Jaden and Marvin have been living in Jeremy’s house for a few weeks now. Jeremy lives in the house as well, but they never see him at all. In fact, they’ve never seen him before. If anything, they mostly see his shadow lurking and creaking through the hallways at night in the house. This was Jeremy’s request to Jaden and Marvin. Jeremy wanted them to be in their rooms from 12:00 am – 3:00 am, so that he could roam the house freely at night. Marvin did not care about the request, but it was strange to Jaden. Plus, there was something strangely familiar about Jeremy to Jaden. He just couldn’t figure it out.
It’s close to midnight, and Jaden and Marvin are playing Mortal Kombat together in Marvin’s room. Jaden still has not forgotten about the fact that Marvin nearly choked him out to be in this house. He desperately wants to get far away from Marvin, but he fears that he’s trapped. However, Jaden is doing his best to keep things normal and casual with Marvin. Jaden does not want to anger Marvin again.
They’ve been playing Mortal Kombat for a few hours now, and they’re on their last match of the night. Marvin is using Sub Zero, while Jaden is using Lui Kang. While they’re playing, Jaden hears the floor creak outside of Marvin’s room. Jaden takes a quick look, but he sees nothing but a person’s shadow on the hardwood floor. Jaden thought to himself that it had to be Jeremy’s shadow. It’s not midnight yet, so Jaden wonders why Jeremy is outside his room at this hour.
Before he can think about it any further, there’s a loud yell from Marvin as he ends up beating Jaden the third round in Mortal Kombat.
“Let’s go! I am the greatest of all time! No one can stop me,” Marvin yells.
“Be quiet, I just got a little distracted,” Jaden says.
“Whatever man, all I do is win, win, win, no matter what. Now, if you want to get that work again, I got you.”
Jaden laughs, but there’s something strangely familiar about the back-and-forth between him and Marvin. All of a sudden, Jaden receives a text message. He’s worried about looking at the message because his mom was recently admitted to a hospital. She doesn’t have very long to live. Jaden starts tearing up because he wishes that he was with his mom and sister.
Marvin quickly gets up and embraces Jaden. Jaden shakes his head and explains, “It’s just hard being here and not at home, especially with my mom being sick and everything. It’s only getting worse for her, and —
Jaden suddenly stops and realizes there’s something weird and strange going on. He feels like he’s said that before. Jaden starts sobbing in Marvin’s arms.
Marvin whispers, “I got you, bro. You’re my best friend, and I’m always going to be there for you. You gotta push through the pain and hurt, alright bro?”
Marvin’s words are strangely familiar and eerie to Jaden. He doesn’t know why. Jaden looks at his phone and sees that it’s a text from Maria.
The text reads, “Hey, I miss you. I was wondering if you wanted to come over and you know.”
Jaden drops his phone, and he’s starting to freak out and shaking. Marvin doesn’t understand what’s going on. Marvin quickly picks up Jaden’s phone and sees that he got a text from Maria.
Marvin smiles and says, “Bro, Maria is trying to get a piece of you.”
“What do you mean?” Jaden says without even thinking. He quickly puts his hand on his mouth and can’t believe the words that he spoke.
Marvin lets out a big sigh and responds, “Jaden, my clueless friend, she’s trying to get with you and smash tonight.”
This is sounding all too crazy and familiar to Jaden. He doesn’t understand or know what’s going on right now. Then, Jaden adds, “Well, I’m not trying to see her bro. She’s getting married in a month.”
“Ok, and? She’s trying to have a little fun with you before she’s committed to someone the rest of her life. She’s entitled to a little fun. Plus, you’ve been boyfriend #2 for two years and now you’re trying to dip on her? Know your role bro,” Marvin says.
“I never wanted this role in the first place. This is annoying! I want something more than just fun and sex. It’s just been pointless and meaningless.”
“You’re just tripping, bro. Why did you start this in the first place, then?”
“I never wanted to start this situation in the first place. It just happened, and I thought she would break up with her boyfriend and be with me. It just never happened, and I’ve been a fool this entire time. I’ve been trusting and believing the wrong people.”
After Jaden said those words, there’s an awkward silence between Jaden and Marvin. Before Jaden can say anything, Marvin admits that he’s hungry and needs something to eat. Jaden’s heart starts beating faster, and he once again hears the floor creak again outside of Marvin’s room. Jaden looks and sees the shadow outside of Marvin’s room not moving at all.
Before Jaden can say anything, Marvin says, “You know, this might sound crazy but maybe we should go to the Purple Eyes diner and —
Jaden interrupts, “Marvin, do you not know what’s going on right now? We’re reliving that night at Purple Eyes!”
“What are you talking about, Jaden?”
“Marvin, doesn’t tonight seem a little too familiar and coincidental to you? We’re playing Mortal Kombat, we were talking about my mom, Maria sent me a text and you were about to convince me to come with you to Purple Eyes. We did all that before going to Purple Eyes.”
Marvin gasps and realizes that they are reliving that night in their own way. It’s not completely a copy of that night, but it’s pretty close. Marvin catches his breath and whispers, “Alright, this is a little freaky and weird. Ok this is no problem, all we have to do is not go to Purple Eyes and we’re good, right?”
Before Jaden can say anything, Marvin gets a random text message from Jeremy. It reads, “Come to the living room.”
Marvin shows the message to Jaden, and Jaden quickly looks back at Marvin’s open door and finds the shadow no longer there.
“Hey man, I don’t think you should go to the living room. I think we need to stick together and get out of here.” Jaden pleads.
“What are you talking about, bro? We’re gonna be fine as long as we don’t go to Purple Eyes. Plus, Jeremy is our landlord, so we really can’t ignore him,” Marvin explains.
“I don’t know man, he seems kinda shady and weird too tonight. I kinda saw his shadow in the hallway, and why is he now trying to see us?”
“It is a little strange, but I think we’re okay. You’re more than welcome to come with me, I’m going to see him real quick and be right back.”
Jaden tries to stop Marvin, but he’s quick to maneuver Jaden and get out of his room. Jaden is scared and worried about his friend. He thinks about getting up and following Marvin, but for some reason he’s struggling to move.
All of a sudden, Jaden hears a shriek sounding like Marvin and something heavy tumbling down the stairs. Jaden’s heart is beating faster and faster now.
Then, he hears Marvin yelling and begging for Jaden to help him. Jaden rushes out of Marvin’s room and goes to the steps. He sees his best friend’s body at the bottom of the stairs. Before Jaden can do anything, he’s pushed down the steps by someone. Jaden tumbles down the hardwood steps and ends up on top of Marvin.
Jaden’s body is hurting and aching, and he cannot move or do anything. His vision has been compromised. Everything is a blur now. He’s scared and shocked. Marvin pushes Jaden off of him, and Jaden can kinda see Marvin trying to crawl away. Jaden listens as he hears someone walking down the stairs. He turns his head towards the steps and sees a black figure coming down the steps. The black figure is a blur to Jaden, and the figure mostly looks like a shadow. Jaden is assuming the shadow is Jeremy.
The shadow goes over to Marvin first. Jaden cannot move or do anything. All he can do is watch and listen. He watches and listens to Marvin begging to have his life spared. Jaden listens to the constant and consistent stabbing taking place, the stabbing is loud, true and unbearable for some odd reason. Jaden listens to the cries his best friend is making. Jaden hears the laughter from the shadow for this is simply a fun, sick, thrilling game the shadow never wants to stop playing.
This was all too familiar and crazy to Jaden. The stabbing comes to an abrupt stop. Jaden looks over and sees his best friend with multiple stab wounds in a pool of his own blood. Jaden watches the shadow figure get up and look at him. Then, he whispers, “You’re next.”
Jaden instantly recognizes the voice. It’s his classmate’s voice from the night at Purple Eyes a few years ago. He’s alive, Jaden thought to himself.
“How are you still alive? You’re Jeremy, right?” Jaden weakly asks.
There is no response from the shadow that is quite familiar to Jaden. The familiar shadow walks over to Jaden and gets on top of him. Jaden can see the butcher knife in his hand, and it looks like the familiar shadow is going to stab him.
Jaden starts crying and realizes that he’s about to die. Then, Jaden whispers, “I’m so sorry.”
Jaden starts whispering more things, but the familiar shadow cannot understand the unclear, desperate whispers. The familiar shadow chooses to ignore the whispers. The familiar shadow kneels down to Jaden’s face and whispers in his ear, “So beautiful.”
Jaden is shocked by this familiar statement, and he continues to whisper. The familiar shadow gets off of him and stands up. It’s as if the shadow figure is waiting for something to happen. Then, Jaden realizes what he must do. Jaden reaches and begs for help, but he’s kicked in the face by the familiar shadow. The blurry figure gets on top of Jaden again, and Jaden understands and knows his life will be taken away from him. Still, Jaden whispers and whispers while he’s being stabbed repeatedly by the familiar shadow.