by Matt Dauntay
A man wandering the streets finds an empty house. Or what he thought was an empty house.
|"Hello...?" he softly exclaimed from his shriveling voice as he was entering the house.
"Is someone there?"
He was slowly walking through glass debris that was evidently left on the floor by someone in a hurry. It contrasted immensely with the neatly organized house. The marble floor was immaculate, despite the broken glass, and looked as if it had been installed the day before. Thomas could almost see his reflection in it as if he was slowly tip-toeing on ice.
He was still advancing through what could only be defined as a splendid mansion, in the shadows of the night, illuminated by a few lit candles across the entire place.
It looked as if someone was practicing an ancient ritual and had to leave because of a chain of unforeseen events.
Thomas' only clue was a distinctive odor of ammonia. After all, the floor was spotless so it could have been cleaning products. But he knew that something was wrong. The smell was very present and he could almost taste the presence of the plastic bottle holding the toxic liquid.
As he turned a corner in a darken wooden molded hallway, the still afraid but obviously very curious, young man noticed a presence all the way across the living room. He stopped, gasped for air, and ducked behind a massive sideboard that was probably an heirloom passed in the forgotten family for generations and served as a regular hideout for kids and now concerned vagabonds entering unknown residences in case of troubling events.
Thomas was now starting to panic and also questioning his recent decision to look into what seemed to be an abandoned but yet welcoming home.
He should have known that after going through the old and full of roots, leaves, and dirt gates, something like that was going to happen.
It was not the first time that he was visiting another person's property without being invited and he knew that, one day, he would find something to write about but that he might never have the chance to write about.
He also knew that by thinking about all these things he was stalling because he didn't want to face the fact that he was petrified with fear and was not sure if whether his host was aware of his presence or not.
The young man who wanted to live a long life wanted to get a glimpse of the room in a quick motion but became suddenly very worried that he wasn't hearing anything.
He came into the house, smelled the ammonia, kept sinking into the darkness of the old mansion without emitting a sound, penetrated into the living room, saw something moving, ducked... Wait...It wasn't moving. It was a presence. He saw a presence. Was it a presence or was it a human person at the end of this very poorly lit building?
But if it were a person and this person did get a look at him, it wouldn't be very long before Thomas would be in trouble.
"To hell with this," the young man thought as he fearlessly stood up behind what would be known as his safety furniture.
Now he would know for sure whether there was a presence, a mannequin, a chair, a table, a coffee table, or a...PERSON!! It was a man!
"Oh no...!" calmly said the new character in Thomas' universe as he speedily stood up and walked towards him.
It didn't matter that this opulent living room was twice the size of the young man's apartment. The man was there and it only took him one and a half-second to move through the empty space to arrive in front of Thomas who was still paralyzed by his deepest and very real fear of dying. But not anymore, Thomas was running back to the entrance where he was hoping to find something to brag about or to sell for a small profit.
He was now at the end of the hallway and could see the light of the moon shining on the marble floor through the open entrance. He was running faster than he ever thought he could run and more. He was almost there, almost to the door, almost free to wander on the streets.
That's when someone appeared in front of him. Blocking his freedom. This young teenager, holding a rusty baseball bat appeared in front of him. There was nothing natural about this. He had been trapped. He had walked right into it.
His two opponents were getting closer to him as they walked towards Thomas. He was now looking for a way out but there was none. He was looking all over the place for an escape, a magic weapon, a tunnel through another dimension, anything! But nothing could help him.
Thomas was petrified and didn't want his life to end. He recalled the good things in his life: his loving parents, the new couch he bought that only started to take the prints of his posterior, his singing lessons that left him with a bitter taste, the adventures he went on, and the old....wait. That was it. He figured it out. Thomas was starting to smile as he thought of a crazy idea that might do the trick.
"Of course...!" he exclaimed as he was stomping his right feet on the floor to get a beat.
These singing lessons would finally pay off.
"Oh-Oh-Oh-OhOhOhOh There's something in the night..." Thomas was singing and snapping his fingers.
"There's something in the moonlight...It's coming right at you, and it's at the door behind YOU!!!" he yelled as he pointed behind the scary and bloodthirsty teenager firmly holding his baseball bat who had no other choice but to look behind him as his next victim wasn't scared anymore and appeared to be saved by something creeping up on this adolescent wannabe serial-killer. As he was turning in a stupor, Thomas stopped singing and walked towards him and following the movement of the boy. The night was now dead silent and Thomas was beginning to regain control of the situation.
Noticing that the front porch was empty, the more than ever angry teenager, with an enervated grin on his face was slowly turning back to face Thomas and beat him to death with his sport stick. However, Thomas was gone.
For the first time, the young killer showed a different emotion than anger. He was surprised. He looked everywhere around him and that's when he saw a fleeting silhouette, running in the night, flipping his middle finger in the hair. It was Thomas, running towards freedom, vouching to never ever trespass again.