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Scream Fest By Forest Walker

Scream Fest

10

Playground

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I was jolted awake by the blaring siren of a police car just as the dawn was breaking. The sound was so close, it felt like the police car was right outside our house. I immediately got out of bed and looked out the window to see what was happening. Through the glass, I could see several police cars parked by the playground, their flashing lights casting a bright glow over the area. My neighbors were also outside, gathered in small groups, as if they were watching some sort of spectacle unfold. The sight was both eerie and unsettling, and I couldn’t shake off the feeling of unease as I watched the scene unfold.


Just as I was trying to make sense of the scene outside, my mother abruptly opened the door to my room. The worry etched on her face was palpable, her eyes were wide with fear.


“Go back to bed, now,” she said firmly, her voice laced with urgency.


She walked over to the window and closed it with a thud, pulling the curtains shut with a swift motion as if she was afraid that someone might see in. The room was plunged into darkness, and the only sound that filled the room was the muffled sound of police sirens and the murmur of my neighbors outside. My mother’s actions only served to heighten my sense of unease


“Mom, what’s going on? Why are there police outside?” I asked, still groggy from being awakened so abruptly, my voice filled with confusion and fear.


“Stop asking questions and go back to bed. It’s too early for this,” she replied, her voice tense with urgency. “Just go back to bed,” she repeated, her voice trembling with fear. Her eyes were darting around the room, scanning for any potential danger. My mother seemed incredibly uneasy, as if something terrible was about to happen any moment. The tension in the room was palpable, my heart was pounding with fear, and I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was amiss. It was clear that my mother knew something that she wasn’t telling me and that only added to my growing sense of dread.


Despite my best efforts to fall asleep that early morning, I couldn’t. I simply lay in bed, my mind racing with questions, my heart pounding with fear. The blaring siren of the police car still echoed in my head, and the image of the flashing lights outside my window was burned into my mind. I waited for my mother to call me downstairs for breakfast and to head off to school, but my mind was consumed with worry and fear. Eventually, my mother did call me, and as I sat down to eat, the fear on her face was obvious, her eyes darting around the room as if she was afraid of being overheard.


I couldn’t help but ask her again, my voice filled with urgency, “Mom, what’s going on with the police outside? Why were they there? What happened this morning?” My mother’s reluctance to answer my question only added to my growing sense of dread. The tension in the room was thick and the silence was deafening. Eventually, with great hesitation, she gave an obvious lie to my question.


“They were just fixing something in the playground,” my mother replied, her voice tinged with nervousness. “Just eat your breakfast and stop asking questions, or you’ll be late for school.”


I quickly finished my breakfast and prepared myself for the day ahead. I immediately prepared myself for the day ahead, my thoughts consumed by the events of the morning.


A short while later, the school bus arrived to pick me up. It was a small shuttle bus that would make rounds in our area, picking up students along the way. I made my way towards the bus, my steps heavy with uncertainty. Before I got on, my mother pulled the driver aside, her voice low and urgent.


“Sir Rene, I need you to make sure you bring all the children home on time. And for goodness sake, don’t let them play around the school.” My mother turned to me, her voice filled with worry. “Reggie, come straight home after school. Don’t go anywhere else, okay?”


I nodded, my stomach knotting with anxiety, and stepped onto the bus. As soon as I did, the reason for my mother’s concern was clear - two of the nannys were talking loudly, completely ignoring the children around them and the conversation they were having.


“I was visited by Julius’s nanny yesterday. She was worried sick because he hadn’t come home the night before. Who would have thought that he was already dead?“, one of the nanny said, her voice trembling with emotion.


“I heard the way he was killed was extremely brutal. They say his body was treated like an animal, it’s beyond comprehension. My God, what kind of person could even think of doing something like that,” another nanny added, her voice filled with horror.


“That’s why I always make sure to accompany my kid, you never know, there might be a killer lurking around our neighborhood and it’s just too risky to let them be alone,”


Julius was my closest friend in our neighborhood. We had grown up together, went to the same school and shared many childhood memories. We were more than just classmates, we were brothers. I couldn’t believe it, my mind was in a state of shock. I didn’t know how to feel, I didn’t know how to react. I felt numb, my mind consumed with questions. Thoughts and questions ran through my mind as I tried to process the news.


I was deep in thought all day. Even inside the classroom, I couldn’t focus, my mind was elsewhere. I was quiet and didn’t participate in class, my teachers didn’t pay attention to me because that’s how most of us felt. There was even a point when our teacher, Ma’am Dizon, broke down in tears while informing us that Julius had passed away. The news was a shock to most of us all and left most of the kids in a state of grief, fear, and shock.


The school day came to an end, and as expected, Mang Rene didn’t waste any time, he immediately loaded us all into the bus, and drove us back home. Unlike before, when he would let us play or have a snack before heading back home, he was strict with us today. He dropped off each child at their respective homes, and it was clear that their parents were eagerly waiting for them. If not, Mang Rene would personally escort the child inside the house, along with their guardian, to ensure their safety.


The same scene played out when we got to my house. Even from a distance, I could see my mother waiting for me outside the house, her eyes scanning the street for any sign of me. As soon as I got off the bus, I immediately went inside the house while my mother was still talking to Mang Rene and expressing her gratitude.


I threw my bag onto the floor and quickly changed into my home clothes. I was about to run outside to go to the playground, but my mother stopped me.


“Reginald, you’re not allowed to go out right now.” When my mother used my full name, I knew she was angry and serious. I didn’t argue and just went upstairs to my room. Why are they making such a big deal out of what happened earlier. Nothing bad will happen to me like what happened to Julius.


I went into my room and continued to think. I couldn’t believe it, I had asked all the questions in my mind, why...how...


How did they find Julius, I know I hid his body well.

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