Everything started two months ago, I think. The days, after a while, began to bleed together. It’s funny, I Had always had this daydream of running out of my job and making a living writing on the road and here I am, far away from my home in Missouri, overlooking the vastness of the Mojave desert in a run down motel on a stolen laptop typing this out..
As I was saying, this all started about two months ago. I woke up a Tuesday morning the feeling of my brain pounding on the walls of my skull: a feeling that I had grown accustomed to over the last couple of months, a hangover. I had no clue how I made it back home last night, nor what time. I still wore my work attire from the previous day and the strong smell of beer and wine permeated from the collar and pattern of reddish stains dotted the front of my white shirt, wine, I remember telling myself. I pulled off the shirt and went to my medicine cabinet for a couple of painkillers so I could make it through the day without a migraine pounding away the inside of my noggin.
I opened the cabinet and took out three white pills, drinking them quickly and closed it just as quickly. I looked at myself for a bit in the mirror: I had just turned forty, but looked twenty years older. Black circles sagged around my eyes and my hair was thinning and whitening and I had gotten a rather respectable beer gut over the last few years…I sighed, how did my life end up here, I remember thinking to myself. I yawned and rubbed the tiredness from my eyes. When I moved my hand from my face I noticed something in the corner of my mirror: a faint blue light peeping through the curtains in my living room. I kept looking at it for a while longer and decided to go check it out. I turned around and walked towards the curtains where it was peering out through. I opened the large, woolen curtains, and slid open the glass door and stepped out onto my balcony. I looked down onto the parking lot of my apartment complex: people were walking here and there, but nothing that seemed to exhume that bright blue light. I looked across the street to see if some kids perhaps were, in fact, shining a laser into my window, but I could see no one.
I walked back into my house and shrugged and went to get ready for work. I showered and put on cleaner clothes that what I had on and went down the stairs and through the front door. As I stepped into my car I noticed a small ding on my bumper, I groaned. Had I run into a pole or another car last night? I tried to take good care of my car: a really nice BMW. I’d have to get this fixed…oh well, I thought to myself, another reason to drink tonight, and that made me happy. I clamored into my car and adjusted my mirrors. And there it was again. The blue light. This time it was shining out the window of my apartment. The light seemed to…flicker, I remember telling myself. Like someone holding up a small candle, or as if the light itself blink. But that was ridiculous, I told myself. Must have been a symptom of my migraine. I told myself this thrice and pulled away from my apartment complex and to work.
Now, you see, I lived in a different town that I worked: divided about thirty miles of highway that cut through a forest. It was cheaper to live in the town I lived in, and the job I was at was pretty lucrative. I didn’t mind the thirty minute or so drive. I found that it was helpful to get over any migraines that I might have because of the night before. The drive continued as normal until about halfway through the highway: there was a small commotion up ahead. I saw the red, flashing lights of an ambulance, and the blue and red lights of the police cars before, the blue unsettled me, even though I knew where it was coming from. I shook my head, pushing the unsettling feeling to the back of my mind and was stopped by a man in the middle of the road: a police officer directing traffic to ensure the safety of those working.
When I slowed down and stopped I rolled down my window to ask the officer what was going on.
“Some sick fuck dropped a kids body out here. We got a call about an hour ago about it: some driver by spotted him but he was already dead by the time we got here.” He answered. “Looks like he got hit by a car and was dropped off here later, well that’s my theory.” I remember at that moment that the officer’s voice seemed to bounce off the inside of my skull so I cut the conversation short
“Well, I hope you catch that sicko.” I told him and rolled up my window and went on my way. Probably some reckless driver that killed the kid, I remember thinking to myself.
I rounded the next bend until the accident site was out of sight and checked my rearview and I could have sworn I saw the blue light flickering through the oaks and the pines of the surrounding the area…once again a feeling of unease took over me and I pulled over to vomit on the side of the road. After I got back into the car I checked my rearview and the light was gone. I sighed, it must have been a side effect of my nausea, I told myself. That calmed me a bit, and I felt a bit better after throwing up. It took about twenty more minutes to reach my office building: the offices of a small start up tech company who I won’t mention here, they’re good people and a good business and don’t deserve any trouble my mentioning of them would cause. I went in and took a seat at my desk to begin work.
My job consisted of mainly taking calls from people who were having problems with our program and troubleshooting for them. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. Again, I had a dream of packing up and moving and writing for a living, but I never pursued it. Most of my calls were relatively easy that day, with simple solutions like a reinstall, or having them restart the program. Simple things like that. Right after lunch I got a particularly hard call. Nothing I told him seem to work, it seemed to be an actual bug in the program so I had to have him reinstall the program entirely and delete some cookies that would be left on his system . It took about thirty minutes to do overall and I sat in my chair sighing after it was done, waiting for another call. In the meantime my mind wandered to what I was going to do after work: back to the bar, more than likely. The lingering taste of alcohol on my tongue had me savoring it and before I knew it I was craving a drink. My cravings were interrupted by the ringing of my phone. I groaned and sat up straight and put the headphones on and placed the mic next to my mouth and pushed the button to answer the call and…
Nothing. There was nothing. No noise, no one speaking. I had thought that they had accidentally hung up – it happened from time to time – so I hung up and waited for them to call once again, and sure enough the phone rang almost as soon as I had. I answered once again and this time there was sound…static. It was soft and distant, but it was static, like the white noise you’d hear on those particularly old television sets that had no signal. I shook my head, once more the unsettling feeling from earlier coming back. I wasn’t a believer in the paranormal, however that’s where my mind almost immediately migrated. Perhaps it’s a primal knowledge in humans? I wouldn’t know, nor will I ever.
After this I hung up, and once again the phone immediately started ringing once again. I answered, and static once again. This went on and off for ten more times. Each time the static on the receiver grew louder and louder until I heard a voice on the other end breaking through the white noise with a whisper.
“Hate…Hate…” It repeated itself over and over again. “Hate…Hate….Hate…” It chanted like some dark incantation again and again. I couldn’t bring myself to put down the phone until the chanting had ended and the static was replaced with, “If you like to make a call please hang up and try again…”
I remember feeling the cold sweat drench my collar and my teeth chatter. I wouldn’t doubt if I had whimpered after I had hung up. At this point I could feel the eyes of everyone on the room on me. I put down my headphones and stood up to go to the restroom to calm myself away from my desk when the phone rang once again and I froze.
I froze. That’s all I can say, like a deer caught in a headlight. It took several seconds before I regained my senses and retook my seat. I slid on my headphones and felt a knot rise in my throat I clicked the answer call button once more…and regretted it.
A loud squealing sound: somewhere between a scream and the sound of rubber burning on asphalt shot through the headphones It stunned me momentarily and it, once again, took me several seconds before I ripped off my headphones and threw them to the desk. I’m sure it made some noise but I couldn’t hear it. All I could hear was the ringing in my ears: my left eardrum had burst, I could tell from the trickling of blood down my temples and cheek. Once my hearing came partially back I could still hear the squealing over my headphones and I hung up the call. I sighed. What was happening? I remember asking myself. One last time.
I calmed myself once again, the knot in my stomach growing tighter and tighter. I sighed and sat back up straight. I looked to my computer screen desperately, hoping for no more incoming calls when it went black…And there it was, the blue light. It burned brighter than ever, no longer a candle, no longer a flickering light but now a blue blaze, closer than ever. It shone just outside the office window, hovering several feet above the ground with no discernible source. I could feel the blood rush from my face, from my whole body. I blinked, rubbing my eyes and fell out of my chair…there was the source.
He was young, he didn’t seem to have reach pubescence, the boy in the reflection staring at me with such a hate filled glare, with his burning blue eye. His hair hung from his pale green scalp like strands of frayed rope. His eyes were as sunken as the dead and his skin was a slight shade of green: the green of rot. The smell of rotting flesh began to permeate from him and filled my nostrils even as I lay down looking at the reflection from the floor, once more the deer in the headlights. And…he began reaching out towards me, purposefully though I could only see him through the small mirror of my monitor I could still the air around me bristle with activity: with pure hate.
That’s when I stood and ran, I tripped over myself and almost fell down the stairs on my way out but before I knew it I was at my car starting the ignition. I checked my rearview out of habit more than anything and once again saw the cursed blue light…shining in my office. That’s when I got an idea, I could out run it! And so that’s what I did. I figured I had enough in savings to outrun this…thing.
I drove and drove, I drove westward and southward, stopping only for sleep, food, gas and to answer nature’s call. Every time I stopped to sleep I had nightmares. Nightmares of squealing wheel and searing pain as my body is dragged underneath several tons of steel and iron and across several dozen yards of gravel. The small stones peeling off skin and biting into nerves as the rubber burned my leg…before my consciousness faded the world stopped. I feel relieved for a few brief seconds before I feel a pair of calloused hands yank me from underneath the black car that had me pinned to the ground and toss me harshly into the leather seat next to him. A smell breaks through my gravel and blood filled nose: the smell of alcohol, of wine and beer. I tried desperately, in my dream, to focus on the one who caused me so much pain. The one who hadn’t said a word of apologies and the one who kept his drink at his mouth. As the car stopped and the interior light shone in the car as he stepped out and grabbed me, once more by the shoulders and yanked my small body I caught a glimpse of him: a fat, balding middle aged man with beer staining the front of his shirt. As he tossed me to the earthy loam on the side of the road my working eye followed him until the yellow lights of his car disappeared and so, instead I stared to the sky. And I felt hate. Strong hate. I focused on that hate until the pale light of the moon and stars faded to black…and the black faded to a bright inferno of hate. A burning blue replacing the black…I stopped sleeping in Idaho and continued west… the blue light following all the way, glowing brighter with each passing day…each passing hour.
I reached a town on the edge of the Mojave desert before my car broke down. I pushed my car to the parking lot of a rather run down motel and checked in. A family was unpacking and while they were all in their room I stealthily stole a laptop bag I had spotted on top of the other bags and went to my room to type this out..
I felt that I had to…that I had to write this out in some sort of redemption for that I had done. That I had to get my story out there somehow, as fantastical as it sound and so I have. I will wait, now, in front of the large mirror that inhabits the restroom of my motel room for him…for my revenant.