twisted to the core
i clearly remember that night when suddenly my friend appeared out of the stillness as i was lying on bed. it was not a close friend. i mean ‘he’. i was awaken by a vague noise or ringing but i suddenly remembered my door didn’t have a electric ringer but a bell which emits out sound of cat which my mother often called to hear. how strange but soothing that weird sound feels she often said.
have i got your attention, my friend?
my eyes were opened within an impulse and i suddenly remembered that none of the apartment of this building has electric ringer. i lay awake in bed for long time thinking where the sound must have came from not really taking any action and looking at a spot on the ceiling. almost as i was staring, it started to appear. an unclear form but soon a shape with my friend’s face on it as if staring back.
the smartphone rang.
it disappeared. my gaze was broken and i reached out to see who’s calling and found the same friend calling.
“hello” it said. ‘he’ i mean
“hello” i said almost uncertain why he was calling.
“i want to meet you” he said
“why? i mean where?”
“i will text you. come right away. right now”
“what? are you insane? it’s 3:00 in morning.”
“i don’t care. i need your help”
and the phone went silent. he must have cut it. i waited for a moment and two.
ting and i got an insanely long message constituting address of a place which seemed too far from my current place. obviously, i would have ignored this insane message and call. obviously, i would have gone back to sleep and would have woken up tomorrow living my obvious life. of-course i would have considered i am dreaming and everything was nothing more than my imagination no matter how real that felt.
except i couldn’t ignore the fact that his voice was shivering and i could hear some vague human noise from background. he is need of help. he is my friend no matter how many years we have lived without even talking to each other. i put on my black jacket and sneakers. i packed my bag filling it with some food supplies and some water bottles, a pair of t-shirts and some clothing, laptop, headphones and stuff. as i was shutting the closet i saw my gun. i put it at the back of my jeans. i went to kitchen and grabbed knife and put it in my bag. just to be safe, i told myself.
i groped my car keys and took lift. i ignited the asleep car and drove. he was in another state. i asked google maps for this place but it seemed quite puzzled. i then gave it a place close to this place. it seemed to acquire it and i drove for hours taking all the roads it was recommending me. it was morning when i received a place close to it. i asked residents of this place and some more dozens of turns, i was led to a dead end road. i drove there and grabbed pizza to eat with my friend on the way. this road ceased at a house. it was queer house with wild garden and shadowy trees. i walked to the door with pizza in hand. it had an electric ringer, i suddenly noticed. i ignored it and buzzed it three times. three more times when there was no reply. i pushed the door and it opened without much effort. it was a dusty house as if abandoned years ago.
i went inside calling out for my friend. what was his name again? i don’t recollect but suddenly it popped up in my head. ‘Cecil’. i repeated this name for a while and let down the pizza at the kitchen counter. there i saw blood running just outside a closed study room. can you feel the dread i am feeling, my friend? i know you can’t because you aren’t really here experiencing this.
i followed it to the closed door and felt for my gun in the back of the jeans. i was about to open the rusty door but stopped. my heart was beating as if something is punching it hard with boxing gloves pretending it’s a punching bag with anger.
my hand receded back. I grabbed my pizza and ran to the car. I took a moment to think and realized that if my friend is still alive and breathing I could carry him to hospital but I have read so many detective novels and have watched so many crime movies that I clearly know what exactly this thing will turn out to be.
I sat in my car and started down the road. I couldn’t bring myself to eat pizza. I left him there, my friend both dead and alive for me and for you. I drove for hours and rested myself in the back of the car. again there was ringing. my sleep was suddenly broken and I started to think again why I am hearing this ringing as I look at the pumped ceiling of the car. something of my friend’s face suddenly appeared and vanquished away as a vendor was shouting his products out loud. my phone was ringing. same number and there were lots of miss calls. tell me, my friend shall I take it?
I took it faltering and was traumatized with fear
“hello” it said I didn’t say anything
“where are you? I need you.”
I remained silent.
“well, you didn’t receive any of my calls. are you alright? are you deaf?” and then there was sudden hissing but then i realized Cecil was laughing.
then I realized maybe the blood wasn’t his. maybe he wasn’t at the address at all and was at a neighbor.
then I asked
“where are you now? I am about to reach the address”
“I am at the house,” he said merrily.
my eyes dilated. I cut the phone but it kept ringing. continuously.
I drove as fast as I could. I didn’t stop anywhere yet I kept coming to a particular place as I near my sate. I have to stop the car as it was out of gas. I refilled it. I asked google to keep giving me directions to way back. she seemed confused then I gave the address close to it. it gave me the way. I reached the place close to my apartment yet I asked people whether they knew me or not. most of them shook their head, no. my friend, of course, they should know me but this was getting weird and I parked my car on the road and I ran to my apartment. I took a lift. the door opened and he was there just outside my apartment ringing my bell but it sounded like an electric bell. i had a weird flashback of childhood.
we used to play weird games. these games included the closing of another person in a dark room. we first chase each other and then lock him until the locked person screams to be set free. I chased Cecil down and locked him. as he screamed I rushed to unlock him. it was his turn to chase and lock me. I was alone in the darkroom. I remembered screaming for help but he never came instead my mom did. I asked her where my friend was but she didn’t know. I tried my best but she said no and then I ran into each neighbor asking for him but he simply wasn’t there.
after years I forgot him.
suddenly a thought passed through what if he goes inside and finds me dead.
no, my friend, this can’t be right. why would I think that, my friend? are you seeing this? are experiencing this dread? how can you? you don’t exist. I am talking to myself. there is no one but me and this weird person Cecil saying he is my friend. he was trying to open the door. I felt my gun and I pulled it out. everything blacked out after that.
the next thing I remember that I was very far from my bed almost about to the front door wearing the same black jacket and shoes. I guessed that I must have entered my house and closed it somehow. I remembered everything. I was about to open the front door but my hands somehow receded back. I went to my phone and saw no change in it. there was no message or missed call by anyone. not at least by Cecil. someone was at the door. the newspaper he shouted and buzzed the bell. it was this cat again. I opened the door almost absently and found nothing. no one was there.
I searched far and wide for this person called Cecil. he was not found. I went to the police department and detectives but found nothing. the ringing has stopped since I started going to a psychiatrist explaining her this weird experience but I couldn’t after years even shrug off this person called Cecil. suddenly, almost suddenly one day after years I received a call from police department that this Cecil was dead from centuries. yes, my friend from centuries. he was just a commoner.
tell me, my friend, what should I do?
should I forget this? should I really travel back to the place and see what’s behind the door? should I ask people about him continuously? am I to consider the blood was fake? should I continue on traveling those unknown paths asking for an uncertain address? should I......?
part of me wants to go back to that place but others want to reason.
I don’t know, my friend, do you?