There he is.
Staring at me with those same empty soulless eyes I have come to know so well.
He is always just out of my reach, yet so close I can almost touch him. Feel him. For as long as I watch, he watches back at me through the window. Streams of blood flow down his arms and collect in the various small cavities formed by his tightly clenched fists. His rage permeates the glass; its cold warmth embraces me, sending a chill down my spine.
He turns his gaze from me as I shift my focus back to the blank computer screen.
Tired. So tired. I must get back to my research. I take a sip from the coffee cup on the desk. The bitter liquid excitedly slips down the back of my throat, no sign of it ever being even minimally warm. How many days has it been?
A small spider breaks my intense focus on the blank screen as it scurries across, illuminated by the bluish white glow, seemingly much larger against the only light source in the room. I reach once again for my coffee. A tiny drop escapes it confines and slithers across my tongue. Empty. The cup slips from my grasp and breaks upon hitting the floor. Broken shards scatter in all directions as if attempting to escape their prior form, embracing the chaos of destruction.
A world renowned writer. My dream has finally come to fruition. My travels have prepared me well to conquer my life’s foremost endeavor. Professor Knorr encouraged me to pursue this path based on his critique of my thesis, and the romantic idealism of such an adventurous career encapsulated me. I would discover firsthand the rich culture that our world had to offer; set foot within the stoic columns of the Parthenon in Greece; marvel at the scale of the Great Wall in China; commandeer the twisting canals of Venice; and record my adventures for my hungry fans to savor every vicarious drop. However, the trials of an unknown starving scribe never made their presence known – until now.
“Don’t look over at the window”, I mutter to myself, as I rest my forehead into the flat of my palm, elbow planted firmly on the desk. Almost instinctively, and without any voluntary action on my part, my head, still supported by my hand, turns toward the window. He’s there.
Head, still cradled in hand, swivels away from the direction of the glass. It’s at this moment I first notice the silence. “Where are they?” I ask myself, wondering how a modest house containing a wife and three small children could be so quiet. Perhaps Marian took the children to go grocery shopping with her finally heeding my not so subtle demands for silence while I’m working. But this silence is different than the few other times I was blessed with an empty home.
I notice an odd sensation against my face. Gritty. Crusty. I look down at the palm of my hand and notice the blood for the first time. Its appearance is dry, caked on, and cracked along the channels of the lines in my skin. I turn my hand over to see more of the same. My arms are painted with it as well. The dried blood flakes off of my skin as I rub it with my hands. My fingers graze over a still open and quite deep wound on my upper arm. I bristle as I graze over it. The blood has formed a loose coagulation covering it, which gives way producing a fresh stream upon disturbing it with my fingers. How did that happen? Certainly I would remember such a serious cut. Could that have produced so much blood?
The ominous silence is so thick and deafening, it’s impossible to work. I must continue my research somehow. A quick glance over at the window reveals my nemesis is still there. Staring as blankly as ever. Waiting. His patience is beyond comprehension.
I’m awakened by the sharp and sudden pain of my forehead slamming uninhibited against the hard wooden desk, gravity finally overtaking it during my former slumber. The force of the impact sends a nearby half empty bottle of cheap whiskey toppling over, its contents spilling on the desk and my papers. I salvage what remains, and dump the remainder of it down my throat. My back throbs from being seated in the same position for so long. My legs ache. Using the desk as a crutch, I slowly negotiate my feet under the weight of my body, and stand up. The light of my computer monitor remains as the only source of illumination. As I attempt to walk on ropes for legs, I pass by the window, which I monitor out of the corner of my eye. “It” passes in front of it on the other side. His hatred pierces me.
Something invisible sprawled across the dark floor catches my foot sending me crashing to the ground. “What the fuck?” I exclaim in a raspy voice. After gathering myself, I feel my way along the floor back to the obstacle and inspect it. It’s soft. Drenched. Clothing. Arms. Legs. Holy fuck.
He did this.
I crawl and drag myself over to the window and look out. His maniacal grin terrifies me. His eyes are full of rage, and send a shiver through my soul. Legs still too shaky to walk, I continue clawing my way along the wall, feeling for the light switch. Upon discovering it, I flip it on, instantly flooding the room in harsh yellow light. I turn my head over my shoulder to inspect my surroundings. That’s when I first notice.
Buckets of blood had been slung in all directions across the room - floor, walls, ceiling, everywhere. Scattered across the room, four mangled and distorted bodies lie frozen in terror. The body I tripped over belongs to a small child. Two more are children as well. The fourth is larger – with long brunette hair matted in blood, drowning in a tangled mess. “Oh my god!” I shout, as I simultaneously convulse in violent vomiting. I fall to my knees and drag myself over to my nearest child, scooping up his broken body in my arms. Still holding him, I crawl to my wife, the blood still fresh after fully leaving her body through the enormous slit in her neck, nearly leaving her decapitated.
The shock gives way to sheer rage, which instantly courses through my veins. My skin ignites in flame, as anger pours over me. He did this. “YOU DID THIS!” I scream at the top of my lungs, head flung back toward the ceiling. I fight my way to my feet, slipping in the wet blood, and stumble over toward the window. His rage is more real than ever. He glares at me defiantly, daring me to engage him. I fumble around the edge of the window, unable to find any method of opening it. Completely engulfed in adrenaline and rage, I plunge my hand through the glass as hard as I can, shattering it, as an effort to make my way toward the evil murderer on the other side. The face staring back at me in the window explodes with the glass, and my fist makes a sudden impact with the solid wall behind it, shattering several bones in my fingers.Fragments of glass sail through the air, lacerating my skin in multiple places. The bare wooden wall stands firmly undisturbed, minus the new blood in the shape of a fist appearing on it, in the exact spot where the mirror had been.