Halloween’s Haunt – Part 2

It was a sunny day on November 1st, the day after Halloween. Jack had heeded his parent’s instructions and went to their old house, which was now being rented out to a young couple. He had called ahead and advised the wife that he needed to come by to collect some of the things that had belonged to his parents. He stopped at the foot of the driveway and just sat there in his car admiring the old place. So many memories, so many good times, now just that – memories. Jack was kind of hesitant to go inside and gather up his parents books, he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to learn about the Occult, wasn’t even sure it would be of any real help after what he had gone through the night before. It seemed that if it hadn’t been for his parent’s intervention, he would’ve been a goner, and doing it on his own wasn’t something that he thought he could do.

After sitting in his car for a couple of minutes, he finally decided that regardless of his fears, it would be best that he did learn. It was better to know and be able to protect oneself as opposed to not knowing and being in the predicament that he had been in. He opened his car door and made his way up the flagstone pathway towards the front door. He rang the doorbell and waited patiently for one of his tenants to answer the door. Once inside, he felt a rush of old emotions and memories come flooding back to him. He saw himself as a child playing on the area rug by the fireplace and his mother sitting in her favorite chair reading her book. His dad always had something to do around the house, it’s a mystery how either of his parents had any time at all to dedicate to the Occult.

After reminiscing for a while, Jack finally decided to head downstairs to look for the key. He walked around the basement taking a look here and there at the old junk that he had left there for storage. The basement was sectioned off so that the tenants didn’t have access to the main part of it, only to the laundry and some minimal space. The house itself was an old Victorian style house, very large and spacious. Plenty of bricks to look at; which made it really difficult to be able to find the loose one. With that thought in his mind, he began looking, thinking that the task might take some time. He started from the left and scanned quickly through a section of bricks. All of them looked solidly in place, but he still ran his hand through each brick individually to see whether any of them were loose. To his disappointment, none were. He continued on his journey to find the one loose brick and looked at the length of the wall with dismay. This could very well take a couple of hours if he had to go through every brick, so instead he decided to step back a little and scan small sections of the wall at a time, looking for bricks that had cracks in the mortar.

He started once again from left to right, wanting to give another look over. He didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Moving onto the next section, the bricks showed their age, with chips, cracks and some drill marks in some of them, probably from old shelves that had once hung there, but no sign of broken mortar. More searching and tapping certain bricks that looked as if they were loose produced nothing, until he came to the section of the wall near the partition that separated the main room and the boiler room. There he found what he had been looking for, the magical loose brick. He pulled out the brick, and sure enough, right behind it was the small key that would open up the locked chest in the attic. Tension and fear came flooding in as he picked up the key, Jack could only speculate as to what he would find in those books that his parents mentioned. Part of him still wasn’t sure whether he should go through with it, thinking that it would open him up to more attacks instead of the opposite.

“Jack, you have to get the books, it’s the only way you can protect yourself. We can no longer help you; our battle with Zorauck drained us almost beyond healing. Please Jack; this is for your own protection and your family’s wellbeing.”

With those last words, Jack felt a renewed sense of purpose, his family meant the world to him, and he would be damned if anything happened to them. He also got the impression that he wouldn’t be hearing from his parents any more, or at least not for a long time to come. After grabbing the key, he made his way upstairs to the attic to look for the buried treasure. Turning the light on and walking through all the old junk that was kept there he found the chest he was looking for. He slipped the key into the keyhole and turned the lock. After some struggling the lock disengaged. There were all kinds of junk in there, but what he was looking for was at the bottom, old books bound in leather and bearing weird insignias. He wiped the dust off of them and opened the books to take a quick look. In there, there were more weird symbols, along with scribbled notes and what looked like recipes. Since Jack was new to this, he didn’t know what to make of this, so he figured the first thing he should do is head to the nearest New Age store and get some advice.

Jack sifted through some of the other stuff in the chest, but found nothing that interested him, so he closed the chest and locked it once more. He figured he had no need to take the chest home with him now that he had what he came for, so decided to leave it behind and take the key home with him. On his way home, he couldn’t help but think of his parents and what they had told him as a child. They couldn’t stress enough the fact that the Occult was something that people used to make themselves feel empowered, that nothing of the sort should be taken seriously. Now Jack’s world had been completely turned upside down, and his parents, the same people who once told him not to take the Occult seriously were now saying the opposite. No sense worrying about this now, what had happened to him recently was proof enough that this sort of thing really did happen.

Once home, he kissed his wife and showed her the book. She took it off his hands and began looking through it, periodically stopping to take a better look at some of the diagrams and chants. She closed the book, placed it on the dinner table and looked at Jack with a confused look. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s all new to me. But, I do know someone who might be able to help, my old university professor, he studied symbols and the like for a good part of his life.”

“Are you sure he can help? I thought my co-worker would be able to help also, and he just seemed to disappear.” Jack explained to his wife with a frown.

“I don’t know whether he can actually tell you exactly what all of these symbols are, but it’s a start. I’ll give him a call and see if he’s willing to meet with you.”

Jack’s wife went to the cupboard to search for her address book. She came back showing Jack the professor’s name, Dan McClean. “I’ll call him first thing Monday morning. I just hope he still teaches at the university, otherwise I have no other means of getting a hold of him.”

Jack couldn’t help but ask the question with a smirk on his face, “Why do you have your professor’s number?”

His wife punched him lightly on the shoulder and responded in kind, “How else do you think I passed the class with such high marks?”

Jack looked at her and smiled. He loved the fact that he could joke around like this with his wife and not worry about her getting offended. He thanked her for helping him, gave her another kiss and told her that in the meantime he was going to go to the New Age store in town to see whether they could be of any help.

Jack got back into his car and drove off, destination, New Age store. After driving for about thirty minutes, he found the location that he had seen awhile back while shopping with his wife. Walking into the store, he could smell the strong scent of incense; he also saw candles lit on a makeshift altar. This is almost sacrilegious, he thought to himself, but, he maintained that he needed to have an open mind. He greeted the lady behind the counter and proceeded towards the bookshelves to see whether he could find any books on Occult symbols. Scanning through the myriad of books, he came across a couple that proclaimed to be able to decipher Occult symbols, but none of them had any symbols that even remotely looked like the ones in his parent’s book. At some point, the lady behind the counter had ventured towards Jack, probably to see if he needed any help. Before she could ask him if he was in need of help, Jack produced his parent’s book and asked, “Do you by any chance recognize any of these symbols?”

“Let me see. Hmmm, I don’t remember ever coming across symbols like this. What are they?”

“Well, that’s what I had hoped you’d be able to tell me. This book belonged to my parents, and they claimed to come from a long line of witches and magicians.”

“Sorry sir, I’ve never seen these symbols before, but maybe we might have a book that might be of help.” The confused looking lady from the New Age store helped Jack scan through their inventory of books but wasn’t able to find anything that could decipher the symbols. Jack, now beginning to show his frustration, thanked the lady and walked out. Not even a few paces outside the store, his cell phone rang. It was his wife, “Hi honey, listen I called my old professor because I wanted to leave him a message, and he was actually there. I told him about your book and he said he’d be willing to meet with you this Friday evening.”

“That’s great, but what time and where?” Jack was relieved that he might finally be able to have someone help him.

“I actually took the liberty to invite him to our house for dinner; it’ll give me a chance to catch up with him as well. He’ll be over at seven thirty.” His wife’s excitement was incredibly evident.

“Did I ever tell you how much I love you?” This was more of a statement rather than a question.

“No, I can’t recall the last time you told me that.” The chuckle in her voice was borderline laughter.

“Funny girl. Anyway, I just got out of the New Age store, can’t believe what a waste of time it was. The lady that worked there had no clue about the symbols, nor was she able to be of any other type of help. Anyway, I’m heading home now, I’ll see you soon.” Jack hung up the phone and made his way to the car.

Once home, he and his wife sat there talking about the situation, she reminded him that the book wasn’t just about the symbols, but also spells and incantations. He looked at her with a startled and somewhat annoyed face. “I still don’t understand why you waited until recently to tell me about this interest you have!”

“Oh come on, I thought we discussed this already. Besides, it’s just an interest, it’s not like I’m an expert.”

Jack let out a breath of defeat. He knew she was right, and anyway, they did already discuss this and rehashing it wouldn’t solve any of his current dilemmas. What was he to do in the meantime? There were more than five days till Friday and no one else was even remotely able to help him understand any of the stuff in the book. Jack decided that on Sunday, he would spend some time at the library to see whether they had anything of help. Aside from that, he would enjoy the rest of the day with his wife and son.

The alarm rang loudly and nearly caused Jack to fall off his bed. He looked at the clock, saw that it was eight thirty in the morning and was worried that he was going to be late for work. He scrambled out of his bed and started running towards the bathroom when he finally clued into the fact that it was Sunday and not Monday. After shaking off the last few vestiges of cobwebs from his head, he remembered why he had set the alarm so early on a Sunday morning. He was to go to the library to do some research and hopefully find something that can even remotely explain any of the mumbo jumbo in his parent’s book. His wife stirred a little, and Jack was surprised that she hadn’t woken up with all the commotion he made just a few minutes earlier.

After showering, he prepared breakfast for both himself and his wife. As he was about to start eating, his wife walked into the kitchen holding their son, and looked at him with a surprised look, “You made me breakfast? What’s the occasion, and why are you up so early on a Sunday?”

“What, I can’t make my wife some breakfast?” He chuckled. “I wanted to go to the library for a couple of hours to see if I could find anything of relevance there. Knowing my luck lately, probably not, but I thought I would give it a try none the less.”

“Okay, but don’t be back too late, my parents are coming over for lunch remember?”

“How could I forget, I’ll be back in time, this is why I’m going early.” He finished his cup of coffee and kissed his wife and son before making his way to the front door. As Jack got into his car, he wondered whether it was even worth the trip to the library. If the New Age store couldn’t be of any help, what would a library that was built only eight years ago do? He sat there contemplating this and decided to go anyway. He hadn’t been to the library in a while and if nothing else, maybe he could pick up some reading material to help him fall asleep at night.

The library had been built on an old lumber yard, the area where it was located used to be barren, with the lumber yard as the only resident. Now, there were new subdivisions going up what seemed to be almost every other week. The area where Jack lived was in itself a new subdivision only a few years ago, but now seemed old by comparison. He pulled into the library’s parking lot, got out of his car and made his way to the front entrance. The building was a three story structure, finished with a greyish colored brick and modern design. Inside, there were meeting rooms available, internet kiosks, and it even had a small coffee station. Jack found himself a place where he could sit down and then made his way to the nearest library computer where he could do some research.

He tried looking up books on symbols and found that there were over a dozen of them in stock. His excitement grew as the prospect of being able to find something of relevance increased. He wrote down all of the titles of the books along with their designation within the library and made his way around to collect. Jack was surprised that this library had old books within its collection, but then again, it wouldn’t be too smart to only have new books. Walking back to his table with his arms full of books, he sat down and started the arduous task of sifting through all of them to see whether he could find any reference to the symbols from his parent’s book.

The first two books proved to be of no use as they were books about modern symbols of math and science. He put them aside and flipped through the pages of the next book which proved to be of an Occult nature, but yet again, he was disappointed. It almost seemed hopeless at this point; almost as if something wasn’t letting Jack find out anything about his parent’s book and in turn hopefully find out more about his parent’s secret life. About an hour later and more frustration, Jack gave up on the library as well. He saw that it was getting close to noon, so he figured he had better start heading back before his in-laws came to the house. Placing the books he had removed from the shelves onto the return tray, he picked up his bag and made his way to the car. On the way there, Jack was starting to think that even his wife’s old professor wouldn’t be able to help him, but instead of dwelling on that, he fought hard to think of something completely unrelated.

The lunch that Jack’s wife had prepared for her parents had been akin to a delicacy. He nudged his wife and whispered in her ear, “I’m going to have to invite your parents over more often. This meal was delicious.”

“Don’t get any funny ideas, do you know how long it took me to prepare this roast? I’d like to see you slave over a hot oven like this, and wearing an apron.” She chuckled.

Jack and Peter, his father-in-law, stepped out to the back yard after helping to clear the dishes and talked about what plans were in the works to improve the house and yard. Meanwhile, Jack’s wife Julie and her mother sat down, sipping coffee and discussing the recent events that Jack had experienced. Julie and her mom were always close to the point where they could discuss pretty much anything, and in her younger years, Julie’s mom had been a bit of a rebel in her own parent’s eyes by joining a cult group in the late fifties. As Julie recounted the story to her mother, a strange look of surprise sprang up on her face.

“Are you sure that all of this wasn’t just a bad dream honey?” Julie’s mom asked with a concerned look on her face.

“No mom, I know when Jack has a bad dream and this was no dream I assure you. He was visibly shaken, and the events of what had happened were just too detailed to be a dream or nightmare. This is the real deal. Plus, how else was Jack able to find the book at his parent’s old house? He knew nothing about his parent’s interest in the Occult until now. Not to mention that as a child, his parents tried desperately to keep all of this from him.”

“Okay, I just wanted to make sure that’s all. What was the entity’s name?”

“Ummm, I think it was Zorack, or something like that.”

Julie’s mom, on hearing the name, dropped her half empty cup of coffee on the ground.

“Julie, do you mean Zorauck? And please try to remember, it’s very crucial.” Her face was now pale as a ghost.

“Ahh, yes that’s the one. Are you okay mom? You don’t look so good.” Julie was starting to be concerned for her mother. She had never seen her this distraught before.

“Julie, Zorauck is a very powerful demon. If Jack had an encounter with him, he’s in grave danger.”

With that last statement, Julie now started to turn pale herself. She picked up the cup that her mother had dropped, proceeded to clean up the floor and sat back down. She had hoped that maybe cleaning the mess on the floor might help her breath a little bit easier, but it was to no avail.

“What do you mean he’s in grave danger? I mean I don’t know enough about the Occult, but are you sure that it’s this bad?” Julie’s concern was now starting to manifest in the way she started to almost stutter and shake.

“Listen to me very carefully Julie. First off, do not, and I repeat, do not tell anyone else about this. The less people know the better. Secondly, I will get in contact with an old friend of mine who is a demonologist and will be able to lend some assistance. If what you told me is correct, then Jack is going to need all the help he can get.” Julie’s mom shot a reassuring glance at her daughter, in the hopes that it would calm her down.

“Okay. Wait, I called up my old University professor and invited him over for dinner Friday night. I wanted him to see the book Jack found at his parent’s house. It’s full of weird symbols, and what looks like spells and incantations.”

Julie’s mom sat there contemplating the situation. She rubbed both her index fingers on her temples, a habit she had picked up from her father many years ago, and then said, “Okay, here’s what you do. Call him back as soon as you can and tell him that the book Jack found turned out to be nothing but your typical spell book that many twenty somethings use to help their love lives. If you still want to have him over for dinner on Friday, go ahead, but do not let him see that book. If he knows nothing about the legend of Zorauck, then he must not see it, it’ll be detrimental to him and his family.” She paused for a few seconds, rubbing her fingers once again on the temples, and continued, “I need to see the cover of the book. If it’s what I think it is, then this book would be of great help to Jack.”

“Wait, if this book is helpful, than why can’t we show my professor?” Julie asked with a bewildered look on her face.

“Because of the legend of Zorauck. The less people know of him, the better this world would be. You see Julie, Demons need energy from us to feed off of, but if no one knows of him, he won’t have any energy to take. The more people know of him and talk about him, the more powerful he gets. It’s a long story honey, and it would be better if my friend explains it to you. I won’t do it any justice. Just promise me you won’t show the professor the book, and for God’s sake, tell Jack not to mention the Demon’s name to anyone.”

Julie was confused but, never the less, decided to follow her mother’s advice. She wasn’t at all sure how her mother knew all of this, especially since her mother never showed any interest in the Occult. “Mom, one more question? How do you know about this?”

“It’s a long story Julie, but I’ll give you the quick version. When I was about your age, maybe younger, I belonged to a society that was heavily involved in the Occult. The organization was into conjuring spirits for the benefits of the members and their families. But as with most organizations, it became corrupt, and the leaders of the organization began conducting dark rituals. Jack’s parents were also involved, and that’s how you met Jack, because we knew each other and we also helped one another get out. One of the rituals that this group performed was the raising of Zorauck, an ancient demon that, legend has, is bent on enslaving the human race for his own purposes.”

Julie was shocked, and her face didn’t hide it at all. “You mean you were a part of this ritual to raise this demom?”

“No Julie. Jack’s parents and I left the group before the ritual of the raising. We knew that this wasn’t a good thing, but before we left, we decided to learn as much about the demon as possible. We stayed with the group long enough to discover what it was, and then with the help of another individual, we left. You see Julie, Jack’s parents, along with myself, were born in England. This is where the group was located. The individual that helped us leave the organization and immigrate to America is your father. He was living here already, and he knew that I was involved in this organization. He was always against this sort of thing, so he was more than happy to help when I told him that I wanted out. Your father and I have known each other since we were kids, and your father had always had a crush on me.” Julie’s mom giggled at that last statement.

Julie, looking more like herself now, had one more question that nagged her. “So, who is this person that you know can help? Is it another member of your organization?”

Julie’s mom gave a curt look towards her daughter and said, “I don’t belong to that organization any more Julie, so please don’t refer to it as mine! In any case, to answer your question, yes, it’s another former member of the organization, someone who was very high up and also decided to leave because of where it was going.”

“But how do you know you can trust this person? If this person was very high up, maybe she knows about this demon and also that Jack is a very important figure in all of this.” Her curiosity was now overshadowed by her concern.

“First of all it’s a ‘he’, and I’ve known Mark for a very long time. He can be trusted.” Her irritation was now growing as she now felt that her daughter was drilling her like a mother drills a child for doing something they shouldn’t have done.

“I’m sorry mom, but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is serious. I mean you’re the one who told me not to show my professor the book and told me also about the danger of this demon.”

“This is serious business, and I wouldn’t put my family at risk in any way. I’ll speak to Mark once I get home and see what he has to say. After that, we’ll set up a day where we can meet and Jack can show Mark the book.” Julie’s mom leaned over and gave her daughter a kiss on the forehead as a sign or reassurance.

For all that she was feeling better; Julie still had some reservation about this man her mother new. At least Julie could trust her old professor, but this mysterious man from her mother’s past, she wasn’t too sure about. In any case, something had to be done, and if this guy Mark can help, than she would have to trust her mother to have made the right decision. Just as she was finishing that thought, Jack and her father walked back into the house still discussing what plans Jack had for the house and what help he would need. Upon entering the living room, Jack saw the look on Julie’s face and knew right away that there had been something wrong, he approached her and asked if all was okay. Julie smiled, looked into his eyes and told him that she would tell him after her parents left.

Jack’s face now took on a more serious look as he wanted to find out what Julie had to say. Julie’s mom, seeing that this was the case, told her husband that she thought they should leave soon so that Jack and Julie could tend to their business and their son. “Okay, let me just finish my coffee and we’ll leave.”

Julie, Jack, and their son were outside on the walkway waiving to Julie’s parents as they backed out of the driveway and drove off back to their house. Once they were out of view, Jack turned to Julie and asked her again, “Is everything okay? I saw the look on your face inside and it worried me.”

“I’m not quite sure of that yet. Let’s go inside and put Anthony to bed. After that, I’ll tell you everything my mother and I discussed.” They moved back into the house, went to their son’s room and got him ready for his afternoon nap. Once Anthony was asleep, Julie turned the baby monitor on and motioned Jack to go downstairs. Back in the living room again, Jack sat down and prepared himself to hear what Julie had to say.

“Okay, this is going to sound really weird. And to be honest, I’m not even sure whether I am registering it fully yet or not. Anyway, here’s what my mother told me while you and my dad were outside. When my mother was around my age, she had joined this cult, or as she put it, an Occult organization. When we sat down having coffee, I told her about your experience and when I mentioned the name Zorauck, she dropped her cup of coffee on the floor. Turns out that this organization my mother was a part of actually tried to raise him with one of their rituals, can you believe it? But that isn’t the big news, what she also told me is that she had met your parents in this same organization, and that once they found out what they were up to, your parents, along with my mother got out with the help of my father. Did you know that your parents were born in England?”

Jack’s face turned as white as freshly fallen snow. Again he felt as if his world had come crashing down; like a jet plane that lost its wings. “Yes, I knew they were born in England, but I was under the impression that they immigrated to the States at an early age.” He managed to finally say after he regained his composure. “This is starting to get really weird now. I’m starting to think that everyone around me isn’t what they appear to be. Please tell me you are who you say you are, and if there’s anything you haven’t told me about you that I should know, I think now would be a good time to tell me.”

“No Jack, you know everything about me. I’ve never lied to you about who I am, and all of this is just as much of a shock to me as it is to you. I had no idea my mother had joined a group that tried raising some demon, I just thought she joined some local Wiccan cult that pranced around a tree every now and again just to piss off her parents.” Julie’s face was just as confounded as his. Jack relaxed a little, but not as much as he would’ve liked. “Well, at least we’ll get to see your old professor on Friday; maybe he might be able to shed some light on this whole mess.”

“Well, here’s the thing. My mother strongly advised against that, she said that the more people who learn about Zorauck the worst the situation would be. She told me that Zorauck feeds off of our energy, so the best thing to do is not tell anybody.” Julie noticed Jack’s frustration starting to mount again and quickly added, “But don’t worry, she knows someone whom she trusts from back in the cult days that can be of help. She’s going to give him a call and find out when we can meet with him, in the meantime, we can either cancel the dinner with my professor, or just tell him that the book you have turned out to be just some weird love spell book.”

“Are you sure this guy your mother knows can help. You said your mother knows him from her cult days, this means that this guy was involved in that same cult that raised Zorauck.”

“I know, I had the same reservation about it, but she assured me that this guy is trustworthy and that he, if anyone, can help. Besides, she didn’t actually say whether the group was successful in raising Zorauck.”

“Well if you ask me, I think they did a pretty damn good job of it. When is your mom going to call you to let you know about this guy?”

“She said she would try to contact him as soon as they got back home. Once she talks to him and finds out his availability, she’ll call me to tell me a date. I know this isn’t going to be of much help, but try not to worry too much, we’ll get through this.”

Jack was in deep thought when Julie made that last statement. He looked up at her, smiled and told her that he would try not to think about the situation too much. Jack got up from the armchair and headed to the kitchen to make himself another cup of coffee. He looked outside to his yard and thought about all the plans he had for the yard, how he was going to build a play area for Anthony once he was old enough and able to walk. Jack’s primary concern in all of this wasn’t for himself, it was for his family. He couldn’t even begin to think what he would do if anything happened to them as a result of all of this. These were the thoughts that crept up since this whole ordeal began just before Halloween. It even got to a point where Jack was starting to hate October 31st.

Jack began to feel as if there was no one in this world that would be able to help him, and felt as if he were completely alone. He knew that his wife would always be there for him, but he also knew that their son came first, and that was that. All these lies, or non-truths really took a toll on Jack, he was confused, frustrated and even saddened by all of this. His parents, the very people he looked up to for guidance and knowledge betrayed him. Even though he knew that they were trying to protect him it didn’t change how he felt.

Why was this THING after him? What did he have that it wanted? Had he done something to provoke it? Of course none of these questions would be answered, but it didn’t stop Jack from asking them. He needed to find some answers, and quick. Hopefully this mysterious guy from the cult would be able to help and not be just another dead end.

Jack, your parents may have slowed me down, but I’ll be back for you soon. Our destinies are intertwined and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. You and I will make a formidable team. Imagine Jack, taking over this feeble world and having all of its inhabitants our slaves.

AAAAAARRRGGGG!!!! ”Get out of my head you monster!!!”

“Jack, what’s wrong?” Julie could see that Jack was at wits end. He was grabbing his head with both hands and looked like he was trying to squeeze out something.

“It’s him! He’s in my head again. We need to do something quick; he’s starting to regain his strength and we won’t have much time before he’ll come after me again.”

He was almost on the brink of exhaustion. Never in his life did he have to endure such torment, and if this kept up, he didn’t know how long he could hold out. His parents were not going to be able to help him this time; it was just him and this DEMON!

Julie couldn’t stand to see him this way. A tear started to form in one of her eyes but she fought back hard. She had to be strong for him, had to be there when no one else could; at least for the time being. She wrapped her arms around him and placed his head on her chest. She didn’t say anything, she knew better than that. Sometimes silence can be more helpful than words.

We will defeat him my love, stay strong!

to be continued…

Written by: Alex Rondini

Halloween ‘s Haunt

Just two days away from Halloween and Jack still hadn’t finished his Halloween candy purchasing. The kids would be out in full force this year considering the forecast was calling for a mild day and Halloween happened to fall on a Friday. Jack always loved Halloween, it was the one time of the year where he could involve himself and scare the kids. But what he really liked is scaring the adults, that was much more gratifying for him. Jack lived in a small town and owned a fair sized property, this was perfect for Halloween because he would create a haunted house in his front yard where the kids and adults would have to walk through. Jack’s neighbours would all pitch in and enjoy in the festivity that was Halloween.

Five O’clock couldn’t come fast enough today, and Jack was getting really agitated. He called his neighbour and confirmed that they were all going to set up the front yard after he got home from candy shopping. The day had been very ominous and windy, which made Jack even more excited about the bid day. He always longed for a day where Halloween would be overcast and gloomy just so it would add to the atmosphere. The plans were all set into motion, and things couldn’t go wrong according to Jack. He looked at his watch one more time and realized that his daydreaming had effectively made the time go by a lot faster and there was only ten minutes left to the end of his shift. Jack didn’t hesitate to start packing early as he had a lot to do after work, so he wanted to leave right at five.

Once done packing up his stuff, Jack made haste to the exit and sped walked to his car. Out of nowhere Jack stopped dead in his tracks and had this overwhelmingly feeling that something was amiss. He looked around to see if maybe something was wrong in the vicinity, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He shook off the feeling as maybe being overly excited about Halloween and now he was coming down to earth with the reality that things still had to be done. He started his engine and drove off to the nearest supermarket to buy bags full of candy.

On his drive home, he had the same feeling come over him and this time it was a lot stronger. He couldn’t quite explain why he was getting this feeling of foreboding, but he knew that something wasn’t right. He rushed home to see if everything was okay with his family, even though Jack didn’t believe in premonitions he wanted to absolutely sure that this wasn’t something telling him that his wife or child were hurt. Once he pulled into his driveway, he first quickly surveyed the surroundings to see whether there was anything that didn’t seem right. Everything was fine, so he got out of his car and made his way to the house.

Everything inside the house seemed to be in good order, but Jack didn’t see his wife and son anywhere. He shouted his wife’s name almost at the top of his lungs as he was starting to panic and was about to also reach for the phone when from the basement he hears his wife responding back in shock and bewilderment.

“What’s the matter Jack, why are you yelling?”

“I’m sorry Julie, but after leaving work I had the strangest feeling that something wasn’t right. It happened twice, once on my way to the car, and then again on the drive home. When I came in and didn’t see you and Mark I panicked.”

“Okay, but you could’ve called from your cell phone if you were worried that something had happened to us.”

“Yeah, you’re right, I’m just glad that you and Mark are okay. Hey, do you know whether Paul has come home yet? He and Tina agreed to help set up the front yard for Halloween.”

“I have been downstairs pretty much all day taking care of a few things, I haven’t noticed.”

“Okay, I’ll go check in a bit.”

Jack, now feeling extremely relieved that his family was okay, walked to the kitchen and placed the two large bags full of candy on the counter. The excitement was starting to creep back in now that everything was good and he started anticipating Paul’s arrival so that they can get started on the decorations. After putting the candy away, Jack made his way to the back yard to start the preparations. He went into the shed and dusted off the boxes on the middle shelf that were marked “Halloween Deco” and brought them outside. This time of year always reminded Jack of when he was a kid and how much he enjoyed going door to door collecting candy and being spooked. Although times have changed and more parents now come along with their kids, this doesn’t deter Jack from having a good time. In fact, it’s even more enjoyable since now he can scare the parents as well as the kids.

After bringing the boxes to his front yard and removing all of the contents, he noticed his neighbour Paul arriving home. He waved to Paul almost as if to remind him of the promise that was made. Paul parked his car and before heading to his house he reassured Jack that he would be over to help shortly. Without waiting for Paul to show up, Jack started planning the layout for the decorations. A couple of weeks earlier he had made a trip to a Halloween store in the big city and purchased more decorations for this year. He bought a fake skeleton which he planned on lying down on the ground and covering half of it so it looked like it was coming out of the ground.

About ten minutes after Jack started to prepare the decorations, Paul and his wife Tina made their way over, said their pleasantries, and began sifting through the second box Jack had brought out, along with their own contributions to the front lawn of horror. This year was going to be something else, Jack could feel it in his bones. The weather was holding up, even though there were dark clouds all over, the forecast seemed to be accurate this time and no rain seemed to be imminent. A couple of hours, and a twelve pack of beer later, the decorations were complete. Jack was so impressed by how the front lawn was decorated that he went upstairs to grab his digital camera so that he could snap a few shots of the yard and the decorations.

Jack stood at the front of his lawn, camera poised, and started snapping some shots. He asked Paul and Tina to stand beside some of the decorations so that he could have some pictures of them as well.

“Hey Jack, give me the camera and I’ll take a few pictures of you with the decorations as well.” Paul said with his hand outstretched to take the camera off of Jack.

“Okay, sounds good. Hang on a minuted though, I want to go get my Vampire teeth and put them on for the pictures.”

Jack was half way in the house as he was finishing his statement. A couple of minutes later and Jack was back outside sporting his shiny new Vampire fangs. He positioned himself in front of the makeshift coffin that Paul and himself built for last years Halloween celebration. Paul steadied himself and then took a couple of shots. After the picture taking was done, Jack scanned through all of the pictures quickly through the camera’s viewfinder to see if they came out okay. When he got to the pictures of himself by the coffin, he noticed that something wasn’t right. He couldn’t quite make out what was wrong with the picture because the viewfinder was a bit too small, but it looked as if the picture was a bit blurry. He showed Paul and Tina, and they all agreed that it was Paul’s shoddy picture taking that caused the blurriness. Jack showed Paul quickly what he had to do and then posed for some more pictures. That being done, Jack checked the recent pictures and again they seemed to be blurry, he couldn’t understand why as Paul did what he had instructed him to do. Before calling it a night, he asked if Paul would stand in front of the coffin to pose for one quick picture, he wanted to see if maybe there might have been something about the coffin’s paint that maybe reflected the flash in a certain way that might seem as blurriness. Jack took the shot and immediately looked at the picture, there was no blurriness, so he thought that maybe it was the way Paul took the picture.

It was getting pretty late after all was said and done, so Jack thanked Paul and Tina for their help and made his way inside the house to prepare for bed. Before heading to his own room to sleep, Jack made a quick stop at his son’s room to kiss him good night and to tuck him in. On his way back to the master bedroom, Jack once again stopped. He was getting that feeling again, and was starting to get noticeably annoyed, especially since this sort of thing never happened to him before. Jack has met people in his life that would’ve probably advised him that what he was feeling was some sort of premonition. Jack didn’t believe in all of that paranormal mumbo jumbo so he just simply dismissed this feeling as something that was caused by all of the excitement of the upcoming Halloween celebration. It is kind of ironic how someone who enjoys Halloween so much doesn’t believe in the least in the paranormal, but ever since he was a child, his parents kept drilling into his head that nothing of the sort exists, that it’s all imagination. But, that didn’t mean that Jack couldn’t enjoy scaring the children.

He went into the bedroom and told his wife that before he was getting into bed, he wanted to quickly download the pictures they took of the decorations. He went to the living room and turned on his laptop and began to download. Once done, he launched his browser so that he could scan through them, particularly the ones that looked blurry. He was curious as to what exactly was causing the blurriness. When he got to the pictures of him in front of the coffin, Jack nearly had a heart attack and almost fell backwards off the chair. He couldn’t believe his eyes, but just to make sure, he checked the other pics as well, and the same thing was there, even the one he took of Paul.

Jack couldn’t believe his eyes, it was impossible. The first picture that was taken of himself by the coffin displayed a shadowy human figure to the left. This wasn’t just vague shadow that could be explained away by natural causes, it was a distinctly human form with all the features but shadowy looking. Jack didn’t know who this individual was, he had never seen him before, but sure enough, there he was, on all three pictures. Jack quickly grabbed his camera and ran outside to take some more pictures of the coffin. He turned his camera on and steadied himself, as his knees now felt as if they were made of jell. He snapped about three more shots of the coffin from different angles just to make absolutely sure that it wasn’t anything natural that was causing the shadowy figure. Jack’s camera being digital, there were literally slim to no chance that it was a double exposure, but, to make sure he had reformatted his memory card prior to taking the new shots of the coffin. He now felt an uneasiness around that coffin, he wasn’t sure what to expect, and why this was happening to him.

When inside again, he ran back to his laptop and downloaded the new pics. To his surprise, the shadowy figure wasn’t in any of the new pictures. Now Jack was confused, he didn’t know what to make of the first set of coffin pics. Was it the memory card that needed to be reformatted? Or was it something natural that had caused the shadowy figure, even though the figure was extremely detailed. Jack found himself scratching his head wondering what to make of the situation. He decided that he would let it go for the night and go to bed as it was getting really late and he had to go to work the next day. He would think about what to do in the morning.

The alarm clock went off and Jack got out of bed sluggishly. He hadn’t slept well at all because of the previous nights incident. He was still deeply confused about the whole situation, not to mention the weird feelings he had gotten throughout the day. All of that served as a good recipe for a sleepless night. None the less, he was determined to figure out what all of this meant, so he went downstairs, turned on his laptop again and burned a CD with the pictures he had taken last night, including the ones that didn’t have the shadowy figure. He figured he would analyse them more once he got to work and if need be he would enlist the aid of a good friend of his to help him make heads or tails of the situation.

When he got to work, Jack slipped the CD into the drive and opened the browser. He scanned through all the pics thoroughly to see whether he could spot anything out of the ordinary, but no such luck. Everything seemed to be in place, which only served to confuse him even more. To add to Jack’s frustration, the eerie feeling that he had came back. Jack placed his head into his hands and cringed. He didn’t know what to do or what to make of all of this. The phone rang, and Jack almost jumped to the ceiling. He picked up the receiver and announced his name, but there was no response. All Jack could hear was static, so he figured it was a bad connection and hung up the phone. Not even half a minute later, the phone rang again, this time Jack looked at the call display to see if he could recognize the number, but it came up “unknown”. He picked up the received again and once again announced his name, again no response, just static. He listened intently to the static to see if he could maybe make out someone’s voice, and through all of the static he could’ve sworn he had heard someone call out his name. Jack replaced the received back onto it’s cradle, got up and went for a walk to the local coffee shop about a block away.

On his way to the coffee shop, he remembered that there is a co-worker that is involved in the Occult and the Paranormal. Jack figured he had nothing to lose at this point except his own mind, so once he got back from his impromptu coffee break, he would pay him a visit to see if he could make anything out of this whole mess. With the events of the day before and today, Jack felt as if his world was about to do a 180 degree change. Jack was usually the type of person that was a happy person, today however, things didn’t seem to be heading that way, he felt depressed. Jack wasn’t used to having things not go his way, or not being in control of things. What happened these past two days definitely qualify as matters that are out of his control, and that just wasn’t to his liking.

Jack got back to his desk, grabbed his CD and walked over to his friend Frank’s desk to get his opinion. He talked to Frank and told him everything that has happened the day before and today. He told him about the weird feelings he got and about the pictures. Frank listened intently to Jack’s story and asked to see the pictures as he though he knew what it might be. Jack gave Frank the CD and waited patiently for him to open up the pictures. He was anxious to find out what Frank had to say about the pictures as he had noticed his expression when he was telling him the story.

Frank scanned through the pictures quickly at first, then went back to the beginning and looked at each one more intently. The look on his face seemed to be one of puzzlement, which Jack didn’t like at all, especially since he was hoping Frank would be able to shed some light on the subject. Frank took a closer look at the picture of Jack by the coffin, he enlarged the picture to try to see whether he could see more detail.

“Well Jack, I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t come across this sort of thing before so I’m not too sure what to tell you.” Frank was still looking at the picture intently as he made the statement.

Jack was starting to get frustrated at the fact that he wasn’t getting anywhere with this and wanted whatever was happening to stop. “What do you think I should do Frank? I would’ve thought I was loosing my mind had it not been for the pictures.”

“I know, I can imagine what must’ve been going through your mind when you had those impressions. Listen, I have a good friend of mine who is more knowledgeable with this than I am, let me talk to him tonight and I’ll tell you what he says tomorrow.”

“That sounds good. The sooner I’m able to find out what’s going on, the better. Do you think that the impressions I was getting had anything to do with what’s on the pictures?”

“It’s hard to say at this point. First I want to find out whether my friend knows anything about that dark figure that’s in your pictures. Once I have an idea, I will be able to better understand what this is all about and whether the impressions you had are in any way related. Do you mind if I make copies of the pictures?”

“Make as many copies as you like, and I hope your friend can help. Anyway, I have to get back to my desk, just drop off the CD at my desk at some point today.” Jack turned around and headed back to his desk with a disappointed look on his face.

“Okay. I’ll see you in a bit”

Jack sat back at his desk and wondered whether Frank’s friend would be of any help. But then he realized that anything is better than nothing. He tried so get into a working mood, but thanks to the recent events, it was next to impossible. Jack even contemplated going home early but thought twice as doing so would accomplish anything. About the only thing Jack was able to do was browse the internet to try and figure out for himself what he was going through. Maybe he might even be able to find reference to the dark figure that appeared in his picture. Jack thought back to his childhood when his parents would keep reminding him that things of this nature were all make believe. Ghosts and ghouls only existed in the movies and in peoples imaginations according to them.

Why would they keep telling me these things? I’ve never had an imaginary friend or anything that would spark this conversation.

Jack mulled over these thoughts and kept wondering what had prompted his parents advice. Now in light of what had happened these past two days, he started to wonder if maybe his parents knew more than they led on. These are things that unfortunately will never be answered now that both his parents have passed away. Jack will just have to be patient and wait to see what Frank comes up with. In the meantime, he kept searching through the internet for any possible answers.

The day seemed both long and short at the same time for Jack, partly because of his anxiousness and partly because he kept himself busy with research. About the only thing he hadn’t done today was actual work. Luckily for him it wasn’t too busy at work, so he figured he would probably take his work home with him and just finish it up on the weekend, after Halloween. Jack looked at his watch and saw that it was a quarter to five; almost quiting time. Frank hadn’t been around to give him back the CD, but that’s okay, he had the pictures at home anyway. He shut down his computer and started packing his stuff. He wanted to get home as soon as possible so that he could do some more research on the internet, but before he left, he called Frank’s number to see whether he would be able get a hold of him. There was no response, so Jack just left a message stating that he could keep the CD as he had the pictures on his computer at home anyway.

So far today, aside from the morning episode, he hadn’t experienced any more of the ‘mind attacks’ as Jack started to refer to them. This was a good thing, he hoped that he would have no more and that all of this would go away. Maybe this is what his parents were trying to protect Jack from, but protect him from what? And why? None of this made any sense to him at all, and the more he though about it, the more frustrated he got. That’s it, Jack swore to himself that he wouldn’t think about this anymore until he got home and researched more; or maybe he would even do that, he would just forget about this until he heard from Frank tomorrow.

Jack arrived home at his usual time and headed straight inside to try to relax and unwind. Even though he hadn’t done much work today, he felt exhausted. All this worrying and researching really took it’s toll on him. He sat down on his favourite armchair and just closed his eyes, wanting to take a ten minute nap. He knew that his wife and son wouldn’t be home until later on tonight as they had gone to visit her parents. This would be a great opportunity to get more research done, after his nap. As Jack got comfortable and closed his eyes, he immediately started to get that feeling again, this time he tried to just ignore it and get back to his nap.

Not too long into his nap, Jack started seeing weird images, he saw that he was in what looked like a big cave. The only light that was available was coming from this raised pool of florescent red liquid. Jack didn’t want to venture in guessing what that liquid was all about, so he just stayed away and started looking around. In a way, he knew that he was dreaming, but everything felt so real and in a way not so real. What was it that he was experiencing, and so soon after he closed his eyes. He moved around the giant cave, with jagged rocks protruding out of the ground like pillars. What he had noticed was that he wasn’t actually walking, he was floating about a foot off the ground. He couldn’t see much because the farther he moved away from the glowing pool, the darker it got, but for some reason, he couldn’t stop himself from moving. It was also felt like he was being drawn somewhere; where, he wasn’t sure, and he didn’t particularly like idea of moving to a section of the cave where there was practically no light.

As he kept floating around in the cave, he noticed that there were eyes starring at him, glowing yellow eyes, ferral eyes. He didn’t like this one bit. Then, out of nowhere, Jack started free falling into a tunnel that was in the ground. He couldn’t stop himself from falling any less than he could stop himself from floating to where he was being led. After falling for what felt like five minutes, he stopped in another cavern looking location. Here there were torches on the walls that lit the place so he could better see what was around him. He gazed around the place and saw that the walls were littered with weird looking symbols, strange symbols he had never seen before in his life. He also saw a throne to one side of the cavern, and on this throne there were gargoyle looking armrests. Jack kept asking himself what was going on, why had he been brought here. He had forgotten that this was all happening as he slept in his armchair. Then, out of nowhere, he heard a low groan.

“Jack! Welcome to my home.”

Jack was startled, and when he looked around he couldn’t see anyone. “Who’s there?”

“Don’t be afraid Jack, I didn’t bring you here to hurt you. I brought you here to give you a glimpse of your future.” The voice sounded like it was emanating from a wild beast rather than a human.

“My future? What do you mean?”

“You are not what you think you are. You are different, unique, someone to be feared. Your parents knew this, that is why they tried to get you to block out anything that dealt with the paranormal and the Occult. They were hoping that it wasn’t true, but it is. Your destiny will be fullfilled, and there is nothing that can stop it.”

Jack couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and as he was scratching his head he asked, “My destiny, what is my destiny?”

“All in due time Jack, right now all you need to know is that you are going to be experiencing things that are all new to you. In a couple of days, all will be made clear. But for now, all you need to know is that what you have been feeling lately are just the beginning, the beginning of your mental faculties opening up to what the universe is really like. Be warned, you cannot stop it, and if you try to fight them it’ll make your life miserable. Let them come to you, and in time, all will be made clear.”

Jack still couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Then he remembered that he was dreaming, and this must all be a figment of his imagination as his parents kept telling him.

The entity that was speaking to Jack started growling. “This is not a joke Jack, and it definitely isn’t a figment of your imagination! This is as real as you are flesh and bones, I assure you. Fighting it will only serve to make matters worse, and it will anger me. Do not take this lightly Jack, I will only say this once. You will undergo change in the next couple of days, DO NOT FIGHT IT!”

With that last statement, Jack felt chills flow through his body, and not even seconds after that last statement was made, he heard his name being called. It was his wife calling him. Jack looked back towards the area where the voice was emanating, and notices that everything was starting top blur. He started flying upwards from where he had come in and flew all the way back from where he started. Not too long after that, Jack opened his eyes and saw his wife over him calling his name.

“Jack, are you okay? You were jerking around in the chair and sweating, are you feeling sick?” His wife had a concerned look on her face, one that he only sees when their son isn’t feeling well.

“Yes, I’m okay, just had a nightmare that’s all.” He got up from the armchair, walked to the washroom and washed his face. Jack hadn’t realized that he had been out for more then two hours. It dawned on him now that he splashed cold water on his face. What the hell is going on here. Am I losing it, maybe I should visit a doctor. No sooner had he finished this thought that he heard the same voice from his nightmare say, “Jack, remember what I told you. You are not going crazy, and fighting it will only make matters worse. Accept who you are.”

“Where are you? Who are you? And what the Hell do you want from me?” Jack’s frustration was starting to get the better of him. His wife heard him and called out to him with a concerned voice, “Jack, who are you talking to?”

“No one, just talking to myself.” Jack was never good at lying, so his wife came in to the washroom and asked jack again, “Are you sure you’re okay, you’ve been acting kind of strange lately. You know you can talk to me about anything.”

“I know. I’ll tell you tonight when we’re in bed. I think I’m starting to lose it.” His wife looked into his eyes and started to frown. She told him that whatever it was, they would get through it.

Jack felt a little better, partly because of the cold water he splashed on his face, but mostly because he knew that his wife had a knack for making him feel better whenever he felt down. Although he wasn’t too sure whether she could help him with this. As much as he would like to think that all of this was in his head, deep down inside he knew that it wasn’t. He knew that this was different. The only question now was how he was going to deal with this. What was he to tell his wife tonight, how would she handle this? Maybe he should just take the voice’s advice and just accept it, but accept what? Why could he be told what it was that was to come?

Later that night, as Jack and his wife prepared to go to bed, she asked him again what had been going on these past couple of days. Jack sat there with a blank look on his face, trying to figure out a way to tell his wife what he had experienced, but he was having trouble finding the right words for it. She asked him again, this time with more urgency. He looked into her eyes and started telling her everything. He figured that there was no easy way of saying it, and that just being blunt would be the best way. Jack’s wife sat beside him, listening intently, never showing any signs that she thought he was going crazy. After he was finished telling her the story, she looked at him with relief in her eyes and said, “You know what, I’ve waited year for you to finally come around and accept the fact that there are things in this universe that can’t be explained. I’ve never said anything to you about this stuff because you were always so adamant that nothing paranormal ever happened, and that it was always in a person’s head.”

Jack was flabbergasted. He didn’t know what to say. “You believe in this stuff? I mean you’ve believed in this stuff all your life and you’re only telling me this now?”

“Yes because it’s like I said, you were the type of person who didn’t believe in it. I didn’t want you to think I was a nut. But, it’s a relief now to know that you’re finally starting to come around.”

Jack sat there not knowing what to think anymore. He thought he knew his wife inside out, but just figured out that he knew very little. “What else haven’t you told me?”

“That’s all, everything else is in the open, I swear. I just never knew how to tell you about this.”

Jack loved his wife dearly and knew that this wasn’t to made into such a big deal, but he was still mildly upset at her for keeping this from him all these years. He told his wife that he was going to go downstairs to get something to drink, but really he wanted to be alone for a little while so that he could think all of this through. When he got downstairs, he poured some water into a kettle to make some tea, and then sat down in one of the chairs. He sat there thinking about all that had happened and couldn’t for the life of him figure out why this was happening. He felt as if he was completely alone in the world, that no one would be able to help him, not even his wife. When the water was finished boiling, he poured it into his favourite mug and started drinking his tea. He knew he shouldn’t be upset at his wife, this wasn’t her fault, and he knew that she was right. Had she told him about her beliefs before this had happened, he would’ve thought she was going off the deep end. Now, however, thing are different.

After finishing his tea, he went back upstairs to go to bed, his wife was still awake, with a look of sadness on her face. He sat down, and apologized for getting upset, he told her that he understood why she hadn’t told him this before and wouldn’t let this get in the way of their marriage in any way. She grabbed Jack’s hand into hers and told him that she would do whatever it took to try and figure out what was going on. They hugged each other for a long while and then laid down in an embrace. The time was close to midnight, and Jack had to get up early to go to work, so he kissed his wife, turned off the lights and went to bed.

The next morning, Halloween day, Jack was determined not to let the events of the past couple of days get him down. He went to work with the hope that his friend Frank would have something, anything for him to go on and made a mental decision to stay upbeat. Tonight would be the night that he had been longing for since last Halloween. He wanted to make it a good night no matter what, especially for the sake of the kids that would come by and be treated to a haunted house. When he got to his desk, Jack noticed that there was an unopened letter on his desk. The envelope didn’t have a name as to whom it was from, but he had a feeling that he already knew who left it. He took his coat off, placed his laptop bag under his desk and sat down so that he could open the letter and read it. Sure enough, the letter was from Frank, and it read:

Hey Jack,

I don’t know quite how to say this, but when I started looking into that thing for you, strange events started to occurred to my wife and I. It started that same day you brought the CD over to my desk and I started viewing the pictures. After you left, I started hearing someone calling my name repeatedly, but when I turned around to look, there was no one there. I stood up to ask any of my colleagues if they had called my name, and all said “no”. I’m sorry I didn’t come by your desk that same day to drop off the CD, but I had to leave early as well. My wife called me just before lunch and was complaining of dizzy spells. My wife never has dizzy spells! That same night when I got home and made my way to bed, I heard my name being called again. The voice sounded a lot more ominous this time, and it also told me to be careful. At first I thought I was loosing my mind because of all the overtime I have been doing, but when my wife confided in me that she had started hearing voices right after her dizzy spells, I started getting worried. I know I have been involved in the Occult for some time, but I have never experienced something like this before. I’m afraid I won’t be able to help you, if I do, I fear something bad will happen to either myself or my wife. Please accept my apologies, and I hope that I am wrong when I say to you to be careful.

Sincerest regards,

Frank P.

Jack slumped back in his chair in deep disappointment, now what was he to do? The one person that Jack figured would be able to help him has stated that he wants nothing to do with this, in not so many words. Still, he was determined to make the best of this day, as tonight the big festivity of All Hallows Eve would bring out the spooky side of him. Jack and his neighbour have been progressively adding to this haunted house theme every year for the past five years. It started out as something small, but grew to a point where a lot of people now know about it and come by just to see the show. Thinking about tonights event helped cheer him up, so he threw Frank’s letter into his desk drawer and started working. He figured the busier he kept himself today, the faster the work day would go, not to mention that it would help Jack forget all the craziness that has happened.

The day went by without much incident, Jack kept himself busy and tried not to think about much. Five O’clock came by and his anticipation started to grow, he couldn’t wait till he got home, get into his costume, and begin doing what he loved to do. On his way to the car, Jack spotted Frank walking towards his desk. He called out to him but Frank kept walking, he didn’t even acknowledge him. This was really strange, Frank was not the type of person to just ignore people, especially him. He didn’t think much of it as more important tasks were at hand.

Once home, Jack quickly ran inside, said his ‘hello’s’ to his wife and kissed his son on the forehead, and ran upstairs to prepare his costume. While in the bedroom, he stopped for a second, reflected a moment on what had been going on and thought to himself that this was all silly. He was probably under a lot of stress from work and having a six month old baby boy. If anything, he would’ve figured his wife would be under even more stress, but as usual, she was handling it far better than he was. In the time that Jack took to think about this, he let his guard down, and that’s when it hit him, that feeling came back. This time it was stronger then ever, he nearly passed out from it, and as he grabbed onto the bed post to steady himself, he saw images that really disturbed him. He saw blood, lot’s of blood, he also saw people dying, crying, screaming, and running. Jack dropped to his knees, put his hands on his head and squeezed, hoping that this would get rid of whatever was invading his brain. No such luck, the images kept coming in, one after the other. He couldn’t take it anymore, he fell to the floor in mental agony and called out to his wife right before he passed out.

Jack opened his eyes, saw his wife standing over him along with his neighbour Paul. They asked him if he was alright, and he replied that he was. He lied to them about why he passed out, told them that he hadn’t eaten all day because he was really busy at work. He didn’t want to miss out on tonight, and he was willing to lie for it. He would eventually tell his wife the truth, but not yet. After his wife and Paul helped him get back up, he went downstairs to force some food down so that he could carry on his little lie. No matter what, he was determined not to miss out tonight. Jack had never been this determined about something in his entire life, with the exception maybe of marrying his wife. After munching on some food his wife prepared for him, he went bac upstairs to continue the costume preparation, this time he wasn’t going to let his guard down for a second.

Well, the costume was ready, the makeup was done, and now Jack was ready to go out and scare the living daylights out of the kids and adults. He made his way downstairs, calling out to his wife to come see this years costume. He did a little runway walk for her and as she applauded him for his creativity, his son started to cry. His wife picked him up, coddled him while motioning to Jack to go outside with her head. Jack opened the door and walked towards to coffin to prepare for the evening.

The air was still, there were no noises and strangely enough, not an animal in sight, not even the neighbourhood cat. He opened the coffin up, laid down, and closed the lid. Before the kids started coming, he wanted to see whether he needed to adjust anything, the last thing he wanted was to go through the night feeling uncomfortable. Everything was good, the pillow was fine, the blankets positioned underneath weren’t bunched up and were keeping his back warm and comfortable. Jack was satisfied with everything so he went to go open up the lid. Something was wrong, he couldn’t open it, he tried again, thinking maybe he pushed up on the wrong spot; nothing. Jack used both hands now, pushing as hard as he could, the lid still wouldn’t come open. Panic started to creep in, all that had happened the past few days, the weird feelings, the pictures, Frank’s behaviour, started to creep into his mind. But what really started to push its way to the forefront was the dream he had, the voice that spoke to Jack in that cavern started to whisper in his ear; “Jack, the time has come for you to realize who you really are. It’s time for the people of this world to really get a taste of what pure evil really is. You’ve spent the majority of your life living a lie, your parents tried to protect you from who you really are in the hopes that it wouldn’t happen. But, they were not successful. You are who you are and nothing can change that. Stay calm, and everything will be made clear. You and I will become one, and then the world will be made to pay!’

Jack started panicking, ‘why is this happening to me?’ was all he kept thinking.

“This is your destiny, nothing can stop it. Your role on this planet is to pave the way for a new era. An era of evil!”

Jack tried moving, but now he was frozen, he couldn’t even lift his arms. He felt a tingling sensation creep up his whole body, and someone else was now starting to take control of his body. He felt himself starting to starting to lose consciousness, his eyes were starting to blur, and he was losing feeling of his body. Before he lost complete consciousness, he managed to think, “I thought we were going to become one? You’re trying to take control of my body, what’s going to happen to me?”

“Relax Jack, this is going to to be quick. When you wake up again, we will be one.”

As Jack’s mind was almost completely gone, he started to feel something different. Instead of darkness, he saw light. Jack didn’t know what to make of all this, he was confused. He heard a big scream right inside his head, almost as if he was screaming himself, but he knew it wasn’t him. Slowly, he started regaining control over his body and mind, he could move his arms now. He tried opening the lid to the coffin and this time he was able to do it. He saw some kids walking towards the house for some candy and remembered that it was Halloween. The time he was in the coffin when all of this happened, he had lost track of what day it was, he was too preoccupied with what was happening to him that nothing else mattered. As he stepped out of the coffin, the kids saw him, screamed and hesitated. He reassured them that everything was okay, and that they should come up to the door to get the candy.

Suddenly, Jack wasn’t in the mood to celebrate Halloween any longer, he stepped inside the house and sat down on the couch like a sack of potatoes. His wife saw how he looked and rushed over to him to find out what was wrong. Jack explained to her what had happened and isn’t sure whether he was himself or whether the monster from his dream has merged with him. Jack was visibly shaken by all of this and asked his wife if she could hand out the candy alone as he needed to get some rest. She agreed and left him alone so that he could rest.

As Jack dosed off, he felt himself drifting again. It was all happening again, he wondered whether he was going to the same cavern that he was at the last time. Jack didn’t have the strength to fight off whatever was happening, so he just went with it. This time though it seemed different then the last time. He wasn’t in a cavern, instead he found himself in a field full of green grass, tall trees, and rolling hills. This place, as the last one in his adventure, did not look familiar at all. What puzzled Jack even more was that if he and that fiend had merged, this was a funny location to take him.

“No Jack, we didn’t allow you and that monster to merge. We were able to stop it before it was too late.”

Jack was startled by the voices; it was a female and a male speaking as one. He looked around to see where they were coming from but could not find the source. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” Jack’s frustration was becoming really uncontrollable.

“Don’t worry Jack, we’re not here to hurt you, we’re here to help. We are your parents”

Jack almost dropped to the ground. “Mom; dad? Is it really you? Why is this happening to me?”

“When you were born, there was a celestial event that occurs only once every three thousand years. We knew that this was significant, and that anyone born on that day would be susceptible to Zorauck’s power. We did some research and found out that there were only three children born on that day in the whole world, which in itself was unusual. The other two children, we found out, were not born at the correct time; so to our dismay, we found out that it was you who would be Zorauck’s target. This is why we tried to protect you from the Occult, we were hoping that by making you believe that none of the Occult was true, that it would help in some way. We were wrong, and this is why we came to your aid. In order to prevent Zorauck from taking over you, we had to merge together ourselves. It was the only way we could protect you son.”

Jack still had a hard time believing what he was hearing, but he was grateful that his parents were there for him when he needed them. “Mom, dad, thank you for helping me. Can I see you?”

“No son, it’s best that we leave it this way, just know that we will always be here when you need us. And now, I think it’s time that you know the truth about our family. We come from a long line if Witches and Magicians. It wasn’t right for us to lie to you about the Occult, we know that now. We want you to be able tol protect yourself from any potential harm from Zorauck, so please listen carefully. In the attic of our old house, inside a locked chest, there are some books that will help you understand our family’s history. We want you to go there and collect the books and begin your study of the Occult n earnest. This is the only way that you will be able to protect yourself in the future. If you’re strong enough yourself, you might be able to prevent any future attacks. Please Jack, go there as quickly as possible and retrieve those books. The key to the lock is hidden in the basement of the house, behind a loose brick on the north wall. Go, hurry.”

With that last statement, Jack felt his parents presence was starting to drift away, he called out to them again, “Mom, dad, don’t leave me, I need to talk to you.” But it was too late, his parents were gone, but not before an overwhelming feeling of calmness came flooding in. a few seconds more, and Jack woke up from the dream and found himself on the love chair. He looked at his watch and saw that there was still time to go out and enjoy the festivities of Halloween, he hurried upstairs, slipped into his costume and went outside to join his wife. He made a mental note, as he was about to walk outside that he would go to his parents old house, which now belonged to him and was being rented out to a young family, to look for the chest in the attic first thing tomorrow morning.

The remainder of Halloween night went through without a hitch, Jack’s wife was happy to see him back to his normal self and enjoying the night like he always did. But, something in the back of her mind kept nagging at her, she wasn’t too sure this was the last of it. Something told her that there was more to come, and that it was going to get worst before it got better.

To be continued…

Written by: Alex Rondini

I Dream of Blood

The night is still and draped with a thick fog that prevented me from seeing five feet ahead of me. In the distance I could hear the usual night time noises from the nocturnal creatures and I secretly hoped that they were really far away. I didn’t have a flashlight with me, so the only light I had to go on was the light from the waning moon and with the fog out, it wasn’t much help. I walked cautiously, taking extra care and ensuring that I didn’t stub my feet on anything. I don’t remember how I got here and the sensation I was getting from this place was very surreal; almost as if I wasn’t supposed to be here.

Walking ever so slowly and trying to feel my way around, I was startled by a rustling noise to my left. I froze on the spot, trying desperately to see whether I could spot any movement, shadow or anything. No matter how hard I tried, I could not see anything. My heart started beating faster in my chest and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck begin to rise. I didn’t know what to do, I tried to move, but it seems like I was frozen in the spot where I stood. I turned my head around, trying to see whether I could make out anything in the fog but it was too thick and it was too dark out. I stood there, frozen, a chill filling my body and my stomach starting to knot up. I knew something wasn’t right! I knew that there was someone or something close by. Was it an animal? I tried to call out in the hopes that it was a person who perhaps might be able to help me find a way out of this place but I couldn’t speak. I was only able to move my head.

The rustling occurred again, closer and this time behind me. Panic started setting in, but aside from twisting my head from left to right frantically, there was nothing else I could do. I started feeling beads of cold sweat forming on my forehead and a tingling sensation shot up and down my spine. I knew that whatever it was that made that noise was really close by. I prayed and hoped that it wasn’t a bear or a wolf. I felt an icy cold breath on at the back of my head, I tried desperately to turn around to confront whatever it was, but no such luck. I was still frozen on the spot. The perpetrator made a low guttural noise, barely perceptible if it hadn’t been for the proximity. I started to shake as my nerves began to fire up like the fourth of July, and in a short instant I felt a breeze fly by my right ear. I was stunned; I didn’t really feel anything except warmth oozing down onto my back and chest. I wanted desperately to yell, but as the thought started to manifest in my head, my vision started to blur. Before everything went dark, I felt for the briefest of seconds, my head sliding off of my neck.


“That was my dream in a nutshell. But it felt so real. I honestly thought I was there, I could feel my heart racing, sweat on my forehead, the chill feeling and worst of all, I felt my head sliding off my neck.”

Frank was visibly shaking as he related his story to his friend Joe.

Joe, with a bewildered look on his face asked, “You really felt your head sliding off?”

“Yes! And let me tell you, I don’t ever want to feel that again. I don’t know how or what happened, but man, let me tell you, it felt real. The whole dream I mean. It felt as if I was actually there. The strangest dream I have ever had.”

Joe and Frank had been friends for over twenty years and there wasn’t much that the two of them didn’t share. Joe was always an open minded person and Frank knew that he could confide in him, although he wasn’t sure whether he could shed any light on what had happened last night.

Until now, Frank had led a normal, boring and sane life. Last night changed all that! It left Frank wondering about how someone could have such a vivid dream and why. Was there an underlying message that needed to be discovered? The more he thought about it, the more confused he became. Other dreams Frank had in the past were ‘Normal’ by comparison; even the couple of erotic dreams that he had. Sure some of them felt more realistic than others, but this one outperformed by a long shot.

Frank snapped out of his daze to look at his watch. He had been at Joe’s house now for over three hours and he realized that he still had some errands to do before going back home. He thanked Joe for his hospitality and told him that he needed to go take care of some things before it was too late. Joe got up from the table to bring the coffee cups to the dishwasher and walked with Frank to his front door.

“Look Frank, I can tell that this dream has gotten you all shook up, but try to take it easy. After all, it was just a dream. Dreams can’t hurt you, even if they feel extremely real.”

Frank politely smiled and said, “Thanks Joe. I’ll do my best to not let it get to me. And you’re right, it was just a dream. We can probably laugh it off in a few days and if nothing else, at least I now have an interesting story to talk about.”

Joe and Frank shook hands as they always do, then Frank made his way to his car. Pulling out of Joe’s driveway, he noticed that Joe’s expression had changed to one of concern. Odd that he would show concern now and not while he was relating the story about his dream to him. Frank didn’t make too much out of it, he was just relieved that he was able to talk to someone about the dream instead of keeping it inside. It made him feel a bit better even though for the most part he was still feeling ill over it.

On the drive to run his errands, he kept thinking about the dream, about that thing that cut his head off. What did it mean? Why did he have this dream and who was that THING? Would it even be possible for him to figure this out? These and more were some of the questions that kept gnawing at the back of his head ever since he woke up from it. With all this thinking, it’s a wonder how Frank didn’t get into a car accident or worse still, run someone over. He chastised himself for allowing something like this to affect him so much. He knew about vivid dreams and how some people have said that they feel extremely real, but something about the dream he had was beyond that. Something really weird and strange.

I have to stop thinking about this! Have to stop!

Frank willed himself to stop thinking about the dream and move on to what needed to be done. He walked into the grocery store so that he could grab a few things that he had run out of and then it was off to the dry cleaners to pick up the clothes he dropped off a few days prior. He figured that if he kept himself busy, he wouldn’t have time to think about the dream and what it might mean.

After fulfilling his errands list, he drove back home and planned on just having a quick meal and then throwing on a movie. A perfect Saturday evening, although some would argue that he should go out and meet new people. Frank was never the type to go out to a club on a Saturday night, they were always too crowded and not with the type of people he could see himself associating with. Bars were full of, as a good friend of his liked to say, piss and vinegar. Too much testosterone and too much alcohol typically led to a fun filled UFC night at a lot of bars. Frank wasn’t too keen on that either. He was a simple man, one that enjoyed the little things in life.

With dinner done and the evening planned, Frank started to relax and actually look forward to a quiet evening. Already he started to forget about his dream. Divulging it to his friend Joe had helped more than he had anticipated, and maybe also getting the chores done had helped him forget about the absurdity of it all. Enjoying his dinner, taking pride in his culinary skills, Frank was anticipating the two movies he had selected to watch for the evening. A nice glass of wine after dinner while watching the movies would be the ultimate relaxer, even if it was all just psychological.

Sitting in his favourite recliner and sipping on a nice glass of red wine, he pressed play on his remote and began anticipating the horror movie that was about to play. For a split second though, he actually questioned his logic of watching a horror movie considering what he had experienced. But it was short lived, considering there was nothing else he liked watching aside from horror movies, even the “B” rated ones. The movie finally started playing after all the annoying commercials that they put even on the DVDs and that was his queue to recline and enjoy. He turned off the light that was on the little table next to him and began losing himself in the movie.

About half way into the movie, Frank started feeling drowsy. This wasn’t typical behavior for him, especially since he always looked forward to his movie nights. He fought against his body to stay awake, but as more time went on, he realized that he was quickly losing the battle…


The night is perfect. The moon was waning, the fog was thick; no one would see me coming. An unsuspecting victim stood frozen like a deer caught in headlights about ten feet ahead of me. I can already smell the fear oozing out of his pores. Some animals in the area are restless and begin scurrying away. I have yet to come across a living creature that does not fear me.

Since I can remember I have been revered, feared and even hunted. But no one through the ages has been able to best me. I don’t know exactly what I am, I don’t even know how I got here, but I do know that I am a predator. I feed off of blood, and revel in the euphoric state it induces. I have heard whispers from the humans about my origin, but know better than to believe animals. They have called me a Vampire, but I do not exhibit the Vampire’s weaknesses. I do not fear the light, nor does it weaken me. Blood to me is like a drug to an addict, I don’t need it to live, but must have it. The more terrified the person is, the sweeter the blood tastes.

I begin my approach towards the victim. I can now smell the sweat forming on his body. The sweet smell of fear rising from him as his subconscious mind realizes that he is about to die, but his conscious mind denies the reality. The sweat is starting to form on his neck, I can almost taste it. Stealthily I move closer and closer; waiting for the right moment to strike, when the heart beats at a certain speed and enough adrenaline is pumped into the blood. That is when it’s the sweetest. I can see he is trying to fight his paralysis, but all he could move is his head. I stay behind him, waiting a bit longer before I strike, my claw like hands ready to slice.

My need for blood began to reach its peak. I started to feel the withdrawal since my last feeding, and I was starting to visibly shake. I had to do this quickly or the addiction would get the better of me and I could lose control of my victim. Over the years I had mastered the ability of controlling my victim’s minds enough to prevent them from running away. But if I withheld any longer I may lose control. I crouched down a bit behind my target, let out a low predatory growl and prepared my claws for the attack as I licked my lips in glorious anticipation. No more time wasted; I jumped forward and sliced at his neck quicker than he could have blinked. I heard him gasp a little, then silence. As I looked at him, still behind him, I saw blood forming on his neck where I sliced it. Not too long after that, his head started to slide off of his neck.

Blood stated raining upwards like a fountain and I willed his body to continue to stand. I danced around the standing corpse with my head tilted upwards and my mouth as wide open as possible, swallowing big gulps of sweet warm euphoria. My head started to swim with all the pleasure that exploded within me with each mouthful of blood I drank. I continue this until there was no more blood, which unfortunately didn’t take too long. I released my influence on the body and it collapsed to the ground; a spatting of blood dripped out as it hit.

My heart raced and my mind swelled with tantalizing sensations. As was my custom, after the kill, I would collect the head and bring it back as a trophy. I searched for it and found it only a foot away from where the body collapsed. I bent down and grabbed the head by the hair, lifted it and turned it so that I could see my latest prize.

With a speed like never I experienced before, my high fled me and a new feeling arose, one of surprise, shock and terror. I dropped the head back onto the ground and shook my own almost violently. This couldn’t be; it was impossible. I dropped to my knees in utter disbelief and I looked at the head once more, nausea beginning to take a hold where once elation was prevalent. I began to feel weaker, my senses losing their sharpness. I could feel myself starting to drain of life and I was powerless to prevent it.

I looked at the face, and it was like looking into a mirror, the face was mine…


With a shock more violent than an earthquake Frank shook in his recliner. Sweat pouring down on his face and a chill coursing through his body. If he thought his first dream was bad, than he was deathly wrong, this took the cake by far. He didn’t know why he was shaking so much, although the dream he just had would be a good argument as to why, he knew it was only a dream. Must be because of all the horror movies he watched and books that he read.

Eventually Frank started to feel better, if fact, he started to feel better than he had felt in a long while. He noticed that he’d been out for a couple of hours and essentially missed a good portion of the movie he wanted to watch. He leaned over to his right and turned the light back on and made his way back to the kitchen to pour himself another glass of wine. This time, although he essentially had the same nightmare but from a different perspective, he wasn’t as distraught about it, it was weird, but he actually felt the euphoria from the blood drinking.

Pouring the red wine stirred a yearning in Frank that he could not explain. He started feeling anxious, even nervous. He swirled the wine around in his glass, staring at it like it was the elixir of life. The anticipation of drinking the wine was unexplainable, but as he took his first sip he was sadly disappointed. It was getting late, so he decided to skip drinking the rest of the wine and went to bed.

In the morning, Frank felt better, but different. He couldn’t wait to tell Joe the new revelation. He called him right away and told him what he had experienced the night before. He urged Joe to come over as soon as he could so that he can go over all the details.

The doorbell rang and Frank ran to the door.

“Joe, thanks for coming over, man, do I have something to tell you.”

“You had the dream again? You said it was different this time though right?”

“Yes, it was different alright. This time the dream was from the perspective of that – THING – that killed me. It was strange, I felt like him, I mean, I was him. I could see everything and feel everything he felt. And when…you know, when he killed me, I mean when I killed me, I felt the elation. I tasted the blood Joe! And if felt great!”

“Whoa, whoa, slow down Frank. You tasted the blood? What do you mean? That thing is a vampire?”

“Yes, I mean no. He isn’t a vampire. That’s what people called him because he drank blood, but he doesn’t need blood in order to survive like the Hollywood Vampires or the mythological vampires. He drinks the blood because it’s like a drug to him. It puts him into a state of euphoria.”

Frank related every gruesome detail to his friend Joe, not leaving anything out. By the end of the story, Joe was visibly disturbed. Frank apologized to him for going into so much detail as he saw his friend was disgusted by it. He got up from the chair he was sitting and told Joe that he was going into the kitchen to get him a beer.

While walking to the kitchen, flashbacks from his recent nightmare came flooding back. The visuals, the sensations, the taste of the blood and the feeling he had once he drank the blood. Part of him wanted to run to the washroom and vomit, but part of him reveled in the flashbacks. As he reached to open the door to the refrigerator, he started feeling a bit light headed, the room started to spin and his vision was blurring. The last thing he remembered before waking up in his living room was red.

He looked around the room, noticed that it was now night time and wondered what had happened. His friend Joe wasn’t in the room, and when he called out to him, he got no response. This was strange, how did he end up in the living room when he distinctly remembered heading to the kitchen to get his friend Joe a beer. Frank stood up from his chair and felt a bit shaky; he steadied himself on his sofa and gradually moved towards the kitchen to get a glass of water. When he entered the room, he smelt something very odd, but familiar.

What is that smell?

He reached for the light switch and turned on the light. A horrific sight greeted Frank when the light bulb burst into light. Joe was sprawled on the floor, his head nowhere to be found and blood splattered everywhere. Frank was speechless, he didn’t know what to do or say. He was stunned, and as he looked around the kitchen, he spotted writing on one wall.


Written by: Alex Rondini

A Journey to Look Forward To?

Soul Journey


A quick background info on me. I was born and raised into a Catholic family. Despite that, and even as a child, I could never really reconcile the faith; I was always questioning my imposed belief.

Fast forward now to early adulthood and the issue of my faith grew even more intense. I questioned everything. I was left with a big hole, sort of speak, where normally it would have been occupied by religion. I searched and searched for answers and ways to make myself whole again but nothing I did or looked into ever filled that gaping hole.

I’m sure that I am not the only one that has experienced this, but regardless it still makes me feel like I’m alone in the world for some odd reason. I don’t claim to be an Atheist nor do I call myself religious, I guess Agnostic would be appropriate. But deep inside me there is this underlying urge – idea – that there is something beyond the physical. Of course I can’t prove it, but it seems like every now and then I get these fleeting feelings that when our physical bodies die, we do not.

I guess in a way I’m still searching – maybe in vain – for an answer that I might never truly know until my number is up, but I hope that somewhere in the near future I can answer at least for myself the question of whether we actually continue our journey after we die; before I actually die of course.

If any of you have experienced what I just talked about, the feeling of emptiness and the yearning for answers, comment below. I would love to hear your stories.


See you all soon,

The Mystic Traveler