Lynchian Horror based loosely on real events, with apologies to Sean M.
I wasn’t sleeping much since they’d started construction next door. Heavy equipment running, generators, men shouting back and forth. It didn’t matter that they were working during the day; it still messed with my sleep. My home just wasn’t peaceful any more.
Cassie was handling things better than I was. She worked a couple of towns over, so she left earlier and got back home later. She never heard the construction. It couldn’t affect her.
I was staring at my lunch, not really paying attention to anything, when my phone beeped; Cassie sent me a text. why dont we get away this weekend
I pushed my plate away and replied. where?
I grinned and left it at that.
The rest of the day went better. “Just gotta finish Thursday, then Friday, then we’re gone,” I kept telling myself. My shift went smoothly, ended, and I clocked out. I said good-bye to the guys and stopped by the store to get a surprise for Cassie.
I never felt like I knew what I was doing when I bought wine, but I guess Cassie didn’t know, either, or else she didn’t care. I bought a bottle I thought looked familiar and a few things I figured I might need to make dinner, then hurried to catch the bus.
The other guys at the warehouse might have thought it was funny, but I actually liked cooking. It’s a good feeling to know that things are going right, and I get to be sure everything is exactly the way I like it. So, because of that, I didn’t really mind that Cassie usually got home an hour or two after I did.
Except that I’d be alone with all the racket from the construction site.
Oh, well. There was nothing I could do about it except turn up the TV and wait for the weekend to come. I started dinner and put the wine in the fridge, kept myself busy, and managed to ignore the construction for most of the afternoon until Cassie got home.
I’d just set the table when I heard her key in the door. I looked up and saw her coming through backwards with a shopping bag in each hand.
“Hey, let me help you with that,” I said, hustling over to her.
“Thanks, hon.” She handed me a bag. “What smells so good?”
“Dinner.” I checked the bag. It was a bunch of clothes, so I tossed it on the couch. “Made some spaghetti. Got a bottle of wine. Figured we’d celebrate the weekend a little early.”
“Great minds,” she said with a smile. “Pour me a glass, I’ll be right out.” She picked up the other bag from the couch, passed me with a kiss, and headed for the bedroom. I turned the TV to one of those music channels and poured the wine, then sat down and waited for her to come back out.
When she did, she was wearing this cute little white lacy thing, whatever you call it. I whistled and watched while she posed and strutted and showed off the new lingerie.
“What do you think?” she asked.
“I like it, but it’s not really proper dinner wear, is it?”
“Well… It is just us, isn’t it?” She reached into the bedroom and grabbed her robe. “And I had to be sure I liked it before the weekend.”
“Well, I sure like it,” I said as I stood up to pull out her chair. She smiled and sat down, reaching for her wine.
Cassie explained over dinner that one of her coworkers, Sarah, had a place by the lake, and she said we could use it for the weekend. “I was just talking about how the construction was messing with your sleep, and she offered it to us.”
“That was nice of her,” I said, pouring the rest of the wine into our glasses.
“Wasn’t it?” She took a slow sip. “She said the closest neighbor is almost a block away, and with the trees you can’t see civilization at all.”
“I can hardly wait.” I finished my wine, then stood up and gathered the dishes. Cassie smiled up at me, her half-full wine glass in her hand. I smiled back drunkenly and went into the kitchen to start the dishes. Cassie grabbed my arm and stood.
“The dishes can wait.” She smiled and untied the belt on her robe.
It was totally dark by the time we were finished. I rolled over and kissed Cassie on the forehead. She smiled, half asleep. I sat up slowly. I was starting to get a headache from the wine. I groaned and got out of bed, found my pants, and went out to take care of the dishes before I went to bed.
The TV was still playing music quietly and lighting the apartment. I turned it off. The moon was full, so there was enough light to get around, but I still turned on the light when I got to the kitchen.
The long bulb on the ceiling hummed and lit up the room. I plugged the sink and turned on the water. When I reached for the dish soap, I saw a light turn on from the corner of my eye.
I looked up through the window. There was a light on at the construction site next door. I walked over to close the shade on the kitchen window, but I stopped when I saw the man standing in the pool of light. The light came from behind him, and I couldn’t see anything but his shadow.
His shadow, and his eyes.
He was just staring.
Right at me.
I froze. He never moved. He didn’t even react when he saw me. He was standing like he’d been there waiting for me, his eyes fixed on my kitchen window. His legs were spread, his shoulders were hunched over, and his hands were clenched into fists at his side.
I wanted to step back but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t see anything but hatred in his eyes; no life, no acknowledgment, no humanity. He stared right at me and didn’t even care I was there. My skin crawled and my heart raced, but my legs were locked, stuck to the floor.
I started to hear something in my head, a buzzing, electrical sound. The man in the half-skeletal building leaned in, and the sound got louder. It started to sound like a voice, or several voices, a hundred voices, all of them the same humming noise.
I saw the light in my kitchen flicker, then the bulb popped. I gasped and turned to look at it as the power died and everything went dark. A cloud must have covered the moon because there was no light anywhere; even the construction site was dark. Don’t they use the generators for those? I thought. I didn’t even hear them.
I felt a puddle of water come up to my feet. I reached around blindly and turned off the faucet on the sink. I threw a towel down, then found the wall and staggered back to the bedroom, blind and weak-kneed.
Cassie was deep asleep. I got back into bed, wondering if I should call the police. He was trespassing, wasn’t he? I decided not to. Hell, I didn’t even have a description, the cops would just brush it off. And he couldn’t get into our apartment building; there was security at the door. Maybe I could stop by the site and tell the foreman when they get there.
I managed to fall asleep eventually. It was dark and I knew, even in my sleep, that I had to be tossing and turning. I knew I’d be feeling it in the morning.
I woke again sometime in the night. The power had come back on, and the clock was blinking 12:00. Cassie was still asleep next to me, and I had to use the restroom.
I rolled over in bed and found myself staring directly into those cold, hateful eyes. The light from the clock flashed, showing me his twisted, toothy smile. His mouth opened, and those buzzing voices came out, all at once.