01 Aug The Black Hand
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"The Black Hand"Written by
Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
While I’m writing this letter, I don’t really know what I should write. I mean that I’m not sure if I’m going to wake up tomorrow, so I can’t decide if it should become a sort of my testament. My final goodbye to everyone I knew, whether they’re going to believe in what happened to me or not. On the second thought, if I survive, and someone finds this letter, let’s just say, they won’t think of me as they did before. Nothing is certain for me at the moment, and I’m writing all this just to get rid of my burden, something that devours me from inside since my childhood years.
It started then I was eight, or, maybe, nine. I can’t be sure even about that. The thing is that there was a boy I used to play with, he lived just across the street from us. One Sunday morning I had to meet him, but he never came. I went to his home and rang at the door. Nobody answered me – his apartment was empty.
I’ve never found out what happened to him and his family. My parents told me that his dad got a new job, and they moved away. I never believed it, and I don’t believe it now. Such things don’t happen so fast, and he would tell me about their relocation. The worst thing is that even these days, in the era of social networks, I can’t find any traces of my friend. He’s gone, disappeared into thin air.
Soon after that, a weird thing happened. I entered my grandmother’s room, and she said something that I would never forget.
“The Black Hand took’em,” she almost whispered, as if she didn’t want anyone, but me to hear these words.
“What is it?” I asked, feeling disturbance twining around my body.
“It flies by night, enters the open windows, strangles the grown-up and takes away the child,” she said in her trembling weak voice.
“Where does it take them?” I asked.
She never answered my question. You see, my grandmother didn’t feel good at the time. The following year she would pass away, and her death reminded me of these words once again. I spent years watching my window to be closed, even in the summer nights, then heat was absolutely unbearable. My fear grew more and more persistent, because although I had nothing to prove that the thing she had told me about, existed, but I had no proof of its non-existence either. I lived in the prison of uncertainty. I did try to talk with my parents, but whenever I mentioned the Black Hand, they would simply tell me that it doesn’t exist. Just an old legend.
When I grew up, I finally succeeded to break free from that constant anxiety. I’ve heard the legend of the Black Hand all around Hutgen, and for some time I could only laugh at my childhood fear. There are a lot of studies of this myth, and although nobody discovered how this terrifying image was conceived, all the researchers agree about the era when it was conceived.
Prior and during the Second World War, a lot of people in Hutgen disappeared without a trace. There was something different about those people, something unseen by a child’s eye. Everyone knew where and why they had disappeared, but nobody dared to talk about it, especially to their children. So the story about the window-invading creature was born – it served a fine apolitical explanation for all the weird things going on, and also a good warning for the children to avoid the stranger and to remember locking the doors at night. My grandmother grew exactly at that time, and she clearly knew that legend as a child. Perhaps, it was some eerie trick of mind that made her remember this story exactly at the time when I was dealing with my friend’s disappearance.
As I’ve already said, I stopped to believe in the Black Hand many years ago. I still don’t know what happened to that boy, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.
I tried not to think about that, and I still think that it’s just my feeling of insecurity. Moving into the dorm, after entering the Hutgen University was somewhat unpleasant thing to me. Probably, just a lack of privacy, I got used to at home. No, my roommate was nice to me, and I would even say that I quickly accustomed to this new life.
Everything changed when I heard slapping at the window. I couldn’t fall asleep, so I paid attention to that noise. “Some bird,” was my first thought. “Or, maybe, a bat – they’re pretty common here.” But soon afterwards, the noise started to sound like a human hand. From the slapping, it grew into the knocking. That’s right, it was like if someone was knocking with a fist into my window. This is there I started to feel unease. I got up and, trying not to disturb my roommate, slowly walked toward the window. Looking outside, I couldn’t see anything – it was pitch black, and I needed some light. I couldn’t turn the lights on, that would wake my roommate up, so I took my cell phone, trying to use its light. The knocks started to quiet down, and as soon as I brought some light, nothing could be heard at all.
I lay in my bed confused. Confused and frightened. My childhood fears woke up, but I still couldn’t let them take me over. After some tossing and turning, I decided to check the window again. Just in case. For a few minutes I was staring into the darkness. I wanted to now that it was nothing. No Black Hand. At last, I dared to do it.
I opened the window.
Yesterday morning I woke up late. I terribly overslept, missing some of my course. However, I had some other things to worry about. The window was closed, and I presumed my roommate had done it before going out.
He never came back, and he still doesn’t answer the phone. I worried about him, and so did the others. Some say, he left the college and moved out of the city with his girlfriend. I want to believe that. I want to believe that.
But tonight, I can’t be sure. I’m not a child, and I don’t believe in silly stories. I’m not superstitious, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid, because I am alone, and nobody can tell me that my fears have no ground. I’ve heard a knock in my window, but tonight I’m going to sleep with an open window.
I just want to be sure.
Credit To – CandleClock