The Night I lost everything
For those who take the time to read this, I thank you. This is my tale to tell and I hope it does not frighten you. You see, not too long ago, I was just like you. I had a job, a family, wonderful friends who were always there for me. Then one day, something happened to change all of that. From things being so good, they managed to plunge to the deepest parts of despair. Everything I held dear to me, everything I took for granted in my life was taken away from me.
My family and I were holding a grand party to celebrate the years we spent together. Yes, I mean our anniversary. We were together for over 19 years. So happy and close - knit, we wanted to share it with our dear friends. We spent two whole days decorating, cleaning, and cooking all the dishes we thought our friends would like to have. Once everyone arrived at our home, things went into full swing. The children danced and laughed, the grownups stood around and got caught up on their usual days. Things were completely perfect until we heard the knock on the door.
I walked over to it and opened it wide, but surprisingly, there was no one standing on the porch. I looked around but saw nothing there. When I went to close the door, I saw that there was a note taped to the door knocker. Taking it off, I stepped into my house and sat down on a chair as my husband chatted with his business partners.
I carefully opened the envelope and took the note out. It said,"A friendly warning to you, my friend. On this night, all you hold dear in your life will perish and you shall be left alone to deal with the pain and sorrow which will haunt you the rest of your days. Sincerely yours, a friend." I shook my head and tore it up. Thinking it was just a joke, I walked around and mingled with my friends. My husband glanced my way and I saw the questions in his eyes. Smiling, I shook my head at him. He nodded as he caught my meaning. Now was not the time to talk about what was bothering me.
As it neared midnight, the children grew weary and were sent to bed after saying goodnight to all of us. My husband and I joined our friends in the sitting room where we had candles lit on every table. It was a ritual with us to meet in this room, for it was the place where we could converse without interruption. We met every week to talk and discuss certain matters. This night, I brought up the letter that I had received and tore up. Everyone shook their heads as I told them what the mysterious person had written.
Thinking the way I did, we thought it was merely a prank. As we gathered together to chant a summoning spell, the clock started to chime. It chimed 12 times to let us know it was precisely midnight. (Yes, we were a coven of witches, but unlike others we did not do black magick.) The candle flames started to sway as we chanted, letting us know there was a spirit close by. Holding hands and forming a circle, we all stared at the center as a mist started to form. The spell worked and it brought a spirit to us.
"Thank you for taking the time to come and converse with us," my husband said quietly. All of us repeated this sentence one by one and bowed or curtsied to show our respect. The spirit was a young woman wearing a dress from the early seventeenth century. Her hair was done up in a neat bun and her eyes shined bright. You could see through her and yet at the same time, she seemed solid somehow. "You are most welcome. I have come to give you a warning. Tonight you all will suffer a terrible fate and only one will survive it. The one who left you the note will do this quite soon. I am sorry to bring you this news, but I am not like other spirits. I merely come to help people, not harm them," she said in a hollow yet melodious voice.
We all stared at each other, then turned toward the young woman. The mere expression on her face told us she wasn't lying. She really had come to us to tell us the warning. She only wanted to help us. She slowly dissipated into nothing before our eyes and we broke the circle. "What do you think will happen?" my husband asked as he took my hands in his. Staring into his eyes, I replied,"I don't know, honey. What should we do now?"
"We'll ignore it for now," he said firmly. "Maybe nothing will happen." We all agreed and sat down together. As we chatted about the evening, I felt a shiver run through me. Standing up, my husband looked at me. "I felt it too," he said. Out of nowhere, I smelled smoke and ran out of the room. The living room, dining room, kitchen and entryway were all on fire. The flames licked the doors and windows, blocking all the ways of escaping. Everyone started to panic as my husband and I dashed up the stairs to get the children. Kicking open their doors, we found them laying in bed as the flames danced across their clothes. Grabbing blankets, we batted at the flames and found we were too late. The children were already gone. Their flesh had been burned from their bones while they slept in a deep sleep.
I screamed as loud as my throat would allow while my husband held me in his arms. Together, we stumbled out of the room coughing. Everyone looked up at us as we ran down the stairs. "We have to get out of here!" my husband yelled as flames started to travel up his pant leg. He reached down and put it out as everyone started to break the windows to escape the burning house. I stood there numbly, rocking back and forth on my heels. Looking around, I realized we should have taken the warning more seriously. Those who managed to break the glass were scrambling to get outside. Right before they could make it out, the flames reached our propane tank at the back of the house and exploded. Fire and smoke erupted like a volcano, engulfing everything in sight. I screamed as the flames traveled all over me and watched in horror as everyone fell to the ground. They either screamed or fell dead instantly. I dove out the window and rolled on the ground, trying my best to put the flames out. Succeeding, I laid there as my house fell to the ground. All of my friends, my children, my husband, everything was gone. The smoke filled the sky as I heard distant sirens.
When the paramedics arrived, they looked around and cried at the sight of all the burned bodies. The firefighters put the fire out in due time and I was rushed to the hospital. All of my hair and about 70% of my body had been burned. I laid in the burn unit for almost 6 months before being transferred to a psychiatric institution. There I remain now, sitting in my chair and remembering all that had happened. Oh you have no idea how many times I wished I could go back to that time and make things right. Maybe if we had taken the warning more seriously, we would still be together.
My doctor told me it would be good for me to get it all out on paper. This way, I wouldn't feel so guilty about what had happened that night. So here I am, sitting in my chair by my table and writing this tale of sorrow. You see, this is what had happened to me and I hope and pray it happens to no one else. When you receive a warning from a mysterious source, don't think it's a joke unless you make damn sure it is one. If you think it's real, then take it seriously. You don't want to end up like me, people. I am stuck here in this institution with no one to talk to and taking medicine every day to keep me docile and easy to manage. Like I said in the beginning, I thank you for taking the time to read this. My doctor was right, I do feel less guilty about what happened. And yet, it doesn't really change a thing. I lost my life and my world when the fire claimed the lives of those I loved. Don't take your life for granted, please. Hold it close and love it for as long as you possibly can.