Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2153119-Dead-Hands
by Hazel
Rated: E · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2153119
A boy is haunted by his grandmother's hands after moving into a new apartment.
Dead Hands
By Hazel Smith

Our new apartment was hardly clean. The lights had gone out and spiderwebs covered every corner of the room. I was still a little upset that Mom didn’t confront me before making a huge decision like this, but I guess she thought that I would’ve said no to the idea of moving into an apartment that used to be the third floor in an asylum, and I suppose she was right.

Plus, to make matters that much worse, our grandmother had died in this apartment. She had gone completely mad after divorcing her husband, my grandfather Richard. She was sent to the insane asylum the next week and apparently killed herself with a telephone wire.

I started loading my stuff into my new room. It too was covered with spider webs. I put my favorite picture of our family on my dresser. My dad’s strong hands were caressing my shoulders. I remember that feeling always comforted me. My dad always had wide eyes when he looked at my mom, full of hope of what was to come.

I liked looking at the photo, especially since my dad had died when I was almost five from pancreatic cancer. It had been nearly eight years since he passed away, but I still remember quite a bit about the five years that we spent together. My dad and I had a close-knit relationship, especially in the months before he was gone. My dad had named me Micah, after one of his best friends in college. Whenever we hung out, he told me it reminded him of good times. I felt a hot tear trickle down the surface of my cheek, but I quickly wiped it away. I could not show fear or sadness. I told myself this was an opportunity for a new adventure, a new life. Without the feeling of dad filling every square inch of our house back home in Florida. Home. An interesting word. But what did it mean for me? Could this old haunted asylum apartment possibly be my new home? I felt happier after that thought.

On that note, I put another picture up. One of “ The Trio”, as we called ourselves. This was a picture of me with my two dear best friends. Cody, with his red hair and huge orange glasses, and Kyler, with blonde hair and green eyes. They were both smiling their biggest. And finally, me in the middle, with my shaggy brown hair, doing bunny ears on both of them. I smiled when I saw it. I would miss them.

I walked down the carpeted stairs into the dining room to the familiar smell of microwaved Stouffer’s lasagna. This being my favorite meal, I usually had like 10 servings. But for some reason, and maybe it was the new house, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach and didn’t feel like eating. Nonetheless, I knew my mom would’ve been upset if I didn’t at least have one serving.

When I finished the last bites, I went through the old wooden door into my bedroom. I climbed into the rickety bed. My new room smelled like an old cat. The fan whirred with a loud sound that almost sounded like an old motor. It felt weird falling asleep in a bed that isn’t mine. But I was so tired, sleep was inevitable. My eyes drifted close, and I soon found myself sound asleep.

For a while, I dreamed complete blackness. But amidst the deep black ink that filled my brain, a pair of gnarly hands faded in. They were old and crinkly and looked like they had been chipped away over many years of work.

Suddenly, I remembered something. I had seen them before. They were my grandmother’s hands, wrinkled from knitting scarves and chopping wood, amongst other things. It was weird that I was seeing them in my dreams, because I never paid any attention to anyone’s hands really, let alone my grandmother’s. I usually listen to people’s voices and recall their faces to remember people.

I noticed one of the hands, the left, had a fairly large purple ring on. The stone resembled amethyst. It was glittering among the black that was still filling my brain, like water slowly pouring into a jar.

The hands came closer, becoming bigger and bigger as they almost seemed to reach me and grab me.

I woke up sweating in the dark, panting heavily. I could not fall asleep again because the hands were still in my mind. Hours passed of me staring into the blankness of my ceiling. A sound broke the silence and cut into my thoughts. Roger, barking at my door. He was hungry once again. I sleepily pulled myself out of bed and planted my feet on the hardwood floor. After giving my dog his breakfast, I headed into the dining room to the smell of bacon and scrambled eggs, my own breakfast.

During breakfast, my mom revealed to me that we were going to the museum today as a whole family, which never happens anymore. Lately, we’ve been having some issues, I guess you would call them. I feel as if I am on an island, and my family is on another island that is slowly drifting away from me until there is an ocean between us. I am excited to finally be with all of them in the same room.

Everyone was coming. My sister, Becca and her boyfriend, Jamie; Mom and her new boyfriend, Cedric, and me.

I was excited, but the whole ride there, all I could think about was my crazy dream.

When we arrive at the museum, I hop out of the car. We walk through the glass doors of the local museum. The exhibits were mostly based on old folklore. Ghosts, monsters, all that stuff. The museum was mostly fun, but everywhere I looked, I saw the deadly hands that appeared in my dream last night. They were distant at first, across the hall of the museum. But then, they came closer. Closer. Closer. Until they were close enough to grab and choke me. Stop thinking about it, I told myself. But I couldn’t. They were haunting my mind. The cold, rugged knuckles. The worn purple ring on the surface of her ring finger. It was just so freaky.

Cedric was mom’s only boyfriend since dad had passed away. They had been dating about 1 year. He didn’t make the scary visions I was having any better any. He freaks me out. With his weirdo mustache and big eyeglasses, he seems, well, abnormal. His pointer finger on his right hand was severed in a car accident a long time ago. Plus, he seems way too old to be with my mom.

I tried to take my mind off of all of the worries filling my head and keep walking. But the worries return when I see an exhibit about ghosts and my mind trailed off into thinking about the hands again. That brought me to thinking about something else. What if the hands were ghosts? Is that even possible? This was worrisome.

I realized suddenly that I had been aimlessly walking. I realized that I was now in a dark room with an array of seats lining the room and a screen in the front. I soon realized I was in a movie theater. I must've walked in here without noticing, I thought. I went over to the door. I turned the gold knob every which way, but I was locked in, with no way out. I wanted to yell, scream even, but no sound could come out of my mouth.

Then, suddenly a hand popped out of one of the seats. The exact same rugged hand that had haunted my nightmares last night, and haunted my mind today. But this time, it seemed even more worn. Little white bits of bone were showing through its pale flesh, and it was chasing me once again.

I could feel the hair standing up on my neck, and it felt like a black widow was crawling down my spine and spinning spiderwebs deep in my gut.

Its partner popped out of another seat, the one with the purple ring. Suddenly, the ring started glowing with a phenomenal purple light. It blinded me. My eyelids seemed to burn into my pupils. As soon as I could see again, I saw my family looking above me.

“ He’s okay!”, Becca screamed in her shrill voice. I was surprised because Becca never seemed to show much interest in me, but I guess I had to pass out in a dream world for my sister to even take a glance at me. What had happened? I wondered.

“ You had us worried sick!” Mom said nervously, panting heavily the way she does when something scary happens. “ You passed out when you were looking at the ghost exhibit! We had no clue what had happened to you!”
I understood her feeling. I didn’t know what happened either, but I knew I had to find out more. “ I’m feeling kinda sick.” I lied.
“Do you think Mom could drive me home? You can come right back for lunch.” I hated lying to my mom, but I felt drastic measures needed to be taken in a situation like this.
“Sure, honey.” Mom replied. So she had bought it. Now I had plenty of time to figure what was going on with these hands.
“ Are you sure you don’t need me to stay with you at home, sweetie? You’re looking really pale.” She sounded so worried.
I felt bad, but I croaked, “ No, I think I’ll be fine once I get some rest.”
We pulled up at our apartment and she let me in. “ Bye, sweetie! Hope you feel better.” I would feel better, I thought. After I figure out what’s going on.
I got into my rickety bed and tried my hardest to fall asleep. Eventually, I felt my eyes get heavy and I fell into another dreamless sleep. This time, the hands didn’t want to wait. They came right away. They showed up once again, really small in the darkness, but coming closer and closer. I had to think fast.

How could I show up in my dream world? The only thing I could think of was that if I could sleepwalk, then I could walk closer to the hands. I focused my mind the hardest I could on sleepwalking, maybe even sleep-running. Suddenly, I felt my feet hit the hardwood floor. I was sleepwalking.

I had never been a sleepwalker, but I was doing it now. The hands kept coming closer and closer. I was getting freaked out.

Wait, I thought. There was something appearing out of the darkness of my dream. A boy. Wearing light blue jeans and a red Coca-Cola T-Shirt. Me! I was walking closer and closer to the hands. I felt them grab me. Their tight grip wrapping around me felt almost like a python wrapping around its vulnerable prey. Then, I had an idea. Mom always told me to keep a pocketknife in my pocket at all times in case of emergencies. I guess you could probably call this situation an emergency. I shoved my hand into the pocket of my jeans and pulled the red pocket knife out. I started slicing the hands until finally one of them fell off into the dark abyss. There was only one left. What do I do?

I pondered that question in my mind for quite some time. Oh no. I was waking up. I felt my eyes flutter open to the sight of my mom’s blue eyes looking straight into mine.

Oh, you’re awake.’’ she said. “ How are you feeling and what on earth are you doing with that knife?”
“The knife must have fallen out of my pocket,” I replied. “I’m feeling much better.” And this time I wasn’t lying. I quickly put the knife back into my pocket. I looked down at my own hands, which were trembling like an earthquake.

The smell of my mom’s homemade barbecue meatballs eventually brought me into the dining room. I felt tired.

“Hey.” Mom uttered. “ Don’t you have a big science test tomorrow?” I realized she was right. Darn, I thought.

“ Oh yeah. I should probably go study.’’ I answered with a slight moan in my voice.

I went to my bedroom and sat at my old wooden desk and turned the lamp on. I plugged my headphones into my iPod. Music usually helps me study. I opened the drawer in my desk, looking for a pencil. There were no pencils to be found in my drawer, so I went to ask Becca. I opened my sister’s door.

Becca’s bed was gone, and in its place was a giant hand, its fingers unnaturally long with nails as sharp as daggers. The hand was pulling Becca underneath the floor with an ear piercing scream that almost blew my eardrums. Her screams were muffled as one long, skinny finger of a worn hand covered her mouth. And down she went, never to be seen again.

7 years later
I walked up the stairs of my new dorm in college. I was excited to be enrolled at Adams State University because that was where my dad had gone to college. I was excited about a fresh start.

None of these people knew about Becca’s disappearance, all the counseling I went through. I never really got over the fact that that had happened to me. And that no one believed me! The police had just made an excuse that she ran away. I guess they didn’t believe me when I said giant hands had pulled her under the floorboards.
My new dorm was decorated with old pictures of Dad and I, Becca, and some of my best friends. It comforted me to look at these pictures the last few years through my time of grief.
I climbed into my comfortable bed and fell asleep after a long day of class. College was harder than I’d ever expected. My eyes fluttered closed like butterflies landing on my eyelids. My dreams were black for a minute, but then two hands showed up. Young hands. With bright pink nail polish and a sparkly ring. Then I realized whose they were. Becca’s. And I felt her cold touch as they closed around my neck, her pink nails digging into my flesh. As I breathed my last hoarse breath, all I saw was darkness.
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