Join Us

JOIN US

BY EDWARD DRAKE

 

Warning: This story contains scenes of violence and horror.

Two young men will face a choice and discover that evil can be tempting.

 

Through the underground passages they walked, their guide leading them on in the darkness even though he had no light or torch. Strange sounds echoed all around them but still the two teenagers followed on. Corey, tall and handsome with a set of sunglasses pushed back amongst his slicked back hair was the first to follow, Joel, shorter but broad and strong with thick curly hair, close behind. Corey was the brave one, always confident and cocky, but Joel was the muscle. Bruising was on the faces of both teens and Corey walked with a slight limp although he showed no pain. Joel really did not want to be there, but would not leave his best friend on his own.

The pair continued to trail their guide, a pale faced teenager, wearing an open leather jacket without a shirt, chest bare displaying more pale skin. There was a danger to him though, something that lurked behind those eyes when he had met Corey and Joel. They had requested the meeting though and with a sly, devilish smile he had obliged.

Finally, a light appeared in the distance, growing bigger and stronger with every step, until they reached the entrance to what appeared to be a large abandoned theatre. There was a stage, rows of seats and balconies above, all in ruin, all decayed. The wood of the seats was rotten, the stone walls faded and chipped. The light was provided by masses of candles, no sunlight or even windows to be seen. The unnatural cold chill and the strange dampness that the pair of newcomers could feel made them wonder if they were still underground.

Their guide paced toward the stage, before leaping up its steps with an almost unnatural agility. Corey and Joel looked on in awe before someone called out from the front of the theatre.

‘Come closer friends!’

They approached, walking slowly past the rows of seats and then up the stairs on to the stage, Joel following so close that he tripped Corey accidentally, standing on his heel twice. At the top of the steps they stood upon a stage that had been constructed into what they could only call a throne room. Empty wine bottles and beer cans scattered the floor as several teenage men, each wearing scruffy jeans, shirts and jackets, each with the same pale skin, eyed the arrivals with strange glee.

Corey and Joel’s attentions were then brought to the one who sat at the back of the stage upon a large mounted seat surrounded with what looked like bones and skulls, the throne. He was in his late teens like the others, had even paler skin, and wore a black leather jacket with black gloves. Spiked up blonde hair lined his head, with thin stubble at his jaw and an eerie slight smile across his lips.

‘Welcome my boys,’ he greeted them in a low yet charismatic tone, ‘but you seem to be a little lost being down here.’ The others on the stage laughed at this, all seeming on edge, eager for some strange reason.

‘We wished to see you Keith, to ask you if we may join your gang,’ explained Corey confidently as Joel remained silent beside him.

‘Ha ha ha,’ laughed the gang leader as he leant forward in his seat and clapped his hands together. ‘And why would you want to join our little crew?’

‘Because…you saved us,’ Joel managed to stammer.

It was true. Five nights ago the two lads were walking down the boardwalk. They kept to themselves, but never went anywhere alone, the missing of the city growing with each day. They were just going to hang out at the local show-ground, hoping to meet some girls and have a good time. That night though they were ambushed by the Riffs gang down a dark street after sunset. Corey had slept with Gemma Watson, girlfriend of the gang’s leader, and they had come after him seeking vengeance. Armed with bats and vastly outnumbering them, Corey and Joel were beaten badly and neither thought they would survive. That was when Keith’s gang turned up.

They hit the Riffs like a hurricane, tearing through them with an unreal speed and ferocity. The wooden bats shattered upon their bodies and even the hidden knives of the Riffs, inflicting wounds that should kill a person, did little to slow down Keith or his followers. He urged Corey and Joel to flee, a dark fire and lust in his eyes and they did just that, the echoes of the screaming in the street behind them haunting ever since.

That was what led them to that theatre. They owed Keith their lives and after seeing the strength of him and his followers they were eager to join, even though Joel was now reconsidering, even more so as he saw black bandanas, covered in blood, lying upon the skulls of Keith’s throne, bandanas that had been worn by the Riffs.

‘We owe you,’ stated Corey, ‘and we believe in repaying our debts.’ The smile on Keith’s face grew then before he brought his hands together again and fixed both teens with a cold haunted stare.

‘You both give yourselves willingly to us?’ he asked, his eyes mesmerising.

‘Yes,’ Corey and Joel said in unison, Joel’s voice broken by nerves. The rest of the gang members murmured then, some laughing and others whispering quietly to their comrades, all with sickening grins on their faces.

‘And what do you believe we can give you?’ Keith asked.

‘Strength,’ replied Joel.

‘You are right,’ explained the leader of the gang, ‘but there is more, far more. With us you will be forever strong, forever young. What I must ask though is what you can give us?’

‘Undying loyalty,’ swore Corey.

‘And that is all I could ask for.’ Keith then signalled to one of his followers to come closer and he handed him a glittering decanter. The gang member approached Corey, passing the bejewelled bottle to him, its contents sloshing with the movement.

‘What is it?’ Corey asked, showing his first signs of uncertainty.

‘Life,’ replied Keith simply as he watched in anticipation, as did all upon that stage. Corey unscrewed the lid of the container and saw that it contained a thick dark crimson liquid.

‘Drink and you will join us,’ Keith said in a devilish glee. The rest of the gang then uttered the last two words again and again in a low chorus.

‘Join us. Join us. Join us.’

Joel shot Corey a look of warning but he ignored it and brought the top of the bottle to his lips. The first mouthful tasted foul and Corey felt his stomach turn, but the next instant it changed and he craved more. He gulped three more times, feeling something rise within him, a fire, a wrath, a strength unlike anything he had experienced, before lowering the decanter. His eyes closed and he remained silent, breathing hard.

The gang member took the bottle from Corey and then moved to pass it to Joel.

‘I…I don’t know about this…’ muttered the teen, raising his open hands and taking a step back.

‘I thought you wanted to be one of us?’ questioned Keith from upon his throne.

‘I’m not sure,’ he protested before turning to his old friend. ‘Corey let’s get out of here. Corey!’ His friend did not move though and just remained there silent, his eyes still closed.

‘What have you done to him?!’ Joel demanded in panic.

‘Nothing that he did not want,’ taunted Keith.

‘No this is wrong! This is so wrong!’ Joel continued to back away until he was at the edge of the stage. The gang members rose up, edging forward and surrounding the scared teen.

‘Stay away!!’ Joel shouted at them, his voice and body shaking in utter fear, but they did not heed his warning. He then saw it, the darkness in each of them as they stared at him, lusting and hungry as their eyes clouded white and yellow.

‘What the hell are you?!!’ screamed Joel, but then from his side turned Corey, his eyes demonic like the others. He opened his mouth, revealing a pair of fangs as he roared and leapt at his best friend, both falling and crashing down from the stage amongst the seats below. Joel was torn apart by Corey and the gang members as Keith leant back with a slight smile upon his lips as he whispered.

‘We are the night. We consume you and take your vitality and strength, making it our own.’

Copyright. Edward Drake. 2011

Comments
  1. […] To The EndCollision CourseDarkest SacrificeHeroes’ QuestJoin UsLove At SunsetMy CurseThe War At HomeTravellerWaitingWhirlwindWorthy […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s