Hi there! Please enjoy this short story – I was trying to make it unsettling without being too explicit in what the threat actually is, but I hope you enjoy reading it regardless.
A whisper on the breeze, a sigh through the air, just below the level of conscious thought that makes you stop, pause, and question what you really heard; then shaking off idle fancies you continue on your way.
But not today.
In the eerie quiet of the time before dawn, strange powers fluctuate, and the veil between this world and the next becomes thin – strange things happen in the grey, pre-dawn world, in the extra, unseen hour between 2 and 4am. A voice on the wind compels you to follow; you do.
It is instinct that leads your feet away from the streets, and from the back streets, an aimless walk in the early hours to clear your head – it’s what you thought. But the others thought otherwise, and now you follow the echo of an echo of a thought, unknowing of what drives you, or leads you, but is not your action, as you exist now on an alluring passivity that comes from the surrender of control.
Did you hear it? No – your thoughts are wandering to mundane things. How are you going to pay the bills, you think. Should you take out that loan – your brother offered you money… it’s all irrelevant. Soon, it won’t matter at all.
A bell tolls somewhere in the distance – the sound is muted, as if coming through an ocean of water. The light around you seems to ripple.
“come to us…”
You break out of your thoughts; something feels not right. You look up and suddenly realise that you don’t know where you are; strange for someone living in the same town they’ve always lived in, who knows every street like the back of their hand. The wind rustles through the unfamiliar trees ahead; it sounds like laughter, cruel and malicious. A shiver runs through you.
“You belong to us.”
The voice sounds, loud and clear behind you.
Dawn breaks over the town. Your alarm goes off, shrill and insistent beeping.
It keeps going until the battery runs out.