31 Jul The Lonely Searcher
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"The Lonely Searcher"Written by
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Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
You’re probably wondering why this notebook is in your seat. But don’t ask me about it, because I’ll purposely ignore you. Don’t get offended, because it’s for your own good that I pay no attention to you. I need to tell someone this story, because I’m probably about to die soon. Someone needs to know what’s happening. In fact, I’d rather everybody knew, so copy this and put it on the internet when you get home.
Over the last few weeks I’ve had the feeling I was being watched. Though I never saw any evidence of a stalker that would confirm these suspicions, I just couldn’t shake that awful sensation. And despite the fact that I’m a 20-year-old, fairly-well-built guy, I was still at least a tiny bit terrified.
Recently I’d been considering calling the police, but one day, a bit over a week ago, the feeling of being watched suddenly stopped. I no longer felt so vulnerable every time I stepped in front of my bedroom window. I no longer felt the need to look around every corner and into every alley all the time, though I still took necessary precautions. The hair no longer stood up on the back of my neck.
Then, just a couple days ago, I stopped in my tracks as I walked home from my new job at the local grocery store. It was around 7 in the evening, and I had just gotten off my shift.
Slowly I looked into the alley just behind me. There seemed to be nothing there, but I still felt cold chills running down my spine.
I reluctantly turned away and began walking down the sidewalk again. My pace had now picked up slightly, but I tried my hardest not to break into an all-out sprint. If I did that, I might have been overtaken with panic, and the confusion might send me careening into the street and getting hit by a car.
It wasn’t long before I heard the sound of shoes slapping against the wet pavement behind me. I was almost home—all I needed to do was get through the front door, run up to my room, and hide there after retrieving my pistol from my night stand.
Easier said than done, because I was feeling weak with fear.
Why was I so afraid of this guy? Maybe he, or she, was just some harmless person who happened to be walking behind me. That must be it. I was acting irrationally.
I glanced back over my shoulder, and my heart skipped a beat. I halted and stared as the footsteps stopped.
There was no one there.
Barely moving a muscle, I glanced around. There were no sounds of anyone running away. No one was around, except for a car that sped innocently by.
So where had those footsteps come from?
They sounded like they’d been around ten feet back, if not less. They stopped the same time I had looked behind me. And there weren’t many places to hide.
Cautiously, I resumed walking. A few seconds passed before I heard the footsteps following me once more. I whipped around again.
Still nothing there.
Now officially spooked, I threw all caution out the window and ran the last ten meters to my house, stumbling over several toys belonging to the neighbors’ children and an old newspaper from this morning. I sped to my door, not even daring to look back, and burst inside after a minute of jamming the key against the doorknob, missing most of the time.
I slammed the door behind me, locked it, and ran up to my room, yanking the drawers out of my night stand and seizing the small pistol.
I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know who or what was making those invisible footsteps. I didn’t even know if this tiny piece of metal could defend me. But it was all I had. All I could do was pray that it was human and not some sort of spirit, like those old stories my grandmother used to tell.
After what felt like years of silence, I finally crept out of my room, the soles of my shoes making the floorboards creak slightly. Hands shaking, I removed them with painstakingly slow movement until I was left in my socks.
Down the stairs I went, holding up that tiny gun and ready to shoot anything that moved. I suddenly felt very lucky that I didn’t have pets yet.
As I went, I tried to think rationally. Couldn’t it have been my imagination? There was no way anyone could be following that close behind, then dive out of sight the very second I turned around. Unless the “stalker” was a ninja or something like that, it couldn’t be possible. Maybe I was just overworked from my job as a cashier instead of writing like I—
Tap tap tap.
I jumped a foot in the air and swung my gun toward the window by the front door. Curtains hung in front of it and blocked me from seeing who was outside.
Kids throwing rocks?
No. Too rhythmic.
My heart leapt in my throat as the window tapped again. Maybe it was just a bird. Just a bird, just a bird.
I crept toward the window, gun held at the ready, and reached for the plain blue curtains.
Tap tap tap.
A split second of agonizing hesitation passed before I yanked the curtains to the side and stared out the window. Nothing.
No more tapping came, and I exhaled deeply. Maybe it was gone.
All was well and good until I turned around in time to see a stack of dishes slide off the counter and shatter all over the floor.
“What the fuck,” I blurted, almost dropping the gun.
Staring at the dishes on the floor, I sidled to the stairs. My eyes never left the pile of ceramic shards.
As I set a foot on the bottom step, I heard a noise upstairs and quickly turned to look. I swallowed nervously as the sound of footsteps echoed in the hall.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
“I have a gun!” I screamed, whipping around and pointing the pistol upstairs. The footsteps stopped, and I realized that revealing the fact that I had a deadly weapon wasn’t really the best idea.
I stepped back toward the front door. Everything was now silent, quiet enough to hear a pin drop.
I froze and looked toward the darker corner by the refrigerator. There, a person seemed to be blending in with the shadows, but it obviously wasn’t taking extensive care to be quiet.
I slowly pointed my gun at it, my hands trembling.
“Wh-wh-who are you?” I stammered. “Why are you in my house?!”
A chuckle sounded from the corner, and I was taken aback at how young it sounded. The person making it couldn’t be any older than seventeen or so.
“I just want you to be my friend.”
I whipped around, clapping my hand to the ear the voice had suddenly whispered into. No one there.
“Come out here!”
“Right behind you.”
I felt a tap on my shoulder and froze, then quickly turned around. In front of the short barrel of my gun stood a teenage boy, grinning up at me. The red hair on his head was tousled, some of it curtaining the left side of his freckled face. His sea-green eyes glittered with the mischievous nature of a child.
Staring in shock at his plain denim jacket, t-shirt, and cargo pants, I realized that this intruder looked more or less… normal. While lowering the gun slightly, I kept a tight grip on it. After all, being invisible and breaking my shit didn’t sound very normal, even for a teenager.
“What do you mean, ‘friend’?” I asked warily, my voice stronger and less shaky. “How did you get into my house?”
The boy suddenly stepped closer and I jumped back, bumping into the door. My hands shook as I resisted the urge to point the gun at his chest. He wasn’t armed, that I could see, and he looked pretty frail, but the way he stared still unsettled me greatly.
“I want you to be my friend,” he repeated, still staring at me. The more I watched those eyes, the more fearful and nervous I became. They practically bored into my face, staring intensely enough to creep out even the bravest man.
“I-I got that,” I said. “Why do you want to be my friend?!”
“I’m already your friend. I just want you to be mine.”
I shook my head. This kid was making no sense. The doorknob was right behind me, I could just grab it, open the door, and run out for help.
“I-I don’t want to be your friend,” I told him. “I want you to get out of my house and leave me the hell alone.”
My hands were sweating, and I shifted my grip on the gun.
The smile on his face slowly disappeared, replaced with a frown that looked kind of… sad. Despite the fact that he was in my house without my permission, knocking over my dishes, and scaring the shit out of me… I still felt rather bad for him.
I shook my head. No. I shouldn’t be feeling bad for him. This was some crazy person who might not even be a teenager. He obviously wasn’t human either. And I wasn’t about to let him stay.
“Look, kid,” I growled, resting my finger on the trigger. “I am not your friend, so get the fuck out of my house. I don’t want you here. Go pester somebody else.”
The boy just stood there, staring at me still. I gritted my teeth, getting angrier, and stepped to the side, unblocking the door. “You have three seconds. One… two…”
He still stared at me, not moving a muscle. The expression on his face was now angry as well.
Just as I reached the last number, something suddenly slammed into my skull from behind and shattered. A sharp, agonizing pain shot through my head, and I crumpled to my knees, dropping the gun.
“You don’t want me as a friend?” the boy asked coldly. I looked up to see him glaring down at me, his hands balled up into fists. I then looked at the floor beside me and stared at the shattered glass vase. My head pounded again.
“You’re just like everybody else… No one ever gives me a chance. All because I’m not even normal….”
He knelt in front of me, his hair falling in front of his face. My head still hung as I stared at the gun between my legs. This… thing… probably wouldn’t be affected by a bullet anyway… But I still had to try. I wasn’t going to die like this.
The boy continued. “I don’t even know why I’m like this… All I know is that a train hit me, and now I’m just a broken ghost… But my friends, they weren’t happy to see that I was back at all…”
My hands slid toward the gun, but the boy paid no attention.
“A-And I… I killed them… I killed them…”
His voice suddenly sounded choked and forced, and I looked up. Shining tears ran down his face, but he wiped them away and glared at me again.
A horrible crack rang through the air as his head leaned painfully to the side, the bones in his neck protruding behind the skin. Black and purple bruises spread across his face. Dark blood ran down his forehead, matting his hair down and painting it a deeper shade of crimson. His clothes became soaked, and a pool of blood formed on the floor around him. My eyes widened in horror.
“You’re just like them!” he repeated, blood dripping out of his mouth.
We both moved at the same time. I swung the gun up at him and fired, while a chef’s knife flew at my head from behind the boy.
I stared at the boy’s unscathed chest, breathing heavily. The knife had missed me by half an inch or so, just grazing my hair, and was somewhere behind me. Behind the boy, whom I now accepted as a ghost, the table had a small chunk taken out of its leg and a cupboard had a hole in the door.
Hands shaking, I lost my grip on the pistol and stared up at the boy’s enraged face. I was going to die. I was going to die, and there was obviously nothing I could do about it. Unless I ran outside, but he could easily just send another knife flying after me.
“Don’t even think about it.”
A chair zoomed toward me as I stood up, but I jumped out of the way before it could hit.
I was going to run anyway, and find the police. It was better than dying a pathetic death at the hands of some teenage ghost with an attachment complex.
Sirens began to wail in the distance as I reached for the doorknob. A small smile flickered on my face, a glimmer of hope emerging. The neighbors had heard the gunshot, and called the cops.
Before I could open the door and escape, though, another object slammed into me, falling to the floor with a clang. My knees buckled and hit the floor, and my spinning head thunked against the door frame.
The ghost hissed something behind me, but I couldn’t make it out. The sirens were growing closer. They were about to get here soon… If I could just hold on till then…
I didn’t get to finish my thoughts, because the last thing I remember was another impact on my skull, and being knocked out cold.
I just got out of the hospital yesterday. A couple police officers had visited me this morning, questioning me about what had happened. I told them everything, but naturally, they didn’t believe me. I mean, the police have to think rationally. Who would believe the wild story of a ghost throwing things at my head and destroying my possessions?
So, rather than wasting my time trying to convince them that paranormal activity had taken place, I settled for accepting their suggestion that it was just a burglar, and that I was confused from the emotional and physical trauma I’d suffered.
But I knew it was all real. There was no forgetting that boy’s voice, the giant grin or the tears on his face.
I’m taking the train to apply for a new job application now, but I know it’s useless, because I have no use for another job. I can still feel him watching me. In fact, he’s here right now. Probably invisible from the back of the train car. I’m not sure if he knows I’m writing this, but I need to warn as many people of my experiences as I can.
Looking toward the doors, I can see something flickering in the corner. I have to hurry. I’m not sure where you went, but when you come back and read this, make sure you don’t look toward the train doors. He’ll know what I’ve done, and he might come after you.
There’s no more hope for me now. He intends to kill me once I’m alone.
Credit: Vada Fanslau
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