Tuesday, January 18, 2011

short story - `It was a dark and stormy night'

A little story I threw together .. hope you like it..

It was a Dark and Stormy Night
by jay wilson ©2011

It was a dark and stormy night. Oh yes, I understand that this is a very unacceptable way of starting a story. Every literary agent will tell you starting a story with these words will kill it from being a good piece of writing. Well, I don’t care. I’m not here to win awards. I am here to tell you what happened to me on a dark and stormy night. And I hope it is something that never happens to you. Don’t make my mistake.

I was walking home from the library. It was late … later than I should have been out. But one of those quick storms moved through our area and dumped a lot of rain. With the winds and downpour, I felt I had no choice but to wait it out. I tried a couple phone numbers to see about a ride home but everyone seemed to be unavailable. My buddies were out with their girlfriends and weren’t taking calls on their cells. That was my bad luck. It looked like I was going to have to walk the mile back to my dorm. I was going to just have to hope the rain held until I made it back. I wasn’t going to bet on it though. I put my papers and textbook into my backpack and hoped it was waterproof. If I had known what was waiting to happen to me, I wouldn’t have left the library. Never the less, I trotted down the steps and headed in the direction of my dorm. It looked like the rain had shut everything down. There wasn’t much movement on the street.

I decided I could cut my time in half if I cut through the park. I doubt there would be any parkers in the park due to the rainstorm we had just had. That thought made me laugh out loud. No parkers in the park. Now that was dumb. But then, what was dumber than me doing homework for my civics class on a Friday night. Everyone was out having fun while I am doing catch-up homework … and all this on my birthday.

Cutting through the wooded park area seemed the only good idea I had had tonight. There would be fewer puddles to jump due to the paved path through the wooded park. Following the road would have led to broken sidewalks and muddy patches. We had complained about this to the campus administration with little if any results. Granted the street lights were nice and I knew I would miss them on the park path but still, it was closer. The flashes of lightning illuminated the menacing rain clouds overhead. I knew I had better hurry.

As I walked through the park, it seemed to get darker. I guess that was due to getting farther away from the street lights and the limbs overhead blocking what little light that came from above. I could only see well when a lightning streak scarred the sky. Somehow my thoughts returned to my childhood. I remembered walking home in the dark from a football game or from a friend’s house. The dark frightened me. Yes I know it was foolish but I guess I just watched too many Boris Karloff and Dracula movies. Imaginations do that to children. Somehow it was happening to me again tonight. Good gosh, I was in college and living on my own. I was just being stupid. But I did consider turning back toward the security of the street lights. I thought to myself that that was illogical thinking for a grown man.

It was then that I saw him. Twenty feet ahead, a yard off the path was a man standing and facing me. He had a dark trench coat and a hat that looked right out of a 1950s mystery novel. As I approached, I got a glimpse of his face. It was deathly white and disfigured. The mouth seemed to be twisted and slightly open. His shadowy eyes seem hollow yet piercing. That was enough for me; I turned and ran. I headed back toward the street lights which seemed farther away than I expected. All I knew was for me to get the hell away from this guy and get to safety.

Like a frightened child, I was so scared there was no rational explanation of what I saw and was experiencing. I was so terrified that all I could think about was the dark, being alone, and something in the dark was going to get me. I ran for all I was worth. Behind me I could hear the heavy footsteps as the man in the cape chased after me. Then the most shocking thing happened; his hand grabbed my shoulder. Terrified, I grasped my pencil which was hiding in my coat pocket. There was no special reason it was there. At the library I had picked it up last and just stuck it in my coat pocket. Now I was glad I did. With the sharpened end protruding from my fist, I swung around and struck with all my might.

The force seemed to have driven in pencil deep within the man’s head through his ear’s channel. At least four inches entered. The man had hold of my jacket at the moment the blow was made. His seemingly death grip stopped me in my tracks and pulled me to the ground with him. His face stared into my own. Although I now could tell he was wearing a Halloween mask, I could see into the fear reflected in his eyes. The lightning flashed giving the scene an almost macabre appearance.

The masked man slowly sunk down to the ground on his back without releasing his grip on my twisted coat. The pencil was protruding from his right ear. Then he went limp.

I stood up and looked all around. I don’t know if it was from desiring help or to see if any one saw me. I had just killed a man with a pencil. All I could think of was run; run as fast as I could. I picked up my dropped books and did just that. I ran like I had not done since I was a kid. I ran until I got back to my dorm. I had to hide and think what I was going to do. I was scared to call the police. I couldn’t call my folks. Hell, I couldn’t call anyone. I just needed some time to think and figure out what I was going to do. Right now I just wanted to hide.

I ran up the stairs to the second level and down the hall. I was shaking so bad. I was having trouble catching my breath. I was safe so far … no one was in the hall. Maybe I could just hide in my room and the police would never know who killed the man in the park. I was so confused.

My trembling hands couldn’t grasp the doorknob at first. I hoped my roommate wouldn’t be there tonight. I just could not talk to anyone right now. The knob turned and I pushed the door open … It was dark within the room. Then suddenly there was a shout and the lights came on. I didn’t even understand that this was a surprise birthday party for me. All I knew was the shock that hit me. My mind was spinning. Everyone’s faces were blurred. One of the faces asked me where David was. Dave was my roommate. Someone else asked if he found me. Dave had left to get me from the library. They also said he was dressed like a caped killer with a rubber mask. He thought it would be funny to scare me as I left the library. The realization sunk in……………

The phone rang and someone answered it. Then I heard, “It’s for you. It’s the police”.

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