ACE OF HEARTS
CHAPTER SIXTY-FIVE: THE GATE
IN EDDIE'S TRAILER
SNATCHING HOLLY WHEELER'S LITE-BRIGHT out of her grasp, Dustin Henderson raced upstairs to Nancy Wheeler's room while the others quickly followed behind him. After discovering the S.O.S. message through the lights, the group was now aware of Eddie, Steve, Nancy, and Robin's presence in the Upside Down. Although they didn't know it before, they'd been with them the whole time. Once they arrived in Nancy's room, Lucas Sinclair moved to the corner and plugged in the toy while the others sat in front of it.
"Okay, you guys seeing this?" Dustin loudly called, looking up at the ceiling.
Suddenly, the Lite-Brite buzzed with electricity, brightly illuminating their faces with various colors. Smiling with joy, the group cheered as they happily hugged one another.
"We're not moving it, but we're gonna unplug it," Dustin shouted once more. "Stand by."
Turning to the boy who was seated by the outlet, Cassie Harrington spoke to him, "Now, Lucas, yank it."
Nodding once, the boy followed her command and pulled the plug, letting the light disappear into darkness.
"Okay, try it now!" Dustin called.
As the rest group awaited for their response, Cassie Harrington felt herself grow quite anxious. Linking her arm with Mike Wheeler's, the girl pulled him close and rested her forehead on his shoulder. After a few more moments of waiting, the familiar sound of buzzing electricity resurfaced.
"Hey, look," Mike's voice softly spoke to her, pointing to the toy.
Focusing her gaze back on the Lite-Brite, Cassie Harrington let out a sigh in relief as she noticed the letters H and I appear in the light.
"Hi!" Dustin and Erica called excitedly.
"Oh my god," Cassie breathed, a new smile forming on her face. "Hi!"
"Hey, guys!" Mike Wheeler shouted along with them. "That worked!"
As the energy continued to surge through dimensions, the group awaited for their next message. Soon enough, several more letters appeared onto the Lite-Brite.
"Stu?" Dustin Henderson asked, raising his eyebrows. "Stupid?"
"Stuck!" Cassie exclaimed, letting out a sigh. "They're stuck in the Upside Down. Figures."
"Uh, you can't get back through Watergate?" Dustin shouted, looking up at the ceiling.
"Is that a six?" Lucas asked, fixating his gaze on the imagine.
"No, no, it's a G," Mike Wheeler corrected him.
"Gu..." Dustin began to sound out, studying the letters. "Guar...Guar...Guar..."
"Guarded," Dustin finished, taking a deep breath. "Okay, Watergate's guarded! We think we have a theory that can help with that! We think Watergate isn't the only gate! That there's a gate at every murder site!"
Looking down at the toy, the group watched as a giant question mark appeared through the lights.
"Okay, seriously?" Dustin shouted, throwing his hands up into the air. "How many times do I have to be right on the money before you guys just trust me!"
"I know damn well Steve is throwing some nasty remarks at you right now," Cassie Harrington joked, letting out a laugh as she pictured her brother from the other side.
"Oh, for sure," Mike Wheeler agreed.
"What the hell are we supposed to say?" Dustin asked the group, shaking his head. "They obviously don't want to listen to me."
"Here, let me try," Cassie spoke to the boy, sitting up straight as she prepared to yell. "There's a gate at Eddie's trailer! Go now and we'll meet you guys there!"
Glancing back down at the Lite-Brite, Cassie Harrington watched as the letters OK illuminated from the lights. Smiling in satisfaction, the girl turned back to Dustin and spoke, "You're welcome."
Now having a set plan to save the others, the group of teenagers prepared their escape. As Dustin Henderson went downstairs to grab Max from the adults, the others quickly began to climb out of Nancy Wheeler's bedroom window.
When it was Cassie Harrington's turn to go, she did it effortlessly. Sliding her legs over the edge, the girl stepped onto the roof and swiftly moved down the steep path. Once she reached the end, the girl bent down and hopped off, falling right into Mike Wheeler's grasp.
"You still got it, Harrington," Mike gushed, admiring the girl with his hands wrapped around her waist.
Letting a smirk form on her lips, Cassie smartly replied, "Of course."
"It's been a while since I've seen this side of you," Mike admitted, looking down at her. "I kind of miss it."
"Yeah, me too," Cassie agreed.
After the others successfully escaped through the window, the group rushed towards Mike Wheeler's garage, taking all the bikes they could fit on — even his mom and dad's. Once they found a bike for everyone, the group began to race down his driveway, alerting both Officer Callaghan and their parents.
"Hey!" Callaghan shouted from the upstairs bedroom window. "Excuse me! No, get back here! Where do you think you're going?!"
"We can't let them follow us!" Erica Sinclair shouted, looking around at the group as she ran beside them. "Does anyone have a knife?"
"I do," Cassie Harrington replied, reaching into her jacket pocket and pulling out her infamous switchblade, to which she hadn't used in quite some time. "I never leave home without it."
Taking the knife out of Cassie's grasp, Erica Sinclair bent down next to the cop car and stuck the blade into the back tire, "I guess this is a minor misdemeanor."
"No!" Callaghan cried, reaching out for his car.
As the group advanced towards the main road, several shouting parents came running after them, calling their children's names over and over. But, the group had to ignore them. Nothing would stand in their way from saving their friends.
Although it was a rather horrible bike ride, the group ignored their aching, tired bodies and continued to peddle as fast as they could towards the Munson trailer. It took roughly twenty minutes of straight biking to arrive at Forest Hills Trailer Park, and once they did, the group was absolutely winded. Passing the entrance sign, the group advanced into the secluded area with one destination on their mind.
"Wait, which one is it?" Mike Wheeler asked, focusing his gaze on each of the trailers. "They all look the same."
"Shit, um..." Dustin Henderson cursed, looking around the area. "Max? Which one is it?"
"It's that one," Max Mayfield pointed out. "Just across from mine."
Throwing down their bikes, the group did not hesitate to advance into the deserted trailer. Once entering inside, Cassie Harrington studied the atmosphere, her eyes slowly leading up to the ceiling. With one long sigh, the girl nodded and crossed her arms over her chest, "Would you look at that."
"Goddamnit," Dustin groaned, throwing his arms up. "How the hell are we supposed to get up there?"
"We don't have to," Mike Wheeler replied, immediately scanning his eyes over the room. "We just have to find something tall enough to break through it. Come on, guys, help me find something long and big."
"I could've made a really funny joke just then," Lucas Sinclair announced, letting out a chuckle. Quickly catching on, Cassie Harrington burst out into a fit of laughter along with the boy.
"Ha, ha, very funny," Mike called to them, rolling his eyes. "Seriously, though, help us look."
"Alright, alright," Cassie told the boy, shaking her head with a smile as she made her way down the hallway.
Scanning her eyes over the several disorganized spaces in the trailer, the girl came across Eddie Munson's room at the end of the hall. Taking a step inside, Cassie Harrington studied the overly decorated walls, which were covered in heavy metal band posters — most she had never heard of before. Moving her gaze down to his dresser, Cassie scanned her eyes over one of the open drawers, which was filled the miscellaneous pill bottles and powdered plastic bags.
At the sight, Cassie Harrington couldn't help but think about how different Eddie was from her brother, Steve. Even though they lived in the same town and were practically the same age, the two boys were living completely different lives. It really showed how wealth and reputation can impact someone's life. While Steve's only worry was getting a girlfriend, Eddie's was graduating high school and helping support his uncle.
"I found something!" Max Mayfield shouted from a short distance away, holding up a long yard stick. "I think it'll work!"
"Great, bring it over here!" Dustin Henderson called after her, ushering the girl over to the main area. "Quickly!"
Racing out of the room, Cassie Harrington followed after Max Mayfield and met the others back in main area. Standing beside her, Dustin took the stick from Max's grasp and lifted it towards the ceiling, jabbing at the slimey substance that covered the gate. After a few jabs, the protective layer finally broke open, creating a gateway between dimensions.
"Do you think they're in there?" Cassie Harrington quietly asked, looking directly above her.
Just before anyone could reply to her, a familiar voice echoed through their ears.
"No way," Steve Harrington called out, stepping into their view as Nancy, Eddie, and Robin followed behind him.
"Woah," Robin Buckley spoke beside him. "This is so trippy."
Beaming from ear to ear, Cassie and the others cheered with laughter as they spotted their friends standing upside down in the other dimension, right above them.
"Hi there!" Dustin happily shouted, jumping with joy. "Bada bada boom!"
Grabbing the mattress from Eddie Munson's room, Cassie Harrington and Mike Wheeler placed the cushion right under the group, using it as a landing pad for the others. Meanwhile, Erica, Dustin, Lucas, and Max tied together several bedsheets, acting as a rope for them to climb through.
"Not quite sure how these physics are gonna work," Dustin began, stepping onto the mattress while looking at the group above. "But, uh...here goes nothing."
Throwing the tied sheets through, the group was shocked to find that the difference in gravitational pulls held the rope strongly in place. Smiling, Dustin Henderson continued, "There we go. And if my theory is correct..."
Letting go of the sheet, they were even more stunned to find that it remained in place.
"Abracadabra," Dustin spoke, proudly looking upon his discovery.
"Holy shit," Cassie smiled, staring in fascination. "My mind can't even comprehend what's happening right now."
"This is the craziest shit I've ever seen in my life," Erica Sinclair boasted, shaking her head. "And I've seen some crazy shit."
As the older group above prepared to climb through the gate, the others stepped off of the mattress, beginning to watch them fall down one by one. The first to travel through open gateway was Robin Buckley, who slightly struggled as she climbed up the sheets. But, the girl successfully made it through, letting out a sigh in relief as she landed safely on the pad.
"Oh, thank god," Robin beamed, taking Dustin's hand as he reached down to help her up. "That was fun."
The next person to go through the gate was Eddie Munson, who moved much quicker than Robin as he climbed up the rope almost effortlessly. As his long brown hair dangled through the gateway, the group watched as the gravity switched, causing him to fall down on the mattress pad with great force.
"That..." Eddie spoke, shooting up from his horizontal position with a smile. "Was fun. Shit!"
Taking his hand, Dustin then helped Eddie up to a stance. The last two remaining were Steve Harrington and Nancy Wheeler, who stood on the other side, unmoving from their previous positions. From the opposing view, it looked like the two were in a private conversation.
"Come on, you guys," Cassie Harrington called to them, her voice echoing through the gateway. "What's taking so long?"
"Helloooooo," Eddie Munson sang, waving his arms. "Harrington! Wheeler!"
"Why aren't they moving?" Dustin Henderson asked, narrowing his gaze on the figures above.
There was a somewhat eery silence that followed the group. While Steve and Nancy stood above, the others found themselves grow skeptical of what they were doing.
"Nancy!" Steve shouted, shaking her shoulders as the girl stood motionless in place. "Nancy! Nancy! Guys, somethings wrong!"
Chills spread throughout her entire body as Cassie Harrington watched the scene play out from below. The sight was so familiar that it felt as if she were watching herself. And the feeling...the feeling was even worse. She couldn't describe it. But it was there. The girl didn't have to ask what was going on. She already knew.
Nancy Wheeler was Vecna's next victim.