Cassandra cringed as Nathan’s screams carried through the woods toward the back of the house.

“Herb, how can you let this happen? Why don’t you stop him?”

“You’re defending Nathan? Do you honestly think he’s worth saving at this point? He wanted all of you in harm’s way. He’s the reason you’re here, the reason two of your friends are dead, and potentially the reason you’re going to end up the same unless I can stop my brother.”

“Are you serious right now? You’re just going to let him kill us. You’re just as bad as he is if you let that happen.”

“Don’t bother, Cassie. His name is Steff, whatever the hell kind of name that is. And Blane? Are you kidding me? Why the hell would your parents do that to you? Maybe that’s what made you both jerks, except that he’s a psycho and you’re a wuss.”

“Don’t say that. Like your dad was so much better. Besides, I’ve tried to stop him. Why do you think I’ve stayed out here all this time? You think I like running a restaurant in the middle of nowhere?”

“Oh fuck off, Steff. Stay here and rot with your twisted jackass brother then. We’re making a run for it. Come on, Cassie.”

Casey grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the door. They stepped out onto the porch and Casey was distracted by a movement to their left.

“That fucking swing….”

It stopped moving suddenly. Cassandra gasped and realized she couldn’t hear Nathan’s screams anymore.

“Oh no, Casey….”

A figure stepped out of the darkness. It was Blane.

“Leaving so soon, kiddos? We were just starting to get into it.”

Apparently Cassandra hadn’t given up on the possibility of reason prevailing.

“What is wrong with you? Why are you like this?”

“Perhaps pain is our legacy. We are our father’s sons. It was his intent that we were never denied anything as children, regardless of the cost to those around him. Isn’t that the greatest gift someone can give their children? The gift of everything?”

Casey spat on the ground.
“Maybe. Unless it means you grow up to be an entitled dick who is also a psychokiller.”

Blane smiled, but there was no mirth, only menace to be found in it. He pulled a long, thin knife from a sheath on his boot and considered it for a moment, the shine of it reflecting moonlight which had just surfaced from the depth of the trees surrounding them. He turned back and started toward them.

“Well, perhaps ours is a house that was just born bad.”

Photo by Issy Bailey on Unsplash