“Julia” – short story

Still October, but it already feels like November around here. When have I last seen the sun?

Today’s the day Marty McFly arrives in the future, so the Internet can finally calm down tomorrow and nobody will ever share the wrong date on facebook anymore. At least that’s my wish for 2015. I’m naive.

Today, I take a break from the story of Eliot, Oliver and the demon hunters (sorry), to try something slightly creepier (hopefully). British webseries “Twisted Showcase” launched their kickstarter for series four yesterday, so of course I had to binge watch the entire series during lunch break.

Here’s the challenge: make a psychological horror story with at most two (maybe three) characters, almost no special effects and very few locations. And you only got like 8 minutes to make your audience shiver. It’s hard. They’re good. You should kickstart them.

So I guess today’s story is a bit of an hommage, but it’s nowhere near as good (unless you disagree).

Julia

When I left my apartment this morning, everything was fine. The sun was even shining!

My neighbour was greeting me happily. “Good morning, Mr. Smith! Lovely day, isn’t it?”

“Oh yes, Mrs. Grove, lovely day!” And I believed these words myself.

When I was standing at the bus stop, I noticed a young woman next to me. Dark hair, dark skin, but somehow she seemed pale. Or was it just because she was wearing that bright white dress? She was staring at me angrily with her dark eyes, so I quickly turned away. Better pretend I hadn’t seen her.

When I got off the bus, I was surprised to bump into her again. First I wanted to say something. ‘You didn’t board with me, what are you doing here?’ But she was still staring at me with her creepy eyes, so I decided not to engage in a conversation. Better get away.

At the shop, it was unusually quiet for a Saturday morning. In fact, we had no customers at all, although the streets were bustling with shoppers. When I stepped outside for a smoke around noon, I finally found out why: the girl was standing outside—right in front of the door! She was staring at or shop, as if she wanted the walls to collapse under her stare.

I realized I couldn’t avoid her anymore, so I addressed her in the nicest way possible. “Look, love, if you want to buy something, you can just come in.”

She didn’t flinch, didn’t move. She just continued staring at our shop.

I had to change gears. “You see, you’re scaring our customers. If you continue standing in their way, I’ll call the police.”

She instantly turned her head to me. “You should have done that last night,” she said angrily.

I was too perplexed to say anything.

“Why weren’t you at your usual pub?” she continued, still angry.

How did she know about my pub? And how did she know I hadn’t been there?

“Where were you?!” she screamed. Now I realized she wasn’t angry. She was sad.

“I… I was home.”

“But you always go to that pub on Friday, to meet up with your friends.” She tilted her head slightly.

She was right, of course, but how did she know. “I… I just didn’t feel like it… How do you know all of this?” I felt my hands shaking.

She smiled a very sad smile. “You’re Tommy Smith. And I’m Julia, the love of your life. In fact, the only one you’ll ever love.” Her hand touched my cheek. It was ice cold. “Only that I was killed last night. And you weren’t there to save me.”

Of course I didn’t believe her. I didn’t believe in the one true love, why should I believe her?

“You’ll never love anyone. But don’t be scared—you won’t know what you’re missing.” She let her arm sink. “I’m sorry for your loss, Tommy.”

And with that, she was gone. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. I didn’t even know why I should cry.

When I came home that night, I found the newspaper on my doorstep.

Local girl stabbed to death in front of pub—Police looking for witnesses

Under the headline was Julia’s picture and I suddenly felt like I had lost something very important.

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