Kirsten enjoyed a luxurious stretch in her large bed, revelling in the euphoria of a restful night. That, and knowing it was her day off, was pure bliss. The King-size bed was all hers, since she had kicked out her no-good cheating ex.
She went about her day, pottering in the apartment. Savoured the revelation of being lazy without justification. She’d have to get a roommate at some point to help with rent. But for now, it was simply wonderful being able to do what she wanted, when she wanted and without judgement.
The ex had left behind a couple of storage containers. She moved them now from the hallway, closer to the door. Smiling as she realised she could throw them at him when he came a-knocking.
Ow, oooh stupid fucking – ow!
Somehow, she had managed to drop one of them. Landing on her big toe, before then opening and spilling its contents all over the floor.
What the –
Inside, there was a plethora of weird looking stuff. She knew that he had been into some creepy shit. He was an avid watcher of extreme horror; had several book shelves dedicated to serial killers. But this stuff looked freaky even by his standards. An odd wooden box with macabre looking letters engraved on the lid. A bong that appeared to be made out of a hopefully fake skull. And, some unusual looking herbs that she didn’t think appeared to be weed.
Sighing, she threw it all back into the container. Not noticing, or caring, that the lid of the wooden box had come slightly ajar.
She hobbled over to the front door, cursing under her breath. Good riddance to him and all his fucked-up shit.
That evening, she enjoyed a long hot bath. Indulged in a generous glass of wine whilst listening to some rom-com audio on her phone. Took a long gulp when the narrator got to a sexy bit. That was the only thing she missed about him. Although it had turned out she was only getting a portion of his talent since he couldn’t keep it in his pants.
Drying off, she headed to the bedroom. Suddenly fatigued, she decided to get an early night. And fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.
She didn’t awake feeling as refreshed and smug as the morning before. Despite falling into an immediate coma, the rest of her night had been restless and fraught with the strangest of dreams.
Some had been sexy enough to make her blush just thinking about it, whilst others had been terrifying to the extreme. She hadn’t known whether to try to stay awake or pray for more sleep to forget what she had felt.
She had also been plagued by the unnerving sensation that she was not alone. She knew this to be impossible, there was no one there. The door was locked, and she was several stories high enough that no one was getting through a window. She didn’t even own a fish, let alone a pet that could wander into her room. Yet, she had spent the night (in between the dreams) feeling as if someone, something, was there with her.
She spent the day feeling twitchy. Blamed it on the lack of sleep and the strong coffee consumed just to keep her eyes open. Kept shivering, despite it being an above average Fall temperature.
But worst of all was that lingering feeling, that, someone else was there. Similar to when her ex would stare at her, his eyes relaying what was on his mind. However, there was nobody there now …
As the day progressed, her jitters grew worse. She couldn’t eat, just guzzled black coffee by the gallon. Even managed to find a few cigarettes he’d left behind and greedily inhaled them one after the other. She hadn’t smoked in years.
The sound at the front door made her jump, dropping her mug onto the floor where it smashed.
She looked through the peep hole.
Opening the door, she glared at him, too wired to play nice.
“Woah babe,” he cried in surprise, “er, you look like crap!”
She curled her lip in disgust, not bothering to dignify his jibe with a reply. Begrudgingly picked up the containers and hurled them at him. “Fuck off,” she growled, slamming the door in his face.
Leaning against the inside of the door, she took a moment to steady herself. Weird, she instantly felt, better? Less panicky and way more like herself.
Huh. Maybe she actually had just been worried about a confrontation. Now his stuff was gone, and so was he.
She smiled. That’s more like it.
Feeling the need to shower, she walked into the bedroom. She’d put on some decent clothes, go and get some take-out.
Checking if any of her girlfriends were around, she grabbed her cell. Frowning, she saw a message saying her online storage was full.
Well that’s weird? She had cleared a whole load of space when she had deleted the pictures of him.
She tapped the photo app. What the-
There, on the screen, was picture after picture of her.
All dated last night.
Pictures of her sleeping, dreaming. Pictures where she looked like she was damn well enjoying herself, and others that showed genuine terror on her face. Feeling a scream rise in her throat; her bladder loosened.
That horrific feeling of being watched, had been correct.
But if she had been, and was now, completely alone, who the fuck had taken the photos?
As her ex left the building, he peeked into the container. Smiling, he closed the wooden box, making sure the lid was now secure.
He walked away, whistling.
Let the games recommence.
About the Author
Janine PIPE is a horror short story author from Swindon in the United Kingdom. She enjoys both reading and writing creepy tales, and has based several of her stories on real-life supernatural experiences. She posts original spooky and gory stories on her blog
https://janinesghoststories.wordpress.com/ where she also reviews films and books of the same genre. She has had several stories read aloud in a UK radio interview and on several podcasts. She especially likes Creepy Pasta, and her literary heroes are Stephen KING and C J TUDOR. Follow her @Disneynine on Twitter.