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Famous Last Words

I don’t care! We’ll carry on

We were all very quiet for… I was going to say a few minutes, but it probably wasn’t anything like as long as that, but it felt it. I looked at Ray again and I had to ask.

“You’ve seen him too?”
Ray sighed and nodded. “Yeah, but I like everyone else, I didn’t want to talk about it. Even though, if I’m honest, I didn’t think I dreamt it, I didn’t want to accept it was real either.”
“What happened?” Gerard asked.

Gerard's voice was quiet, curious and, at the same time, troubled. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was asking himself why he was the only one that hadn't been visited in some way by one of the two spirits. Frank and I had both seen a disfigured man and a woman. Bob had the experience with his bathtub. I had no idea which of them would be responsible for that, but I felt that it was connected in some way. Now Ray was going to tell us his experience and already we knew from his earlier reaction that the man was involved in some way, but how? I could see he was reluctant to start speaking again. Maybe in some way he believed that if he didn’t say the words out loud that just maybe it hadn’t happened. I offered him an encouraging smile and nodded, I hoped, reassuringly. Only moments later, Ray began to speak.

“It began a few days after we arrived, I woke up in the middle of the night and I saw a light under my door. I figured someone was up, so I’d get up too, make a coffee or something. I hadn’t been sleeping too well. To be honest, Mikes, I thought you were up. You know my room backs onto yours… well, I’d heard noises in the night.”
“What kind of noises?” I asked.

Ray had just unnerved me; the idea that there were noises coming from my room that I wasn’t aware of scared me even more than my own experiences. He lowered his eyes and sighed; I could see he looked really uncomfortable and didn’t want to tell me, but I had to know.

“Go on,” I pressed.
“It was mostly crying,” he finally admitted.
“Me?” I gasped, unsure what to think.
“I don’t know, Mikes, I thought it was at first, the sounds were muffled and it could have been, maybe in your sleep or something. I mean the other night I did see you walking around crying, but it may not have been you every time. Now that we know about the…” Ray’s voice trailed off and he seemed reluctant to actually say the word ghosts.
“So you got up?” Gerard prompted, keen to deflect from the awkwardness, which, I’ll admit, was making me feel a little uncomfortable.
“Yeah,” Ray snapped to, nodding as he remembered where his story was leading. “I went into the corridor and the floor was wet. There were puddles of water all along the corridor, down to the stairs. The trail actually started at Bob’s room...”

I couldn’t help but notice Bob’s startled expression; I think he had drawn the same conclusion that I already had. His bathtub, the water trail, Frank seeing the man dragging the body of a woman.

“Yeah…” Ray nodded, “you’ve seen the connection? Of course, I didn’t know at the time, so I figured Bob was up and something was maybe wrong. I followed the water and headed downstairs. When I got to the foot of the stairs there was a… a something rolled up in a tarpaulin.”
“A body?” Frank asked, remembering his own experience.
“I didn’t look,” Ray shrugged. “At the time, I was convinced that something was wrong with Bob and I just wanted to find him. I heard a shuffling noise in the kitchen and went in. I figured maybe he was in there looking for something to clean up the water, and… that’s when I saw him.”
“The pockmarked man?” I asked quietly.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “But it was just for a second or two. He was standing there, near the counter with a cleaver in his hand, running his finger along the edge. But, the thing I’ll never forget is the look on his face. I only saw it for a moment, but…” Ray shook his head. “It was chilling. It was a cold, evil smile. He looked pleased with himself and…” Ray exhaled deeply as he thought back to the sighting of the man. “He looked crazy. He turned and looked right at me. My blood ran cold; he looked as though he was going to kill me or something and I was about to run, but just a second later…”
“He vanished?” Frank asked. From the question, I got the feeling that that had been his experience of the man; that he had simply faded in front of him.
“I wish!” he rolled his eyes. “I heard him laugh.” Ray put his hand to his mouth as he recalled the sound. “It was terrifying, I don’t mind admitting. It was a hollow, angry, intimidating laugh and he turned the cleaver in his hands. Then, the lights went out and it was pitch darkness. Darker than anything I ever saw, like having my eyes shut inside a deep cave or something. I could still hear his laughter, but I couldn’t see him. I was shaking, sweating, my heart was banging and then I woke up. I was in my room, drenched in sweat.”
“So, it was a dream?” Bob asked, tilting his head to one side.

He looked hopeful, he clearly didn’t want it to be real. I wasn’t sure if that was because of the connection to his room or it he was just concerned for Ray, but he looked pretty unnerved from where I was sitting. Then, of course, it got worse – we all looked unnerved, Ray most of all. I think he had doubted the reality of the situation up until now, but actually saying the words out loud seemed to put finality on them. A stamp of truth that he never had to admit to before.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged nervously, “but when I put my light on the carpet at my bedside was soaking wet and the cleaver was on the floor.”

We all just stared. I can’t speak for anyone else, but it chilled me to my core. No wonder he hadn’t wanted to tell anyone. Gerard seemed scared suddenly. I think he thought he was next. He wanted so much to be strong for me, but I think simply knowing I wasn’t alone in this had comforted me a little. But… I knew that comfort would fade the moment I stepped back into that room. Day or night, that room was trying to crush me and, though it kills me to admit it, it was succeeding.

The room hung in absolute silence for a few moments as we took it all in. We didn’t know what to do. Comfort Ray? Brush it off? I guess the problem we were faced with was that none of us really wanted to believe it was real. And even if we accepted that one simple fact, we certainly wouldn’t acknowledge that it worried us, let alone scared us. Why? We’re guys. Facing up to our emotions – not our strong suit. Ask any guy, they’ll tell you they don’t fear anything. Of course we do, we’re just too dumb to admit it. So, what do we do? We get ourselves into situations we just can’t handle – like this one.

We’d sunk so much money into this project, this location. We couldn’t just pull the plug. Our label bosses would have had a seizure. Of course, we knew in advance that strange things happened in the house. Papa Roach had recorded there before us and we knew some pretty freaky things had happened to them but nothing like this, this was beyond anything we were familiar with. This was straight out of a horror movie, except it was real. I love horror movies, the scarier the better – I love it! But that’s because I know I can switch off the TV and everything’s okay in the real world. Here, I felt as though the real world had abandoned me and I for one was scared.

“So,” Gerard broke the silence. “Today, we take a day off and we do some research. We find out what this is all about.”

He sounded so decisive, so certain that we could resolve it and it would all be okay. I felt like I was Shaggy from Scooby Doo – the coward, wanting to run away. Gerard was Fred, he had a plan, he was sure of himself, that he could make this right. Perhaps it would be okay? Like the cartoon, this pockmarked man would turn out to be a guy in a mask – a particularly ugly mask – just trying to frighten us. We’d be those pesky kids that foil his plans. I almost laughed at the idea as, by extension, I wondered who would be Daphne and Velma. But I clung onto it desperately – an alternate reality that might just get me through.

Gerard’s idea to understand what was happening seemed a reasonable one and I just hoped it would help and not just make things worse. If I’d known at that moment just how scared he really was and how great an actor he is – I think I’d have led the call to leave then and there. But we stayed and we regretted it.

“There might be something in the library?” I offered.
“Right,” Gerard nodded decisively. “We’ll have breakfast and start there.”

I loved the library, I felt safe there. Part of me was comforted at the idea, but as much as I was, I knew that the evening was still only a matter of hours away.



@That one friend
Lol! I’m flattered and happy that you enjoyed it. Was fun to write :) even the mirror thing, which is still a problem for me even now (many years later). Still can’t stand seeing a mirror at night. But, useful to use though :D

Thanks for commenting! I really appreciate it and I hope you get some good sleep now!

Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

1:00 am. Thanks a lot. But seriously though really good and I'm sorry for what happened when you were eight.

That one friend That one friend

AAAHHHHH so good!

@merry christmas kiss my ass
Thank you so much! I’d actually forgotten about this story - oops! (I’ve been working on my others) I’m glad you’re enjoying it. As a thank you for commenting, here’s 2 chapters :) Hope you enjoy them.

Sas xx

SaskiaK SaskiaK

this is such a great støry and you're such a great wri†er!