The Intruder – Pt.2

Read Time: 7 mins | Horror | Serialized Fiction | Part Two | Part One

Before sunrise, I went for my walk. The regular route would have taken me past the church, but today I wanted to avoid it. For the last three nights, I had the most vivid dreams. Last night, I dreamt that a demon commanded me to meet him at the cathedral today. It is most fortuitous that I do not believe in such things. Though, I must admit, that all the corrective mental postures I had taken since last night had done nothing to alleviate my fears. Something did exist in that house.

“Sir, you have to turn around.”

The voice startled me. There were a couple emergency vehicles, and an Environmental Agency truck blocking the road. I could see personnel in hazmat suits.

“What happened?” I asked the officer.

“Seems like a lightning strike. A few hundred birds died. But as a precaution, the agency is running some tests. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

A coffee in his left hand still simmered, and the other hand he hooked by the thumb through the front of his belt. I looked over his shoulder and sure enough, hundreds, if not thousands of black birds littered the road ahead.

I turned around and walked the way I had come. It was foolish to avoid walking past the cathedral. The old brickwork building with the bodies entombed beneath it; the spire that ran up to the sky; and the graveyard that slept behind it with mossy headstones, and the one whitewashed sepulcher, was as old as the town itself. The ancient building seemed out of place in this neighborhood that was getting a new lease on life with all the young, affluent couples that had been moving in.

There was a small assembly gathered at the front of the church, huddled together, all bewitched by something. Everyone was staring at the statue of the virgin holding the baby Jesus. I wanted to avoid them, so I crossed the street, but my curiosity got the better of me. I stopped on the sidewalk opposite the cathedral, my vision no longer obscured, but I could see nothing of interest. I would have gone about my business, if it were not for the rather pale, hysterical nun, frothing at the corners of her mouth, who directed my gaze where it needed to be. The statue was bleeding from its side.

‘A rather cheap party trick.’ I whispered under my breath.

Then, I felt it. The same presence that had disturbed my dreams and violated my space.

“You’re such a pessimist.” The voice even sounded familiar. The temperature dropped a little, I could see leaves decaying between the cracks in the sidewalks, and my ears warmed. I should have stayed at home.

“Did you do this?” I asked without looking. I felt so ashamed that I could not hide my fear and the tremor in my voice.

“When you have been exiled for millennia, you find ways to make your existence relevant.” It responded.

I could feel the presence moving behind me, changing positions. My body was rigid, and my fists were balled inside my coat pockets.

“Faith needs a little motivation sometimes.” It appeared now, in front of me and I shut my eyes.

“You’re not real.” I whispered more to myself than to the apparition before me. Even though my eyes were closed, I could still see the hideous face quite vividly. It had cheeks that were stretched and torn, and eyes the darkness of the ocean depths. Its hair was as wispy as a thick cluster of webs. It was real.

“Are you okay mister?” A little hand tugged against my wrist. He reminded me of my son. The creature in my head was gone.

“Yes son, I was just praying.” The cherub-like face of the little boy was smiling at me.

“He can’t hear you.” The child’s voice was suddenly distorted, and the face returned. A mean scowl, which made my knees buckle.

“Dear Lord.”  I whimpered as I fell to my knees.

“The lord is my Shepherd…” I started over. Several other parishioners fell on their knees and did the same. Could they see it as well?

“Silence!” He pressed his face against mine, and I could smell the stench of roadkill. He was so close I could hear them; a chorus of voices, and they were communicating from within him. I began to pray more earnestly.

“Be still.” He smiled, and the dark void in his mouth bellowed with the wail of an army. He had my attention.

“There is a presence about you,’ he continued, “A force so strong, I am drawn to you.” His voice was now soft and melodic.

I had heard those words once before. A Romany woman on the streets of London, selling me a trinket, had touched my arm as I walked by, and she had said the exact same words. The woman had continued to walk beside me for several minutes, her colorful scarf draped over her head, framing a gorgeous face and raven eyes, speaking a strange language, praying in some unknown tongue. I gave her a five-pound note to leave me alone as she was making my wife uncomfortable. The words were now being spoken in that same voice of the Romany woman, then he literally transformed into her, right in front of me. This was insane. I turned to walk back home.

“What are you afraid of?” He had this mocking tone.

I broke into a panicked run all the way home, opened my bible, and started praying, hands lifted to the ceiling.

“God is good, my son.” It was my mother’s voice. I was hearing things; she had been dead for over a decade.

“Quit your foolishness boy!” She snapped. Or rather the creature spoke in the rebuking tone of my mother. Then the hideous face returned. Menacing, glaring, piercing my soul. I buried my face in the carpet, hoping the visions in my head would go away. I could feel my entire body shivering, heart racing and the taste of copper on my tongue. Then my wife entered the room.

“I am sorry honey. I did not realize you were praying.” She closed the door and left.

“No-no-no… don’t leave.” I whispered, but I was too late.

It was just my guest, and I, locked in that room. I could feel his breath on my neck and hear the rumbling of what sounded like thunder in his chest. There was no point in running. If it had meant me harm… I did not bother to complete the thought.

“Finally, the boy is ready to listen.” He glided across to my desk.

“Join me, Junior.” His voice sounded remarkably like my grandfather. It was the same way he would say my name. Eerily familiar.

“What for?” I was hesitant.

“There is a story I wish to share with you.” A shadowy arm, with a withered finger gestured to my chair.

“But you’re not real. You’re just in my head.” I pressed my hands to the side of my face. I was still awake, still very much alive.

“What would it take to convince you? Perhaps the neighbor’s house engulfed in a mighty inferno, or a murmuration of resurrected birds?”

As he said it, Mrs. Theodore’s house went up in flames, and what seemed like a million black birds began to fly in their choreographed formation above it. I stumbled closer to the window. Then, as miraculously as it had all appeared, it was gone. My lips were parched, my tongue cleaved to the roof of my mouth and my throat was dry. Sit still Junior. I counselled myself.

“Okay. I am listening.” I finally resigned myself to fate.

To Be Continued… Read Part One Here

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9 responses to “The Intruder – Pt.2”

  1. How scary! Very engaging read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vera.. I scare myself writing it. But so far it’s been a blast. Happy you’re enjoying it. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woah. First piece I’m reading in my new home lol Dude. If I have odd dreams, it’s on you! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then avoid it 😂😂 congrats on the move Dev.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Skip one of your stories? As if…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for being a fan. I have a few due hards . And you’re one of em.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I had zero cellphone reception yesterday, and I was annoyed at missing your posts! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Then I’m gonna have to find a work around for others in similar situations

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s okay, I’m simply not returning to that spot, lovely as it was 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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