A brilliant flash seared a dark streak across my vision. All regrets leading up to this point came crashing down on me, worse than the pounding pellets of water on my car. I numbly twisted the key in the ignition, watching the dying pool of light in front of my car as the headlights dimmed. Watching the sweeping arm of the windshield wipers until they paused at the bottom of the glass and failed to move again. Watching the creeping darkness as it encroached in on me, threatening to strangle. Watching. My hand unconsciously edged back to the key. The key. I flipped the key ring around until I grasped the correct one in my sweating hand. My fingers wrapped around the cool smooth plastic of it, rolling it around my palm. When I finally gathered the nerve to pull it closer to my face and examine the miniscule red words written on it, I knew well the words that would appear. The words I had obsessed over for months, the words I had hoped I’d never see again, the words that tore me apart every time I read them. And there they were: Jack Pierce. I swallowed the bile I felt rising in my throat, vomiting wouldn’t change what I had to do.
After tucking the key away into the inner pocket of my raincoat, I stepped into the onslaught of freezing rain, feeling the tall grass graze my jeans. The tall building leered over me, as if telling me to go home. How tempting that proposition was. Shaking myself out of my staring stupor, I began jogging up to the ominous shadow that was cast across the dying blue backdrop of the sky. I hopped up the creaky steps and onto the rickety porch, stopping dead in my tracks. There was a sign there, probably put up by the landlord to admonish adventurous teens from exploring the derelict house, but none the less scared the wits out of me. It was a pencil sketch of a man in all black ,except for his leering face, with the words, “DO NOT ENTER,” written on it. I dismissed the sign and continued up to the door and, due to a lack of a door handle, tried to shove it open. The black, peeling paint on the door crumbled off and stuck to my hand when I reached out to touch it. I wasn’t able to remove the persistent little specks, so I decided to ignore them as I attempted to jostle the door open again, with no success.
“Come on!” I said, “Why won’t you open?”
I tried to tug on the door as hard as I could, but it wouldn’t budge. Finally, I took a few steps back, and launched myself, shoulder first, into the door. With a great groan and a shattering of wood, the door gave way as the door split and collapsed onto the ground. Surprised, I thrust my head through the door frame, rubbing my now sore shoulder, and was promptly met with a putrid smell that could only be described as decay. All, if any will I had to enter this house, had just dissapated like morning fog. I fought back my gag reflex and, with a dangerous creak, sat down on the porch. I couldn’t do it, and I was stupid to think that I could. A sudden crash from inside jolted me out of my thoughts. Hesitantly, I stood up, debating whether to look inside, or return my car and leave. After choosing the latter of those options, I heard a faint, distant whisper. I immediately decided that it was wind, or rain, I started my trek back down the steps, whose moans of protest I had become accustomed to, and was again stopped cold with goose bumps racing down my spine. A cold blast of air swept across my neck.
“Why are you back here?” I heard the childish voice ask. “You haven’t come back to play with us in so long, won’t you join us?”
I could almost hear the smile that played across the child’s lips. The voice in response to my ignorance of it, and the continued mission of making it back to the car, wasn’t as pleasant.
A whisper of pure rage paralyzed me, “ Come inside now. You owe me at least that much, after what you did to me.”
“ Please, just leave me be,” I pleaded. “ You know it was an accident.”
To this there was no reply from the haunting phantom’s voice. Only the sound of rain assailing my jacket pierced the night. I made it back to the car and quickly unlocked it with clumsy fingers, throwing myself in when it had opened. I locked the doors and sat there for a moment, overwhelmed by all of this. There is no way my sister is still here. Those were my final thoughts before being obsorbed by an unwelcome sleep.
The dream started off as disjointed thoughts that manifested visually, but as the semi peacefull slumber waned, a more sinister plot began to form. My childhood home, looking at it as I ride my bike by it with my sister.
“ I bet you can’t catch me!” my sister shouts as we race around the parking lot of a abandoned supermarket.
I yell back, “ We’ll see about that!”
And with that I began pedaling as hard as I could, trying to keep up with my surprisingly speedy little sister. She screeches in delight as I reach out and graze her back with the tips of my fingers.
“You're gonna have to try harder than that big bro!” She taunted.
Not to be outdone by my sister I shoot back, “You're just lucky I’m taking it easy on- CYNTHIA STOP!”
WIth a horrendous scream and a crash of metal on concrete , my sister smashed directly into the wall, then fell on the ground with a dull thud. I skid my bike to a stop and sprinted over to Cynthia’s limp body. I was so shocked I was incapable of uttering a single word, and just sat there with her in my arms. A giant gash in her forehead, and her lack of breathing, told me there was no way she was still alive. I am finally able to find my voice, and with it comes my horrible screams. Then my sister apparates in front of my face.
“Is it still just an accident?” she says, her voice booming though her lips did not move.” You know what you did to my bike Alex.”
My eyelids fly open, and I emediatly try to sit up but I can’t. I am restrained by old, fraying rope, with my arms and legs bound to the bedframe. I struggled against my bonds until I had worn blisters into my wrists, drawing blood. Despairing, I lay motionless on the bed, the last of my energy spent.
“Why do you have to do this?” I wailed, “ You know it was an accident, I didn’t mean it!”
A familiar sensation of a cold sweat beading on my forehead pulled me from my staring stupor. The temperature in the room dropped and, frantic, I began yanking at the ropes again, throwing all of my body weight against my right arm. I feel the fraying of the rope until, with one big snap, the whole rope tears away. I franticly rip the rest of the rope from my left wrist and ankles, and when finished, sprint at full tilt from the room.
“Why’d you have to ruin the fun, Just before you were gonna wake up, too.” Said the familiar voice.
I ignored the voice and continued to race down the hallway. I finally reached a door at the end of the corridor, and forced me to stop. The polished doorknob glistened as I tentatively reached out for it. The door was thrown open from the other side, and collided with my nose. The resulting sickening crack assured me I’d have more than just a bloody nose. A figure, small and child like, a dark outline cast against the void of darkness behind it. It rushed me in one quick lunge, I turned to scramble away with no sucess. She grabbed me with hands colder then stone. And with them she swept me with unnatural strength, towards the door. With one final attempt to save myself I threw out my hands, grasping at anything within reach. The first thing my hands found was the frame of the door. I dug my fingers into the wood until my knuckles turned white.
“LET GO!” The demonic voice screeched, “ THIS IS WHAT YOU DESERVE!”
My sister pulled on my ankle until I heard a pop, accompanied by a agonizing pain. There was no way that I could excape my sisters hold. I let go. Then there was no door. There was no hallway, no house, and no sister assailing me. The excruciating pain that had existed just moments before had subsided. Silence.
A voice whispered from the darkness, A voice that came from all directions with no origin. “You have failed again.”
“How are you today, Mia?” asked Dr. Smith, “You havn’t been out of the office for a few hours so I thought you’d want some coffee.”
“Thanks John,” responded Dr. Mercer, looking up from her paperwork, “I’ve just been wrapped up in this patient we had transferred from Brookside.”
“Isn’t that the Jack Pierce case? If so I can see why you’ve been so preoccupied.”
She didn’t answer for a brief moment, but after a few seconds of thought she pulled out a thick folder from a drawer in her desk.
“Yea. Read this.”
Dr. Smith pulled the folder closer to him, and opened it, finding a single piece of paper on top. He grabbed the top paper and, after taking his glasses from his pocket and putting them on, began to read:
Jack Pierce, after colliding into a wall while bike riding with his sister, was rushed emmediatly to the hospital. Upon arrival he was discovered to be in a almost comatose state, and despite our efforts, fell into the coma. Though Jack survived, His sister, Sarah Pierce, was killed in the crash, while Jack’s twelve year old body withstood the trauma. Barely. After these incidents he was put on life support, and has not been removed since. After repeated attempts over many months to bring him out of this state (all of which were unsuccessfull) his parents refused to take him off life support, frantic that their son would “Wake up” any day now. It is due to this that they have continued to repeatedly pay the life support bill, even as the fifth year of Jack being at the hospital comes to a close. We have also witnessed some very odd activity from him as of late. For almost a year, every night, from eigth P.M. to one A.M. he has sat up in his bed, eyes wide open whispering varying sentences. From “I can’t leave,” to “She wont stop.” There has been many attempts to communicate with him during these times, but he seems to just stare, unblinking until one o’clock, at which time he slumps back into bed and returns to his normal state. We think this may be due to some kind of disease or abnormal brain activity that we do not have the technology to moniter here at Brookside. This is why we have transferred him Easton. We hope you willl be able to discover the problems with Jack, and return him to full health as well as to his family.
Dr. Doris Caldwell of Brookside Hospital
After reading the entire document, John sat back, removing his glasses with a perplexed look.“Sounds like a tough case,” he said, “No wonder you’ve been locked in you're bunker for the last year.”
Sarah didn’t bat an eyelash after his lackluster attempt at a joke. “I’ve been extremely busy,” she answered curtly, “There’s a lot of paperwork to do.”
While She was enveloped into her work again, John began to search aimlessly through the folder. After flipping through all of the reports and activity scans of Jack Pierces brain, he closed the folder with a resounding thump.
“What are you working on there anyways?” he asked inquisitively, “There can’t be that much paperwork, it’s only a transfer.”
Without sparing a glance Dr.Mercer responded, “Shortly after being transferred here, Jack passed away due to unknown causes.”