by S. E. Mabson
Vacation should be fun and relaxing, but for Terrance, it was quite the opposite.
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Novelist Terrance Withers steps off of the plane taking in deep breaths of the fresh country air. He had high hopes of inspiration here. The city noise was becoming deafening. Moments later he found himself gleaming at the beautiful countryside from the back of his cab. Upon arrival, he greeted his cousin Bradley and made his way to the guest bedroom. Aside from meal time, he spent his first few days in the chair beside the window with his notepad and pen awaiting inspiration. Many ideas came and went, none really capturing his creative reigns. The weight of his daughter's death built up like a brick wall over those first three days. His daughter, Amillia, once his muse, was now his blindfold. When she called he dismissed her call. The guilt, the grief, the shame, the depression, all of it was sucking him into a vortex of negative thoughts and painful reminders. The closed casket funeral, due to the scarred tissue on her face and body, protruded to the front of his mind chasing each of his ideas, over powering them. When the sun fell and the farm was filled with darkness Terrance gave one more look around the farm before retreating to bed.
His sights locked on the corner of the cornfield. His heart started pounding faster and faster. He squinted and leaned into the window hoping his eyes were deceiving him. A man stood at the edge of the cornfield dressed in all black with a hood covering his face and a long knife in his hand. He jumped back and fell to the floor. When he reached up and peered out the window the cloaked man stood just beyond the window. Terrance ran out of the room searching for his cousin. However, he didn't believe him; especially after circling inside and out of the house.
Terrance was overwhelmed with paranoia. He tried to sleep but his eyes kept flitting and wandering to the window. Hours passed by and his eyes became heavier and heavier. Just as his lids dropped, he saw the cornfield. Every time he blinked his eyes the man flashed forward, drawing closer and closer to the window. The man hammered the window with his fist shattering it on the floor. Terrance jumped out of his sleep panting in an intense cold sweat. He searched the room, but no one was there, nor was the window shattered. As he was trying to catch his breath he threw his legs over the side of the bed and walked to the bathroom. He splashed his face with water and he stared at himself in the mirror shaking his head. Terrance jerked around with a start, gripping the sink that was now behind him. His very essence caught in his throat. The cloaked man's breath was cold on Terrances face and he wreaked of death. Terrance leaned back and screamed for Bradley.
The man stepped through Terrance and leaned into the mirror looking at himself full of despair. He pulled down his hood and revealed a face Terrance didn't expect to see. Himself, with a face full of scarrs. The man began to cut his face reopening old wounds. He knew for sure he was about to die when he saw him in the mirror, yet now, instead, Terrance stood confused and dazed by the mans actions. By the time Bradley ran into the room Terrance was screaming in pain doubled over on the floor holding his face. When he lifted Terrance's face blood pooled through his fingers onto the floor.
"Terrance! What happened to ya!" Bradley yelled.
"Nix! Nix! Nix! Nix!" Terrance yelled rocking back and forth, but he kept cutting. Every cut he made appeared on Terrance's face. Bradley watched Terrance staring at the mirror holding his hand out pleading for mercy and backed away for a moment, unsure what to think. He then helped Terrance walk to the living room. Terrance fell to his knees and stumbled to get up and find a weapon. He reached into the bundle o' sticks and started waving one like he was warding off evil spirits, while charging across the room dripping blood across the floor. The cloaked man would disappear and reappear in different places of the room and Terrance would chase him relentlessly. Bradley just watched Terrance chasing nothing in confusion. Bradley called the hospital and Terrance was locked away in the institution.
Terrance was found every morning in the corner with a bloody fresh cut face, rocking in the feedle position whispering, "Nix! Nix! Nix! Nix! Nix!" A new addition of his novel always layed on the table, alongside a page with Amillia written over hundred times scattered in no particular structure.