Short Story: Wings of Death

“Write a biography about a family member” my teacher said. Well that’s easy, seeing as most of my family lives in rural England, and I in New York, America. I don’t know anything about my Dad’s side of the family because he left Mum when he found out she was pregnant. And there are no other family members in America apart from my mum. My Aunt used to live with us, but she died before I was born, so I never knew her. Mum has never talked about her, and when I ask, she always changed the subject.

I remember my mum saying that we have some old stuff of my Aunt’s in the garage, but whenever I went near it, she would tell me off; but that didn’t stop me from being curious. Mum is out shopping in the city today,  so I’m taking the opportunity to have a poke around.  All I can find is an old chest full of dresses, home video tapes and books; one of which catches my eye. It is a simple hardback journal, covered in floral cloth.

I open it, and flip to the start of one of the last entries. I start reading…

3rd of March 1985

Today I worked on my assignment for university. I have an assignment due in two weeks, and I still haven’t done much. After working on it for two hours, I got bored, so I left to go have lunch in the city. While walking down 3rd avenue, past ‘Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon’ I spotted a man who was particularly tall and stood out like a black cloud in a clear sky, standing outside Scheffel Hall.

I stopped not far from where he was standing, and I was a little surprised by how he looked. He had very pale skin and very dark black hair which was mostly covered by a dark, swirling cloak.   When he moved slightly, his cloak swayed, and it looked as if he had black feathered wings folded behind him. But the most unnerving thing about this man, no, creature, was his face. His eyes were black, and seemed to resemble the pits of hell; and the mouth frozen into a silent scream of horror. It was completely unearthly, but I am sure he Isn’t real. It’s just a joke, no one could possibly look like that… it must be a mask. I think that he is one of those people who dress up as statues and people look at them and give them money; but no one even looked at him. It was as if he wasn’t even there.

Maybe I’m just a little sleep deprived.

I turn the page and start reading the next entry:

4th of March 1985

Today I had to go to work, and it was a bit of a shock what I saw there. Last night, I concluded that I had just seen the creepy guy because my brain was being weird from lack of sleep. Yesterday, I made sure to go home straight away and get to bed early, so that I wouldn’t start hallucinating from not having enough sleep. So I got up early this morning, full of energy and ready to start my day. I rode my bike to work, and worked hard for three solid hours. I then desperately needed a coffee break, because I was getting distracted.

On my way to the communal coffee machine, I thought I saw Mike, and I turned towards him to ask about an article he was writing for the newest edition of the newspaper. Instead of  friendly mike, I turned to see the deathly scream of the hooded man. This time, he had wings that stretched from behind his back. They seemed scabbed and feathers missing; like he had a sickness. Why was he there? Why have I seen him again? I think that I was standing there for a few minutes, because the real Mike walked over and chuckled, “You alright Melanie? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

I just closed my eyes and shook my head, and the figure disappeared. Maybe I am a little spooked by that guy from yesterday, I thought. I suddenly felt sick, and I asked my boss if I could go home early. She said I didn’t look too good, so she let me go.

Maybe the creepy creature might go away.

I turn to the last entry in the book:

9th of March 1985

I keep seeing him! He keeps popping up in completely normal places, and every night I wake up screaming because his grim face haunts my sleep. WHY WON’T HE JUST GO AWAY? I walk around the city every day, expecting to see him around every corner I turn! I can’t take it anymore, I don’t want to be stalked every single day of the rest of my life by the devil!

This entry was particularly short, and attached to the back of it is a newspaper clipping dated back to the 11th of March 1985. I start reading:

Missing woman may have committed suicide
A woman who has been missing since the 9th of March, may have committed suicide. After the article in the paper on the 10th of March, calling for anyone who may have had information on her disappearance; several readers have called in seeing a woman matching her description. One person said that they saw a woman standing on the railing on the Brooklyn Bridge. They only got a glimpse of her, and when they looked back, she was gone. It was dark standing on the railing on the Brooklyn Bridge. They only got a glimpse of her, and when they looked back, she was gone. It was dark at that time, so they thought that they may just have seen wrong. A member of the public said, “She looked really scared, but not in the normal way. She looked like she had seen a ghost.” The matter is still being investigated by police.

SLAM! I hear Mum’s car door; I shove everything back into the chest.  I hear her keys in the front door; I rush to my room. I hear her plonk her bag and keys down onto the kitchen bench; I open a book and start reading. Suddenly, she swings into the door frame, “Oh! Hey Honey, I didn’t know you were still up.”

“Yea, hey Mum,” I say with a fake expression of concentration, like I was reading the book before she came in, “I was just reading this book, and I kind of lost track of time. Sorry.”

She smiles, “I’m so glad that you like reading. Well, you need to get ready for bed, it’s late.”

I brush my teeth and hair, and make my way to my bed room. I reach for my lamp switch, and flick it on. What I see before me seizes my heart with fear. I see the horrifying, swirling, hooded figure clouded in a swirling black cloak.

He’s here.

Written by Hana Oct 2014

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