THIRTY-EIGHT, 2.0

Donald Glover was new to the neighborhood, and already he wanted to fight his neighbors. Not all of the neighbors, but just the jackass next door. So much screaming was coming from that cabin, Donald was ready to lose his mind, run over, and PUNCH down the door.

Why was there all that screaming?

Donald was in his shower when the latest bout of screams started.  They weren’t horrified screams, or the sounds of someone in pain. They were just annoying, I’m in a fight with you kind of screams.

Donald hated screaming, it’s why he left the city to live in the mountains. He stopped his shower and quickly dressed, not even caring about the layer of moisture that was now trapped between his sweater and his chest. He’d deal with it, if only for one peaceful night’s rest out of the last six.

Next door, the cabin was barely lit on the outside, and Donald imagined spiders and other creatures popping out of the shadows to cause him to scream. But of course none such monsters came out. He pounded on the door, and the minute his fist landed, the screaming within stopped.

The door swung open and a voice yelled “What is it?” Donald froze, in awe, staring at one of his idols. “I said, what is it?”

Danny Glover was bearing his teeth, staring daggers at Donald.

In one hand he held a knife, and there was blood dripping down his hand and arm, droplets dripping to the floor.

“I, I heard some screaming.” Donald gathered himself. “Everything okay?”

“It’s fine, yeah.” Danny Glover took the knife and seemed startled to find blood on the blade. He wiped it on his shirt. “C’mon in, just getting dinner prepped. Wife won’t be home for another hour.”

Against his judgment, Donald followed Danny through the cabin, candles lining the tables and walls and a dim overhead light made the cabin warm and welcoming, a far cry from

In the kitchen, Danny stuck the knife into a deer carcass, pulling the guts and tossing meat into a metal bowl nearby. Donald squirmed, “Is that what was screaming?”

“Screaming?” Danny stared at Donald even as he kept cutting, then chuckled, shaking his head, his whole body shrugging disbelief. “Kid, you’re hearing echoes. You’ll get used to it out here in the mountains.” At that moment, another knock on the door.

This time, Donald offered to answer, and when he did his jaw dropped yet again. “It’s past curfew, you should all be asleep,” whispered a smiling, pale Crispin Glover.

Donald stepped back, and tried to shut the door but Crispin stopped it with his hand, the strength of his push knocking Donald off his feet. “I’m not here to teach you a lesson, I’m here to make you believe.”

The lights at Danny Glover’s cabin all burned off in seconds, and only John Glover, the hermit in the valley, could hear the screaming that night.

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