By Faith S.B
The air turned black all around me, the man’s stench was gruesome, I could not bear it any longer.
He heaved black ash into his lungs and coughed horrendously as the cigar between his dirty, stubby fingers released foul black poisonous gas all around me.
This is how it all happened…
I was walking down the sidewalk when I saw a man lying prone on the pavement coughing and spluttering, suddenly my mind started to whirl and I rushed up to the man.
Kneeling down I hoisted him up onto the bench, studying him, his eyes were milky white, glossy and not blinking.
I thought he might be in need of help but then his hand flinched and moved to his pocket from where he yanked out a cigar, lit it and inhaled the ghastly smoke and puffed it into my face.
Suddenly he screamed in my ear. I looked at him again and my hair stood on end, a shiver raced down my spine and a lump came to my throat.
This was the exact same guy who had followed me everywhere I went. All of a sudden he turned to me, “Come here,” he hissed. “No!” I yelled and got up sharply, “You!” I snapped at him.
“HELP!” I screamed.
Then everything stopped, people stood like statues all around me, people in cars, men on bicycles, babies in prams all lifeless, frozen in time, as my scream echoed in the distance.
I stumbled and fell, not sharply, just very slowly I fell backwards.
‘Crash,’ my head impacted the concrete like a glass bottle being dropped, the two gold coins in my pocket clinked together as they raced each other down the frozen, speckled pavement.
‘Snap,’ suddenly the day turned from a fresh, frosty and cloudless spring morning to bitter cold and ghastly winter night.
I suddenly realised that I was frozen solid and could not move, but the man could. He rolled to his feet and leaning over me, he puffed the ghastly, poisonous gas right into my face.
Struggling to break free of the paralysing feeling that kept me frozen like a statue, I screamed.
The sound was earth-shattering, tearing through the smoke and darkness and making me sit bolt upright.
I sighed as I looked around, I was in my bed all cosy and warm, no sign or smell of the man. It was just a bad dream.
Then, footsteps slowly creaked on every step of the stairs. The bedroom door handle turned slowly. Bleary-eyed and tired I stared at the door. The door opened and revealed a dark figure.
I could only see their shadow but I knew that there was nothing to be afraid of. I had been in this situation before and it always ended up being my big brother trying to scare me.
But this time it felt different, I felt unsure if it was my big brother or not.
I convinced myself that it was him, but in the back of my head, there was a little voice telling me that it was not him. I ignored that voice and closed my eyes again.
Then the figure started to speak. The musky deep sound in his voice was not familiar, he was not my brother. He was speaking weird as if he was talking in another language.
But he was speaking English. He was hard to understand, he was gesturing me towards him with his hands. then in the faint light, I saw his hand reach over to the light switch.
Then he stopped, "No," he croaked. Then he moved over to me. His icy fingers gripped my arm in the darkness. My hair stood on end, a shiver raced down my spine and a lump came to my throat.
"W-who are you?" I stuttered, "It doesn't matter," he responded. Then I heard a knock on the door, in fact, three knocks and then the hinges squealed as the door opened.
I heard muttering and chatting from downstairs. 'Mum? Dad?' I thought. But then remembered that the man was still there. "Mum, help me please, I am in my room." I yelped.
"Faith?" my mum yelled back. Then I heard footsteps rush up the stairs and my door opened. In a flash, the man vanished...