WHO SAID THAT
Who Said That?
The dark of night drenched his master bedroom with eerie grey substance. The flickering of the moonlight was to blame for the shadows dancing around him. A weather front moved in and made the whole house creak and moan against those fierce winds. It became difficult to decipher specific noises and who or what caused any of it.
Richard swore he wasn’t alone. However, his half empty whiskey bottle told him exactly who said something…his imagination.
A moment later, his sobbing poured out.
Last evening, his daughter had been killed. He was instructed not to ask questions, as there was no other kin to inform. The investigation would obtain answers in due time.
This incident couldn’t come at a worse time. Two months back his wife died in a horrible single car crash. Cremation seemed appropriate because of the sheer destructive force on her poor body. That was enough to take.
His daughter’s murder had to happen, compounding his sorrow?
As if a better time could be scheduled.
In between sorrowful bursts, he stared at his .22 on the bureau wondering if joining them was the way of this world. These last two months destroyed him from the inside out.
He buried his face in his bedding.
I’m being punished. Why can’t I just sleep…and not wake up?
“You wish to die?’
Richard’s covered face and head prevented him from hearing the question.
During his uncontrollable sobbing, something touched him.
“You wish to die?”
Richard rolled and looked up.
“Who said that?”
Heavy shadows observed right back.
He picked up his pillow, smashed it over his head, blocking his ears and neck trying desperately to get to sleep. Five minutes later his frustration crested full force as he impatiently sat up and fell back down carelessly, accidentally hitting the temple of his head on corner of the headboard.
His blackness matched the room.
The digital clock clicked to 3:36am.
At that precise moment, something scratched on the closed bedroom door. It got louder and more insistent. Something or someone wanted entry.
Richard was still knocked out cold, unaware.
The scratching became banging, which got louder.
Shadows swirled around Richard’s unconscious self.
The only silent activity was the .22 hovering slowly toward Richard. Something couldn’t hold it steady. But it moved toward him in mid-air and paused inches away, waiting.
Richard started to move and groan.
“Yes, rise…Rise!” an unknown voice commanded.
Richard shuddered, took a deep breath, and resumed deep slumber.
3:46am blinked to life on the digital clock.
“Who said that?” Richard shot up yelling, eyes wide, hands propping him, toes pointing out from the twisted comforter.
The howling wind stopped. The banging had stopped. The moonlight held itself still. The house calmed its settling effort.
Dead silence shouted at his senses.
Richard’s eyes darted in every direction. Instinct told him not to move a muscle.
Something was with him in this room.
He couldn’t give a name to it.
“It” was the best description racing through his scattered thoughts; his eyes continued to scan the room.
His vision caught the picture of him, his wife and daughter at his bedside. All of them had a photo taken just over a year ago. Their smiles were dim. That photo had been shot after they all learned of Richard’s infidelity. Too much money went arranging the photo shoot and the photographer never gave refunds. So, as a family they all agreed to make the best of their situation. Tears welled up in his eyes as reality sunk deeper into the marrow of his strained body.
“Do you want to be with them?’
The sheer emotional force of his sorrow hypnotized him.
“Maybe,” Richard caught himself saying.
Behind his head and beyond his eyesight, the .22 hovered, aiming improperly. Whatever force held it, did not want a precise hit. Or so it seemed.
Richard caught himself answering the shadows and felt an icy shot of cold blast through him. It made him turn his head and face the barrel of that gun hanging in mid-air.
“Do you want to be with them?”
“She asked that we come for you, Richard.”
Refusing to believe a conversation with a hovering weapon was real, he laid back down slowly, covering himself with the comforter, and closed his eyes.
In the far corner of his room, pages to a journal flipped open.
The voice spoke again of the entry dated three months back.
“I Richard do not deserve a wife and child. My transgressions are too heavy. I would be better off dead. If ever passing after them, my fate should not dictate my presence with them.”
Intense laughter poured into the air of the master bedroom, as if a hundred spirits joined in.
Richard froze and reminded himself never to drink.
That whiskey was way too much for me.
But whoever spoke had a point.
How can a man still hold onto anything of value after making a critical mistake of his own?
Outside his bedroom window, fog started to roll in. It seeped under the door and in-between the cracks of the window sills. Soon it filled the room.
A gunshot rang out.
The quiet morning graced itself with a grand sunlit display, coloring everything in golden light and grandeur.
Anyone waking up would surely grin and possess a spark in the eye.
The blood stained bed commanded a different set of emotions, except for the photo on the dresser next to the bed.
Full smiles were now shown on the faces of Richard’s wife…and daughter.
Richard’s image completely faded.
Mysterious laughter shattered the silence into a million pieces.
(Abridged, Modified, Mixed and Read by the author)
Bill D. Bistak, Author, Producer of Bestshorthorrorstories.com & Founder of Friedrich Imagines, Ltd. a media production company