Familiar Strangers

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

Submitted: November 30, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 30, 2017



They called me crazy. I was not crazy; no one believed me. It was like they all turned deaf upon my cries. My own family treated me as a ghost: I would call to them, sharing my findings, and they would just walk right through me. The only one who noticed me was my sister, she would act so interested in what I was saying and right when I was about to finish, she would burst out laughing, mocking me, calling me crazy.


I was definitely a troubled child when I was 10 years old. Couldn’t they tell that it was just a phase? To believe I felt sorry for them, saying, “You people will just have to fight them yourselves.” I was just asking for it. Why did I have to be different? Couldn’t I have kept my mouth shut? Maybe if I hadn’t said anything, they would have accepted me. Maybe I would have been normal. Maybe if I hadn’t said anything, He wouldn’t have come after me.


In the small town that was Ziegel, Germany, winter was not the cheeriest of seasons. Every day was the same, dark, gloomy, and sad. By about 5 o’clock in the evening, the sky would be pitch black. At the time, we were going through some power cuts, people were stealing the copper wires that conducted our electricity, so we were quite accustomed to blackouts on the small side streets every once in awhile.


When we were walking back from school one Friday, Molly was telling me about her ‘haunted’ classroom again. It had been a while since I gave up searching and testing for paranormal activity. Ever since my parents locked me out of the house for a week for proving, with sufficient evidence, that Uncle Vernon’s house was possessed by spirits, I had given up. I had thrown away the part of my soul that was filled with the burning passion for researching the unknowns of this world. Nothing could be said or done to bring that part of me back.


My sister was the perfect child, with perfect records, perfect grades, and a perfect life. However, it was only when we were alone together that she would turn into the devil. On the path that was our way home, she would sprint ahead off into the abyss and leave me jogging after her. The absence of light led my 10-year-old imagination to run riots in my mind. Every rustle in the trees, every little snippet of noise, every movement, would quicken my pace by miles. It was just as I shook myself back to reality that I saw a hooded figure standing as still as stone blocking my path a few feet down.


As I approached the figure, I braced myself for the worst. It was breathing each breath like a gust of wind upon my face. The hood cast an unnerving shadow upon the face of the figure. I tried to stay calm, trust me I tried, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that this person, this thing, was holding a dagger, just standing and waiting to catch me off guard, waiting to stab me through the chest and carry me off to its secret underground lair for experiments. Blood was rushing to my head, my vision was going cloudy, I needed to turn and run, but where to? My eyes darted to scan the perimeters, there was no escape.


Everything blurred together becoming one with the sky, or was it the floor?


I almost lost balance and fell, but paused. The breathing had stopped, only to be replaced by giggles. The giggling got louder and turned into a hysterical laugh that was only too familiar.

As Molly composed herself, she flicked off her hoodie and gestured for us to walk home. She went on for hours, if not days, about the “priceless” look on my face. I was petrified. If a knife hadn’t been the one to kill me, fear definitely would have. The worst part was when we got home and I told Mom, Molly acted as if nothing had ever happened. Of course, my mother didn’t believe me. She even had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to go see a doctor. It was just me, myself and I at that time. My own mother called me crazy.


Molly continued to do the exact same thing, jumping out of nowhere scaring the life out of me. It was That day that I had had enough of her nonsense. That day when she jumped out at me, I stood my ground.


It was cold out, and Molly’s hyperventilation-like breathing was stronger and heavier than usual. I resisted the urge to reach out and check if she had a fever or a cold, because she would have probably twisted my hand behind my back and break it or something. I couldn’t believe that she still thought that this would still scare me.


“Molly, this has to stop, you terrified me the first time, I was scared the second time, but now its gotten old, it's not funny anymore.” She didn’t budge. I decided that she probably has a sore throat, and besides, if this honestly amused her so much then why not. I started running away to play along, but this time she didn’t catch up with me at the bend like usual. The breathing was getting heavier. The footsteps were gaining pace, but I kept running, because this time she wasn’t laughing, this time it wasn’t Molly.


“Ok fine, I’m scared. Alright? Are you happy?” Who else could it be but Molly? This neighbourhood is pretty safe, I think. She is probably still messing with me. I repeated myself. “Come on, Molly,”


No reply.


There was not much further until I reach home, the area started to brighten up with the houses nearing, I could no longer hear the thumping footsteps behind me, the breathing had gone too, it all just seemed to blend in with the noise of my neighbourhood. I turned to look behind me to see where He had gone, when a gentle breath of air triggered the hairs behind my neck to stand up. I spun around instinctively, but of course, it was nothing.


I stepped through my house door only to find my family attempting to strangle me with their newfound love for their child,

“Where were you?”

“We were worried sick,”

“What were you thinking?”

Ignoring this just as they did to me, I walked up to my room and crashed onto my bed for some much-needed sleep.


Just as I turned to switch off the lamp, a gentle breath of air triggered the hairs behind my neck to stand up.


© Copyright 2018 Shreya Desai. All rights reserved.

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