It is late night. I am still up. You can say I am a night owl. With my work schedule being 1 PM to 9 PM, I got into the habit of going to bed at two in the morning, and I usually wake up at 10 AM. I am not complaining for now. I do have weekends off. On the weekend, I don’t abuse by waking up past noon. Oh no! I kept my sleep and wake up time steady, seven days a week. I love to sleep and I enjoy naps too on the weekends, especially in the afternoon, after lunch.
It’s Friday night, and the clock shows 9:00 PM! Yes! My weekend has started! I officially fall on vacation at this instant. I will be off from work for the next two weeks for the holidays. I have just noticed that autumn will end in a few hours. It is a quite cold night, with a heavy snow fall warning in effect. Winds are picking up. So glad to work from the comfort of my home.
I will order a pizza from Domino’s tonight with some chicken wings and a good can of Coke. This is my little way of rewarding myself. Weekend has begun, so is my vacation. Little treat is good time to time. After supper, let me get some popcorn and find a good movie on Netflix. I feel like watching a horror movie, if not, a suspense, or mystery.
Supper was great, along with that cheesecake. I finally decided to watch The Exorcist. Again? Yes! The movie is a classic, a masterpiece of the horror genre. Almost fifty years old since its release and it still haunts me at night after I go to bed after watching that movie.
Exceptionally, tonight, I will not be going to bed at 2 AM. The pizza came in late, and therefore, I started the movie late also. I am on vacation, so I wanted to take it easy. I will wake up, perhaps, at noon. With this coffee that I had after my cheesecake; I feel great. I really don’t mind a coffee late night, especially during a cold winter night. Most of the time, I can fall asleep fairly easily even after a cup of dark roast Columbian coffee.
Where I live, it is a rural area. Closest neighbor is at least a good 5-minute drive. So that tells you that I am alone when I live. Here, on cold winter nights, it could become so quiet, peaceful, calm, that gives you a sense of a very haunting place. Kind of a ghost town with one house…
Tonight, I hear an owl hoot. Tonight, also, winter starts. The end of fall season in a few minutes. The winter solstice begins at 3:33 AM. Let me sit near the window of the living room before I go to bed. I will read narrative poem of Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven. Then, bedtime.
As I am about to start reading, I hear the hooting of the owl getting stronger in decibels. I look out from the window. I see a shadowy figure standing beside the tree that is a hundred feet away from my window. It looks like a man with a long raincoat and wearing a hat. I can see only his lips. I see him holding a book in his right arm. To me, someone outside, at this time, on a blowing snow night, seems quite bizarre.
The man was still for a good five minutes but now I see him approaching towards my house. What do I do? Should I call the cops? As I grab my cell phone, I see there is no service. I no longer use landline. I had disconnected the service a few years ago. Big mistake now that I think of it. Usually, cell coverage is good here though. I am looking from the window and man is getting closer and closer. As if my window is focusing only on him now. Like a lens focusing on an object. I move away from the window and close the curtains. I would not be afraid but at this time, in this weather, and I don’t know this man. What is the purpose of his visit?
I hear a big bang on the front door. Three loud knocks! I froze on the spot. I am afraid. Scared. I am panicking. Who knocks on a stranger’s door at 3:33 AM? Wait! What? It is 3:33 AM? The time that the winter solstice begins.
I am not moving. I don’t want him to know that there is someone home. Maybe he will leave. I wish I had a dog. A guard dog. I hear no noise. I sneak a peak from the window but I see no soul. The problem is that I can’t see from that living room window if someone is standing at the front door. The angle does not allow it.
My feet are frozen from this cold floor. I am not trying to move. I am still like a statue. I hope this person, whoever he is, goes away. Maybe I should go to my computer and see if I can alert the authorities.
I am tired but I can’t go to bed till I am sure this individual is gone from my front door. It is now 3:44. I can’t stay still like this forever…
I pick up my baseball bat, approach the door. Look from the peephole. No one to see. I open the door. No one to see. I look to my left, I look to my right, I look to the front again…no one…
I hear now again the owl hooting. Where? To my left, on the tree. It seems like it moved from a farther three to this one now. What is the significance of what just happened? Did winter come knock on my door. Is this a warning? That man…that mysterious man, he seemed like Father Lankester Merrin from the movie I just saw earlier. All these coincidences are weird. The movies I as watching earlier tonight and the start of the winter season. Is someone or something trying to say to me something…
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I love the casual, present tense writing style; it made me feel like the narrator was talking to me as the event happened! Including the detail about the schedule the main character follows, and how they broke it on the night of the solstice, helped the character seem more real. Nice job, Rajesh!!
I really enjoyed your story, it had a air of mystery about it that intrigued me. Good work!