It has been a yearly ritual ever since they were born, a ritual that grew more and more dangerous with each passing year. In the beginning it was something they looked forward to. Now it was torture for the three of them.
Last year was their biggest and most dangerous ritual. They were afraid of having to relive those memories, those haunting, disturbing memories that kept them up at night.
This year, they were planning ahead; they were going to survive by any means possible.
Even with the family festivities still going on downstairs, Leon was able to lull himself to sleep. Right as he could feel his mind slipping away into deep sleep, he heard static coming from underneath his pillow.
Waking up, he reached under and pulled out a small children’s radio. Broken words came through the static.
“Leon, we have an emer– The ta– still–”
“Hello?” Leon responded. “You’re breaking up. Repeat.”
After a burst of static, everything fell silent. Quickly after, the doorknob to Leon’s bedroom door started turning.
Hearing the squeaking of the knob, Leon hid under the blankets.
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Copyright © 2019 by Luka Tatsujo