Sunday, 25 October 2015

Midnight Paranoia - Another Short Story

Original Picture taken from StockSnap
It was as if he had been struck by a lightning. His eyes opened even before his muscles had the chance to realize that he was no longer asleep. His body felt so stiff, so tense due to the sudden awakening.
Slowly his eyes started to wander as if they were looking for something in the dark, but there was nothing to be seen except for the silhouettes of his furniture. The room was filled with absolute silence. The only thing he noticed was his own breathing – slow, but deep. He felt his chest expand widely every time he took a breath in. After a few moments of laying still he rose from his bed. He was all alone, but still he could feel an indistinct presence. A faint tickling in his fingertips and toes, which made him shiver.
He put on his morning-coat to fight this acute cold and left the room. Quiet as a cat he tiptoed downstairs with his heart starting to beat faster. The sound the old clock in the living room somehow made him feel uneasy. Every moment he expected the constant, slow ticking to speed up. 
Darkness was still reigning over the rooms of this house, as he did not dare to turn on the light.
He made his way through the short corridor, following the ticking of the clock into the living room.
The fire had been out for many hours, so it was rather chilly.
He walked towards the grand window which allowed the moonlight to cast a sheen over the entire room. He was almost there when he felt cold air lightly brushing his neck. Or was it the breath of a person? He froze, but instead of turning around his gaze was fixed on his own reflection in the window.
He could feel his blood flushing through his veins. His whole body started to clench.

He was being watched. He knew it. He could neither hear nor see it, but he could feel it. Again he felt something lightly touching his neck. Slowly it wandered towards his collarbone, stroking the fine line of his throat.
With a swallow he closed his eyes. He tried to convince himself that it was just air coming in through a hole in the wall, but in truth it felt like caresses concentrating on that little bit of uncovered skin.
After three seconds his eyes opened again only to see the outlines of another man standing right behind him. In an instant he turned around to look at this person, but once again he was alone. He chuckled when he realized that he had succumbed to such an illusion, that he had allowed his own senses to betray him. However there was still a cooling sensation lingering on his neck. Instinctively his fingers reached up to touch it.

Finally he decided to declare this whole occurrence as an illusion and went back upstairs. Before he reached the last step a hand suddenly covered his mouth, pulling him back. With a restrained cry he fell.

His body reached the floor with a muffled sound, the left arm unnaturally distorted.
In shock his eyes were wide open, but he was unable to move.
Then there was the sound of footsteps. 


This story is the product of a writing session from over a year ago. I've always been into morbid, psychological stories that move between reality and mere fantasy. On that particular evening I wanted to write something scary. Well, not necessarily scary, but something that would make the reader feel uneasy, maybe wondering. 

I was not sure if I should work on it a bit more to turn it into a longer story, but I never touched it again until a few months ago, when I tried to write a prologue for it. I was not satisfied with it. So, I abandoned the project again. Being very critical of my own work, I am hardly ever satisfied with the things that I write, especially when it comes to fiction, but I actually like how this part turned out. 

There is something fascinating about a man who finds himself in a situation, where he is all alone and confronted with emotions such as fear and despair. It makes him so vulnerable, but he might still try to retain his composure. His eyes might show that he is afraid, but he still tries to keep his body from trembling with all his might.

This short episode does have some sensual undertones to it, which was completely intentional. The mixture of eroticism and horror is to a certain degree quite faschinating, isn't it?
Hopefully, I will some day be able to continue this piece in a way that doesn't make me cringe like my last attempt did.

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