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Jamie Thomas, 21 Sep '12

Lettie had only rested her eyes for a moment, and he had appeared. She had been fighting the urge to drift off to sleep since she sat down in the armchair by the radiator, knitting away happily as the hours ticked by. She had closed her heavy eyelids for no more than a second when she felt a presence in the room. When her eyes opened, the room was dark and cold, illuminated only by grey static fuzzing silently on the TV set. She brushed a frail hand against the radiator which was now ice cold, and blinked her eyes. She must have fallen asleep and been awoken by the heating turning itself off. She was picking up the arm chair remote control when she laid eyes on her visitor for the first time.

Her breath caught in her throat, and she delved into her pocket to get her inhaler. It wasn't there. She coughed, and tried to draw the air back in but she assumed she must be having an asthma attack again. Her heart surely couldn't take this without her inhaler. She put a trembling hand to her chest and turned back to the stranger. He stood in the corner of the room, garbed in a black suit. He had his back to her, and didn't turn around when she called out for help.

Then he made a shhhhhhhhhhh noise. Lettie's chest settled, and she could breathe normally again. The man still didn't turn around. He appeared to be staring at nothing but the bare corner of the room, his face inches from it. That was what unsettled Lettie the most. She opened her mouth to ask him a question, ask him how he had got into her room, why he was here. But no words came out. Lettie didn't feel a rush of panic, she was far too old for that. She was slowly becoming aware of the fear creeping into her body. It was almost soothing, like she was accepting the man's arrival, while acknowledging the situation she was in.

"How did you get in?" Lettie's voice was feeble.

The man didn't answer. He just stood there in the corner of the room, pressed against where the two walls met. Washed in the dancing black and white light that pooled from the TV. Suddenly the light in the room changed, and brought Lettie's attention back to the TV. She gasped as she saw that the picture had changed to a picture of the man in the corner of the room. He was still facing away, motionless and ominous.

"Why are you here?!" she whispered at the TV, urgency in her hoarse voice.

The picture changed again, to a picture of an old woman in an arm chair. She was asleep in the chair, the room cold and dark. As she stared at the picture of herself, motionless on the TV, the fear that she was experiencing doubled, and she felt a moment of realisation shock her from head to toe. She felt sick to her stomach and tried to reach for the phone that was no longer on the arm of the chair. Tears were now streaming from her eyes, and she screamed at the man in the corner of the room.

"Show me your face!"

As she looked back at the TV screen, she saw the face of the man in the corner of the room. First, the eyes and mouth were sewn together, then they burst open and light poured out blowing the TV screen outwards, sending glass shooting in all directions. Smoke poured out of the TV, and Lettie turned back to the man to see him towering over her, facing her, an inch away from her. A black liquid was pouring from his empty eyes and toothless mouth, too thin to be blood. Lettie screamed, and the man in the black suit with hell pouring from his eyes screamed back. He reached out for her face as the smoke from the TV swirled around them and Lettie lost her mind to the hysteria of it all.

Suddenly Lettie was staring at the ceiling from her position sprawled on the floor. The room was bright, and there were latex hands clutching her face, saying her name. As she focussed, she saw the face of a friendly paramedic. His mouth was moving up and down, but Lettie couldnt hear the words.

"What did you say?" she asked.

"You are very lucky! If we had been called a minute or two later, the CPR might not have worked. You were officially dead for over a minute."

Her life saver grinned broadly, but Lettie could only fear what was inevitably awaiting her.

Comments · 5

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  • Jamie Thomas said...

    This is just another random idea I had that I had to write a burst about, and I made up some parts of it as I went along, so it isn't my best work I don't think. However, I do hope you guys enjoy it, and I'm open to any criticism you would like to share with me :)

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Truly disturbing and I didn't see the end coming. Excellent burst.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Audrey Semprun said...

    The Grimm Reaper - it took me a second to connect. Interesting premise and good read!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Metta H said...

    This is a very frightening piece. Your choice of words was terrific. I'd still like to know how the man got in or if he is human. I pesumed he might have been there to harm her but maybe he was from the spirit world. If he was there to harm her, I don't think he would have his back to her.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Mike Reyes said...

    Nice scary story, it had me going for a while, tingly all over from the fright. I especially enjoyed the liquid oozing out of the intruder. Very convincing and would make a good campfire tale. Keep 'em coming.

    • Posted 4 years ago