already up to date with me, Cheese.” He squeezes my shoulders reassuringly, and he lets go. “I have to run, anyway. It’s great seeing you again.”
“You’ll come back, won’t you?” Jay asks. “I mean, it would be nice to get to know you a little better than being able to name you.”
“Trust me, you have no idea how much I’d like to get to know you better, too, Jay.” Jeff shakes his hand again. “Nice meeting you, by the way.”
Jeff walks out the doors to my balcony, and jumps off. I reach for his hood, but I’m too late.
“Remember how I used to jump off the swing when I got really high?” Jeff calls up.
“I worried for your life. You broke your ankle the one time,” I reply.
He pulls his hood up, and shoves his hands in his hoody’s pocket. “I always land on my feet, now. It’s kinda how I’m able to take off running after I put someone to sleep.” Jeff waves. “I’ll come back later.”
I smile and wave back. “See you later!”
With that, he takes off running.
Jay looks at me when I turn around. “I wouldn’t have thought your childhood friend would turn out to be the top creepypasta of all time,” he states.
“He’s not all bad,” I answer, cuddling into him. “They claim he’s a coldblooded killer, when, really, he’s just lost touch with sanity.”
“He seemed pretty sane to me.”
“I would assume it’s because I brought back memories of better days for him. That’s probably what would do it.”
“Do you think we should bring this up with Hera? I mean, sure the murder count has been rising-”
“It’s not his style. You know that from the stories.”
I glare at him. “Jay, you know this. In this town, anything claimed to be an urban legend or is a part of mythology becomes life.”
He clenches fists as he starts pacing the room. “So, if Jeff the Killer is really a childhood friend of yours-”
“He won’t kill us. He won’t kill the others. There’s one creepypasta we can trust.”
“And the other creepypastas?”
“I don’t know them as well as Jeff does. When he comes back, you can ask, Jay. Right now, I just wanna go back to bed.”
“I invite you. I’ll get an e-mail circulating to the others.”
I grin wearily. “’Kay,” I say as I walk back over to the bed.
My head hits the pillow, and I’m out.