We used to joke that the boogeyman would hide under the bed and raising havoc in our dreams whenever things were going too well. A little bit of paranoia curbed inflated expectations, derailing our fantastical brain train and so preventing a full-on collision with the mountain that is reality. Of course, the boogeyman’s true quarters weren’t below our old dusty mattresses. Such conditions would’ve insulted his dignity and the role he played. We found him instead at the back of the caboose during one of our nightly excursions into la-la land. Peering through the single slit that had been carved into petrified wood, we saw a young man humming to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Thriller whilst chopping garlic against re-runs of the classic Dracula film. Oh the irony and embarrassment we felt, having been so utterly fooled. The next night on our commute home, an old smelly man entered the train with knife in hand and foaming at the mouth. He took a young woman hostage and demanded that we return his spirit of which we stole. The lights went out and a massive jolt shattered the recollection. We woke to the sound of electric grinders.
Entry to this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner!
The old decrepit house on Willows street was said to be possessed every Christmas eve. An eerie fog would gather around its gated premises and the normally dormant glass globes by the broken windows would glow a menacing red. Its previous inhabitants, a young family who settled in several decades ago, had been driven mad; the couple wound up in separate asylums and their children orphaned. Curiously, all the members had developed an aversion to pies of all things. The father’s insane ramblings oscillated between the gift of a divine custard and the devil’s hellfire that incinerated it. The mother reenacted the preparation of the same meal that would always end with an iron mold placed in the oven. The two children had night terrors about utensils and cutlery. The police couldn’t make heads or tails of the case until they hired an exorcist to treat the afflicted. When the priest finished his work, he asked the detectives, “have you found the friend?”
Scribbles and scrawls. Sado’e journal deteriorated with each passing week. Three days he wrote, without sleep nor rest, switching hands every hour to ease the paralyzing grasp of the pen. Candlelight flickered with dire urgency as time withdrew its loan and his bargain turned treacherous.
Clairvoyance, the reward for his “deeds”, had a price for it promised no remembrance. Only fragments he could record in a journal, and always in a form removed from the immediate percept. The advantage however remained great as portents turned futures were capitalized with the ruthless efficiency of unfettered ambition. Visions of his enemies gave him preternatural initiative. Images of fame and fortune became self-fulfilling. The voices of revelation commanded obedience.
But alas, all such powers ultimately turn on their wielders. Years flew by into old age until a singular harbinger appeared before him. The date of his death he witnessed but only the circumstances he recorded. Gruesome was the depiction accompanied by an unspeakable terror. Again and again, he would return to the harbinger, begging it to reveal more of his fate. The pen however would only scribble and scrawl.