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   Chapter 20 A Chilling Encounter

Broken Past By Arathi Characters: 12012

Updated: 2018-10-29 10:45

Tom pulled his jacket off and coiled it around his arm till he was sure it was thick enough. He ran his arm around the inside of the window frame, brushing away all the shards of glass. He winced as the glass fell off and shattered, making more noise than he'd like. Every so often Tom took a quick peek at the door to see if it was still locked. After the night he had, he wasn't looking forward to severe injuries from carelessness.

When he was sure it was safe, he unwrapped the jacket and tossed it out the window. Swinging a leg over, he shifted his weight. Freedom was oh, so close! He could see the front gate from where he was. All he had to do was get outside and sprint. Suddenly, two hands grabbed his shoulders and yanked, pulling him clean out of the room.

"Fuck ...fuck ...fuck, " Tom screamed as he landed on the unforgiving ground. Adrenalin kicked in, and he broke into a thin sweat. Terror rolled through him as Tom scrambled on all fours, attempting to find his balance. Sticky palms slowed Tom's efforts, forcing him to lose whatever grip he could muster.

'IT had found him. IT was back for him...' These were the two chilling thoughts screaming through his head as his heartbeat quickened to an incredible rate. His blood pounded in his head so loudly that he could have sworn even the dead heard it. Tom dared not look behind him. He knew he wouldn't like what was waiting for him.

Just as he managed to straighten up, more hands grabbed his legs and Tom fell face first on the ground, hitting his chin on a sharp rock. Pain shot up his face, and he felt a terrible stinging sensation confirming that the impact had broken skin. Dirt mixed with his blood, turning the stinging sensation into an awful burning one. The combination of fright and pain sent shivers down his spine and rumbled around in his belly till he felt he was going to vomit uncontrollably.

"Please... please... please, " he begged, his hands rising to his chin to curb the bleeding.

Massive clouds rumbled in, curtaining the moon and spiraling the world around him into absolute darkness.

Tom knew that escape was futile and so he sobbed and stayed on his back, drawing his knees into his chest. Two dark silhouettes just stood there watching him as he trembled.

"Please, " he tried again, "I didn't do anything."

The two silhouettes were silent.

"Please, I meant no harm." His free hand reached for his front pocket, and he pulled his wallet. Tossing it, he said, "here take everything, just leave me be."

Just then, the sound of rushed footsteps piqued Tom's curiosity, and he opened his eyes.

"Escort his sorry ass inside, " JT said, bending down to scoop up the wallet.

Tom felt relief flood over him. He stopped begging, but the fright still left him trembling. "Oh thank God! You're not IT."

"IT?" JT inquired with furrowed brows.

"Man, you're just in time I say, " Tom said as he attempted to stand. His earlier trembling had ceased and aside from the pain pulsing through his chin and nausea still threatening to upchuck his last meal, he seemed to have found some sense of normalcy.

The clouds roared, and a massive downpour began as if disagreeing with Tom.

"Quickly please, " JT said, turning away and stomping off to the nearest entrance.

Dev and Etash grabbed Tom by his arms, and half walked, half-dragged him. Aalam and Brij took up the rear.

"Hey! Be gentle, man. I'm hurt, " he said, but his plea fell on deaf ears.

By the time they entered the house, JT had fetched and placed two chairs in the hall. He turned them to face each other

ne stood quietly, digesting Tom's story. Etash was the first to laugh. "You had us going there for a minute. Liar. Just admit you set the gazebo on fire, and you trashed the equipment."

"No, no I swear I didn't do anything. Wait, what equipment?"

"You're going to continue playing dumb, aren't you? The camera equipment idjit!"

"Fuck man, you had the place under surveillance? Why don't you look at whatever was recorded? You'll see I didn't do it." Tom was getting excited now. He just might be able to convince these bums that he was innocent and then he could walk out of here.

"Are you a special kind of stupid? I just said the equipment was trashed."

Tom groaned and rolled his head on his shoulders. "Must have been IT, " he said and shuddered again.

"Outside, " JT ordered the others, not wanting to discuss anything in front of Tom.

"Hey wait, what if IT is still here? Don't leave me here man. Fuck!" Tom screamed.

Etash hurried back and positioned a torch on the chair, the beam hitting Tom straight in the face. He had to follow JT's orders, but he didn't have to be nice about it.

Back outside, a heated debate began, accompanied with enthusiastic hand gestures and much pacing.

"Do you believe that crock of lies?"

"If only we had the security footage..."

"What do we do with him now?"

"Let's hit him some more!"

"Do we tell Gwen about all this?"

A scream halted all conversation. The five men debating the credibility of Tom's story ran inside.

A broken flashlight bumped into the broken laptop as it oscillated on the floor.

"What the hell dude! Now, why did you go and do that?" Dev growled as he gathered the broken bits of his favorite gadget.

"I – I – I didn't! IT did!"

"Not that excuse again!" Etash groaned, unbelieving of Tom's excuse.

"I'm telling you. Honest. After you left, the flashlight began rolling to and fro like it is now, then it toppled over, and the light went off. Then IT whisked by and shattered the laptop before it hit me! Look, look at my face. I'm bleeding from where IT hit me."

"He's probably part-right. While it would be entirely too easy for Tom to stretch his legs and topple everything over, there's no way he could have hurt himself with his hands bound behind him." JT observed.

"Finally! Someone believes me, " Tom piped in. "Now, get me the hell out of here before IT returns!"

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