01 Feb Something Horrible Arrived with the Rain
I’m visiting my brother’s cabin in Washington State. He let me come here after my divorce, get away from all the nonsense and clear my head for a couple weeks. It’s beautiful out here, the quaint little hut exactly what I had been expecting. It’s surrounded by dense forest and you have to take a long dirt road to reach it. It’s wonderful.
Before I arrived, my brother informed me that he had stocked the hut with groceries, enough to last a month if I decided I wanted to stay that long. He was leaving it up to me, knowing what hell my break up had been. I had lost almost everything and as a gesture of good will, he had extended a hand and offered his cabin to me. It was a welcome sanctuary and upon arrival, I found myself blissfully calm. The woods were alive with sound, the creak of wood, the gentle rustle of wind through the leaves, the chirp of birds in conversation…it was all so serene.
The first couple days were wonderful and I felt like I could finally breathe again. The horrible legal battle I had been engaged in with my wife had taken the wind out of my sails…but out here I let the warm breeze envelope me with new life and energy. To my surprise, it had been beautiful the first couple days, the gentle golden rays of sunlight filtering through the canopy of green overhead.
The first three days I spent a lot of time walking through the woods, isolated from everything and everyone. I was alone out here, a stranger to the surrounding green kingdom. I let my mind wander free from the chains it had been bound with, my thoughts drifting towards what I would do with my new life. Possibilities began to blossom before me and I actually started discovering hope in my future again.
But then the rain came.
I had heard on the news that a seven day storm was headed my way so it came as no surprise when the sky darkened. As a resident of Washington, I was no stranger to long bouts of rain and this was no different.
I had just finished eating dinner when the rain started, gentle pitter patters on the roof that eventually evolved into a full blown gale. I started a fire and pulled a chair up to the window, watching the storm. It was cozy and I found peace in watching the chaos that I was protected from.
And then…and then I heard something on the roof. I cocked my ear to listen, the small cabin lit only by the glow of the fireplace. At first I thought it was just the rain, but after a few moments, I realized it sounded like someone was running around up there.
I didn’t know what to make of it, assuming it had to be some kind of animal, but it sounded much bigger. I grabbed the blanket off of the chair I was sitting in and pulled it up to my chin, creeped out by the noise.
After a little bit, the sound stopped. My heart was in my throat and my eyes darted to the front door. Thunder boomed overhead and I suddenly felt incredibly far away from civilization. I shivered, despite the fire, and turned my eyes to look out the window I was sitting in front of.
Lightning flashed and I suddenly leaned forward, heart racing. Something wasn’t right out there. I thought my eyes had to be playing tricks on me and I anxiously waited for more lightning. I forced myself to calm down, sure that what I had just seen was paranoia brought on by fear.
The world was illuminated once again by a bright blast of lightning and my eyes went wide.
Mere feet from the window, the rain seemed to…bend…around the shapes of three invisible figures. They stood about six feet tall, the rain outlining their still forms.
I swallowed hard, waiting for another blast of lightning, and when it came, the shapes remained. They were immobile and I suddenly felt eyes on me, as if they had come with the storm to watch me. I retreated from the window, feeling exposed and afraid, and went and sat on my bed. I was terrified, so shaken by the bizarre forms that I began to have a hard time breathing.
I took a few long deep pulls of air, willing myself to settle down. As my heart rate slowed, I started convincing myself that I had imagined the shapes. Between the rain and the dark, it was easy to mistake shadows and shapes that weren’t actually there.
Just as I was about to get back up, I heard something walking on the roof again. I gripped the sides of my bed as I listened to the heavy footsteps walk closer and then finally stop directly over my head. I crawled between my covers and held my breath, eyes wide in a panic.
What the hell was out there?
Another flash of lightning lit the sky and I glanced at the window.
It was right there, its invisible form parting the rain like a curtain.
It was watching me.
I squeezed my eyes shut and pulled the covers over my head. I heard myself whimpering and slapped a hand over my mouth. What were these things!? What did they want?!
And then a thought slammed into me with the force of a locomotive.
Where was the third one?
And that’s when I heard the front door crash open.
I cried out in fear, shaking like a child as heavy, wet footsteps walked across the cabin towards me. It stopped by the side of my bed and I felt drops of water falling from its body onto my blanket. I could hear it breathing, a sucking sound pulled deep into its moist lungs.
As I balled into myself under the covers, terrified, it spoke.
“Look at me.”
Its voice sounded like rain, an odd stuttered inflection of its vocal cords. I didn’t move, didn’t breath, praying that this nightmare would end. I didn’t know what these things were, what they wanted, but I sensed danger. I sensed they wanted to hurt me.
And I sensed that if I looked at them, they could.
I stayed balled up under my blankets and kept my trembling mouth shut.
“Look at me,” it repeated in the same wet voice, its words dribbling from its mouth like running water.
Again, I didn’t move. I was absolutely paralyzed with fear. I kept my eyes closed and the blanket firmly over me. My stomach churned with terror and my breath was hot in the enclosed space.
I don’t know how long I waited.
Eventually, I heard the thing retreat, slamming the door behind it. Even with it gone, I remained where I was, refusing to move. I listened to the rain crash down above me, the relentless storm never ceasing in its violence.
I don’t know if I fell asleep or passed out, but the next thing I remember was opening my eyes to dim gray light. I hesitantly pulled the blanket from me and surveyed the cabin. The fire had died out and the scene before me was still in the early morning light. The rain still thundered overhead as sheets of it were driven from the dark sky.
I slowly got out of bed and went to the window.
“Please,” I muttered, voice cracking.
The three figures stared back at me, the rain outlining their still figures. I dropped to the floor, out of sight, a hand to my chest. I crawled over to the small kitchen and reached up to retrieve my cellphone.
It wasn’t there.
I jumped to my feet, scouring the surface for where I KNEW I left it the previous night. It was gone, but a long, wet, dark smudge stained the wood, starting at the center and running to the edge.
That thing had taken my phone.
I was trapped.
“What do you WANT from me!?” I screamed. “What the FUCK do you want from me!?”
The storm offered me no answer.
“Leave me alone,” I whispered, “Just leave me alone…please…”
It’s been three weeks. The storm hasn’t ceased. I don’t know what’s happened. Something is seriously wrong. The sky remains a dim gray, the day night cycle stuck in some horrific limbo. I don’t think I’m ever getting out of this cabin. I’m almost out of food and I wonder how long I can last before starvation drives me outside these walls.
They’re still there, the endless rain painting their figures in the air. They watch, always, they watch.
When I hear one of them running across the roof, I sprint to my bed and bury myself under the covers. As soon as I do, another slams the front door open and comes to stand over me. It tells me to look at it, commands me to look at it.
I can’t…I won’t.
Something about its voice has begun to sound familiar. The more it speaks to me, the more I have begun to recognize it.
It sounds like me.
And last night, when one of them was standing over my bed, it said something different.
It told me that things should have been different.
It told me it was disappointed in the way my life had turned out.
It told me I needed to acknowledge my mistakes.
It told me it was time to let another one of them try.