I was suddenly awake and didn’t know why. I felt a slight chill that brought my eyes to my bedroom window. The window was closed. It was Halloween. I glanced at the clock on my bedside table. Correction, it was two-oh-two in the morning on November first. I removed the covers. I realized I was squinting to make out the numbers on the clockface. Why was my vision blurry? The chill caused by an unknown draft carried me from my bed to investigate.
I opened my bedroom door. The chill increased. I stepped out into the hallway. The cold floor made me think of my forgotten slippers. I turn back to grab them. A loud thump froze me on the spot. Slippers forgotten again, I turn and reach for the hall light. The dim light hadn’t helped vision. I rubbed at my eyes.
Thumps sounded repeatedly, scaring me back into my bedroom to grab my phone. I punched in the numbers nine and one, leaving off the final number. Gripping my phone tightly, I again leave my bedroom. Tiptoeing to the top of the staircase, I peer down the stairs. I see nothing in the darkness and am unable to see around the curved landing that led to the final remaining six steps.
Suddenly, a loud shattering of glass made me jump in fright and press the last number to complete my call. Trembling, I put my cellphone to my ear. I take the first step down. Crash! Startled, I almost drop the phone. It’s incessant ringing adding an eerie echo to my surroundings.
I take two more steps, have a moment’s pause, why is emergency services not answering the phone? It was supposed to be a quick answer. Rinnnng! How many was that?
Crash! Thump! I take another few stairs. I am almost at the curved landing. The draft’s chilly air rushes pass the skin on my arm, raising the hairs on the back of my neck. The feeling of a presence behind me is so strong I snap my head behind me. Nothing is there but the empty stairs.
Thump! Crash! “Noooo!” The scream holds me frozen on the landing, too scared to take the last six stairs. I look at my phone annoyed. Galvanized by the abrupt silence, I hang up and redial. For several seconds, the only sound is the creepy quality of my cellphone’s ring.
I take the first step of the last six. The frightening sounds begin again; horrific screaming that tells you someone is in serious trouble, terrifying thumps that had a rhythmic cadence that didn’t bode well for anything. They weren’t happy sounds by no stretch of the imagination.
I take two steps and the harrowing sounds of struggle and shattering glass become so loud I cover my ears. I take the last steps in a rush. I stand in the foyer, delaying the moment when I round the entrance to the living room. I know the sounds I’ve heard is coming from there.
My grip tightens on my still ringing phone. I step quickly around the entrance into the living room.
Simultaneously, my eyes widen at the horror that greets my eyes, my blood curdling scream joins the other scream forming a macabre chorus, the phone slips from fingers that have gone numb. The room spins, my body lifts as though I am weightless; in an atmosphere devoid of gravity. High above my living room floor, I watch a masked intruder, dressed in black, stab me repeatedly. I am fighting and screaming but I am losing as the evil figure raises his fist gripping a large hunter’s knife and plunges it deeply into my abdomen. He grunts and pulls the knife out with a force. The blood splatter sprays my ghostly form resting on the ceiling. I can taste the metallic warm wetness as it lands on my lips still parted in a scream.
As I continue to watch my own murder, I remember. I remember going to the Halloween party given by friends. I remember meeting the creepy guy in a burglar’s costume. He had followed me all around the party as I mingled. He had asked me out several times and I had rejected him. He had refused to take off his mask as he talked to me. The whole encounter had been creepy, and I had extracted myself from the situation as soon as possible.
I remember walking home because my friends didn’t live too far from me. I remembered arriving at my front porch and inserting my key. When I had the door ajar, I was shoved violently from behind. I remember fighting from the second I had spun around and came face to face with a nightmare. A hulking figure in black from head to toe and a black ski mask. The creepy guy from the party. He had followed me. We fought from the entryway to the living room, breaking glass, overturning furniture. He threw me against my glass china cabinet that held my collectible shot glasses. His first thrust of the knife came then. I fought, I felt my blood leaving my body and with it my strength. I watched my killer continue to stab me long after I grew still. Thump, thump. The still open door causing the mysterious bone chilling draft. Sirens wailed in the distance. I look at my dropped phone and see it is engaged in a live call. Emergency services finally answered. I realized my ghostly form made my own nine, one, one call. My killer tilts his head at the sound of the sirens and runs out the back.
The law enforcement officials and crime scene techs flood my small home.
I watch a detective lean over my mutilated, bloody, body, shaking his head with a sadden expression.
“Damn shame. I hate the scariest night of the year.”
I float up and away.
Cate Mckoy is a life-time resident of a small upstate town about sixty minutes north of Manhattan. The only thing she loves more than being a writer is being a mother and grandmother. She has been a Jane of all trades and was formerly trained as a technology analyst and computer tech. Cate supports a number of charities and wishes everyone “Happy Reading.” You can discover more about Cate on the
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