28 - Hallway

27 - Sitting Room 29 - Attic
The boys followed Derrek into the hall. Derrek pointed them toward the kitchen, where Dina's groans could be heard from.
"Be sure to keep washing out her eyes and mouth. And stay put there." He said, heading for the stairs. He stopped. Peter almost stumbled into him. Something is off. What am I missing? The doors are still closed, lights didn't change. On the floor… The sickle. It's gone. Derrek turned to Yves. "Did you take the sickle?"
Yves glanced past his ice, his eyes confused, they went to the floor and widened. "No. But.. Warren wouldn't."
Derrek cursed and drew his rubber gun, he still had a cartridge left. "Kitchen, both of you, now." He said and started taking the steps. He flicked the light switch to turn on the lights again. About halfway he said upward, "Warren, your friends surrendered. Don't make this harder on yourself."
Derrek heard movement upstairs, but saw nothing. It sounded rushed. Derrek stopped. Not good, he already wanted out, can't trap him there. "I know you want out. Me too. Warren? Talk to me."
Derrek waited. He heard the people conversing in the kitchen accompanied by a few more painful groans. But upstairs, no reply came, no further noises either. Crap, he's forcing me here. Better take it slow.
Derrek got to the second to last step and leaning against the left wall, took a peek beyond the corner. No one.
He got to the landing, the first door in front of him was ajar, all other were closed. But he saw something he didn't like. Following the landing, beyond the stairs, to the front of the house, a ladder was folded out from the ceiling. God damn, you gotta be kidding me. Not the attic. Better check the other rooms quickly, he could have put that down as a distraction.
Derrek got to the first door, the one ajar. It led to a room at the back of the house. He opened the door further and peeked in. The room filled the entire width of the house. This had also been the room where Yves fired from. The three windows, one on each wall, were still opened, with a chair in front of each. It looked like a hobby room. A desk with drawings, instruments, yoga mats, weights, but no hiding teen as far as he could see. No gun either. Derrek cringed. Damn, he's not willing to be caught. Those are the most dangerous types. Sure, Yves had fired blanks, but can I be sure there weren't any other bullets present? Damn your doomsday thinking, Derrek. He couldn't see any boxes of bullets either.
He heard a sound from further in the hallway. That sounded like it came from up there. Or was that warped? Derrek moved to the next door. He opened it and found a small bedroom, no Warren. Next door, bathroom, empty. He was coming to the ladder now, but there were two more doors left. He opened the one on the left first. Another small bedroom, empty.
He looked up toward the attic, full darkness awaited there. He opened the last door, to the room above the sitting room. Master bedroom, not a soul to be seen. Another sound came, scratching, this time he clearly heard it coming from up there. Screw me. Derrek got out his flashlight and shone up. He could only make out the roof from here.
"Warren? You'll be in a lot of trouble if you don't come down. I know you have both the gun and a sickle. If you attack me, I'm going to have to defend myself. I'm armed too and I know how to shoot. Please, don't force me to." A silent eerily darkness was the only thing coming from the attic.

Warren dared another breath as the cop's step creaked on the ladder going up to the attic. His heart was racing through his chest. He had taken both the sickle and the gun, an act of desperation, but he was sure he wouldn't use them. He just wanted out.
He'd been lucky the cop had missed him, now to get past him. He peeked past the low hanging bed sheet to see the cop take the last steps onto the attic.
The bait had worked. Just a bit longer and he could sneak past him.

Continue reading: 29 - Attic

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