This will be the last thing I post.
I'm switching to a new account.
I'll still be posting stuff, so be sure to check it out.
My new user is "Dragonfly", if you're interested.
A Victorian mansion, tall and crooked, sitting atop a hill of dead grass.
Something evil lurked inside.
All its visitors returned.
None of them alive.
I’ve Seen Him Thrice
I volunteer in a nursing home.
It's mostly okay, more boring than anything else. What I do depends on what they need that day. Usually, though, I just go room to room, for whoever needs it.
I often talk to the residents. They love to tell stories, and I'm a willing audience.
Mr. Willis was one of the oldest residents, being 95 and remarkably healthy for his age. He was a veteran, World War II. It was near the end of the war that he lost his leg, a story he used to tell over and over. He had a prosthetic for awhile, but switched to a wheelchair a year prior.
Everyone in the nursing home knew who he was and always loved to be around him. His room was always one of my favorite places to visit.
By then, I had been volunteering for years. I was going in for what I thought would be just another ordinary shift.
It was a slow day, and I agreed to help deliver flowers.
As usual, there were no flowers for Mr. Willis. He never discussed any family except his wife, Bonnie, who passed before he moved into the nursing home.
My delivery duties took me right past his room, though, and I decided to stop in for a quick visit.
When I entered, something seemed off. The first thing I noticed was that Mr. Willis was lying in his bed. Usually, he spends his days in the little armchair in the corner.
Then, I saw the look in his eyes.
They were glazed over, as if he were dead. His mouth was open in a feeble gape of fear.
I turned to press the call button, as a bony hand curled around my wrist with an iron grip, pulling me back.
"Don't call them yet."
I tugged my hand free, stepping away from the bed. "Why not?"
"I need...I need something."
"What do you mean?"
"I can feel it;" he rasped, not answering my question, "my time on this Earth is numbered. By hours if not minutes."
I shook my head. "I don't understand."
He chuckled. "You wouldn't. You are young. But I can feel him."
Mr. Willis looked over at me with a weak smile. "Death."
I frowned. "You're perfectly healthy."
"I'm tired;" Mr. Willis replied, his hands shaking. "Too tired to keep on living. To me, Death is like an old friend."
"An old friend?" I asked.
Mr. Willis nodded. "I've seen him thrice before. Fourth time's the charm."
A silence settled over the room, the only sound being Mr. Willis's raspy breath. Finally, he spoke.
"The first was...when I was young. I wasn't always so healthy. It was...1918. The Influenza outbreak. I was a sickly child, of course, and when the epidemic reached my little town, it ravaged our population. My family got sick, and then I did, too. And I saw him. He was like...a shadow, almost, just darkness, with two glowing eyes and hands of bone."
"What happened?" I asked, completely captured by the story.
He smiled again. "I remember...not wanting to die. And not much else. Then, I got better, and I didn't see him anymore. But..." I saw a shadow settle over his face, "Death doesn't spare you without a price. My whole family, my twin sisters and my brother and my parents, they all died."
I shifted in my seat. "You said you saw him three times?"
The old man nodded. "Three times. The second was during the Second World War. It was a bloody battle, and my unit was on the wrong end of a grenade."
He patted his leg, the one that he had left behind in the trenches that day. I could do nothing but stare.
"Again, he spared me, and again, he did it for a hefty price;" Mr. Willis said, coughing a little.
"And the third?" I asked, my voice small.
Mr. Willis frowned. "When my wife passed away. I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, organ failure. And I saw him. He never spoke, but I understood when I saw him. A life for a life. She was in a car accident that night, and I went into remission. Doctors called it a miracle."
"And you see him, now?" I asked, shivering a bit.
Mr. Willis shrugged. "I can sense him. He's close...waiting. You can't evade death four times. And I think I'm ready."
"Good;" I said, standing. I dropped the flowers, walking steadily to his bedside.
Mr. Willis only smiled as I approached. I think he knew, even before. I like to think that he knew me for who I was when he first saw me, but I don't think I'll ever know the truth.
"Good to see you, old friend;" he said with a soft smile.
I kissed him on the forehead and watched as his eyelids drooped, closing for the last time, his smile reflected on his face as he fell into an eternal sleep.
I smiled back. "Good to see you, too."
We expect that everything will end with a great big BANG!
For that is how the universe began
With an explosion of anything that would become anything
And so we assume that this world, too, will end with one
A great big BANG!
Rattling the very stars we seek to reach
The stars that will mourn our extinction
But this is not what happens
What happens is something, and then nothing
Like shutting a book,
The characters trapped within the pages,
In the blink of an eye
As if they never existed in the first place
A light, snuffed out in a dark room,
Just as when the universe began
We do not know how our light will leave us
We do not know how the end will come
But we owe it to ourselves to keep going
To keep moving forward
Until we find our End
The Angel Statue
It was late at night, and Nadia was babysitting for the Johnsons, for the first time. They were going to be out late, but it was good pay, so she took the job.
Despite feeling a little under the weather, Nadia spent the evening playing board games with the three Johnson kids, and sent them up to bed at 8:30, as instructed. Then, she had the house to herself for two and a half hours.
Half an hour went by, and there was a soft noise from upstairs, a crack of the floorboards, perhaps. Something that indicated to Nadia that one of the three was up and around.
As expected, when Nadia reached the top of the stairs, the oldest Johnson child was up getting a drink of water.
Nadia smiled at him. "Let's get back to bed, huh?"
The kid smiled, nervously, back at her. "Can you tuck me in?"
She smiled and nodded, and followed him into his bedroom.
It was small, but cozy, and all three of the Johnson boys slept there. Fairy lights decorated the walls, illuminating the room even in darkness.
The only thing offputting to Nadia was the strange statue of an angel in the corner.
It was dirty and musty-looking, and the really offputting bit was that not only did it seem incredibly lifelike, but it looked familiar to her.
Sudenly, Nadia gasped, tripping backward. The boys looked at her strangely, as she collected herself and took the two youngest boys by the arm.
Though they asked questions, Nadia did not stop until they were across the street, and she called 911.
Because, though this was the first time Nadia had ever set foot inside their home, the face of the statue was unmistakeably her own.
suffering, agony, torment, blood, bruise, cut, pain, sting, burn, discomfort, throbbing, pang, stab, cut, ouch, cry, scream
I am afraid of heights.
If I ever near the edge, I can't help it. I always, always look down.
My head spins, and I back away. I can imagine my worst fear; losing control and hopping over the railing, as one would hop a fence, and falling, unbounded.
The wind would whistle past my ears, but I can't help but wonder what I would feel like. Would it hurt? I think that the fear of falling itself would be worse than the impact. I would just fall, and fall. My stomach dropping, over and over and over.
Then, the sudden rush of hard, solid ground, cradling my body as I came to meet it.
It would certainly make a mess, wouldn't it? The more I think about it, the more I dread it. One of the worst fates imaginable, gore wrapped in fear.
I would come back to my senses, still pressed against the wall, far from the edge that threatens to pull me over the side.
I would always, always walk away.
And I would vow to never, ever look down.
It's always staring, always waiting
It's in the shadows, watching you
Black form, made of ash and smoke
Following you everywhere
Waiting for you
Waiting to take you
The Old Woman
She sat there, an old wrinkled hat pulled over her gray hair.
Sarah glanced at the woman, who always came to the bus stop early. She never saw her leave the bench. Today, she wore a faded pink dress, some trainers, and the same squashed-up straw hat with fake flowers sewn into the band. The most Sarah ever saw of her face was the gray hair that poured from beneath the hat, and an angular chin.
The woman was small, but sat in a hunch. Today, for the first time since she had seen the woman, Sarah sat down next to her.
"Good day;" a raspy voice emmitted from behind the straw hat.
Sarah smiled kindly. "Good morning, ma'am."
The woman shrugged. "The weather is nice today."
"Yes;" Sarah said, glancing at the trees beside the bus stop. The street was bathed in warm sunlight; it was strangely warm for October.
"Where is your husband today?" the old woman asked.
Sarah shrugged. "Away, on a business trip."
"Oh." The woman sounded almost disappointed.
Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Sarah pointed the woman out to her husband most days. Not until they were out of earshot, of course, but still.
"She's a strange lady;" Sarah told him, only yesterday. "Maybe she's crazy."
"She can probably hear you;" her husband had whispered softly.
Maybe the old crone had heard her, after all?
"So, dearie;" the woman continued, "are you goin' to work again this morning?"
Sarah nodded. "I'm waiting for the bus."
"So am I."
Sarah frowned. "You never get on the bus with me. Are you waiting for someone special?"
The woman shook her head. "No. I take a different bus."
Suddenly, a school bus rounded the corner. The old lady stood up.
"Where are you going?" Sarah asked.
The old woman removed her flowry hat to reveal a young face, all pale skin and pale eyes and pale hair.
The young girl gave her a toothy smile. "It was nice talking to you;" she said in a raspy voice, and coughed into her fist. The bus pulled up, and the girl got in.
As the bus pulled away, all Sarah could do was stare in awe.
At some point in their lives, every kid wishes they were able to live underwater, like fishes or sharks or mermaids.
I did, at least. I would spend my days swimming and pretending I was able to breathe underwater.
It worked, too. I swam down deep enough, and now I get to live here, under the water, forever.
I wish more people would visit, though. It gets lonely down here.