The seasons did a drastic change last night. Over the summer, I dreamed about the way the scent of pumpkins would filter through the air. Each time a leaf dropped from the century old maple tree in the backyard, I wondered with the first tint of orange would arrive. A sudden drop in the temperature reassured me it was coming quick.
“It’s windy outside,” whispering, the only one hearing me was the sleeping cat. Jones took over my bed in the night, his overweight head plopped on the pillow beside me. God, that cat’s spoiled, but I’ve had him since a kitten, so he gets away with more than he should. As I stretched, his paws pressed against my back, the nails extended enough to give me a warning. A quick arch of my shoulders and a slow withdrawal from his claws. “You asshole. This is my bed, not yours,” growling. That cat was going to be the death of me one day, or, if I am lucky, the other way around.
No sooner did I place my bare feet on the hardwood floor than the first crack of lightning outside sent all my emotions spiraling. Slipping from the edge of the bed, landing with a deafening thud on the floor, every inch of my body stiffened from the memories of the last storm. The one that I will never forget. Every fiber of my being tingled with excitement and terror. Most people would cry to forget the moment that changed their lives, but I want to live it all over again. The sickness once again raping my soul to the bones. Craving a sickness to rot my bones in a slow, agonizing death. The second crack of thunder took the lights with it, sending me under the bed to hide from the approaching storm. Huddled in the fetal position, I remembered it all. I forced my mind to relive the pain of it all.
The scratching on the window was the first thing that caught my attention the moment I opened the front door of my home. A sprawling estate. There was only one thing wrong with the old house. When storms came, the place came alive with sounds. Creaks, moans, and even a phantom footstep or two. Living alone has become a struggle on nights like this. Every sound feeds a paranoid mind with threats of death.
“What the hell is that noise?” shivering. I wrapped my jacket tighter around my shoulders, turning on the heat for the first time this fall. Without stopping, the next visit was the fireplace. Both wood and gas. Tonight I opted for the scent of wood to fill my home. Looking down at the box that held the leftovers from last year, I lifted slowly to make sure no spiders ran out. Wood is the perfect place for them to nest during the summer months. I have a horrible fear of those eight-legged beasts. A slight creak of the weathered hinge, shaking the moment the lid fully opened. I might have to burn the house down if one of those things runs out. Not really, but that is a very common threat from those with arachnophobia. With ninja speed, I grabbed a few logs, tossing them in the fireplace quick. A flick of the lighter and the dry wood came to life with songs of sorrow and pain. Well, that’s how I imagine the tree felt.
“God dammit, why is it so cold in here?” asking, but of course, there is no one there to respond. Another shiver ricocheting up my spine. There is something off. The house has always been drafty, but right now, this is downright breezy. Even the curtains swayed from side to side. “What the hell?” confused, the door to the balcony wide open. I know that I’ve closed it. I am diligent about making sure the house is closed when I leave. Pushing up from the fireplace with a slow stride, I walked across the moaning floor, almost fearing what was behind the curtain. I’ve watched far too many horror movies in the past year. Of course, the only thing on the other side is the ocean calling out to the stars to guide old Sailors home.
“Stop it. God dammit, stop this bullshit,” scolding, my voice angered by my fears. My hand shaking, I reached out, grabbing the brass handle of the door quickly before shutting it will force. The wind threatening to yank my shoulder back. As I watched the ocean swell building, the waves broke on the shore with the effects of soft glow from the moon. It was almost transfixing to the mind and many times in the past soothed my soul. Not tonight, though. Every prickly little hair on the back of my neck stood on edge from the unknown. Jiggling the handle of the door again, I have a severe case of OCD when it comes to personal safety. Most nights, I make at least three rounds before bed. Shaking, double checking, and peeking out the windows is part of my nightly routine. An event from childhood still creeps back when the lights of the city send the moon to rest.
Nothing. Not a damn thing lurked outside, other than the cracks of heat lightning sending right to left streaks across the sky. “This has to stop. I can’t keep doing this,” whispering. Pulling the drapes together one last time, I grabbed a bottle of my favorite wine from the fridge, pouring a chilled glass. “Now calm my nerves please,” laughing. To make sure the wine hit, I grabbed the bottle of Xanax from my purse and swallowed two of them. The wine a chaser to make sure it all worked. “Fuck you, ghosts. Tonight I won’t allow you to dance in my head and wreak havoc on my subconscious,” nervously laughing as I pushed myself into the corner of the couch. “Fuck you, ghost,” whispering.