TRIGGER WARNING: BULLYING, VIOLENCE, MURDER, AND HORROR THEMES
Michael woke up, gasping in the middle of the woods. Oh no. He thought, feeling panic race in his chest. He coughed, slowly sitting up; eyes darting around him. “Sam?” He called, thinking that the petite blond shouldn’t be too far off. She was just there. “Ashley?” She was still alive too...last he saw. “Chris?” Those were the last three faces that he had seen...the only three he had known were alive. He dusted himself off and stood there, listening for signs of life. Any life. But these woods...they were different then the ones at the cabin. Fuck, when had everything gone wrong? He thought back to that fateful night one year ago. It was only supposed to be a prank, a cruel prank perhaps-but a prank nonetheless. Mike, Emily, Ashley, Matt and Jessica concocked this scheme to get Hannah to take off her shirt for Mike and the rest of the group would pop out and make fun of her. Mike had known that Hannah had a big crush on him, and she really wasn’t hurting anyone by it...but he had thought it would be funny to use that crush against her. He admits now that he wasn’t being very mature and that if he had known what terrors this choice would bring; he would have never gone through with it. However, the plan went perfectly. He got Hannah to come into the guest room where the others were hiding until the perfect moment.
He used his natural charms and his silver tongue to seduce Hannah into thinking she had a chance with him; and she began to unbutton her shirt when the other popped out. Hannah of course, ran out of the room humiliated which was expected honestly. What the group didn’t expect was for Hannah to disappear into the cold wilderness altogether. The whole group went out to call for her, but it was her twin, Beth who decided to physically go find her. The guilt came too late for Mike, and he wanted to go help find Hannah and try to apologize. However, Sam pointed out that Mike was the last person that should show his face to Hannah...and she was right. Beth and Hannah weren’t heard from again. There was a whole search party and everything, and it was thought that the two of them had died out there in the wilderness. Michael had never been sorry for anything in his life; but he was pretty fucking sorry that he cost two young women their lives over a prank. He couldn’t even look at their brother Josh in the eyes for the longest time. It surprised him when Josh invited all of them back to the lodge; especially him of all people. It seemed that Josh just wanted to put the past behind him; behind all of them which was fine for Michael.
When this all started, Mike was a different man then what he has become. He was a confident and cocky son-of-a bitch, known for being a huge flirt and not for being the most mature of the group. He still is confident of course, he knows who he is and he still isn’t really apologetic about himself. But he knows that there are things about himself that weren’t so great. He could have been less petty, less cruel-maybe if he had-this could have gone differently. Of course when you are still basically a kid, living on top of the world; there isn’t too much that can convince you otherwise. These days, Mike doesn’t take anything for granted like he used to. He’s not quite as open, not quite as impulsive either. Instead, he’s using that brilliant brain of his for something good. He’s using it to find his friends that were still alive and is very much hoping to keep them all safe until they can all find home. Honestly, Mike doesn’t generally dwell in the past though apart of him wonders if maybe he should have seen something. Josh...there was something that was off when he sent out that little video. But how could Mike have known? How could any of them have known?
Mike knew that going to the lodge was bound to be a little awkward too because Michael had been dating Emily at the time of Hannah and Beth’s disappearance and the two had broken up shortly after that. Mike still cared for Emily and everything, but their relationship couldn’t withstand what happened that night. Recently, Mike had started to date Jessica who was honestly a breath of fresh air. She didn’t seem to carry the weight of what happened that night; not that she celebrated the possible death of two girls her own age or anything. She was just so glad to be marching to her own beat and her confident sexuality was another plus. However, Jessica and Emily were known to dislike each other and he doubted the fact that he was now with Jessica would help. Honestly, he wished that awkwardness would have been the worst thing that had happened at the cabin. Things certainly got heated between Emily and Jessica, which is what spurred Josh to decide it was better for them to stay in seperate locations. So Mike and Jessica made their way to the guest cabin. Honestly, the journey there was a little treacherous and there was a moment when Jessica had fallen into some old mines which were a little creepy to say the least.
Jessica even claimed that she saw a figure outside of their cabin and maybe Mike should have listened. But he didn’t and the two went to the cabin and settled in. Mike thought he was going to get lucky, but someone smashed a window. Both of them figured it was their friends messing with them, but when Mike walked back from investigating the broken window he was utterly horrified to see something wrapping it’s arms around Jessica and taking her away as she screamed for mercy. Mike jumped into action, taking a gun with him even though he wasn’t sure it would work on that thing and raced after Jessica. Mike didn’t think...he never does. He took the risky shortcuts to get to Jessica as fast as he could. But just as he arrived, the elevator she was laying on collapsed into the abyss effectively killing her. Mike remembers screaming her name, even though he knew she was gone. It was then that a mysterious figure appeared in his line of site and Mike tried to shoot it twice. The first shot, he missed, the second his gun jammed. So he tossed his gun aside and chased the figure right into an abandoned sanatorium. He ended up befriending a wolf who helped him a few times; and eventually ran back into Sam.
Honestly, it was good to see a familiar face. She doesn’t know what happened to Emily or her new boyfriend Matt, but she claims that a psycho has been chasing after her, Ashley, and Chris. Mike wonders if this psycho had anything to do with that think that killed Jessica; but nothing could have prepared him for the truth. The four of them were able to expose the psycho; pulling his mask free to reveal Josh. Mike was so angry that he punched Josh out cold and he had Chris tied him up. There weren’t too many other options for the storm. Chris kept telling Mike that he needed to calm down, that there had to be a better way to resolve this mess. “Chris, you don’t understand! It is Josh’s fault that Jessica is dead!” It was the first time that Mike had mentioned this...but it was just like Chris to somehow get him to say this. Both Josh and Chris were surprised. Chris was surprised because perhaps because he never seen such emotion from Mike about anything and Josh was surprised because no one was supposed to get hurt. Josh just wanted to teach them all a lesson...make them pay for what they did to the twins, especially Hannah. The whole thing was so utterly fucked up. Mike decided to take the first watch after swearing that he wouldn’t kill Josh in revenge. Maybe if he had stayed, Josh would have survived the night.
Instead, Mike decided to head back to the lodge to be with the others and when they came back to the spot they stashed him; Josh was nowhere to be seen. Chris and a stranger went on a little search party together that almost killed poor Chris. Mike came up with the brilliant idea of getting the keys to the cable lifter off of Josh...thought that meant that he’d have to venture out into the wilderness again. ”Stay here.” He told the others, hoping that they would because otherwise his willingness to sacrifice himself would mean nothing. Mike made his way from the relative safety of the lodge to the old sanitorium once again. He does succeed in finding Josh after accidentally setting free a bunch of those things that had captured Jessica...and nearly died himself if it wasn’t for Sam showing out of nowhere. It was also then that he saw the mutilated corpses of Jessica, Matt and Emily and he wishes he could unsee them now. But when he closes his eyes, that’s all he can seem to see these days. Mike was put on “escort Josh” duty, to to the other man’s mental state but Josh proved to be difficult and his unwillingness to move any faster got him captured and killed right in front of Mike’s eyes. It was terrible. As much as Mike hated Josh...no one deserved to be torn apart like that. Sam was horrified too, but they both knew that there was no turning back now. So, with the key to the cable lift in hand, Mike and Sam left the Sanitorium and made their way back to the lodge...and that was the last thing that Mike remembers clearly. The rest is black.
Had he passed out? Had he been knocked out? Had he died himself and this place was some version of hell? Honestly, only time will tell. All Mike could do was tilt his chin and stand taller. Whatever it took, he was going to find Chris, Ashley and Sam. He was going to get them all home regardless of the price he may have to pay….