Deck’s best friend pushed him to the wood stove that was trusted to always be warm in the winter. The waif wrapped several blankets around Deck in an effort to warm him back up. Nat raced down the hall and came back with a pair of his dad’s slippers that were in one of the many closets that lined the hall.
“Have you checked your folks?” Deck asked in short raspy breaths. He could feel the twinging disorientation in the back of his throat and in his ears that told him he was close to hurling. Nat turned his head in a questioning gesture and dashed for the plastic waste basket at the end of the couch.
“Why do you ask?” Nat recoiled from him, handing him the bucket. He backed away for a second as Deck tried to force his stomach to behave. Deck’s eyes settled on Nat’s arms, the scars, just at eye level. He focused as he fought to quiet his stomach, not realizing he was staring. Nat, his face flushing, embarrassed, tugged quickly at his waffle shirt sleeves that were bunched up around his elbows. Deck’s stomach churned every time he saw them. The bucket proved to be of use after all.
“Just do it would ya,” Deck demanded under the rim of the bucket. Nat sighed and walked down the hall, scratching his head in confusion as he went. Deck had, in the past, asked Nat to do many strange things, but asking him to check on his parents at bloody five in the freaking morning? He must have really seen a ghost or something. He cracked the door to his parents’ room open slowly. The hinges moaned and squeaked. He peered into the gloom. Two small glowing orbs appeared at about the place where the bed would be. A shaft of cold air crawled down his spine. Nat slammed the door shut quickly, trembling as he scurried back to Deck.
“What was in there?” Deck asked.
“I – I don’t know,” stuttered Nat.
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