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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Shape

Walking home never seemed like such a big deal. My friends lived less than a mile away, it was summer time so I could stay out later than usual. I never worried about it, even though lately I have been having second thoughts. There is one spot, one house that I always pass on my way home that bothers me so much. I never really noticed it until one time I stayed out a little later than I should have. We were telling stories to try and freak each other out, it was working. The more stories I heard the more I did not want to leave. It was really unsettling, the hour getting late. If I was not home in time I would be in deep shit. My parents were strict like that, they gave me some freedom but not too much, just trying to protect me I guess. Here we were, listening to my friend tell a story about the house I mentioned earlier. I knew I had to leave, the sun's last rays were painting the sky an amazing mix of blue and purple. The problem was, something happened the other night that scared the hell out of me. Here I was listening to what might have been the source of my terror, and I simply refused to leave after the tale ended. My friend saw how terrified I was, it was impossible to conceal.

“What's wrong with you? I'd call you chicken shit, but you look fucking terrified!” I could barely muster the words to speak. Finally I told him what happened the other night...

“We all left around the same time and I passed by the Miller's house on Wood street. I thought that house was abandoned after you mentioned it caught fire. I swear I saw something though! As I was walking, for some stupid reason, I went on their yard and that's when I felt it. First it was a fucking shape I swear I saw on the porch! I could only just stand there, I almost pissed myself. I finally looked away after I don't know how long and started walking away when I felt a chill run down my spine. I turned to see what the hell was going on and the shape was at the end of the driveway!” My hands shook as I wiped my brow. Just remembering the ordeal was taxing enough, I could almost see the grotesque face again in detail, it was hard to forget.

“Don't you remember what happened to the Miller house man?” My friend asked, he seemed a bit puzzled by my behavior.

“It was an accident right?” I asked, I remember hearing about it long ago. Nobody really knew the Millers. They kind of kept to themselves, the two boys they had were not allowed to hang out with us. The dad was real weird, always fighting with the wife. I swear the cops were there on a regular basis.

“Well, the whole family died. The old man freaked and killed the whole family. The neighbors say it was horrible. They heard him kill his wife and the two boys hid in the attic. One of the neighbors called the cops, the others were by the attic window yelling for the kids to jump. They said all you could hear was the old man yelling that he was going to find them. They said the look on the kid's faces was horrible, they were paralyzed with fear. Well, next the old man yelled “I found you!” then the shots were fired.” My friend stopped for a minute to take a drink, we were all listening on the edge of our seats. Wide eyed in amazement, we never knew the whole story. I guess our parents were a little reluctant to tell since they were trying to forget about it I'm sure.

“After the shots were fired the old man lit a match and the whole fucking house went up quick, the craziest thing happened while the house went up. My dad said the old coot just stood in the window watching everyone while he burned alive.” We gasped at this, how could anyone be so evil we had no idea something this insane happened. I shuddered as I recalled what I saw the other night more clearly.

“I swear I saw that old man, his face was so fucked up I almost threw up!” The group focused their attention to me, half in shock the rest in disbelief.

“His face was cooked, chunks of flesh were missing from his jawline, his eyes...” I had to stop myself, the very thought of what I saw made me want to be home. Instead, I still had to make my way back and it was getting dark fast. “I know this sounds so damn unreal, but he...It, whatever the hell, tried to follow me. I never been so fucking scared, I ran as fast as I could home.”

“Man, you must have been seeing things, who really believes this bullshit?” Some of the group chuckled at this statement and agreed. “Lets all go home, I know my parents are gonna be so pissed I didn't come home in time. It's all 'cus of you and your lame ass ghost stories.”

Reluctantly, I got up and made my way towards Wood street. The group went there separate ways, some walking with me but eventually I found myself alone and nearing that house. I cursed the fact that I lived so far away and tried to think of something, anything, to distract me. I was approaching the house now. The front porch, or what was left of it, seemed to be empty. I could not look away, no matter how hard I tried. I actually felt ridiculous for a moment, I was almost clear of the house and thought I must have imagined the events of the previous night. I did watch lot of horror movies, maybe that is the price I would have to pay. Overactive imagination, I told myself when I get home I would stop watching creature features. Maybe it was time for a switch, maybe some of those sports documentaries my brother always watches. With the dramatic music, and the dudes always smacking each others asses. Nah! Who am I kidding, I hated the fucking jocks in school. I was a metal head, I fucking hated gym class. I was too busy getting high with my friends and listening to Slayer while the douche bags were out playing rough touch. I laughed out loud at the notion, rough touch? Sounds like something the gym teacher did when it was time to hit the showers.

I was laughing so hard that I sat down for a minute to catch my breath. I stole a pack of cigarettes earlier and lit one up. The sun was seconds away from setting and I looked out at the horizon, some weed and some Pentagram would be perfect right now. I was thinking about one of their songs, and how I got to second base while “Walk in the Blue Light” was on. I was so distracted that I barely noticed the shape watching me from the yard. Reality snapped back instantaneously, I ran across the road and fell into the brush on the other side. I was so panicked I forgot the road was slightly higher than the shoulder. Some thorns cut my hands and face, I untangled myself and from my hiding spot I tried to make out what had been watching me. To my horror, I realized it was the same figure that I encountered the prior evening. The same grotesque face was scanning the area, almost as if it were looking for something. Looking for me that is, I soon realized. I needed to make a decision, I had no choice but to run for home.

I would have to haul ass down Wood street, make it to Secor road then I a short distance and I would be home. I heard something horrifying at that moment. “I'm going to find you..” It had begun to traverse the property and soon it would be out into the road. The closer it got, the more panic stricken I was. I found a heavy rock and threw in the brush behind the apparition, to my satisfaction it was enough of a distraction and I made my move. Running as fast as I could I could hear the thing behind my let out a cry as it realized what I had done. Looking behind me I saw the shape getting smaller in the distance. I slowed down to catch my breath, I was at Wood street and Secor road. Almost home, just a little more ways and then I can rest. It was dark now, the only light I would get was from the occasional car passing. Finally catching my breath I continued on, trying to make sense of what had happened earlier. If this was a prank, someone was getting their house TP'd like a mother fucker this Halloween for sure. I could not forget what I had seen though, was it real? It sure felt real, I was definitely scared shit less. I almost pissed myself I was so scared, my brother would give me so much shit if he saw that.

A car was approaching and I looked back to make sure it wasn't a cop. They were such ball busters, especially to me since they knew I usually had a dime bag on me. It was then I saw it, I almost pissed myself when I realized what it was. It was hard to make out, but once it registered, I realized I had been followed the whole time. The flash of light from the car illuminated its face in passing, it seemed to smile at me with a blood lust I had never seen before. “I'm going to find you...” Once again the creature announced as it drifted towards me. I panicked, I ran into the nearby property and hid behind a cluster of shrubs watching the creature as it drifted to my side of the road and approached. It was getting closer, I threw a rock at it and the glancing blow did nothing to stop its progress. The creature was almost upon me when I finally started to run. Turning I was in shock as to how much ground the thing was able to cover. I pushed myself as hard as I could and cursed the fact I never went to gym class. Now the jocks didn't seem to be such douche bags given my current situation. I turned again and saw a gnarled hand reach for me, turning my momentum I dove into the brush in front of my house. I fell to the yard below and had the wind knocked out of me. I turned onto my back and waited for the creature to come and finish me off. Reaching for a rock I readied myself for the attack, it was not going to kill me without a fight.

Looking out onto the road, I saw nothing. Catching my breath, I finally got up and dusted myself off. It was one hell of a day and I was glad to be home. I dropped the rock, sat down and lit up a cigarette, my mom had a nose like a bloodhound. It wouldn't be long before she would be up my ass yelling at me. Sure as shit, I heard her footsteps in the soft grass as she approached from the house. “What the hell are you doing here?” I almost felt like saying what does it look like but I refrained, I was never so glad to be yelled at in my life. “Look at you, your a goddamned mess! Where the hell have you been, put that shit out you idiot and get inside. Your father and I have been worried sick.” All I could do is smile and looked back at the road. The moon was full and cast an eerie glow but there was no sign of danger anywhere. I apologized to my mom to which she was genuinely shocked. I thought about all the stupid shit I had done before, the fucked up drug binges with my friends. Maybe all of it was catching up with me, maybe it was time to lay off the shit for a while. Get my head screwed on straight. I went inside and said hi to everyone and apologized to my dad before he could go into his tirade. He was shocked by my apology too and told me to go clean up, the whole time he was scanning my face. His look was plain as day, it's as if he was dying to ask “What the fuck have you been doing!?”

Grabbing new clothes I headed into the shower and cleaned my wounds. I was so relieved to be home and thought about what had happened earlier. It was so fucked up, I mean everything. The story, the shape coming after me, how it almost “Found me” as it kept calling out. Was it a ghost? Did I see an apparition of the dad and was he coming to kill us? It could have been the shit loads of drugs I have done, coupled with the shit load of horror movies I watched. I laughed again as I finished up in the shower. My parents said they were going out for the evening and that my brother would be home any minute with dinner. I called out for them to have a good time and immediately headed upstairs to play a video game. I was starving from all that running, I couldn't wait for my brother to get home so I could stuff my face. Maybe he would get some beer. Sometimes he could be the coolest, when he wasn't busy making my life hell. Through the window I heard a car outside which meant either my parents left or my brother was back. I didn't even bother to check, I was too wrapped up in my game. I heard the front door open from upstairs and called out for my brother. “Dude, mom and dad are gone. I hope you got beer I had one hell of a fucking day. Bring that shit up here man I'm doing too good in this game!” No reply, I didn't think anything of it and kept on playing. “Mike, I'm up here man, stop fucking around and...” The smell was horrible, I dropped my controller when I realized what was going on. I looked out the window, one car. It was my brother! Was it? I was in a frenzy now, I turned everything off in the room and looked down the stairs. It was pitch black down there, then I heard the chilling whisper. “I'm going to find you...” Where was it coming from? Thinking it was from the other end of the house I realized I had one chance to run out the side door. I descended the stairs, each one brought me closer to the door and the voice. My heart was pounding, practically bursting from my chest. I was at the bottom of the stairs, all I had to do was round the corner and run straight for the door. I made my move and there it was...

My brother lay on the floor, he was burned beyond recognition I froze in horror as the shape made his way towards me.

“I found you.”

Dan Napolitano 05/01/2012

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