“I don’t know Bobby…” The young boy stepped carefully along the cave’s slick, uneven floor. He stayed as close to his friend as he could, trying to wrap the beam from Bobby’s flashlight around him like a blanket.
“Don’t know what, David the Dweeb? Scared of GHOSTS?” Bobby spun around and held the flashlight under his chin. He moaned like a ghost, rolling his eyes dramatically.
David pushed him. Bobby laughed, turning back around. “NOT funny, Bobby! My grandpa used to tell us stories about this cave all the time. He was scared of it!”
“Well at least we know where you get your scaredy-cat ways, don’t we?”
“He was not a scaredy-cat! He fought in the Vietnam war!”
“Yeah, whatever…” Bobby suddenly slipped forward. “Ahh!”
David screamed. “What happened! What is it!”
Bobby was laughing again. “Dude! Calm the hell down. I just slipped on some mud or something.”
“I really think we should just leave, Bobby. I don’t like the feeling in here. My grandpa said the witch…”
“Grandpa, grandpa, GRANDPA… You’re the one that wanted to come in here in the first place! Besides, there’s no witch.”
“Grandpa said she doesn’t like kids who don’t believe…”
Bobby sighed, exasperated. He spun around, almost falling again. “Look, if you don’t want to keep going, then go on and get out of here!”
David stared at him with wide, trembling eyes. He lowered his head. “Let’s keep going.” Bobby said nothing. He turned and started walking again. David walked a little farther back now.
A sudden, cold breeze blew over them both. David inhaled from the sudden shock. He turned back towards the cave entrance. He couldn’t see it.
Bobby turned around. “Are you babying out again?”
David hugged himself. “No! That wind was cold.”
“That was kind of weird… Wow! We’re pretty far in, huh?” A faint whispering glided along the cold breeze this time.
Bobby spun around. “What the… Who’s in here!” He swung the flashlight about. It revealed dark gray walls, nothing more. He froze and listened carefully.
Whispering came from behind him. He half-turned. “Very funny, David.” He took a few more steps forward, straining to see beyond the flashlight’s fan of light.
He stopped and listened again. More whispers echoed behind him. He spun around again. “Knock it off David! It isn’t…”
David wasn’t there.
Bobby spoke quietly, his voice shaking. “David? Where are you, buddy?” Another cold wind, more of a blast, struck Bobby in the back. With it came not a whisper, but a vague, raspy howl.
“David! Wait for me!” The boy began to run, the light from his flashlight bobbing wildly on the craggy cave walls. His feet splashed through shallow puddles of stagnant water.
The wobbling light picked up on a pale face, twisted and scowling, glistening and wet. Bobby screamed, trying to stop and turn all at the same time. The slick floor denied his request, sending him sprawling onto the ground. The flashlight flew from his hand. It went dark as it crashed off of the cave wall.
Bobby began to cry. He dragged himself backwards, panic squeezing his heart as the dark pressed in on him. He whipped his head back and forth, eyes wide, trying to see something, anything.
He quieted himself enough to listen. He could here the quiet dripping of water in the distance. Nothing more. He slowly dragged himself up into a sitting position.
“Bobby.” David’s voice floated out of the gloom.
“David?” Bobby sniffed. “Where are you?”
“Right here, Bobby.” The flashlight clicked on. “Here with mother.”
“Your mom? What?” Bobby started moving backwards.
The flashlight’s beam swung up, illuminating David’s twisted, bloodless face. His eyes blood red, his teeth sharp and glistening, revealed in a gnarled grin. “Join us, Bobby. Join mother…”
Clawed hands dug into Bobby’s shoulders, an unearthly cackle ringing in his ears, drowning out his final scream.
The flashlight clattered to the floor once again, falling dark for the last time.