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The Man with the Umbrella

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This was one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had in my entire life and I want to share this with you whoever you are. This incident happened recently and it’s still burning in the back of my mind, swimming like a swarm of bees and keeping me awake most of the nights.

I became paranoid because of it.

It was around 10 in the evening as far as I remember. I was out during that time researching in the local library for my science project and I was really into it, so much that I almost forgot about the time. The librarian approached me and politely reminded me that it’s late and that I had to leave or else the storm will catch me.

At first I was hesitant, I still had a few pages to read and a couple of words to note down, but then a thunder cracked above me, making me flinch and mumble an agreement to the old lady.

I wore my trench coat, returned the books, and bid goodbye to her before leaving the said place. The wind was strong since it was the month of July and the chilly breeze made me sneeze the soul out of me.

I started moving towards the bus stop and waited for a couple of minutes for a ride but it seems like the drivers decided to go home early. Frustrated, I kicked a random can and decided to walk towards my apartment.

That was when the strange part started.

My apartment wasn't really located in the busy area and it is often quiet and just dead silent especially at night. It was a 45 minute walk and the air was slightly damp and chilly so I started to bet with myself that I’d get a cold by the time I’ll get back.

The houses and shops were either closed or starting to close and droplets of rain started to fall from the sky. I paused, popped open my "foldable" umbrella and sauntered once again.

The rain started to fall hard by the tenth minute of walking and my glasses were starting to fog from the combination of the icy atmosphere. The lights were a little bit dimmer than the usual and I began to move faster, afraid that a black out might occur and leave me in total darkness.

Time rolled fast and a little later, the familiar alleyway that I pass everyday came into sight and I let a sigh of relief escape from my mouth. The passage wasn't really that big although it was long, and muddy, and dark. Cars weren't able to fit but motorcycles can, so it’s quite safe and chances of me getting hit are low.

I was almost in the middle of the long alley when a rumble of engine emerged at the back and the headlight gave me a brief preview of what was ahead of me. All that time I thought I was walking alone but life could be full of surprises because guess what, another figure was walking(?) a few steps in front of me.

Like I said earlier, cars don’t fit in that area but motorcycles do, so when the vehicle surpassed me, I was left in total darkness once again. But instead of feeling okay (since I have a companion), a sense of anxiety washed over me. The light was perhaps brief and short-lived but I was able to see how bizarre the figure ahead of me was.

I wouldn't be surprised to see if a person was wrapped in a bundle of thick clothing but his was a bit… peculiar. Like he wrapped himself up with different sorts of rags and such stuffs that I do not have the correct words to describe it. The anxiety soon turned into uneasiness when another motorcycle passed and I distinguished that he wasn't walking, but was limping.

I slowed down a bit.

My palms soon became clammy and the wind wasn't helping anything at all. By the fourth blow, my umbrella slipped from my hold and stumbled away into the direction of the old limping man. I felt my heart leaving my throat and I could hear my subconsciousness screaming for me to run.

I froze on the ground and stared as another motorcycle passed us. This time, the man had also ceased from walking and I could clearly see that he also has an umbrella, a dark long one, but the strange part was that he wasn't using it. He was instead, leaning on it as if it was a substitute for a cane.

I bit my lower lip and held my breath. Maybe, I'm just being a sissy, a bloody coward, too paranoid and had too much time reading shitty horror stories. Come on, he's just an old folk, he can't do harm to me.

Suddenly, the motorcycle that recently passed us came back towards my direction and halted in front of me. I gaped, quickly wiped off the water from my glasses but decided it was no use since my jacket was also drenched, and squinted my eyes instead to get a better look. He pushed his helmet upwards in a hasty manner and he quickly sent me a look that says that something wasn't right and that I should believe him.

"Come with me," he muttered, his eyes darting ahead of us but his head stayed in its position.

"I'm sorry," I quickly replied, my voice hoarse and quavering. "But I don't go with strang-"

"Just come with me, Goddamn it!" he bellowed and I didn't hesitate to jump on the backseat of the motorcycle and clutch onto him as he sped off back to the entrance of the alleyway.

My heart was practically leaping from my chest and I sent a last look to the limping man that was now behind us. Albeit the darkness and the absence of light, I could make out his form and I screamed at the top of my lungs when I saw him facing us. Why I did that was beyond my knowledge.

Red and blue invaded my sight and the piercing wails of the ambulance practically ripped my eardrums. Police and medics littered everywhere and I jumped off the vehicle to question what was happening.

"Another murder," the police who introduced himself as Sergeant De Carpio, said. His eyes scanning me up and down and the guy behind me who offered me a ride. He must have been wondering why we were still here despite it's late and raining.

My ears rang at the word "murder" and I stepped into the shelter with him.

"I have to talk to you, officer..." the biker said, his brows knitting together and his face as pale as snow. Even though he was trying his best to look calm and confident, his eyes and features deceived him. "Alone," he added after a couple of seconds.

As the two excused themselves from me, I stayed from my spot and felt my lungs being pumped with an enormous amount of air. What a messed up day, huh?

I started chewing on my lower lip and when the stretcher passed me, I quickly looked away. Although I somehow took a quick peek. Blood soaked the white blanket and what took my attention the most was that it was coming from the lower part of the body.

This intrigued me.

"What... what was the cause of death?" I asked one of the paramedics and he slowly pulled his mask down. He gave me a brief look before parting his lips.

"Blood loss, excessive blood loss."

My eyes widened instantaneously and I clutched my throbbing heart.

He doesn't have to tell me what happened, I completely knew what happened.

My head began to pound and my vision became a little hazy.

I now remember the reason why I screamed.

The limping man was holding a severed hand.

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