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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 15, 2016

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Submitted: May 15, 2016





The sky was an expanse of myriad shades of grey. As far as the eye could see, the sky over the Kansas countryside was absolutely overcast. Suddenly a black smudge would glow in a blinding white flash as lighting found its way through a chink between the clouds. A steady wind was blowing, making the crops in the field sway and occasionally a heavy gust of soggy wind would make the scattered tall trees bend. An awkward gloom had set in over the countryside and along with it had come an inexplicable sense of melancholy. Clearly, the weather was the harbinger of terrible storm which would wreak mayhem.

  A red truck, spattered with dried mud, carrying in its trunk several wooden crates, drove down the deserted highway. The driver never spared a second glance at the house fifty yards off the left of the highway.

  The house was precariously dilapidated and in desperate need of repair to keep it from collapsing. The years of rain and sun had damaged the wood, decaying it to the point that it would crack under an average man’s weight. The paint had peeled off most of the exterior of the house, but in some corners the flaky white layer still clung to the wood. As the winds grew stronger, the house literally creaked as it was assaulted. Climbers had found their way through holes in the floor of the porch and made their way up the railing. All around the house was a low wooden fence which once had managed to keep intruder’s out, but now was only a few rows of wooden stumps. There was a tin mailbox, mounted on a wooden staff right near what once had been the gate in the perimeter fence, but was now only a gap in the line of stunted wooden planks, like several others. On the mailbox sat a crow, cocking its head to analyse the weather, cawing to announce the arrival of a storm.

  Passers-by would rarely take notice of the house, and those who did never chose to venture closer to the house, fearing infections, animals or the supernatural. From the outside, it was nearly impossible to believe or even assume that a human being was living in the house. The fifty two year old man had been living in the house for eight months. At present he lay in bed, stained sheets drawn up to his chin. The bedroom was small, with only a bed and a chair; the yellow curtains which once had been white were drawn. The windows had been shut for the last eight hours in an attempt to shut out the crows’ incessant cawing. A tattered old brown tweed jacket was thrown over the chair back.

  The man was shivering although the temperature was above twenty five and the reason was obvious if one saw his face: Fear. His green eyes were wide open, the skin drawn taut over his pale face. His furrowed forehead was beaded with perspiration but he drew the blanket tighter over his shoulder. For the last forty eight hours he had been trying to sleep but could not. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the same nightmare which made him sit bolt upright in bed, drenched in cold sweat. After having tried several times and failing in every attempt, he chose to give it another try. He closed his eyes.

  A man of about forty five years lay on the white marble floor, face down. But then, a pool of blood began to spread in front of him on the floor. Blood! He turned away and broke into a run and it was then he realized that he was in a restaurant. Suddenly the ground gave way beneath him and he found himself falling into a black gaping pit. There was light again and now he was in a living room, an expensively decorated and furnished one. It belonged to a wealthy owner he realized as he walked down the corridors. But then, just before he took another step… blood! A woman lay on the floor. The images now came to him all at once, a party, a bar, a casino, a dark alley. Blood was everywhere. It was Felix Kane, The Phantom!

  The man woke with a start, breathing laboriously. It was the face of The Phantom he had seen. Felix Kane, or as the people called him, ‘The Phantom’ was a psychological wreck who had been throwing all peace into jeopardy, all over New York. News of this maniac’s murderous exploits had appeared on the front pages of every American newspaper, wanted for murder of a restaurant manager, a rich heiress, a tramp and people of all walks of life and from every echelon of the society. The Press had coined the term ‘Phantom’, simply because after every murder, he seemed to disappear. There wasn’t ever an eye witness to interrogate or a lead to follow, the only thing that The Phantom left behind him was chaos. It had been only eleven months since the police had managed to find the killer’s name: Felix Kane. He was a serial killer who killed every time he got furious at something or even at himself for his own actions. Shaken, the man closed his eyes again.

  He was in his own room now, lying in his bed. A dark figure was lurking in a corner almost out of his field of vision. The figure came closer to the bed…closer to him! It was a man…it was The Phantom! It was Felix Kane and he had a knife in his right hand! The man’s own face stared back at him. Lying in his bed, he screamed.

  Startled by Felix Kane’s bloodcurdling scream emanating from the old house, the crow on the mailbox took flight.

© Copyright 2018 Rohit Roy. All rights reserved.

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