My Mind

My Mind
This is my mind

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's time

I saw her again, briefly and by candle light. The cold night air played tricks maybe. The temperature dropped suddenly and the rain froze along the wires. They snapped early in the morning. The sound was like a thunder clap in the silence of the night. It woke me with a start.

I reached for the switch on my lamp. It clicked. The dark remained. Dogs around the neighborhood were howling. I remembered candles in the drawer in the kitchen. Slowly, I felt my way along the wall of the hallway. My fingers found the candles. I took one and a pack of matches that lay beside them in case of such an emergency. I noticed how cold it was. The heat shouldn't have dissipated so soon after a loss of power.

I scratched a match along the pack. It spurted to life and I held it to the wick. The candle took the flame and began to grow. That's when I saw her. It was just a flicker. A face tinted blue in an orange flame.  Startled, I nearly dropped the candle.  I looked more closely. I was alone in the flickering flame.  It was just my imagination.

I used to have a flashlight around somewhere but the batteries died long ago, so here I stood with a single flame to light the darkness. Flickering shadows played across the wall as I made my way back to the bedroom.

I checked the phone.  It was dead. I had a cell phone but it wasn't working either. I'd forgotten to place it in its stand. What a time to be isolated in a new house. A new house on a dirt road miles from anyone because I'd just grown tired of neighbors staring into my house from their windows only inches apart. I tried one day reaching across from my window. Sure enough, I was able to touch the side of their house with the palm of my hand. I'd have thought there would be some kind of building code, but, no, not in that neighborhood. So I moved out here to get away from such closeness. An hour and a half to work and back was the only price to pay.

I settled back and looked at my Baby Ben. Two thirty. I'd only been asleep an hour or so. Working the evening shift kept me wired and I never got to bed before one.

Those covers looked inviting. The bed was piled high with thermals and wool blankets. I pulled them up over me and sat up to blow out the candle when I noticed the same blue face haloed by a black flickering shadow. She was there. She was not.

"Who are you?" I yelled at the wall. I thought I heard a whispering chuckle. "What do you want?"

I waited for an answer. Only silence in the darkness answered me.

"I know I saw something," I said clutching the covers and shivering with the cold. I sat that way until my back felt like a block of ice. Gingerly I lay down. "Maybe I'll leave the candle burning." I said to the shadows playing across the walls.

I slipped the covers over my head and held them tightly. Just nerves, I thought and closed my eyes.

"Huh? What?" I shouted. I had managed to drift off but something startled me and I was sitting up without knowing why. The cold was more oppressive now. It just doesn't get that cold down here. This felt like the cold I'd experienced up north one winter on a visit. It happened to be the coldest winter in twenty years. I swore I'd never visit again after thawing out a month later.

The candle was still burning by it was only an inch high from the original 6 inch height.

"Is there someone there?" Cold and silence pressed in upon me. I sat dead still until the frigid air began to frost my lungs. I lay down and once again and pulled the cover over my head to conserve body heat. I closed my eyes and began to drift off again.

I was dreaming. Voices filtered through the blankets. I whipped them away from my face and looked around. There was no one, but the voices were there. They were faint but there. I got up to look outside. No. They were in here.

I opened the drawer of the night table and lifted the pistol quietly and slowly. I placed it under my pillow. Then I shouted, "Who's there?"

No one answered, but the voices drifted in. They increased in number. It seemed to be coming from the wall where I had last seen that face. Then she was there, fading in and out with the bouncing flame. Blue against black. Orange, yellow and red licked at her face. Her hair was black, blending into with the darkness of the shadow wavering behind her. Her eyes shown red against the chill of her skin. She was there. And, then, she was gone.

The chill of the air did not compare to the chill in my soul. Was this some kind of reaction to the food I ate at work? Fever? Delirium? The candle was beginning to gutter. I yanked the covers over my head and buried myself beneath them as tightly as a cocoon.

The voices were increasing in volume through the blankets.
"Go away!" I shouted. I couldn't discern real words amongst all the voices for there were many. I began to understand now these were cries of pain and agony. They grew louder and closer. Shrieks of terror shot through the buffer of blankets.   Cries for help sliced through the darkness penetrating the blankets. Screams bounced off the walls. Some words became clear amongst the howling.

"Please help me! Kill me! No more! A drop of water! Stop! Please stop!  Dear God Please!"

It was distinct, the answer, “God has no place here.” This pronouncement was followed by a chuckle progressing to hideous laughter. Then silence settled along with the cold and darkness.

"What a horrible dream," I said after a few moments of quiet. Tremulously I eased the cover down below my eyes. The room was dark.  The candle had died. I saw nothing in the darkness.

Deciding it was just a nightmare I once again pulled the covers over my head to block out the cold.

"You might as well come out of your hiding place." The covers were ripped from my grasp.

She stood a blue glow. She appeared to be standing before flames as the colors yellow, orange and red rippled across her countenance.

"What do you want? Why are you doing this?"

"It's your time and you're mine," her laughter crawled around me.

"What are you talking about? I don't know you."

"Ah, you are so wrong. You’ve known me a long time. I've been your constant companion. You've listened to every suggestion I ever gave you."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Yes, that IS what I'm talking about, Hell. It's your time. Come along peacefully now. I wouldn't want to have to hurt you.  Yet."  Her face broke into a grimace that ejected laughter creeping up my spine.

"This is crazy. I don't know you. I’ve never met you, much less listened to you..."

"It makes no difference, doll. You're mine. I've come for you."

"Is this a dream? I just need to wake up, right? You're just part of my subconscious playing havoc with me while I sleep."

"Yes, you sleep. It was your last night to sleep. It's over."

"It can't be over. I'm still alive. See?"

"That's what you all say. Take a look."

I was swept up and hurled out into the night. We were a mile from my house. There were police cars and an ambulance parked along the side of the road. A tree limb was wedged into the roof of my... my… car. The tree limb buckled the roof in. I was beneath the limb. Blood oozed from my ears. My skull had obviously been crushed.

"Remember the loud crack that sounded like thunder?"

"Yeah, it woke me up. It's when I first started to see you."

"Mm hmm. That's right. It wasn't ice on the electric lines. It was this limb cracking under the weight. You've been lying here for a while, but finally you gave up the ghost and, now, you're mine."

"That's it? I die and I'm yours? No trial? No chance to make amends?"

"Nope. You had your whole life for that. You lived just the way you wanted. So what if I helped you decide what you wanted. Such an easy one you were. Made you believe you were so much smarter because you didn't believe what all the simple minded folks believed. Oh, you were such fun to toy with, but all the fun is over now. Shall we?"

"But you're blue not red. You're a woman, not a man."

"You believe anything don't you?" Her laugh shriveled my heart. I dropped straight down into the howling shrieks below. My terror joined in the ranks and my screams lifted upward to no one.

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