Thursday, October 11, 2012

Original short - Living fiction

I had to take some time away. I’d been having nightmares; not just random nightmares, either. This has never happened to me before, but the nightmares featured a horrible, evil little man. I’ve created sinister characters in the past, but they’ve never left me afraid to fall asleep.

I put the manuscript in the top left drawer of my desk in the study, locked it, and left. Just took off. As I was pulling out of the driveway, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I slammed on the brakes and held back a scream.

“I was saying hello,” he said, “but you had a look 100 miles away. Sorry for startling you. I just moved in across the street and am in need of a ladder, if you have one. Oh, by the by, my name is Mel; Mel Evolent.”

“No!” I yelled, and sped away. I turned right on the next corner and pulled into the high school parking lot, barely having enough wherewithal to hit the brakes and put the car in park before breaking down and crying.

“I must be going crazy,” I thought. I slapped myself twice, the sting bringing tears to my eyes, and tried to convince myself I was still asleep and having another of those nightmares. It was no use. I was definitely awake, and most likely slipping into the depths of insanity.

“I must have misunderstood his name,” I rationalized. “There’s no way he can look like him AND have his name too.” I sat there, trying to reason this all out. Same name, same hair and eye color, same creepy little nose.

“He asked for a ladder,” I whispered. The character in my book used a ladder to climb up on people’s roofs at night and slip through the highest windows that people never kept locked (I needed to do something about the one in my house), and murder people in their beds.

“If I steal all the ladders in the neighborhood, he’ll have to go buy one, and they can trace that back to him,” I said. “He’s too smart for that.”

A week later, I had a dozen ladders in my garage. I tried to convince myself that I had done enough, but knowing what I really had to do, until I heard sirens coming up the street. Four police cars stopped in front of my house, the officers got out and crouched behind their patrol cars, pulled their guns, and told me to stop right where I was. A crime scene investigator came out of my garage after the cops had me on the ground and handcuffed.

“There’s a lot of blood on two of the ladders,” she said. “We won’t know for sure until we get them back to the lab, but it doesn’t look good for this guy.”

I looked across the street, and there was Mel, standing on his front steps, a knowing little grin on his face.

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