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Another late night, held over for some forced overtime. You'd think someone that works third shift wouldn't have to deal with this shit, but lo and behold you did. You check your watch as you pull into your driveway. Five a.m. Oh well, there's nothing you can do now except get some sleep. You turn your car off and get out, the door creaking a bit as you swing it open. This thing really is a piece of junk. As you stand there examining just how horrid the rust bucket you drive is, you notice someone just off in the distance, up your street.
A man paces back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. He cuts right across the road, doesn't even look. He seems rather old, maybe he has a problem? You wonder if it's dementia. God, what a terrible disease. As you shudder at the thought, however, you notice something. The man has stopped pacing, and now stares at you. He stands perfectly still, not moving a muscle, his gaze locked dead on you. You think it'd be best if you headed inside, sometimes people with dementia are dangerous right? You walk up your driveway and head inside, but not before taking one last glance at that bizarre old man, who still stands, staring.
"Well that was creepy," you think to yourself. What a weird old man. Maybe it'd be better to lock your door tonight, and your windows. As you change out of your work clothes your stomach begins to grumble, your food schedule has really been messed up ever since getting this job. Cereal seems like it might hit the spot right now and you could swear you have some Lucky Charms left. It turns out, you do. You turn on the television while you eat, maybe watch an episode of that show you were watching before you head to bed. But then, something catches your eye.
Right outside your front window you see him. The pacing man. He is walking across the street, on the sidewalk, pacing back and forth. His eyes dead-set on your house. You could swear he is still staring directly at you, his eyes locked with yours. Instead of crossing the street he now just paces right in the parameter of your window, walking just outside your gaze as he crosses. The look on his face is one of fury, the same fury that resonates within a man who has just walked in on his unfaithful wife. An almost animalistic fury, one that is accompanied by an unrelenting, reckless abandon.
You shoot up and immediately pull down the blinds. My God, will you have nightmares tonight. You can still see him through the slits, still feel his gaze boring down on you, burning a hole in your head. He just keeps pacing, his feet slamming down on the pavement as if he is stomping on a spider. Disappearing on either side of your window. You can see he tightly clenches his fists, so tightly that his hands shake. Then, all of a sudden, as he heads out the left side of your window, he is gone. He doesn't cross back over. Maybe he's moved on. With a deep breath, you unlock the front door, open it, and peek your head outside. He is not there. You decide to make sure, taking a step out and almost walking on tip-toes as you check around your house. It would seem he has moved on. You breathe a sigh of relief. Time for bed, you just need some sleep. But first, you double check the locks.
You collapse in your bed, pulling your blankets up. Light streams a bit through the blinds in your bedroom window but you're used to this. Working this shift for so long made you immune to being kept awake by light. Lucky for you, your bedroom window faces away from the rising sun anyway, so the light is kept at a minimal. As your eyes flutter and you drift off to sleep, you notice something weird.
A shadow falls over the light of the sun. A pacing shadow, a pendulous shadow. The shadow of a man. You flip off your covers and back right up against the wall next to your bed. Peeking a bit out the window you can see him. The pacing man. His face almost against the glass as he passes, you can hear him brush up against the side of your house. You almost scream when you realize that he is staring right at you.
You scurry out of bed, running to the other side of the room. You need to call the police. You grab your phone and spin around, but he is no longer there. Where the hell did he go? You walk into your living room and check the front window. No one. You check your kitchen window, no one. You decide enough is enough and open the hall closet. Inside are those golf clubs that your cousin bought for you on your birthday. You take out the heaviest ones and head to the side door.
You call out to him, clutching that heavy nine-iron as you do. You make your way around the house, but you find nothing. No one. Letting out a sigh of relief you go back inside, making sure you lock the doors once more. You take a deep swig of the apple juice you have left in your fridge, yawning and heading back to your room. It's already 5:30. Tonight has been terrible. You put your golf club back into the closet, chuckling to yourself. This was just a crazy old man anyway, you could easily overpower him. You take a look at your phone, 9-1-1 still is entered in the dial pad. You debate for a moment about whether or not you should call them, but finally decide that it wouldn't be worth it. Still, best keep the phone on and close. You plug it into the charger and keep it on your bed. Finally, you fall back into bed, but you lay there with your eyes open. It's going to be very hard to fall asleep now, your heart is pumping. Perhaps you should watch T.V. some more to calm down. Maybe you could work out. That's when you hear it.
Heavy footsteps echo through your house. A shadow passes over you, coming from the living room. You almost don't want to look, you don't want to know what it is as your body stiffens, your hair stands on the back of your neck. But you already know what it is, you realize, you just don't want to confirm it. You scream and shoot up, and you see him. You can finally make out his face, a face covered in boils and cuts. Deep wrinkles and weathered, old skin. His presence fills you with a deep sense of dread, the ominous feeling of finality. But your nine-iron is in the closet, past the man. How the fuck did he get inside the house? You can see him, illuminated by the sun as he passes back and forth, his footsteps sounding like a thunderous stampede, perhaps it's just your mind playing tricks on you but you could swear it is so loud that your ears ring. He stares directly at you, rage seeping from him.
"Get the fuck out of here!" you scream. "I'm calling the police! I've got a gun! The cops are already on their way!" You desperately try and think of something, anything, that might make him leave. But he doesn't. He just keeps pacing. "What do you want!?" you finally scream. That makes him stop dead in his tracks. He stands there, staring at you, and slowly, so very slowly, a smile creeps across his face.
A twisted smile, one that a disturbed young child gets when he tortures a puppy. You stare at one another in silence for what seems like ages before you hear him. A gasp, a wheezing and underused voice. Crackling and hoarse, he utters a single word.
He immediately sprints, faster than you've ever seen anyone run before. You have no time to react. The man has his hands around your throat in seconds flat, his long, filthy fingernails dig into your skin. You struggle, you put up the best fight you can, clawing at his eyes and punching him, but you are no match for this demonic, sadistic man. Your vision blurs as you stare into his face, only now noticing the bugs. Dozens of small insects and spiders scurry across his face. Dirt cakes various spots, even clinging to his teeth. You notice those cuts are deep, and many are fresh. Blood oozing from some, puss oozing from others. You can tell where those cuts have come from, as your nails dig away at his tough, leathery skin alongside them, drawing more blood. But he doesn't even seem fazed. He has done this before, he seems experienced. Drool falling from his lips, a disgusting almost flaxen color. As your vision fades, you swear the shadows dance around him, a harrowing waltz of vehement barbarity. He seems almost omnipresent as your entire world is reduced to the narrow oculus of your immediate vision. You realize that his face, his twisted, hideous, monstrous face, is the last thing you will see. Suddenly, he releases you. You gasp for air as he laughs, a deep, wheezing cackle of a laugh.
"Fun. Now we play a different game." He coughs, then stands. You begin to pass out, the last thing you see is him resuming his abhorrent, malevolent pacing. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
Written by Icarus88