CHAPTER 4- THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
The sun was beginning to set over the horizon as Dr. John Loomis left the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium for what would be the last time until his leave of absence was lifted.
He had a gut feeling in his stomach and he didn’t like it at all. It was the sort of feeling people got when it was so quiet, it was scary; it was like walking down a dark alley at 2 a.m. It was like being in the eye of a hurricane in mid-August. It was the calm before the storm.
Back in Haddonfield, nearly 150 miles away, Madison sat on the ledge of her bedroom window staring out at the sunset as Linkin Park’s “Breaking The Habit” blared over her CD player. She too had a bad feeling, but couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was or why she was having it.
Slowly, she dismissed it, and then her mind drifted off to thoughts of Kayla’s Halloween party. She didn’t really want to go, but deep down inside, she knew she would. Madison knew in her heart that she still loved Tony, and if it took getting dressed up in some stupid costume on some God forsaken holiday to find out if he still felt the same, then so be it.
Besides that, she really needed to get out more. Here it was, a Friday night, and where was she? Sitting in her bedroom watching the sunset.. “Argh!” she sighed as her emotions swirled around inside her head. “Life sucks.”
At the same time, just a few blocks away, Tony Wilson sat around his dining room table, engulfed in his weekly Friday night poker marathon with his friends.
At age 20, Tony already had a decent job and his own apartment on the east side of Haddonfield. It wasn’t much, but anything was better than living at home with his parents. It was only supposed to be temporary because he was going to buy a house with Madison after she graduated, but since all that got shot to shit when they broke up, the apartment would have to do.
All he had left now were three of his best friends, their friendly poker table, and a case of Heineken, willingly supplied by his next-door neighbors. Even though they were wild and crazy, Tony could always count on them to come up with a six-pack here or a keg there, whenever he might need it.
Deep in thought, Tony sat at the head of the small wooden table, puffing on a Salem cigarette as he contemplated his next move. His friends Chris, Eddie, and Tim sat around him, concentrating just as hard. The group rarely made eye contact, each trying to display his best poker face. Finally, after a small pause and a breath of smoke, it was Tony who broke the silence.
“Straight, king high,” Tony informed them as he laid his cards down. “Beat that, bitches.”
“Damn!” and “Fuck!” were yelled simultaneously from Tim and Eddie as they threw their cards down in disgust.
“Sorry, buddy, can’t beat my four 10’s,” Chris smirked, smiling a ridiculously huge grin as he gathered the pile of plastic poker chips in the middle of the table. Kayla’s boyfriend then stacked up his chips as Eddie began shuffling the cards for the next hand.
“So, I take it everyone’s going to Kayla’s Halloween party Saturday night?” Chris asked after placing the final red chip on his stack.
“Hell yeah, man, that’s going to be off the hook. I already got a sweet costume picked out!” Tim exclaimed, taking a gulp of his beer.
Tony, Tim, and Chris were all first year students at Haddonfield Community College, and had been good friends ever since their junior year of high school. Tony’s cousin, Eddie, was a senior at Haddonfield High along with Madison and Kayla.
“Yeah, I have to work, but I’m definitely gonna be down when I get off,” Eddie stated as he threw in the first bet and began dealing the next hand.
“Cool,” Chris replied, turning to Tony. “So what about you Tony, I know you’re gonna be there.”
“Uh, I don’t know,” Tony answered reluctantly. “I have to see what I got going on.”
“You ain’t got shit going on!” Tim joked from across the table. “You’re going.”
“Yeah man, it wouldn’t be a party without you,” Chris continued, picking up his cards. “Besides, I think Madison is gonna be there.”
“That’s exactly why I don’t want to go,” Tony responded. “I don’t need that drama.”
“Yeah, she’s a drama queen, alright,” Eddie stated as he flipped up the first card around the table.
“I know that all too well,” Tony agreed, looking at his cards and placing the bet.
Tony and Chris’s personalities were pretty much identical. It was Tim and Eddie who threw a curve into the chemistry of the group. Tim was basically the bullshitter of the group, the type of guy who thinks he knows everything about everything. Eddie, however, was on the quiet side, but always misunderstood because of his morbid attire. He always wore black, whether it was a t-shirt, jeans, or sweatshirt, it didn’t matter. It always had to be black. That, combined with the huge chains and spiked bracelets hanging from just about everywhere on his body, and it was easy to see why everyone shied away from him.
“Fuck it, I’m going,” Tony finally decided out of the blue. “It’s Halloween.”
“Sweet dude,” Chris replied as he matched Eddie’s bet, then raised it. “So, Tim, what’s your costume gonna be?”
“Yo man, it’s like three hundred dollars, but it’s gonna be hot though, you know what I mean?” Tim stated as he called the bet.
Eddie just stared blankly at him, as if to say ‘what now.’
“Michael Myers, baby!” Tim said proudly as he placed the next bet with a pair of aces showing.
“Ha ha, yeah right,” Tony replied as called. “Good luck finding that one. It’s been banned all across the country.”
“I already found one on E-bay, and it’s tight as hell!” Tim exclaimed as Eddie and Chris folded.
“Whatever floats your boat man, but what you got, I have a flush in hearts,” Tony responded, laying down his hand.
“Not your lucky day today, dog. Full house, 6’s over aces,” Tim answered as he showed the winning hand and began collecting his chips.
Tony didn’t get as pissed as he normally did when he lost a hand. He just offered a sigh of disgust and took a swig from his Heineken.
“Uhhh, Tim?” Eddie asked, observing Tim’s hand.
“What?” Tim questioned right back.
“That’s the dead man’s hand,” Eddie said with a smirk. “Three 6’s with a pair of aces.”
“Shit son, it’s the fucking winning hand,” Tim replied confidently as he stacked his chips.
“Dead man’s hand,” Eddie just repeated quietly as Tim basked in his glory.
Proceed To Chapter 5
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