I hear a drumbeat
The echo lingers after it is silent
My heart pushing against my ribs
Trying to break free as I am chased
By a dark winged shadow
I cannot stop to ask what he wants
I run on, hoping he has mistaken me for another
Whose sins are greater than mine
I have read the stories of the dark angels
Who collect the souls of those who
have wronged more than their fair share
I wish I had read how to outrun them
My lungs are screaming
My legs like rods of iron
I hear the swoop of cold black wings
I turn to see another has been taken
His sins must weigh more than my own
That’s when I fall to me knees
And swear to turn over a new leaf…
We have a mystery and a creepy one at that. We noticed it a while ago and try as we might, we cannot figure out what it is or what is causing it.
We are quite used to the spooky goings-on around us, as weird things have been happening to us for a very long time. Some of the things have been a bit scary, like the time all of the mirror tiles in the hall were removed during the night and stacked neatly against the wall. Or the times we smell pipe tobacco or perfume that vanishes as quickly as it comes.
Our cat constantly watches things, things we can’t see and follows them around the room with his eyes. Sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I see an old woman dressed in old-fashioned clothes in our kitchen and she seems very at home and interested in what I am doing. Our house is very old, built in 1887, so there are probably many echoes of the past in every brick!
Our lights flicker and switch off all the time, and we have had them checked, but it still happens, so when I caught sight of a strange red light among the bushes outside the front room window, I wasn’t unduly alarmed.
Curious, hell yes. It looked similar to those standby lights that all modern appliances seem to have these days. I was sure it was outside, but it could only be seen from inside the room. Trouble was, we couldn’t find the source of the reflection, and why it was only visible from certain angles.
For ages, we thought it must have a simple explanation, but the harder we thought about it, the less sense it made. Forced to rethink, we wondered if it could be supernatural as nothing else made sense. The problem with this idea was why? And why was it there at all?
It looked for all the world as if something was sitting in the bushes outside our window. We hunted high and low, both inside and outside the window, but found nothing that could be causing it.
It had to be something reflecting on the glass, but our investigations revealed nothing. Maybe it could be a reflection from somewhere else, but where?
This has been going on for several months and we are no nearer finding the cause.
And before you say it, we know that reflections can be misleading, but it is driving us nuts!
Could it really be a demon visitor, one with only one red eye, spying on us through the window?
I had heard about the hurricane, or what was left of it. The reports said it would only affect the north of England and Ireland, so I wasn’t expecting any drama.
Apart from frequently checking the trees outside my window, just in case you understand, I continued working. A couple of hundred emails later, the light seemed to change. The paper in my printer had changed colour, and my arms had adopted a healthy tan. Something weird was happening after all.
The wind was starting to pick up, huge gusts trying to rip the leaves from the trees. The window in front of me starting to creak and groan under the building pressure.
I determined to edit more of my WIP, keeping half an eye on the weather, just in case the experts had it wrong. An hour later, I had to switch on the light as the orange gloom was pervading every corner of my office. Outside, the sky looked awful, the colour of a bad bruise. It certainly felt as though hell was about to be let loose!
Work abandonned, I went outside to find myself in a vacuum, the air heavy and expectant. Then someone shouted, ‘Look at the Sun!’
Above my head in the bruised sky, was a small ball of fire totally unlike any Sun I had ever seen. My first thought was that it couldn’t be right, maybe it was a satellite or a meteorite, burning up as it approached Earth. I mean, when could you ever look straight at the Sun and not damage your eyes?
The sky stayed bruised for some time, but the wind didn’t get any worse, gradually losing strength as normality slowly returned. The day had been eerie, weird and a little scary, as we wondered what was happening. People in the North had a far worse day and must have been terrified and our thoughts go out to those who have suffered…
It was Halloween, just one year since a boy she hardly knew had died.
Tommy Jones, a boy she hardly knew, had been teasing her all evening. Trying to grab hold of her and kiss her, and she was horrified at the thought of all that blood coloured face paint ending up all over her face. She had pushed him away, conscious that everyone was looking at them. He had lost his balance and fallen into the road, straight under the wheels of a passing lorry. As he lay dying, he tried even then to touch her, his fingers rough and unwelcome digging into her arm. ‘I will find you, you know…’
Tonight felt different somehow. The full moon cast eerie shadows everywhere, turning ordinary things into objects of terror. There was a damp smell in the air and an unearthly mist swirled around the streets.
Casey Lockwood was putting the finishing touches to her small brother’s skeleton face paint, ready to go trick or treating again. She idly wondered if Tommy would put in an appearance that night. She always thought of him at Halloween, remembering how he had died. The veil between the worlds was supposed to be at it thinnest on Halloween, allowing the dead to return, but she had no wish to see him again.
Out on the street, her brother tugged at her sleeve, trying to get her attention. There was so much to see. Everyone was in costume, and candle lit pumpkins, plastic skeletons and huge spiders hung from every available tree and lamppost. It was like walking into an amateur horror production.
Despite the chilly air and menacing atmosphere, everyone looked happy. Skeletons and corpses, zombies and demons, all grinning from ear to ear, as they rushed about with their sweet buckets. But none of them were Tommy. It was beginning to look as if she was off the hook where he was concerned and she relaxed. It was all just superstition, anyway.
Her brother tugged harder, wanting to cross the road to meet his friends, and as they stepped from the curb, Casey felt a hand on her back, shoving her forward. A truck appeared out of nowhere and mowed Casey down, leaving her mangled and bloody on the road.
As she felt herself begin to drift away, a ghostly hand grabbed her arm and the faint image of Tommy appeared beside her. ‘I said I would find you…’
© Anita Dawes 2016