Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2314033-The-Voice-Part-1-of-a-work-in-progress
by MJones
Rated: E · Other · Experience · #2314033
A perfect stranger ... a scary encounter. When a bad thing happens for a good reason.
The Voice
Word Count: 794

Overcome with exhaustion, I collapsed into bed … completely unprepared for the scary encounter I was about to have with a perfect stranger.

* * * * * * * * *

I had just spent a wonderful week on vacation with two of my friends. We were preparing to fly home again when, suddenly, a strong but silent voice urged me not to go. It was like I had some sort of unfinished business to attend to. The more I tried ignoring it, the more urgent the voice became. I was still recovering from an illness that had taken me down the previous week, so I took it as a sign I was meant to fully recover before traveling again. Following my intuition, I canceled my flight and took my friends to the airport where we said our goodbyes.

Just before midnight, I was awakened from an unusually deep slumber by the sound of a very different voice … one distinctly male; spewing absolute gibberish. Feeling overly groggy, perhaps due to the cold medication I had taken earlier, I thought I might be dreaming. Just to be sure, I dragged myself out from under the covers and slowly tip-toed about ten feet across the room to the side door of the upper balcony. Very carefully, I turned the lever and quietly opened the door a crack. The voice instantly got louder.

The realization that it wasn't a dream jolted me awake. Just a few hours earlier, my friends had been there with me. Now … I was all alone. “Why in the world did I let them leave without me?”, I asked myself, rolling my eyes and shaking my head with regret. The voice didn’t know I was there, nor did I want it to, so I quickly but silently closed the balcony door and threw the deadbolt. Paralyzed, I stood there a moment, contemplating my next move. All of a sudden, I was snapped out of my paralysis by a series of loud noises that sounded like someone was banging into the walls inside the house. “Oh my God!”, I thought, as I started to panic. “How had the voice gotten in?” I immediately grabbed my phone and dialed 911.

The police dispatcher had his hands full trying to calm me down. I had barricaded myself in the bathroom and was whispering to the dispatcher because I didn’t want the voice to know I was in the house too. Fear consumed me ... warping my sense of reality. I had never felt that kind of fear before. “Do you want us to send a car?”, the dispatcher asked. “Yes … please!”, I whispered urgently. While I waited for the police to arrive, the dispatcher stayed on the line with me, and after what seemed like an eternity, he finally said, “They're at the door. You need to go and open it.” Now I was paralyzed all over again! I was terrified to leave the safety of my barricade. It took several minutes of gentle coaxing by the dispatcher before I finally mustered enough courage to leave the bathroom and go to the front door where a police officer was patiently waiting.

After first making sure I was okay, the police officer asked if I wanted him to look around the house. I said yes, so he proceeded to conduct a quick but thorough search both inside and out. Turns out, the voice hadn't gotten in. The officer said they apprehended a man who was now in the back of their squad car, but assured me there were no signs of a break-in. Severely inebriated, the man had been partying somewhere in the neighborhood and got lost walking back to his car. "Do you want to press charges?", asked the officer. When I asked what he would do if I said no, he said, "We’ll drive him to the other end of town and let him walk home from there”. Because I wanted nothing more than for the voice to be taken as far away from me as possible, I didn't question his answer. Instead ... all I said was, "Great ... do that."

For the next two weeks, I stayed awake as late as possible and got up before dawn to avoid as many of the now scary nighttime hours as possible. During the day, I focused almost exclusively on trying to process what had happened that night and what I was meant to learn from it. Had my encounter with the voice simply been dumb luck or was it the exact reason I had been told not to leave?

It didn't take long before I had the answer. Something back home was waiting for me ... something that would require way more courage than I ever thought I had.

The voice ... had been a test.
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