CHAPTER TWO

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“What was that about? Are you okay?” Jordan looked confused and concerned. I took a second and stared at the window for a few more moments, waiting for the man to reappear. I slowly turned back around in my seat and put my buckle on.

“Yeah, I am fine. Sorry, I just remembered there is a really good movie out in theatres that we will have to see,” I said trying to sound as calm as humanly possible after seeing my husband’s doppelganger.

“Okay, weirdo,” he said with a smirk. I could tell he was still confused and did not believe me. He was good about that though. He could always tell when I didn’t want to talk about something and at that point, he stopped prying. For that, I was thankful. I would hate to see his reaction when I told him what I saw. He would never believe me. No one would believe something that crazy.

That is what it was, crazy. It was just my imagination playing tricks on me after the nightmare I had. Jordan was right we need a break. All of this stress and worrying over the mortgage was obviously affecting me. Affecting me so much that I am starting to see things. And a day to relax with the man of my dreams, no pun intended, was exactly what I needed to relieve this stress. Once we get home, I will be as good as new.

The gravel crunched under the tires as Jordan drove down the path. White oak trees bridged ahead, casting a beautiful shadow tunnel. That was honestly my favorite part of the entire property. It was breathtakingly beautiful during the spring. The branches stretched across to the opposite tide of the road, almost like they were trying to connect to the one directly across from it. When the car hit the asphalt, I felt a huge weight lift off of my chest. I could breathe again. Getting out of the house was already starting to pay off and I could finally relax. I turned on the radio, sighed, and eased into my seat with a smile on my face.

We reached the movie theater and purchased our tickets to the latest horror movie that had come out. Horror was our favorite movie genre so it was only fitting. We had time to spare until our showing started so we decided to grab a bite to eat. Across the street from the movie was our go-to restaurant. There weren’t very many places to eat in our tiny town but even if there were, Robert’s Café would still be the place we would pick. We were seated and given menus, although that was pointless seeing that we got the same thing every time. I ordered the steak and potato dinner and Jordan ordered the chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes.

We ate, laughed, and had a great time. After dinner we went to the movies and that’s when I realized that a scary movie was probably not the movie to watch to get my dream out of my head. The movie was about a possession of a man that, no matter how hard he fought against the demon, still succumbed to the darkness. He eventually died in the film, which made my anxiety worse. When the movie credits rolled, my stomach turned to butterflies. I realized I had to go back to the house. What would happen? Would I see him staring back at me through the window again?

We got back to the car after a walk that I tried to prolong as long as I could. But it was inevitable; we had to go home. The car ride was quiet. I could only guess that he was thinking of the movie or his leftovers he had in the back seat, but me, I was thinking of the terror that was growing every second closer to the house we got. The fear ripped a pit in my stomach that seemed to just get bigger and bigger.

As we pulled onto the gravel road, my heart started pounding and my forehead collected tiny beads of sweat. I bit my lip as we pulled up to the house. The house looked empty. No one stared at me through the guest room window. Maybe it had just all been in my head. Maybe I was too caught up in my dream that I began to hallucinate.

I took a deep breath and opened the car door. Jordan grabbed the to-go boxes and we headed for the door. I opened it up and was greeted by the cool air and fresh scent of linen. That had always been my favorite scent of air fresheners and candles to buy. It had always smelt clean and fresh to me.

I stepped inside. There were no lingering eyes watching, no creaking doors. I felt safe. I laughed out loud thinking to myself how silly I had been. I was afraid to come home because of a dream. It was an insanely ridiculous fear. I had lived here for nearly a month and never felt scared before then.

Jordan placed the boxes in the fridge and plopped himself down on the couch. I grabbed my book and sat beside him on the couch. He put on one of his shows he had been binge watching, like every night before. I got bored of watching television every night so I started reading. I had the end of summer to start really focusing on work. Being a teacher, it was nice having summers off.

When his show had ended, he turned the television off and decided to head to bed. I had only a few pages left before I had finished the chapter I was reading so I stayed to finish. I heard his footsteps as he climbed the stairs and reached the hallways. The footsteps got fainter as he reached the bedroom.

I continued reading my book. Just then, the smell of something rotten or dead hit me like a brick wall. I scrunched my face and put my shirt over my nose. I got up and had only taken a single step before the light flickered and burnt out.

“Don’t do this to yourself. It is just the light bulb. Jordan will fix it tomorrow,” I told myself. As I took another step toward the staircase, I heard another set of footsteps from across the room. My eyes widened and I sprinted up the stairs and jumped into bed apparently a little too fast. Jordan shot up and met my gaze.

“What on earth is up with you today?” He stroked my arm in attempt to calm me down. The fear of him laughing at me led me to the decision to not share my experience I just had. I shook my head lightly and lay down. I pulled the blankets over my head and squeezed my eyes shut. I heard him sigh and roll back over. I was afraid of looking beyond the edge of the comforter so I just laid there in silence. I was scared to hear the footsteps but the thought of having that nightmare again kept me awake.

Finally gaining the courage to look at the alarm clock next to the bed, I saw that it was nearly three in the morning. I knew that it was silly but I was terrified of being awake any longer because of the witching hour rumor. I curled up next to Jordan, feeling the heat from his back. The warmth must have done the trick because the next time I opened my eyes, I saw the light trying to creep its way into my comforter.

I didn’t feel the warmth of Jordan anymore. In fact, I had noticed I was the only one in bed. I took a deep breath and placed my feet on the floor. I walked down to the kitchen to see Jordan eating breakfast. I poured myself a cup of coffee and sipped it. We were both silent for a long while.

“You may want to check the sink or something. I smelled something awful last night before I went to sleep,” I said and walked out of the kitchen. I went out to the porch and sat on the stairs leading to the gravel. I watched the breeze run between the leaves, making them dance just a little. It was nice. I sipped more of my coffee and noticed the light shining through the branches to a tree just before the shadowed tree tunnel. Nature always calmed me down.

Moments later, I heard the door open and Jordan sat down next to me. Again, we sat in silence. I got up and went inside to put my empty mug in the sink. I was scared to say anything about the experiences I had been having after my dream and I think he was trying to give me enough space. Like any other time, he probably didn’t want to pry. He had the day off and would be returning to work in the morning. It was going to be a long day of silence if this routine keeps up. I wasn’t interested in telling him anything. I wasn’t interested in the looks and comments that would come from his mouth.

More than likely, I would get over this irrational fear of this house by the next couple of days. My eyes and ears will stop playing tricks on me so I found that telling him would be useless. It would only cause problems. If he tried joking around about it to lighten the mood, it was bound to upset me further.

“Have I done something wrong? You are upset. You think you can hide things from me but I have known you basically our entire lives. I know when something is wrong. If I have done something to upset you, you need to let me know so I can fix it.”

His voice came from behind me. I turned to see him in the doorway with his arms crossed. It had been clear he came outside to talk to me but I didn’t realize that he thought it had been about something he had done.

“Jordan, it isn’t you. I just… I don’t want to talk about it. I swear it isn’t you though. I will be okay. Just give me time,” I said.

Jordan walked to me slowly and pulled a strand of hair and places it behind me ear. His eyes were filled with concern and I looked down out of guilt. He pulled my chin up and kissed me and walked away. I loved his ability to understand when I need my space. He wasn’t a hovering boyfriend or husband. He wasn’t always this great. We have had to work to where we are today, just like every couple. But our trials and battles have led us to this day, happily in love.

He seemed to be so perfect. Maybe he was too good for me. He works so hard to give us the life we have. I felt extremely guilty for shutting him out now. I felt as if he deserved to know just to put his mind at ease.

As I made my way to the living room to tell him, I noticed I didn’t hear the television. I didn’t hear anything. I poked my head out of the front door, I saw him by the tree with the light shimmering through the branches that I had noticed before. He was on the phone.

I decided to just tell him when he came inside. It could be a phone call for work and I didn’t want to interrupt. But as I prepared myself to turn to the living room, I felt something brush against my shoulder. It was very light. It was more than a breeze but not exactly a hand brushing my back. Whatever it was, I wasn’t sticking around to see what it was.

I ran out the door and closed it lightly so I didn’t disturb the call. It was difficult to try to act so calm after something like that. My heart was racing again. I quietly walked down the steps and toward Jordan. His back was facing me and he was pacing. Something was wrong. I walked over to him and as he saw me, he murmured a few words and hung up the phone.

“Sorry for leaving like that. I had to make a call to the station.” He must have noticed my concern. I wasn’t sure if I had believed that entirely. He had no reason to lie to me but, like he had mentioned, he has known me most of our lives. I know when he is lying.

“Can I talk to you about what has me worked up? I don’t want secrets in our relationship,” I said. Maybe he would share who he had really been on the phone with if I shared my secret of being tormented by his doppelganger.

CHAPTER ONE

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Before I jump into this chapter, I would like to start off by saying this was based off of a very realistic and vivid dream I had. I was extremely frightened and confused when I woke up and decided to write the dream down. After having shared the dream with a few close friends, they convinced me to make it into an actual story. I tweaked a little about the dream just to make things more interesting. ENJOY!

Running through the empty parking lot into the old, abandoned park was not the smartest decision I had made in my life. It was still accessible but not a single person chose to go to Yonan Park when the city put up money for a brand new park less than three miles away, especially at night. Yonan Park was basically like a deserted ghost town, but I had to keep running. He was still out there; he was still following me.

I stopped to catch my breath behind a tree. The tree was bare and its braches scratched the vacant building that used to be for the restrooms. The braches scraped and scratched, sending me into a panic. I held myself against the tree, trying with all of my might not to let my weak knees give in. My heart was in my stomach, pumping faster than I thought humanly possible. But I couldn’t stop. I needed to find shelter. This tree would not protect me from him.

Just then, one by one, the streetlights blew out, sending sparks flying in the wind. The cool air blew my hair in my face as I started running again. I couldn’t find a safe place to hide that was in close distance. It was a completely ridiculous idea but the only place I could think of was the bathroom. I sprinted into the building covered in spray paint. The door closed behind me and I could no longer hear the whistling of the wind, though, I could hear the scratching of the branches. He was still coming.

I searched the room, peering into the darkness as my eyes adjusted. It was nearly pitch black in the room besides the light pouring in from the vent on the door caused by the closest streetlight. Suddenly, the only light was gone with a loud pop, which I assumed happened when the light blew out. He was close.

I felt the edges of the wall and found a door. Had that door been there before? I hadn’t seen it earlier. Wherever it lead, it would be away from him. I quietly opened the door and slipped in, shutting the door behind me.

I heard the sound of the metal grated floors as I walked. Where was I? Where had that door lead me to? I searched my pockets for my cell phone. I figured that I could use the flashlight option. I couldn’t just stand there. Eventually, he would find me. I had to hurry and get somewhere else, anywhere else. I needed to get to safety. I couldn’t find my cell phone. It could have fallen out anywhere and I couldn’t go back to retrieve it. He was out there.

Luckily, I had my lighter in my back pocket. As I flicked it, a long flame illuminated the room I was in, or rather the stairwell I was in. The floor was metal, like I had guessed. To the left of me was what appeared to be a set of stairs made from the same metal. There was something else, though. Another door.

The door was a heavy, thick wooden door with freshly painted black metal around the frame. It looked like it was cut out from a cartoon. It was as heavy as it looked as I opened it. I put my entire body weight into it. As it opened, a light had shown through the crack, getting larger as I opened it more and more. The light seemed to be coming from the bottom of the stairs that winded up to the door. Someone was down there; I could feel it.

A bad feeling swept over me as I took a step toward the lit staircase. The feeling grew into fear and I quickly stepped back. As I got to the door I originally came through, I could see a railing that I had not seen with just my lighter. I peered over the railing and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The stairwell I was in did not just hold stairs for a few stories; it shouldn’t have had stairs at all seeing that it was only a restroom. The staircase seemed to go on forever. There was fog coming up from the bottom, wherever that may have been. Fog could only mean one thing. There was a water source down there and if water was getting through, maybe there was an exit. I ran to the next floor down and again, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It seemed to be the exact same as the floor prior. The same door opened and lit up like the fourth of July. It wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be possible.

I ran to the metal staircase and made my way down to the next floor. Again, the same wooden door met me with an eerie light, reaching out for me.

I had three options. I could keep mindlessly running down each flight, face the wooden door, or jump over the railing and pray that the water is deep enough to not kill me.

I heard the door in which I came in from clam shut just two flights above me. I held my breath and tried to be as still as I could. Whatever my choice was going to be, I had to do make it now.

It was too late. He was here. In a blink of an eye, my worst nightmare was two inches from my face. His eyes, dead and black, seemed to peer directly into my soul.

It was so quiet that I could hear my heart thumping, faster and faster as he inches his way closer. I didn’t think he could get any closer when I heard soft music playing, waking me up out of my sleep.

I sat straight up in my bed, gasping for breath. I wiped the beads of sweat off of my face with my nightshirt and sat staring at the wall, processing all that I had just experienced.

That was the most realistically vivid dream I have ever had, or that I could remember. Jordan came in the bedroom carrying a cup of coffee for me. His eyebrows slowly furrowed with concern, as he got closer. My eyes grew wider with each step her made toward the bed. It was him.

The man I was running from in my dream, the one that had eyes as black as night, was my husband. I quickly dropped my face and tried to brush off the feeling of terror as he came and sat next to me.

“I had a bad dream,” I abruptly spat out, breaking eye contact before he had time to question me. He nodded and handed me a porcelain mug that read “Mrs. Jenkins” filled about three-quarters of the way with piping hot coffee. I sipped on it. It was black, just the way I liked it.

“I thought we could use some fun. We have been both working extremely hard lately to pay off the loan and I believe that we both deserve a break. Why don’t we go into town, go shopping, eat some lunch, and catch a movie or something? We could make a day trip out of it,” he said as he swept a chunk of hair behind my ear.

He was very sweet and thoughtful. He had been that way since as long as I can remember. Jordan and I had been classmates since we were in elementary school. I guess that is what you get when you live in a small town like Yonan. We grew together, played together, and more specifically, learned to love together. We were voted the cutest couple of our senior class and got married shortly after high school. When it was time to become adults in the real world, he helped me find my passion in teaching and he fell in love with helping people. He chose to be a police officer of our small town, knowing he could make a difference. We lived in a cute little house with two bedrooms, hoping one day to turn the extra room into a nursery. The house was one of those old houses with the wrap around porch on a few acres of land. It was basically a house that you would imagine when you think of a small town.

It was this that I remembered to try to get the thought of Jordan’s black eyes out of my head. A day out of the house is just what we needed. He was right; we had been putting in some extra hours to pay off our loan we used to get house. That is probably what had given nightmares to begin with.

“Sounds like a plan, my man! I will shower and get ready as soon as I can chug this morning fuel,” I said, nodding toward my cup of coffee. He smiled, nodded agreeing, and disappeared down the hallway. I couldn’t help but to avoid eye contact with him the entire time he was in the room. I shook my head and sighed as I got up. I gulped down my coffee and headed to the bathroom.

As I was getting undressed, I couldn’t help but feel as if someone were watching me. I assumed it was just after effects of the dream and went about my morning ritual. As I rounded the end of my routine, I heard the door to the guest room creek open and then shut a few moments later.

“Jordan? What are you doing in the guest room?” But there was no response. There must have been a window open downstairs. Moments later I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and into the hallway. My heart stopped and my body froze.

“You ready to go, slow poke,” Jordan’s voice called from the doorway. I jumped out of my skin and Jordan laughed. He always enjoyed scaring me and typically I wouldn’t mind it, but after last night, I had been more jumpy than usual.

“Do you mind? You nearly gave me a heart attack, Jordan,” I yelled. He still laughed and walked down the stairs. I followed behind him, and I felt like I was being watched once more. I took a deep breath and turned around but nothing was there. I turned back around and headed down the stairs to follow Jordan to the car parked in the driveway in front of the house. We had a gravel drive way that lead to the road. Our house stood smack dab in the center of our property was a small pond the right of the house. To the left of the house was a toolshed that looked older than the house did.

We got in the car and I immediately situated myself. Before I put my seat belt on I put my purse in the back seat. Without thinking, I looked out of the back window as I sat the purse down and looked back down. It took me a second to comprehend what I had just seen. There, in the guest bedroom window, stood a man identical to Jordan with the same black, lifeless eyes, smiling and waving at me and I gasped once I realized it was the same man from my dream. When I finally mustered up the courage to look back up, he was gone.

 

 

“It’s Not Ready”

All of my life I have been writing. I write stories, poems, novellas, and currently, my first novel. I have enjoyed writing even as a child and have never stopped loving it. like I had said, I have been writing my whole life, and all of that writing might as well have been for nothing. For years now, I have used the excuse, “Oh, it isn’t ready for the public eye.” I write in notebooks and in my computers I have had in the past and they all go to the same place; the creativity junk yard.

But now I am finally ready. I have heard this site is filled with inspiration and loads of encouraging people. So here goes nothing! Wish me luck; I may need it.