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It all began in November. It was a benevolent November. The ambient air was kind enough to stay lukewarm, so the wind did not blow so hard as to rip through coats and scarves and hats. And what breezes there were seemed to be in the median - not as warm and comforting as the ones in the summer months past, but not as cold and harsh as the winter months yet to come. Snow had not yet fallen, which most considered a blessing, except for those whose business depended upon the snow that fell in flurries most years around this time.
I was sleeping soundly at about five in the morning. I was dreaming that my girlfriend, Kelly, was still alive. She had died about three years back, in an accident that had occurred due to a drunkard driving down the highway. I blamed myself. We had a big fight before she stormed out. I was the only reason she was on the road at the time. In my mind, I had killed her.
I dreamed that she was on the couch with me. We were watching her favorite movie while cuddling. A bowl of popcorn was on my lap, and she was eating handful after handful. She was beautiful, with sparkling emerald eyes and dark, chocolate hair flowing down to her shoulders. She smelled like vanilla, and, for a moment, it was as if she actually was there, and everything was fine.
She turned to me. I felt so much guilt and grief.
“I’m so sorry,” I told her.
She just smiled.
I woke up with a start. I thought I heard…whispering. I stood up, putting on slippers and a robe. Looking out the window, I saw nothing but black. When I shone my phone out the window, I saw what appeared to be a plane of white outside, though I attributed this to the glare.
I started. Slowly, I turned and faced the darkness. There was nothing there. Just…empty. Darkness. Turning my light on the room, illuminating the dark, I saw no trace of anything. Shrugging, I turned to face my bed. I shuffled through the inky blackness, trying not to trip on anything.
I placed the phone back on its charger. Eager to return to sleep, I stepped toward the bed.
I turned quickly. This time I was sure that I had heard my name being whispered by…something. However, I still saw nothing. But the room felt cold, like some of the bitter outside air had leaked in.
I did not pause to consider why the outside air would be bitter, for, as I said, it was a very nice November.
I decided there must be an open door or window in the house somewhere. Knowing I could not sleep with this much cold in the air, I stumbled towards the door. Funny. It seemed to lock itself when I approached. I tried it. No matter how much force I exerted, it wouldn’t budge. With one final shove, I managed to push the door off of the hinges. It fell forward, landing with a large thud.
Carefully, I stepped over the door as I made my way down the hall. Silently, though I don’t know why, I searched for the open door or window from which the breeze – it had to be a breeze – was coming. I made my way, still silent, as if I dared not make a sound, and though the rational part of my brain said that I was alone, still I felt the shiver down your spine that comes with being watched, through the living room. The TV was on, even though I distinctly remember turning it off after finishing a movie I had started before work.
No regular show played, however, but dark and unnatural images flashed across the screen. I stared, dumbfounded and horrified, whilst images of murder and rape flickered on the screen. Hellish music played, subtle at first, but growing louder as I continued to watch. When I thought the music would become unbearable to hear, the images stopped, and the quiet once again swallowed the room. Still I stared, my mind refusing to process what I saw.
What I stared at, brain reeling from the shock of the past few minutes, was something horrible. Something that preyed on my fears and guilt. Something I refused to believe. I saw…a message. Looking at the crimson font, and remembering the images that burned still on my brain, I could believe, with all of my heart and soul, that it was written in blood. I began muttering to myself, denying the existence of what I saw.
The message read:
YOU KILLED ME
As I stared at the screen, I knew, from the bottom of my heart, that what I read, over and over, was Kelly’s last message to me. Though I wished this so desperately to be a dream, I knew no man on Earth could imagine the images that still flashed through my mind even now.
Away I turned, my soul burning in my body, as I remembered the quest I had embarked on originally. I could still feel the cold biting me, but I felt numb, as if my nerve endings were severed by what I had seen. As I stumbled through the dark house, not daring to turn on a light, for fear of something finding me, though there was no clear evidence of anything besides me inside, I prayed that this was just sleep deprivation.
Finally, finally, I saw the open window. As I approached the window, I could not help but noticing, as my mind screamed at me not to think this, that the window seemed to have been opened from the outside! As if some ethereal specter, a wraith of despair and hate, had forced its way in. Shaking, I closed the window and hurriedly turned, eager to rest my head on the pillow and forget this horrid experience. What I saw when I turned made me scream, a sound of pure fear.
Standing there was a corpse, dressed in a white gown, which hung, torn and tattered, from its near-skeletal frame. Its gnarled hands, in the dim light provided by the moon alone, appeared as claws, curved and thin. Its frame, the horror of the sight is such that I cannot begin to describe, was painfully thin, as if all the moisture in its body was drained. Its face–no, I cannot. What I saw was enough to drive another man to drink, but the sheer terror managed to, somehow, ground me to the present. I stared in fear as the thing that was once human screwed its face in what might be considered a smile. It uttered a word, a single, damnable word that very nearly brought me to tears.
No longer frozen, I made the decision that all of you would make, had the same events happened to you. I, without a moment’s hesitation, fled the once-human thing, searching desperately for a room to call sanctuary, as the thing opened its mouth and uttered a horrible screech. As if the pits of Tartarus had opened, and the cries of all of the tortured souls of the Underworld had come forth into our world.
Aghast, I found a room in my house - nay, manor - down a flight of stairs that I believed the creature could not find. I closed the door, locking it, and barricaded it, just to be sure. When I was satisfied that the creature wouldn’t get in, I sat in a chair and thought.
I tried to plan my escape from these cursed grounds, but no coherent thoughts could be formed, partly due to the fear of being caught, partly due to the screech that still echoed throughout the manor. There I sat, trying to think, when the scream that had become like background noise faded into oblivion. Relief should have flooded me, but all I felt was the icy grip of nervousness. If the creature stopped screaming, then it must have fled the house, or worse, though I hated myself for even thinking this, the creature was lurking, attempting to be stealthy.
As I sat alone in the room, the door blew asunder, managing to throw across the room all of the objects I had used to keep the daemonic thing out. I could not believe what I just saw. Yet there it stood, like my thoughts had summoned the creature, staring at me. It opened its mouth, and I cringed, expecting the horrific scream of before, but I was dead wrong.
The ethereal whisper that came out of its mouth chilled me to my very core. No large sound came forth, but only a whisper. A horrible whisper. My love’s last words.
I'll see you soon.
Tears welled up as I heard this. Those words had haunted me since the day the officers had shown up at my door. The moment I saw the squad car driving up the long, twisting driveway, I knew, with a certainty beyond understanding, that the love of my life had gone to rest.
Now I stood, looking on a creature that was beyond human comprehension, something that could not be the love of my life. It was something completely different.
As if sensing my thoughts, the face of the monster twisted into a snarl, and uttered a sound. A terrible sound of hate. It raised its arms, and still howling its ghastly war cry, charged towards me, intent on ending my life. I would have fled, but the thing blocked the door, and there was no way I was going towards the evil thing. Instead, I reached for the nearest object: a fireplace poker, as this was the old furnace room, before the house had been upgraded into the modern age. Wielding my weapon like a spear, I thrust the sharpened end at the monster, and felt my weapon enter the living corpse that besieged me. It fell forward, limp and cold, colder than the bitter wind that now howled outside, and, as I dodged the falling monster, I dashed for the exit.
Running, I fled the room and decided then and there that this house needed the attention of someone who had experience in these matters, and I should run as far as I could from the monsters and spirits that haunted my family home.
But as I made my way towards the front door, a sound, nearly imperceptible, drifted through the silence. As I climbed the stairs, the sound grew in volume slightly, and I could make out…weeping. Female weeping. I stopped to listen. The sound had no placement in the house, as if it came from every corner of the manor. As I strained to listen, I missed a step and fell down a few stairs. The noise I made echoed throughout the house, and, from the room I had fled in such a hurry, a slight moan escaped, as if the thing I had killed was stirring. However, no other sounds were perceptible, and I decided it best to run now whilst it was dead again.
As I crested the stairs, the weeping once again grew in volume, so I no longer had to strain to hear it. I turned the corner, still listening to the weeping, and straining to hear if the monster had woken. Hurrying, I made my way through the dark rooms that stood between me and the door.
As I passed a window, however, I saw a sight that forced me to stop and gape, even as the weeping grew in volume and the moaning started again. I saw the snow, illuminated by the brilliant full moon, sparkling like a winter morning. I gazed at the fields of it, much more than should be possible in a few short hours. I followed the drifts to the end of the lawn, which was normally lush and green.
There, the drifts ended! Beyond my lawn, it was as if it was a summer day! I knew then that I was not merely cursed by chance, as some are in the stories you read, but cursed by something beyond what man can comprehend. Something straight out of the mind of a madman. A man driven to the brink of sanity by grief and fear.
Shaking myself out of my daze, I once again sought the exit to this nightmare. The moans of the creature became wails, and I swore that I heard footsteps. The weeping grew once again louder, becoming now almost painful to hear. Still I ran, for what else was I supposed to do? As the footsteps and the weeping still managed to grow loader, I could not speak from the fear, but I thought that the very instant I was free from this nightmare, I would burn this cursed mansion down, not sell it and have some other poor souls live with this.
My thoughts were interrupted by the front door, which I very nearly slammed into. Elation crept into my chest, and I grabbed the knob and pulled.
No! The door was stuck, as the door to my room was, but this door was ten inches of solid oak! I could not simply hit it as I had the first.
My elation turned to despair as I pulled and pulled. The footsteps became thumps as the creature began to climb the stairs. The cursed weeping grew in volume, so that I wanted to cover my ears, had I not had a task that I needed to complete. Still pulling and pounding, shouting obscenities at the door, all the while the thumping of the monster on the stairs turned once again into footsteps as the monster crested the stairs. This gave me more incentive to kick and scream at the door, which seemed to be laughing at my efforts to open it, or, possibly, that could be my imagination.
As I still worked, the adrenaline in my body reaching a climax, the moans that had ceased before returned to the air. I turned, and saw the monster shuffling towards me as the weeping reached a crescendo, the noise seemingly assaulting every pore of my body.
I would not be beaten, not here. With a tumultuous shout, one I did not know I could make, I shoved the door with all my might, and, with a mighty crash, it fell forward, me falling outside with it.
Clambering to my feet, I turned, expecting to see the monster, but it was nowhere to be seen. Even the weeping had quieted. Believing myself to be free, I walked forward three steps before seeing something.
It was like a dream. I was standing near an accident scene, with a large truck having a severely damaged bumper, and a small car…
By the heavens, it was Kelly's car. I was witnessing, by some supernatural power, the accident that fateful night. The car she drove was barely recognizable, a mass of mangled chassis.
I drifted over, having no control where I went.
Inside the mangled mass, I saw…
She was horribly disfigured, moreso than the officers had explained when I had asked to see my beloved’s corpse, to say my final goodbyes. Blood ran everywhere, leaking from many of Kelly’s wounds. Worse, still, was the fact that she still lived.
Her breath came shallow, but still there. Her eyes were moving, but likely due to the trauma of her accident, and the fact that she was about to die, they were unfocused.
The worst part? Her face looked exactly like the one of the corpse, dressed in the white shroud, which had pursued me. With certainty, I knew that the corpse - that horrible monster - was my lovely girlfriend.
She began to hyperventilate, and with what I somehow knew was her final breath, she looked up at the sky...and cursed me for killing her. Then she was still. Her eyes closed, and she slumped against the marred seat on which she sat.
Seeing this, I knew that I would never be the same. I could not survive, knowing my wife-to-be had cursed me with her dying breath, and made this all happen. And even as the dreamscape faded, and I was left alone outside, I cared not, for I wished for death.
As the snow and wind swirled around me, I fell to my knees, ignoring the stinging wind and the biting cold. And as I knelt in the drifts as more piled up around me, I once again heard the weeping, and, with a dark certainty, I knew from who and where those cries came.
And as the dawn broke, and the sun peeked its golden crown above the horizon, it gazed upon nothing. The snow, my corpse and the manor had all vanished, all evidence washed away by the tears of my beloved.
Written by Bill8642