Click… click… click…
Jack continued pressing the button on the remote, idly watching the different channels pop up before changing again. Nothing really came on during the weekends, surprisingly. Nothing but 'Paid Programing' and other TV shows he didn't enjoy. Sighing, the college student rose up from his sofa, making his way to the desk resting against the wall next to his bed. He was already done with homework, finishing most of it in class that day. Unlike his roommate, Jack could get his shit done fast enough to have the rest of the day to himself to do whatever.
He wasn't feeling to play any video games. Didn't really want to drive out anywhere. Swiping his black hoody off his chair, Jack slipped it on and grabbed his dorm keys shoving them in his pocket after closing the door behind him. A nice walk around the campus should do the trick.
Fresh air usually calmed him, if not helped him think. Lately he'd been feeling… different. He knew it wasn't his body, or college itself. He didn't have any girlfriends to worry about. He just felt different without any explanation. It gave him a headache he was thinking so hard. Jack rubbed his temples, pushing the door leading outside with his foot. A gust of wind swept across slamming the door behind him.
It was around 6PM, the sky was mixed with both orange and blue. The further the sky grew the darker it got. Curfew, surprisingly, was 12 o'clock Midnight. He never really questioned it vocally, but always wondered why it was so late. Usually curfew was around 8PM where he lived.
"Hi Jack!" The male looked up to see one of the girls in his class. She most likely left class, considering she still had her book bag on her shoulder. Jack half smiled and rose a hand to greet her. It was-- oh, what was her name? Jenny! Jenny Smith...
"Hey Jenny. Just now leaving class?" Jenny smiled and nodded her head, adjusting the strap. "It's pretty late, what made you stay so long?" The girl's smile lost it's brightness for a split second before reviving.
"Oh… Just a study session. We have finals coming up soon y'know. Best to stay on the ball." She giggled before tucking her hair behind her ear. "What are you doing out here anyway? It's gonna storm tonight." Jack shrugged his shoulders before eyeing the sky, smelling the air for moisture. Yep. It would rain any second.
"Just came out for some fresh air is all. Got done with homework in class 'n stuff. Didn't feel like playing any video games or watching TV. So I came out here." Jenny nodded her head every so often, showing him she was paying attention, and smiled again.
"Hehe, well, you got your air. I gotta go though, I'll see you later!" Before Jack could reply with a goodbye, the girl quickly dashed off past him, following the sidewalk up around the side of the dorms. Jack rose a brow in curiosity, his mind zipping with questions. Only to have it cut off by a drop of rain-- then another, and another.
"Shit." He muttered, running back to the door to get back inside, not wanting to get too soaked in the rain.
Another slam of the door rose up behind him. Jack started shaking his fingers through his hair, sending water droplets everywhere while wiping off the rain from his face and jacket. As he made his way back up to his dorm room Jack began fishing through his pockets for his keys, whistling a random tune while he traveled up the two flights of stairs.
Listening to his tune echo out in all directions. It was kinda creepy, now that he thought about it… Where WAS everyone? It was too quiet for a Friday evening. There was usually people up and about… maybe lots of students stayed behind for tutoring. Maybe some went home for a weekend. Maybe people are already in bed, or in their dorms. Being very… very, quiet.
Jack sighed as he began unlocking the door, shoving his keys back in his pocket after the door closed behind him.
"Yo Greg! You here?" Nothing. No response. Just the sound of rain hitting against windows.
"Huh.. guess he's studying too…"
That's a first. Jack made his way over to his bed, slumping down to get ready to sleep. He pulled off his hoody, kicked his shoes off, and rolled over to face the wall, not bothering with the covers. He just wanted some sleep. Closing his eyes, Jack slowly began dozing off. The rain practically lulling him to sleep.
"Praise Chernobog, for his bloodstained hands will bring salvation to us all! HE shall bring us closer to our everlasting paradise! HE is our lord and savior! Praise Chernobog! Praise Chernobog!!"
Jack let out a gut wrenching gasp for air, waking in a cold sweat. His eyes darted from one corner to another before rising up from his spot. He panted, feeling his hands tremble from the dream he just had. Jack looked around his room, relieved that his roommate Greg was in his bed. He could tell he was fast asleep from the dreaded snoring that came out of him. He himself was surprised he could sleep through it. Slowly exhaling through his mouth, Jack rose up from his bed, staggering to the mini fridge on the other side of the room. His mind churning questions. What kind of dream WAS that?? Never had he experienced one so… so real. Grabbing a water bottle from the mini fridge, Jack began gulping down the bottle, not caring if he woke up Greg.
Letting out a cold sigh Jack tossed the now empty bottle into the recycling bin, now making his way to the bathroom. He stopped in front of the mirror, hands gripping the sides of the sink as he eyed himself. He was pale, eyes border lining bloodshot. Groaning, he let his head hang low, fighting the urge to vomit.
"Man… What the fuck…" He murmured, running his hand across his forehead to wipe away more sweat.
That's what I get for playing those survival horror games. He though to himself, slightly smiling as he began brushing off the whole thing. Get it together Jack, it was only a dream. Dreams don't come true. You've just played too much Silent House is all. No big deal. Just go back to sleep, and get some decent rest. "Easier said than done…"
That morning, Jack felt someone shake him awake.
"Dude, Jack, wake up bro, you've GOT to see this." Jack let out a tired, irritated groan from under the covers, slowly pulling them down to see what Greg wanted. The blonde grinned and flashed a photo on his phone in his face.
"Guess who got laid last night." It was a picture of some topless girl on his lap, posing for the camera.
"… She looks drunk." Jack muttered sleepily, his hand slowly rubbing the sleepies from his eyes. Greg blew air through his pursed lips, rolling his eyes as he closed his flip phone.
"You're just jealous."
"Bullshit. I'd rather have a life than get some chick pregnant at college."
"Touche good sir, but fuck you, I use protection."
"Whatever…" Jack began pulling his covers back over his head, feeling the weight of his friend rise up off his bed. Good, he could get back to sleep.
"Dude, I had such a weird dream last night." Jack paused when his mind processed the word 'weird dream' and was instantly awake.
"… Really…? Me too… What was it about?" Greg shrugged his shoulders, his fingers flying across the numbers on his cell, forming a text to his girlfriend.
"I had a dream where my grandma blew up like a balloon and started chasing me around with a giant fly-swatter." Jack's fear and anxiety dropped. He turned his head to look at him.
"… What the hell dude." Greg laughed after snapping his cell shut.
"I know right?? Fucking hate that hag. Won't surprise me if she completely dislikes me. I broke so much shit in her house as a kid." Jack rolled his eyes, fully pulling the covers over his head, wanting to get more sleep in. Greg looked over and rose a brow.
"You said you had a dream right? You remember it?" Jack laid there in silence, wanting him just to leave already. The blonde furrowed his brow and began nudging Jack's back with his foot. "Come onnn, tell me. I know you're awake."
"… I had a dream about some guy 'preaching'."
"And you say MY dream is weird."
"I never said your dream was weird. But it is."
"Anyways, go on." Greg pulled his knees up, resting his arms on them as he listened. Jack sighed and rose up from his warm salvation of sleep.
"There was this guy preaching about some guy named 'Chernobog'. And that he'd lead everyone to paradise with bloodstained hands. They were dressed in these weird looking robes and wore these weird masks..." Jack looked over to his friend, watching him give a weirded out look.
"… Bro, you've played WAYYY to much Silent House." Jack smiled a little and shrugged his shoulders. Relieved that his friend had said his thoughts the night before.
"What can I say? I love horror games."
Jack spent most of his morning studying for finals, wanting to get school-related things out of the way before he could enjoyed his weekend. Greg left to meet up with his girlfriend, telling Jack he'd be back around 6. It was usually on Sundays when the two sat down together and played one of the many video games that had until it was time for bed.
For Jack that is. Sighing, he turned the last page over on his notes packet, memorizing his handwriting slowly. Suddenly, a knock at the door tore him from his studying. Jack turned his head and eyed the door, then rose up from his desk to answer the door. Pulling it open, he was surprised to see Jenny standing in front of the door.
"Oh… Hey Jenny." Jenny smiled and waved.
"Hi Jack! What are you doing inside on a Saturday?" Jack looked back to his desk before turning back to the girl.
"I'm getting my studying done early so I can enjoy the rest of the day with relaxation." Jenny nodded her head understandingly and placed her hands on her hips.
"Well, I'm sure you've done enough studying, you should come outside. Everyone's doing something today." Jack mentally sighed in relief. Good, so people WERE here today.
"I'll come out when I'm done. I guess…" Jenny giggled and nodded again.
"Hehe, okay~! See you later!" As just like that, the student was off in a flash. Jack smiled a little before closing the door, making his way back to his desk. He sat down and began rereading the page of notes, keeping everything fresh on his mind.
Then it hit him. How did Jenny know where his dorm room was..? They never really talked to each other, let alone shared dorm room numbers. It kinda gave him a creepy feeling at first. But then his realist side thought otherwise. Maybe she saw you come into this room once without you noticing. Maybe Greg had told her what room he lived in, and it just so happened that Greg and he shared rooms. Shaking his head in frustration, Jack rubbed his temples.
"You're just over-analyzing everything Jack. No need to fret over pointless stuff.." He said to himself, running his fingers through his hair. Maybe he was done studying for the day. Again, he swiped up his hoody off his chair and slipped it back on, along with his shoes before heading outside. When he got to the bottom of the stairs, he felt himself breath another sigh of relief when he saw how many students were up and about. Glad to know he wasn't going crazy.
He watched as some people played ball, tossing either a football or baseball. Girls were huddled in groups outside, talking about lord knows what, not that he cared. He was just happy to see people. Just then, a hand crept over his shoulder. Jack looked back to see it was, none other than Jenny. Again. "O-oh, hey Jenny." The girl smiled.
"Hehe you're outside of that dark room! Took my advice to come out eh?" Jack smiled nervously, giving a nod or two. "You should hang out with me and my friends. We're gonna go for a walk in the woods." Jack rose a questioning brow.
"For what?" Jenny laughed.
"We're just hanging out at our place. Come on, don't be a wuss." Jack felt a little hesitant at first, but he slowly came around and agreed to follow. Jenny grabbed him by the hand and began tugging him along, making sure he was close. "Hurray! Off to the Cave!"
"The Cave?" Jack asked, watching the forest grow bigger with every step.
"Our hangout silly! Sarah found it at the beginning of the year, so we decided to make it a hangout area for us."
"Us?" Jack asked again, looking back over his shoulder watching the school slowly get consumed by trees.
"Me, Sarah, Bobby, Fred, and Luna. You ask a lot of questions." Jack couldn't help but let out a nervous laugh.
"Sorry, I don't mean to. I've been having a rough weekend is all." Jenny looked back at him and smiled.
"It's okay! We all have our days."
As minutes passed, the two walked around what seemed like an invisible path that only Jenny could see. Jack couldn't help but begin to worry. He was about to open his mouth to ask another question, until the girl released his hand, punching her fists in the air.
"We're here~!" She sang, running ahead of the boy.
Jack looked up to see a rather large cave next to a babbling brook. He watched as two girls and boys appeared from inside it, greeting Jenny happily-- until they saw Jack. Their smiles faded and they began leaning in to Jenny, whispering while keeping their eye on him.
Jack felt a little nervous, feeling as if he shouldn't be there at all and that he should be back at his dorm room playing Silent House. But, Jenny looked back as well, gesturing him to come forwards like it was okay. The brunette took a deep breath before making his way over, eyeing over everyone but Jenny. All of them still didn't look pleased, despite their forced smiles.
"Uhh… hey." Jack rose a hand giving a wave. Sarah eyed him over before crossing her arms.
"Hi." She said bluntly.
"Hey." Said Bobby and Luna.
"Sup?" Fred smiled, shoving his hands in his pockets.
"What's he doing here Jen? I thought it was just going to be you." Jenny rolled her eyes at Sarah's statement and wrapped an arm around Jack, her free hand patting him on the chest.
"I thought it would be cool if you guys met Jack. He's a really cool guy, honest!" Luna and Bobby looked at one another while Fred nodded.
"I've heard about him. Straight A student, smart kid." Fred walked over to Jack and began leading him inside the cave, rambling on about what kind of video games he liked. Leaving the group outside. Sarah shot daggers towards Jenny. Jenny gave a stink eye back.
"What the Hell do you think you're doing Jen?? You can't let outsiders into--"
"He's not going to find anything out. Be nice for a change, Sarah." Sarah glared, then grumbled under her breath, following after Fred. Luna and Bobby looked at one another before going in as well.
The group settled inside, everyone huddled around a fire in a circle. Jack sat in between Jenny and Fred while the others completed their small circle. Jack felt uncomfortable, especially with Sarah giving dirty looks every so often. But surprisingly, the evening wasn't all too bad. Everyone got to know a bit more about him, asking questions and talking about what they enjoyed doing, talking about school and exams. Jack looked around the cave as they spoke. It was cool inside. They had tables and desks, places where they set up books. They even had a compartment for food. It really was like a place to hang out. I guess I worried about nothing. Jack thought, smiling at the comment Fred made. There was a sudden clap of thunder from the distance, causing the group to look up at the entrance of the cave.
"ANOTHER storm??" Sarah complained, rising up with a book bag over her shoulder. "I'm leaving, last thing I want to do is get caught in the storm. Bye." Sarah turned on heel and ran over to her bike resting up against a tree, and rode off back to the school. Luna and Bobby both rose up together.
"We don't want to get wet either… We'll catch you guys later, okay?" Luna said, smiling over at Jack and the others. The duo both pulled their book bags up off the ground, running off to try and beat the storm. Fred didn't move.
"I'm gonna stay here for a bit, there's some things I need to get back here. You guys can go on ahead if you want." Jack looked to Jenny before getting up off the stool.
"Yeah, I'm gonna go back too. Greg is probably back and might be wondering where I am." Jenny smiled up at him and nodded.
"Okay! I'm gonna help Fred, just follow the same path back to the school. I'll see you later, Jack." Jack smiled and waved goodbye to the two, he too making his way out of the cave and into the forest. It shouldn't be too hard to get back, if he followed Luna and Bobby from afar.
An hour passed. Jack began unlocking his dorm door with his keys, opening up the door to find Greg on his laptop on the sofa. Greg looked up and smiled.
"Yo Jack. Where've you been?" He asked, surprised that Jack had stepped out altogether.
"I was invited to come look at some 'secret base' in the forest behind the school." He replied, closing the door behind him while he began kicking off his shoes. Greg rose a brow closing his laptop.
"Oh really? Invited by who?"
"You know that Jenny girl in our first period class?" Greg's smile slowly faded.
"Dude, she's weird…" Jack furrowed his brow in confusion.
"What do you mean she's weird? Weird like how?" Greg looked away nervously before answering.
"You know what kind of shit she reads? She has like, books upon books about these freaky-ass cults. I shit you not." Jack rolled his eyes before walking over to his dresser.
"Dude, I'm serious! You probably shouldn't hang out with her. People who read that stuff are messed up in the head."
"Yeah yeah, whatever." Jack replied, rummaging around through his clothes.
"I'm gonna take a shower. We have another storm coming." Greg blinked and looked back at their window.
"Aww man, really? I was going to go out with Gabby tonight…" He moaned sadly, watching the clouds churn into a deep grey. Jack chuckled at his friend before going into the shower.
"Jack. Jack wake up! Wake up Jack!" Jack felt Greg shake him, groaning in anger.
"Uuugh what?? What is it??" He asked, looking up at a nervous Greg. Greg looked over to the window.
"Dude, someone's out in the forest lighting fires." Jack rubbed his eye with his palm.
"Someone, is outside, lighting fires. Look!" Greg pulled him out of his bed and pointed out towards the forest. Jack sighed, still rubbing his eyes before looking out the window. To his surprise, there was a fire lit. But it was far back into the woods. Almost around the area where Jenny's 'select base' was.
"Well I'll be damned… There is a fire." He muttered, noticing that the storm had stopped. "What time is it?"
"We should go check it out. That looks like it's where their little hideout is." Greg gave Jack a freaked out look of 'you're out of your fucking mind'.
"What?? I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation why someone's out there lighting fires."
"Yeah, for cults." Jack shot him a look.
"Dude get over yourself. There is NO cult."
"I call bullshit. I'm not going." Jack smirked.
"You chicken?" He asked, watching Greg get flustered.
"Dude, seriously, don't go. Last thing you want is getting in trouble…" Jack rolled his eyes.
"Whatever, I'm going to check it out. If there's anything wrong, I'll report it to the headmaster." Jack changed out of his pajamas, dressing in jeans, a blue t-shirt along with his black hoody and shoes. Pulling out their emergency flashlight from the desk drawer, Jack walked over to the door. "I'll see you in a bit." He called out, watching Greg shake his head.
"Curiosity killed the cat man, killed the cat!" He called back, watching the door close.
Jack pulled his hood up over his head and began making his way down the stairs. It was probably just Jenny and her friends hanging out at their spot late at night. I mean, loads of people do that, right? The second he walked outside, Jack felt the air shift from normal to damp and chilly. He began making his way towards the forest, using the flashlight as much as he could to follow the path Jenny led him down the previous day. Jack started growing nervous, listening to the sounds of life of night in the forest. Easy now Jack, there's absolutely nothing that can hurt you in this forest. Nothing.
Minutes passed as Jack finally began getting closer to the cave Jenny showed him before. He could see the dim light from afar, and talking. Loud talking, but it didn't sound like Jenny or Bobby, or anyone else from their group. The closer he got, the clearer the voice. Turning off his flashlight, Jack peeked around a tree. What he saw shook him to his core. There, standing outside of the cave was a group of robed people. Judging by their height, they were students. Both male and female. They all wore black robes and blue mouthless masks with big eyeless holes. One of them began stepping up to a podium. He rose his hands up in the air.
"Thank you, my brothers and sisters for joining me this night of nights. Tonight is the night when we summon our lord and savior, Chernobog!" The group below him cried and called out things like 'Praise Chernobog!' and 'All hail Chernobog!'. "Tonight is the night, when Chernobog will choose his sacrifice! The one who will lead us to paradise and free us from this Hell!" The group of students began cheering, chanting the name of 'Chernobog'.
Jack shook his head in disbelief, slowly backing up from the tree he hid behind.
"Oh my god… there really IS a cult!" He murmured. Jack turned to run back to the school, only to be stopped by Jenny, who was standing there the whole time.
"J-Jenny! Thank god you're here!" Jack ran over to her.
"Th-there's this cult thing, w-we got to go tell someone!" Jenny smiled.
"Cult? There is no cult, Jack. You're just overreacting." She chuckled, suddenly feeling Jack shake her by the arms.
"NO! Listen to me! We need to get out of--" Jack's words were cut off from a rock against his head. His eyes fluttered slightly, stumbling back before collapsing on the ground with a thud. Blurry figures began circling around him as he watched Jenny smile down at him. Then everything went black.
Jack awoke from a bucket of cold water being dumped over his head, blood trickling down the side of his head onto his ear and side of his face. He winced, feeling his head throb in pain. The second he remembered the last thing he saw, he gasped, looking up to see that he was sitting in front of everyone. His arms were held firmly behind his back. The leader of the cult walked up in front of him and smiled under the mask.
"Chernobog has found his sacrifice! Hail Chernobog!" He called, listening as the group repeated the phrase. Jack attempted to struggle, the pain of his head fighting against him.
"You shall become one of Chernobog's sons, the chosen one to live upon this wretched world and do his bidding." The group cried the phrase once more. Jack shook his head as fast as he could.
"N-no… No! All of you are crazy! Let me go!!" He yelled, letting out a yelp of pain from his arms being twisted. The leader laughed, turning to the group behind him.
"Come! My brothers and sisters, help me change this nonbeliever into the son of Chernobog!" The group chanted the phrase, stepping closer to form a large circle around them.
"Praise Chernobog, for his bloodstained hands will bring salvation to us all! HE shall bring us closer to our everlasting paradise! HE is our lord and savior! Praise Chernobog! Praise Chernobog!!" He cried once more. Jack listened as the group began chanting in a different language, he felt his heart beat grow faster, watching one of the group members walk before them with a tray of tools and other queer objects. The person pulled their mask off, revealing it to be Jenny. She smiled taking a spoon from the tray.
"Isn't this great Jack? The great lord Chernobog has chosen you to be his son!" Jack shook his head, tears flooding his eyes.
"I never knew you'd be the one."
"No! Jenny no! Please, please don't do this!" He begged, watching her stop in front of him. She giggled placing her hand on his forehead.
"All hail lord Chernobog~."
The girl then stabbed the spoon in his left eye, ignoring the cries of pain Jack let out. He squirmed and struggled against the two who held him down feeling his eye being gorged out from it's socket. "Hold still Jack! You'll make me kill you." Jenny said with complete calmness as she began working on his other eye, watching blood spirit and trickle down his face, still ignoring his cries and pleas. The leader stepped in, holding a bowl of black hot ooze in his hands.
"Behold, the sight of Chernobog!" He called, watching Jenny hold his head still and began pouring the tar-like liquid inside his eye sockets. Jack let out a bloodcurdling scream of pain, feeling the substance overflow and trickle down his eyelids. Placing his hand on Jack's forehead, the leader began chanting the same language as the others, watching as Jack's body become limp and lifeless. He watched as Jenny held a book open to a passage of a different language.
Rise great lord Chernobog.
Rise and take vessel of the sacrifice we give you.
Give yourself to this vessel.
Be one with this vessel.
Rise great lord Chernobog.
Panting heavily, Jack rose up from the now dead body of Bobby, yanking off the mask he wore like the others. Standing up, he looked over the massacre he created. Every single person was dead. Masks torn off, throats slashed, guts cut open, eyes gouged out. His hood and pants stained with blood. Scalpel in hand, Jack turned to the last living person. Jenny, border lining death, watched as he stepped above her. His skin had turned black, teeth sharpened to a point, nails long and sharp. He wasn't human anymore. She smiled, blood leaking from her mouth as she spoke.
"R-release me… into ever..lasting… paradi..se…." Jack growled low, teeth showing.
"You don't deserve paradise… none of you do…" He knelt down, swiping the mask from the ground. "Burn in Hell. ALL, of you." Jenny watched as he pulled the mask on, the black substance trickling down onto the mask from his eyes. She grabbed a hold of his ankle weakly, begging to be released to paradise. Only to have him pull away from her before walking off into the shadows. She cried, tears rolling down her face as she called out to him until her last breath.
This just in! A group of students have been slaughtered at West Point College. Autopsy reveals everyone's kidneys have been removed for reasons unknown. Many believe it has to do with a supposed cultist act at the school. Student Jack Nichols has been reported missing. More tonight at 9.