My residence resided on the dark edge of a well known forest, to many who could look at the landscape it was as if the forest itself was a coffee stain that spilled onto the porcelain of my house. As if a dark flood of contorted branches and blackness were reaching out towards the small part of civilization it so yearned for. I would stare out of my window at night, to the ever foreboding abyss that stared back at me much like Nietzsche had said.
It was on the celebration of my nineteenth birthday, that I had first seen some sort of movement. Ostensibly I continued on with my task of observing whatever drivel was on my TV. From down below I could see out of the corner of my eye, a shape. It was the refraction of light from my window that made it such a visible sight. Curiosity arousing me, I took to my window and peered down. Not a single movement was made. I pondered to myself, when getting back into my bed that maybe the shapes were in fact just those niggling annoyances that the mind plays on you. And if it had been movement, it was probably only a fox or a squirrel –which were not unusual in these parts- causing the nuisance.
I hadn’t lived here long. My father and mother had decided that their dead marriage needed burying and so upon the signing of the divorce papers, the contractual obligation of custody to my mother and the plane tickets to this new, rural town; I had barely been able to become accustomed to my surroundings. I had spent nineteen years living in the city of London. If you can survive there, and still show no sign of fear, you can survive anywhere. The small town my mother had moved us to was in the middle of nowhere. It was a quiet place, full of rural stony buildings, thousands of bars and inns and the occasional corner shop. It was a town of farmers. My mother had grown up in these parts with her father and she’d always remarked since I was young that she was to someday bring me out to these parts for my own ‘spiritual growth’ in the art of rural living. I was not a spoilt child. In fact I was a very lenient and down to earth person. I didn’t hate the fact I’d left London, but I didn’t like it either.
The town where we were living was called Dark Basin. Unlike most rural areas, Dark Basin was surrounded by forestry on all sides. And if I remembered correctly, reading a tourist board on a nature trail the first day here –I like to take a notepad and write in tranquil or areas I consider to have a vibe- stating that Dark Basin had a foundation of forestry that ran miles outwards, with only a few scattered remnants of old abandoned buildings and such. It was enough to make me excited! I loved places of abandonment. It was like each ruin had a story to tell of its own.
My mother told me to travel into Dark Basin’s woods wasn’t a good idea. People got lost in there, and over the years many who had gone in had never come out. She told me this tale with the clichéd spooky voice, as if something like this would terrify me; somebody who actually reveled in the scariness of things. I believe my taste in the macabre came from my father’s. One night while he worked away in his study –he was a writer- I picked up a copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s greatest works. I found an intriguing sort of comfort in reading his dark writings. I remember the curiosity of The Murders at Rue Morgue, of The Black Cat who had been sealed into the murderous narrator’s basement wall, along with his dead wife; of the House of Usher and the Raven that sat upon the bust of Pallas quoting ‘Nevermore’. My intrigue into the dark genre took me from Poe to Lovecraft, to many a fair range of writers. One of those writers, one of the largest, Stephen King was as interesting as many others. I enjoyed sitting up late, reading all the tales these magnificent minds had to give. I planned one day to become a writer myself, and create something as darkly engrossing as these past intellectuals had achieved themselves.
Happily, our house was on the edge of Dark Basin’s woods. Paranoia of fear setting in, the movements and shapes I considered acknowledging every night was most likely from my own imagination. I knew monsters didn’t exist, but I longed to see something out there in the darkness, a figure, a rare entity no man could identify. My mother called me odd, my father called me brilliant. I sat there one night, as the rain pattered on the windowsill. I loved the rain, whenever I would write it would be a joy to hear the sound of a thousand drops of water hitting the floor outside. It felt peaceful to me. Most enjoyed sun, many enjoyed snow. I really did love the sound and experience of rain, day or night.
I could hear it as moved to my window. I looked out and see darkness above in that purple faded sky, and then down and see large silhouettes of blackness which were the ever foreboding trees. It was on this night, somewhere after my nineteenth that I was to finally see something. The faint rumble of thunder began to stir and I knew a storm was to approach Dark Basin. I had lanterns ready as did my mother –who was spending the night at a friend’s house- , always over preparing. I stared down to the woods below and noticed that the garden had been left askew. I thought strange of this considering I was left to clean up the dustbins and random plots of leftover garden furniture from the house’s last owner. The quiet flickers of light began to illuminate my backgarden, if only for a moment before the cracking roar of thunder screamed and the rain heavily continued. The light flickered once more, beyond my garden there lay trees. If only for a moment I spotted, a face? A second roar of lightning came.
Another light flickered; into the trees there stood a shape of some kind. A man perhaps? I waited for the roar, frozen to the spot trying to indentify this man or illusion. Another shot of light, this time he was more visible. A man in a suit, he stood in-between the contorted trees of my mother’s property. No hair upon his head, a pale stern face staring up at my window. This man was probably lost; nobody in such attire would be outside on a night like this. I pushed my window open a bit more, the rain gently tapping me occasionally. “Hey!” I yelled over the sound of roaring thunder. “Hey! What are you doing down there?” No reply. The man continued to stare, faintly adjusting himself in the trees. He continued to focus his gaze upon myself, and only after a few moments had I seen the smile he was showing. His teeth reach from ear to ear, as if from some sort of cartoon, his mouth was large than any other feature. In fact if I can recall, he had no nose, his extensively proportioned mouth made sure of that. Fear shot through me.
In all my times of wishing for something to appear, somewhere deep down in my mind, I knew it was not possible because I was always in the safety of logic, and I knew that even though I wanted such scary things to happen, they just did not exist in this world. They only existed in the minds of Poe, of King and of many more talented individuals. The smiling man stayed in the trees, each time the light illuminated him I managed to get a better view of his face. No rain seemed to deem itself fit onto his clothing, or maybe the trees did a good job of covering him because he seemed as dry as a man in sunlight. I made no second attempt to call him, his ever smiling face and exterior cast me back to my computer. I did not wish to return to my window, in fact I slammed it shut, brought my curtains together and thought nothing more of the man outside. I began to reevaluate my qualities. I did not want to write horror anymore, nor did I want to summon anything like what I had seen again. Had I summoned it? Had that man, or whatever it was, come to me of his own accord?
I placed my bedsheet over my head, placed my iPod into my ears and closed my eyes. Sleep soon came to take me away, and I so willingly allowed it, so willingly waited for the light of day. I did not want to think of the smiling man outside my window, I did not want to think of him still staring up at it.
“Jacob! Breakfast!” yelled the welcoming words of my mother. I scrambled up, moved to my window and stared down at the garden. The askew furniture was still in place where it had been, the clearing up ahead of trees were not the residence of the smiling man anymore. I took a deep breath. Fear left me and I proceeded downstairs for breakfast.
“Enjoy your night?” asked my mother as I grabbed the fry up from the side.
“It was alright.” I lied, cutting up my bacon. She proceeded to clean up the sides. “I’ll do that, you don’t have to.” I stifled in-between helpings.
“Thanks.” She said sitting down, she grabbed her mug and a magazine and began reading. I knew when my mother had something on her mind, and I was not one to pry into her business. But since the divorce, she had seemed quite relieved of things, until now. For the first time in weeks I saw a frown. She gave a small sigh.
“Something wrong?” I asked casually, not showing much interest.
She looked at me with concern. “There’s something we need to discuss,” I stopped eating and looked at her, my knife and fork clattered onto the plate as I became all ears. “It’s important that you try to understand things from my point Jacob, because this is my happiness at stake.”
She had turned serious, something that usually meant she was going to lay something big on me. Of course there was nothing big enough to make me feel even unhappier with the past events of my life. “I’ve been seeing someone.” Okay so she was getting over my father quicker than expected. “Who’s the guy?” I asked, genuinely curious, a look of horror came across her face as if she knew she’d gone past the point of no return.
Oh god. Oh no! “It’s a woman, isn’t it?” I asked, not wanting a reply.
Edited by Ziggy455, 08 April 2012 - 10:33 PM.