Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
Everybody’s been looking for her.
Haley, my fiancée has been missing for over three weeks now, and I’m beginning to think the absolute worst has happened to her. I try not to let my mind drift to those kinds of rash thoughts, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I catch myself thinking of just how close we were. We were one step away from our happily ever after, until it was abruptly interrupted by what happened. It’s kind of a blur, and I don’t even know where to begin with such a mess. It all just happened so quickly. In the blink of an eye, my whole life changed. It was like everything was spinning so fast that I couldn’t keep up with it, and when the world finally came to a screeching halt, inertia got the best of me, and gravity helped to pull me down. Before I could get back up to save whatever I could from falling over as well, I was surrounded by broken pieces and debris. I would scrape the bottoms of my feet as I would try to step around all the shattered glass, but somehow I’d always feel a piece of something shred the outer layer of my skin, and when I would try to remove it, I’d pierce my finger on the sharp object, and watch as the droplets of blood develop on the tip of my finger. There was too much to clean up; it was better to just sit in the middle, instead of trying to mend a broken piece of glass, because sometimes that’s how you wind up hurting yourself even more. How much more could I do to fix what was already broken? I would focus on mending my own wounds first, so that I wouldn’t hurt myself even more, but what about everything else? My world came crashing down the day she went missing, and besides not knowing how to help myself, the worst part was that I found myself bleeding all over for her again.
Exactly three weeks and four days have passed since I saw her last. The day before Haley disappeared, she was acting a little strange, to say the least. I found her sitting in the living room early that morning on the rug just staring at the wall.
“Haley?” I called out to her softly as I shuffled my bedroom slippers across the floor, “are you okay, baby?”
She didn’t reply. She just continued staring straight ahead, as though she was looking at another human being.
“Haley?” I said again as I plopped myself next to her, “what are you doing?”
She turned to me. “Go away,” she hissed, “they’re going to hear you.”
“What? Who’s going to hear me?” I asked in confused tone, “honey, there’s nobody there.”
“You don’t see them,” she whispered, “because you can’t hear them. Don’t worry. They can see you though. They’re talking about you right now.”
“Okay, well, that’s nice. How long have you been down here? Have you even been to sleep? I thought I heard you get up after I turned off the lights. Come on, come up to bed. I’ll go to sleep with you.”
“NO!” She jumped up and screamed, “THEY TOLD ME I CAN’T SLEEP. THEY TOLD ME IF I DID, THEN SOMETHING WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU. I HAVE TO STAY AWAKE TO PROTECT YOU.”
“Okay, who even is ‘they’? What are you talking about? Who do you think is talking to you? Don’t say things like that, you’re scaring me. You’re acting really weird. Nobody is going to hurt me. I’m fine, see? Come on, love. Come up to bed with me,” I coaxed her as I pulled her up off the floor. “You’re just a little tired. You’ll feel better after you get some rest.” I began to pull her towards the stairs.
“You’ll wake me up if something hurts you?”
“You’ll be close enough to hear me scream,” I joked with a laugh.
She frowned at me. “That’s not funny.”
“I’m sorry,” I said solemnly, “come on. Let’s just go to sleep.”
A couple of hours later, I suppose, I woke up to her wide eyed, and craning over me.
“AH- What the- Haley! What are you doing?” I asked as I sat up, “you nearly gave me a heart attack.
“I just wanted to make sure that you were still breathing,” she said as she laid a hand on my chest, and used the other to stroke my cheek.
“Why wouldn’t I be? I’m fine. Can you relax a little bit though? You’ve been acting kind of strange, and I don’t know what’s going on. What is all of this, Haley? Please explain it to me.”
“There’s no need,” she said with a smile, “because you’re safe.”
“Haley, if you’re just nervous because of the wedding, I totally get it, but this is just way out of left field here, and I don’t know where this is coming from, and frankly, you’re really kind of freaking me out.”
“It’s not the wedding, it’s them. I don’t think they want us to get married.”
I stiffened up and looked at her. “Okay. You need to tell me exactly who you think is talking to you, what they’re saying, and when they started talking to you.”
“None of that is important,” she rushed to assure me as she embraced me in a hug before swiftly leaving the room.
I didn’t want to upset her even more, or cause her to think about whatever “they” are, so I just decided to let it be. She seemed to be acting like her usual self for the rest of the day. It was about 5:30 p.m. when things started to get a little weird again.
“Haley!” I called up the stairs to her, “come down here.”
When there was no reply, I tried again, “Haley! Can you hear me?”
I couldn’t ignore the anxious feeling that suddenly resided in my stomach as I climbed up the stairs to see where she was. I walked slowly into our bedroom where I found her staring into the mirror on our dresser.
“Hey,” I said to her as I neared closer to her, “you okay? Didn’t you hear me calling for you downstairs?”
She didn’t say a word to me. She just kept staring. She leaned over, picked up her brush on the dresser, and began brushing her hair slowly, and began singing to herself.
“Haley. Stop. You’re starting to get on my nerves with this. If you’re not going to be honest with me, then don’t do this,” I said irritated as I ripped the brush out of her hand.
“I started hearing them years ago,” she whispered, not even making eye contact with me, “only now, they’re getting louder and louder. I can’t ignore them. They’re telling me to leave.”
“Honey,” I said as I sat down next to her, “why didn’t you tell you were hearing somebody talk to you before?”
“Because you can’t stop them,” she replied, “because you’d think I’m crazy.”
“Hey,” I said as I wrapped my arms around her, “don’t talk like that. There’s nothing you could say or do that could make me think that you’re crazy. You’re just you, and if you hear bad voices in your head, then we’re going to try our best to stop them from talking to you, okay?”
“Because they’re not in my head!” She screeched at me as she jumped up, “how do you know what’s in my head? They’re here. I hear them, and that’s all that counts. You and the rest of the world are just deaf to things you don’t understand! Just because YOU can’t see, or hear, or smell, or taste, or touch something, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist to anybody else!”
“Okay, Haley, let’s just take a few deep breaths, and-”
“Oh, no,” she said in between desperate gasps of air, “they’re telling me if I don’t leave you, they’re going to hurt you.”
“Nobody’s going to hurt me, baby. I promise. You’re okay, and I’m okay.”
“I’M NOT OKAY! NOW THEY’RE HURTING ME!” She hollered as she fell to the floor.
Suddenly sections of her flesh were spontaneously ripped open, like the buttons of a tight shirt popping loose. Her arms became all torn up, and revealed fresh, open wounds, as the skin that had been shed flapped around the sides of her arms like a white flag waving to surrender. Bruises suddenly appeared as well. The mixture of purple, red, black, and blue dots began miraculously spotting all the visible parts of her body. Her eyes went black, and her skin grew an eerie shade of white that was paler than my own. Her legs had gashing, gaping wounds with droplets of dainty blood running down them, as I could see her tendons appear. Her arms had been so damaged that I could swear I saw bits of her bones. My eyes dilated in disbelief at the sight that was occurring before my very eyes. It was as though I was watching her disintegrate before me.
“HELP ME!” She screamed in mortification as her voice broke off, “HEL-” she couldn’t quite get the entire phrase out again. Her tongue had twisted itself, as she screamed at the top of her lungs.
“HALEY!” I gasped as I dropped to my knees in front of her. Her forehead began dripping blood like a faucet that had sprung a leak through a small hole. My hands shook as I tried to touch her, but I couldn’t feel her. I forced my body forward to try to touch her again, but my hand went right through the woman that was in agony in front of me. She let out one final, eardrum-piercing screech in a voice that was not her own, before falling in defeat before me.
“I told you,” she breathed in a demonic, hoarse tone, “I warned you,” she said as she let her head fall to the ground and the carpet sop up more of the blood.
“HALEY?” I screamed as I picked up her body and shook her, “HALEY!” She wasn’t responding. “NO. PLEASE. DON’T DO THIS TO ME! NO!” I pulled her into my arms and sobbed into her hair. I knew she was gone. Her body, a hollow shell, was alien to me. Her lips that were once small and plump with pink had faded into a deep purple. Her skin was a bluish, grayish, white color. Her wounds still had blood pouring out of them, and that was the only part of her that still seemed to be alive. My hands, chest, and some parts of my face became smeared in blood as I held her and cried tears of glass that were so sharp and stung my eyes as they shattered down my cheeks. I had no explanation, and no reason why, all I was left with was a million of endless questions, and the corpse of the love of my life who might’ve been a stranger to me all along.
I gathered myself together, put her body back on the ground, and picked myself up to go downstairs and call the police. As I slowly dragged myself down the hallway to the stairs, my body had never felt heavier. My whole body felt foreign to me, and as simple a task as moving one’s feet is, my legs were as heavy as barbells, and were holding me down; they were so hard to move. My lungs felt like they were shrinking, and it was getting harder and harder to breathe. My arms were limp and hung down my sides. I made it down the stairs in one piece, and fell in despair into the counter tops in the kitchen. I let the tears ignite the sharp sparks in my eyes once again.
“Don’t you dare call anybody,” I heard an eerie tone whisper to me.
“W-what? W-w-who’s there?” I stammered.
“If you touch that phone,” another voice called out, “it’ll be the last thing you do.”
“W-who are you? W-where are you?” The syllables of the words shook almost as much as the rest of my body was as they rolled off my tongue.
“Be very careful with what you do next,” a third voice murmured, “because Haley’s grave has room for two.”
“WHOEVER YOU ARE,” I warned the voices I heard, “YOU BETTER SHOW YOURSELVES RIGHT NOW, OR I SWEAR I’LL CALL THE POLICE, AND YOU CAN DEAL WITH THEIR QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF MINE.”
“Oh, darling,” yet another voice said, “don’t kid yourself. If you call somebody, you’re next. We’ll gut you where it hurts the most.”
“DO YOUR WORST TO ME,” I dared them, “GO ON. DO IT. TEAR ME TO PIECES, RIP MY FLESH CLEAN OFF MY BODY,” I gasped and gasped for air as I felt myself begin to quiver. “YOU CAN’T HURT ME ANY MORE THAN I ALREADY AM. SO GO AHEAD. DO AS YOU PLEASE.”
The voices stopped. I waited for my body to begin to bust at the seams and bleed to death, or for one of my legs to be ripped off, or just about anything to cause me physical pain.
I wouldn’t mind being ripped or shredded; at least it’d be enough to take my mind off of the emotional damage I was taking on. After a few minutes of just standing there waiting for something to happen, I realized that nothing was probably going to happen. Maybe in the moment as I was amped on adrenaline, I was just hearing things in the back of my mind. I picked up the phone and dialed for the police to come investigate, and take Haley’s body.
As soon as I saw the red and blue flashing lights pull up to my house, pulled myself up off the couch and unlocked the door and let them in. As the police and the coroner made their way into my house with a stretcher, they stopped and asked me what happened. I explained as best as I could that something paranormal had happened, but wasn’t sure how. I explained to them the mysterious injuries, blood, and her body. I didn’t dare mention the voices. I led them up the stairs and into our bedroom. I turned on the light, and for the second time that day, a wave of shock coursed through my body, as though I had just been electrocuted; the mess, the blood, and she had vanished.
I hadn’t seen, nor heard from her since that day. I was confused, my mind was inundated with questions since the last time I saw her. The authorities thought I was losing my mind a little bit, since there were no remains for them to scrape up, but they still allowed me to fill out a missing person’s report. They told me she was alive if she could get up and walk away, but I wasn’t so sure it was her own two legs she was walking on. I was beginning to believe her about the voices, and that they were real, and now that she’s gone, I’m beginning to notice them for myself. I haven’t heard any voices talk to me since that night, though, except maybe for Haley’s ringing in my ear telling me that she told me so. I have a hard time functioning without her. It’s hard to eat without her sitting across with me, because now I have conversations with an empty chair. It’s hard to sleep without her, because I still reach for her every night. It’s hard to even think without her, because every last thought I have somehow brings me back to her. My body ached with agony twenty four hours a day. I just wanted to know where my Haley was.
Three weeks and six days into Haley being gone, I received a phone call from the police department saying that they had found her, and that I needed to come right away. I was flooded with joy and relief as I got behind the wheel of my car and pulled out of the driveway. Ten minutes later, I parked in the lot of the police department, and hurried in to see Haley. I couldn’t wait to be in her arms again. My jubilance was interrupted by the two officers who’d been at my house the night Haley went missing, with matching grave, sorrowful expressions.
I had pictured her in white.
Her dark, choppy, hair infused with the colors and mysteries of the night would be flowing down her bare shoulders. Her cheeks would match the shade of a dusty rose, and would stand for everything her middle name bore. Graceful, elegant, beautiful, and unique; a rose. I imagined her dress being as beautiful as it was when I first saw her in it, and not the way I last saw it. Plastered. Absolutely covered in blood. The stains had faded into a dark rust, to match my misery, and wallowed away with the rest of my being. Her dress, her beautiful dress, had been torn all up the side, and the layers were ripped apart, they drifted out at different lengths, and became uneven and sloppy. Her dress went from an innocent white, to a heartsick ecru lined with evidence woven into the once flawless seams of the fabric.
I expected to see Haley coming down the aisle on our wedding day.
I just didn’t expect her to be in a casket.
I spent weeks in nothing but distress. I was hollow from the inside out, except for my heart, which constantly fell as harshly as an anchor tossed overboard piercing the still ocean. I couldn’t sleep. I would roll over onto her side of the bed, and even wear her favorite shirt. When I’d get up, I’d catch glimpses of myself in the mirror, and I knew that the person I once was died alongside my love. She had been cremated since the service we had for her. She was sitting in a little urn on our dresser now. The fact that she had been reduced to nothing more than a pile of ash just broke my heart. Those were the same arms that embraced me every morning, and the same eyes that mirrored the way I look at her, in utter disbelief that this perfect human being loved me back. Never again would I see her smile or laugh. I would never get to feel her arms wrap around my back and hold me tightly. My eyes were constantly red, puffy, and swollen from all the crying and grieving I’d been doing. My nose was bright red and stuffy. My throat harbored a grueling tension, as though an entire ball of yarn had been wrapped on the inside and outside of it tightly. As I was getting ready for bed that night, I ran my hands over the smooth varnish of the chestnut wood, as I usually did.
“Goodnight, my love,” I whispered to her.
I fell into bed, and wrapped the covers around me. As I began to drift off, I heard a tapping sound at the window. Figuring it was nothing more than one of my now frequent hallucinations, I ignored it and fell asleep.
I was awoken to somebody’s hand run softly across my face. As I opened my eyes, and turned on the lamp that was sitting on my nightstand, I jumped up to a sitting position.
“Haley!” I yelled in complete mortification, “is that you?”
She smiled at me. “Who else but, lovey?”
I jerked my head to the side to look at the urn on my dresser. It was gone. My eyes filled with tears as I smiled and tried to jump out of the blankets and into her arms, but I couldn’t move.
“Haley,” I said, “where have you been? You’re supposed to be dead. We had your funeral and everything. Why can’t I move? Can you please just pick me up or something? I just want you close to me right now.”
“And you’ll be getting even closer to me than you were before,” she said with an eerie grin.
That’s when I noticed. Her smile had gone black, her eyes were red, electrified, and starving for demolition. Her voice wasn’t as sweet as I remembered it to be.
“You’ve been in pain,” she said as she got off the foot of the bed and moved closer to me, “I wouldn’t want you to be in pain. I don’t want you to suffer. Why don’t you come with me to a place where you’ll never feel misery again?”
“What..? No. Don’t try and play mind games with me. You’re not answering my questions,” I said, “what happened to you? You’re supposed to be dead.”
“Well, here I am,” she said, “now enough with the funny business, let’s go. I love you,” she moved closer to me, “let me take you by the hand and isolate you in a painless eternity.”
“But I am safe. I won’t suffer anymore because you’re here. I thought I lost you, and you know what? You’re not being very compassionate. You’d think that you’d be a little more enthusiastic about seeing me again: your fiancée, remember?”
“Oh, how could I forget,” she stated as she pulled a silver knife from the sleeve of her jacket, “you wanted to be with me forever, and now you will be. I just want to make you happy. You’re going to be okay. You’re making an eternal promise to me right now,” she said, “so that our love doesn’t die with you.
“What do you mean?” I shrieked as my voice climbed up an octave.
“Don’t you love me?”
“Then ’til death do us ‘part,” she said as she slid the knife closer to my chest, “I don’t want to lose you.”
“You won’t lose me!” I yelled, “what are you talking about?”
She leaned in closer to me. “The voices in my head,” she whispered to me as her eyes caught fire, “are of those belonging to the dead.”
Credit To – GreyC333