The bell atop of the courthouse tolled; it was midnight and three teens came stumbling, slow at first, but steadily increasing in pace, past the large, stone building with tall, white columns and a set of steps leading down to the sidewalk. Devon Perkins, with light-brown hair that moderately covered his ears, became startled. He jumped and staggered backwards, nearly falling onto the grass beside the sidewalk, but his friends grabbed his arms and stood him upright, just in time.

   He was drunk, and so were his two friends, Reggie Wheeler and Corey Chapman. Corey and Devon were only nineteen and much like Devon, Corey’s hair was also light-brown, but it was shorter in length. He didn’t have it cut at the barber shop like his peers, however, because his parents didn’t approve of it. They were religious fanatics of the worst kind, the type who would routinely perverse the Bible to suit their own needs; and in this case, Corey’s parents claimed that his mother ought to be the only one to do this because Jesus would have let Mary, alone, cut his hair.

   And then there was twenty-year-old Reggie Wheeler. Reggie, unlike his two friends, didn’t live with his parents. He didn’t live in an apartment, either. In fact, Reggie didn’t have a home; he was a couch hopper.

   Every night, he would crash at one of his friend’s apartments, and he would do so until he’d long worn out his welcome. He didn’t have a job, nor a care in the world; and if you asked him, Reggie might tell you that he believed he could comfortably get by in life on the shirt-tails of others.

   They had just left another friend’s house, Pete Harroway. Pete’s parents were at a social event for his father’s employer, Litzer Real Estate in East Fairfield, and they were expected back very soon. It had just been the three of them; they were listening to music and drinking alcohol that Pete had swiped from his father’s liquor cabinet.

   “Thanks guys,” said Devon, after being pulled upright.

   A moment later, Corey paused and massaged his tired eyes. He strained to look ahead. Something caught his attention. There was something in the shadows in front of them. His friends stopped, also.

   “Did you see that?” Corey asked.

   “See what?” Reggie said.

   Corey pointed. “There,” he said. “I thought I saw someone up there. Someone was standing there in the dark.”

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