“Come on, it’s just up ahead!” Trevor called out as he pushed some of the forests undergrowth out of his, and Autumn’s, path. Walking through the Windyweb Woods at night was always frowned upon, especially by the mysterious owner of said woods. But the people of Hawk Cove weren’t the kind to talk about the richest man in town, due to all the stories that were passed around like free leaflets concerning him.
The elderly all claimed he was a communist, and he’d started Hawk Cove as a hippie retreat back in the early seventies. The adults, parents of Trevor and his friends merely said he was never around, lived somewhere in New York and used the town as more of a retreat on rare occasions. After all deep in the woods, where Trevor and his friends were going, was Ashford Manor; a large, three story house that the owner had built before summarily boarding it up.
Signs throughout the wood bore warnings to all who would trespass, telling them they were on private property and would face “consequences” should they refuse to leave.
It was all a joke, seeing as there was nobody around taking care of the place. The last caretaker, an older man by the name of Mr. Riley, had been the caretaker for three years, coming into town once a week in a big old truck of his, scruffy black beard and beady little glasses visible from nearly a mile away. Always bought gardening supplies, tools for home repair and art stuff; brushes and paint, a canvas or three. Apparently he liked to paint when he wasn’t taking care of the Manor.
Of course that was before he died. Mauled by a Cougar was what the official reports said, his body more ground bloody meat than anything that could pass for human. That was why all the teens that came out to Ashford Manor always brought a gun with them, in this case Trevor had his father’s .45 Magnum tucked into his belt.
Safety on of course.
Behind him, his blonde bombshell of a (hopefully soon-to-be) girlfriend walked with the greatest of care, the summer night air thankfully forcing her to wear a thin halter top and a pair of daisy dukes. Behind her Brandon and Chris moved with their slow gait, Chris helping his diminutive girlfriend Hope along the trail Trevor was forging. Like all the teens of Hawk Cove, Trevor and his friends were coming to Ashford Manor for one thing.
A big abandoned house in relatively good condition, running water and electricity… with no adults. The perfect place to go on a small town Saturday night. Brandon, the lumbering linebacker from the school football team, had a heavy backpack slung over his shoulder, filled with a twenty-four pack of Keystone Light, as well as a pound of pot double wrapped snuggly in saran wrap, along with a portable DVD player and a selection of scary movies sure to get the girls crawling into laps.
Not that Brandon was going to get any, but then again he didn’t care. He was here for the beer and weed.
Trevor tore an offending branch down from his path, revealing the darkened silhouette of Ashford Manor against the starlight. Flashing the brilliant beam of his heavy flashlight before him to follow the overgrown trail, Trevor marveled at the Manor before him. Tall and imposing, the building was dark, made from a strange imported wood that seemed to blend into the shadows of the forest. A small green house sat off to the side, along with a guest house where the old caretaker used to live. The grass was high and overrun with weeds, with vines crawling up the sides of the building.
Trevor smiled, turning to the rest of his friends. “Party time!” He said with a grin as he made his way to the front door.