Cat's Musings

Dead Man Stalking

Brief Synopsis:

After the disturbing incident that nearly left her an only child, Alexa Delos has finally gained some semblance of normalcy over her life. After the events of one year ago, she’s been keeping her head down, studying hard, all the while wishing she didn’t know what she knows – that there are ghosts out there.
As a way to atone for the crimes committed against her younger brother, when she in turn becomes haunted by violent dreams,  she accepts it as a way of life. In these nightmares she is killed and dies in the arms of a beautiful man – her killer.  When the man of her dreams leaps out into the realm of the flesh, Alexa is fascinated, scared and intrigued by the mystery he presents her – why does he kill her, and what did she do to deserve it?
Will she learn what he wants from her? Or be stalked by a killer who is certain that she deserves to die?

So…  here goes nothing:
Chapter 1

My world had been recently shattered, my plans about who I was and what I would become now all lay crumbled at my feet after the events of one year ago. It had taken me that long to painstakingly piece my life back together, but like a broken vase glued until it seems whole again, something never looks quite right, and it is more fragile than ever before.
My life had fallen apart as I had watched my little brother struggle with something I could not see, and previously unknown to me.
I know better now.
I constantly glance over my shoulder, knowing that one day it would be my turn to fight for my sanity, to fight for my right to live.
I was twenty one when I realized he was out there, somewhere, waiting for me.
I knew it with a deep certainty that drilled its way into my bone and muscle tissue, and ingrained itself into my genetic makeup.
I knew that he would be older than me, taller, and would have eyes the colour of thunderclouds intermingled with shots of lightning blue.  I knew he would be different, I knew he loved to fight, welcomed the bloodlust that consumed him as he waited for me to realize his presence, to watch the fear sketch my features into a silent scream.
I knew these things about him, knew the fury and the hatred that turned the thundercloud grey of his eyes into a menacing storm. I knew I would be caught in that storm, waiting for the fury and the hatred to overwhelm me, burn me, kill me.
I knew he would come for me; it was only a matter of time.
And I would be waiting here, waiting for him to catch me.
#
It’s not easy watching someone you love, someone you are bound to protect, looking in their familiar eyes, eyes you grew up with, eyes that always held the muddy taint of fear in them, slowly turn inside themselves, having a conversation with something you cannot see.
It is painful to doubt your little brother’s sanity, unbelievably sad to find out that his torture had been going on for years and not months.
I look at Jason, and wonder what it must have been like to be haunted by the most sadistic of human beings. I try to understand the depth of character my brother has, the courage and the will to keep fighting day after day to stay alive, to fight for a life that would be free of his ghostly tormentor.
Our not-so-recent brush with the paranormal has strengthened my brother, and he has succeeded in convincing the spirit not to bother him anymore.
It has had the exact opposite effect on me.
I have never been more scared in my life, never have I been so unsure of who I am, or what I am supposed to do.
Every time I feel a cold draft, my heart gallops in my chest, freezing me where I stand, and I know although I cannot see it, a ghost is nearby. When this happens, I squeeze my eyes shut, willing the dead to look the other way, to not notice me, so that I do not become the recipient of their undivided attention. When the cold wind passes, I realize there are tears on my cheeks, and I cannot stop shaking. How did he go through this for years on end?
While Jason has been recovering, I have been huddling in a dark corner, knowing that one day it will be my turn to be on the receiving end of some long-dead man intent on killing me or worse – driving me insane.
Life is just a compilation of scales, where things are out of whack or in balance. No matter what happens, there is always balance. And like the scales of justice equalize their weights, so I knew too that my impending fate was close by. I knew that I would be the one to atone for what he had gone through without my knowledge, without my protection.
Isn’t that what big sisters are for? To protect the little ones when your parents aren’t around to do so?
It was going to be my turn.
I was just waiting
#

“Are you okay, Lex?” Jason asked me. I moved my attention to his chocolate brown eyes and read the concern there. I shrugged, rubbed my arms to make the goose-bumps go away.
“I just felt some cold air,” I said, and was proud my voice wasn’t shaking. I watched his eyes widen until I could see a wide rim of white, and mentally hit myself for bringing it up.
Heart thumping against my breastbone, I asked, “Do you see anything?” I watched the panic surround him, watched his body go rigid as his eyes danced in their sockets from my face to the left and right, searching.
He let out his breath, and I exhaled gratefully.
“No, I don’t see anything.” His shoulders slumped a little. I looked down guiltily. Why did I have to keep bringing it up?
“Sorry,” I muttered, intensely interested in my sock-clad toes.
“Forget it.”
“You’ll tell me if something like that ever happens again, right?”  I raised my head to brown eyes clashing with my hazel-green ones.
“Sure – if you want to be scared shitless again.”
“I am not scared,” I gritted out, pride not letting the lie sound weak.
“I’ve seen how you are, Alexa. It’s taken you this long to get over it, to try and forget. I bet you’ve chalked it to your imagination, huh?” he threw out, letting the words land and burn me.
“No,” I answered, defensive.
“Well, it happened so you have to deal with it, just like I am. Nobody said it would be easy. You’ve had enough time to get over it – hell, it didn’t even happen to you!”
“You think that’s it?” I yelled at my younger brother. “All those years and you never told anyone, and when you finally did say something, I didn’t believe you! I just left you alone to deal with that sick bastard! What kind of sister am I?” I tried really hard not to cry.
He leaned close and grabbed my upper arms. “There was nothing you could have done!” he yelled with his now deepened voice; it hurt my ears.
“I could have believed you,” I whispered.
He was silent a few moments. “Yeah, you could have.”
Every word was like a knife to my chest, just enough to maim, not to kill.
“I would have believed you,” he told me, let me loose and left the room.
I finally let the tears fall; no one was watching me – except maybe the dead.
#
The past year has been very hard on me. I constantly find myself looking over my shoulder, silently praying that I wouldn’t see something move out of the corner of my eye.
I actually did see a ghost once, just a sliver of movement in my peripheral vision. When I looked dead on to where the movement had been, there was no one there.
I thought I knew what life was – you grew up, you went to school, you fell in love, you worked, you had kids, you died. Nowhere in this scheme of things is there any room for paranormal occurrences, no room for personal hauntings or any space left for watching your little brother being driven to the brink of insanity and almost jump over the edge.
Yet, it happened and my carefully laid out plans fell apart.
All my life, all I wanted to be was a superhero.
I had some serious hero worshipping problems that stemmed from my cartoon fetish weekend mornings. First, I was karate kid named Cheetah, since they were my favourite animals at the time and I was as fast as one. My brothers –in-arms were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comprising Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Rafael and Donatello. We were a gang of five, all of us donned the customary bandanas wrapped around our foreheads and tied at the back in the signature colors. Mine was always white, to help me stand out from the crowd.
As I grew older into my grade school years, I never lost my belief that I would be a superhero, except I would just need to find time to save the world when I wasn’t playing boys hockey, soccer or doing homework.
Cheetah slowly lost her influence on my imagination, and when I was fifteen I had a few cousins who were born with physical disabilities. Not one to throw away my previous choice of career for being the local superhero, I was hit with a sudden realization that I could be a superhero in a total other profession. I could be a doctor and save people not with my superpowers, but instead with my knowledge of the human body.
There I was at twenty, loving my life, supremely impressed with my grades at school, and pretty much a shoe-in for any medical school I would have applied to.  And then, it fell apart. Jason almost lost his mind, almost lost his life, and it’s taken me a year to try and forget what happened, to focus on myself again, to focus on my future, on my plans.
I had always been the brains of the family. I don’t say this to be cruel or arrogant, I simply say it because it is true.  I was the one who excelled in school in every single one of my subjects, and the teachers adored me.
I was the one who had her life planned out since I was fifteen – I was the one who meticulously laid out plans and strategies so that I could eventually become a doctor. I was the one who kept her mouth shut, smiled pleasantly at everyone and never got a detention nor a reprimand.
I was the ideal child.
I came to learn quite quickly how my skewed view of myself became nothing but a figment of my imagination. Who was I, in the end?
Did my brains, my school-smarts have anything to do with my will, with my strength of character? Did these things define me – make me courageous and brave?
No.
Courage was to wake up every morning, knowing that the torture wouldn’t end, that you couldn’t tell a soul for fear of them shooting you into the nearest asylum.
Bravery was give up one’s life for another, no matter that you wanted to live just a little longer, taste something new, kiss the ones you love.
I had none of these qualities.
It looked like my plans hadn’t really helped me in the end after all.
After what happened to Jason, I found myself immersed more than ever in my coursework, willing my brain to churn only information and thoughts that were important, and that they would shove out any doubts and fears in my mind. This worked for a time.
And there I was, in my last year of B.Sc. in Anatomy and Cell Biology, feeling somewhat hopeful for the end of the fall semester. I had mended my life as best as I could have, and was looking forward to the future.
My life had been re-ordered into what it had been before the incident, and I could feel myself slowly begin to dismiss the dread and guilt I felt. I was content with the way things turned out, relegating my fears of what would happen to me to the far recesses of my mind, behind a padlocked door.
I was content- not happy.
And then it all went to hell.

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2 Comments »

  1. awesome

    Comment by Karen — March 3, 2010 @ 9:17 PM

  2. Why this story isn’t published yet is beyond me…these editor’s are missing out on something great here!!!

    Comment by Sam — June 1, 2010 @ 1:24 PM


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Student by day... Super reader and writer by night...

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