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Retroactive Posts: Autumn Twilight part 5

May 8, 2013

(Originally posted on October 31, 2012)

Beth
October 31st
1:43 A.M.

Groggy. Headache. Overwhelming nausea.
I crawl to my feet and stumble through the dark apartment to the kitchen sink and vomit.
I wipe the cold sweat from my forehead and hunch over the counter for awhile.
Feeling slightly better I reach over to slap on the kitchen light. I flick it up and down several times with nothing to show for it. Burned out bulb?
I feel my way back to the living room and try the lamp by the couch. No luck here either. Power outage.
I walk to the window looking down from my third floor apartment to see nothing more than faint grey slate of pavement below. Was the whole block out?
It takes me a few minutes to dig out the Mac Light I have tucked into one of the kitchen drawers. I flick it on and walk to the front door. I unlock it and reach for the handle.
As I do, I’m startled at someone banging on the other side of it.
“Dickhead!” I shout under my breath, holding my free hand to my forehead to attempt to soothe the throbbing.
The pounding continues.
“Alright! I hear you; fucking stop!” I shout through the door, reaching out to grab the handle.
I place my hand on the cold aluminum and as I do, I hear whoever it is on the other end dart down the hallway. Someone’s kid..?
I turn the doorknob quietly and poke my head out into the hallway.
Pitch black. I duck back inside.  What am I doing? It’s just a power outage. I’ll lie back down and sleep off this hangover.
I walk over and sit down on the couch, turning the flashlight off and causing the apartment to once again be bathed in utter darkness.
I lay down and get comfortable, then close my eyes.
A blood-curdling scream then wails out from the hallway, causing me to jump, slamming a foot through the pile of junk resting on the coffee table in front of the couch.
I scuttle backwards on the couch and stare at the door, petrified.
Then someone begins slamming on the door again.
“Who’s there?!” I shout. The loud banging doesn’t let up.
The sound echoes through the pitch black apartment. It feels like the whole building is shaking.
I get up from the couch, hunched over in fear and back slowly toward the window.
A few paces backward, my foot slips on something and I fall backwards onto the floor.
I can hear the door beginning to crack under the weight of the pounding now.
“What do you want?!” I scream, covering my ears with my hands.
The pounding stops.
I feel around on the floor and my hand grips the flashlight which I had moments before slipped on. I flip it on, and working the shaking out of my arm, I sweep the light across the apartment. They hadn’t gotten in, whoever it was.
I slide slowly up the wall to my feet and approach the center of the living room once again.
The door splinters inward in front of me under a tremendous blow from the other side. I scream and my fingers loose grip on the flashlight. It hits the floor with a loud ‘thud’ and cuts out, only giving a brief glimpse of the dark figure as he enters the threshold of my home.
Panicked, I crouch and quickly pat my hands around for the instrument.
I’m only just able to find the flashlight as whoever was in the apartment with me grabs ahold of my neck, lifting me off of the floor.
Choking and squirming, I kick at the figure, trying to release myself from their grip, but with no success.
I then firmly grasp the heavy Mac Light in my hand and slam it over his or her head.
I hear a low, guttural groan and the figure releases me.
I make no issue with darting straight for the front door, running out of it at full speed and slamming headlong into the hallway in the dark on the other side.
I’m only stunned momentarily, and after a brief moment of catching my breath I make my way down the hallway to my left, heading for the stairs. The figure doesn’t seem to be pursuing me, but I pick up my stride anyway, feeling for the hip-level handrail leading down the stairway at the end of the hall. When I reach it I don’t hesitate to make my way down.
Midway down I stumble over something, almost turning my ankle over in the process.
I feel no imminent danger, so I reach down to feel what it is that was obstructing the stairs. It feels cold to the touch, and relatively smooth. I slide my fingers down slowly and I’m shocked to come to the realization that it was an unconscious person.
“Hey!” I whisper, nudging them gently. “We need to get out of here. Are you okay?”
No response.
I hear a shrill scream from back upstairs and my heart skips a beat.
“There’s someone up there. I don’t know who it is but… We need to get out of here.” I say to the person, patting what I could feel as the side of their face to hopefully wake them up.
“Can you hear me?” I kneel down further, sliding my hand over what felt like their cheekbone.
I then hit something wet, not but a few inches above their ear. My fingers find a large hole in the side of the person’s head; my fingertips accidentally pushing inward into something soft and wet.
“Oh god..” I gag and whimper, wiping my hand on my shirt and pushing back tears.
I carefully step over the person and then as if on cue, hear loud footsteps running down the stairs above me.
I take this as a sign to move, hopping down the stairs several at a time until I reach the landing. I make a sprint for the door in the dark based on nothing more than memory. The footsteps seem to be getting nearer as I make my way out of the building and down the street to my left where I had left my car.
Under the vague dark of the night sky I can make it out at the side of the street and I sprint over to it, throwing open the driver’s side door and jumping inside. I then reach into the back seat to grab the spare key from under the floor mat.
I slam it into the ignition and put the car into gear. I then flip the headlights on and I’m taken aback by what I see in front of me.
It is a man, or what I would only be able to describe as a man, standing there in the headlights with his arms out in front of him. He is clothless with skin that pulses a sickly green under the light. Atop his head are a pair of dark horns that jut upwards toward the moonless night sky. His face is elongated and grotesque, and his chest cavity is mangled and distorted.
I let out a cry in disgust and horror. The man screams incoherently at me as I floor the gas pedal and run him through.
I catch my breath and check the rear view mirror. Nothing can be made out in the dark background.
What is going on? Who was that guy? Why is the power out?
I punch on the radio. Hopefully there was something on it to tell me what was going on.
It’s the graveyard guy’s voice, but he doesn’t appear to be selling the same schoolboy nonsense that he usually is.
“-ret if anyone is hurt. The radio station still has power. Again: There has been a power outage, but the radio station is still unaffected. If you’re wounded and can’t get help, we can help you. It’s unclear what exactly is going on out there, but it’s best if you stay in your house and lock your doors and windows. It’s unsafe outside. This is Adrian at the Bluehaven Radio Station. We have power and can aid you if you’re hur-”
“Stay in your house?!” I shout in disbelief.
I turn off of my road and head toward Bluehaven’s outskirts.
He may be giving shitty advice, but they still have power. I need to call to make sure James is okay.

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