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Thriller


Shutters bang.

Doors slam.

Voices echo down the darkened corridor.

Words spoken in English that send fear and horror rippling through the body. ‘What’s happening? What is this?’

Light ebbing from the bottom of a door, with shadows being casted from those just behind it.

A hand reaches forward and opens the door. Silence where voices once echoed.

Six figures look.

Six figures advance.

A door slams shut behind.

Glance.

Seventh figure?

Seventh figure holds a lamp.

Brings it down.

Too Quick. Too Soon.

Darkness.

Eyes open.

Gasp.

Surrounded by seven figures wearing all pink.

Pink.

Pink?

No.  

Red on white makes pink.

Blood?

My Blood.

Screaming and Crying.

Begging.

“Hush.”

“Please.” Is that my voice?

Sounds…wrong.

“Calm.”

“Calm?”

How can I be calm when I’m tied up like this?

“Just do.”

Did I say that out loud? Or was that them?

“Yes. It was us.”

“What are you doing?”

No response.

What was I doing? Why am I here?

“Why am I here?”

“You know.”

Do I?  

Pause.

Then-

Seven figures drop on all fours and their eyes slowly ooze out of their sockets followed by their hair, and nails, and faces, and skin.

Bits of skin and hair drop to the floor like gravity just decided to do its job.

Drop drop drop on the floor.

Piles upon piles of human pieces.

“What are you?”

“We are them. We are we. And we have come for retribution.”

What?

“What did I do?”

“Nothing.”

“What?”

“Wake up.”

“Why? Why am I here, what’s going on?”

Seven figures advancing on all fours towards me. Towering over me.

But they’re still crouching?

But no, they’re towering over me?

I can feel them getting closer and closer.

Somebody helps me! I try to scream.

But my voice won’t work anymore.

“We took it.”

Chanting.

I’m confused.

One slowly crawls, legs before arms, and stands in front of me, bones cracking as they straighten.

Face to face.

The figure stares me in the face.

Is that a face?

Eyeless holes full of nothing but I can feel the burning hatred seeping through the gaps in their head.

Hands grab my waist and my face.

How many? How is this possible.

Two hands grip my face and hold my eyes open.

Slowly leaning in.

I can smell the decay and blood clearer than ever before as my nose presses to where the figures nose should be.

Should be but isn’t.

The others descend and surround me on every side.

And I watch as the seventh figure in front of me slowly opens its mouth and begins to shake me.

And they scream.

“Wake up wake up wake up wake wake UP waKE UP WAKE UP!”

 

Lunging out of bed I scream as I clutch my chest, trying to stop my heart smashing against my rib cage.

‘Remember, breath in, breath out. Just a dream. A dream?’ I think, slowly getting out of bed.

My eyes jump to things in my room, trying to figure out if this is a dream or real life.

I leap away from my bed and glance around in a circle and slam open my closet door, worried that this is a dream within a dream and the figures will appear from under my bed or inside my closet like many times before.

Nothing.

No hands reaching out. No figure in the darkness.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

‘You’re okay. It’s all okay.’

Picking up my headphones, I quickly put on some shoes and pick up my phone.

‘Clear your head. Clear your head. Clear your head.’

Leaving the safety of the house is hard but staying inside is harder, memories of a dream – a thing that never happened but my subconscious is sure it did.

Walking turns into running as the beats from the music gets quicker and quicker and my legs get tired, but I keep going. Have to keep going. Have to run away from nightmares and the terror and the creatures in the dark and the-

SLAM.

I fall. On my butt.

Stinging, pain.

Glancing up, a man stands in front of me with a confused look on his face.

Removing my headphones, I begin to speak.

“Sorry. Guess we both need to watch where we are going.” I laugh it off, trying to appear less stressed than I am. Hoping this man will just nod and leave.

He says nothing.

He glances around, not down, like he can’t even see me laying on the ground in front of him.

Can he see me?

Am I here? I worry.

I bring my hand up in front of my face and try to see if I’m invisible, but I see me.

But something is different.

What is different?

I ignore it and glance up at the man.

And speak.

“Are you alright?” I ask.

Nothing.

Nothing?

Nothing.

“H-hello?” He calls out.

“Yeah, Hey?”

“is anyone….there?” He looks confused.

Of course, there’s someone there.

It’s me.

He didn’t bump into an invisible wall.

He looks around and pauses, eyes fixed on something behind me.

He glances around again and-

Why does he look so pale?

Is he cold?

Why is he shaking?

His eyes slowly grow wider and wider, until he turns around and runs.

I feel myself tense as I hear the same whispers from my dream.

Whispers in the darkness.

Magic swirling through the air.

Footsteps getting closer and closer.

“We found you.”

“No.”

I turn.

But see nothing?

Breathe in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out.

Just a dream.

But Why couldn’t he see me?

“It’s the curse.”

Curse?

“What curse?”

My question goes unanswered.

Look behind.

Seven figures.

All in white crisp robes.

“Curse?” I ask again as they get closer.

All seven nod at once.

“Why am I cursed?”

They glance at each other.

They turn back in sync.

They stay silent.

“If you can’t tell me, then let me go.”

They shake their heads.

“Let me go!”

One laughs.

“You sound like me when I d-”

A hand slams over the face.

“D? When they what?”

Their heads shake again, almost too fast for comfort.

I look behind me.

No one.

I glance to the sides.

No one.

No one to save me.

But could they even see me if they were here?

Seven shakes of seven heads – how are they so in sync?

I jump off the floor.

I RUN.

I hear the chanting again, almost like they’re trying to stop me with their voices.

Wait, what’s happening?

Seven fast steps slowly turn into one prolonged stretch of my body.

Each step feels like a thousand stabs coming from every angle.

Gasping, reaching, trying, crying.

I hear laughter behind me.

‘Don’t look. Don’t look. Don’t loOK. Don’t LOOK. DON’T LOOK. ON’T LOOK. N’T LOOK. ‘T LOOK. T LOOK. LOOK. LOOK. LOOK!’

I turn and the seven figures are right behind me.

They look different in the light of the streetlamps.

In the darkness, you can assume what they look like.

But in the light.

Oh god. What are they?

Their faces are gone. Their skin is gone. Nothing but skeletons. Nothing but flesh stuck to bone that’s slowly dripping off.

Kept together by the white robes.

Stained.

That explains the blood.

But was it mine or theirs?

I look down and see no wound.

Glance up and they’re closer.

Like In a dream.

But this doesn’t feel like a dream.

Is it one?

I can hear the loose pieces of flesh dropping from their bodies.

Drip splash drip splash.

They are looking and staring and ANGRY.

“Stop.”

I go to run again.

 “Stay.”

I can’t move.

“We told you.”

What? What did they tell me?

This is a dream. A Dream within a dream.

Wake up wake up wake up wake.

“Not a dream. A memory.”

A Memory?

One approaches.

Places their hand on my head.

I try to move away but nothing is-

I think they close their eyes, but they have no eyes.

Where did they go?

“Think.”

I try to move away but they’re stopping me.

Strength of a thousand coming from one.

“No!”

A flash.

I see bits and pieces.

Running.

Jumping.

Hiding.

Begging.

I’m tied to a post.

But I’m not me?

People dressed in the same white robes are around me.

But I can tell they aren’t these seven.

How can I tell?

Why am I tied up?

What was my sin?

I try to move.

I’m stuck.

I glance in front of me.

I see….me?

I see myself in the crowd.

Watching with wide eyes.

What is happening? What is going on.

I go to speak.

“Please. No!”

The voice of the seventh figure comes out.

I watch the audience laugh and see one of the men point.

“Look.” They shout.

Something makes me look.

Six bodies, all burnt to a crisp with wounds destroying the clean white robes.

I look forward and see myself walk away.

“No! Come back! Please!”

I scream.

They laugh.

A hand reaches over and places something in my mouth.

I can’t speak.

I feel a heat under my feet.

I glance down and see flames slowly creeping up towards me.

“For the greater good.”

One of the audience members calls out.

“For the greater good.”

The others echo.

What for the greater good?

What have I done?

Am I Me? Am I them?

“For the crime of sorcery.”

Sorcery? But I am not a witch.

And we are in the 21st century.

“See! She talks about centuries that we are not residing in! Burn her!”

I’m not a woman.

But In this body, I am?

Before I can make another sound through a gag, I feel it.

Heat coming up my legs.

I scream.

The heat and burn gets closer and closer and closer.

I collapse but cannot drop do the floor.

But I’m alive?

I am burnt but alive?

I slowly look up to the crowd, and watch their faces go from happy to sheer panic.

 “Nothing.”

What did I just say? Or what did they just say?

The audience stares in horror and I speak again.

“My crime is nothing.”

The audience slowly backs up.

“Your crime is doing nothing.”

What?

I glance up and all six figures are standing.

The crowd screams and runs.

My mouth opens again without my consent.

The gag is missing. When did that happen?

Did the flames destroy it?

Why am I here?

The figures are around me now.

They slowly undo my bindings.

I realise now.

They didn’t take off their faces.

The flames did.

And I’m next.

I was next.

I’ve been next.

I remember leaving and doing nothing.

Turning my back.

But they remembered.

They knew I did nothing.

They found me.

They laughed when I begged.

They laughed when I cried.

They laughed as I burnt.

I was killed for doing nothing.

I was killed for leaving them to burn when I knew it was wrong.

The man couldn’t see me.

Because I am dead.

So, when you ask the question:

What goes bump in the night?

The answer is

We. 

October 29, 2019 15:14

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