Warren Styles is an excellent neighbour, many times he’d bail me out of my latest self- inflicted mess. I have many issues that are far too complicated to discuss now. Suffice to say, Warren is discreet and loyal, I couldn't hope for a better neighbour, he was also my friend. I relied on him a little too much, in fact, he was my crutch. As frightened and confused as I was, it was now my turn.
The night seemed to have drawn in quicker than usual. It was full dark, no visible clouds, no moon or stars; the sky looked dead. The moon had to be there somewhere, it wasn’t possible for it not to be. Strange yes, but I had bigger things to worry about.
Warren was a careful man, a man that took care of his possessions and his property. Having an open front door in the early hours of Sunday morning, was not normal. A security conscious Warren would never leave his door open, yet there I was staring at his door-less front porch.
Looking through into the hallway, I noticed that there was a light on in the kitchen, not a main light; my guess was the light from the oven. A muffled cry came from inside.
‘ for gods sake, somebody help me!’
I ran toward the house, it was Warren’s voice, I was certain. I felt weak as my heart hammered against my ribcage.
“Warren! Warren! Where are you?”
My friend was in trouble, with little thought for my safety, I ran into the house. The heat inside was intense, almost too much to bear. I stood for a second, letting my eyes adjust.
“where are you mate? Speak to me buddy.”
My voice sounded distant, as if it wasn’t me shouting. I could hear Warrens muffled cries in the distance, I knew the layout of the house well, but it looked different. The stairs were on the opposite wall, there seemed to be no ceiling, I could see the roof supports above my head.
The dim light I saw earlier, dazzled as it approached me. With speed, the light shot forward and hit me square in the chest. I felt myself being lifted. I hovered for a second, my legs kicked and thrashed as a sudden jolt hit me hard. I flew backward with force, landing on the damp grass.
‘you will not pass this sacred threshold, go now or great pain awaits you.’
The voice was deep and menacing, its eyes were emerald green. It took up all of the doorway as it glared at me, scowling and drooling from its loose thin lips. The grotesque figure lumbered toward me, I scrambled away on my backside, getting nowhere. As it closed in, I couldn’t take my eyes of those lips, well they weren't lips as such, a protruding tongue hung from a hole in its ugly head.
Warren’s terrifying screams echoed all around, if this thing was out here, what the hell was inside the house. The creature stood over me, dripping his saliva on my face, those emerald green eyes tearing into my soul. Fear gripped me like never before.
“don’t kill me please! ...What the hell are you?”
My pathetic screams went unheard as my bladder emptied itself, confirming that Warren was correct when he said. ‘ mate, if you were scared enough, you would piss your pants.’
I closed my eyes, awaiting my impending doom.
The room spun as my eyes shot open, the half empty bottle of vodka stood on the table in front of me. The Crystal glass that was in my hand had fallen from my sweaty grasp. Yes folks, my nightmare had been broken, or so I thought. I peeled myself off of my leatherette armchair, (sitting on synthetic substitute was far better than sitting on cow-hide; it looked better on the animal,) headed to the kitchen and thrust my head under the cold tap. Staring out of the kitchen window, everything appeared as it should; the lawn was green, the trees on the common had shed their leaves, aircraft flew through marshmallow clouds, all normal.
Yet something was unsettling me, my dream felt so real, the fear I felt was still in my system. I gulped water from the tap, the little man with the hammer gave my brain a good whack as I straightened up. Those eyes, those Emerald green eyes, piercing into me, my heart still thumping in my chest, the smell of urine under my nose. How was it possible to pee ones pants in your dreams, I’m not six years old! Indeed the smell was authentic, foul smelling, piss.
I hadn’t peed myself since... The last time I got so drunk that I passed out. That creature though, it all felt so real, I could still sense its presence and still hear its dark voice.
“you will not pass this sacred threshold.”
I changed back into a pair of khaki shorts that I threw on the floor earlier and headed next door to check on Warren. It sounds crazy I know but something didn’t feel right. As I stepped outside, the warmth of the day surprised me, it was late October and Autumn had kicked in about three weeks ago. My guess was that it was at least 20°C; far warmer than it had been of late.
I had not noticed the colour of my neighbour’s door before, but I don’t remember it being Red. Still, that was not important, what did seem important to me was the safety of Warren. What on earth was I going to say to him, he’d assume I was still drunk and would roast me for the rest of the day.
I knocked on the door (I’m sure he had a doorbell) and waited. I was about to knock a second time, when the door opened. A young lady stood in front of me, mid 20s I would have said.
“yes? Can I help you?
Her impatient tone suggested she was not sure of who I was, then again, who the hell was she? I looked her up and down, then glanced over her shoulder.
“Erm... I was looking for Warren? no offence... but who are you?”
Her reply seemed to take an age to come, when it did, it sideswiped me a little.
“I could ask you the same question.” We stood and stared at each other, waiting for the other to speak.
“well... who’s Warren? I don’t know any Warrens, look I think you’ve got the wrong address,”
With a worried look on her face, she went to close the door. It was about to slam in my face when she stopped, and peered around the almost closed door.
“sorry...did you say you were looking for Warren? he died about ten years ago, I think I’ve got his wife’s address here somewhere. Would you like to wait inside while I look for it?”
My brain, still throbbing from the copious amounts of vodka, didn’t know what to do, so it lead me into the hallway of my neighbours house. Warren hadn’t died ten years ago, I saw him yesterday. Whoever this woman was, let me into the house far too easy, I decided to play along. I stood outside the door to the lounge, expecting Warren to come around the corner, “Surprise!”
The stair carpet was green today, yesterday it was Brown and cream stripes, the walls had old fashioned cream paper on them, complete with wooden dado rail. Today, the walls were a light apple green, various framed photographs adorned the walls; I recognized none of the people in them. I glanced into the lounge, everything that was in there yesterday had been removed, well what other explanation was there.
“I’m sorry, I don’t seem to be able to find it, did you know him well?”
The young lady stood in the doorway of the kitchen, she exhaled through thin pursed lips. As she walked toward me, I caught a glimpse of her eyes, her pupils were large, larger than I would expect, considering the amount of light in the house. They were also a beautiful Emerald green. My heart rate doubled, she was wearing a strange crooked smile as she approached me.
I panicked and turned toward the front door. The lips, the eyes, the strange decor that seemed to have changed over night was enough for me to make a hasty retreat. I had no idea what was happening, I was confused and frightened. I faced the door, a hand grabbed my shoulder, a dark menacing voice came from behind me.
“you have passed the sacred threshold, you have been warned.”
I felt a wetness around my neck, it slid its tongue around my throat and tightened. It’s large Emerald eyes, stared once again into mine, tearing into my soul as it spun me around to face it. I grabbed its tongue that protruded from the huge hole in its face, and squeezed as hard as I could. A large taloned claw appeared in front of my face, the creature seemed to chuckle as the Sharp talons slit across its tongue and cut itself loose from my grasp.
With the remains of its tongue draped like a scarf, around my neck, I again turned toward the door and fumbled for the handle. Before I could open the door, I found myself being lifted, my screams sounded miles away as I was hurled through the glass door panel. I landed on my back, tried to get up and run but I couldn’t move. My back was broken, the pain was excruciating.
The beast towered over me, its mouth wide open, revealing crooked gnarly teeth, its rotten, foul smelling breath filling my nostrils. It’s a cliché I know, but my whole life flashed before me, all my bad decisions coming back to haunt me.
This is it then, the end, please God make it quick and painless.
I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and prayed to God.
I could see a light coming through my closed eyelids, it felt like I was floating. My limbs wouldn’t move, a gentle whooshing noise filled my ears.
I’m coming Lord, im coming home.
Faint voices surrounded me, a hand grasped mine, I had arrived.
“I’m sorry Mr Styles, I'm afraid I can’t say when or even if, Billy will ever recover. He is in an Alcohol induced coma, im afraid all we can do is wait...I’m sorry Warren, that’s all I’ve got right now.”
“I’m here Warren! I’m right here, why can’t I see you, why can't you hear me, talk to me please... WARREN.”
The hand holding mine, gave a gentle squeeze.
“I’ll see you in the morning my friend, I’ll pray for you. Goodnight Billy.”
“Warren I’m here, please don’t go.”