Cassandra got her purse from the old-style kitchen counter and ventured out the door of her grandparents' house towards her friend Juniper's yellow car. Juniper, Cassandra's skinnier, older friend, was parked out on the side of the gravel road some feet away from a group of construction workers; she was trying to configure the channels on her radio. It was a Sunday evening in mid-Autumn, leaves falling everywhere as the sun was perched on the horizon of the suburbs. Both of the girls were in their late teens, of Spanish descent, dressed for the evening, and eagerly anticipating a new nightclub on the fringe.
"You think its worth going this early?" Cassandra asked.
"Totally," Juniper said checking her appearance, her eyes darker than Cassandra, but her hair lighter. "I have a friend who works there and she said its fine."
Juniper started the car, a couple of the construction workers eyeing her. She watched out for a child playing with a dog in a nearby yard as she backed out and took off down the street. Cassandra peered around the windows at what were mostly invisible people nestled in their houses with only traces of lights to show that they were there. Juniper put her window down letting in the cool air, "What do you think you want to be for Halloween?"
Cassandra laughed, "When do you think you'll outgrow it?"
As Juniper came to the local cemetery she slowed down, "What the..?"
Drawn closely together in the dirt encircling the cemetery were two-line triangles with illegible writing on the edges, points facing outward. Each grave had a black candle atop it, with little, engraved metal walls to make sure the candles would stay lit in the wind. More distant there was a hard-to-see figure in dark clothing, lying down and looking up beyond the orange of the sky. The figure did not seem to exhibit any motion which creeped the girls out the most.
The yellow car was at a slow pace until the girls' stares were interrupted by a loud thud on the windshield. Cassandra shrieked and Juniper gasped, stopping the car. A dead tree branch had fell on the windshield and left a crack in the glass. The wind had intensified.
Cassandra looked at her friend with worry, "We should get out of here."
Juniper accidentally bumped the latch to open her trunk as she went for the door. The wind whipped around with an almost-Winter chill as Juniper dislodged the tree branch from the glass.
Another branch fell down on the hood causing both girls to jump and scream. Cassandra got out of the car and shut the trunk for Juniper while Juniper picked up the other branch and threw it. The old, dead tree towered over them menacingly as though something in it was alive.
Both of the girls got in the car, locking the doors and taking off towards the nightclub.
Cassandra was crying, "What the hell? We have to go the police."
"Don't worry Cassy, it was probably all just a joke. Someone will find it if its really bad. Lets just go towards the club." Juniper stated, shaken.
The girls arrived to a parking lot across from an expansive brown building. The trouble was that only two cars occupied the parking lot; the older of the two cars was diagonally parked against the lines with its front doors open, the headlights on, and the radio blaring mostly static. The door to the brown building was open, but the doorway was dark. Trance music accompanied with a sermon recording blasted loudly from the doorway echoing outside. There was little sunlight now.
"I have really bad feelings about this Juniper," Cassandra pled. "Something isn't right."
"It'll be fi-" There was a high-pitched scream from the building that interrupted Juniper as she unbuckled her seat-belt. Juniper looked at Cassandra terrified, "That's her, that's Claire!"
Juniper and Cassandra got out of the vehicle and ventured forwards. Smoke started pouring from the nightclub entry. Claire came stumbling out bloody and crying. Juniper looked at her damaged arm, "Are you okay? What happened?"
Claire yelled at the top of her lungs, "Get out of here!"
Claire went running back into smokey doorway of the nightclub, ignorant that the whole place was on fire. Juniper went after Claire. Cassandra followed. All that could be heard were pounding rhythms and verses around damnation.
Coughing hard unable to see anything, Cassandra tried to pull Juniper back towards the exit, screaming in her ear, "Your risking your life and mine!"
Both of the girls were trying to crouch under the smoke ineffectively; Claire was nowhere to be found. Juniper and Cassandra decided to retreat. They got out of the building quickly and ran towards Juniper's car.
"Lets go to the police station." Cassandra tried to hold back tears as Juniper turned onto the road.
"No." Juniper determined. "I'm going back to that damn cemetery. I'm.. I'm finding out what the hell that was about."
Cassandra opened up her car door, "Stop the car, let me leave. Let me off!"
"Its too dangerous Cassy!" Juniper snapped.
Cassandra complied with anger, slamming the door and crying. The girls made their way in silence towards the cemetery.
When Juniper got to the block the cemetery was on there was a thick fog leaving around forty feet of visibility. She had to drive extra slow but refused to stop. They parked a distance away of the dead tree outside the gates. Juniper and Cassandra got out, hair blowing in their faces from the wind, candle-adorned gravestones all around them. Seeing the writing closer around the triangles, it was still completely unreadable. They approached the figure that they had seen earlier lying in distance, it had not moved.
In front of the girls was a pale, androgynous being of peculiar, flowing dark clothes. The dead body had a face stricken with terror. Juniper decided to check it's pockets, nothing in the first one.
"I don't want to be here." Cassandra pleaded.
Juniper checked the next pocket on the stranger. To her surprise, she found a worn and stained piece of paper.. a folded note. Juniper unfolded it, "Wait we can leave after we read this."
The girls began reading as the mist closed in around them.