A Little Different
When I first noticed things around the house were disappearing I became alarmed, to say the least. The perfectly normal world that I had comfortably resided in for my 31 years was suddenly plunged into a frightening dimension of impossibility.
I might not have noticed the first item was gone had it not been for me needing it. I just finished taking a shower and reached into the vanity drawer for my hair dryer. My hand felt around for it but it was not there, even though that's where I always put it. I pulled open the drawer as far as it would go and looked inside.
My hair dryer was gone.
Searching the remainder of the bathroom I came up empty-handed. I stood there, hair dripping onto the floor, baffled and irritated.
After that things started to vanish with startling regularity. My silverware; an afghan; my shoes; even a novel I had been reading. I knew there were supernatural forces at work, and this fact I could accept, but why me? And why such mundane, everyday objects?
Not knowing who to turn to I called a paranormal investigator, a ghost hunter. Somehow the thought that it was someone who had already passed gave me a small degree of comfort. I suppose I preferred that possibility to an alien or some demon. Ghosts are, after all, just people.
Two men came. They used a variety of equipment, some of which looked more like toys in a department store window than scientific instruments, but found no trace of anything paranormal. I hoped that something would have disappeared while they were here, but no such luck, so they left, unimpressed with my claims and probably harboring unsaid opinions about my mental health.
As I watched them drive away I turned and faced my house. It seemed to possess a dark aura (for lack of a better word), and I have to admit that I was afraid to go in.
Imagine that, afraid to step into my own house.
But despite all I'd been through I shook it off and went inside. After all, what choice did I have? I couldn't live on the street.
I approached the front door slowly, cautiously, unsure just why I was frightened. I knew I had to overcome my fears. If I didn't I'd either end up in an insane asylum or sleeping on a park bench.
I went inside.
As soon as I did something caught my eye. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that several things caught my eye.
My silverware, my shoes, my hairdryer, even the novel I've been reading, were all back. The missing items were neatly placed on my kitchen table, situated in rows as if on display in a store.
I walked up to the table, unsure how to react. I felt a million different feelings at once, all vying to gain prominence in my head, and wondered if they were they the same things that had vanished.
I studied each and every one in an effort to answer this question, and quickly concluded they were in fact the missing items. The hairdryer was mine (the nick on the handle); the silverware was mine (it still had traces of tomato sauce from the spaghetti dinner I had); the novel was mine (a book marker was lodged in between pages 67 and 68, right where I had left off). There was no doubt that everything before me was mine.
As I walked through my house I noticed more things that had returned, and it only took a short while before I realized that everything that went missing was back.
With great relief I quickly settled back into the normalcy of my life. I summed it up as one of those strange quirks that happen, and eventually decided that I imagined it all.
But my world was shattered yet again a few days later when I was relaxing with my novel. I had just turned the page when I accidentally ran my finger across the edge of it. Blood welled in the long slit and was smeared across the page.
You can imagine my shock when I saw the blood, my blood, vanish into the paper.
I threw the book across the room and watched it land with a thud on the floor, the bookmarker still wedged between its pages. Then I jumped out of my seat and ran over to the book. A swift kick tore it apart as papers flew across the room.
I then went into the bathroom and splashed water on my face. The hairdryer sat next to the faucet, plugged into the outlet, and before I knew it, it slipped into the sink, splashing in the water. Only my quick reaction stopped me from certain disaster as I pulled my hands out of the bowl. Then I remembered that I had not left my hairdryer on the sink; I put it away in the cabinet like I always did.
I ran into the kitchen next and immediately noticed that one of the drawers was wide open. I peered inside and saw my silverware in disarray. Forks, knives, and spoons were all mingled together, making the drawer complete mess. I reached down and pulled a knife from the drawer and turned it over in my hands, trying to see something, anything that would help explain what was happening.
The pain startled me, causing me to drop the knife and cuddle my hand to my body. I could feel warm blood oozing across my shirt and onto my chest. I looked down at the knife, and before my disbelieving eyes, watched the Stainless-Steel absorb the blood on it. In a few seconds the utensil looked as clean as it had before.
Revelation dawned on me then. It reared its ugly head and revealed what was really happening. It was fortunate for me that I understood at that moment, for if I would have waited any longer, even a few minutes, I might not be alive now.
I can hear them outside the door. The hairdryer, the book, the silverware, the lamp, the coat hanger, all these and many more, all the things that had vanished and returned.
They are trying to get in.
I feel the doorknob for the hundredth time, just to reassure myself that it is still locked, and spin around when I realize that there might be some items in my bedroom that had disappeared. I study the room and conclude that I'm safe, for the time being.
I wish for my cell phone but then remember that it was one of the things that had vanished and was probably outside my bedroom right now.
The door continues to be assaulted. The things outside smash into it relentlessly, never letting up, never stopping. I can hear growls and groans that sound feral, savage, hungry. I have no idea what they are, but I do know one thing: that wherever they went, they came back a little different.