Hi everyone! So I’ve neglected this blog…woops. I’ve been blogging about fashion and beauty over at www.sabrinajaine.blogspot.co.uk, so if you like either or both of those things, please check it out! I’m back with some creative writing again for the first time in ages. I am a little nervous publishing this because it’s not really my best. This short story turned out to be quite creepy and dark. I started out by wanting to write an interesting/different ghost story but actually ended up editing out all mentions of the word ‘ghost’ in the story as it just sounded lame for some reason haha. Anyway, I hope you like it! 🙂
He kept on running, even when his body willed him to stop. Luke was always an anxious person, but he had been so unprepared for that sight. He thought that his mind must have been playing tricks on him, or his vision was somehow impaired, as what he thought he’d seen could not have been reality. He went for a run, focussing on it completely, and tried not to think about it. There had to be some logical explanation to what he saw. He hoped he wasn’t losing his mind.
He couldn’t escape from the memory of that man’s stare. He’d never seen anything like it, an unforgettable and horrific blend of animosity and despair from the wide open eyes of a corpse hanging from a loop of rope next to the window. It couldn’t have been a corpse, but he didn’t recognise any life in that being. It may have been about to speak to him, but Luke had rushed out of there like there was a fire to escape from. He had stood in the hallway not knowing what to do, wishing that he could simply open the door and see that the man was gone. He deliberated over it fora minute, breaking out in a cold sweat.
He couldn’t bring himself to do it, he just didn’t feel brave enough. Instead, he wanted to run, as running always helped to clear his mind. He wasn’t in his running gear, but that didn’t matter to him. He told himself he would go back to his bedroom after the run and see that the sallow, undead figure was gone, that he clearly imagined it.
He had been running for almost an hour by the time he got back. It was late, and everyone else he shared the building with was either out or in bed. He didn’t feel any more relaxed or ready to face the man, but what choice did he have? He didn’t want to have to ask to stay over at a friend’s place over this. He wasn’t about to a had to get into his room, try his best to get some sleep (which he knew was going to be difficult or even impossible) and try to forget about the figure and his inhuman stare. He opened the front door to the building and noticed that instead of feeling warmer inside, he felt colder, freezing in fact.
He walked upstairs carefully and quietly, trying not to be afraid, but when he reached his door, pure terror was running through him and almost seizing him on the spot. But still he opened the door.
For a moment Luke couldn’t see the figure, but his relief was short-lived. The man turned around out of the darkness and into the shining moonlight from the window.
“What a pain in the neck this is.” The man said, tugging at the rope slightly with a knowing smile. “Do you want to join me? You look like you do.”
The man grabbed some rope from the darkness. Luke stood frozen to the spot.
“Only, I could use a friend. I never had many friends. You don’t seem to either…we don’t have to be lonely.” The man continued to stare at him, grinning like it was the most relaxed thing in the world, while Luke backed away then turned and tried to leave and found the door would not open, even though he hadn’t locked it. He struggled with the doorknob, shaking and twisting it desperately in every way he could, to no avail.
“Don’t go. Stay and be my friend.”
Luke shook his head fervently.
“But you’re not leaving. So you might as well. We can tell each other secrets. Luke, you can tell me about how you lie about so many things. That’s why you worry so much. You worry that one day you’ll be caught out, and people will see you for what you really are.”
“Leave me alone!”
“It’s too late. You should end yourself, Luke. It would be a good thing, honestly. I’m telling you that as a friend. And it would help you to recover from the guilt you feel at what you did.”
“What I did?”
“You drove your friend to suicide, Luke. I can’t believe you don’t recognise me! It’s Tom, you know? From school. You bullied me to death.”
Luke tried to think, but he couldn’t remember a Tom from school. He was sweating now and panicking, with a deep sinking feeling in his stomach as if what the figure was saying was true.
Then he remembered, or thought he did. He couldn’t tell whether he was remembering something something that happened in a dream or something that was real. He recalled how he used to laugh along when a nerdy, awkward boy was tripped over onto the ground. Luke had played with Tom when they were little, but they were never close friends. But when Tom actually got beaten up quite badly by Luke’s older and cooler friends, he stopped laughing, at least when no one noticed. He didn’t stop the bullying, even though day by day it got worse. It had all started with forcibly copying Tom’s homework and now he barely showed up to school. Tom’s parents tried to get the school to do something about it, but the school didn’t know who was responsible and Tom was too scared to reveal anything. Near the end of the school year, he hung himself.
* I wasn’t sure if the last bit (after the dialogue) was necessary or not, as it originally ended with that last line of speech, but I felt like that was a bit too much of a cliffhanger so I added some more context! I really like cliffhangers in my short stories though. Also, I don’t really know why I called it Hangman, it just seemed like more of an interesting title than ‘The Figure’ or something similar!