An Afternoon Alone

Just like that, the air returns with warmth. The ghostly figure evaporates to the glowing embrace of the sun. My frigid body is no longer grasped by a frozen touch.

I begin to stand with some effort of struggle. Like trying to find your balance after spinning one too many times.

Now standing firmly upon the ground. I look about my surroundings and find no sign of wind. Only the glowing of the sun and the sound of birds signing. I decide to make my way back into my house, but not before picking up my drink.

I grab it, place it in my hand looking at it and ask, “Hm, I wonder if this would have happened if I decided not to grab my drink this morning?”

I enter my home as I contemplate what just happened. I walk over to my couch sit down, twist the cap of my drink off and take a sip. I feel parched after such a frightening yet welcoming moment.

Taking a drink I think about who that figure was. “Was it an alien, an angel, or maybe I am still dreaming? No way I could be dreaming, I can sense everything all to clearly.”

I decide to go grab a pen and paper to write down what just happened. Walking down the hall to retrieve the pen and paper. I hear a strange noise coming from outside.

It sounds like a growl of some sort. “Maybe a dog lost again. Tend to get animals at my doorstep quite often, not sure why?”

Hearing the sound I keep it in mind as I head into my office to grab the pen and paper. I collect them then head back into the living room. I sit down and suddenly I hear the growling again, but this time I can hear it clearly outside my front door.

With the sound being at my door I can no longer ignore it. So, I get up from the couch and trace an idea of what it could be. Since I am unsure I decide to grab my pistol from the hidden drawer in my desk.

I pull it open, reach in and pull out the pistol. I check the pistol before placing the magazine in, “No round in the chamber, everything seems as usual.”

I place the magazine in and cock the pistol. The sound of the metal clanking accompanied by the round chambering gives me a sense of comfort. But I think, “If it is anything like that strange wind creature, I can’t imagine a bullet would do anything. But it is better to have it then not.

Pistol in hand, I carefully walk to my front door, listening for any unusual sounds. As I step close to the door, I hear a knock. Suspicion forms about my mind.

I whisper to myself, “Please don’t be foolish enough to try and break into this house who ever you are!”

Only a foot away from the door I hear the growl followed by a whimper. “Clearly there is a dog but why would someone be at my house this early with their dog?”

Hearing the knock and the growl, I make a quick decision to peer from the window that looks out from the front of the house. With the sun now clearly behind some clouds, I shouldn’t give off a shadow.

I quietly and methodically maneuver toward the window and peer through it ever so slowly.

I look out with my right eye as I grip the pistol with intent to defend myself if need be. Looking out I see what I never expected to see and softly say with unexpected adrenaline, “What the hell is going on?!”

I draw back from the window and make my way into my room. “Wait, crap, I didn’t lock the front door!”

Realizing that I scramble quickly to my safe in my closet and open it up. The safe clicks open. I pull the door and grab my rifle. Holding it I say, “Maybe they just want to talk?”

I leave the room, and enter into the lobby of the house. I approach the door at an angel and say with a welcoming tone, as not spark any unnecessary fear between me and them, weapon pointed at the door. “It’s a little early to be here and I have no idea who you are, what can I help you with?”

Fixated on the door, I keep an ear out for the surrounding parts of the house and think, “I have too many doors!.”

I hear no reply so I ask again, “Can I help you, I am getting ready for work so I am in a hurry.”

Still, no reply.

I decide to leverage the silence as an opportunity set up a bit more defense. I re-enter my room and grab my plate carrier and helmet. “Never actually thought I’d put this on for anything but practice anymore.”

Fully kitted, I move back into the living room and move back to the window and take a second look.

I peer out with my eye again, looking behind the blinds. “Whoa!”

I step back quickly and aim my rifle and assertively say, “Please leave now before things escalate!”

My heart races after locking eyes with whoever is on the porch. It is almost like they knew I was going to look through the window again. There eye though, it was orange and glowing like the ring of an eclipse.

Now in a distressed situation I reach in my pocket and call the authorities. “Not like they will make it in time, but no need to be without a back up plan. I should be able to hold them off…I hope.”

I pull myself deeper into the house and get behind the concealment of my couch. Just out of sight of any windows but am next to a crawl space if I need to leave.

Again, there is zero response and I can’t seem to call out from my cellphone. Even the emergency lines are not connecting. “Damn, well, now I know this is a threat and not some group of salesmen.”

I remain silent as I don’t want them to know my position. I lay and wait for something to happen. Minutes go by and nothing changes. All I hear is the occasional growl from the dog.

Knowing I am outnumbered I start to wonder, “They do know it is only me right? They have to, if the knew to cut access to my phone?”

Just as I shift my body weight for a better firing position I hear another knock on the door. A voice calls out, the voice of a man who’s intentions are clearly covered in a dishonest tone, “Liam, we know you are in there, be a gentleman and let us in. Your kindness is only true if met by action. To leave us out here waiting is of no kindness. We are merely messengers.”

“What the hell, he knows my name? Today has gone off the rails, first the wind thing now this? Messengers? If anything, they are here for nothing good.”

My trigger finger sits ready, my focus contends against the now tensing climate, I reply“I’ll pass, you don’t sound to honest and that dog of yours looks a bit on the rude side. And how the hell do you know my name?”

The man outside laughs at my reply as the dog becomes vicious, “Sit Adbaddon sit!….We know everyone’s name in this world and we know who came to visit you today and we can’t have that.”

The sun bends into the house through the slightly crooked blind to my left. It falls short of my side, I look at it and think, “Ha, never thought I’d be surrounded in my own home by some psychopaths…..”

Looking back at the door I reply, “How about this, who ever you are leave before things get to the point you can’t turn back!”

I hear the mans voice but it sounds like he is talking to someone else. Then he replies, “Liam, it is you who can’t turn back, unless you allow me to help you. It is not an accident I am here. And the one who visited you today, you could say was once a dear friend of mine.”

I reply with sternness, “I don’t care about your relationships and whoever it was that showed up today, I did not ask for them to.”

The man answers back, “Oh but you did, and the worst part of it all, is you accepted. Accepting is not for the faint of hear t my friend. So how about you let us in and I can help you deal with them. He can’t be trusted, not even among liars….hahahhaha….not even among liars, that’s a good one, don’t you think Liam?”

My patience running thin, “Hey man, I don’t get what you’re talking about. How you even knew what happened this morning only makes me resistant of your position in all this. I live alone, which you clearly already know and I have no family or friends near by. So for you to know what happened, makes me believe you’ve been stalking me for awhile. I don’t appreciate stalkers. And if anyone is a liar here, it is you. Your dog clearly wants to attack and it seems a but excessive to have thirty plus others at my door if you are just here to help.”

The man now standing in front of the window, his silhouette forming against the blinds…”Are those horns?”

I rub my eyes and look again, “Maybe I am just seeing things. This has not been a normal start to my day at all!”

The man still in front of the window, “Liam, there is no point in hiding and trust me, the couch will do you no good and I don’t even use guns.”

“What are you talking about?” As I get onto a knee.

“Liam, you’re clearly oblivious to what is happening, let me be the answer you seek. I have more knowledge than you could bare in one life time….I will even have Adbaddon held outside while we talk….how does that sound?”

I stand up, taking in the idea he does not have a weapon. “I didn’t see a single one of them holding a rifle or anything. And with the way things have been going this morning, what is there to lose?”

Clearing out the response the man gave me, “I think I will pass, but how about you try again tomorrow?”

The man replies slyly, “I would, but I am afraid my boss wants me here till we meet. So I got all day, even tomorrow, dusk till dawn my friend…Hey, you got anything to eat? Ha, just kidding, I’m on a particular diet, one I don’t think you would have the ingredients for.”

I start to walk to the door, weapon still drawn, “I don’t get what you are after, but something tells me to leave you outside.”

The man tells his dog to go, “Go..I said go damnit! (a whimper follows.) Look, my dog is in the hands of another, I bare no weapons and I will humble myself in the presence of such a chosen individual as yourself.”

Now standing by the door, “What do you mean chosen?”

I hear the man step back a couple paces, “Liam, what can be explained with simple words is fine behind the separation of walls. But what cannot, must be done face to face. Would you ever buy fruit from a man who hides it all behind a door?”

With a juvenile look I respond, “Really, riddles now? No, no I would not buy a fruit in such a way.”

“Then let me in Liam, or we will just wait you out till you starve and have no choice but to leave. You do have a job to go to right, bills to pay? What will you do when your money runs out and have no job left because you stayed home?”

Beneath my breath “Damn, he is right about that…..what to do…what to do?…..(An idea sparks), how about this, you turn my phone back on and we can talk over the phone?”

The man starts to pace the deck, “Liam, I cannot stress this enough, allow me in and we can discuss, but to play these little games of who trusts who will only end poorly…for you.”

I respond with my rifle ready, “I don’t even know your name and of course I don’t trust you, you showed up with a mob and a mean looking dog, what do you expect me to do?”

The man chuckles and replies, “You got me there……there, they are all gone including my dog…feel better?”

Hearing his response I look through the window and see no one left but him.

“How did you do that I ask?”

He responds, “There are many things I can do Liam, truth be told, I can teach you a few things if you’d like?”

Situated in hesitation still, “Hold on a second….(I move through out the house to make sure no one is hiding inside or outside.) Hm, well, I don’t see anyone anywhere.

( Move back to the front door), How about this, I will open the door, but you must remain outside and at the bottom of the stairs where I can see. You must also keep your hands clasped on the top of your head. Move them off your head, I shoot?”

He replies, “Let me do you one better, my name is Lucery and I will let you cuff me to the railing…sound fair? I know you have restraints in your home. You’re always prepared.”

Still feeling cautious I reply, “give me a minute to think….(the man replies, “Don’t take too long, I get bored easily.”)…..I won’t….okay okay, supposedly he is alone….(I walk into my room and grab the cuffs on the top shelf in my closet.)…Worse comes to worse, I shoot the man in self defense right? What if he is unarmed? Frame him? Damn, I don’t know what is going on, but screw it. I needed some adrenaline in my life and something is oddly pulling toward opening that door. I feel like I am being drawn by opposing forces. One pulls me to remain inside even till I starve, the other, open the door and see what happens….I am alone, pretty much keep little contact with anyone, I die and no one would even know probably for weeks, if not months. Well, all or nothing right?”

I exit my room and approach the door, “Alright, I am going to open the door and toss out the cuffs, put them on around both hands and through the railing so I can see your hands.”

The man with an agreeing voice, “Toss them out, I can’t wait to see what you’re into hahaha.”

I open the door just enough to toss out the cuffs. Tossing out the cuffs I lock eyes with the man, he is wearing a clean black suit well fitted. His hair slicked back his eyes glowing with a face only a mother could love. He smirks at me and when he does, a strange charm over comes me. Like when you haven’t seen a friend in a while, you can’t help but feel drawn to the moment.

It was weird, it felt like I already knew him.

I close the door quickly, and lock it.

To be continued…3/29/2021

Just a man that was once lost in the pursuit of understanding himself. I write short stories, poems, and motivational pieces. (Instagram @poemjunkybiffle)

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