Ugly Things

Her mother always warned her about monsters. She should have listened.

If you don't believe in ugly things, look closely at yourself. You may find something repulsive and sickening that you didn't see before. I know I did. [student/teacher]


26. 26. Caleb

“What if we get there and it’s too late?” Aria asked.

It had stopped raining but the clouds still clung to the sky in such a malevolent manner that I shivered. I watched her looking at me, her eyes narrowed slightly. She came over and shook my shoulder.

“It can’t be,” I said. “It just can’t be too late.”

“If we don’t keep going, it might be,” she said softly.

I frowned at her, at the hopeless way she looked at me, and I did the only thing I could think of. I hugged her, tightly, and then stood back.

“We should hurry.”

Aria nodded and continued to walk. I marveled in the fact that she seemed unafraid of what lie ahead. But it was because she didn’t know, couldn’t see, or didn’t understand. I knew. I had known things between Mr. Mills and Tate would end. I just didn’t know how.

“Caleb?” Aria’s voice broke my thoughts and I turned to look at her. “Do you think Hunter knew something and that’s why--”

“Stop,” I said, putting up a hand. I shook my head, leftover water falling onto my shoulders. “I don’t want to hear about that.”

“It doesn’t make sense,” Aria said as she walked. She averted tripping over part of the sidewalk that was ripped up. “Why would Elias do that?”

“You’re just going to keep going, aren’t you?” I asked, sighing. “I’d rather not talk about my friends death is it’s all the same to you.”

“Friend?” Aria raised an eyebrow. “Since when?”

“I had to keep up appearances.” I didn’t look at her as I snatched the card from her and took the lead. I could hear her muttering behind me, apparently confused, and I frowned. “We’re almost there.”

Those words sent a chill through my body.

Mr. Mills’ lived in an apartment; two story, red brick with white framing around the windows. It looked like a normal home for a normal person. I expected it to be rundown, broken, and in a bad part of town. But there it sat, surrounded by all of these shrubs and hedges from other houses, looking very non-threatening to anyone who passed.

“Is that it?” Aria asked from behind me. She gripped my hand.

“That’s it,” I said.

“It looks so--”

“Normal, I know.”

“Are you ready?” she asked.

I looked back at her and shook my head.


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