This is the final story I wrote for my Creative Writing Horror Class this semester, if anyone is interested 🙂
Do you feel that? You need to look over your shoulder. You need to turn around. Don’t. That’s what they want. They want you to see them, and once you do, there’s no going back. Trust me, I know. I turned around. There’s no hope for me, I get that now.
You could say I was normal before all this started. Well, as normal as anyone can be, I guess. I was well liked. Popular even. I guess it comes with the territory when you’re starting pitcher for the high school baseball team. Brown hair, blue eyes. Tall, dark and handsome, as Kelly used to tell me. I think I miss her most of all. Blonde bombshell with green eyes. I could never get her out of my head, not since the first day I saw her in first grade. Kelly, if you read this, I don’t blame you for walking away. In fact, I’m glad you did. I wouldn’t want you or anyone else I love mixed up in this mess. What a mess.
If I lived a thousand years, I’d never forget that day. I can still smell the dirt of the mound and the chalk of the base lines. I was on the mound, pitching a no hitter. The humidity was just about unbearable, the temperature pushing 100. I was continuously wiping away the sweat dripping into my eyes. Even though the sky was completely clear of any clouds, I could smell rain in the air. I had this feeling all day that something was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Until I felt it.
I thought it was Tommy over on second base trying to get me to turn around and throw a guy out, so that’s what I did. But instead, I turned around and saw myself. Some twisted, dark, deformed version of myself anyway. I heard my teammates yelling my name, trying to get me to pay attention to the game, but all I could do was stare at this thing standing between me and second base. It was obvious no one else could see it, since everyone was still playing the game I had completely forgot about.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and whipped around, expecting to see yet another me standing there, but it was only Coach Hugh. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I saw his lips form the word “okay.” I felt his big, sweaty hands shaking me but I couldn’t respond. I couldn’t speak to tell him what was wrong. Make it go away. In a flash I turned back around. But there was nothing there. All I saw was red-headed Tommy standing on second looking at me like I crazy.
Am I crazy? I know now that I’m not, but in that moment I wasn’t sure. I tried to shake it off, blame it on the heat, so I assured Coach I was good to go and took my position back on the mound. Then I walked four guys in a row. The last pitch I threw hit the backstop a foot above the umpire’s head, and Coach called timeout. I sat on the bench the rest of the game with an ice pack on my head. I told everyone that witnessed my temporary breakdown that the heat had gotten to me. Hell, I told the story so much I started to believe it myself.
For days I looked in the mirror, thinking I would see my reflection twisted like before. After a week though, I started to forget. It was another three weeks before I did see it again. I was alone at my house, my parents had gone out of town for their anniversary. I was sitting on our big, leather couch playing a round of Call of Duty when I felt it again. I knew I shouldn’t turn around, but I couldn’t stop myself.
It was just as hideous as before. My eyes were red orbs that seemed to glow from the inside, my teeth were cutoff and jagged and looked like they could rip out a throat in a single bit. My fingernails were long, sharp claws that jutted out from bloody nail beds. Just like at the ball field, I was paralyzed with fear. It was like my brain couldn’t fully process what was in front of me. Or it didn’t want to. Then the thing laughed and my insides froze. I finally snapped out of it and took off for the door.
Reaching in my pocket to fish for the cool metal of my phone, I felt nothing but fuzzy remnants of pocket lint, and I remembered leaving it sit on the coffee table. I didn’t think about stopping as I threw open the front door, letting it slam against the wall and sprinted down the street. I didn’t stop until I got to Tommy’s house, panting, with sweat pouring down my neck.
I pounded my fist against the door, praying that Tommy had decided to stay in tonight. I just kept banging on the door. I was about to give up when the door suddenly swung open, throwing me forward.
“Dude, what the fuck is your problem?”
I pushed past him and went straight to the phone to dial 9-1-1. When the operator picked up, I managed to get out a jumble of words resembling “someone in my house” and my address. The operator, with a raspy voice that sounded like she had been smoking her entire life, informed me to stay calm and that the police would be there shortly. I sagged against the wall, sliding down until I felt my body meet the floor and let the phone fall.
I was, on some level, aware that Tommy was panicking, pacing back and forth trying to get me to respond. I didn’t move again until I heard the sirens wailing as they tore down the street. The sound seemed to wake me from my daze. I mumbled a thanks and a promise that I would call Tommy later and ran toward my house.
The cops were already inside when I got there. Strong, beefy hands grabbed me when I dashed towards the door. I tried to fight off the hands but there was no point.
“Calm down, son. Let us do our job and make sure your house is safe. Where are your parents?”
I numbly told the officer my parents were in Myrtle Beach for their anniversary. He assured me that he would get someone to contact them and led me over to sit down on the curb facing the street. Somewhere I heard a feminine voice say my last name and I knew my parents would soon be on their way home.
I turned to look at my house. To anyone else I’m sure it looked perfectly homey and welcoming with all the lights on. A wrap around porch lined with white bannisters matched the siding and blue shutters. It even had a porch swing and rocking chairs for warm summer nights. My parents took pride in our house and made sure everyone felt welcomed. But at that moment, no part of me ever wanted to step foot back inside. I knew it was waiting for me. Waiting to put those teeth to good use.
I looked up to see beefy hands, Officer Harrison according to his nametag, looking down at me with strained concern. I stood up, the top of my head barely reaching his chin. I brushed my pants off, more for something to do than out of necessity.
“We didn’t find anyone inside the house. They may have fled when they heard the sirens or…” He hesitated, looking back towards the house. Does he know what’s in there? That it’s still waiting for me? “Aiden, are you sure you really saw someone? There was no evidence of a break-in and there doesn’t seem to be anything missing…”
He trailed off, as if willing me to admit I had just had a nightmare. Less paperwork for him, right? Or maybe he thought I was on drugs. Would have been easier to explain. It probably wouldn’t have landed me in this hospital either. But everything had finally caught up with me and I swung back towards the house and let it all spill out.
“No! It was in there! I saw me standing there, ready to rip my face off! Just like at the ball field!”
Too late, I realized what I had said.
I looked back at Officer Harrison’s skeptical face looking down at me.
“Have you been drinking, son?” He stopped, looked around and stepped a little closer, putting his hand on my shoulder as if it to comfort me. It didn’t help. “Look, I’m not gonna arrest you or anything so you can be honest with me.”
I don’t think he would have ever believed the real truth, which is why I didn’t tell him.
“No, sir. I wasn’t drinking. I just… I watched a scary movie earlier. Must have freaked myself out being home alone and all. Sorry for the trouble.”
The cops offered to stay until my parents got home, but I sent them away. Part of me hoped the thing would show back up so I could find out what it wanted. But it stayed away. I gave my parents the same excuse I gave the cops. They said they were just glad I was okay, but I could tell they were annoyed that I had cut their vacation short.
That night was the beginning of my final downfall. I started seeing things out of the corner of my eye, feeling it there watching me. But when I’d turn to see it, nothing terrifying or hideous, only rows of lockers, or the dining room table, or something else that’s always been there.
I became paranoid, looking over my shoulder constantly. My grades dropped, which meant I was off the team. My parents kept trying to get me to talk to them, but I wouldn’t. Couldn’t. They grounded me, but I wasn’t upset. The less time I had to spend in public the less likely it was for someone to notice I was obviously going crazy.
Kelly told me I had changed and that she didn’t know who I was anymore. I cut off everyone after that. It was for the best. I’m sure everyone thought I was on drugs. My parents even made me get tested, but of course it came back negative.
I skipped the entire last week of school. I didn’t see the point. There was nothing left for my parents to threaten me with. I was doing a good enough job punishing myself. Tommy came to the house every day for the first week, but I wouldn’t come out of my room. The visits slowed down until he stopped coming around all together.
The night that landed me in the hospital wasn’t long after that. It was also the last night I spent in the real world.
I hadn’t been out of the house since my last day of school. I spent all my time in my cramped, dark blue bedroom, sitting upright with my back in the corner starting at the door. I only left my room to go to the bathroom. That night my mom knocked on my locked door to tell me she and dad were going out for dinner. She asked me to please go along with them, but I had stopped eating days ago. When I didn’t answer she sighed and left.
When I heard their car pull out of the driveway, I slowly made my way to the bathroom. I shut the door and looked in the mirror. I hadn’t showered in a week. My hair was greasy and random pimples spotted my normally flawless face. I turned the water on in the sink, splashed water on my rough face and ran my hands over it. I grabbed a towel off the hook to dry my face and looked in the mirror. The towel never touched my face before it hit the floor.
Standing behind me was a roomful of demented Aiden clones, with those glowing red eyes. All at once, they smiled, baring their razor sharp teeth. Once again my insides went frigid, but instead of freezing up adrenaline pumped through my veins. I spun around to face the things but I saw nothing. I knew they were there though, I could still feel them.
I raced down the stairs, grabbing the keys to my dad’s Buick on the way out the front door. I wasn’t sure where I was going but I knew I had to get away from there and fast. I jumped in the blacked out car, cranked the key in the ignition and threw the automatic in reverse, peeling out of the driveway. I looked back at the house I grew up in, a feeling inside telling me it might be the last time I ever saw it. Now I know it was.
My mind was racing, trying to think of somewhere to hide, to be able to get away from these things after me. I didn’t know what they wanted, besides me apparently. They didn’t let me get very far. I had gone about ten miles when I came up on Nebula Lake. I glanced over at the lake and a memory of the weekends fishing with my dad popped into my head. Something in my rearview mirror caught my eye and when I looked up, red glowing eyes stared back at. That’s the last thing I remember before waking up in this hospital.
The police told my parents that there was no sign of anyone else involved in the crash. Their report, coupled with my parents’ accounts of my recent behavior changes, led to the police and doctors determining it was a suicide attempt. In between periods of unconsciousness I heard my mom crying about how she should have done more.
“We should have done something sooner. I knew that something was wrong, baseball was his life! He wouldn’t have just given it up. We should have forced him to go see that therapist. We should have….”
She choked on a sob and I listed to her cry as I drifted off into another wave of unconsciousness. I’m sure from the supposed suicide attempt they were already considering putting me on a psych watch. But it was what happened that night that landed me here for sure.
I woke up to muffled voices I didn’t recognized. I pried my eyes open, a hazy film distorting my vision. The small amount of light in the room caused my head to ache, and I reached up to feel bandages wrapped around my hairline. A quick glance around the room told me whoever the voices belonged to were outside the door, since the room was empty of anyone but me. At least, I thought I was alone.
The whispering seemed to start in my head. I couldn’t understand anything except one word: Aiden. The whispering filled the room, getting louder and louder. I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t move my arms. I glanced down to see my wrists bound to the bed. I frantically looked around the room for the source of the voices.
The first set of red eyes I noticed were in the corner near the door. Fear gripped my stomach and my breath caught in my throat. Not again. More sets of eyes appeared around the room. They started whispering my name over and over. I pulled on my wrists, trying to free myself from the restraints, but they didn’t even budge. My breathing became labored as the room seemed to get smaller and smaller and the eyes multiplied. I yelled for help when the bodies started forming around the eyes.
The door flew open as a guttural scream ripped from my throat. I felt hands on me and I thrashed in the bed, trying to get away.
“Aiden! Calm down!”
I barely heard the voice, but on some level I recognized it from one of my moments of consciousness. I looked up to see a greying man dressed in doctor’s robes, his face twisted into a look of concern. I could see his lips moving, but I could hardly make out the words over the sounds of my screams and the chanting of my name.
“….needs sedation…call psych…”
I screamed until they stuck the needle in my arm. As my vision started to go black, I focused on my clone standing in front of me, laughing as it shifted form into someone I didn’t recognize.
I’ve been at this mental hospital for a week now. Every night they come. There’s too many to count, and every one of them have different face now. But the one that looks like me is always front and center. They’ve started talking to me too, telling me they’re coming for me, to turn me into one of them. I think it’s going to be tonight. They’re going to kill me tonight.
The psychiatrist I’m seeing decided it would be good for my therapy to write a sort of diary, under his supervision of course. So I’m using it as an excuse to write all this down. I hope that this letter will eventually make it out of here and read by as many people as possible. I hope that I save at least one person. If I can do that…well…maybe my life will not have been entirely pointless.
I can feel them watching me right now, but I won’t turn around. I won’t give them the satisfaction. They make themselves be seen when they want to now anyway. Please, if you’re reading this, take my warnings. No matter what you hear, no matter how badly you have the feeling, don’t turn around. Do not let them be seen.