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The Trip

The Trip

Dylan and Pablo have recently become friends via the group therapy they both attend. When Pablo invites his new pal up to his summer cabin in the north, Dylan expects the trip to be rather uneventful and easygoing. And it is... at least, for a little while.

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Horror


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Caroline Jennings (United States)


It was supposed to be a relatively simple trip: they were to go up north, spend a couple weeks in a cabin that Pablo owned, and return home. Dylan wasn't normally the type that enjoyed going on vacations of any sort, but Pablo had insisted. The dark-skinned man frequently visited the cabin, but it could get awfully lonely spending weeks up there alone. This would not only give Dylan the chance to relax from the stress of daily life, but it also presented the opportunity of them getting to know one another a little bit better.

The boreal region was much, much colder than Dylan had thought it would be. He supposed he should have expected this since they were so up north, but it was summer, gosh darnit, and where he was from, summers were supposed to be warm! He actually didn't mind the cool weather all that much, and he secretly enjoyed spending one-on-one time with his good pal Pablo. After facing so much stress at his crappy job and in his life in general, this trip was exactly what he needed.

The first week was amazing. They passed the time by playing board games, reading books, and just talking to each other. Dylan kept quiet at first, as was his ways, but he slowly began to open up to the man. During this time, they learned a lot of interesting things about each other; like how Pablo had a little sister who was separated from him at a young age or how Dylan had once been married and had a child (two things neither of them dare to push the other into detail about).

The second week would have been great too if it hadn't been for the wolf.

Dylan hadn't seen it coming; one minute, he was out for a stroll alone on a nature trail in the woods that resided in the backyard of the luxurious cabin, and the next, the wolf was there, snarling and growling at him as though he were some fiend trespassing on private property. He ran as fast as he could, feet pounding on dirt and leaves which eventually became a bed of ballast when he happened across a railroad. He couldn't outrun a wolf, though, and soon enough, the great beast had lept upon him, and he felt a pain like no other. He screamed into the night, wondering briefly if he were close enough to the cabin that Pablo would hear him if he just kept screaming. He attacked the thing in return, but a sharp, deep bite on his arm made him see stars. The sound of flesh tearing and bones breaking filled the air, and he felt like he was going to puke. The moxie inside of him began to fade with every passing second, hits getting weaker, struggle becoming futile. He thought for sure hat he was going to die...

A loud cry from the wolf startled him, and when he opened his eyes again, Pablo was standing over him with a large bloody branch, looking down with soft albeit frightened eyes. Dylan wanted to thank the man a thousand times then and there, but no words came out as Pablo carefully tied a makeshift tourniquet around his injured arm. It was then that he realized that Pablo was shaking and, though he would probably deny it should Dylan ask, crying. In that moment, Dylan felt very calm. Reaching his good arm up slowly, he wiped the tears from his amigo's face and said that it was going to be okay.

Pablo laughed then, that soft, breezy, most despairing laugh, because the situation was so absurd, and he should be the one comforting his friend, not the other way around. They worked their way back to the the cabin together, and an ambulance was called. Dylan thanked his friend many times, saying that he would forever be in the man's servitude, and Pablo simply chuckled and assured the other that he'd find a way to make him pay back for it. The trip had unfortunately been ruined, but they had grown closer because of the accident: Pablo had seen how weak and vulnerable stone-faced Dylan could be, and Dylan felt like he could trust Pablo with his life completely. In the end, getting tested for rabies and spending a few days in the hospital was not how Dylan wanted to spend his first few weeks of summer, but he wouldn't change a thing.


Competition: The Pen Factor 2016, Assigned reviews incomplete

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