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It was just a legend. A tale started by a couple of teenagers that no one thought anything of. My town was always placed under a strict curfew, and anyone caught breaking it was arrested for insubordination. The two broke curfew once, the first to do so in three years. The official report said they were just making out when they were found. However, I know that is not true. My father is the chief of police, and before the "official" news report came out, he said he found them cowering at the intersection at Fifth and Main. They were twitching terribly, turned paranoid. My father even told me when he talked to the boy alone, he was thinking about turning on his girlfriend, because he didn't know he could trust her anymore. The girl said the same thing.
It had been a few weeks before they were allowed back at school. They started going around telling what they saw that night when they broke curfew. This is the story the boy told me, the one that became popular around school:
It was just supposed to be fun... Being bad and breaking the rules. But I-I learned some rules cannot be broken. Avoiding the cops, that was the easy part. Town's so spread out, they can't cover everything. I told her to meet me at her house, from there, we'd go to the little league field. Why? It's out in the open. Public rebelling got her pumped. But something didn't feel right... Every moment we were there, I felt more and more like people were watching us. I kept becoming distracted, looking around, double-checking to make sure no one was there. I mean, of course no one was there, everyone is too terrified of breaking the law to be out here, and if it was a cop, we'd be arrested.
If she felt the same feeling, she wasn't showing it; in fact it probably made her want to rebel more. She felt a thrill from breaking the rules. She pulled me closer and tried kissing me, and I thought I heard something. Something like breathing. I pulled away and looked around, and there was no one there. I tried reassuring myself that we were the only two out here, but she knew something was on my mind.
"What are you doing?"
"Didn't you hear that?"
She rolled her eyes. "I didn't hear a thing. Now come on, let's hurry!"
I tried getting close to kiss her again, but I felt the feeling more intensely than ever. I looked over my shoulder, my breathing becoming more shallow. "Tyler, if we don't hurry, curfew will be over and it wouldn't really be rebelling anymore!"
"I-I'm sorry, BeaBea, but there's someone here." My heart was beating quickly now. The darkness seemed to make my hearing compensate for my lack of sight. I heard shifting behind me. In response, I took off my shoe and threw it at the darkness, hearing it bounce off the railing on the bleachers.
"Tyler, you're scaring me."
I breathed in and looked back at her. "BeaBea, we have to get out of here."
I grabbed her arm and pulled her with me, hoping to escape this feeling. I tried to avoid the road, which is easier said than done, what with this town being so awkwardly mapped. But before long, I didn't care. It was there. I felt it. I didn't care if BeaBea didn't believe me, I just wanted to get out of there. I knew it wasn't just me, I mean, paranoia is never that bad, is it?
I could hear laughing now. It was everywhere! No matter where I turned, the laughing was always there. It was low, barely audible, but I could hear it in the silence of the night. I didn't notice until my head started doing the same, but my left eye was twitching. After five minutes of running, BeaBea put on her brakes, stopping me completely.
"NO!" I screamed at her, not even caring if the people that lived around us could hear. I wasn't able to form a complete sentence to tell her we had to run.
"Tyler, there's nothing there! See?" She let go of me and backed away slowly, as if she was also unsure of the safety of the godforsaken town.
I don't know what clicked in my mind, but I said something strange to her: "Oh my god, it's you."
She stepped forward. "Tyler, what are you--"
I backed up a step. "Stay away from me!"
She looked scared, but that didn't register to me. All I could see was she was the thing chasing me. That ever-growing presence that won't leave me alone. "You are it..."
I turned and ran from her, and she started yelling at me. "Tyler! Get back here!"
I ran faster, trying to get away from the feeling. I knew if I lost her, I would lose the feeling. It wasn't until I reached Main Street that I started to tire out. I fell to my knees, and turned my head. She was still coming for me. She wasn't going to stop. My fingers started to move on their own, and SHE was doing it. That's just what I thought. I crawled away from her as fast as I could, and when I looked back, I noticed her eye was twitching too.
When I reached the intersection, I was too exhausted to move any further. When she got to me, she was crying. "Tyler, please, you're scaring me!"
I tried to back away, but I came to realize what was chasing me was after her too, at least I hoped it wasn't her. She sat next to me and held me, and I continued to twitch, unable to respond to her emotions any longer. It wasn't much longer that the cops pulled up next to us, and I couldn't be happier with being arrested. It was still out there. Waiting.
That was what Tyler told me. I didn't want to believe him; he was known for his exaggerations, so I just had to find out for myself. Despite the fact I didn't believe a word he said, it took me a month to find the strength to go out after curfew. And the only way I found that kind of strength is when I figured out yesterday that Tyler was missing. I was still scared, so I placed a pocket knife on a belt loop just in case.
I started at the little league court where it began. I sat on one of the lower bleachers in case I felt the same way he did before. I leaned back, and watched the court like I would watch a game. But I didn't feel anything. There was nothing there, there were no sounds, and no feeling like I was being watched.
I shook my head and got up, telling myself I was crazy for coming all the way out here on a rumor. I yawned, trying to keep alert. I had to walk a mile back to my house before the cops made their patrol rounds. It hadn't been five minutes before I knew I heard something. I turned my head towards the noise, never stopping my pace. I didn't see or hear anything else, so I just shook my head. I was letting his story get to my head.
Still, I wasn't sure how to respond to that. My heart was beating fast because that's how his story started, but at the same time, he could have been just paranoid. It took me another ten minutes of me trying to convince me there was nothing to worry about before I realized there was a new sound. It was... laughing? I shook my head. It was just the story.
I wanted to believe that, until I heard my name. "Treavor... how did I not see this?"
I turned and faced the most horrifying thing I could have ever seen. It was Tyler. Kind of... His arms were covered in scars, many of which were recent. He wore the shirt he disappeared in, except now it was in shreds, covered in dried blood. His eye... the left one... it was gouged out, along with the skin that surrounded the socket... He was missing two fingers on his left hand, and three cuts were made on the visible sides of his neck.
"Tyler... What happened to you?"
His head twitched to the left. "Like you don't know... You led me to this!"
"Tyler, I don't understand what you're saying." I tried backing away.
He lifted a sickle at me. "I know it was you! You followed me that night!"
My heart stopped, Tyler had gone crazy and I didn't know what to do or say.
He started laughing loudly. And though there was a smile plastered in his face, his eye showed pure terror. He was scared of me. "Treavor, I know when you're dead, it'll stop... It'll all stop!"
I took another step back. "What will stop, Tyler? What will stop?"
"THE TWITCH." He sliced at me with his small sickle. "Ever since you followed me, the Twitch hasn't left me! I can't stop twitching! Even when I cut out my eye, and cut off my fingers, it was still there! The Twitch! It's always there! And if I kill you, who gave me the Twitch," he stopped to laugh again, "I'll be free!"
I started to stutter, "T-Tyler, please. I came to find what made you do this, I didn't do this!"
"DON'T YOU LIE TO ME!" He reached forward; some of his blood reached me even when I avoided the sickle. He kept trying to cut me, and I started to run. "Don't run from me! I'll always find you, Treavor!"
I did actually make it home. Just barely. But I can easily say I cannot be the same. He's out there. He's there somewhere, waiting for me. I haven't seen him in weeks, but he's there, and I know it. Every night, I have to close the blinds, or else I look out the window, and my eye begins to twitch.
Written by VergilthePoetofLimbo