The Other World (1): Knock Knock

Knock, knock. Who's there?
Nike is sitting down, cross-legged on the floor. Sadness is weighing down on his shoulders, yet his expression is emotionless. His blue eyes are cold, as if he's lost the fire within him, and he's staring at the black walls of his bedroom. Everything is jet black - his hair, his clothes, the floor, the ceiling and the night sky. That's the way Nike likes it, yet he does not enjoy it. Sometimes, in moments like this, he's just a hollow shell and nothing more.

Knock, knock.

Instinctively, Nike looks at his bedroom window. There is an old, ghastly face pressed against the window, looking startingly white against the black sky. The hideous, disfigured face belongs to a woman with black, demonic eyes, and she's tapping her bare, white knuckles against the window, over and over. Nike just stares at her.

Then the old woman points to the window handle with her wrinkly blood-stained hand, clearly indicating to be let in. Nike continues to stare at her. At first, the old woman was smiling eerily, revealing her horrendously brown teeth. However, her features changed when she realized that Nike was not going to open the window. She scowled, snarling like a beast, and bashing her balled-up fists against the window, trying to break the glass.

"The sexiest beast alive has entered the room!" A voice booms in arrogance.

Cal, his twin blond brother, barges into the bedroom. He's topless, exposing his six pack abs and defined biceps. He enjoys showing off his body, especially to Nike who cannot compete with his slim, slender frame.

"She's here," Nike says.

"Hey, who you calling a she?" Cal huffs, looking offended.

Nike gazes at the window, expecting that hideous old woman to still be there, but he's left staring at the empty, black sky.

"She's gone," he says.

"Who?" Cal frowns. "Oh, don't tell me you're hallucinating again, bro. You freak me out."

Nike gets up and he walks to the window slowly. How did she disappear so quickly? No, it can't be possible. The window is high up. He imagines that she climbed up the pipe and hung onto the ledge. Perhaps she's still holding onto the ledge, hanging off it, and she's just waiting to hoist herself up again.

"Dude, there's nothing there! I dunno who's crazier - you or Mom?" Cal hollers behind him.

Ignoring his twin, Nike opens the window. The wind is whispering, as if warning him something bad will happen. The boy pokes his head out of the window, feeling the cold wind beating against his face, and he looks down. The old woman isn't hanging off the ledge, nor is she lying on the grass (as Nike thought would be the case, if she accidentally fell down). Her hideous self couldn't be seen anywhere.

"Why are you giving more attention to your imaginary friend over your cool, athletic, smart, handsome, best brother in the whole world?" Cal asks, pulling a face of distaste.

No response.

"Fine, fuck you too," Cal retorts, leaving the room and slamming the door shut.

Nike closes the window. The room is quiet and lonely, once again. Just the way he likes it.

Knock, knock

Or so he thought.

There is nothing in the window. Yet the knocking is still happening, as if there is a ghost knocking on some glass-like object in his room. Just then, Nike glances at the floor-length mirror. He moves closer to it and the knocking is getting louder and more frantic, like someone is trying to escape by hammering their way out. Is he actually going crazy or is the knocking coming from inside the mirror? He examines the mirror closely and notices faint cracks appearing.

Nike backs away. He wants Cal to come back. Just before he can run away, a wrinkly white hand pokes out from under his bed and grabs his leg. The boy falls over with a loud thud, landing on his face. He can hear the mirror shattering. She's crawling out of the mirror, like a giant fast spider, and she's crawling out from under the bed. He turns around and she's right there, climbing on top of him, holding a knife against his neck.

She has always tried to kill him.

This time, she's so close.

"I love you," she spits out, her warm, onion-breath fanning his face.

Nike shudders in disgust. Only she could turn those three words into something so ugly. He watches fearfully as she raises the knife, her demonic eyes shining menacingly, while she's aiming directly for his heart, and-

Beep! Beep! Beep!

His eyes shot open and he's staring at the black ceiling. He picks himself off the floor and looks at the mirror, which is perfectly intact. The window is covered by the Gothic-looking curtains. Breathing out a sigh of relief, Nike switches the alarm off his phone.

He often sees this old hag in his nightmares, yet he has never seen her in his waking life. The nerd within him knows that the human mind cannot dream a face into existence that they've never seen before. People see faces in their everyday lives - in magazines, movies, when passing strangers on the road. Perhaps they store these faces into their subconscious memory and, when seeing them in their dream, dismiss them as 'new' people because they've forgotten them. However, Nike would remember seeing a woman so hideous.

He has no idea who she is, or what she wants. Except all she does is chase him and try to kill him, multiple times in various ways and in different settings. This is the first time she spoke to him in his nightmare. He always wakes up, just before she kills him.

Nike goes to the bathroom to wash his face. He can almost taste her onion breath in the back of his throat. These nightmares with her feel so real, every time.
Published: 6/9/2017
Bouquets and Brickbats