“The 8th Man”

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I was so excited. I hadn’t ever really gone camping before, so the fact that one of my friends asked me to go with him was amazing in and of itself. He made plans for five other guys to join us as well. The plan was to leave right after classes on Friday evening and drive up to an old abandoned farmhouse, which, in Kansas, aren’t too uncommon. This one was special, though, or so I was told by Riley, my friend that had invited me. He said not only was the house quite large and well held together after many years of vacancy, but very few people knew about it, so we were almost certain to be unbothered for the weekend. We would stay all day Saturday and come back Sunday morning.

At about 6:00 PM the last guy, Seth I think, finally arrived at the cars. We had a white Suburban from Riley and a small Honda van. Four people rode in the van, while three rode in the Suburban, but the Suburban was also full of all our junk we planned to bring. We left by around 6:30 and drove for nearly an hour before stopping at some burger place to eat a quick supper and shift drivers. After another two hours drive, we arrived at the farmhouse. The farm area was large, empty, and the fence that used to surround it was in shambles. The house, however looked very nice, almost kept.

After unpacking most of our things and laying out blankets on the bed frames still in the house, someone suggested we turn in early so we could go fishing in the morning. Not being a late night person, I was fine with the idea, and after some work, I got everyone else to agree with me. There were only three beds in each of the two rooms, so me, Riley and some other guy I’d never met shared one room, and three other guys shared the other. A guy named Roy decided to take the torn-up couch downstairs.

I had a bit of trouble falling asleep, a bit uneasy about the whole drafty, creepy abandon house thing, but I eventually dozed off, unable to stay awake any longer.

I woke up at the sound of Riley moving all his crap around. When I was able to open my eyes enough to see my phone screen with the time on it, it was just after 6:30, so I had to hurry if I wanted to catch anything. I rolled out of my bed, grabbed some jeans and a jacket, changed as quickly as I could despite my exhaustion, and grabbed one of three remaining fishing rods. When I got to the pond, Roy, Riley, and two other guys were there. I cast my line in and sat silently waking up with the rest of them. Over the next hour or so, the other two people made their way to the pond and everyone had woken up a bit more and were chatting about their restless nights.

“So, which one of you idiots decided to come downstairs last night?” Roy shouted over the other voices.

I was expecting for someone to laugh and give some excuse but nobody even flinched.

“You’re not in any trouble, but it was too dark for me to see your face, whoever it was, so for my curiosity, who the hell was it?”

Minutes went by with Roy just staring at our faces for any sign of conceal.

I decided to speak up and try to figure out who it was.

“What did they come down for? Did they sleep down there?”

“I don’t know, they didn’t say anything and I was so tired I dozed back off.”

“Well, what did they do?” I asked.

“I told you, I was tired all I know is that I saw someone come downstairs, look at me, then I fell back asleep!”

In fear of getting hit I held back further questions.

On the positive note of that, Roy packed up, and everyone else followed. The fishing was good, and we had plenty to eat for today and tonight. We walked back to the field in front of the farmhouse, let off our jackets and ran out again. Roy had dug up an old Frisbee, so we divided into two teams quite sloppily, so that we were an uneven 4 against 3.

We played for maybe an hour when we switched to baseball, then some guys started playing poker on the grass and I sat out. Some dude I’d never met, Joel was his name, I think, came out and sat next to me on the porch steps.

“Why didn’t anyone wake me up?” he asked, clearly irritated.

“I woke up almost and still beat two people to the fishing, plus you made it anyway.” I responded.

“I just woke up like a half hour ago.” His irritated tone now turning to confusion.

“Shut up, you went fishing with us, and I know sure as hell you were playing ultimate Frisbee with us!” My tone was clearly angry.

“I’m telling you, I just woke up! I didn’t even know you played Frisbee!”

“Well there were seven people fishing and the teams were 4 on…” I stopped dead in my own words.

“Did you ever go downstairs earlier last night?” I quickly asked.

“No, I was out as soon as I hit the bed, I’ve been up late the last-”

I stood up and starting walking away in the middle of his sentence. I counted the people around the yard… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… myself is seven… Out of the corner of my eye I saw a faint shadow near the treelike, but when I turned, the figure had walked off.

Wasting no time, I jogged to Roy.

“I need to talk to you.” Trying not to alarm the rest with my news.

“Okay, speak.”

Again, wanting to waste no time I spat out “I think there’s someone else on this farm.”

He turned to look me dead in the eyes. He shot up from his seat on the grass and dragged me to the Honda van.
“And, what are you basing this on?” he questioned.

“Think about it. Someone came downstairs last night, and everyone says it isn’t them.”

“So? They could all be lying for some reason.”

“I just talked to Joey. He just woke up.”

“Hm, you idiot. There were seven people fishing-” he stopped abruptly.

And after a long silence, he continued, “There was a face I didn’t recognize in that group…” he scoffed, while staring at nothing.

Without a second hesitation he climbed into the back of the Honda and emerged again seconds later, with a pistol in his hand.

“What the hell?! Why do you have that?!”

“I was afraid this would happen, they’re probably thieves, so we need to be careful. Let everyone know what you told me and keep a sharp eye out. They could be dangerous.”

I walked back and made the announcement and counted heads again. We had seven people right now. Good, seven people.

With the sun setting and cold setting in, Roy and a friend of his built a fire in a stone pit that was already built. After cooking some fish and everyone munching silently, Roy grabbed me and led me to the van again. He handed me a six pack of beer and carried another in his hands. I’ve never drank much, so after a few sips I was done. With the remaining people, they were at various levels of drunkenness, when Joel suggested capture the flag. I headed off to the Suburban to grab the flashlights and when I got back everyone had lined up.

Handing off one flashlight to each person, I ran out before the last person. I ran back to the cars and searched for the last one, I know I brought seven. After being unable to find it, and concluding that I had lost it, I walked back to the group. Now, I noticed everyone had a flashlight. Confused, I looked at the guy that was without one when I left and I asked him where he got it.

“Some dude handed it to me.” he drunkenly responded.

“Who, where did they go?!” I had a sense of real urgency in my voice.

“He handed it to me and then ran to the forest.”

His eyes lit up when he realized what he had said. I told him to keep quiet and stay calm, but before I knew it we were playing the game and not even searching for the extra person anyway.

It wasn’t but a few hours before people began picking off one by one to go to bed, and I was next to last to turn in. I didn’t even change clothes, I just walked into the room, and flopped down on my bed, and before I knew it I was dead asleep.

I have no idea what time it was when I woke up to some drop hitting my face. Gazing to the ceiling, I noticed a fine leak, and of course it was pouring rain outside. I turned to cover up the side of my head, but when I did, I noticed the bedroom door open. There was someone standing there in the doorframe, as if they were walking in and shutting the door behind them, but froze mid-motion.

“Who’s there?!” I shouted it loudly enough to make sure my roommates heard.

It maybe lingered for two seconds before it bolted, I heard thumping on the stairs then the front door swinging open. I flew out after it into the pouring rain, only to find that I had been far outrun. I headed back in, shivering, not only because of the cold and bolted the front door shut. Everyone stared at me.

“Whatever it is, it’s out, so as long as all doors and windows are shut and locked, we’re safe.” trying to reassure everyone, I seemed to be the only one capable of speaking.

After a few long minutes of thought me and Roy looked at each other.

“THE BACK DOOR!” we said in complete unison.

We ran to the kitchen, but only it time to hear it slam shut. Now we didn’t know where it was. It was only a few short seconds of staring when a scream came the the second bedroom upstairs. I was first one up and froze at the doorway. It was leaning over Joel. It turned saw me and lunged out the window. Roy darted past me and to Joel, laying lifeless on the bed, blood dripping from his throat. I ran to Seth, who was completely curled up in a corner still screaming. I finally got him to shut up in time to hear Roy, “We need to leave, NOW!”

No one wasted any time at that and everyone ran to the vehicles scattered and frantic. I got in the car, along with Riley and Roy. A scream came from the house and Roy immediately ran out and back to the house, gun drawn. I scooted the the driver seat and stared out the window. After minutes I heard three gunshots, then saw someone running right toward the Suburban. I took out my flashlight and shined it to see Roy’s pale face and empty hands. I shined the light to reveal the silhouette chasing him, with a gun in one hand. I shined my light right on it, but saw no face, no features, it was still a shadow. When it saw the light, it turned to me and began running at me. I slammed my foot on the brake and the car ground to speed.
After 10 minutes of driving in the dark, rainy, fog, me and Riley, now the only ones in the Suburban, we stopped at the freeway. Riley wanted to keep going, but I was driving and elected to wait for 5 minutes for them to come up. Minutes went by and I grew more anxious, and almost left, just before I saw a pair of headlights in the distance from my mirrors. It was definitely the van and it was speeding right to us. It kept speeding. It didn’t… stop…

There was a sudden slam, and in my recovery me and Riley heard the radio kick on.

“You better drive”

The voice was muffled, distorted, Riley and I screamed together as I stood on the gas.

As we drove, the thing was constantly driving right behind us, riding our bumper, waiting for us to stop, a thought which didn’t cross my mind until the low gas indicator stared going off.
“Listen, Riley, here’s the plan.”

He turned anxious for ideas.

“In a few seconds, I’m gonna slam the brake, hold on, but quickly get out of the car, run into the woods. Once we get a safe distance, we will loop around and get in the van, then we drive off. Make sense?”

He nodded quickly and without a second thought I pounded my foot on the brakes.

We heard skidding behind us and took no time to be away into the thick forest. After several minutes we decided it was about time to go back, so we circled around and ran back toward the freeway. When we arrived both vehicles had doors all open and no sign of the create that had been chasing us. We got in the van, shut the doors and began driving, fast away from that horrible place.

An hour into our drive, a new alarm started beeping. I looked at the dash, stopped the car, and froze. Riley was jerked awake and stared at me.
“Wha-”

I turned to him… slowly…

“The trunk is opening.”

Original Author: Chris Holland

16 Comments on '“The 8th Man”'

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  • Commented on November 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    its a good pasta

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  • Commented on November 25, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    This is very unique

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  • Commented on December 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Even though i didnt really get it when they were outside and the guy the realized that there was 8 peopl i still enjoyed the pasta very much! *clap clap*

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  • Commented on January 28, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    A little bland, bit a good base for a nicely creepy tale. Fix some of the pacing and some other odd tweaks to the writing could really polish it up! 6/10, could use improvement

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  • Commented on February 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    That was a great pasta, now I am full. I am hungry for more 11/10

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  • Commented on March 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I have to agree with the consensus. 6/10. Not bad, but not jaw-dropping.

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  • Commented on April 30, 2014 at 5:21 am

    I like the suspense, but I’m also wondering what happens to them in the end. Although, I do love how it was left with a simple “the trunk is opening.” Looks like they were outsmarted by whoever or whatever this…thing…is.

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  • Commented on June 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    The last part of it was scary cx

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  • Commented on June 12, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    I was expecting some revelation about the 8th man but this was still nice without it.

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  • Commented on June 23, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Probably the scariest on I have read so far.

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  • Commented on August 26, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Hmmm pretty good certainly had some suspense to it and it was very original

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  • Commented on September 11, 2014 at 12:34 am

    <3

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  • Commented on September 11, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Good story 3/5

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  • Blink
    Commented on October 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Loved it.

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  • Commented on October 30, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Good story. I was pretty attentive! It was interesting enough but it didn’t give me a shaking feeling.
    7/10

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  • Commented on November 28, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I’m not mad at this, potential & not a boring read. 6/10

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