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mythicalwords

Canada

I'm into mythical creatures and such; dragons and mermaids and werewolves. It's my hideaway; my safe haven for when I don't want to face the dull and boring, black-and-white world of "reality". And when I write, I'm adding colour to my little world.

Message to Readers

This is my first short scary story I've put out into the world. Is it scary enough? Hope the storyline is understandable, if it isn't please tell me which parts are confusing.

The Black-Hooded Man

April 11, 2016

PROMPT: Open Prompt

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Everything started when I was in fifth grade. I was ten and innocent. I thought they were regular dreams that every normal kid gets. Of course, regular kids don't dream up regular dreams of brutal murder and massacre, and especially don't wake up to see their hands painted with blood. 

I woke up with a jolt. I looked down at my hands. No blood this time. At the foot of my bed I noticed a rope. A small white rope. I quickly tried to recover my dream. Could it have been something to do with the mysterious piece of rope? I remembered. I was in the middle of a dark crossroad. It was completely abandoned and only stoplights stood around me, colouring the wet pavement red, green, and occasionally yellow. There was a store nearby. It was empty other than a middle aged man roaming through its isles. Seems to be closing everything for the night. Looks like a good target. What was that? I felt something twitch in me and I was standing in front of the glass doors. I looked at my reflection and was horrified. I had no face; it was a pitch black hole under a black hood. My clothes were all black; hoodie, leather vest, belt, pants, spiked leather boots. The glass reflected anything but me. In my hand I held the same white rope that now lay at the foot of my bed. I walked into the store charging at the man faster than any normal person could. What was I going to do? Before the man could turn around I looped the rope around his neck, squeezing it tight. I tried to pull back; tried to do anything but what I was doing now to the man. I only squeezed harder. Through useless struggles the man collapsed to the floor. And then I had woken up. 

It simply made no sense what or how the rope, being summoned by my mind from the depths of my imagination, was right now laying at the foot of my bed. I was terrified to the bone. Shaken, I slid of my bed with the rope and shuffled to my parents room. When my mom opened the bedroom door I held out to her the rope in my shaking hand. "Mom," I whispered, "What's happening to me?" She looked me in the eyes and pulled my trembling body into her arms, "I don't know sweetie." She mumbled stroking my head. "I don't know." 

Later this afternoon, my dad came into my room with his tablet. He had a concerned look on his face. He knew as well about my weird dreams and every detail and description of each. "Honey, I think you will want to read this." He handed me the tablet. I looked at it: "UK Daily" the article read. My eyes scanned the headline. I read aloud, "Innocent owner of bookstore murdered." I looked at the picture that came along with it. It was the exact same store and the exact same man that had been in my dream. What is this? I looked at my dad who was a genuine mirror of my confusion. He sighed, "Let's keep this quiet for now. If your dreams get too… too serious, we'll see what we can do." He squeezed my shoulder and I nodded my approval as I returned the tablet.

The newspaper headline sticked to my mind like gum. I couldn't concentrate on anything but the weird connection my dream had to the real murder. Could I foresee things? Or just murders? Am I psychic? My hopes for an answer catapulted high, but as soon as they appeared they had evaporated. If I were psychic I wouldn't be waking up with bloodied hands or evidence of murder on me. 

Two nights in a row I've had more dreams. In the first dream I poisoned a teenage girl. I woke up with her charm bracelet on my wrist and the empty poison bottle in my hand. The second dream, I stabbed a small child until I could reach into the dead body and take it's heart out. I woke up to the smell of dried blood from my hands and the knife I stabbed the toddler with. In both dreams however, I couldn't see myself; I didn't know wether I was the same mysterious person in black or if I took on a different disguise. 

My parents suggested to film me while I sleep to figure out what's happening to me at night. So that evening my dad set up the camera and the house went to sleep. I was nervous; anxious to know and get at least somewhat closer to solving this horrible and haunting mystery. 

I woke up and immediately dived for the camera, forgetting and dropping the bloodied wedding ring of last nights victim. I wiped as much blood as I could off my hands on my blanket before laying a desperate finger on the precious chest containing my answers. I played the recording back until I found the spot were the creepiness started. 

I was twitching; more and more violently as time passed. The bed shook hard under my violent jerking. Suddenly I started screaming too, at least my gestures resembled screams. No, I wasn't screaming, but gasping for breath. I could see my neck was strained and my muscles tense. The shaking became more horrid; my feet were kicking hard against the mattress and my head was turning fast side to side. My eyes opened and the strangeness reached its peak. They were white; completely white and glowed like flashlights. I looked possessed. Then my flailing and shaking stopped and I lay in my bed completely still and peaceful. Just as I thought that everything was over, drops of blood started appearing one by one on my hands and up my arms, the number of splotches increasing within seconds. My skin continued to fade away under the stretching clouds of red and yet my arms lay still. My body lay so still I had to check that the recording was playing. I didn't notice that very slowly my right hand was clenching into a fist. As it did a soft whispering of wailing and screaming voices echoed around my room behind the screen which could've been easily mistaken for a rustling wind. I gazed again at the playing and just in time. My fist still clenching beyond bearable, my lips fell open and a black mist whisped out with a whispering echo. The mist formed into the black-hooded man for a brief moment, standing by my bed looking over my sleeping body, and as mysteriously as he appeared he disappeared within his black mist. As if on cue my fist loosened and revealed a wedding ring; the wedding ring I had carelessly dropped to the floor when I woke up. 

I stopped the tape, this time knowing for sure that the answering nightmare was over. The recording, although stopped, continued to replay in my head; the shaking, the glowing eyes, the clenched fist, and the unforgettable black-hooded man. Everything suddenly seemed to make sense in a way and yet everything was completely drained of sense and reality. I picked up the wedding ring and, with the camera, went to my parents. 

There was a full minute of silence after my parents watched the recording. They both gave off the thought as if the black-hooded man stole away their tongues. Or they had nothing to say. My mom looked down at my arms which were still dried with most of the blood. "A psychologist" she murmured looking away from my arms and in our eyes. Then they both looked towards me, "At least it's something" my dad said, gesturing towards the mention of the psychologist. Both of their faces read a clear it's-up-to-you look. If it's a start I thought and nodded decisively. 

I've been seeing a psychologist every Wednesday for a whole month now and it's been no help; I still kept waking up with evidence of murder either on me or nearby. And it kept getting stranger every nightmare; When I wasn't dreaming I would constantly see the black-hooded man out of the corners of my eyes but when I turned around there would always be no one there. I still keep seeing him but lately he'd linger for a while before disappearing into black mist, as if he wanted me to know that he was real; not a part of my murderous nightmares. 

Today is another pointless Wednesday. My mom has her hands gripped on the wheel and I'm staring out the window. The psychologist continues to be a rewardless waste of time so we've decided to stop our visits. The car is silent except for the mighty machine's hum as it speeds along the highway. I take a break from the horizon and look towards my reflection in the window. Coldness scrapes my back and all of my ability to speak fled my mouth, tying my tongue in knots on its way out. The black-hooded man looks back at me from a supposed-to-be reflection in window. He raises an arm to touch to glass. My arm willingly follows, like I'm a voodoo doll, as if I were his reflection; I had no control over myself and as much as my mind protested in fear I still pressed my palm against the glass, to match his. Beneath my hand black smoke rose up coiling around my arm, completely unaffected by the reality of gravity, reaching across my neck. It tickled at my cheeks and stroked my hair. The blackness under the hood paralyzed me and I couldn't look away. "Honey? Are you alright?" My mom noticed my paralyzed posture, taking glimpses off the road to scan me with concern. Her voice seemed to release me from my terrifying prison and when I blinked I was looking at myself again. Dazed, I sat back in my seat, "Yeah… I'm ok". 

A week passed since the car ride and I was getting little by little anxious around anything reflective. The thought of being paralyzed again was unsettling, but possibly experiencing it in public is worse. Maybe it's just me; just me who can see it. Mom didn't go screaming when she noticed my stillness during that car ride, so she must've not seen the mist and my "reflection". Could that mean that no one can see the black-hooded man except me? I was washing the bowls at the sinks in the Home Ec room and my frown deepened in thought. All around me students were carrying out duties within the kitchens. Halfway through the dirty dishes my concerning thoughts were answered. I plunged a plate under the surface of the water, hands submerged, and when they resurfaced my hands were black; burned into ashes yet obtaining human form. I dropped the plate back into sink, staring at my hands, which slowly let loose a mist that covered my arms like clouds, and awaited the black-hooded man. He didn't come; I desperately looked at the windows, the water in the sink, the metal bowls, anything reflective as the same coldness dug it's nails into my back. A boy walking past me took a glimpse at me, then at my hands and arms, and his eyes widened. He stuttered as if he wanted to scream or say something to me; instead he raises a finger to point at my arms. At last he managed to stutter a few words, "Your… arms. Where?" I gave him a confused look, startled at what he said, and expecting a remark to do with some blackness or the mist, definitely not 'where'. Where? As in where are my arms? Does he not see the black mist spreading across? A realization dawned on me. Only I can see the mist. Everyone else can't see it or anything under it. He thinks my arms are fading! What if they are? I looked at the door, formalizing an escape route through the crowd. I crossed my arms trying to hide as much as I can and ran for the door. The hallway was empty and no one was there to witness the strange event occurring. I rushed into the girls bathroom and halted in front of the big mirror. It was him. But he's just a reflection. I was wrong. His stance mimicked nothing of mine and while I cradled my arms he held a rope. It's the rope. The same rope. Memories of the struggling middle-aged man and the newspaper flooded my conscience. He walked towards me and just when I started to doubt his path to the real world he jumped up and as if floated through the mirror. As he landed on the other side the bathroom around me started to blur, then fade into the crawling black. I opened my mouth and the world went silent; only a faint buzz drifted through the cracks of sound. A tiny little scream worked through a gap and started to pull itself through, growing louder and louder as it worked it way. The scream was familiar; too familiar to be someone else's. It's my scream. I was screaming louder than I ever thought I could and my head was starting to feel as if it were to erupt. The black-hooded man took some steps forward until we were face to face. I was still screaming and the pain was beginning to be unbearable. The blackness under his hood started floating out, spiralling and coiling it's way between my screams until it reached my lips where it spread down my throat and up my face and neck. I was paralyzed again yet this time in a scream; I couldn't close my lips tight together and block out the black mist. I started seeing more black as the mist slid over my eyes. It was cold and wet and prickled over the smooth surface of my eyes. The feeling materialized everywhere the mist touched until a sleepy droopiness emerged from the dark. I could feel myself give in and collapse. Strangely I never hit the bathroom floor and just continued falling; falling into a deep slumber. 

The Home Ec class didn't seem to bother with her disappearance and was busy questioning the boy who saw her last. The quiet girl stood at the edge of the circle completely disinterested in the boy. Where would anyone in need for a hideout go? The bathroom, obviously. She must be hiding in there. Quietly she sneaked out of the classroom unnoticed, as always, and crept along the hallway to the girls bathroom. Now she stood in front of the big mirror, having checked all the empty stalls. In the corner of her eye she thought she saw the hiding girl, but instead of the Home Ec apron tied at her waste she was dressed and black leather and a black hoodie with a rope in her hand. She turned to see if what she saw was true but was answered with her own reflection. The hiding girl was gone, without a trace left behind.

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