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Don’t Blink

By Sixpenceee Stories user sigwada; October (2015) Second Place Winner

It’s hard to believe that this happened just two weeks ago. I was happy and didn’t have to worry about what’s to come. I’ll get to that later on, but I need to start from the beginning.

It was a Friday night. I was sprawled across my couch with my best friend, Aiden, sitting on the floor. We were watching some reruns of Doctor Who on the TV. Every now and then we would wander into the kitchen to get some snacks, but would always return to the living room to continue watching our favorite TV show.

Around eleven o’clock, one of my personal favorite episodes came up. It was the Eleventh Doctor and Amy in The Time of the Angels, which, obviously, included the Weeping Angels. As a kid I would always mess with my baby sister and would act like one. She would cry, then I’d laugh and reassure her that they weren’t real.

During the duration of the episode, I realized that Aiden started to act weird. It was subtle, but after growing up with him for the past nine years, I’ve come to realize when things weren’t right.

He shifted around a lot, and he stared at the TV until his eyes couldn’t take it anymore. When he blinked he would keep them close for a while before forcing his eyes open, making them bulge.

“What are you doing?” I asked. At first I thought he was acting like there was an actual Angel in the room, but he wasn’t that type of person.

“Oh-uh, nothing. I’m just getting tired, I guess.” He looked at me with red eyes and yawned. It was pretty late, and staring at a TV in a dark room really did strain your eyes. So I nodded and he got up to turn on the lights. I switched off the TV and went into the hallway closet to grab a blanket. I set it over the couch where I would be sleeping that night.

Now, I know not much parents would let a boy and a girl have sleepovers, especially if you have old fashioned parents like ours, but we were family friends and our parents trusted us, so this was pretty normal for us.

“Good night Eva,” Aiden mumbled before turning off the light and walking down the hall towards his room. I tucked myself in the blankets and closed my eyes, sleep already taking a hold on me.

Sometime later that night, I woke to the light from the bathroom turn on. A shadow walks in and the door shuts, only the light from under the door spilling through. I knew it was Aiden. His parents had a bathroom connected with their room upstairs, and his sister had the hallway bathroom upstairs also. Aiden was the only one who had a room on the first floor.

I didn’t take much notice and closed my eyes again, trying to fall asleep. Just when I was about to be pulled back under, I hear a loud thud. I jumped and looked around before realizing that it came from the bathroom. I got up, stumbling slightly in the dark and from the sudden movements. I made my way to the bathroom and knocked on it.

“Aiden? Are you okay?” I rubbed at my eyes, trying to get them to be as awake as the rest of my body. I heard nothing on the other side of the door, and I got worried. I was about to knock on the door again, but the door opened and Aiden stepped out, his hand pressed against his temple.

“Are you okay?” I asked. He just nodded and walked out, heading towards the kitchen. I turned off the bathroom light for him as he turned on the one for the living room and kitchen. He grabbed an ice pack out of the freezer and sat down at the table.

“What happened?” I grabbed the pitcher of water from the fridge and two glasses from the cupboard before placing it on the table and taking a seat next to Aiden. He continued to press the ice pack to his head while he closed his eyes.
“I was washing my hands and I dropped the soap, and I accidently stepped on it. But I’m fine.”

I looked at my friend. I could see he was in pain, but at the same time I could tell something else was bothering him.

“Okay, well, what else is on your mind?”

“What are you talking about?” he opened one eye to look at me. I stared at him before pouring myself a glass of water.

“C’mon, we both know when there’s something else bothering us. What’s up?”

Aiden mumbled something under his breath before closing his eye.

“What?” I asked.

“I said-,” he spoke louder. “-that it’s dumb and you probably won’t believe me.”

“I’m probably the only person in the world that would believe any crazy thing you tell me. So seriously, what’s up?”

“I really don’t think I should say anything-“

“Hey, I can tell it’s been bothering you. Whatever it is I’ll believe it.”

Aiden sighed. He sat up straighter and opened his eyes.

“Okay, what I’m about to tell you probably sounds like totally BS but you wanted to know, and I’m dying to tell someone.

“Do you remember a few weeks ago when I went down to LA?” I nodded. “Well, I stayed at the Barnes & Noble there while my family went to the mall. I was looking through some of the books and sat down at the Starbucks there.

“I was flipping through the pages of one of the books when a piece of paper fell out. Of course I was going to look at it, and when I did, I was hooked.”

“What did it say?”

Aiden held up his hands, motioning for me to slow down and let him finish talking.

“It was a regular piece of notebook paper, and it was neatly folded but the words looked like it was written in a rush. I read it and seemed to be a story, and it was pretty interesting. I read the whole thing once, then another time, then another. I became fascinated with it. I did research on it, but nothing came up.”

“What did it say?”

“Just wait.” I was shocked by his bluntness. At first he was reluctant to tell it now he can’t stop talking about it.

“Finally I tried it on Tor. I researched it and man I wish I didn’t! I found out the story was told everywhere, in different languages, in different cultures. Everywhere.”

I stayed quiet, waiting for him to continue. I didn’t need him telling me to be quiet again.

“Anyways, what I thought was just a scary story idea actually turned out to be some kind of chain mail. Not really, but sort of. Of course I thought it was fake, but it freaked me out nonetheless. But then it started to happen.”

“What did?” I was more aware now, wanting to hear what else he had to say. I didn’t believe it, true, but I wasn’t going to say that. Plus, I wanted to hear what the rest of the story.

“I started to see the… things. At first I thought it was my overactive imagination, or that the story was just freaking me out, but after two weeks I finally came to terms with it. It was true. The story was freaking true!”

“Can you please explain a bit more? What are you seeing? Does it have to do with you hitting your head?”

Aiden stopped talking. He took several deep breathes before he spoke again.

“I don’t want to say anything else. I can’t do it. Not to you.” He shook his head and pressed his eyes shut.

I didn’t push it. Neither did I spoke to him again that night. I left him to his thoughts and returned to the couch, wrapping myself in the blanket and went to sleep.
~
Aiden avoided me that weekend. Knowing him, I knew it was best to just let him talk when he was ready, so that’s what I did. But it bugged me that he was acting so strangely, and the story that he told me. Sure it was vague, but he seemed genuinely bothered by it.

The Monday following that, I went to school. I walked into the main building and went straight to my locker, where I saw Aiden leaning against it.

“Hey,” he greeted. I smiled at him and he moved out of the way so I could open my locker.

“I’m sorry Eva.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“No, you don’t understand.”

I turned to look at him. “Then why don’t you explain it.”

“I-I’m just afraid. I’m not sure if I said enough to do anything, and if I have I should explain, but what if I didn’t? Saying more would just… worsen the situation.”

“You’re making no sense, and I’m not sure I wanna hear it. So, if you’re going to tell me, say it. If not, then let’s just move on, okay?”

Aiden opened his mouth, but then closed it. He shut his eyes and took a deep breathe before opening them again. “Let’s go to class.”

We walked to our first period class, PreCal. We made our way to our usual spot in the back corner of the room. I got out my supplies and pulled out my phone, waiting for our teacher to come in. I looked at Aiden. He was staring straight down on his desk, the way he did on Friday. He just continued to stare until he had to blink, and when he did, kept them close for a while. After a few seconds, he opened his eyes in a hurry, then continued to stare.

I passed it off as sleepiness, but he did it all the time. During the duration of the day, whenever I saw him, he would be staring straight ahead, his eyes red.

This happened for another two days. We would do our homework, and he’d take longer to do things since he kept his eyes closed for a long time. When he had his eyes open, he would do as much work as possible, as if he knew what he was doing was going to hinder him. It’s like he was working with it.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Aiden, what the hell is going on? Why are you drying your eyes out? Seriously, you look miserable.”
“Eva, I-“
“I want to know. Seriously, I’m worried about it.” I set down my pencil and made it clear that I’m not going to let us continue our homework-or anything- until he tells me what was going on.
“Why? Why you? Ugh, fine.” Aiden leaned against the table, he blinked-an actual blink- and he flinched.
“What the-“ I started but he cut me off.
“Eva, okay, I-I can only tell you a little. I’m scared to say too much, especially to you, but you’re the only I know who won’t judge me.

“I told you how I’ve been seeing things. I promise that’s not a lie, but it’s only when I blink. I see the silhouette of a women, or a man, or sometimes multiple figures. Sometimes they’re far, sometimes I can clearly see their faces, but it’s only ever when I blink. That’s why I shut my eyes instead of blink, because they aren’t there. I can’t see them. It’s freaking terrifying, and I’m terrified for what’s to come.”

“I-I don’t understand. What’s coming?” I had other questions, but this was the easiest of them to ask.
“I don’t know. But, they’re coming for me. And-“
My phone rang. It was text from my mom. She said she wanted me home now.
“Aiden, let’s finish this some other time. I really want to hear what you have to say, but I need to go home.”
“Eva, I need to explain-“
“I need to go.” I gathered my things and stuffed it into my backpack. “I’m sorry, but let’s finish this conversation later, okay? You know my mom.”

I ran out his house and got into my car. I drove home, thinking about the rest of the homework I needed to finish, and the conversation I had with Aiden.

I shouldn’t have left Aiden.

The following morning, I got a call from his mom. Aiden killed himself. When I heard the news I broke down, wailing in pain over the loss of my best friend. She was weary to tell me the details, but thought it’d be best to hear it now.

Aiden scratched his eyes out. There was nothing left but empty sockets. He kept scratching and scratching until he couldn’t anymore.

When I heard this, I wanted to vomit. It was all so sudden and such a blur. I locked myself in my room, wanting to be alone. I couldn’t face the world knowing that my best friend was now gone. My parents had to bring me up food, but I barely ate. Mostly I wept and slept, remembering the last few days.

I put all the blame on myself. I didn’t do a great job in listening to him, and I just walked out on him yesterday. Maybe if I stayed, he would still be here.

My phone rang, and I looked at it. It was a text from Aiden. I sat up, wiped my tears from my face and read the text.

“I’m sorry.  It’s too late for me, and I dragged you into it. I have this dumb text scheduled, and I just finished filming something for you. You should get it around 10 pm. Please watch it. It’s important. Remember that I love you, and you’re my best friend.”

More tears spilled from my face after I read that. I checked the time. It was currently 9:36 pm. I still had some time until then. I started up my computer so when it was 10, all I had to do was open the email. I logged in and had it all ready.

I sat on my bed, waiting. Tears still spilled from my eyes, but I rubbed them away, needing to see and hear what Aiden had to say.

Five minutes before ten, I stopped crying. I blinked a final tear away, and for that quick second, I saw a silhouette of a girl. I flinched before looking around my room. I passed it off as nothing, but when I blinked again, I saw it, but closer.

I inched closer to the wall and looked around my room. I tried to put things together, seeing if any of my jackets that were hanging around could have took a shape, but there was nothing. I was so freaked out, I got up and ran downstairs, wanting to be with other people.

That was another mistake I made. I should have stayed in my room and waited for the video. I should have watched the video as soon as possible, but I forgot about it. I suffered another week of the weird blinking, and forgot about the video. I forgot about it until this morning, over a week later.

This morning was the first time I actually checked social media again. I got many condolences, and a few checking up on me, but when I checked my email, I saw Aiden’s name and remembered.

Quickly, I opened his email and saw a video attached. I played the video, and I saw my best friend again, alive and breathing, but crying.

“Eva, I-well, you would have already heard. There’s no need for me say it. But, after you left earlier, I realized that you needed to know the truth. The whole truth. And I want you to listen carefully, because though I’m dead, I’m not damned.

I need you to know though that I did not kill myself. Whatever they say, I did not do that, but it doesn’t matter now. What matters it that you do what I tell you.

Whatever got me, it travels through knowledge. It exists in whomever knows about it. When I told you Friday about it, I wasn’t sure if that counted, and it seemed like you were fine so I didn’t tell you more. But you were persistent and continued to ask. I didn’t want to have to tell you, but I had to tell someone.

I was damned. I would have been whatever I was seeing, unless I let someone else know before I died. And that’s what I did. I told you, and now I’m dead, but saved. And I need you to listen to me, okay. I’m sorry it was you, cuz now you’re damned. I freaking cursed you. But there’s a way.

I have no idea if you have experienced it yet, but you would. And if you have, I’m sorry again, but all I can do is help you.

Like I said, it-”

I saw him take a sharp intake of breathe. He paused for a moment before continuing on.

“-it travels through knowledge. You need to tell someone, in whatever means possible, to be saved. You can’t do anything about the death. So, you might see me again sooner than later, that is, if you do tell someone. God, I hope you do Eva. I can’t stand the thought of you becoming one of them. Please don’t try to be a hero and think it’ll end if you don’t tell anyone, because it won’t. So do it okay? Tell someone, then let them know what they have to do. Or don’t, I don’t care about them. Just you.

The sooner you do this, the better. At least then for your final days you can relax a bit and do something important.

And before I go, I also read that the more you tell, the less painful the death. Mine’s was probably awful since the only person I told was you.

I hope to see you soon Eva. Good bye.”

I closed my laptop. No reaction came from me as I sat staring at it for a few minutes. I didn’t know what to believe, but I knew my best friend was dead. I thought about what I’ve been seeing, and what he said. I opened up my laptop and went on the internet.

Oddly enough, I wanted my last few days on tumblr. Seeing pretty pictures, readying about stories, and seeing the dumbest videos. I was able to laugh a bit. Too my luck, one of my favorite blogs was hosting a story contest. I can always count on Sixpenceee. Thinking this was my chance, I got to typing up the last two weeks of my life.

I’m sorry.


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