#THE_UNKNOWN (A series of short horrifying stories) #horror

 

#THE_UNKNOWN (A series of short horrifying stories)

#THE_UNKNOWN (A series of short horrifying stories) 

    

Author: Sam Freddy

    

Issue 3 [Knowing Him]

    

Part 3

    

    I regretted opening the book that very moment. I wished I never opened it. I should’ve heeded the warning. I shouldn’t even be here in the first place. I saw the warning on the book, which was crystal clear, yet I ignorantly ignored it.

    

    I had bitten off more than I could chew, and by doing so, I had to face the music and dance to its tune. The book’s content was very unpleasant to my eyes. I literally screamed out my lungs as a wave of fear surged through my entire body, leaving me numb, and utterly disgusted. 

    

    “Good God!” I screamed again, closing the book immediately. It fell off my trembling hands to the carpeted floor, and the moment it dropped, it just opened again on its own accord. I was as scared as a fragile puppy, seriously trying my best to stay calm as I watched the book flipping through some pages, and then it stopped, and closed back. I wanted to run out of the room as fast as I could, but before I could even move an inch, I heard thumping sounds in the walls. I thought that was just it, but much to my dismay, it was only the beginning! 

    

    There was a rocking in the chair, with nobody sitting there. The lights turned off immediately a fierce wind blew past the curtains, and the wooden door creaked slightly, signalling the presence of someone I couldn’t see. 

    

    I was already sweating profusely. My eyes were on the verge of releasing an avalanche of tears, but I soon heard somebody’s footsteps approaching the door in a very slow but steady process. I closed my eyes and did my signature cross signs three times, as I stood there, petrified, expecting the best or the worst outcome. 

    

    Finally, the door opened and someone barged into the room. “Anita?”

    

    Quickly, I opened my eyes to see Dafe right in front of me, standing next to the door. “Dafe?”

    

    “Anita!” The tone of his voice was barely audible for me to hear. He was frowning awfully. “Anita, what have you done?”

    

    “I didn’t do anything!” I was still trembling right where I stood, almost pissing my pants. 

    

    “Anita, did you touch the book?”

    

    “N-no! N-No!” I stuttered in response, shaking my head for emphasis. “I mean, ye-yes, yes!”

    

    “Oh, my God!” Dafe’s voice jumped up an astounding octave, his mouth falling wide open. “Did you open the book?”

    

    I couldn’t say anything. What was I supposed to say? Yes, I did? 

    

    “Anita, did you open the book?” Dafe’s angered voice disrupted my thoughts. “Tell me the truth!”

    

    “Yes, I did.” I spat the words out before I could even blink an eye, nodding affirmatively. “Yes, I opened it. Dafe I’m so scared! I’m afraid! I’m so–”

    

    “WHY did you OPEN the BOOK?” He shouted at me before I could even complete my statement. “Didn’t you read the warning? Are you blind, Anita?”

    

    “Dafe I’m so sorry!” I was quite sure I’d piss my pants any time soon. The chills running down my spine and the immense fear surging through my whole body was enough reason for me to pee on myself. I was still on the verge of shedding tears, and my legs were wobbling terribly. I had never been that scared before in my life! 

    

    For some weird reason, Dafe simply ignored me whilst rushing towards me. He bent down, picked up the book, opened the curtains, whispered something I couldn’t hear, and placed the book back into the wardrobe. 

    

    “Dafe, what’s all this?” I asked, pointing at the paintings on the wall and the carved idols hanging on the ropes. 

    

    “You are in big trouble, just so you know.” He said, shaking his head dramatically. “Big, big trouble!”

    

    “What do you mean?” I asked, bulging my eyes.

    

    “Why did you come here, Anita?” Dafe ignored my question, having an indescribable facial expression. “You shouldn’t have come here. You really shouldn’t have!”

    

    “What are you even saying?” I was getting more scared, feeling sweat gathering on my forehead. “I don’t understand you!”

    

    “Why did you open that book, Anita? You saw the warning, didn’t you?”

    

    “Yes, I did, and I’m so sorry I ignored it. I know you’re very mad at me right now, but I still don’t understand why it’s this serious.” I poured my mind to his hearing, gesturing while at it. “It’s just a normal book, Dafe!”

    

    “No!” He shouted at me all of a sudden. “It’s NOT JUST a book! It’s much more than you think!”

    

    “Like what?” I chipped in sharply, wiping the sweat off my face with my bare hand. “You’re making me scared. I want to go home.”

    

    “Go home?” Dafe repeated after me, bulging his eyes. “You must be joking right now!”

    

    “I’m going home!” I stood my ground, glaring at his face. “You can’t stop me. You can’t do anything to me. If you try anything funny, I’ll call my mother right away, or I’ll scream so loud. Don’t dare me!”

    

    Dafe shook his head in a rather pitiful manner. “I pity you.”

    

    “Pity yourself.” I shot back at him. “You better leave the way now and let me pass, or I’ll do what I have in mind.”

    

    “You will die.” 

    

    “What?” I was getting furious already, finding it hard to tolerate this guy’s attitude. Perhaps, he wasn’t as cool as I thought he was when I first laid eyes on him. 

    

    “You’ll die.” He repeated the same words, getting closer to me. “If you leave this house just like that without performing the necessary rituals, or you call and inform anyone about anything you just saw here, you’ll die and they’ll die too.”

    

    “Nonsense! Get out of my way.” I pushed him with all the strength I could muster, but he didn’t even shake, as though he was a solid rock and my hands were mere broomsticks. 

    

    “Anita, listen to me.” Dafe explained. “If you dare tell anyone about what you saw here, you’ll only be putting your life and theirs in danger. There’s more mystery to this issue than you can imagine. We are both in this big mess together, and we have to find a solution together. If you leave this premises, the book would never let you be.”

    

    I stared at his face for a while, observing his facial expressions. He looked and sounded quite serious about everything he was saying. What if he was actually telling the truth? What if his words were genuine and pure? I reconsidered, clenching my fists in thought. 

    

    “Let’s assume everything you’ve just said is the truth,” I began, looking into his eyes, “what then are we supposed to do?”

    

    “I’m getting there.” He assured me, rubbing his left hand on his chest, urging me to be patient. 

    

    “Are we just supposed to stay inside this house all day long, together?” I disregarded his words of assurance, placing both hands on my tiny waist. “I can’t stay here any longer!”

    

    “Look, it’s not what you’re thinking.” Dafe explained further. “We must go to your house together and you must carry the book along.” 

    

    “Why?” I asked, confused. “Why must we go to my house?”

    

    “You see these paintings on my walls?” He pointed all around the room, never taking his eyes off mine. 

    

    “Yes?”

    

    “Good.” He said. “These paintings are not just for fashion. We are dealing with mysterious and supernatural powers here. I made the same mistake you made by opening the book when I found it somewhere in a mosque. I was as curious as you are, and my curiosity got the best of me that day. I ignored the warning just like you did, and–” Dafe paused and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. 

    

    “So, what happened?” I urged him to go on. “Please, continue.”

    

    He exhaled heavily, opened his eyes and continued: “And since that day, I haven’t known peace in my life. I’m always having nightmares when I sleep, and I can’t even eat well. Sometimes, I look into the mirror and I see faces of hideous demons instead of my own reflection. I’ve suffered so much than you can ever imagine.”

    

    “Why couldn’t you just inform your parents, or anyone at all?”

    

    “You think I didn’t try that?” Dafe’s facial expression turned to a frown immediately, but I noticed a glint of sadness hovering over his countenance. “I’ve gone down that path before, and I won’t advise you to do the same. It doesn’t always end well.”

    

    “How do you mean?” Curiosity got the best of me this time around. At this point, I was very attentive to everything he had to say. My interest in this issue was second to none. “What happened?”

    

    “They died.” 

    

    “Oh, my God.” I gasped. “Are you serious now?” 

    

    “You heard me crystal clear.” Dafe’s frown disappeared, replaced by a gloomy look. “Everyone I tell dies mysteriously. Everyone thinks I’m possessed because they don’t understand what’s going on. They can’t understand why I’m always uptight and quiet. I wept bitterly when I lost my mother and my father in just one day, for just one stupid mistake!”

    

    “I’m so sorry to hear that.” I was so sad, trying my best to withhold the tears that threatened to pour down. “I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through. I really feel for you.”

    

    Dafe closed his eyes and sighed heavily. I could tell he was trying not to cry as well. “It’s not your fault,” he said, licking his lips as he reopened his eyes. “You don’t have to feel sorry for me for my stupid mistake. It’s my cross, and I’m meant to carry it alone.”

    

    I felt utterly dejected due to his sorrowful state, which pierced my fragile heart like sharp knives. He had truly been through a lot at such a tender age. How would he cope if he continues to live his life this way, all alone, in fear and in self-pity? I wished I could do something to help him out of it, but if I were to be very logical and honest with myself, what could I possibly do? I was only sixteen. I was inexperienced, a juvenile, very naïve. 

    

    “Dafe, how old are you?” I voiced the big question I’d been meaning to ask him all along. 

    

    “What does it matter?”

    

    “I just want to know.” I said calmly, lacing both hands in a rather pitiful manner. “Please tell me.”

    

    “I’m eighteen.” He confessed, avoiding eye contact with me. “And you?”

    

    “I’m sixteen.”

    

    He averted his eyes from the wall and placed them on me, looking surprised. “Wow. For a sixteen-year-old girl, I must confess you’re way smarter than most girls your age. Believe me.”

    

    “Thank you. So are you.” I said, heaving a sigh of relief. “So, if you don’t mind, can you tell me what these paintings on the wall stand for?”

    

    “Yes, I guess.” Dafe answered, clearing his throat, the same way a deacon would do in preparation for a long sermon. “So, as I mentioned earlier, these paintings are not just for fashion. A close friend of mine, who is now deceased, was the one who discovered a way to tame this madness for a while. He was a college graduate with a PhD in Philosophy. He was an atheist, despite being from a religious background. He believed mostly in fetish things, so he helped me find a solution using traditional and diabolical means, and since then I’ve been free from the nightmares and the mysterious happenings surrounding this house. The book was sealed with the red pieces of clothes you removed from it, and these paintings were made on the walls for protection. So are the idols on the ropes.” He concluded. 

    

    “This is very strange, indeed.” I said, still finding it quite hard to believe my ears. “What do we do now?”

    

    “I’ve told you before, but you didn’t let me finish.” He explained. “As I was saying, we have to go to your house, and you must personally hold the book while I help you draw the same paintings you see here on your own walls, then you must recite some incantations, strip yourself naked and stand for three straight hours, pleading with the deities not to invoke their wrath on you. If you are fortunate enough and your sacrifice gets accepted, then that’s all you’ll need to attain freedom from this whole mess.”

    

    “God forbid!” I stated indignantly. “I can’t, and I won’t ever do that. It’s against my belief.”

    

    “Do you want to die?”

    

    “Stop asking me that stupid question.” I reprimanded him right away. “Nobody will die between us. Relax. I’m sure there’s another way out of this, right?”

    

    “Yes, there is,” Dafe nodded calmly, cutting eye contact between us, “but it’s not really something appropriate for us to do.”

    

    “Just say it. I’m all ears.” I urged him on, literally dying of suspense. 

    

    Dafe sighed. “Did you ever notice the two hearts beneath the demon’s legs on those paintings?”

    

    “Yes, I did. What does that have to do with anything?”

    

    “A lot.”

    

    “Go on.”

    

    “What it means is that for us to be free from this ugly situation, we both have to find true love that covers and washes away all our mistakes. It has to be true, pure, and real from our hearts.”

    

    “Hold on, do you mean like me and you together in love?” I asked, bulging my eyes in utter disbelief. “I mean, I barely even know you.”

    

    “Not exactly. It’s not necessary. It doesn’t have to be you and me.” He clarified, to my understanding. I simply heaved another sigh of relief. 

    

     At this very point, I was utterly speechless. I gave it a quick thought and came up with another idea. I smiled and let it out: “Dafe, what if we just take this book and do away with it?”

    

    “What?”

    

    Before he could even blink, I dashed to his wardrobe, opened it, removed the good-for-nothing book and ran out of Dafe’s room as fast as I could. I could hear him calling out to me, but I paid deaf ears to him and ran until I was out of the house.

    

    I looked back and saw him running after me, asking me to stop, but I didn’t listen. I had just one mission to execute, and I wouldn’t stop until I’d done it. 

    

    In less than 5 minutes, I arrived at the nearby lake in the secluded estate. I went very close to the water and stood there, raising the book very high. 

    

    “Anita, stop!” Dafe’s voice came out of the blue. “Don’t do it.”

    

    I looked at him, observing how he was expertly taking calm and calculated steps towards me. “Dafe, stay there. Don’t come any closer.”

    

    “Anita, stop this! You have to listen to me. If you–”

    

    “Enough!” I cut him off in annoyance. “I’m tired of acting all meek and living in fear. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m not like you. I’m doing this now.”

    

    “Anita, if you–”

    

    “Do you want to die?” I asked him the same annoying question, but before he could respond, I threw the book with all my strength and it dived right into the lake. 

    

    “There! It’s gone. Say bye-bye to our so-called problems.” I forced a smile and walked back to Dafe’s position, feeling quite relieved. “Are you happy now?”

    

    “Do you have any idea what you’ve just done?” 

    

    “Come on, the least you can do is bury this unnecessary drama and just smile. The book is gone for good. What else are you worried about?” I shrugged. “We are free.”

    

    “Free?” Dafe repeated after me, looking bewildered beyond doubt. “You should’ve listened to me when you had the chance, but your stubbornness wouldn’t let you see the bigger picture. Now, her blood would be on your hands. What a shame.”

    

    “Excuse me? What do you mean? Whose blood would be on my hands?” I asked all at once, almost perspiring. “What are you trying to say?”

    

    Dafe simply sighed, looked away and shook his head pitifully. “Honestly, I don’t know how best to put this to you, but, Anita, your mother will die soon.”

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