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Between Mortals and Demons

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I woke up to the sound of buzzing on my oak bedside table; my mobile phone illuminated the bedroom along with the first rays of daylight on that winter's morning. My eyes darted around the room, I checked my clock, 6:27. I turned my phone off before falling back asleep for another few hours.

I awoke again, this time to the sun light piercing the thin curtains that hung from the window. “I should probably get up now, before it gets too late,” I thought to myself before dragging my semi-lifeless body down the dimly lit hallway to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror. My thick black hair flowed down my forehead, I had purplish bags under my dark-brown eyes and I’m quite sure that had you thrown a little blood on me, I could have been recognizable as a zombie. I looked quite pasty, that morning, my bony cheeks could easily be seen due to the lack of fat that I owned.

I had only been living in my apartment for about a month, I turned 19 a few weeks ago. I have to say my current apartment isn’t the best, but it serves its purpose. It is fairly large but quite old and run-down. The dark-blue paintwork is scratched throughout the rooms and patches of carpet are stained various colours from where previous owners had spilt liquids. It didn’t bother me though, I was never that tidy a child. It wasn’t that I was particularly untidy, I could just never be bothered to clean up after myself. That’s the way I’ve always been.

I trudged to the kitchen for breakfast, and turned on the light. It flickered for a few moments before a loud “POP” filled the room, followed by a smashing of glass. “Brilliant,” I thought, “as if I didn’t have to repair everything else in this crappy, old apartment as well”. I plodded over to the dirt-covered fridge and made myself something to eat. I had no energy whatsoever, everything I did seemed to require more energy than it would take to trek up a mountain. I slogged over to the lounge and collapsed on to the sofa. Before I knew it, I had drifted off again.

I awakened in the hallway of an abandoned hotel, already standing up. The wallpaper was a dark red colour and the hallways seemed to stretch out forever. The faint lighting wasn’t very good, but it brightened up the corridor enough to see about 20 metres along. To my left was a wooden door with golden numbers nailed on to it, to the right was the same, all up the hallway, as a matter of fact. I pathetically called out to someone, anyone “Can anyone hear me?”

There was no response, just an echo that ran away from me. Just as I was about to call out again, I heard a faint, whisper come from behind me and I immediately spun round; nothing, nobody. It sounded like a breathing, but it was gentle, on the back of my neck. I slowly turned back round, to the direction I was originally facing, and I looked down. I saw her. A young girl, lying just in front of my feet. She couldn’t have been any older than myself. She wore a knee-length black dress with charcoal-grey feathers sewn along the bottom and obsidian black ballet shoes to match. She had raven-black, wavy hair, the top of which was covered by a fishnet-vale which also fell to cover her closed eyes. Her skin was pale, almost white. It looked so delicate and smooth, almost flawless.

There was a child-like innocence about her that made her seem harmless. I was certain I recognised her, I was certain I recognised the hotel. She held roses, blood-red. It was then her eye-lids flickered, and opened. Her eyes were beautiful, they were a stone-blue and looked like portals to the depths of the ocean. She gazed at me for a few moments. Her glistening eyes stared into mine for a second before I felt a sharp pain shoot throughout my spine.

I woke up again in my apartment, dazed, confused. I knew I recognised this girl, but I didn’t know how. I felt attached to her in a way. The hotel, I knew I recognised it too. I vaguely remember something similar as a boy, except back then it didn’t seem so old and battered, but why that hotel? Why that girl?

Later that night, something didn’t feel quite right. I sat on my sofa, like I normally would to catch up on work, listen to a bit of music; I was into metal, the heavier music, the kind people find a little bit menacing. I was always able to relate to the lyrics, especially during my early teenage years when my depression and anxiety was at its strongest. Anyway, back to the story, that night, I felt watched, almost. I felt like there was a presence just lurking behind me. I knew I was being ridiculous, I didn’t believe in the supernatural. I felt like as soon as I looked in its direction, it wasn’t there, but at the time I didn’t even know there was actually an “it”. I should probably tell you where I am now. I am hiding, on the run, I need something to record what’s happened to me, and this was the first thing that came to mind. It may seem a bit confusing at the moment but everything fits together soon.

It was then I saw something, it was only for a split second, but I saw it. I saw its reflection in my mirror dash down the hall, then it vanished. I was startled! “Did I really just see that, or am I being delusional?” For some reason, visions of the girl came flooding to my mind. At that moment, she was all I could think about. She occupied every corner of my mind, my deep, dark, twisted mind. I looked at my clock: 1:37 AM, it read. “I’m probably just hallucinating, I am really tired,” I thought to myself. But then a thought came over me; I didn’t know where the past few hours had gone.

It was almost as if I was going a bit crazy. “Why can’t I stop thinking about the girl in the black dress?” I continued to ask. It was only a dream, after all. I snapped out of my trance and focused my attention to the possible-entity that may or may not have been running around my flat. I silently crept over to the kitchen, trying to avoid creaking the floor, to get myself a knife. If I was fighting a paranormal being, I don’t know what good a knife would do, it was the best thing I had to a plan at the time.

I slowly paced around my apartment, on full-alert, stopping at every corner or hiding spot and triple-checking to make sure nothing or nobody was there. The lighting was dim, the bulbs had almost died. Everything was poorly lit up. Then the feeling came back to me, the feeling like I was being followed. I stopped, and I looked behind me. The girl was there! Our eyes locked, then she vanished. I was certain I saw her there, in the exact same clothes as last time: the black dress, the fishnet-vale and ballet shoes to match. I was certain I saw her. From what I remember, she looked sad, her head hung low, she seemed to have tired eyes, and she didn’t seem to have much energy.

I was convinced that I had seen her. I needed to search my apartment again. The entity I saw earlier can go do one, I had to look for the girl. Why was I thinking like this? The being that I saw previously was more of a threat than she was, I wasn’t thinking straight. Something was twisting my thought. Despite this, I still carried on, determined to find her. This girl, this anonymous girl, she drowned my thoughts and replaced them with herself. Why did I want to know so much about her? What was it about her that pulled me in?

After multiple searches, I gave up. Tired, weak, hungry, I decided to go to bed. I slowly wandered to my bedroom and bolted the door shut, just to be safe. I closed the curtains, and collapsed onto the floor. I was still awake, I just couldn’t be bothered to get up, and I had no energy. I don’t remember falling asleep that night, I just remember laying on the floor with my eyes closed blocking out the world until I could hear the birds chirping outside.

I opened my door with ease like I normally would and dragged myself to the bathroom. Something wasn’t right but everything was normal, it almost seemed “too normal”. I decided to let this feeling slide due to the incidents of the previous night, it was probably me being a bit too alert. I went to my grimy kitchen to make myself some breakfast when it hit me. The door! I had bolted it that night but that morning it had been unbolted! Something was in the bedroom!

Suddenly, filled with adrenaline, I grabbed another knife and I sprinted to my room. Nothing. I stood in the centre of my bedroom, clutching my knife with sweaty palms. But then I had a thought: “you can’t bolt the door from the outside so whatever unbolted it must have unbolted it to leave”. I then had that feeling again. A cold shiver ran down my spine, making my hairs stand on end. “What if she’s behind me again?” I thought to myself. I then realised that if I turned around all she would do is disappear, but that’s if she’s there anyway. I couldn’t take it anymore, the temptation was too much. I revolved to face my door, nothing, nobody stood there. No girl.

Disappointed, I made my way back to my kitchen, the adrenaline had left my system and I was just experiencing a low. I don’t know why I felt sad, this girl was nothing to me, and I just wanted to see her again. I wanted to find out who she was. I resumed my breakfast and sat down on the sofa, a cereal bowl on my lap. I gazed expressionlessly at the mirror that I saw the entity in last night. The frame was made of copper, it was quite old so it was starting to turn rusty and green. The mirror itself was scratched and a few shards had fallen off.

Everything was silent, until the footsteps could be heard. They were gentle, like a child playing. I gradually got up, trying to make as little noise as possible. I moved towards the sound of steps until I was just beside the hallway. I stood against the doorframe, motionless, the footsteps were still there. I deeply breathed, I peered around the corner and saw her, and she didn’t see me. She was dancing, she was doing ballet slowly with no music playing. She still seemed really sad, sadder than the last time I saw her, but nevertheless, still innocent, almost playful. She was so elegant, so dynamic, then she stopped slowly. She lowered her arms down by her side and revolved to face me. She stared at me for a few seconds, with her sad eyes, her blue eyes. I was about to speak up, until something brushed past me causing me to spin round quickly, nothing. I darted back round, to face the girl again, but she had departed, she left nothing, or so I thought.

I ran over to where she was, hoping she would come back, praying for her return, but I got something else. I felt something against my bare feet, I looked down to see a piece of paper, about the size of a business card and some writing on it.

“Sorry.”

“Why was she apologising? What had she done wrong? Or maybe, what would she do wrong?” All these questions rushed through my head, confusing me. The handwriting on the note was astounding though, it was almost as if it had been written by a professional scribe from the eighteen hundreds. The paper was old parchment, a yellowish-brown colour. It crinkled as I ran it through my fingers and slipped it into my back pocket.

I thought back to my early teenage years when I would spend all night watching horror films and deliberately try to scare myself at 2 AM. It was then I realised that these things happen to different people. There are books on the supernatural. I would research online but my internet is extremely poor and I had no choice but to visit my library. I opened my apartment door and stepped into the elevator. It wasn’t very clean and it smelt of cigarettes and body odour. I pushed the button to the ground floor and it dully lit up. There was no music playing so I could constantly hear the wire stretching and creaking as the lift slowly descended. “DING”, the doors slid open and I stepped out before they closed again. I opened the door and was stuck by a winter’s breeze. I put my hands into my pockets and strode against the wind, fighting to get there.

After a torturing forty minutes’ walk, I arrived and stepped in. It was soundless as deep space. A maze of books and newspapers filled my vision. The shelves seemed to go on forever. The paintwork was fresh, coloured in beige. Despite the windows, it seemed quite dark, I think the books must have blocked a lot of the light. Anyway, I was here to do something. I started my journey into the complex of books. I walked past the languages section, then the sci-fi, then newspapers, and I stopped, something caught my eye. I wasn’t sure at first but after closer inspection I knew that the universe is full of miracles. I saw her face, on the cover of an old paper. I read the title and my jaw dropped: “TEENAGE GIRL DEAD, APPARENT SUICIDE”. I then looked at the date, now this is what scared me: “19/10/1899”. This girl was not only dead, but about one-hundred and sixteen years old. She still looked young though, she had to be some type of spirit. I thought it was strange that the library still had the paper from that long ago.

I looked around to make sure nobody saw me. I rolled it up and slid it into my jacket pocket. I rushed home, the wind blowing my way this time, making the journey so much easier. I got to my apartment building and stepped into the elevator again. I pushed the button and once again it dimly lit up. After what seemed like endless waiting, the doors opened and I walked out. I went up to my door and opened it cautiously, like I was about to be attacked, nothing. I threw the paper onto the table and sat on my sofa, head in my hands. I was trying to contemplate everything. Thoughts raced through my mind like they were in the Grand Prix.

That’s when I saw it, that entity. It was “standing” in the corner of the room, not moving, motionless. I got a clear look at it this time. I don’t know how to describe it. Imagine it as a dark hooded figure, except the robes are made of dark smoke but they seem to hold shape. It was like that. It was as if it took in all happiness, it made me feel sad, depressed, and miserable. I couldn’t see its face but I know it was looking at me. I couldn’t breathe properly. I felt like my rib-cage had collapsed, everything was becoming tighter, I felt claustrophobic. I fell to my knees while it watched me, clearly amused at what it was doing to me. Just as I thought my life was going to flash before my eyes, it vanished, everything went black.

As my vision slowly came back, I could see a blurry figure kneeling over me. I didn’t pay much to them as I was trying to get my bearings, but then I realised; it was her. She was knelt over my body and I looked up at her, into her gazing eyes. When I caught her attention, she looked startled and she started to panic. She then whispered “Come to the hotel, I’m sorry…” Then, once again, she vanished. That was the first time I heard her voice, it was beautiful, ethereal, angelic almost.

“What hotel was she talking about? Could it be the one I saw when I first dreamt of her?” I was certain I recognised it, but if I wanted to find out its location, I had to call my father. I hadn’t spoken to him since I was a child. The last thing I remember about him is that when I was a young boy, my father took me into the city, to see a marching band. So calling him up after all these years was fairly awkward. I picked up my cell phone, and dialled the number. “Hello?” a croaked voice replied. I told him it was me and he seemed fairly hesitant about trusting me, but gave me the information. It was a hotel, about a fifty minute drive from my house. I immediately rushed to my car, and started the engine, when it hit me… “Why did she apologise?” I started to think it may have been a trap, and I wish I believed it, because if I did I would have turned back there and then, but I didn’t, my curious side got the best of me and I continued to drive.

I arrived at the hotel, from the outside it looked tattered, windows were blocked up with wooden planks, and the glass doors had been smashed. I was reluctant to go inside at first, I felt uneasy, and I felt like a million eyes were on me. I slowly started to walk towards the entrance, each step taking me a bit closer to the end… I heard quick steps behind me, I spun round, just in time to catch a glimpse of an object moving towards my face before everything went black.

I awakened in the hallway of the hotel, already standing up. The wallpaper was a dark red colour and the hallways seemed to stretch out forever. The faint lighting wasn’t very good, but it brightened up the corridor enough to see about 20 metres along. To my left was a wooden door with golden numbers nailed on to it, to the right was the same, all up the hallway, as a matter of fact. I’d lived this before, I thought. This is exactly how my dream started! I pathetically called out to someone, anyone “Can anyone hear me?” There was no response, just an echo that ran away from me. Just as I was about to call out again, I heard a faint whisper come from behind me and I immediately spun round; nothing, nobody.

It sounded like a breathing, but it was gentle, on the back of my neck. I slowly turned back round, to the direction I was originally facing, and I looked down. I saw her, lying just in front of my feet. She held roses, blood-red. It was then her eye-lids flickered, and opened. Her eyes were beautiful, they were a stone-blue and looked like portals to the depths of the ocean. She gazed at me for a few moments. Her glistening eyes stared into mine for a second. Suddenly, I remembered, this is where the dream ended! Just as I felt a sharp pain shoot throughout my spine, I bolted it down the hallway, time almost froze, every step seemed to only cover a small distance, I never turned round though. I could only guess that it was the entity behind me, the dark one. I kept running, I didn’t stop, I kept running until I found a computer room. I locked the door as quickly as I could and I sat at a computer, I started to type this up.

So you’re now up to date with everything, I’ve been in here for about 12 hours, I believe. There have been scratches at the door but I haven’t answered, for obvious reasons.

I think I’ve worked it out now, they’re demons, working together. The woman enters your dream and gives you a link to her, you become so obsessed with her that she distracts you from the danger, the shadow, for all I know, it could be death himself, but I fear it’s something much worse. There are some benches over by the wall, I’m quite tired, and I’m going to have a sleep. I will continue writing when I wake up, if this is the last I’ve written then you know what happens to me.

I’ve just woken up, I had the worst dream. As I sat in my chair, the last thing I saw was the clock turn to 3:23 as her nails dug into my chest and everything went black. Well it’s 3:22 now, and the door is creaking behind me…

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