The Nine Shivers: Chapter 1
A Note From The Author
This is a writing in progress. If you do so feel inclined to leave helpful writing tips and suggestions, I openly accept criticism in an effort to improve my writing skills.
Rain batted lightly against the windshield of a sedan that was driving along a twisting overgrown road. The yellowed headlights of the car were dim from overuse and neglect from the owner, but still pierced the night’s darkness occasionally illuminating a car in front of it. As the tiny convoy made its way towards the end of road, the smooth pavement ceased to exist and gravel began to ding against the underside of the cars. The lead car slowed as it approached the end of its journey towards the most unusual of places. The other vehicles followed suit filing in one after another; four in total.
The rain had subsided for the moment as the cars idled briefly. One by one the cars were switched off and sat silently. The lead car’s driver door opened and out stepped a boy of high school age. His pristine white sneakers pushed into the mud without care as he hastily ran to the car next to him to talk to the driver, pulling his hood over his head as he went. The passengers from the lead car looked on through their fogged windows at the hooded boy, trying to catch a glimpse of his conversation. Kyle, a brown haired and blue eyed boy sitting in the front passenger seat tensed up in his chair.
“Tell me again why we’re going through with this stupid initiation?” Kyle asked.
Sarah, a cute, blonde haired girl answered, “It’s tradition. Every sophomore becoming a junior goes through some sort of initiation when becoming an upperclassman.”
“Well it’s a dumb rule if you ask me” another girl chimed in.
“Thank you” Kyle blurted immediately.
The hooded boy finished his conversation with the driver of the second car, made his way back, and opened his car door. He peered in without fully inserting his head into the car.
“It’s time Sophs. Ready to become upperclassmen?” the boy grinned devilishly.
Kyle, Sarah, and two others stepped out from the boy’s car as other upperclassmen and sophomores exited theirs. The hooded boy made his way to the front of the group that was gathering and climbed up on a broken stone wall next to a chain locked metal gate. As the boy turned, he could distinguish two groups forming before him of sophomores and upperclassmen. The group of upperclassmen started chanting before the boy raised his hand to quiet them. He removed his hood to reveal slicked back black hair. The boy was in control tonight and the power was consuming him. This was a night he had anticipated as being the show runner ever since his initiation day. All eyes were on him at this very moment. His spectacle was about to begin.
“Seniors, Juniors, and our Sophs. Welcome,” the boy paused, “to the initiation!”
The upperclassmen began cheering and banging on their car hoods. The sophomores stood quiet and looked on.
The boy continued, “As most of you may know, I am Kevin Grecher, your Initiator! Follow my commands and you will be a fully fledged upperclassman at Tonawanda High School.”
Kevin paused as another round of cheers sprang up. Kevin surveyed the crowd before him. He stepped up higher on the decaying brick wall and walked along the top of it staring down at the sophomores. As if on cue, thunder struck and lightning flashed as Kevin grinned down on them. The light rain had picked up again.
“I only have two commands for you tonight Sophs. Behind me stands Nutso’s museum. All you have to do is stay the night inside the museum and each of you need to bring us an artifact from inside.”
It was at this point a hard wind blew that almost pushed Kevin off of the wall. He regained balance just in time before tumbling over the front of the wall.
“Oh, and there is one more thing” Kevin continued, “Stories are told that Doctor Nutso went crazy one night and murdered two of his high school helpers before he took his own life. And that those who entered alone to seek his treasures and artifacts are never heard from again.”
Kevin jumped off from the wall and landed with a thick smack sending mud in all directions. Kyle glanced over at Sarah and noticed she was a bit paler than before. He wondered if it was the stories that had spooked her or if it was just the chill in the air and sting from the rain. It was at that point that Kevin had lined the nine sophomores up in front of him. He began to walk back and forth as if inspecting them for flaws like a drill sergeant in the military or a breeder looking over his prized thoroughbred horses. He stopped and turned to face a larger boy.
“Well, well. Tanner Tubsters decided to show up” Kevin smiled, as the upperclassmen laughed.
Kevin continued on, picking on this or that about a certain sophomore. There was:
- Sarah - ‘Preppy’ because of her outfit.
- Kyle - ‘Emilio Estevez’ after the actor who played the jock in The Breakfast Club,
- Tanner - ‘Tubsters’ due to his weight,
- Sophia - ‘Soph Soph’,
- Eric - ‘Milhouse’ because of his glasses,
- Hannah - ‘Bombshell’ because Kevin considered her hot (even tried to have sex with her as her initiation be she refused),
- Rachel - ‘Buck’ because of her large front teeth
- Brittany - ‘Pink’ because of a dyed pink stripe in her hair
- Alicia - ‘#9’ because she was the last one
The rain had picked up frequency and was dropping thick drops by the time Kevin was done berating each of them. With everyone becoming drenched quickly, Kevin and other upperclassmen took their place along the wall to help the sophomores to climb over. The sophomores quietly looked at one another as if pondering whether to actually go through with this silly initiation process or not. Tanner finally stepped forward in an effort to shake off any further insults and walked towards the wall. It took three upperclassmen to hoist him up onto the wall. Everyone looked on as he sat saddled on the top of the wall. Tanner looked down at the other side with a grim look. His heart rate increased. Was he really about to do this? Tanner looked back at his fellow classmates, swung his leg to the other side of the wall and hopped down behind the wall. Hannah was the next to be lifted over. On her way up, Kevin purposefully reached his hand up under her skirt to lift her up as if that was the only way he could get her over the wall Hannah just shot Kevin a dirty look once she was on top of the wall. One by one the sophomores climbed over the wall and landed on the other side. They formed a group on the opposite side of the chained metal gate. Kyle took his jacket off and wrapped it around Sarah, who gladly accepted it. Kevin approached the gate.
“Remember the rules for this initiation. You must spend the entire night inside Nutso’s museum AND each of you must bring us back an artifact as proof you were inside. We’ll be back in the morning at 8 to pick you up” Kevin stated, winking at Hannah who just rolled her eyes and scoffed.
With a quick motion, all of the upperclassmen rushed back to their cars whooping and hollering. The sound of engines roared from being started all at once. One by one the cars left down the gravel road they came. Kevin’s car was the last to leave. He rolled down his window.
“Don’t get caught by Nutso!” He cried out.
The red of the taillights became smaller and smaller until they vanished behind the thick nest of trees. It was at this moment, all of the sophomores turned around together as a group to look at what awaited them. At the end of a winding path, stood a megalithic, brick, castle-esque building that rose straight up into the sky. Tanner audibly gulped as the girls huddled near the closest boy for reassurance that they had done the right thing by going through with the initiation. Through the rain, Kyle saw a sign that was halfway hanging off of a broken sign post that read:
Doctor Nilnotso’s Museum of the Strange and Unusual
Enter if you Dare
- The Nine Shivers: Chapter 2
To become a peer recognized upperclassmen, the sophomores of Tonawanda High must go through an initiation. The initiation takes a turn for the worse when nine sophomores enter a haunted museum.
© 2016 Drew Overholt