Kickoff written by jaycee04

THE TOWƎЯ (part 3)

Every small town hides a secret...

“Luke!” Christopher called out again.

Startled, Luke quickly turned to him.

“You didn’t forget your watch, did you now?”

Luke turned to his naked wrist, eyes suddenly widening. “That’s what was missing!” He ran to his room, again, barely missing the toy car.

Christopher walked through the hallway and across the living room, the dining room and kitchen, and locked the back door.

Luke hastened past his bed, and grabbing the retro watch, which lay on top of his bedside table.

Christopher headed back through the dining room.

Luke turned around, shutting the door to his room and sprinted to the front door not noticing the toy car. He stepped on it, lost his balance and slid toward the floor. Christopher leapt toward him, grabbing on to his arm. “You alright?” Christopher asked, eyes narrowing.

“Yea…” Luke replied, exhaling sharply with relief.

Christopher, stepped out the front door after Luke, locking the door behind him. A cool breeze tugged at Luke’s sleeveless ski
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vest, causing him to grab hold of his chest before wheezing quietly.

“You have your inhaler with you, right?” Christopher questioned, a bit bothered.

“Yea” Luke stuttered through short coughs.

The two walked down the slight incline of the driveway. “That red car…You still play with those toys?” Christopher asked, slightly shocked.

Luke stopped coughing, and turned to him, “They’re collectibles…Not toys.” He noted with a slight sass.

“Well, excuse me.” Christopher replied in a matter a fact tone.

Once they reached the road they made a left on the sidewalk where gargantuan trees of muted red and orange, interrupted only by the electrical pole, towered over the road. Several children walked past in the opposite direction with empty bags, talking amongst themselves.

“Why are the houses so far away from each other?” Luke groaned.

They passed by a “MISSING” poster stapled to a pole with a photo of a little brown haired girl with a thin smile. Under the girl’s photo was the
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name, “RUE HARBOR”. Several staples and scraps of posters could be seen around the pole, as if previous posters had been ripped off. Another one, looking faded and crinkled, was ripped in half. Luke’s expression quickly changed once his eyes fell on Rue’s poster. Once Christopher noticed, he stepped to the right of Luke, blocking his view until the pole passed.

Christopher turned to Luke, pulling him in, “Try not to think about it. Think about your hover-board…” Christopher grinned. “Or how much of a stomach ache you’ll get from eating all that candy.”

Luke gave a thin smile, and looked up and pointed to the left. “Oh! Let’s stop at that house.”

A corner house stood lonely, surrounded by bushes and small trees in the front yard with few in the back. Its flat tiled roof tapered down in a triangle to exterior walls of blue. A cracked stone driveway led to an open carport.

The two brothers walked across the driveway, stepped up to the front door and rang the doorbell. For a few
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moments nothing happened, then Christopher’s pocket vibrated. He pulled his phone out…“Mom”
Christopher shook his head, and walked down the creaky wooden steps, and stood by one of the windows leaving Luke to himself.

“Yes, mom?” Christopher questioned flatly, looking down at his feet, shifting his weight from one foot to another.

“I know I just called, but, something doesn’t feel right. It’s like there’s this dark cloud, hanging over you guys.”

Christopher picked at his neck. “He’s fine… I get that Rue’s disappearance is making you anxious…” He waved his hand around, “Anyway, the farthest we’ll go is to the radio tower and back…”

Luke stood silently, leaning his ‘hover-board’ against the wall. The porch light gently illuminated his face, when the gradual noise of footsteps stepped to the front door where they suddenly came to an abrupt stop.

The door opened with a loud creak and Luke was greeted by a tall man in his late 60s, Ryan King.
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