Drake Was Here
Chapter Two: What Dreams May Come
Josh paced the room, as he had been for the last fifteen minutes, mumbling rapidly and incoherently. Drake was reclined on his brother's bed under the covers, having found the warm spot where Josh had been sleeping not too long ago.
Finally, Drake sighed, unable to take much more.
"Josh?" he said firmly. Josh spun around and stared at him like a deer caught in headlights. "Drugs are bad for you."
Josh scowled. "Not funny."
"I thought it was," Drake smirked.
"How on Earth could you possibly be so calm right now!" Josh demanded. "I mean… you've been… you were… dead!"
"Yes, getting around to that…" Drake said, sitting up slightly and shivering a bit as the blanket fell to his waist, "Clearly, you've gone insane. I mean, I'm sitting right here Josh. Obviously I'm not dead."
All the blood drained from Josh's face, leaving him white as a sheet.
"You… are. You're … here…" And with that, he burst into tears, tackled his brother, and held him in bear hug, refusing to let go.
"God, you're nuts," Drake rolled his eyes, allowing his brother to continue squeezing him. "Maybe you just had a really realistic dream or something." Josh let out a choked mumble from his brother's shoulder. "C'mon, let's go downstairs. We can talk to mom and dad or something. You're being silly, Josh."
Downstairs, the TV was on quietly, and Megan sat on the couch, but she wasn't watching it. Her eyes were pinned on a picture on the wall. It was a framed snapshot from their vacation to Disneyland last year. In it, her two brothers hugged her while she couldn't stop from smiling.
As Drake came down the stairs, Josh following slowly behind in awe, her eyes jumped to the staircase, as though terrified of what she was going to see. She sighed in relief when she saw who it was.
He raised a hand at her in absent minded greeting, still staring at Drake. She gave him a strange look.
"That's nice, Munchkin," Drake scoffed, "Hello to you, too."
Megan looked at the spot where Drake stood and shivered.
"You okay, kiddo?" Drake asked, concerned.
Megan didn't respond. That was when a memory hit him.
Crawling, crawling through the underbrush, terrified, Megan at the top of the hill yelling his name. He wanted to call back to her, tell her to be quiet, but he couldn't find his voice. Rocks and twigs scraped against his bare wrists, and he was cold, so cold…
The lights in the house flickered gently, causing Drake to snap back to reality. Megan looked up in awe at the lamp. What was that? He wondered briefly.
The kitchen door suddenly opened, and Audrey came out. She looked better then she had last night, but it was almost forced. It looked like she had to work to hold her body straight, and her hair was still drab looking.
"Power surge, I guess," she said quietly, referring to the light.
"Hey, mom," Drake said. His mother didn't look at him. "Mom?"
An uneasy feeling creeping into his stomach, he hesitantly brought his hand up to her face and waved it. She didn't so much as blink.
Feeling sick, he looked over his shoulder at his brother, who was pale faced and intently watching him, as though he might disappear at any moment.
"This isn't funny," he said shakily. "This is just mean. This is a really mean joke." His eyes burned with tears as hysteria began to bloom in his mind. He looked pleadingly into his brother's eyes. "Tell me this is a joke."
Josh's mouth parted and opened slightly, but he couldn't seem to get any words out. He shook his head slowly.
Narrowing his eyes, Drake stormed over to his sister, reaching out to grab her shoulder. "This is sick, even for you, Megan!" When his hand touched her shoulder, he gasped in shock and recoiled. It was like touching ice. Megan shuddered deeply, looking with desperate confusion at Drake, as though she couldn't see him.
He saw a sadness in her brown eyes that couldn't have ever been there before. Deep pain reflected through her and he felt himself falling into shock.
It couldn't be.
He looked again at Josh, who was still and white, and then at his mother, who was so quiet, avoiding looking at any of her children.
Audrey finally cleared her throat. "Um, you two should come to breakfast soon."
Audrey saying you two sent him reeling. She turned to start towards the kitchen.
"No! Mom!" Drake said desperately. The lights flickered again, causing her to pause. "Look at me!"
But only Josh, who hadn't stopped looking at Drake, seemed to see him. Shaking herself, Audrey took a few more steps towards the door. Drake sucked in the deepest breath he could manage, and then screamed at the top of his lungs.
The windows flew open, one or two shattering. The lights went berserk, turning on and off rapidly. The TV went to static.
"Oh, my God!" Audrey yelled, "What's going on?" She ran over to the couch, hauled Megan up, and pulled her towards Josh. Slowly, everything simmered down. The lights flickered one last time and then went back to normal. The image on the TV screen returned. Drake let the rage and sorrow leave him for a moment as the sudden, crazy thought came to him; I did that, didn't I?
And then he ran as fast as he could, up the stairs, and slammed the bedroom door shut behind him. He heard Megan scream a little at the sound, and winced.
This couldn't be happening.
This couldn't be real.
He collapsed into a shivering ball as the cold found him again. Tears rushed down his face. Wheezing, exhausted, he almost didn't even notice the door softly open and close. Warmth seeped into him again as he was surrounded by his brother's arms.
"Josh…" he whimpered, "Tell me this isn't really happening…"
Josh was silent for a moment. Then he squeezed Drake as tight as he could. "I'm so sorry…"
Drake sobbed. "No…"
The were silent for a long while, Josh holding Drake securely. Drake slowly sat up, looked once at his brother's face before wiping away the tears that still soaked his own. He breathed deeply for a moment, then turned back to the other boy.
"Josh…" Josh met his eyes with understanding, willing to do anything at the moment for Drake. "…Tell me what happened."
A/N: Wow… okay, so I'm not sure how I feel about this chapter. Please note, though, that I tried three different ways to write the damn thing, and this was the only one that really worked for me…
Anyway, love to my reviewers! And I know I didn't really explain anything… many apologies for that… in the next chapter, you'll find out about Drake's death, and some of the boys' theories, but that's about it. You can expect a more in depth explanation around chapters four and five.
Thank you to all you lovely people out there for reading my story! The next chapter will be up sometime this week, I promise : )