j.T.

***

            I tapped my impatient finger on the gun’s trigger guard, my hand tight around its grip. I’d snuck my father’s handgun from his room the moment I’d gotten home. Now I sat on my bed waiting. It’d been a few hours since school had ended, the clock showed it was 8 pm.

My plan for this night’s visitor was simple: Stay up till they showed—all night if I had to—shoot the fricken thing, then get the hell out of there.

            However, there were a few flaws I hadn’t taken into account, the first being I had gotten next to no sleep the night before, so saying ‘I was tired’ was an understatement.

The second, I didn’t know who the next visitor was. More specifically I didn’t know if the next visitor was an actual living creature or some paranormal-dimensional-weird-ass being that couldn’t be hurt by physical means—which if that were the case, I was just straight up screwed.

            By 8:30 it was dark outside. I grew anxious. Question upon question raced through my head: What’s coming next? Would I be able to kill it? Would I be able to escape? Would it reveal the connection between the visitors?

Only time would tell.

            My eyes kept darting from my digital clock to my bedroom door as the minutes ticked by; and while I hated to say it, my eyelids grew heavier and heavier with each passing one.

            It was 10:30 when I came to. I hadn’t realized I’d fallen asleep until I opened my eyes and saw the glow of the digital clock’s numbers in the darkness.

Oh, YOU IDIOT!

I sat up leaned my back against the wall to keep me in place.

            Don’t fall asleep! Just keep your eyes open and watch the door—wait, when did I turn off the lights?

            That’s when I heard the whispering.

            It started as a low, quiet chant. I couldn’t make out any of it, but if there was one thing it did, it woke me up.

Frantic, my hand tightened around the gun’s grip while my eyes searched the room for the whispers’ source, that began to grow louder.

            “Hey! W-who’s there?” I called out, doing my best to keep the fear out of my voice, “Show yourself!”

            I raised the pistol, trying my best not to shake as I did.

            “I’m not afraid of you,” I said in a low voice.

            “You are afraid,” one whispered.

            My shoulders went stiff.

“You Are Afraid You Are Afraid You Are Afraid,” they all began to chant.

            I swept the gun from the left to right scared out of mind and unable to decide what to shoot.

            “Where are you?!” I screamed.

            The whispering stopped, drowning the room into silence.

            Then I felt warm, moist air on my ear.

            “Here,” it whispered.

            Oh, Lord, why did I ask?

            Slowly I turned my head to see the voice’s owner.

            A solid, pale, naked figure, with solid dark eyes and two rows of teeth sharper that Bob’s ever could be, sat at the edge of my bed grinning. Its body—deformed, and its fingers—talons.

            “Here,” it whispered again.

            “HOLY—!” I didn’t think. I acted. Before I knew it, I had the gun pointed at the fiend—The Rake.

            I pulled the trigger and kept pulling; firing round after round after round until I heard,

Click! Click! from the gun.

            I lowered the pistol, only to freeze. The Rake had vanished. Several holes peppered the wall behind where it had sat, but no body. I’d missed.

            “Here,” it whispered in my right ear.

            “AAHHH!!!” I screamed, jumping back to see it sitting right next to me. It grinned while its dark hollow eyes pierced my soul.

            I didn’t feel the impact of falling off my bed. I just remember scrambling back, being on the floor, then moving back, wanting to get as far away as I could from that awful monster.

            “Oh God…Oh God…KEEP AWAY FROM ME!” I screamed.

            Perhaps to mock me, it crawled faster than I could blink, and before I could react, its face was only an inch from mine.

            “No,” it whispered. It raised its hand then plunged its talons into my abdomen.

            I cried out in agony as I felt five different shards touch the tip of my ribs, then hook onto flesh. But it was far from finished. It yanked its talons out, then raked them across my face. My vision turned crimson as blood poured down into my eyes. Screaming, my hands flew to cover the gashes.

            Then the weight on my chest vanished. Through the cracks of my fingers, I saw The Rake sit back on my bed’s edge, with its teeth still poised in a delighted grin.

            What little rational thought I had left screamed to me through the pain: Forget about your face and side! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!

            I didn’t argue. Adrenaline coursed through me as I turned over, hopped to my feet and fled for the door; but before I could take a single step, I heard something like the whistling of the wind, a snarl, then the pain erupting from my back. I screamed but managed to topple forward and grab the door’s handle. The Rake continued to tear into me. Blood flew as talon made contact to skin, followed by even more pain.

            Somehow, I yanked opened the door and threw a kick at The Rake. It moved aside and my kick missed. Its grin widened then it slashed up, slicing a huge gash across my chest. I could only grunt as the energy to scream was sapped out of me by the pain. I fell back through the door frame, crying, bleeding, and suffering. I expected it to hop on top of me and continue its onslaught, but to my shock, it inched away cocking its head and grinning. It gestured its head towards the hallway. When I didn’t react, it did it again.

            My eyes widen when I realized what it meant.

It’s giving me a chance to flee.

            I needed no encouraging. Despite the pain, I pushed myself onto my chest and slowly dragged my way down the hallway, leaving a massive blood trail in my wake.

            Have to get away, have to get away, have to get away. I kept telling myself with each foot I crawled. I never once looked back.

            It felt like hours instead of minutes by the time I reached the back door.

            I... I made it?

I had trouble believing it. Nothing was ever this simple or easy. But at that moment, I didn’t care. I grabbed the knob and pushed through into the sanctuary of the night.

            “Afraid…” The Rake whispered.

            “No!” I screamed, just as it plunged its hands into my back. I gasped as I felt myself lifted.

“Please, STOP!” I begged, knowing I would receive no such mercy.

            It made snickering hiss, then I went sailing into the night air. Down the steps I fell, hitting my shoulder blade shattering into bottom step, then rolling onto my back on the thick concreate of the driveway. Blood coughed up blood. My bloody vision blurred. Weight pressed upon my chest. I raised my head to see my executioner crawl onto me. It slowly traced one of its talons across my neck then to my cheek. Despite my damaged vision, I could still make out its horrific grin. It raised a hand to deliver the end of Log Five. I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable.

The Rake released a low hiss, then weight on my chest ceased.

I opened my eyes to see it backing away, its attention fixed on something behind me.

            “Wuh?” I gurgled through the blood.

            The sound of footsteps came from behind me. I tried to lift my head to look but was too weak.

            The footsteps stopped right behind me. With what little remaining strength I had, I rolled onto my chest to see the newcomer.

            A pair of dark shoes greeted me. My eyes slowly lifted to see its owner: a figure wearing jeans, and a dark hoodie.

            Who’s this? Jeff?

            The figure knelt in front of me. I tried to make out the face but with my damaged vision, could only make out his mouth, while the hood’s shadow covered the rest of his face.

            “Help….me…” I begged, coughing blood.

            The figure smirked, then leaned over to my ear. In all my years of living, I have never heard a more sinister voice than his. It sounded so human, but then it did not. It was the voice of a young man but belonged to a monster.

            “Next time,” he whispered to me, “answer when I call for you.”

            Darkness slowly began to cover my vision, but before all light ceased, I whispered two words.

“The Sender.”

Log 6

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