I step out of my apartment door with two things on my mind, more alcohol and my job, but
mostly alcohol. I walk down the red-carpet stairs with my long black jacket and an umbrella in my hand swaying from side to side into reception. The receptionist, Colm, eyed me contemptuously
and said in a sarcastic tone, “you shouldn’t bring an umbrella out when it’s not raining..”
I looked down at my black umbrella, “it’s bad luck”
I’ll take my chances I said with a laughing tone to my voice and I strolled out into the depths of the night.
What does he know? It could rain anyway and the off-licence is half an hour away.
I don’t usually walk out onto the streets at twelve o’clock at night for beer,
but man, I needed it. I walked along the wet pavement as the lights of the city gazed into my eyes.
A drunken bum stumbled past me and gave me an ill-mannered glare and
people where walking out of nightclubs puking behind bins and fighting.
Hookers on street corners looked at me in lust which made me uncomfortable.
God I hate this town.
I walked on into the less- lively, dead part of town .This is where you would find gun shops and adult stores with flickering lights and bad paintjobs. Red necks looked at me in an intimidating manner leaning against doorways holding shotguns. I hastily made my way through that part of town.
Finally I arrived at the off-licence. It looked like it was closed; the lights were off
and not a soul was in sight. But the sign said open. I decided I’ll take a chance like I always do.
I should never take chances. I put my hand up against the door and pushed it open. a small ring of the bell on the top corner of the door way rung through the quiet liquor store.
“Hello?” my voice echoed, I heard rummaging in the back but I thought nothing of it.
“Hey, Buck” I said and went on picking a six pack of beer and bringing it to the counter and rung the bell sitting on top of it. After twenty seconds of silence I called out “Buck!” No answer,
“I’ll just leave the money on the desk!” I dropped all my loose change onto the counter and walked out.
When I stepped out into the moonlight something seemed a little odd. For one thing no street lights were on anymore. Everything was dark. I assumed it was a power-outage and moved on into
the neighbourhood, again, no lights. The flickering bulb of the gun shop was gone
and the intimidating rednecks were nowhere to be seen. Suddenly I heard fast footsteps making their way at me from behind, “Huh!?” I exclaimed as I spun around and jumped back first to the ground. I sat up only to find nothing was there. I thought to myself it was the alcohol playing tricks on me. That reminded me. I looked down only to find the six pack of beer I purchased was now fizzed and spewing from holes I made from dropping it on the ground. “Damn!”
I grunted to myself.
I got up from the ground, sweeping the dust off my coat. I heard faint mocking laughter in my left ear which startled me again. Things started to get very eerie. I felt a rain drop and reached for my umbrella, only to find it was gone. I looked around puzzled, nowhere. I started walking even quicker than usual. I found myself back in the city. Of course, not a soul in sight. No light, no nothing. Again I heard footsteps inching toward me. This time I started to run. I busted through the hotel doors and closed them as fast as I could. I looked out from behind the glass door. Nothing there.
“Umbrella” a mocking tone rung through my head. I realized there was no sound but my heavy breathing in the lobby. I turned around, again to find an empty room. Something grew in my throat.
God I was so scared. There was silence. A telephone ring from behind the reception counter made the thing in my throat burst. I looked to the counter and realized Colm was gone as well. I jumped over the desk and picked up the phone. “H- Hello?” I said trying to hide the trembling in my voice.
I heard heavy breathing, after a good twenty seconds a croaking voice said “You’re a good runner” and hung up. Dread filled my body. I dropped the phone and ran for my apartment.
Every flight of stairs the tapping of feet behind me got louder and louder. I pounced for my door and busted it open with my shoulder and quickly closed the slammed the door closed stopping the footsteps in their tracks. I tried to control my nerves and quickly stumbled into the bathroom and flicked on the lights. I splashed my face with water and sat on the toilet seat trying to stop panicking.
There they were again, the tipper tapper of footsteps in the darkness of the doorway leading to the living room. Suddenly the static of the television filled my chest with grieving fright.
All I could see from the bathroom was the light of the television. “Come see what’s on” a voice broke through my thoughts, again in my left ear. After about two minutes I plucked up the courage to step into the living room and gingerly sit down on the couch. The static suddenly switched to a dark screen with plain-white block text in the middle that read “Bad luck” and quickly changed to a dark room with a medieval rack dimly lit. “Colm!” I exclaimed when I saw him with his limbs chained to the rack. I heard his quiet sobbing and I tried to hold back my own tears. Suddenly the chains started to move, pulling his limbs. I heard his screams of agony as his limbs dislocated. I closed my eyes and cried loudly.
When his agonizing shrieks stopped, I opened my eyes to find another title screen, “You were short a dollar” the tile screen said and, again, quickly switched to a dark room. A sudden spotlight shun on a chair with another familiar face tied to it, Buck, The off-licence owner. “No!” I screamed and Buck looked up at the camera. Almost as if he heard me. He looked warn out and beaten up.
He barely squeezed a word out of his mouth. He said my name and suddenly was set on fire. “Noooo!” I screamed and picked up the television and busted it off my wall causing it to short out, nothing but silence. I didn’t like that. The feeling of dread filled my body again.
“Fuck you!” I broke the silence and the tipper tapper of feet made its way toward me.
In a split second it was facing me, looking right into my eyes, a scar-covered face with no ears or nose and a wide grin almost covered his face. I was stunned, unable to move or speak. His breath smelled of alcohol and cigarettes which almost made me choke. After a good five minutes managed choke up the words I was longing for, “Wh- Who are you?” His large bloodshot eyes looked me up and down and his smile grew wider, revealing more sharp, misaligned teeth. His familiar croaking voice made my legs weaken. “Just call me, the umbrella man,” He pounced for me “aaargh!” I screamed as thunder roared through the night and he disappeared, he left me with another mocking laugh. Then there was nothing but me, me and the darkness, and the rain tapping off the window. I should really cut down on alcohol.
Credit To – JJ Wilton
Credit Link – https://www.facebook.com/jj.wilton