Friday, August 26, 2011
FICTION: FORSAKEN ONE by Tyler Bowler
“She’s not tapping outside the window Dad,” My eleven year old boy, Tuck, shouted at me. “She’s inside the window, tapping to get out. We can’t let her escape though, or she’ll drag me away!”
“Drag you where?” I asked in confusion, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes.
“To the place they take scared boys,” he explained to me in a terrified whisper. “The Darkness!”
“What’s The Darkness?” I asked as I very clumsily sat up.
“I was too afraid to ask.” He explained, wiping a tear off of his cheek.
name is Alex Vettateli, and this was what I had to put up with every day at around 3:15 a.m. for the past three months. Quite frankly, I was beginning to get a little tired of it. I kept trying to explain to him that the tree on the outside of his room was rubbing against the window, but he totally caught me out in left field with this wild story about a woman caught on the inside of it. This was new, and I ignored it as a child’s wild imagination.
I got out of bed and walked toward Tuck’s room to show him one last time that this was only some branches from a tree playing tricks on his mind, and not some lady stuck inside a window taping to get out. I was very calmly explaining to him that the idea was absolutely absurd, and that all blabbing about it was going to do was get him a one way ticket into an insane asylum.
“See?” I asked him as I rolled up the blinds, pointing to the window. “Tree branches, don’t you see? You’re jumping at shadows.”
I didn’t actually look at the window, because logic told me that I could safely assume that there was no lady staring at me. When I turned around I didn’t see any tree branches, or shadows for that matter. I saw a lady with jet black hair, and pale greyish blue skin leaning against the window. She was letting out short, furious, and impatient breaths that seemed to get heavier and faster the longer I looked at her until pretty soon she let out a blood curdling shriek that broke the silence of the night.
I stood in one place, my body frozen with fear, hindering me from doing anything or going anywhere. My son was pulling at my shirt and asking if I could see the angry lady inside the window, the angry lady who was shrieking in a fit of rage, punching at the window with all
the power she could muster up. All in an attempt at what would seem to get to me, and considering I was only inches from her face I was as you could safely say scared witless.
The whole room seemed to let out a thunderous boom after every punch, and her shriek filled your head until it seemed as if it was going to explode. I felt like I had to hold my head together in order to prevent it from splattering into pieces as the sound waves bounced back and forth inside my head, dropping me to my knees. My son kept crying to me, begging me to make her stop.
Suddenly she ceased her wailing and hammering on the glass, and everything appeared as calm as before. I climbed to my feet so I could peer out the window and make sure she was gone. Just as questions filled my head, I saw her staring at me with those hate filled eyes of hers. At first she just pointed at me, a gesture that made me feel as if someone had been holding a gun at my head.
“Forsaken!” She shouted with her finger still aimed at my cranium. “I have come for you!”
I woke up that morning beside my son, both of us lying on the floor. I crawled over toward Tuck and gave him a shake, telling him we should get some breakfast as I was sure we missed the bus. Although I had no idea what time it was, my body told me it must be late in the afternoon.
“Or maybe it would be a better idea to catch some lunch,” I told him as I peered at the clock which read 2:15 p.m. “How do you feel about take out? There’s a new sandwich shop down the street?”
“Do they have subs?” He asked with a huge beam of a smile. “I want a pizza sub!”
“Pizza sub it is!” I promised.
While walking down the street, I began to remember what happened the night before. However, I shrugged it off as a bad dream, thinking if something like that did happen Tuck would probably be traumatized. Is that how Tuck see’s it? A nightmare that he has been having for the past three months that always gets slightly worse each day?
The first night that this… thing woke him up, he had only complained of a scratching noise, which I showed him was only some tree branches. After that, it slowly kept getting worse until last night when he complained of an actual lady inside of the window. Was it possible that he creeped me out to the point that we both shared the same illusion? I figured that a talk with a psychiatrist would be the best route to figure things out.
“Let’s sit over here Tuck!” I called out to my son as he politely accepted a pizza sub from the woman at the counter. “Dad had a bad dream last night, and would like to stay clear of any windows for a while.”
“It wasn’t a dream Dad,” Tuck said as he unravelled his sub and took a bite. “She told me that you would try to rationalize this, but she also said to warn you that their coming for the Forsaken One. That they would take him and for eternity punish him in The Darkness.”
“You mean there are more?” I asked.
“Yep,” He answered, taking another bite out of his sub. “If you thought the woman was scary, wait until you meet the rest!”
Sub-consciously I had known Tuck was right, however I was not ready to accept that a horde of ghosts had hand-picked me as their Forsaken, and were getting ready to take me into The Darkness to be tortured for all eternity. I had explained to Tuck, as well as to myself, that there must be some other logical explanation for the events that took place last night. That somehow our frightened minds had joined and experienced the same terrifying mirage, or night terror, or whatever you want to call it.
The walk home was a long and awkward silent moment between Tuck and I, with me trying to find any way possible to break the reticence. I thought long and hard about a topic that we could discuss, but my mind kept returning to the dead lady inside Tuck’s window. I kept thinking about the weird and eerie tingling sensation that engulfed my body after she had peered into my eyes and screamed out ‘Forsaken’.
“How’s school going?” I asked him, shaking out all other thoughts from my head.
“Not bad,” he answered, never taking his eyes from the sidewalk. “I don’t see the point though.”
“Don’t see the point in what?” I inquired.
“The point in even going to school,” he explained. “The lady told me that getting an education is a fruitless task at having a life, because once The Darkness takes us away we will be slaves to its bidding.”
“Listen to me,” I told him as I gripped both his shoulders, looking directly into his eyes. “There is no lady, and there is no Darkness. It’s just our imaginations getting the better of us, and to prove it I’m going to call in an expert.”
“An expert?” Tuck asked flustered.
“Mediums,” I began to explain. “People who can see ghosts, if there is a lady in your window this Medium can talk her into leaving.”
“Leave where?” Tuck asked in a genuine worried tone. “Where would she go?”
“Heaven,” I blurted out, failing to think of any other explanation. “Where she belongs; if she even exists, which I bet you she doesn’t. If the Medium see’s any signs that ghosts live in your window… Well I will give you a million dollars for Christmas!”
“But you don’t have a million dollars,” Tuck pointed out.
“And you don’t have ghosts living in your window,” I told myself more than to Tuck.
It was 3:45 p.m. when Tuck and I walked through the front door of our house, and sure enough the phone was ringing. I quickly threw my brown suede jacket on the bench near the entrance, and completely ignored our rule about no shoes in the house as I sprinted toward the phone.
“Hello!” I gasped.
“Alex,” A gruff voice said. “Why aren’t you at work? It’s Monday, you begin days this week!”
“Sorry Mr. Randulf sir,” I said as I tried to think of an excuse. “My son became very ill, so I had to take him to the doctors.”
“I hope he’s ok,” Mr. Randulf blurted out, clearly shocked by the news. “He’s a nice boy, and deserves a better father than the likes of you.”
“Thank you for that,” I told him as a smile hit my face. “Yes, he’s fine. Just needs to rest, anyway I have to go check on him now. I will be there tomorrow morning, I promise.”
“Make sure you are,” Mr. Randulf ordered as he hung up the phone.
As Chief of Security for the mall, Mr.Randulf’s reputation was that he could be a very strict man. However, ever since he became a grandfather ten years ago, he had developed a soft spot for anyone who had children. Which was why I worked the sick child excuse, works every time.
“Why didn’t you just tell him the truth?” Tuck asked as he finished taking off his shoes, placing them neatly under the bench. “That you slept in?”
“Because then Tuck my boy,” I told him, kicking off my own shoes carelessly. “I would be fired, and we would eventually be evicted and forced to live in the streets, eating whatever we find out of garbage cans.”
“Oh…good call,” Tuck said as he sat on the couch to watch TV.
“I thought so,” I replied as I broke open the classifieds in order to find a Medium.
As I sat down on the couch beside Tuck, I quickly stole the remote control from his hand so fast that it didn’t register in his brain at first that he no longer held what he called ‘the clicker’. I also noticed that he really didn’t care. In fact, his attention was purely focused on the television, even though we hadn’t yet turned it on. As I studied my boy closer, I had noticed that he had the appearance of a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle.
“That’s new,” he whispered, pointing toward the TV.
“What’s new?” I asked, looking at the television unit in curiosity. Considering Tuck told me the lady in the window was stuck, I took that as an understanding that she could only be in that one window. However, there was a small bit of information that I forgot about. As I stared at the TV it hit me like a ton of bricks, ‘She told me to warn you that they are coming for the Forsaken One’.
Here they were, all staring at me through the screen of my television unit. At first, shock and horror replaced all thought process and I could only stare at them in disbelief. It’s not that I didn’t trust that last night actually happened; I repudiated it! For the simple fact that if it did happen, that means that these individuals in my TV were here to drag me into some darkness and torture me for God knows how long and in God knows what ways.
There must have been a dozen, all staring at me through my twenty-seven inch flat screen made by Toshiba. Their grey deathly faces and lifeless eyes all trying to catch a look at us, with one elderly and scraggly gentleman shoving his way in with his face pressed against the glass. Pawing and scratching at it, clearly wanting through. Suddenly he stopped, gave me a wink and looked up, reaching for the top of the screen as he did. To my dismay, the scraggly elderly man peeled back the screen and crawled into the room. He walked over to where Tuck and I sat on the couch, bent down, and slowly reached out with his hand and rested it on my shoulder.
“Unlike Pearl my good sir,” he explained to me as he leaned in close enough that he could have given me a kiss. “We are not trapped in The Darkness, we own The Darkness! Like Pearl though, you will be trapped in The Darkness… soon, very soon…”
“What are you waiting for?” I asked in a high pitched, frightened voice.
“For you to believe,” he replied, vanishing into thin air.
“Believe what?” I asked, noticing that no one was here other than Tuck and I, with the television unit back to its original unpeeled state.
“Now would be a great time to call that Medium,” Tuck suggested, never taking his eyes off the TV.
I had talked to a man named Jaramiah Taloc, and by the sound of his raspy voice I would have guessed that he was in his sixties or seventies. At that age, it was very hard to tell how old a man was, depending on how well he treated his body he could very well be a fifty year old man that only that sounds seventy.
We went through what had happened to my son and me during the past twenty four hours, and I had told him that the scare just started as a scratch on my son’s window that got progressively worse during the past three months. Describing the events brought back the fear that had forced my heart to beat double time, and I had to take breaks during the conversation in order to reclaim myself. He had waited patiently during these periods of trepidation, and for that I was grateful. After a half hour of very thoroughly going through those terrifying occasions,
Jeremiah agreed to come see us immediately.
The wait for Jeremiah Taloc was both long and agonizing, and both Tuck and I sat at the dinner table trying to keep the television out of view. The silence was the worst as we sat their waiting for something happen, praying to every higher power we could think of that nothing would. Our nerves had been so strung out that when we heard a knock at the door, we both sprung to our feet, yelping like two scarred puppies.
“This is ridiculous!” I yelled out loud as I answered the door. “Hello Jeremiah, I’m Alex, the one who called you about the… ghost problem…”
“Yes, The Darkness.” A tiny old man wearing wire rimmed glasses, hunched over on a cane told me. “I remember the dreadful events that you described to me, and to be honest I have never heard anything like it in my long years as a Medium. May I come in and investigate?”
“Oh yes,” I said as I moved out of his way. “How rude of me, please come in.”
“Is this the television unit that the last spirit came out of?” He asked as he slowly walked over to our TV.
“Yeah,” I told him, not quite sure how to explain it. “He just sort of peeled the screen back and stepped into the room. I’m sure this sounds crazy; I mean it sure sounds crazy to me. I must have mixed medication this morning, which is resulting in me having hallucinations.”
“If that were true,” he explained as he peered at me through those wire rimmed spectacles. “Then your boy wouldn’t have been able to witness the same events. Well, unless you gave him the same meds, and you had the extremely rare occasion of experiencing the same hallucination. You must trust that this did indeed happen, it could be very dangerous for you to consider otherwise.”
“Well I don’t know what to be certain of,” I sighed as I ran my hands through my hair. “I mixed up my meds, or some ghost walked out from my TV and told me that as soon as I ‘believe’, they’re going to drag me into some darkness…”
“I’m very sorry,” Jeremiah told me with a bewildered expression. “I take back my previous comment; it’s actually safer if you don’t believe.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, knowing full well what he meant.
“If you believe in this place they call The Darkness,” Jeremiah told me as he sat on the couch, letting out a shaky sigh. “They will take you to the deepest and darkest corner where reality meets imagination.”
“Please,” I begged in a shaky voice. “Get them out of my house!”
I quickly figured out that bringing in a Medium was the worst idea possible in this kind of situation, considering the more he talked the more I began believing in this place called The Darkness. He had been very persuasive, making me worry for my own as well as my son’s life. What was to happen to us? Will we live out the night? Both questions raced through my head at a rapid rate.
“We are being watched,” Jeremiah told us, stopping at the entrance to the kitchen. “They do not like that I’m here; I am aggravating them.”
“To Hell with them,” I said as I examined the kitchen. “If they don’t like it, they can leave.”
Blood began running down the walls, making me want to take back my last comment and beg for forgiveness. I quickly kneeled down and hugged Tuck in an attempt to shield him at whatever was getting ready to come out at us, screaming for Jeremiah to make them stop. Suddenly the lights went out, leaving us in a room so dark that you couldn’t see your own hands in front of your face.
“What do we do now Mr. Taloc sir?” Tuck asked in the bravest voice that he could muster up. “How do we get rid of them? How do we send these spirits back to where they came from?”
We waited for several seconds for an answer, and when you’re in the kind of frightened state that Tuck and I found ourselves in, seconds seem like hours. We waited in the dark until we could not bear waiting anymore!
“Jeremiah!” I whispered loudly, in an attempt at hopelessly being unheard by the spirits that surely surrounded us, but still loud enough to get Mr. Taloc’s attention. “What the hell do we do now?”
“Where are you?” I heard him say from a far off distance. “Alex? Tuck? I can hear you, but I can’t find you.”
“We’re where we were before Mr. Taloc,” Tuck yelled out. “We haven’t moved from the spot since the lights went out.”
I gave Tuck a nudge and whispered softly in his ear that if he couldn’t keep it down to at least a loud whisper, then I had to strongly encourage him to shut up. We awaited Jeremiah’s return for a few more seconds, hoping that The Medium found us before the spirits did.
“The lights never went out though,” Jeremiah told us, sounding farther away than ever.
As I pondered Mr. Taloc’s last sentence, a face appeared in front of us, giving off a faint green glow. It was that same elderly man that was in my TV, breathing so furiously that for a moment I was beginning to wonder if his head would explode. Slowly, he tilted his head back and began to let out a diabolical laugh that made my skin crawl.
“We have you now Forsaken One, and I see you brought your son with you…excellent” he told me, sending a jolt of fear threw my heart that was so intense tears began streaming down my face. “Enjoy your stay in The Darkness!”
“No…” I shuddered as my legs gave out, landing me on my back. “No! NOOO!!!”