30 Days of Writing: Day 1 – “Turn Off Your Phone”

I’m bad at blogging. I’m bad at writing in general. I don’t mean to say that I write poorly (that’s still up for debate), I mean to say that I am seemingly incapable of writing, period. It’s hard to find the time and the motivation. So on March 1st, I posted this on Facebook:

Starting tomorrow, I vow to write 500 words every day. And I’m putting this on Facebook so people can keep me accountable. And provide me with writing prompts? Let me know if you want me to write about something. I reserve the write to refuse any topic.

Probably a bad idea, but it’s out there and people are actually taking me at my word, so I guess it’s only fair that I share. The following is what I wrote on March 2nd.

                My eyes shot open and I was greeted by darkness. I was puzzled at what could have awoken me so suddenly when I felt the soft buzzing of my phone, face down on the bed beside me. A soft, white light emanated from around the edges, enveloped slightly by my bed’s sheets. Somewhat groggily, I reached over and grabbed my phone. The clock read “3:02 AM”. I had received a text. I unlocked the phone and tapped the “Messages” app. One unread text message:

“Turn off your phone. Do it now. It can see you.”

My heart caught in my throat. “It can see you”. The message was from an unknown number. I had no idea who had sent it or why, but I immediately hit the power button on the top of my phone; not long enough to power it down entirely, just long enough to turn off the screen. In the last bit of light provided by the screen, however, I swore I saw something standing in my room. It stood at the foot of my bed, towering over me, lean and lanky. I saw no details, just a vague outline, but I knew it was there – I could feel it’s presence. I realized that I had been holding my breath so as not to make a sound, but I was beginning to feel light headed so I exhaled as softly as I could. As the air exited my lungs, I stopped breathing once more, not daring to make another sound. My room was silent – pitch black and silent. I began to think that maybe I had imagined it – someone had simply sent a prank text at three in the morning and I was letting it get to me. There wasn’t anything at the foot of my bed, my imagination was simply playing tricks on me. I was much too old to be afraid of the dark. I dared myself to take a breath and I felt relief wash over me as air once more entered my lungs. I breathed in and out, in and out, calmly trying to regulate my breathing so as not to make things worse for myself. It was a good 30 seconds before I realized that I wasn’t the only one breathing in my room. It was faint, but as I once more held my breath, I swear I heard a soft inhale coming from somewhere in the dark. All of the feelings of terror came rushing back as I sunk deeper into my bed, afraid of what might occur if I moved. I laid like this for what felt like hours, desperately willing “it” to leave. The silence was deafening. When my phone buzzed once more, I jumped. It took all of the willpower I had to lift the phone once more. I read the message as quickly as I could:

“I’m so sorry. I tried to warn you. Too late.”

My heart stopped. I stared straight ahead at my phone, but in the periphery of my vision, I could see it’s features illuminated by the light emanating from the screen, it’s face mere inches from mine. I heard it exhale and my phone’s screen went dark.

For the record, I have no idea if the above is scary or not. All I know is that it rattled me. I remember writing it and thinking “Huh. That’s pretty creepy. I mean, not to me… I wrote it!” And yet, when I went to bed, I found it very difficult to shut my eyes. I knew that there was nothing in my room, because of course there wasn’t. That’s just so silly. And yet… I needed to turn the bathroom light on in order to go to sleep. Now, keep in mind that I wrote this at 4 AM. Also keep in mind that I made the mistake of picturing MY room and MY bed as I wrote this, so maybe it’s only scary to me. Your mileage may vary.

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