• Silence.

    As dark as night and as cold as the devil's soul.

    Yet it burns with the intensity of his throne, as it whispers across the seas and the land and the heavens above.

    Silence masked the sounds of the screams that night.

    So much that no one else could hear.

    With the moon hanging high above, it was the only light that shone on the horrible display of what occurred.

    If I was the only one who survived, I would be eternally grateful.

    For if my loved ones were to suffer what I have and always will...

    Silence, take me now.

    "Ah, do ya smell that, gentelmen? Just the freshness of the sea. Nothin' beats it."
    It was a calm day, a day where the winds were fair and the sun blazed above without a cloud to cover it. It was a day my father liked best to head out on the sea and fish. So, naturally, that is what we did. We lazily rocked on a boat for hours, a pasttime my father called work- but my brother and I both knew it was just a hobby. It was a hobby neither of us preferred, but since our dear father loved it, we obliged.
    "But doesn't mother's turkey roast beat that, father? It smells so much better.. and less fishy!" My younger brother Dakota exclaimed, wrinkling his nose and sticking his tongue out to exaggerate how much the smell of the ocean disgusted him. This, of course, brought much laughter.
    "Aye, I suppose you're right, son. But there's nothing fishy about these waters today, I'm afraid." My father sighed. "This sort of weather always seems to bring them out, but today it seems so quiet. Pray for a catch, boys. Or some luck," he winked.
    "Father, you speak so much of a sailor and yet you come from a humble farming family." I said with a slight smirk on my face. My father just laughed.
    "And you, my boy, speak so much of an English poet. Sailing's only been my dream since I was just Dakota's age, son!"
    "And perhaps I wish to be an English poet?" I retorted, smiling.
    "Fair enough." My father replied. He reeled in his line and swung it out into the water for what seemed like the tenth time. My father always thought if he changed positions enough, he'd be sure to get a catch. Suddenly, Dakota's line began to grow heavy and it started to pull.
    "I've got something! I've got something!" Dakota yelled, straining to bring in his prize. Excitement danced across our faces, ready to see what tugged so hard on Dakota's line. Dakota finally grabbed hold of his catch, but he began to frown right as he set his eyes on it.
    "It's bad luck for me. I've caught a shoe!" He grouchily held up the soggy boot and shook it about in attempt to dry it off.
    And this is when we discovered what would be the death of us all.
    Dakota raised an eyebrow. "I think something fell out of it." He looked down on the floor of the boat and picked up a bundle of what appeared to be sharp, white thorns. My father and I walked over to see what it was. Dakota held it out and my father took it, examining it carefully.
    "Looks like a piece of jewlrey. I think it's made of bones.. more particularly, teeth. Sharp ones at that, too." He said. Dakota began to jump with excitement.
    "Ooh, what if it's cursed like in the stories!" He beamed, as if the necklace would bring him some "big adventure". I rolled my eyes.
    "Come on, Dakota. Those are all just tall tales. Only fiction." I declared. Dakota's eyes went down, but my father's skeptical gaze was unfazed.
    "Not all of them, Dean. We'd better get back home. I'm sure your mother has something planned since we've been out here for so long with no luck." He stuffed the necklace into his pocket and turned to row the boat back to the shore. Dakota seemed worried from our father's vague words, but I just shrugged and looked away.
    Although, without a doubt, a part of me felt just as worried as my brother.

    That night I sat on the edge of my scrawny bed, eyeing the small locked case that my father had placed the necklace in. I could hold back my temptation fairly well, but my curiousity could not be tamed. My father is an unusual man, but he's never one to give suspicion or to keep secrets from anyone- especially his own family. He was dead silent at suppertime, yet my mother neglected to question him. Everything seemed wrong.
    I heard a cough from behind and through my peripheral I saw Dakota doing the same as me, only it was obvious he couldn't hold back his excitement. When Dakota grows anxious, he does certain nervous tendencies such as coughing and tapping his foot quite loudly. I grew annoyed very quickly with my brother, so I put my finger on my lips and motioned for him to come over to my bed.
    "You too, Dean?" he whispered as he sat down beside me, careful not to wake Bane, our herding dog and family pet. He was a sweet animal, but when awoken or startled he'd have a fit.
    "Yeah." I replied quietly. We both shifted uncomfortably. "I just.." I trailed off, losing my words.
    "I know." Dakota sighed. I looked at my feet, wishing I could just take a closer look at what my father had to hide. He only allowed Dakota and I enough time to glance at the treasure when he inspected it earlier.
    I looked up and opened my mouth to speak once more when I noticed Dakota wasn't next to me any longer. I widened my eyes when I saw him tip-toeing to the case. Is he insane? I thought.
    "Dakota." I whispered harshly, upset that he was taking this chance. If father saw him, he'd get a good lashing. Dakota just turned his head in my direction and winked, creeping closer to the box as carefully as possible. Suddenly, a loud creak from the floorboard echoed through the room. I bit my lip nervously, hoping dearly that Bane wouldn't notice.
    I glanced at Bane. His ear twitched and he yawned, but resumed his slumber. Relief washed over me, and before I knew it, Dakota returned.
    "How-" I started to say, surprised he was back so fast. He held out his hand and in it was a small bone necklace. He then opened his other hand, revealing a rusty key.
    "Father always says that this key is useless and doesn't go to anything, but I decided it was worth a shot.. and I guess it worked." Dakota smiled. I smirked, shaking my head.
    "Lucky guess on your part," I replied. For a few minutes, we both just sat there and stared at the necklace, unsure of where it came from and wondering why, of all places, it was in a shoe. Dakota cleared his throat.
    "What do we do with it?" he asked. I shrugged.
    "Not sure." Time kept passing by, and all we did was sit and stare in silence. I finally got up and walked to my bed, tired from a long day.
    "What are you doing?" Dakota whispered eagerly. I assumed he wasn't anticipating sleep like I was.
    "Dakota, I'm tired," I began. "And I'm sure it means nothing. Just go to bed." My brother rolled his eyes and frustratedly walked over to me.
    "Where's your sense of adventure, Dean?" he whined. "You used to play pirates and cowboys and zombies with me!" he frowned. "What happened?"
    I sighed and rubbed the brigde of my nose. "I grew up. I'm eighteen, and I'm needed for work, not play." Dakota lowered his eyebrows. "And besides," I continued. "You're nearly fifteen. Don't you think you should grow up, too?"
    Dakota crossed his arms and walked to the closet where various accessories necessary to outdoor travel were stored. He grabbed a pair of boots and a coat from it as silent as possible. As he strapped his shoes on and put his coat on, my confusion turned to worry.
    "Dakota, what are you-" I began, but before I could finish my brother shushed me and began to go through his cluttered desk drawer. He pulled out a match, grabbed a lantern from the storage, and started for the door. Making sure he wasn't heard, he looked around for a few seconds, nodded, lit the lantern, and walked outside. At this point I assumed he had gone mad, but I decided to go and see what he was up to. Following the same routine as him, I got my things and quietly sprinted out the door.
    The air was cold and the night was dark, the only light being that of the luminescent full moon above. I bundled myself up more and looked around for any sign of Dakota. I spotted his lantern's light dancing in the darkness and ran towards it, ready to smack Dakota on the head and give him a lecture about how he shouldn't do such things.
    I grew nearer to the light and, out of breath, began to slow down to a steady walk. I was on the outskirts of the forest I usually hunted in with my father and Dakota, except in the night it was quite menacing. Annoyed at myself for not bringing a lantern of my own, I headed into the dark mass of trees.
    "Dakota?" I whispered, not wanting to startle any nearby animals. Who knows what could be out here at this time of night?
    Suddenly, a rustle of leaves and brush filled my ears. I jumped, but the noise soon stopped. I took a deep breath and moved onward, remembering why I came out here in the first place. Yet even so, the shadows seemed to grow darker as I ventured into the forest.
    But then it hit me.
    The light of Dakota's lantern was no longer in sight.
    "Dakota?" I whispered once more, growing more anxious and frightened. The rustling I had heard before started again, and it grew louder and louder with each step I took.
    And then it happened.