(I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU, READER, THAT THIS IS A HORROR STORY WHICH MEANS THAT IT SURELY CONTAINS: GORE(blood, guts, this kind of thing, you know), STRONG LANGUAGE(mostly ‘fuck’s), STRONG IMAGERY(blood, death, murders, etc) AND OVERALL LOTS OF BAD THINGS THAT CAN BE DISTURBING, TRIGGERING, ETC, SO BE VERY AWARE OF THIS BEFORE YOU READ please)
“Fuck!” Her heart was racing. She sat up straight and brought her knees to her face where tears were streaming. Breathing was nearly impossible; she was on the edge of having a panic attack. In a rush, she went to the bathroom to shower in hopes the water would wash away the filth of that nightmare.
She picked up her brother in the cradle and went in the kitchen to get breakfast ready. “As the saying goes, there’s nothing scrambled eggs can’t fix. Am I right, bro?” She hummed some nursery rhymes while breaking her four eggs in the pan. She had been eating a lot lately – again. Was it worth to worry about such silly details? She was still in her teens and still growing; she needed food. Not everything had to be linked to what was going on in her brain; she hoped.
Her peaceful cooking was cut short by an obviously drunk pigeon smashing against the window which she faced. The impact of the bird against the glass almost got her heart dropping to her toes. She scanned the splash of blood and feathers and with this cliche teenage fascination for gore she let out a “Bruuutal!”. She shook her head and went back to her “responsible-at-least-for-the-weekend” attitude and moved her brother to the living room, dropping him in front of the TV. “I’ll be back in a minute. Here, just watch this weird cartoon about a cat chasing cockroaches… My fave!”
She went outside and looked around to see if anyone was out. Hopefully, the man next door was in his garden, taking care of his hedges. “Excuse me, Mister Harry?” She asked on tiptoe with her forearms resting on the fence to keep her from falling. “I don’t mean to bother but my parents are away for the weekend and something horrible just happened to me. Could you maybe land me a hand?”, what a lovely voice she had. “Sure, I’ve known your parents for way too long to refuse you my help, Leslie!”, he said smiling from ear to ear.
She lead him to the kitchen window which was conveniently placed right above the outside basement door and the smell of the dead pigeon was already too strong for her to handle. She covered her nose with her hand as she felt her bowel tickle; it was almost as if she could taste the blood in her mouth. “A little squeamish, aren’t you?” Harry asked. What an awkward tone he had. “Yeah… I’m, I’m gonna check on my brother now. Thanks.” She gave up the idea of a real breakfast for that pigeon nearly got her throwing up her guts. She grabbed a soda can and a big bag of chips and joined her brother, sitting him on her lap. They fell asleep on the couch.
The middle-aged man hears a noise in the basement. Of course, he gives up his cleaning job. He gets off the wide door on which he was standing to reach the bloody window. He opens it. A huge amount of light penetrates the place. But is eaten up by the shadows. Impossible to even make up the floor level from outside.
Harry slowly goes down the stairs. He’s praying not to find anything strange down there. He is also eager to get back to what he was doing (that is to say cleaning out the guts of a smashed pigeon on his neighbor’s window). He has such an exciting life! Now, he regrets giving a helping hand. But that teenager is so pretty. One can’t say no to such an irresistible smile. And, God, have you seen her legs. He licks his upper lip.
Time seems to drag. With every step he takes, the stairway extends itself. When he eventually reaches the end of it, a feeling of relief takes over him. But it is blended with a slight sense of fear. A mouse. He sees a mouse running in one of the five corners of the room. He laughs. A forced laugh, not a real one. He is scared . This titter is brutally interrupted by the slam of the basement’s door. Obscurity immerses the whole room now. It is not the common kind of darkness. It is a heavy one. It is dense. It is thick. It is not “just darkness”. There is something more. It has to.
The poor man. His breathing is getting heavier and heavier. Fear’s taking over his body. He tries to run through the dark. He tries to reach the stairs. There are no stairs! He can’t find any stairs! Five walls. He is trapped in between those five walls. No escape. Alone, in the dark. No, he is not alone. We are never alone. He knocks on every wall. Screaming. Suffocating. Wind? A bitterly cold breeze throws him to the ground. He feels paralyzed. His body’s stuck to the floor. Something hits him and then, he sc–
Leslie woke up all of a sudden, dragged out of her nightmare by the sharp slam of the basement door. In a cold sweat once again, she went to check on her little brother who was in a Moses basket near the couch. “How did you get here?” she whispered. She was startled by the vibration of her phone in her left back pocket; it was Lucie, her best-friend.
“What’s up?!” Lucie yelled.
“What the fuck, man!” Leslie giggled. “You fucking scared me!”
“Sorry, dude. Something wrong?”
She hated that. Everyone had had this compassionate tone to their voice ever since her struggles became public; she hated that. It made her feel weak; it made her sick to the guts – literally. “Yeah… I…” She had to confess to someone and Lucie had always been there; and despite her often inappropriate reactions, she was still her best-friend, and Leslie needed her. “I had a really weird nightmare about my neighbor, dude!”
“Really? Is that it? You freaked me out for a second! What happened though?” Lucie was the curious and nosy kind. Always had been.
“He went to the basement and then, I think he died?” she said while wavering phone in hand in the couch.
“You think? Did you kill him?” she asked.
“No. I don’t think so. It was first-person kinda dream. I was seeing through his eyes. But I knew it was him! He went to the basement and then it got dark and he was scared. Really scared!”
“So, it was you in his shoes freaking your shit out in your dark basement. Right?” she summed with a kinda-done-with-your-shit tone to her words.
“Yes… But it was Harry, mister Harry, the neighbor next door!”
“You mean the HOT forty years old next door!” She was laughing so hard. “Listen, Leslie. This is your anxiety playing tricks on you. These are basic fears or something. It’s normal. And it was just a dream, okay?”
“Yes, I know, Lucie! I’ve calmed down now. It’s just, it was so realistic.” Disappointment was pinching her throat and tears were already forming in her green-tinted eyes.
“Everything’s fine. Moving on. Is tomorrow still a thing?” she asked eagerly.
“Tomorrow? Oh yeah, right! I almost forgot! Yes it is. I’ll bake a cake.”
“I’ll bring ’em boys!” She roared.
“What the – just our band, Lucie, okay? It’s just our band. I don’t want strangers!” she said anxiously.
“Yeah, take it easy, Leslie. Lucie’s got this under control!”
Mitch cried. “Alright, I gotta go now. Lil’ bro’s awake. Gotta feed the beast! Call me when you get out of your house. Bye!” She hung up and carried the baby to his highchair in the kitchen. It was already noon. “I see he cleaned the window… Not dead.”, she said tracing random shapes with her finger on the spotless piece of glass. “He did a great job. Could have said goodbye, though! I didn’t get a chance to thank him.”
Thanks for reading! Click here for Chapter III