The Butcher of Hillbrook Forest (A McCabe Saga Short Story)
Nate Burnside-McCabe could feel someone watching him. Or at least watching the tent. He opened the door flap, and sure enough, Dakota stood in the back door of the house, framed by the light of the kitchen.
“Ana just called,” Dakota said as he walked the short distance from the door to the tent. “They’re heading out now. He’ll be here in about five minutes.”
“Yeah,” Dakota said. He handed two pizzas, still hot in their boxes, to Nate, then he knelt down to have a look inside the tent. “Got everything?”
Nate set the boxes down on a blanket inside the tent, then he opened his backpack and held it out to his step-dad. “Flashlight, telescope, binoculars, snacks, bug repellent, water, soda, laptop, sketch pad, pencils, eraser, drawing board…”
“No first aid kit?”
Nate glanced in his bag, then gave Dakota a sheepish look. “I forgot.”
“I know.” Dakota reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small tin. He set it into the backpack. “Don’t forget it’s here. You guys horse around, you might need it. If anything seems serious, come inside and I’ll figure out what to do.”
“‘Kay,” Nate said, hesitating.
“You sure we can’t go to the party? You know we won’t do anything stupid.”
“No, I don’t know that. You and Rafael are young and prone to doing stupid things, especially to impress other kids. No parents, no party. End of discussion.”
“Fine,” Nate said, thoroughly depressed.
“I’m trusting you to stay in the back yard. If I find out you’ve gone, you’ll be in serious trouble. You understand, Nate?” Dakota’s tone was calm and steady, but his look said he was serious.
“I understand, D,” Nate said. He was so disappointed. The party of the year, and the first he’d been invited to since they’d moved to Carthage, Missouri back in July.
“Good,” Dakota said, ruffling Nate’s hair.
Nate protested, trying to push away Dakota’s hand with a laugh. “I’m not a little kid. Don’t do that!”
For good measure, Dakota wrapped an arm around Nate’s neck and pretended to choke him, tickling him in the ribs with his free hand. When he finally let the teen go, he gave him a light punch on the arm.
“We okay, Nate?”
“Yeah, we’re okay. I just really wanted to go. All the popular kids are gonna be there.”
“What’s her name?” Dakota asked with a grin.
“Kaitlyn,” Nate said, unable to keep a soft and dreamy quality out of his voice.
“Does she like you?”
“She likes me all right. Don’t know if she likes me the way I like her, though.”
“Maybe you can ask her over to study, or for dinner one night.”
“She’s one of the popular kids, D. She’s not gonna wanna come over to study.”
“You won’t know if you don’t ask, will you? Look, with no parents around, there could be trouble at the party. I don’t want you to be a part of it. I’m only protecting you from what might happen.”
“We’ll figure out a reason for you to invite her over, okay? Until then, have fun here with Rafael.”
As if in answer, Rafael’s voice greeted them from the back corner of the house. “Hey, Nate. Hey, Mr. D. You out here?”
Nate crawled past Dakota and rose to his feet to find Rafael approaching.
“Okay, man. What’s up with you?”
“Same ol’, same ol’, y’know.”
“Yeah, well, we’ve got pizza. C’mon in. Since it’s Halloween, we can tell ghost stories.”
“I heard a really good one yesterday. It’ll make you wet your panties.”
Nate laughed. “Yeah, right.”
They started to go into the tent, but Dakota stopped them. “First, we need to go over the rules, okay, guys?”
“Yeah, okay,” Nate mumbled.
“Sure, Mr. D,” Rafael said cheerfully.
“All right, rule number one?”
The boys replied in unison. “Don’t leave the back yard.”
Dakota nodded. “Rule number two?”
Again, the boys answered together. “Don’t invite anyone over.”
“Good. Rule number three?”
“Ooh, I know this one!” Rafael exclaimed, then he folded his hands behind his back, two of his fingers crossed. “We won’t use the telescope or binoculars to peek in people’s windows. Promise.”
“See that you don’t,” Dakota said, giving each of the teens a stern glare. “And rule number four?”
“Clean up our mess and take care of the tent and sleeping bags in the morning,” Nate answered when he saw that Rafael wasn’t going to.”
“Very good. Now, have fun, and I’ll see you in the morning,” Dakota said. He turned and headed back inside, and the boys finally slipped into the tent.
After a minute or so, Rafael peeked out through the door flap, then he turned back to Nate and set down his backpack in the middle of the tent. He unzipped the main compartment.
“Check it out,” he said, and he pulled out a six-pack of Budweiser beer.
“Where’d you get that?” Nate asked in surprise.
“I got someone to buy it for me.”
“Some guy on the street. Didn’t catch his name.”
“Taking it to the party?”
“‘Course, but we can have some on the way. You’re sure your step-dad won’t check on us before morning?”
“Positive. He said he’s trusting us to stay here. That usually means he won’t be checking on us. I feel kinda bad about sneaking away, though.”
“Think about the party, man. And Kaitlyn.”
“I know, but still.”
“Don’t sweat it, man. We’ll get back long before he checks on us, and he’ll never know.”
“I’m going. You wanna stay here, suit yourself.”
“I didn’t say I was staying here. I just said I feel bad about sneaking off like this.”
- - - - -
A little while later, they made their way down the perimeter of the back yard, then along the fence to the gate that led to the alley behind. They moved along the alley, keeping to the shadows as much as possible, until they reached the road.
Rafael had the beer under his arm. He freed one from the pack and gave it to Nate before taking one for himself. “Which way?” he asked.
“Straight ahead through North Parsons,” Nate said, opening his beer. “I studied D’s map, and we can go through the woods past that house.” Nate pointed at a house across the street. “We’ll take a left, which will take us north, and we can stay parallel with the train tracks. We should go straight through High Street and keep walking ‘til we get to the next road. It wasn’t named on the map, but when we reach it, we go left. We’ll see the back of Brad’s house on the left a few hundred feet ahead, give or take.”
“How will we recognize it?”
“It’ll be the one with the loud music and kids partying by a pool. How do you think?” Nate laughed.
Rafael started ahead, and Nate caught up easily, having longer legs. He took his first taste of the beer and grimaced at the pungent taste. “This stuff’s nasty,” he said, pouring it out on the ground.
“Guess it’s an acquired taste,” Rafael said, taking a big swig of his own beer.
“We gotta be quiet now,” Nate warned. “Looks like someone’s home.”
“‘K,” was Rafael’s simple response, and the two headed along the fence lining the yard. They walked around a shed, and found that the fence didn’t go all the way around, and they were able to walk into the woods a few yards from the small shed.
Once they could see the train tracks, they turned left and headed north-northeast until they reached High Street a few minutes later. They stopped to see if there were any vehicles coming. There weren’t, so they ran across and into the woods on the other side.
They found the back road easily, and they turned left onto it, walking on the empty pavement. They only got about two hundred feet when they saw a police car turn onto the road.
“Into the woods!” Nate hissed.
Both boys disappeared into the trees on the far side of the road, and they watched as the patrol car slowly made it’s way along, passing them and continuing to the end. They waited, and it turned around and slowly came back, just as before, then left.
They were about to step out of the woods when they heard something behind them. They both turned toward the noise, then looked at each other in confusion.
“Someone’s in trouble,” Rafael said, and he headed toward the noise.
Nate followed, deciding that it wouldn’t be good to leave Rafael out there alone, especially on Halloween night, and he quickly followed his friend.
He lost track of how far they’d gone when he heard another sound. Nate stopped dead in his tracks at the sound of a twig snapping behind him. Slowly, he turned to find a man wearing a hockey mask and brandishing an old machete.
A real life Jason Vorhees? No way!
For the briefest of moments, he fought the urge to laugh. His stunned brain thought that someone was pulling a Halloween prank on him and pretending to be the star of the Friday the 13th movies. But when the man brought up the machete and strode toward him, all humor left him, and so did the blood from his face, as he realized this was no joke.
“Rafael, run!” he cried, and he stumbled away from the man, pulling his friend with him. “Run!”
They continued running until they were both out of breath, zigzagging through the trees until they reached the river. This time of year, after the dry summer they’d had, it was little more than a stream, and the teens crossed it easily and kept going until they couldn’t run anymore.
Nate listened closely, and when he didn’t hear anyone approaching, he turned to Nate.
“You just can’t help it, can you? You always have to go barreling into this crap without thinking first.”
“Hey, you heard the cries, too. Someone needs our help. Just don’t know how to find them.”
Nate balled his hands into fists at his sides to keep his temper in check. “It was a trick, Raf, don’t you get it?”
“A trick? No, I don’t believe that. Whoever it was sounded like they were lost, maybe hurt. We’ve gotta find ‘em.”
“No, we don’t! We need to get the hell out of these woods and back home. We’ll be safe there.”
“What about the party?”
“Brad’s house backs to these woods. No way am I going there now.”
“Then what do we do? That guy’s out here somewhere. He’s got a machete.”
“I know, Raf,” Nate said flatly, running his hands through his short, wavy hair. “Lemme think. We need to find someplace to hide out and come up with a plan.”
“C’mon,” Rafael said. “I think there’s a cabin out that way.” He pointed toward the west, and they headed in that direction.
“How do you know there’s a cabin out here?” Nate asked.
“Ben told me about it. He likes to bring girls out here.”
“In the woods? What the hell?”
“Don’t look at me. I’m not the one doing it. Talk to Ben. Anyway, he said it’s somewhat north and west of Brad’s place.”
“That it?” Nate asked, pointing.
In the dark, it was hard to see, but there were a few distinct lines that could be a window and logs.
“Could be,” Nate said, and he moved ahead. “Yeah, I think this is it.”
Nate followed, glancing back over his shoulder in case Jason Vorhees’ doppelganger was behind them. He saw nothing, but didn’t breathe any easier.
Rafael took the steps quickly, seemingly unaware of the loud creaking of a couple of them, and stepped onto the porch. It was rickety, but held his weight, and he opened the door. It got away from him, and swung inward with a creak louder than that of the steps, and Nate cringed, his heart hammering in his chest as he followed close behind his friend.
The interior of the cabin was too dark to see much of anything. They could see dark shadows of furniture, and the moonlight coming in through the grimy windows was broken and too dim for them to see any real details.
Rafael reached around to his backpack and took out his flashlight. Nate grabbed his arm before he could switch it on.
“With that psycho out there, you really think you should turn it on?”
“Just for a sec, man. Long enough to see what’s here, ‘kay?”
“Fine, but no longer. I don’t want him to find us.”
Rafael turned his flashlight on, swept the room with it, then switched it off again. He moved toward the old, lumpy couch and sat down. Nate sneezed as years’ worth of dust clouded the air.
“Did you bring a map?” Rafael asked.
“Didn’t think we’d need one.”
“So what do we do now?”
“We need to figure out how to get home without running into that psycho.”
“Do you remember where we ran into him?”
“No. I lost track of direction a long time ago. I couldn’t tell you which end is up anymore.” Nate sighed, plopping down next to Rafael and promptly sneezing again.
“What’s that?” Rafael asked, slowly rising to his feet. His attention seemed to be focused on the front windows.
Nate reached forward to pull him back. “Sh, don’t want him to find us here.”
“I don’t think it was the psycho,” Rafael said. He pulled his arm away and went to the windows.
“What do you see?” Nate asked, moving to stand beside his friend.
As they peered out, a form became more visible in the moonlight, as if it had been made up of smoke or mist, and was gaining physical solidity. As it became clearer, Nate saw that it wore a hooded black robe and had a scythe clutched in it’s palm, long, bony fingers wrapped around the tool.
He glanced at Rafael. “The Grim Reaper?”
“But — we’d only see him if—”
“Nate turned and moved back toward the couch. He felt his way around it and continued through to the back of the cabin, only slightly relieved not to have banged into anything.
Rafael was right behind him.
“What are you doing?”
“We gotta get outta here,” Nate said. He was in a state of near panic now. He wanted out of the cabin. He wanted to run.
He yanked on the back door, but it wouldn’t budge. He yanked harder, fighting with it.
Finally, Rafael gently pushed him aside and felt the knob. He turned the lock, and opened the door. “Beauty before brains,” he said, grinning despite their predicament.
Nate booked it out the door and down the back steps. In his haste to get away, he didn’t even look back to see if Rafael was following, but when he heard Rafael’s footsteps directly behind him, he knew that his friend was still with him.
- - - - -
The teens ran and ran, their course twisting and turning through the trees and underbrush. Branches tore at them as if trying to grab them and slow them down.
The moonlight faded and disappeared, and moments later, there was a distant rumble of thunder, but the boys didn’t slow down until they’d gotten far away from the cabin and the Grim Reaper — if that’s what they’d truly seen. They both believed what their eyes had told them, forgetting that it was Halloween. Even if they’d remembered in that moment, they would have also remembered how the creature had appeared in smoke or mist, as if it were haunting the Hillbrook woods.
They finally stopped running and slowed to a walk. Dead leaves crunched beneath their feet, and Nate winced with every footfall, expecting to easily be found by their pursuers. Nevertheless, he carried on with a determination to find a way out of the woods and get back home. Dakota would be angry when he found out they’d sneaked away, but at the moment, he didn’t care. He just wanted to go home where he’d be safe.
Fat raindrops began to fall. Occasional, at first, but soon it became a heavy downpour. The friends pulled their light jackets tighter about themselves and trudged onward. Lightning flashed more often, and much closer, its resultant thunder jarring them with every loud clap.
“We’ve got to find another shelter,” Nate said, thoroughly dejected. He’d never been so sorry for his actions in all his life, and he’d be glad to own up to his mistakes and take whatever punishment Dakota dished out if it meant he could sleep in his own bed tonight.
A sudden thought gripped him with terror. What if Dakota didn’t want him anymore after this? What if Dakota decided he no longer wanted a son, and kicked him out? His heart pounded at the thought of having no one left who cared about him. How could he have been so stupid? The party wasn’t so important he’d needed to risk everything to go. Now, he may end up out on the streets with nothing and no one to care for him.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” he muttered.
“Hey, what’s that?” Rafael asked.
Nate stopped and looked to where his friend pointed.
Lightning flashed, illuminating the Jason Vorhees doppelganger and instilling terror in the boys’ hearts.
“Run!” Nate cried.
They ran as fast as their legs would carry them. The rain made it hard to see, and they were constantly wiping the moisture from their eyes until they came to a stop.
The stream ran right in front of them, but now it was more of a small river.
Rafael glanced behind him, and Nate did the same. The freak with the machete was coming for them, his stride purposeful and determined.
“What now?” Rafael asked, nearly out of breath.
“We have to cross,” Nate said, adjusting the backpack straps on his shoulders. He held onto them and took a step into the swiftly rushing water. “It’s cold, but not too deep. C’mon, we can do this.”
He moved forward, and Rafael followed. They had a good twelve feet to go to reach the far shore, and they tried to go as quickly as they could.
Rafael’s foot slipped, and he fell in. To his credit, he didn’t cry out. With Nate’s help, he struggled to his feet and continued on, and finally, they made it to the other side.
Nate wanted to drop right there, but he didn’t dare. “C’mon, we gotta keep moving.”
“I’m right behind you,” Rafael said. “And if you don’t hurry, the freakazoid with the nasty weapon will be on you, too.”
Nate quickly moved on, knowing that Rafael would be close behind him. He looked for any place that might hide them from their stalker. When he finally found the opening of a mine that had been closed sometime before, he stopped.
“Ever been in there?” he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.
“No, and Brad never mentioned it.”
“We’ll have to take our chances with it. C’mon.” Nate headed for the entrance. He ignored the No Trespassing and Danger signs, slipping in between the wooden slats someone had nailed in place to block it off.
Once they were inside, they sat down, glad to be off their feet, but knowing they might have to start running again at any moment.
“What do you think he’s all about?” Rafael asked quietly.
“At first, I thought it was someone pulling a prank, but now I’m not so sure. Have you heard about any killers on the loose around here?”
“No, nothing,” Rafael said. He peeked out between the wooden slats and spotted the man following them. He leaned forward. “He takes his fan boy crush way too far, huh?”
Nate nodded, saying nothing. He didn’t want to break the silence and alert their stalker to their whereabouts. And it was then that his phone’s screen lit up and his Linkin Park ringtone sounded.
“Crap!” Nate muttered, trying to turn it off.
Rafael glanced out through the slats. “Uh, Nate? We got trouble.”
“Tell me something I don’t know,” Nate grimaced, his phone finally shutting off.
“No, I mean we really got trouble. He’s coming!”
“There’s gotta be a back way outta here, right? Let’s try and find it.”
They rose to their feet and hurried down the tunnel. They each had their flashlights out, but they only used them to look down side tunnels as they went.
Rafael kept glancing behind, and he saw the man’s shadow fall across the boarded up entrance.
“Uh oh, we gotta move faster!”
They spurred themselves onward, turning into a side tunnel. They had no idea where it led to, but they wanted to throw off their stalker. They reached the end of this, and turned back to find the Grim Reaper standing several yards away, facing away from them.
They glanced at each other, at a loss for what to do now.
A moment later, the Grim Reaper vanished.
“Must not have seen us,” Nate murmured.
They heard footsteps move past the entrance to their tunnel and kept listening until the sound faded in the distance.
“Think it’s safe to leave?”
“Only if we head back the way we came,” Nate said. “Hurry, before he comes back.”
They ran down the tunnel, then turned back the way they’d come. They ran as fast as they could, escaping out into the night, barely noticing that the boards at the entrance had been smashed to pieces. They ran off into what direction, they didn’t know, praying they’d make it out to the road before they were caught and butchered.
Nate chanced a glance over his shoulder, and at that moment, lightning lit up a figure following them. It was the Jason Vorhees doppelganger.
“Crap!” Nate cried. “He found us! Run faster!”
But by now, Rafael was too tired to run very fast. They both were. Nate wasn’t sure if it was desperation, some sense of heroism, or just plain stupidity that made Rafael do what he did next. For a moment, all he could do was stare at his friend as he picked up a big piece of a branch, hefted it up in an offensive posture, and yelled for Nate to keep going.
“Run!” Rafael cried. “I’ll deal with the freak!”
Nate was torn. Should he run and leave Rafael to die a gruesome death at the hands of the machete wielder, or should he join him and try to fight the man off, and die alongside his friend?
He opted for the latter, questioning his own sanity as he raised his fists and began taunting the Jason Vorhees wannabe.
“C’mon, you big oaf! Let’s see what you’ve got!” he called.
“Yeah, you stupid jerk, bring it!” Rafael joined in, jumping up and down, ready to face the monster.
The killer headed toward them, his stride quick and determined.
“Oh, crap!” Nate cried, and he turned and ran.
Rafael did the same, and they ran like their lives depended on it, never even glancing back.
Then Nate tripped and fell face first in the wet leaves. The killer was only about a couple hundred feet away now, and Nate felt a sense of panic well up inside him as he felt around for what had tripped him. His hand touched something hard and cool, and he dragged it closer. It had some weight to it as he held it up. He thought it might be some kind of lead pipe, but it was hard to tell in the darkness.
“Nate, c’mon!” Rafael screamed, trying to pull him to his feet.
“I can’t. I’m making my stand here. He’ll either kill me or he won’t.” As Nate said the words, an eerie sense of calm filled him. He would accepted his fate, whatever that might be. “You run, though. Someone’s gotta let D know what happened to me.”
“No, I’m not leaving you,” Rafael said. “Whatever happens, it happens to both of us. Or to him. Whatever. I’m with you, man.”
By now, the killer was bearing down on them. Nate held up his lead pipe, and Rafael held up his stick. The time for taunting had passed. They were focused and ready to face this killer head on.
The killer walked up to Nate and took his machete in both hands. Nate didn’t wait for him to strike as he swung the lead pipe with every ounce of strength he had.
The pipe went through the man.
The boys stared at each other.
“What th—?” Rafael began, but his voice trailed off as the Grim Reaper appeared again.
Nate ignored the newcomer, focusing on the killer. He swung his pipe again. This time, when it went through him, the man vanished in a cloud of black smoke.
“He’s a ghost!” Nate laughed, relieved, if only a little.
The killer appeared again, but Nate was ready for him, as was Rafael. Both boys swung at him, careful not to hit each other. This time, when the ghost turned into the black smoke, the Grim Reaper held his scythe out toward it. It seemed to attract the smoke, and it flew toward it, disappearing inside it.
Nate and Rafael stared at the Grim Reaper, who barely acknowledged them before turning away and walking off into the night, vanishing a little more with every step.
- - - - -
Oddly enough, the clouds parted once the Grim Reaper left, and the moon came out. It illuminated the forest with a dappled silver light, and they saw what appeared to be a path.
“Should we follow it?” Rafael asked.
“Yeah, we can’t get any more lost than we already are.”
They followed the trail until it reached a road. Eager to leave the woods, they ran out onto the pavement and looked both ways. They recognized the road as the one they’d left earlier, when they’d heard the crying voice in the woods.
“We’re almost home,” Nate said with a sigh.
Headlights approached, and they flagged down the vehicle, anxious to be as far away from this forest as they could get.
The car slowed, and Nate recognized it as Dakota’s.
“It’s my dad,” he said with no small amount of relief. He was so eager to go home that he forgot his earlier worries that Dakota would disown him.
“Get in, guys,” Dakota said, his window down.
They set their bags inside and climbed in, Nate in the front seat, and Rafael in back. Once they buckled their seat belts, Dakota put the car in drive again.
“Where have you guys been?” Dakota asked, his voice angry. “I’ve been driving around looking for you everywhere!”
“Sorry, D. You can ground me for the rest of my life, just, please, don’t disown me!”
The words had poured out of Nate in a voice that Dakota recognized — a voice that said the boy was afraid. He stopped the car, turned on the interior light, and looked at the boys. At the look of utter terror in their eyes, he knew something was very wrong.
“We snuck out to go to the party,” Nate began.
“But we saw a cop and ran into the woods,” Rafael added.
Little by little, they told him the whole story. It was too well detailed for them to have made it up, and the fear on their faces, the willingness to own up to their mistakes and take their punishment told him they were both telling the truth.
“All right,” he said, putting the car in drive and moving again. “Let’s get you guys home. We’ll discuss punishment in the morning. Do you still want to camp out in the back yard?”
“No way, D. I want to sleep inside,” Nate said, his eyes wide with fear at the thought of staying in a flimsy tent all night.
“I’m with Nate. I wanna sleep inside. I’ve had enough spookiness for one night, Mr. D.”
“Think you’ve learned your lesson? Do you understand why you can’t just run off like that?”
“Oh, yeah,” Nate said, nodding his head emphatically. “I’ll never do it again. I swear!”
“And what about you, Rafael? Have you learned your lesson?”
“I sure have!”
He drove the short way to their home, and he saw them inside. He decided to leave the tent for now. They could take care of it in the morning. For now, he gathered some extra blankets and pillows for Rafael to spend the night on the floor beside Nate’s bed.
The boys took their turns in the shower, and Rafael borrowed a pair of Nate’s pajama pants and underwear for the night. Once they were settled in, Dakota came in to wish them a good night.
“I know how mischievous you both are,” he said. “So I know this isn’t the last foolish thing you’ll ever do. I’m just glad to have you both here, safe and sound.”
“You have no idea,” Nate murmured.
“By the way, while you guys were getting your showers, I did some research. I believe I know what you encountered.”
“Yeah?” the boys asked in unison.
Dakota nodded. “Back some time ago, a girl by the name of Stacie Garrett, was lured into Hillbrook Forest, where you two got lost tonight, by two of her male classmates. The stories say that Wes Benson and Dillon McDonald only meant to scare her, but things got out of hand, and she died out there. Her father, David Garrett, couldn’t live with himself because of his failure to protect her, and he committed suicide. Some say his spirit grieved so strongly that, to this day, it walks the earth. Every Halloween, he kills two teen boys about the same ages as the boys who killed his daughter. He can’t save her, so instead, he avenges her.”
“And what about the Grim Reaper?”
“If there really is a Grim Reaper, and you really saw him, I can only assume that it was time for him to take David Garrett to the afterlife. I can’t imagine any other reason he’d be out there.”
“If not for him, the killer woulda kept coming after us,” Rafael said with a shudder.
“Count your blessings he was,” Dakota said. “Shall I tell your mom about this?”
“You mean you didn’t tell her already?”
“No, I thought I might leave that up to you.”
“Then, no. She’s got enough to deal with.”
“I thought you might say that. I hope you’ll tell her someday, though. You need to be open and honest with her.”
“I will, but not right now.”
“All right, well, I’ll leave you two to tell ghost stories as you fall asleep, then,” Dakota said with a small smile.
“No ghost stories tonight,” Nate said. “Living through a real ghost story kind of killed it for me.”
“Me, too.” Rafael agreed.
“Then let’s hope for pleasant dreams. See you guys in the morning, and you can take down the tent then.”
“Okay, D,” Nate said.
“Will do, Mr. D.” Rafael chimed in.
Moments after Dakota left the room, the boys were sound asleep.
* Note: For those who haven't seen the Friday the 13th movies, Jason Vorhees is the homicical killer who goes around wearing a hockey mask and using a machete. Most people have seen at least one of them, or at least know who Jason is, but I thought I should mention it, just in case someone reading this has no clue.