Ghost Story 4.1
“Coming to you from Warner Brother’s Studios. It’s Conan!”
Andy Richter’s distinctive voice announced the start of our favorite late night talk show. And I felt déjà vu.
“Is this a repeat?” I said out loud, not really asking my wife, just verbalizing my thought.
“No dear.” She said without lifting her gaze from her knitting.
“Where are the pets?” Again more to myself than her.
“Probably just up in the bedroom, waiting for sleepy time.” Again with no break from her work.
I looked over at the yarn in her hands; it was a deep red. I tried to remember if I had ever looked at it before, but no recollection of ever actually seeing her handiwork came to mind.
I watched her fingers deftly moving the thread from one long silver needle to the other.
That’s when I noticed something else new; the instruments of her craft were curved and very short. As I looked closer I saw they weren’t needles at all, they were extensions of her fingers.
Those soft caring hands I had held uncountable times over the years were gone. Replaced with a thin shiny hook. A single claw that she was using to knit what I thought was wool but to my disgust wasn’t. The thick cord was coming from within her; from the gaping hole that monster tore into her when I was bound to…
It came back; it all came back in a rush of terror and pain. I remembered it all.
That night, the man, the drinks from a bottle of wine he produced from… Where? I hadn’t seen him carrying anything in when he asked to use our phone on that dark night.
It was Suzie’s birthday; we were celebrating with lobster and a tiramisu cake I had made myself.
I also remembered that I shouldn’t know any of this; I should be ignorant of all of it.
I jumped at the sound of banging on my door. But I knew it wasn’t really my door. I was in a bubble. I was dead and so was Suzie. I…, WE should be happy here. Protected from that memory and what was outside.
“I’m not coming out. Leave me alone.” I shouted at the fake door, at the ceiling at all the walls around me.
“Then you don’t need to go out dear.” Suzie said without looking up from her claw-hands tearing her own flesh out, making a blanket that never got any bigger.
‘She doesn’t know.’ I realized. She has no idea what’s happening, she’s still content here. I didn’t know what to do. Wake her from her ignorance and let her share this horror with me for eternity or leave her. Tell her that I need to step out and then never come back.
“Dear are you going to answer the door?” Again with no attempt to look up.
“Yes my love.” The decision having been made for me, “I’ll be just a moment.”
I walked to the door, studied the room trying to memorize every inch. I didn’t know what would be out there. Was the banging meant to call me out or was the unknown knocker trying to get in? The only way I could find out was to leave the sanctity of this place and go look.
“I love you my love.” I said to Suzie. And I meant it more than I ever had the thousand times I had said it before.
“Me, you too dear. Have fun.” Was this to be the last thing she ever said to me? I would have to leave to find out.
Without even feigning an exit through the door that I knew wasn’t real, I walked out the wall to meet the unknown.