Saturday, April 26, 2014

Short Story - Haunted

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Horror Short Story

My first encounter with the supernatural were visions of the future hidden within my dreams. I didn't foresee any world-shattering events, just places that I had never seen and conversation that I never could have had, but that's beside the point. The fact that I was able to see anything at all should be evidence enough that there's more to this world than meets the eye.
If that doesn't convince you then please read on, because something far more sinister awaited me in the future―something that I couldn't foresee as my gift has mostly faded away. It only rears its head once a year, if at all.

Anyway, it all began when we moved into our own house. It was built for two families but was spacious enough for me, my parents and my two sisters. Since I'm the youngest of us siblings I got the smallest rooms on the second floor. I didn't complain, though, as I spent most of the time in front of the computer.
I really like to play horror games, but those didn't exist back then, otherwise I might not have freaked out as much as I did.
One day, or rather one night, I was awoken by the sound of rolling thunder. A vigorous storm raged outside and I couldn’t get back to sleep, no matter how often I turned back and forth or how many sheep I counted. Eventually I stood up, walked towards the window, pulled back the curtains—don’t ask me why, I can’t remember the reason myself—and stumbled backwards when a bolt of lightning lit up my entire field of view.
I rubbed my eyes as I staggered towards the bed. It should have been strange to see a lightning bolt at the exact moment that I tried to look outside, but I didn't worry about that at all. What I did worry about were the glowing eyes that stared at me from below my table when I was able to see again. They reminded me of our dog's eyes, but unless someone had taught him how to open a door―that's something that he actually did in later years―he couldn't have entered the room. Especially not in the short time-frame that it took for me to stand up and return.
At first I believed them to be an afterimage of the lightning that had been burned into my retina, despite the fact that they didn't move when I shifted my focus, but since I still couldn't sleep my gaze returned to the table over and over again. And every time I did so the eyes had gotten a little bit closer. I might have imagined the next part, since the thunder should have drowned it out, but I swear that I could hear this creature breathing and growling at me. Kinda like a dog, but much more menacing, as if it wanted to devour me.
My heart jumped every time I heard this noise and cold sweat began to cover my face. I might have even pissed myself. Great achievement for an 8th grader. Eventually I just couldn't take it any longer. I jumped from my bed, ran to the light switch and flicked it on.
There was no one inside the room but me. The only evidence that something else had been there only seconds ago was the warmth that had spread across the carpet below the table. Before you ask: no, we didn't have a floor-heating system that could have caused such a phenomenon. And summer had long since passed.
I really didn't want to sleep anymore, but I still switched off the light. As soon as the darkness engulfed my room the eyes returned. Whatever it was stood only inches away from my feet. The light flared up once more and one of the light bulbs exploded. I screamed, fell to my knees and covered my head. I was still shaking from head to toe when my sister came to check on me. I didn't tell her what had transpired, of course. The exploding light bulb sounded like a much more reasonable excuse.
The next day I redecorated. The table vanished behind a seating area and I turned my bed by 90 degrees, making it impossible for me to see what was going on down there. Was I naive to believe that something like that could have “saved” me? Certainly, but it actually worked! I never saw the eyes again. Perhaps it has something to do with feng shui...

Years passed without incident and my oldest sister moved out after she got married, which allowed me to move into a slightly bigger room. Everything went well for a while, but after a few months I started to hear noises. Not the kind of noises a house makes, though. Sometimes I heard feet shuffling across the floor. On other occasions I heard a knock coming from the other side of a hatch that led into a small storage area. I never dared to investigate it, but that didn't stop the entity that had invaded my room.
It got worse when I heard someone talk to me in my sleep―someone who was most certainly not a member of my family. It made my flesh crawl and my heart pound, but I tried to ignore it and kept my eyes shut. Not that it helped.
One day the voice returned much stronger than before. It screamed and cursed at me, but the worst was yet to come. My heart pounded as if it wanted to explode and my body had become as cold as ice. That's when I lost it. I just wanted to run and never look back. But my body refused. I strained my muscles. I tried to raise my head. Nothing worked.
Only when the voice faded was I finally able to move. But that wasn't the end of it. The same event repeated itself every single week for half a year. I don't know if the creature eventually gave up or if I was actually able to expel it by force. I just remember breaking the paralysis and screaming into the darkness of my room: “Shut up and leave me alone!”
The voice never returned after that.
Was that the end? No. Of course it wasn't. I wonder if the entities that I have met inside our house are actually different beings or if it's just the same creature that has grown more powerful over the years. I suppose I could have tried to research the building that stood here before, but it's just my imagination, right?
If only that were the case. I'd sleep a lot better that way.
Before I move on: I’m sure that some people will claim that I suffered from sleep paralysis and while I do agree that the symptoms sound similar I just cannot believe that it was the cause of my hauntings. Especially not after witnessing the next event.

Many years later I was the only one left on the second floor, which means that I got to move in the biggest room whereas the other ones got turned into guest rooms. Not that we ever received any guests, but that's for the better. Who knows what could happen otherwise?
This final event transpired during a lone summer week. My parents had left the house in my care while they went on vacation with my nieces. Some people would have used that opportunity to throw a party or at least to spend some time with their girlfriend, but most of my friends are scattered across the country and I never had a girlfriend in my entire life. Therefore I just wasted the week the same way I always do. Play games, watch movies, read books and so on.
I stayed up late into the night and during one of my trip to the bathroom something strange happened: a newspaper fell onto a bucket that stood in the floor. Not very sensational, I know. It's just that there was no place for it to fall from, unless it had traversed half the hallway without any wind to carry it. My heart jumped and I hurried towards the light switch. The hallway was bathed in soothing light and nothing out of the ordinary could be seen. But I did feel something staring at me.
My head turned towards the stairwell and I saw something vanish around the corner at the bottom. Was it just my imagination? Perhaps, but I doubt it. I wasn't crazy enough to investigate it, of course. But ignoring these phenomena has never done me any good.
The very next day I heard one of the guest room doors open all by itself. Feet could be heard shuffling over the carpet and the temperatures dropped by several degrees. I jumped from my swivel chair and turned the lights on.
The noise continued unabated till it vanished down the stairs. I peered through the glass embedded in the center of my door, but I couldn't see anything. A few minutes later the entity returned. The stairs creaked in huge intervals, as if the creature was taking its sweet time while climbing back up. I could even hear something like a deep growl that echoed through the house.
Did I run outside to turn on all the lights? Did I jump into my bed and hide under the covers? No, I just stared at my monitor without looking at anything. My knuckles turned white as they closed around the edges of my desk and my heart pounded harder than ever before. I might have been close to a heart attack at that point.
Something knocked onto the glass of my door and I fell onto the ground, screaming all the way.
One knock.
A second knock.
A third one.
“Go away,” I stammered.
Someone chuckled on the other side and knocked once more.
I closed my eyes, breathed in deeply and screamed: “Go away! You're not welcome in this room!”
The huge shadow that I saw through the glass turned around and shuffled away. Was that really all it took? Maybe it wasn't actually evil. Perhaps it was just playing with me.
Whatever the case may be, I've never seen it again. Well, maybe once, out of the corner of my eyes, watching me from the end of the hallway. But if history repeats itself then I'm finally at peace. Unless I move into another haunted apartment in the future. That won’t happen for quite a while, though. I shouldn’t forget to exchange the broken light bulbs. They’ve been wearing out incredibly fast for a while now.

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