‘Other’: Part III


Part III: Horror Films

Thursday passed easily enough and when we got back to the house Annabelle had returned, all fixed up following surgery. Her sister Emma was visiting but I was more interested in her new pet.

“I love snakes,” I said, sitting next to her in the living room. The snakes regarded me cautiously however. I knew not to reached out, that was a surefire way to get bit.

“I don’t think the nope rope likes you though,” Amber said, rolling her eyes at me.

“Will it hurt me?” Ahti asked. Over the last few weeks I’d come to realise despite being a weird-looking alien, Ahti was for the most part harmless. In fact I’m pretty sure they were more scared of me, funnily enough. It was like spiders when I was five all over again.

“Nah, you’re nice,” Amber replied, shooting me a pointed look. I ignored it and continued to watch the snake who was curled around Annabelles wrist but making a beeline for the remote.

“I think Imugi wants to watch TV,” Ahti laughed. Annabelle laughed as well and picked up the remote for Imugi.

“Alright, what do you want to watch?” she asked, turning it on. The snakes swayed in the air as Annabelle changed the channels. She dipped her head when Annabelle found the horror movie channel.

“Personally, I prefer a good action movie but this’ll do,” Annabelle shrugged. On screen a couple were snuggling on a sofa in some cabin while their friends were busy outside. I rolled my eyes at how stupid they all were. How anyone could do a holiday in some empty wooden shack in the woods is lost on me.

“Should we do that as well?” Ahit asked, taking me by surprise. It took me a second to realise he was referring to the way one of the humans was leaning against the other.

“No, only close humans do that,” I explained.

“Are we not close?” Ahti asked.

“We barely know each other,” I sighed.

“I consider you my friend though,” they said. I shook my head, trying not to laugh. Ahti was completely oblivious and I don’t think anyone had the heart to explain to them that when we first met I had actually hated them. I felt bad for it now that I knew them better. “It looks fun,” Ahti said, making a strange noise that sounded sad.

“Fine,” I sighed. Ahti made that strange humming noise that was meant to mean they were happy – I think Charlie called it wunning. Annabelle started falling asleep so she and Amber both left before the movie was even halfway, leaving Ahti and me to it.

“I don’t understand why you like to be scared. That doesn’t seem fun…” Ahti murmured next to me

“Sure it’s scary, but it gets your adrenaline flowing and that’s exciting. Plus it’s just a movie, so you’re completely safe to experience that,” I explained, shrugging.

“But why do you always watch scary movies? Don’t you like to watch other things?” they asked.

“I do, but I guess horror movies makes me feel like I’m back home?” I said, shrugging.

“Why is your home scary?” they asked, making me laugh.

“No, it’s just something my friend Zoe and I did all the time. My step dad doesn’t allow me to watch anything above a PG rating so I’d sneak to Zoe’s house to watch her dad’s collection of horror movies. Her dad’s a huge collector and he’s got thousands. Lots of them in old formats I didn’t even know existed; VCD, betamax, laser disks and some of them on old timey movie projector rolls,” I explained, smiling at the memories. If Zoe ever visited we needed to do a horror marathon of some kind. She was always better at dealing with jump scares than me and would mercilessly tease me. We watched more in silence as the movie played out, and then finally the mysterious axe murderer turned up.

“He’s there!” Ahti shouted as the murderer snuck up on some unsuspecting humans by a campfire. “Quick spray him!”

“Humans can’t do that,” I said, shaking my head at them.

“Oh no! Run!” They cried as he got the guy. The girl used the moment to get away and back to the cabin where the surviving guy was waiting. “Do you think she’ll make it?” Ahti asked.

“Well, she’s clearly the final girl,” I said.

“What’s that?” Ahti asked.

“Y’know, the one who survives. He’s managed to fight off the bad guy once and get away, and she’s avoided death. So those two will survive and probably fall for each other,” I explained.

“How do you know that?”

“It’s a common trope in these old movies; the girl who doesn’t drink, smoke or have sex tends to survive.”

“Oooh. You’re smart about these things.” I tried not to laugh at Ahti as we kept watching. On Ahti insistence we watched another horror movie, not that i saw all of it, falling asleep. I didn’t wake up until morning, where I winced at sunlight. I heard the door open and footsteps. Ahti stirred next to me as well as I blinked sleep from my eyes.

“Hello Jaeger!” they said, sounding far more awake than I was. I looked up to see Jager standing there already dressed and showered. How the hell did that guy always wake up so early?

“Hi Ahti-” he began, pausing when he spotted me. A wide grin spread on his face. I shot him a deadpan look but I had a feeling he would be teasing me about this for a long time.

“Sorry for disturbing you two, I’ll let you both get back to having fun with each other,” Jaeger said in a singsong voice. He turned and left before I could think up a coherent retort. I settled for muttering a curse and standing up.

“Are you okay?” Ahti asked, sounding concerned.

“Yeah, I gotta go get ready for class,” I sighed.


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