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:
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.
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