All I could see was darkness. Shadows swirled around, making barely recognizable faces.
A gentle face pierced through the void. It was my mother’s face. Her blue eyes and light blonde
hair floated towards me.
“Josiah, everything will be fine, don’t worry.” She said, speaking in her usual, soft tone.“This isn’t…isn’t what it seems like. You don’t understand things honey…you don’tunderstand.” She kept talking, “I would tell you if I could, but you wouldn’t understand. Don’tworry. Don’t worry….” Her
voice faded and then silence. A shrill scream erupted from her asher face was pulled back with a violent twist.Another figure replaced her. It was dark and solemn, with hard features and pronounced jawline.
It was him. “Boy, don’t listen to her! You have
no idea who you are!” He growled, his
face melting away in the smoke and reappearing closer to me.
“You’re messed up like the rest of us. No one in this family is normal! We are all messedup. You are messed up in the head!” He said, tapping my head. My f
ace trembled and my bodyshook as I tried not to look at the figure speaking to me.
“Someone has been feeding you lies! LIES! You are not normal…you will never BEnormal. Get that into your head! Are you listening to me?!” He screamed and howled as I turne
daway from him.
“Don’t you turn your back on me!” His hands whipped my body around to look at him. I
screamed. His face had turned into a skull, staring at me with black holes for eyes, laughing at
me as his jawbone flapped up and down. “Why are you so surprised? You know I’m dead, youwent to my funeral. You saw me get buried deeper, and deeper, and deeper…”
His voice becameincreasingly deeper for intimidating effect as he continued,
“until the casket was underneath the
ground, surrounding my helpless, s
till body with darkness.”“Now look at you! Sitting in an apartment by yourself, never leaving, never socializing
with another soul. You might as well be dead! All you do is write silly stories on your computer,hoping someone will read it so you can eat. Yes, any day now you will just rot away into non-
existence…never to be heard from again.”
“That’s not true!” I screamed in a desperate reply, “I write stories because I like to write!There is no reason for me to leave, and I am doing great!” I said looki
ng at the skull in deep, bitter anger.
“You are nothing to me now. I am not afraid of you!” I lunged as the skull laughed
at me in a loud, shrieking cackle.I screamed. Everything was silent now, and I wiped my eyes. Everything in my officewas normal. The lamp was still on my desk; my laptop was at my fingertips, showing a blinkingcursor on the screen patiently waiting for my next line. I had fallen asleep.
That was an odd dream. It felt more like a haunting I’d seen on those television shows,
but I knew
this apartment wasn’t haunted. I’d lived here all of my adult life, and I was the firstresident. There couldn’t be ghosts. They needed some kind of evil past to spawn them, and Ihadn’t hurt a fly my entire stay here.
Well, I guess I can have nightmares just like anyone else. I shrugged and stood there,
stretching and rubbing my eyes. That’s what I need to do, I need
ed to leave my office and getsomething to eat. It was near dinner time, so I might as well eat before being lost in my storyagain.I had leftover chicken, rice, and some bread. That sounded good to me. My hands pressedagainst the desk as I did one final stretch. My eyes suddenly focused on the door in front of me.
Something looked different about it. Last time I checked, there wasn’t a white
rectangle on thewood.