Glacier: The Other Side

By Beth Lynn

Young adult

Paperback, eBook

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389
7 mins

Chapter 20

We had an hour. That was it. Every door needed to be locked and every window closed and shuttered. The house had to be on complete lockdown in just sixty minutes.

“Don’t be scared.” Luke said, “The whole neighborhood’s doing it. We’re all one big pack. If anything happens, someone will stop us.”

“I still can’t believe I’ve been coming to this neighborhood every summer and never knew about any of this.” I admitted.

“It’s certainly an eyeopener.” Luke replied.

“Please, if I transform tonight don’t let me…Well, you know what I did last time.” I whispered.

“Carly, you’re gonna be fine. You’re overreacting. I’m a pro. We’ve just gotta stay inside, and nothing will go wrong.” Luke assured me.

I heard a series of odd sounds almost like gun shots coming from Teddy’s room.

“What was that?” I asked anxiously.

“It was probably just one of Teddy’s video games. You’re too jumpy. What was Harold’s first piece of advice?” Luke said.

“Stay calm.” I recalled and took a deep breath, “I’m calm. Let me just check up on Teddy, that’ll make me even calmer.”

I rushed to his room to persuade myself that I hadn’t heard anything at all. It was just my imagination. But the sound got louder as I got closer to the room. It really did sound like gunfire.

Teddy looked up from his game console. “What’s with you? I haven’t seen you this pale since you were a vampire.”

“Your game sounds very realistic.” I said. I cringed at the sound of a guy grunting. “And violent.” I added

“Yup! Makes it all the more fun. Wanna play? There’s a multiplayer mode.” Teddy offered.

“I can’t. I have to help Dad and Luke moon proof the house.” I said.

“I think they’re doing a good job on their own. You need to calm down. This is what I’ve been doing every full moon. Just playing video games until I pass out. It’s awesome!” Teddy remarked.

“Alright. Maybe just for a second.” I said and took a seat beside him.

Little did I know how addicting video games were. I spent much longer than a second blasting bad guys and watching blood splatter across the screen.

Now, it was the final showdown. All of the characters lay dead on the side of the road. It was just me and Teddy. A fight to the death. I prepared my bazooka.

“You’re going down!” I shouted, slamming on the console.

“I don’t think so.” Teddy said determinedly.

His avatar pulled out a machete and used it to behead mine faster than my fingers could work the console.

“You may be master of the strings, my dear sister, but nobody beats me at this.” Teddy bragged.

“Well, that was fun.” I said, as I got up and stretched, “I’m gonna go check up on Dad and Luke now.”

“Suit yourself.” Teddy said as he pressed the replay button, “If you need something to distract you, I’ll be here.”

“Thanks, Teddy. I’ll keep that in mind.” I said.

Once I left his room, I realized how much time had gone by. The moon was already up. I had missed the final check. I just had to take Luke’s word that all of the doors were locked. No moonlight could come in.

And I couldn’t get out. I was trapped in here for the rest of the night. There was no exit. It was like a dungeon in and of itself.

I blinked, watching the room around me change. It all grew darker, the walls coming closer together. No! I fell to the ground shaking. I promised myself I wouldn’t go back there. Not again!

I pounded against the dungeon door, begging the gargoyles to let me out. I was controlled now! I didn’t belong in here.

“Carly!” I felt a splash of water hit my face.

“Snap out of it!” Luke shouted.

I caught my breath and looked around. I was back in the house, not the dungeon. It was dark, that was all.

“Are you okay?” Luke asked.

“Y-yeah.” I lied.

“What was the first thing I said? Stay calm!” Dad said as he came rushing over, “What happened?”

“Nothing.” I said, “I’m fine.”

“Why don’t you go in the other room or something. I think she’ll be more comfortable just talking to me.” Luke told Dad.

“Okay.” Dad surprisingly complied, “I’ll go check up on Teddy.”

“Now, tell me,” Luke said as he led me to the couch, “What made you freak out like that?”

“Luke, I’m okay.” I assured him.

“I believed you the first time. But this isn’t normal. You were screaming at me to let you out. You know we’re not allowed to go out. I thought you said you wanted me to stop you from transforming.” Luke said.

“I do! I didn’t mean out of the house. I meant…It really doesn’t matter. I’m alright now.” I said.

“Carly, open up. Please, tell me what’s going on.” Luke persisted.

“Well,” I sighed, “I don’t know if Marina told you, but my last month at Glacier was not exactly a picnic.”

***

“I had no idea!” Luke said.

“I really don’t like to relive it. I only told Marina because she shared her story with me.” I admitted.

“Listen to me, Carly, as long as I’m here, that will never happen again. No gargoyles will take you away. You’ll never be locked up like that. Do you understand?” Luke said.

I nodded.

“Can you spend the night with me?” I asked.

I hated how wimpy I sounded. Luckily, Luke didn’t seem to take my timidness into account.

“Of course.” He said, “I’ll make us some coffee. Something tells me we’re gonna be up all night anyway.”

I never took my eyes away from him as he went to the machine to make the coffee. He really had a caffeine addiction, but I didn’t want to bring it up right now.

“It just surprises me how much you wanted to go back there.” Luke said.

“It was for Grubarra.” I said, “I was only down there for a month, and it broke me. But she has been down there for centuries, Luke. Centuries.”

Luke looked like he was about to say something else, but then Dad came back out of Teddy’s room, looking a little bit queasy.

“There’s only so much of that game I can stomach.” he said.

His hand remained on the doorknob to Teddy’s room. I watched questioningly as he got the master key out of his pocket.

“Don’t lock him in there!” I shouted.

“Why shouldn’t I? None of us want to go back in there and we need to make sure he’ll stay safe. Carly, I’m really tired of you telling me what to do. It should be the other way around.” Dad said sternly.

“Your decisions don’t make any sense.” I bickered, “I’ll stay with Teddy for the night. It just doesn’t seem right to lock him in there. What if he has to use the bathroom or something.”

“What about your coffee?” Luke asked.

“Rain check. I’ve been spending so much time with you lately, Luke. I think I should really give Teddy some attention.” I said.

I didn’t give it much more thought; I walked right past Dad and into Teddy’s room. He was so consumed in his game that he didn’t even notice me coming in.

“Wanna have another go at it? I think it’s only fair to give me a rematch.” I said, taking a seat next to him.

“I thought you’d never ask.” Teddy replied, his eyes never leaving the screen.

We played until my fingers grew numb from pressing down on the console a few too many times. Teddy had beaten me countless times, but I was determined to win at least once.

“Carly?” Teddy said, his focus still remaining on the game.

“Yeah?” I replied.

“Does Dad have a terminal illness or something?” he sounded gravely concerned, but he still didn’t look away from the screen.

I set my console down, not minding that by doing this I was allowing him to defeat me for the hundredth time.

“Teddy, look at me.” I commanded.

Once my avatar was completely annihilated, its brains splattered all over the screen, Teddy took the time to look away from the game.

“Luke and I know something’s up with Dad. But it’s going to be okay because we have each other. I’m not leaving ever again. And Luke might be going away to college soon, but he’ll still be there for us. We just have to stick together because we’re siblings and that’s what we do.” I assured him.

“You’re not leaving? I heard you tell Luke you wanted to go back to Glacier.” Teddy said.

I shook my head, “I’ve decided that I’m staying right here where I belong.”

Teddy abruptly dropped the console and put his arms around me! This was turning out to be a really emotional night. Too bad the tissue box was in the other room.

Before I had enough time to bask in my brother’s affection, he awkwardly pulled away.

“Please don’t tell anyone I just did that.” he muttered.

“Of course,” I laughed, “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Wanna go again or are you getting tired of getting blown up into tiny little pieces?” Teddy asked.

“No, let’s go for another round.” I said, picking up my console again.

As Teddy loaded a new game, the lights flickered and eventually went out all together. The game crashed and the screen went blank.

“Ah man!” Teddy cried.

“A fuse must’ve broken. The generator should kick on in a minute.” I said, trying to calm myself more than my little brother.

We heard a loud crash from upstairs that almost sounded like shattering glass.

“What was that?” Teddy asked.

“I’m not sure. Stay here, I’ll find out.” I said.

Bravely, I left the sanctuary of the room in search of what had caused the noise. More importantly, I wanted to find Luke. He would know what to do.

Since the power had gone out, and the windows were all boarded, the house was completely dark. So, I lit a small fireball and let it float in front of me to guide my way.

“Luke?” I called.

There was no answer. Where the hell was he? Hopefully, he and Dad were doing something about the power. It would be back on before I knew it.

I felt something rush past me in the dark. I turned, allowing my light to reveal everything in my path, but there was nothing there.

“Luke, this isn’t funny!” I cried.

Knowing the crash came from upstairs, I rushed to the attic. If the window up there had broken, I could only pray that the curtains blocked the moonlight from rushing in.

Hesitantly, I turned the doorknob, only to find that it was locked!
“Luke, are you in there?” I asked.

“Yes!” The sound of Luke’s muffled reply allowed me to finally breathe.

“The window’s cracked. Don’t worry, though. I closed the curtains in time.” he said.

“Why are you locked in there?” I asked.

“Locked?” he echoed.

I heard him clamber over the other side of the door, and saw the doorknob turn. Was the door locked from both sides?

“Get Dad. He has the master key.” Luke instructed.

“Okay. I’m on it. You’ll be out in a minute.” I promised.

With that, I rushed over to Dad’s room, praying he was in there. Much to my surprise, his door was also locked.

I knocked. “Dad, open up! Luke’s locked in the attic. We need your master key.”

“What? I’m trying to start up the generator. I don’t have time for this.” he huffed.

Just like Luke, I heard his footsteps wander over to the door and saw the knob turn.

“Carly, can you unlock the door?” Dad requested.

“You have the master key.” I reminded him.

“Oh yes.” he said.

I waited in silence for him to open the door. Any moment now, he would come out, key in hand, ready to free Luke. We would call a locksmith first thing tomorrow when it was safe to go outside. Everything was going to be fine!

“I don’t have it.” Dad said dissuading my hopes, “I must’ve lost it. It was in my back pocket, but it’s not here anymore. It probably fell out or something.”

“Well, keep looking!” I pressed, “Check all your pockets!”

“You don’t think I’ve tried!” Dad shouted.

A loud, startled scream made me jump. Oh no! I knew exactly where the shout had come from.

“Teddy!” I cried.

As fast as I could, I bolted back to his room, praying that his door wasn’t locked as well. The flame floating in front of me grew bigger as my fears increased.

Thankfully, the door easily flung open. No, being locked out wasn’t what made my heart stop. It wasn’t what made me scream. What lay just beyond the door, however, was something out of my worst nightmare.

A hooded man stood over Teddy, his mouth just inches away from my brother’s neck.




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