Sunday, September 14, 2014

Passages: Chapter 7


          He was hit with another thought. Opening the cassette drawer Rolen quickly noticed how peculiar the drawer was arranged. There were two rows of cassettes. Many were Beach Boys, but there were others. He knew his father only arranged his belongings in one way and one way only – alphabetically. Rolen pantomimed his movements from when he first came back to the shop and they told him exactly what he thought. He had picked up the first tape in the first row. Why was it the Beach Boys?  Mr. Sparks had Abba as well. Why wasn’t that first? Abba was in the drawer, but behind the eight Beach Boys albums. So it wasn’t just out of place by one, but rather eight instead. The discovery caused Rolen to speak out loud, even though he was by himself, and utter one of his dad’s favorite sayings, “What the world?” Goosebumps. He could practically feel his dad’s presence. Now Rolen was wondering if he was meant to hear that particular part of the song. Thinking that his lack of sleep was fueling his paranoia, he stopped the tape and flipped on the radio – hoping noise of some kind would calm his nerves.

          Rolen wasn’t the type of kid to get spooked, not easily anyway. He just didn’t scare over typical twelve-year old things. Jaws kept him up, but he was nine when he saw that for the first time – and hadn’t seen it since. Once, at a friend’s Halloween-themed birthday party, the haunted house was below mild on the scare factor at best -even though it was obvious the parents went all-out in making as scary as possible. While some screamed and some wet themselves, Rolen couldn’t help but to yawn, but did his best to act scared. He just kept picturing the terrifying shark accompanied by the fear-inducing music.

          If the barber hadn’t just shaved the back of his neck, the hairs would be standing on end. Other than the movie he’ll never watch again, being spooked was a new and unsettling feeling. His eyes then finally focused on the one item that made him come out here with subsequent brush burns.

          Rolen placed the answering machine in front of him, but was once again interrupted before pushing play.

          The five o’clock morning edition news was on announcing some mysterious happenings. Then it cut to commercial. Rolen would have either turned it off completely or changed the station if the reporter hadn’t said, “in Shades Run.” That’s when Rolen realized the barber missed a few hairs on his neck - because they were now standing on end.

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