View Full Version : The Hooded Man Part 3

March 10th, 2012, 06:37 AM
Before I begin, I find it necessary to point a few things out about the nature of this story. As you can see by the comments below, many have thought my intro was weak so I tried very hard to fix that. If you get past the first few paragraphs, I guarantee it'll be much better, though I think I have improved my first few paragraphs immensely.

I would also like to say that this short story is apart of an anthology involving everyday people in surreal situations. My point is that I may not describe the main character much, and even say her name at all (except maybe when another character is talking to her), but that's because this anthology is about people and not one particular person. The bigger reason for that will be explained in the last short story which will wrap them all up.
There are a few swear words near the end, but not many. I would like to point out that this story is creepy as the title implies, though it's not kill kill, die die, blood, guts, horror, ah!

If you haven't read the first 2 parts you'll still get this. All you have to know is that weird things started happening to this lady. Pretty much.

As of now, this is about 3500 words.

She was lying on her bed with her husband. She cuddled and held him, not wanting to let him go.

She looked at him with longing, sad eyes, "Why were you gone so long?"
"Oh, that doesn't matter now. What matters is that I'm here with you now."
She nodded. "Yeah, I suppose you're right." She leaned in for an overdo kiss. She closed her eyes and waited for their lips to meet, but when they didn't, she opened her eyes. Her husband was no longer with her. In his place was a man all in black with a hood. It was him! He had invaded her real life! What had happened to her husband? Sadly enough, it wasn't too hard to believe that her husband was now gone and this Hooded Man took his place. With all of the weird things that have happened to her, this wasn't so bad. At least she could come up with some explanation, that wasn't stretched quite as much as it has in other situations.

She looked at him, and jumped up from bed. He was with her! In her dreams, she's only seen him right before she crashed to the pavement, but here he was, in her room. He had been touching her! Actually, now that she thought about it, what had she felt? It felt just like a scratchy blanket was clutching onto her, just with a little more weight. But somehow, he had felt... empty.

Now, he wasn't even so much as looking at her anymore. He was simply twiddling his 'thumbs'- well, more like the arms of his robe since his hands weren't showing. He didn't even look that scary. Heck, her husband probably was just messing with her! He had gotten up and put on the robe, and got right back by her before her mind could process it. Maybe that's why he felt 'empty'- because he only had put a piece of fabric on her until he got back?

Had she even told him about her nightmares? She must have, otherwise, how could he be lying here like this? Clearly, he went to a faraway town to find this exact robe to mock her, and that's why he had been gone for so long.

She looked at her husband and laughed. "Wow hon, you sure go through a lot to creep me out! Really."

He looked at her, and her heart sank. No eyes penetrated through the robe, but she felt... different. Suddenly, she had a strange thought, I'm not your husband. Be cautious, be cautious. Her heart sank deeper into the pit, maybe even past the pit into the ground. Though that thought clearly went through her head, it felt foreign. And she knew that this... creature had sent her the thought. What was he? Who was he? How...?

She woke up from her terrible dream sweating, which wasn't surprising. Since she's been having dreams of The Hooded Man every night, sweating has accompanied it with no exceptions. She looked at the empty spot beside her. Ever since the day he didn't pick her up at work, he's been gone. Just gone. She had no idea where. She hasn't even told anyone what happened. Who would she tell? She hasn't seen her friends in weeks. After the horrific events that have been happening to her- also known as her life, now- she hasn't felt like doing anything with anyone. She knew that socializing would be good for her, but... she didn't have the will anymore. She has let the creepy occurrences of her life be her life's only focus, besides her job.

She hasn't even told her parents, or his parents. It was just too embarrassing... what would they even say, anyway? 'Sorry about that, sweetie, I guess you never were good enough for him.' No, they wouldn't help. Even if he was with his parents, or knew where he was, obviously he didn't want to be with her anymore, or he would've communicated with her what the problem was. She is in on this alone.

She sighed, and got up. Though she decided she wasn't going to go to work today (she decided to take up her husband's idea of having a vacation, even though he wasn't here with her anymore), she didn't want to lounge in her bed. Because if she did, she would surely fall back to sleep and that would mean she would dream of The Hooded Man. She always dreams about him every time she sleeps.

She decided she should eat something, so she went into the kitchen to make some scrambled eggs.

After breakfast and getting ready for the day, she decided to walk around town. It didn't matter what she would do when in town, but she couldn't stay in her condo. Being alone... scares her. Being alone equals strange things.

She walked around the city, trying to be as joyful as possible. She looked at all the monuments in her city, like the giant water fountain in front of a business complex, and the giant modern sculpture in front of the art museum that looked like an abstract person.

She passed the people walking near her on the sidewalks with jealous eyes. Most that were walking around by now were the tourists. Everyone else was at work. So many of the people around now were families, friends, couples. Everyone seemed to be having a great time with their companions. She had no one. She was walking around in vain, hoping it would raise her spirits. At least nothing creepy was happening.

When she was stopped at a crosswalk, she thought she saw someone that looked exactly like her husband across the street. When the walking sign came up, she speed walked so fast that she soared past everyone else. She had to go over to see her husband and demand an explanation!

She was able to get near him rather quickly because he was walking quite slowly like he always does. She touched his shoulder, and said, "Hey, why did you do that to me?!" He turned around and stared at her with his nose up. He gave her furious eyes and breathed loudly. "Why are you bothering me?" He grunted. She blinked at him. He wasn't her husband at all... What a stupid mistake! He was so not him from the front. His nose was wide and fat, his hair went over his eyes which were small and bird-like. And, not the dove type of bird.

"Um, I'm sorry, sir..." She quickened her pace even more to get away from him... After walking for a block, she turned to look behind her to see if she could spot the man. She thought surely he must not still be there, with his slow moving and all, but with what happens to her, the improbable is likely to happen to her. Heck, the impossible has already happened to her.

Behind her she still saw him walking towards her with a deep sneer on his face. Obviously he had quickened his speed. What does his type do to innocent ladies such as herself? She wasn't about to find out, so she decided to duck into some store when he wasn't looking...

But when wouldn't he be looking? Then, a thought came to her mind. If she could just reach Lakeview square where the performers are before he got near her... Then she'd be fine! Surely they're distracting enough!

Finally, she made it to Lakeview and decided it would be a good idea to go to some store, any store. She didn't even look back to see her husband-not-so-look-alike to make sure he wasn't watching. That would just give him an easier chance to get her... and she couldn't allow that!

Quickly, she speed walked toward the store- a convience store- and when she got inside, she was so paranoid that she ducked down behind a shelf of junk food. She just noticed how hard she was breatheing and how fast her heart was pounding. Then, she heard someone walk into the store. That was him! Now, he's going to come over to her...

She closed her eyes, ready for whatever he was going to do. She could only imagine what he had in mind, and she was thinking the worst. When she opened her eyes, she laughed. It seemed as though she was no longer in the store. She was in a black room with no lights on. Oh wait- the power must have gone out.... But she knew that could not be the case. Even with no lights, the room would still have some light from the outside shining through. She decided that the sun must have died out, and felt behind her to ensure that the shelf was still behind her. Her hands went over a smooth wall, not a shelf. Panicing, she stood up without taking her hands off the wall. She started to run around to see how big this room was. She was running forward for only a minute at top speed, though the wall never stopped.

Exhausted, she sat on the ground panting. When she could breathe normally again, she shouted, "Where am I? Is anybody here?" Nobody answered her, but a minute later her echo returned. She shivered. This room was enormous. If it was such a big room, then how was she still able to hear her echo? Don't sounds eventually drown out if you're in a big enough place?

She closed her eyes as she had only a few minutes before, convinced that she had a narcaleptic attack or something. When she opened them, she cursed. She was still in the pitch dark room. Instead of focusing on where she was, she decided to twiddle her thumbs even though she couldn't see them. It felt silly, but at least she was thinking about something else.

Then, in the distance, she saw a bit of light. She rejoiced! So excited, she started to run toward it. But after running for half a minute, she felt no closer to it. Between breaths, she screamed, "Hey, you... light! Where are you going?" It didn't say anything. She closed her eyes and decided to continue to run this way. It's not like she could see anything, anyway, besides the light.

When she opened her eyes, she stopped. The light was now right in front of her. She blinked and rubbed her eyes. In front of her wasn't a light at all. A golden retriever was sitting in front of her. She could see him clearly though she could see nothing else. He wasn't light at all, he just looked like a dog in a fairly lit room. But, of course, this room wasn't lit at all. She grinned widely. At least she wasn't completely alone... She bent down to hug the dog and put her face in his fur. She said to him, "I'm so glad you're here! Where is here, anyway? Where are your mommy and daddy?"

The dog licked her ear, and a strange thought came into her mind, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry... The thought she could tell wasn't her own, and she believed it rather willingly. That was the least weird thing. You know, I'm not really a dog... Then, she felt a new sensation: the fur she felt on her arms left with the feeling of skin. She let go of the creature and backed away, staring at him in amazement. Now, a man about the age of thirty was standing before her.

He didn't try to take his eyes off her. His eyes had a certain quality to them that she couldn't describe, and quite frankly made her squirm. He spoke the words aloud this time, "I'm sorry." She walked back to him. "Wh-what are you sorry for?" He looked around at the black nothingness. "This is everything," he muttered under his breathe, but it was barely audible. "I'm sorry. What are you saying?" She spoke as calmly as she possibly could.

His expression became more fierce. He was acting utterly helpless. He started breathing hard and looking all about him, though it seemed like he was looking for an actual object. He threw his arms in the air and looked at her intensely. "This is everything." His voice started rather calm, but became very desperate. "This is it! No more...anything..." Her voice shook,"What are you talking about?" She hasn't acted this terrified in a long time, even after the weird things started happening to her on that one day. Suddenly, he was acting strangely composed again, "I'm just sorry I brought you here."

"What do you mean you brought me here? Why the hell would you do that!? Where is here?" Tears started streaming down his face, though his composure was still the same, "It's not my fault. It happened no matter what I tried to do!" She sat down and dragged him with her by the arm. "You're going to tell me what the fuck is happening! From start to finish, you hear?" He nodded slowly.

He began his long story by telling her about how he came to be here. He too had impossible events happen to him. It started out with simple, strange things that couldn't be explained. Car keys being in a different spot than where he set them down. His computer turning on when he hadn't actually clicked the on button. But, then weirder things started to happen. Waking up somewhere else entirely. Seeing the time change back and forth on the clock- with the sun's position to show for it. Pictures on his camera he never took, mostly of scenery that he's never seen before. Then, the most horrible thing had happened to him. His best friend of twenty years disappeared.

One thing that lined up exactly to what she experienced were the dreams. He too didn't remember his dreams much before, but he started to after these events began to occur. He had dreams about a hooded man too.

"Then one day," he continued, "Life got to be too much for me. I became paranoid and thought that anything I'd touch would do something... something, I don't know, impossible. I closed my eyes, wanting it to be over, and it was." She became scared at this statement, not because he started to cry but because he didn't. His tone was hollow which frightened her more than any sob. "So, then we're dead?" She tried to mimic his hollow voice, but instead her voice cracked. He shook his head. "I've had a lot of time to think, you know. And, my conclussion is that we're not dead. I don't know where the hell we are... but this isn't the place of death. There isn't enough people."

"Enough?" She said with hope. "So there's some, then?" He nodded, but not happily. "Oh, there were dozens of us. There were more, but..." He stopped for a long moment, and she wanted to hear what he was going to say and again not, at the same time. "What do you mean, but?"

"Some of us... disappear." He looked at the nonexistent ground and shook his head slowly. "Tell me." Even though she didn't want to hear it, she did. "Well, we know of one case. I don't even remember his name. But he was clawing at the ground, wanting out. At this point, he no longer has any emotion in it, or at all. He wouldn't speak to us when we attempted to initiate conversation. He wouldn't even flinch. He was too engrained on tearing away at the ground. Before this time, he was the only hope we had. He showed us... what fun we did have. But I'll get to that in a moment. Well, one day, one guy saw him disappear, like that, as if he fell into a hole he created. The other guy had stepped over where he disappeared from, but there was nothing..."

They didn't utter a word for a long moment, but stared at each other just because there was nothing else to stare at. Then, she realized something, "How-how can you see me?" When she spoke, she tried to look at her body, but couldn't see anything. "For some reason we can only see each other and not ourselves..." "How is that possible?" He moved his features in a way that would show humor on someone else, but just made him seem more lifeless, "The impossible is what the possible is here. All that we get to do for fun is what we do when we sleep. When we fall asleep, we don't slip into a dream. At least, not our own. We go into someone else's and our subconsious causes havoc. Just like in real dreams, you don't know what you're doing. You can't control them. That's our only fun. Causing havoc." She dared to bring it up, "What about the man that was in our dreams... before. The hooded man?" He shook his head, "There never was anyone here that was him in other people's dreams." "But... what...how?" He was still shaking his head, "Trust me, I know that no one's had one of those types of havoc dreams. You just... know things here. Anyway, we know little, but what we do know is solid. Besides the people disappearing..." "But why are we here?"

"We've all had a lot of time to think, but no one has been able to come to any conclussions..." She stopped him in the middle of his sentence, "Where the hell is everybody, then? I mean, isn't this place just a giant black room or something? I saw you from a far distance as a light-and, you were a dog, what the fuck? But nothing else..." "Well," he began, "Once you're here for a while... you lose all hope, or you live in the dreams of others all the time. And, either way, your light dies out and you start to blend in with the black. And then... you almost disappear. After that, you eventually disappear entirely, to who knows where." She was already quite still before, but now she froze in fright, terrified. It took this long for it to hit her. She wasn't going home. She's hopeless. This is the end, as far as she was concerned. "So, you're telling me that people could be all around us right now?" She looked around at the blackness. She was becoming so disoriented that she wasn't sure what was up and what was down. But then, she saw a light in the distance. She looked back at the man she had been talking to, and realized she hadn't heard his name. "Who are you, then?" He looked back at her, as he had been staring at the cieling. "Oh, everyone here calls me Shakes." She raised an eyebrow and almost laughed. "Shakes?" "Yeah, like William Shakespeare. I am known for telling the best stories..." She looked at the speck of light coming toward them while he spoke, she blinked, and suddenly he was standing in front of them with four legs. The being resembled a poodle.

Shakes put his hand on top of the dog's head, and brought it back right away. When the dog looked at her, she did the same thing. Then, a woman stood before her. "Oh, yeah," Shakes said, "We all greet each other that way. And as our dog breed of choice. It's..comforting." The woman, who was only a little older than she was, took over the conversation, "Yes, we can all shape shift, though that's about the only thing we can do. It takes practice, but you'll get it. You have all the time in the world."

In the distance, she saw a new light spark, but it was close enough to make out an outline. This time, it wasn't a dog, but a man that looked utterly soul-less. He screamed, as loud as he could (which wasn't that loud), "No we don't!" And then, his light was obliterated. She swallowed, only all too sure what had happened.

The woman looked her straight in the eyes, "I think I know of your husband," she said as she started to sit down. "What of him?" She asked in amazement. She felt the most spark in her that she had in a long time. "I-I think I'm him." She looked at her curiously and shook her head. But for some reason, the feeling she saw in her eyes were point enough that she was in fact him... somehow, in some minute way. But then, her light was fading, and she looked at her with utter terror. The terror on her face was greater then you'd see on any dying person. In no time, she vanished.

Shakes looked at her and shook his head hollowly. "I guess we're the only ones left. For now, at least. But she was the first one..."

March 12th, 2012, 05:06 PM
"overdo" should be "overdue" and your verb tenses are getting confused "and she hasn't even told anyone yet" should be be "and she hadn't even..."

The work is still a little rough.