It has been a little over 8 years since my Dad died. We were so close, I was always his little girl despite being such a rotten kid. Whenever I rebelled or lashed out he would always approach me with a warm smile, he’d be there to make sure I went back on the right path. He’d ruffle my hair, tell corny dad jokes, and bring me my favorite snacks whenever I had a bad day. When someone broke my heart he’d be there to give me a hug and assure me that I was much better than what I thought I was.
My Dad was my hero and not once did I ever think that anything would happen to him. That was until his tall and heavy frame turned frail and skinny, his loud laughter was replaced with wet coughs, and his bright blue eyes became cloudy. My Mom and I were a wreck, but just as he stayed by my side through the tough times I stayed by his. Even as he was on that hospital bed hooked up to all sorts of machines, he would ruffle my hair and tell me one of his corny jokes.
The days he was at the hospital felt like months and with each passing moment he was getting worse. The day finally came when his condition had become critical and he was beyond any help. I was there as his life was flickering out, I gripped his hand as he gave me a smile. I begged him to stay with me, I told him that I wouldn’t be able to make it through this world without him. A tear ran down his cheek as he wiped away mine and he told me, “I’m not going anywhere, Baby.”
The days that followed just didn’t seem real, as the day of the funeral came I just wished that everything was a really long dream. As I sat there at the front row near my Dad’s open casket, I listened to my Uncle give the eulogy. I couldn’t cry anymore, Hell, I couldn’t feel anymore. My Uncle’s words along with the constant barrage of condolences from others became muffled static in my ears.
I couldn’t do much but lock myself up in my room for a while as my Mom tried her best to go on as a single parent to a teenager. In my deep depressive sleep I had dreams of my Dad standing at the foot of my bed watching over me. He looked as he was when he was alive and healthy, he flashed me that warm smile of his. I called out to him, telling him how much I missed him, and how much I needed him to stay. He would place a hand on my cheek and tell me, “I’m not going anywhere, Baby.”
When I would wake I could still feel the warmth of his hand on my face. That morning I caught my Mom before she went to work and she pulled me in for a hug. “I think about him all the time too..” she would whisper in my ear. When she released me from her embrace I nearly jumped when I saw a familiar face behind her. My Dad was standing right behind my Mom with a smile on his face. I stood there in complete awe as my Mom gathered her things and walked straight through him.
She said her goodbye and told me she would be home a bit late that night, but my attention was completely fixed on my Dad. I didn’t know what to do or say, the only thought in my mind was that I had snapped and began hallucinating. I opened my mouth but all that came out were high pitched squeaks and unintelligible jumble of words. Dad let out a chuckle and the words that came next made me break down and cry…”I’m not going anywhere, Baby.”
If I was hallucinating, then so be it. The next few days I would see my Dad wander around the house. He didn’t do much else besides walk around and watch over us. When I would speak to him he would just smile and say that he wasn’t going anywhere. It made me so happy, I didn’t care as long as I could see him. It helped ease my mind, especially when I caught my Mom crying to herself in the living room.
My Dad was standing in a corner watching her, I was absolutely sure that I was the only one that could see him. I sat down next to my Mom and told her as I held her hand that Dad was watching over us. We sat there and cried for a while then I felt my Dad’s hand ruffle my hair. Things got better, I was able to go back to school and Mom was able to make ends meet with a promotion at work.
As time went on the happiness in seeing my Dad everyday had started to wane. A year had passed and seeing him just wander around the home would wretch at my heart a bit. All he did was walk around for a bit, stand for a moment, and stare. When I would talk to him he would ruffle my hair sometimes but he would always say the same thing, actually it was the only thing he would say, “I’m not going anywhere, Baby.” I started to feel so sorry for him.
Another year passed, I was 18 years old and getting ready to graduate high school. I was preparing to go off to university and Mom had found a boyfriend. I was happy she was moving on but it made me really sad to see my Dad just staring at them as they sat on the couch together. Maybe that’s what started the changes…I’m not quite sure..
Dad had started to move a bit slower around the house, I was still the only one able to see him. One day I followed him around, his movements were so…robotic. I never noticed it at first, maybe it was looking in rose colored glasses, but the color of his skin had started to dull. I’d call out to him every now and then and he would turn his lips into a grin and would say his phrase like he always would…
A few months after, I was packed up and ready to go to college. My Mom was sobbing and her boyfriend was wishing me good luck. I reassured them that I would be back as soon as I could and I looked behind them into the house to see my Dad…now sitting on the floor just staring at us…at me. I said “I love you..” and I could see his lips move..I knew what he was saying already.
More time had passed, college was amazing and I was completely transfixed on my new life. Every now and then I would remember my Dad and wonder if he was still there. As soon as I had gotten my schedule situated I would rush home as soon as I could. My Mom would give me her biggest hug and her boyfriend…who was promoted to fiance welcomed me with a big awkward smile.
My Mom assured me that she had left my room exactly how I left it. I thanked her and ran straight to it, as soon as I opened the door I let out a yelp. I had almost forgotten…I almost forgot my Dad until I saw him sitting on my bed. He looked up and stared at me…he looked different…a lot different. He looked so thin, I could see his bones through his pale bruised skin. I was just shocked to see him…he didn’t look good.
He stood up and slowly shuffled towards me…I was completely frozen like a deer in front of headlights. The closer he got the more I could see that the once warm soul I had seen had turned cold and gaunt. As he inched closer I could feel the air turned frigid, for a moment I thought I could see my quivering breath between us. I could smell him…the smell of rot slowly filling the space around us.
“D-Dad?” I forced the words out of my throat and he lifted his hand to reveal long boney fingers that tightly gripped the top of my head. He moved his face close to mine and I saw that his eyes were gone…the sockets were filled with empty black voids. His mouth cracked and popped as he opened it to say…to say those words that used to give me comfort. “I’m…N-n-not..G-going aaaanyw-where…B-baaaaaby…”
His breath hit my face and it was so foul I forcibly swallowed the vomit that tried to escape from me. He slowly crept past me and I could hear his footsteps thud behind me towards the living room. I quickly rushed to the bathroom and I just let everything out of me as I threw up into the toilet. My Mom rushed over to check on me but I just told her that I must’ve eaten something bad.
That night Mom was planning the rest of my stay but I told her that something had come up and that I had to go back to the University. She was sad but she understood that I must’ve been really busy. I couldn’t tell her that the ghost of my Dad had been haunting the home and he was slowly turning into something else. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing him like that again…I couldn’t help but think that it was all my fault.
After that I just didn’t go back, I spent a few years away from that home until I graduated college. I had gotten an apartment, a really good job and my Mom had finally gotten remarried. We were both moving on with our lives and doing pretty well. I had gotten a message one day that she had packed things up and was moving into a new house. She had left my things alone and asked me to handle that. I told her it wasn’t an issue so I cleared up a weekend to head over to our old family home.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of going back. I spent so long avoiding that place since that one day and I hoped that it was all some sort of weird trippy memory. I parked my car in the driveway and stepped to the front door. My Mom and her Husband were getting their new home situated so I was all alone…rather I hoped I was alone. I opened the door and was met with darkness, despite it being a warm afternoon the house felt dark and cold.
I went inside and closed the door behind me. I brushed my hands along the wall to feel for the light switch. The wall…this house felt so damn cold…my fingers started to feel numb, then I finally felt the switch and flicked the lights to life. Mom had really made quick work, the house was pretty much completely empty. I took small steps towards the hallway where my room was but froze in my tracks when I heard something thump.
It sounded like something had dropped…I held my breath and focused on the noise..
My body started to shake…not sure from fear or the cold..
Something was on the floor…something was on the floor and it was coming towards me..
Whatever it was it was fucking fast, the only thought that blared in my mind was to get out of there.
I turned my attention to the front door and sprinted towards it. I placed my hand on the door knob and turned it until…my legs were pulled from underneath me. My head slammed into the door, then my upper body came crashing onto the floor. I tried to get up, but whatever held me by my ankles began to drag me across the room. I screamed as I was helpless to whatever had me in its clutches. I dug my fingers into the vinyl flooring to try and impede it, I kicked wildly until it finally let me go.
I was like a frantic animal as I crawled to the front door, my whole body was aching. Then a deep and guttural voice erupted from behind me causing a frozen jolt down my spine. “nOt…GoINg…aNyWHerE..” I turned…I so stupidly turned around to see…what my Dad had turned into.
The thing that was my Dad had long limbs that stretched upwards to a joint then drop down to his hand and feet like some kind of human-like spider. The body was now covered in purple rotten flesh, it’s mouth was wide open to reveal jagged yellow teeth, a wriggling forked tongue and black bile oozing onto the floor. His face was so skeletal and his eye sockets were massive…most of his rotten peeling face was two black holes for eyes. It’s body was shaking..no..its visage was morphing like static..as if it was struggling to stay here.
It tilted its head and its neck made a noise that sounded like maggots were crawling inside of it. I cried and yelled for it to go away, to return to the depths of my mind or to cross over to the other side…whatever it took for it to just fucking go away. It crawled over to me, it was so fast that I couldn’t even react. He was over me, and I was on the ground curled into a ball. All I could do was look up at him in absolute terror.
“Please…I’m sorry…just move on..” I cried out to him but my words fell upon deaf ears. It took one of its long spindly limbs and placed a disgusting decaying hand upon my cheek. “..NoT Go…Not Go..NOT GO..NOT GO!” it said over and over as it rubbed its fingers on my cheek…I thought it was going to pull my skin off of my face.
It pressed its nails on my face and slowly raked them up to my hair, I felt blood starting to pour out of me. I just cried more from the pain, it seemed to notice as it tilted its head in confusion. It then took a hand and began to dig into its other arm…the squish and tearing of flesh filled my ears. I looked up at it to see that it had removed a chunk of meat from itself…and it pressed it up to my lips. I shook my head to avoid its disgusting meat away from me and it let out an angry scream…it was more of a beast’s howl.
I closed my eyes tight and I tried calling out to him again. “Dad…I’m sorry. But it’s okay now. Things are better and you need to move on now…we moved on…we’re okay. I didn’t hear anything…there was a long dead silence. I opened my eyes and saw that it was gone. I slowly picked myself up to see that it was in a corner just staring at me with its black void for eyes. It howled again…”I….I’m…I’m Not Going Anywhere, Baby..” I broke down and cried as I looked at him…really looked at him and said.. “It’s okay…you can go now..”
As quickly as he appeared he was suddenly…gone. No trace of him was left besides me..standing alone in the middle of our old home..bloodied and bruised. It was okay though…I was ready to go on, I was ready for a long time now. The dark, cold air that surrounded the place was now lifted and I was just there…
Years have passed…and it has been over 8 years since my dad died. It’s been a few months since he finally let go and moved on himself. Everything seems to be going well and I hope that in whatever life there is after this…my Dad can properly heal and go back to his old self. Now…I wish I could end this with a happier note, but there’s something else. I’m not sure what happened with my Dad…was it a selfish wish from a little girl or was it a Father trying his hardest to watch over his family. I’m not quite sure…but since that day I’ve…been seeing more things. I want to help them…but they look much worse than my Dad.
Credit: Dark Hero
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