Horror Strikes at the Office

(A true, gruesome story, until towards the end)

(as published in The Collegiate Marian Voice, September-October 2006 edition)

Since I was a child, my inkling of horror was only spawned by horror flicks like the then-prime "Shake, Rattle and Roll" series and of grim encounters of persons whom I know and not, their stories recounted to me by my fellow kids and some elder. I never fully considered those accounts though, as I had not come across them myself. And it remained that way for long, long years.

Until recently...

It was initially a fine Friday, nothing to worry about. Harmless, really! horror, thriller, scary childThere was nothing in the manner the clouds crawled sluggishly across the cerulean sky to insinuate that strange things, at least for me, would soon happen. Even the spur-of-the-moment studying for a quiz in my morning class did me so good and did not disappoint me one bit.

Yet as the day progressed on, the afternoon started to become unusually gloomy, not that I minded it. As if it were the first time I beheld such? I did not let it meddle with my pacing towards the publication office, nonetheless.

Dark clouds slowly began to overtake the once-blue skies; it breathed a threat of rain to come. And come, it did, bathing the Earthly things below. Cold air rushed everywhere and good thing I was already in the office, all dry and not even a wet stain of a single raindrop on my clothes, sitting in front of the machine and encoding some important matters.

After long hours of encoding articles for the publication, my best friend sent me a message to await her; their class ended at 8:30 PM. That did not bother me; it was good for I could have someone accompany me go home.

Several hours arrived, and it became darker outside, the rain still had not subsided, some blows of the cold wind giving me a chill. I was in my most serious disposition encoding the poems, only taking some minutes to hum along with the songs currently played on the Winamp. I was just still, and everything was just normal. Or so I thought. When...

WHAM! I jumped to my feet and I swore if I had cardio problems I would have died; my heart beat abnormally swift. There was a loud blow on the backmost of the office, somewhere in the sloping ceiling. For a minute or two I became timid. I turned my head, yet there was nothing in there that had fallen nor I saw any movements; the place seem untouched. This attenuated my suddenly startled emotion and I continued on my my tasks, disregarding what had just transpired.

I sang along a line in a song saying "...Baby not the usual, tonight we get the unpredictable..." when the staff's latest framed picture fell of the wall, causing the dysfunctional wall clock below it to drop too. The sound was not so loud though, yet very audible and startling. I stood up to replace them, inspecting what could have been the culprit of such plunge. "The nail may have not been hammered deep," I told myself, took comfort of that very thought and resumed my seat.

The next things were really very sudden and unpredictable and, for the most wicked part, uncontrollable. I had barely carried on with encoding and editing when the garbage bin rolled on its side with a thud, spewing the trashes inside it towards the two cabinets it faced, which doors then flapped in appalling frenzy. The sight of such not only gave me quick goose bumps but also utmost fright. I tore off to leave the room but the door raced to closed by itself and shut off with a hasty, loud click; it was locked! And no matter how hard I tried to pull it open, it would not. I had taken a fleeting glimpse at my wristwatch and it bore 8:00 PM, not yet till my best friend would arrive. I screamed, but the deafening drumming of the heavy raindrops on the rooftops seemed to drown my words.

And then suddenly, lights went off. I clicked the switch on, and on, but no response. I screamed even louder that I had almost screamed my lungs out. But everything just went more outrageous. One moment, with the faint light issued by the computer monitor, I saw the trashes flew towards the ceiling, dancing weirdly as they did. Next moment, the baseball bat beside the garbage bin rose in mid-air and swung to and fro. The next thing I witnessed in utter horror was a woman---so grotesque in appearance, her gray hairs billowing like smoke, her nose crooked, her dress tattered---who just appeared in thin air, grasping the bat's handle, smashing frantically the exquisite glass goblets first and second the cabinet's pane, spattering the shards almost everywhere, a sharp, large one flew towards me and as I shielded me from it my right arm got a horrible cut (it is now an ugly scar), blood trickling down on it.

I panicked, and perhaps more than that. The song streaming in the computer did not help either; it made the feeling even worse ("So the day when you've lost your self completely could be a night when your life ends"). I was already an inch closer to losing my self. Who would not anyway, when the ghastly woman advanced on me, her rotten fist clenching hard the bat, and as if I were the baseball, she positioned to whack me with it and...

The next thing I knew was I woke up to find the table's flower vase fell to my face, shout, scream, scared, horrified, horroralmost breaking my nose. I woke with a start in the office's long couch. I was still all alone in the office just like it had been when I was encoding. My wristwatch told me that it was still 4:30 in the afternoon, same day. I felt for blood in my face but there was not any, there were only few broken edges of the ceramic vase. All in the room appeared undisturbed either. It was a dream, a nightmare, the worst I ever had. I tried to calm myself, tried not to worry lest my co-writers will breeze in and find me so perturbed. It was all dream, and that was all through now.

Yes, a nightmare it was. But never had I noticed so quickly that the wound I acquired in the dream was exactly the same wound I instantly had on my arm in this real life, only that it did not bear any more pain. Most mystifying!

So then I thought that room was one place the undead are frequenting---just like some other rooms in the school, and just like most of the schools---and they assault through formidable dreams. They might occur as fantasy but they can sometimes be true...

And, sadly, in this case, it was all because of my profound whims, a figment of my very wild and trivial imagination...

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