by Bob'n Around
We all have voices in our heads. Some are just more demanding (Weekly Screams win)
|Horror/Scary Newsletter 9/26/18 Editor's Pick. Weekly Screams Contest win.
Katie spit into the ditch. She wasn’t really nervous, just a little dry mouth. No, she hadn’t taken her medicine. So she forgot. It wasn’t the first time and she was all right, wasn’t she?
Sure she was. Except. What was that? Nothing. It was nothing. Maybe she’d just sit here for a moment. Not bothering no-one. Quiet here, no bright lights. Quiet is what she needed.
Katie felt herself sit down against a gravestone. She leaned back. “Final resting place.” It was herself saying it, here where she was. “Finally resting.”
“I don’t do drugs. Why do they want me to?” Again. It was her own voice. Talking to her but she wasn’t listening. She was waiting.
Katie didn’t know when she began rocking. Who needed a rocking chair? It was built in. She couldn’t stop herself when it began. Just fold your arms in close to your stomach, lean forward. Then back. A human spring wound too tight. Katie was human, all right. Small boned, black eyes, raven hair thick as rope, the rest of her thin as a bird. That was her on outside.
It was the thing inside her. When it spoke. It wasn’t human. It was hardly a voice. It lived inside her head. Some kind of mental telepathy thing. Maybe. Either way, it owned her.
Katie stopped rocking. A huffing sound. Searching.
No. Wrong sound. Something coming through or someone. She shouldn’t be here. Or. It shouldn’t. What was it? Katie held her breath.
Who else came out at night to play? This was hers. No-one else's. Why didn’t they leave her alone?
The voice told her. In her head. A male voice pulled her strings. “It’s a dog. Stand up. Let it hear you move. It’ll go away.” Katie unwound her spring. She was no longer herself. She was the hand of God. She stood facing the darkness. Eyes open without seeing. “Go away.” She and the voice said together. A yelp and the dog thing stopped hunting the night. Startled, it ran.
“Mine.” Katie let the feeling wash through her in waves. She wasn’t ready to sit until the voice told her to. It had other plans. “Start walking.” She did, feeling the metronome of her feet going back and forth.
At the end of the park, where the trees hid the street, Katie checked for traffic. A sedan parked against a curb. No-one in it. Sleeping the night away in dreams. They were. Everyone. Good.
“Not here.” The voice never showed emotion. It was just words. Floating nowhere inside and outside here. Everywhere she was. Fists clenched, nails biting her palms. “Which way?”
A light blinked on in the car house. Her feet started across the street. Katie followed. The voice followed. She knew it did. There was a heavy weight she never felt when it wasn’t inside her. Where did it go when it wasn’t? Who did it visit? A funny thing to think about. She was tired of thinking. So tired.
“It’ll be warm.” The voice spoke. Was it her voice? Well, she didn’t own it but thought of it that way. No-one else wanted it. Maybe that’s why it came to her. Katie and the voice. It’s all she had.
Sprinklers hissed on around her approach. Grass grew tiny bright eyes wet with tears. The moon peered down from the edge of a cloud. It was a sign. Someone was hurting. The someone was Katie.
You’re not supposed to go in unless you’re invited. Katie reminded herself. Her hand there on the doorknob twisting. It opened. “You’re invited,” said the voice in her ear. It never whispered. Always the same metallic feel. Some song without music in her head.
She knew better than to speak back. It was no use arguing. The voice spoke. It didn’t listen. It didn’t obey. Why should it?
Katie walked slow. Inside. The smell was of old people. Musty kind of. The house creaked a little. It’s welcome plain. Sure houses could talk. Everything did if you listened. Katie listened good. “I’m not frightened. So? A little.” She whispered, needing the feel of the words on her lips.
“Go upstairs.” The voice whispered back, floating there. Everywhere. Katie got lost in it for a moment. Had to steady her hand on the banister. Smooth. Warm. Leading her upwards. Count the stairs. One. Two.
Something whispered against her feet. A shadow turned into a cat. They had a cat. No dog this time. Good. She could stay. Warm.
Fingers traced the hardwood leading up the staircase. Solid. No creaks or groans here. Her feet told her. Everything talks. If you listen.
The light was on. They’d left the door open to the bathroom. Sleepyheads. She closed it. Preferring darkness. Her own or someone else's. It didn’t matter. They were both hers when she wanted them.
“Down the hall. You know the way.” The voice urged her on. It wouldn’t let go of her. Not tonight.
The cat was black silence. Deeper somehow. Walking silence. Like her.
It left again. She missed its warmth. It's silence. It’s companionship. “Maybe it’ll be back.” She was all whispers now. Whispers of movement. Getting closer. Almost there. The last door at the end of the hallway groaned a little when she pushed.
Katie stood waiting to be told. I’m not me. She thought. I’m its puppet. It’s not me doing this. I’m here. Somewhere. Everywhere. Her pulse pounded in her throat. Her mouth was sticky with dryness.
“Katie? Is that you, dear? Did you have fun?”
That voice. Her mother’s. It turned her into a child in the flick of a moment. “Yes, mom. I’m home. How’s dad?”
“He’s sleeping. Finally. Poor dear. He gets restless when you’re out. He worries you know.”
The mother voice stopped to cough. “Go to bed, honey. It’s all right. Stop wandering and go to bed.”
Katie stood in the doorway. Waiting.
“Is there something? Katie?”
Katie’s voice. The one that owned her spoke inside her head. “You forgot the knife.”
“I forgot.” Katie heard herself say out loud. The words stuck in her tongue but she managed. She needed them there. To remember. For next time.
“Kill them.” The voice spoke. Not loudly. Not softly. Just so well.
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