Prologue Max looked at the clock on the wall next to him; it was getting late, but he needed to keep working. “UGH! Why do we have to do this?!” Max groaned in annoyance. He hated I.T. but this project determined whether or not he passed summer school, and he couldn’t do another year in that hell. It was due in the morning, so Max kept himself going. At about 11:00 pm Max started getting tired. He couldn’t keep going, so he got up and made some coffee. Max’s parents never allowed him to drink coffee, but he was feeling like a rebel and always wanted to try some, so that’s what he did. He then went back to work. While he was working his computer vibrated, and because this has never happened before, he jumped up in shock, dropping his coffee all over himself and his laptop. Max was stunned as his computer buzzed violently for a few seconds before it finally shut off. He couldn’t move for what seemed like an eternity. Then, he got up and put the laptop back on his bed. He needed to change his clothes. He quickly did so; new pajamas felt wonderful. Max felt fresh and ready to get back to work, but for some reason, he hesitated; he couldn’t move, for real this time. He felt a wave of energy enter his hand closest to the laptop. He let out a yell of agony but no one heard. The pain was going farther and farther down his arm, his shoulder, his body, his legs, his feet, his other arm, it was too much to handle. Max collapsed on the ground, the shock creeping up his neck until everything went dark.
Chapter 1 Kenny was out of breath. He heard his mother yelling at him for missing the bus and his sister laughing at him. He was out the door faster than you could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Kenny was a skinny boy in grade 10. He had blond hair and brown eyes. He was wearing light brown cargo pants and a tan tee-shirt with a blue sweater.
“I’m so late, I’m so late!” he whispered to himself, almost dropping his lunch which he was still trying to stuff in his bag. “I’m gonna get detention, I never get detention!” He was running so fast that he didn’t realize that he was out of breath until WHAMO! He tripped on a tree root and fell face first, luckily, onto his bag that still had loose papers in it. Kenny got up and looked to the side and shivered, “Ugh, this place.” Kenny then turned to cross the street and went to school.
He quickly tucked in his shirt and rushed to the office to collect his late slip. He was ashamed of himself because he was never late, and as he walked into the classroom, he could feel all the eyes in the room looking at him. Kenny quickly ran to the teacher, gave him the late slip, and sat in his seat. Time ticked, the teacher droned, students asked stupid questions, and everyone did some work. This is how the first two blocks went. It was finally the third block; everyone was waiting for lunch when suddenly, there was a loud bang in the back of the class. Everyone turned to see a girl, asleep on her desk. She was wearing a tan tank top and blue jeans. She had brown hair and eyes which were currently closed.
“Kiera! Wake up this instant!” The teacher yelled, “That's detention for you!”
Kiera rubbed her eyes, “What? But, but…”
“No buts Kiera, that’s lunchtime detention.”
Kiera let out a deep sigh, and class continued. After what seemed like an eternity, the bell rang and everyone packed up and ran out the door.
Kenny was walking to his locker to put some stuff away before going to detention when he heard a strange noise coming from downstairs and decided to go investigate it. There was a large, darker-skinned boy, about 6 feet tall, and very muscular. He had very short black hair and blue eyes. He was wearing his basketball jersey that said his name, Kyle. Kenny saw that he had one hand on another kid and his other hand in a fist. Kenny knew what was going to happen and swiftly ran over to Kyle and grabbed his arm. Kyle lashed out and hit Kenny in the face, knocking him out cold. The last thing he heard was, “Kyle, go to the office, now!”
When Kenny woke up he was in the office with three other people, Kyle, Kiera, and another girl who he didn’t recognize. She had brown hair and green eyes, she was wearing a grey sweater and black track pants. Kenny surmised that she had been at gym class earlier.
“Hi,” he said, “What’s your name?”
The girl looked up at him and said, “Jane, What’s yours?”
Kenny replied with, “My name is Kenny; I’m here because I was in a fight… I think. How about you?”
She said, “I threw a basketball… at the teacher. It hit him in the face and he had to go home. By the way, is your head ok?”
“ALL FOUR OF YOU, IN HERE NOW!” came the principal’s loud shout. All four kids walked into the principal’s office, ready to receive their punishment.
Chapter 2 “You all know why you’re here,” Principle Jecob sighed, “and to be honest, some of you I expected… and some of you I did not. But that is beside the point. I didn’t expect to see so many kids at one time so I need to think of something. Hmm, oh yes, I assume you all know the house across the street? Yes, good because I need all of you to go there and clean it out. I asked the city if I could use it for a Halloween event and they said yes so I need you to clear out as much stuff as possible, is that clear?”
“Yo, that’s slave labor!” Kyle yelled.
“I said, is that clear?” Mr. Jecob asked again, firmly.
“Yeah, yeah, ok.” were the replies from the four teens.
“Man, this is gonna suck,” Kenny said as he left the office with the others. “Why is the punishment so bad when this is my first time getting in trouble?”
“Hey, buddy, I think you should keep your thoughts in your head because some of us have gotten into trouble before and you acting like a perfect little angel is not making us feel any better about all of this.” Kiera finished.
“Ya!” Kyle added.
“Well I’m sorry, I just can’t believe this is happening to me,” Kenny replied
“Can you just shut up!” Kyle yelled.
“Stop! Stop this arguing because it isn’t going to make things better!” Jane interrupted.
“Ok, jeez,” Kyle said as the four teens finally went their separate ways to complete the day and finish their punishment.
Chapter 3 “Well, here I am, ready to do my first punishment.” Kenny thought out loud.
“You mean, here we are.” Jane and the others said, startling him.
“C’mon let’s just go in there, clean it up a bit, and GTHO, ok?” Keira said with an annoyed look on her face as the four teens went into the house.
The house was dark and run down, with cobwebs, and cracks all over the walls. The paint was peeling and the wallpaper looked incredibly old. As Kyle turned on the lights, most of them burned out and the ones that stayed on kept flickering on and off. The furniture was outdated as no one had entered the house in many years. The floorboards creaked with every step and the carpets were covered in dusty boot prints from whoever was here last.
“Alright, everyone listen-” Jane said before she was interrupted.
“Why should I listen to you!” Kyle threatened.
“Because I have a plan to get this done faster, you daft moron!” Jane spat back. “Ok Kyle, Kenny, you go downstairs-”
“WHAT NO...I mean, I want to go upstairs!” Kyle quickly shouted
“Ok...me and Kenny will go downstairs and Kyle and Kiera will go upstairs, got it?”
“Ugh, whatever,” Kiera responded and they all went to their rooms.
Upstairs with Kyle and Kiera, Kiera was already a bit suspicious of the house, and Kyle wasn’t making her feel any better.
“Alright, let’s do this.” Kyle said strangely while rubbing his hands together.
“You mean cleaning up right?” Kiera said, slowly shifting away.
Kyle stared blankly “Of course I mean cleaning, what else would I be referring to?!”
“I don’t know…” Kiera said letting out a sigh, “I’m just a little nervous that’s all. I watched a horror movie last night and the house looked kinda like this one.”
“Was it the movie with the doll, or the clown?” Kyle asked.
“That’s not important!” Kiera answered. “What matters is that we should just do the job and get out just in case something bad happens.”
“Ok, ok, sheesh,” Kyle said under his breath. “Looks like someone’s un poco loco.”
Meanwhile, in the basement, Kenny and Jane were trying to look around as best they could with the extremely dim lighting.
“Wow it’s dark in here!” exclaimed Kenny.
“I know!” replied Jane. “You would think the lighting would be better if they wanted us to clear it out, but I guess they want our jobs to be harder.”
“Heh...yeah I guess so,” replied Kenny.
“Hey, why are you holding my hand?” asked Jane suspiciously.
Kenny responded from across the room, “What do you mean, I’m over here!”
“Then who’s…” Jane went quiet as she trembled and shuffled away through the dark.
“Jane?” Kenny called “Jane! Jane! JA-”
“AAAUUUGGGGHHH!!!!” Kenny let out a terrifying scream.
Thud, thud, thud, came the footsteps running down the stairs.
“AHHH MY EYES!” cried Jane as a flashlight beam shone right at her.
“What the hell happened down here?” Kyle asked. “And where did Kenny go? That boy is not leaving on my watch!”
“Kenny is on the floor laying down like a baby because I scared him.” Jane told Kyle
“HA-HA!” laughed Kiera and Kyle, “What a wimp!”
“Very funny everyone.” Kenny said as he got up, “Let’s keep looking.”
“Alright everyone back to work,” Jane commanded.
The unlikely crew kept looking through the house, searching, cleaning, and scaring each other. This is how the day unfortunately went, and nothing could change that because they had a job to do and a time to get it done by, so they pushed onward.
Chapter 4 “Hey check this out!” Kenny shouted to the others who eventually made their way over to him. “It’s an old computer of some sort.”
“This thing looks ancient,” Kyle responded curiously.
“Does it work?” inquired Jane.
“I don’t think so,” Kyle said, “It is an old model, it’s got coffee stains all over it, and the chip looks fried.”
“Hah, some idiot spilled their coffee on their computer.” Kiera laughed. “Anyway, this is stupid; I’m going back upstairs to finish cleaning.” And she disappeared upstairs.
“Yeah, we’re gonna go upstairs as well. See ya!” Jane said as she and Kyle left to clean as well.
Kyle was left alone in the basement of the creepy, decrepit building so he decided to keep checking out the computer. It looked like it used to have a sleek silver design on it before it was ruined. There were a couple of stickers that are unreadable at this point. The thing Kenny found most intriguing though was the name, which he was barely able to distinguish because it had started to wear away. This belonged to a boy named Max. Kenny thought he recognized that name but he couldn’t put his finger on it, so he left that thought and tried to turn the piece of junk on. He wasn’t expecting it to work but he thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. He opened the laptop and saw that a bunch of the keys were missing, but the power button was not, so he pressed it. Nothing.
“Oh well,” he thought to himself, “it was worth a shot.” He got up and started to walk upstairs.
Kiera was on the top floor alone. She didn’t want anyone else to know, but she was actually really scared of this “haunted” house. She tried to not let it bother her but it was hard to suppress her fear. There was something off about this place, but she didn’t know what. Then she realized that they were in an abandoned house so of course she would feel put off by something. She left that thought and continued cleaning. After a few minutes, Kiera thought she heard something strange, almost like something was calling to her. So she got up and tried to find what it was. It was hard for her to pinpoint the location but she eventually made her way to a bedroom. When she entered it, she saw what could have been a teen’s bedroom from who knows when. It was filthy. Suddenly the sound came back; it was a voice, calling her to the closet. Kiera had watched a few horror movies and knew not to follow this voice but she couldn’t help it so she kept going until she was right in front of the closet. She reached out hesitantly and turned the doorknob.
A few minutes passed and nothing was happening. Jane and Kyle were in the kitchen looking for anything interesting but to no avail. While Kyle looked around the fridge for anything semi-edible, Jane was looking on the table, at old family photos. She found one of what she thought was the entire family, but it was ripped in half. The family looked nice, she wondered what had happened to them.
“Why are you looking at old photos of this family?” Kyle wondered as he started peering over Jane’s shoulder.
“I don’t know, I just saw it and got lost in thought I guess.”
“Whatever,” Kyle shot back.
Then out of nowhere, a scream shook the house. Kenny came running up the stairs and quickly exchanged confused and terrified glances with Kyle and Jane.
“WHAT WAS THAT!?” Kenny screamed.
“I DON'T KNOW!” Kyle yelled back.
There was a sudden thud and everyone's eyes moved to the stairs. And then, everyone knew what was wrong and all whispered at the same time.
Chapter 5 The three teens ran upstairs and looked around wildly.
“This better not be a prank!” Kyle threatened.
“I think she’s in this room!” Kenny called out.
Kyle and Jane ran up to him and they opened the door. What they saw made their hearts drop. Kiera was there, but she was very close to death. There was what looked like a human on top of her. That thing was not a human though; wires were hanging off of it, it was rusty, sparking, and broken. This thing had wires connecting to Kiera and its eyes were glowing. All of a sudden it stopped, looked over at Kenny, Kyle, and Jane, and made the worst screeching sound they had ever heard. While they were distracted by the noise, it snuck away into the closet.
“AAAARRGGHH GET BACK HERE!” Kyle screamed louder than ever as he ran towards the closet. “I WILL KILL YOU!” But as he reached the closet he realized that there was a hole that the robot thing had made. Kyle was furious but then turned around and saw Kenny and Jane on the ground next to Kiera.
“Hey, Kiera, can you hear me?” Jane tried to comfort her, “It’s ok. The thing is gone; you are gonna be ok, you hear me?”
“We have to get out of here and find help!” Kenny finally spoke.
“Come on let’s go already!” Kyle demanded.
As the three left the room to head to the entrance, Kiera turned her head and opened her eyes. She had an evil grin as she sat up straight. And as she looked at the door that the others had just left through, she chuckled, and her eyes began to glow a vibrant blue, then a deep red.
Kyle was the first to reach the entrance hall, but when he got there he was filled with rage. The robot thing from before was back and it was blocking the doorway. Then out of nowhere, it began to speak. Its voice was raspy, broken, and menacing and it hurt his ears to listen to it speak.
“Did you really think that I would let you go that easily? You are a foolish group. Ha, I bet you don’t even know who I am; no one does anymore.”
“I don’t care who you are! Let us out before I beat you to a pulp!” Kyle yelled threateningly.
“You just don’t get it, do you? This is my house,” the robot sneered. Its eyes turned blue, and it made a buzzing sound before they changed again to a deep red, “and no one leaves my house without my permission.” Its voice sounded deadly and as the teens turned around to run, Kiera appeared behind them, blocking that exit.
“Kiera! You’re alive! But how?” Kyle questioned.
“Oh, she isn’t alive...She is mine.” The robot answered as it started to move towards them.
“Oh no oh no oh no.” Kenny managed to get out of his mouth. He was shaking from head to toe and holding onto Jane for safety.
“Go,” Kyle told them, “ I am the strongest one here. I know what I have to do; I’ll hold them off while you escape. Just make sure this isn’t in vain.”
“Thank you…” Jane said reluctantly. Kyle most likely wouldn’t make it out of there alive so they had to make this distraction count. And with that, Jane and Kenny ran out of a third door that led to a living room while Kyle stayed and started fighting the two robots.
Chapter 6 Kenny and Jane were on the other side of the house but could still hear the fighting that took place in the entrance hall. They were in a kitchen standing next to the back door. The door, unfortunately, was boarded up.
“What do we do now?” Kenny whispered, “The door is boarded shut!”
“Look around, for anything useful. We could break it open, “Jane replied desperately.
Kenny and Jane looked around the kitchen for anything they could use to break open the door, but to no avail. The best things they found were a kitchen knife and some frying pans. Kenny kept the pan while Jane held onto the knife. They relaxed a tiny bit now that they were a bit more protected.
Kenny suggested an idea. “Hey, now that we are armed why don’t we go help-”
His response was cut off by a scream coming from the other side of the house. Kyle was taken down, and it would only be a matter of time before the robot came for them.
“We have to go now,” Jane demanded.
“Where?” Kenny argued, “there is nowhere to go!”
“The basement!” Jane had remembered something.
“What?” Kenny replied, confused, “What about it?”
“While we were in the basement, I remember seeing a door.” Jane replayed the memory in her mind. “If we go to the basement we could use that door. We have to go now though, so either come with me or get taken by the robots.”
Kenny was about to shoot back but then shut his mouth because he knew she was right. If he did not follow her to the basement, he would be killed anyway, so he decided to take his chances with her.
The robot looked at Kiera. She was looking down at Kyle. As she did so, a tear rolled down her cheek. She was reminiscing about the short time she had spent with him, and the rest of her life. She wouldn’t do this for too much longer though, her memories were being filtered out, replacing the empty space with code. Code that would fill her with hatred and turn her into what he was. Long ago, he was turned into this, and at first, he hated it. But years passed and he became numb. He became more and more robotic. When it first happened, all those years ago, he shut off his computer and shoved it in the basement. Things started getting worse for him until one day, he locked himself in his closet, hoping not to hurt anyone else. Now someone had turned on his computer and unlocked his closet, and there was no stopping him. He wanted revenge; he was out to get it, and he wouldn’t be stopped. He looked up as he heard a bang. A door was closed, the others were trying to escape.
And with that, he made his way to the other end of the house.
Chapter 7 “DUDE!” Jane whispered aggressively, “Do you WANT them to know we are down here?”
“Sorry!” Kenny replied, clearly embarrassed.
“There’s the door, let’s go,” Jane commanded.
They snuck down the rest of the steps and towards the basement door. It wasn’t boarded up! They could get out!
“Where do you think YOU’RE going?” The deadly voice came from the top of the stairs.
“GO GO GO!” Kenny yelled as he started sprinting towards the door.
The robot bolted down the stairs faster than anything they had ever seen. Kenny reached the door and yanked it open, breathing the musty air that hung around the outside of the house. But as he stepped out he realized he was blocked by something, or rather someone. It was Kyle, and his eyes were glowing a deep red.
“Oh no…” Kenny tried to turn and run but it was too late. Robot Kyle grabbed him and held him up in the air. He couldn’t do anything but struggle as he slowly felt the life drain out of him.
Jane quickly glanced at Kenny but then turned back to the robot. It closed the distance fast and swung punch after punch at her. She was able to dodge most of them but she was getting tired quickly. She had to find a way to escape. After a particularly hard strike, Jane sidestepped, grabbing the robot’s arm and yanking him to the ground. The robot lay immobile for a second and she saw this as her chance to get away. Jane ran towards the stairs and jumped up two at a time and was about to get to the top when someone blocked her.
“Going somewhere?” Came the snarky reply from robot Kiera.
Jane was terrified. She turned and was about to run back down but her path down was blocked by the other robot and it looked mad.
Kenny couldn’t see much due to the lack of oxygen reaching his brain, but he did see Jane look at him and then run the other way. He was hurt; she had chosen to abandon him instead of helping, and now she was being mauled by two robots at once. It was disgusting and he hated being able to see it. When the robots stopped, they walked over to him. Kenny tried his best to struggle but he had been drained of any energy he had, he was completely immobile. Kenny knew that this would be the end. After all this, he was gonna die. He even thought his annoying little sister was better than this, but he would never see her again.
“You’re still alive...amazing. Thank you, by the way, if you hadn’t tried to turn on the laptop I wouldn’t be here. But there is one more thing I ask of you.”
CLANG! Kenny realized that he managed to hold onto the frying pan from earlier and swung it straight into the robot’s face. “Whatever it is, I won’t do it!” he choked out.
“Kyle put him down,” the robot said annoyed. The robot looked at Kenny, who had lost almost all hope of escape but for some reason was still trying to be valiant. It was amusing to watch. “I’m sorry but I must teach you a lesson,” He said as he pulled his fist back and swung it right into Kenny’s face. The impact was hard and it broke his nose. “Are you done yet?” No response. “Good. Now, I need you to go back to your school. I need you to tell your principal that your job is done, and I want you to tell him that the others went home.” Don’t try and run because we will find you, and don’t think about calling the cops because if you send them here, you will be sending them to their doom. Do you understand?”
Kenny looked up at the robot, hatred and terror etched into every inch of his face. But he had no other choice, he was gonna be killed by this robot, so he might as well say his goodbyes. He nodded.
“Good, you’re not an idiot. Now go!” The robot yelled.
Epilogue Kenny walked home. He was tired, beat, and hungry. He knew that he was in big trouble. He told the principal that the house was not suitable for use and was about to call the cops when he had an idea. He wasn’t sure if it was good or bad but he didn’t care anymore. He had just witnessed three people get murdered and turned into robots; he was numb and scarred. As he was walking he got to the house and stopped. It was now or never. He could either do it or not. He walked up to the house and pulled out a match and a lighter. He was going to do it. Kenny lit the match and threw it at the house. It started to burn, and in a few minutes, the whole house would be ablaze. Kenny ran; it was the only thing he could do. He ran all the way to his home, up his stairs, and into his room where he sat down and cried. He was lost, confused, and physically and emotionally scarred. He wanted to run but knew he couldn’t; it was over. He heard the sirens in the distance, the house was burning. All Kenny could do was hope and pray that the robots would burn.
A few days later a news report came in. It talked about the fire, about how it started. They found a match. The suspect has yet to be identified. In the wreckage, three bodies have been found. Three bodies. Kenny feared this would happen. The robot had escaped and was now searching for him. Kenny was terrified but also sick of it all. He didn’t feel much. He went and looked out the window and as he did his heart sank. Standing on the roof of a building a block away, was the robot, staring directly at him.