Just Another Saturday
By Breana Kirby
Posted on October 1, 2023
Cover Image Title: Room Cleaning
Cover Image by EK
Specifications: 3000 x 3000 pixels, 300 DPI
The lights flickered… again. Usually, I paid them no attention because it happened so often yet this time I did. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was because the lights at my friend’s house never did this, or maybe it was because these lights just got replaced? How could they possibly be flickering?
Then I remembered what I came here to do. My room was a total mess! Multiple sweaters I had been too lazy to put away were piled up on a chair. Books were spread out on the surface of my dresser, a reminder that I should read them soon. The floor was covered with dirty clothes that seemed to have escaped the laundry basket.
I sighed and got to work. Grab a book off the dresser, and put it in its respective place on the shelf. Pick up my pile of sweaters, and hang them up in the closet. Take my clothes off the floor, and put them in the laundry basket.
Simple, and easy.
It was so simple in fact, that I decided to go even further and organize my entire desk. There was so much unused and old stuff in there; all it was doing was taking up precious space. Once again, the process was simple. Make a keep and a no-keep pile, put the stuff I want to keep back in my desk, and put the rest in a bag to deal with later.
I was almost done, just a quick vacuum to top it off. So I exited my room, soft footsteps hitting the stairs as I made my way down the stairs. Despite trying to be quiet, the stairs always made noise, creaking and groaning under any pressure. It had almost turned into a game for me- to see if I could walk without the stairs making noise. Of course, I had never succeeded.
It was a slight struggle getting the vacuum upstairs but when I did I breathed a sigh of relief and continued to work.
Behind the bed, under the desk, get those few piles of dust. The vacuum’s hum was a calming ambiance, a tune with no melody, no rhythm, but beautiful all the same. It came with great disappointment when I finished and turned off the vacuum.
It was silent, but it didn’t feel like it. The room was filled with noise, not sound that one could hear but one that could be felt. An unseen pressure building slowly. The lights flickered once more, and then again and again. My heartbeat continued increasing and I felt like vomiting. Something was wrong and I wanted out-
A knock at the door stopped the madness.
The lights returned to normal and the pressure disappeared. All that was left was my panicked thoughts and my beating heart. But even that faded as a sudden calm washed over me.
“Can I come in?” my mom’s voice asked from outside. I gave a quick reply and the door opened.
Mom smiled as she gazed around the room, “You did a great job on your room.” she complimented. “Dinner is almost ready. Your brother needs help setting the table.”
“Okay,” I replied, giving mom a quick hug before rushing downstairs... The incident from before was completely forgotten.
The living room was empty. My dad went shopping while my mom was walking the dog.
I sat on the couch, scrolling through boring TV channels, trying to find something to watch. There was a kids’ cartoon on, but this didn't appeal to me anymore. One of those drama series, but despite it being ‘drama’ the whole thing was boring and the exact opposite of what a drama should be. A cooking show, I usually like those but right now just wasn’t the time.
I sighed and turned off the TV. It was quiet. Too quiet.
I stayed on the couch, trying to figure out what was wrong. I felt stressed and I didn’t know why. There was nothing stressful going on in my life right now. So why does my breathing increase every so often and why do my palms get sweaty? I had also been getting more tired recently, no matter how much sleep I got, I never felt fully rested. Not to mention the loss of appetite. Each day, it grew more and more difficult to eat, trying to find something that doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to vomit.
Maybe that's what I needed! The lack of food could be causing my lack of sleep, and it's probably why I feel stressed. So I stood up and walked to the kitchen.
I grab some bread and think about having toast, but like usual, the thought of it makes me nauseous. I try something sweeter next, like those deserts I had gotten from a party not too long ago. Nope, that still doesn’t feel right. Until I remember that my dad had recently bought strawberries, and that did the trick!
I opened the fridge, taking out the strawberries. The cool temperature made me shiver. I carried the strawberries to the table along with a bowl and a knife. I took a strawberry out of the container and cut it in half. I did this to the others until the small bowl was filled with strawberries.
Then the lights turned off. I stood up and walked out of the kitchen, all the lights in the house had turned off. I thought it was a power outage at first, but when I flicked the light switch- all the lights came back on.
Then I had a funny thought. What if I was being haunted by ghosts or something? I laughed at myself for the thought. Then again, it wouldn’t be too surprising. The house was old, at least over a hundred years old. There was also that time when-
Wait, what had happened on that day?
I shook my head and laughed again. I was pretty sure that I’ve had strange experiences in this house but I couldn’t seem to remember. Ah well, another childhood thing forgotten…
Why was I so calm about this…?
I shrugged and made my way back to the table. Ignoring the levitating bread, or the fridge doors opening and closing on their own. I sat down on my chair, still ignoring the running sink, and the cups falling off the shelves. I ate my strawberries, still ignoring the flickering lights, and a nauseous feeling that had suddenly crept up on me.
Until I fell off the chair, which I realized was floating a few inches off the ground. Oh god, there was a ghost in the house!
I screamed but I couldn’t hear it over the sound of crashing glass and breaking plates. I ran, and I ran, unsure of where I was going, but soon found myself back in the living room.
I was crouched behind the couch with my head between my knees. Everything was spinning and spinning-
Then I remembered.
I remembered that day! The day I couldn’t remember before. I wanted to cry out in relief but the moment was quickly ruined when a shadow crossed my vision. I felt a sudden pain on my cheek, I whipped my head over in time to see a cat toy floating away. Then it came back again, striking my eye. I screamed in pain and one of my hands went up to cover my face from any other attacks.
That was until I looked up, the sight caused me to freeze in place.
It was the ceiling fan, still spinning despite not being attached to the ceiling, and it was aimed toward my face.
“Honey, I’m home!” Mom’s voice called. Everything felt soft, like a cushion or a couch. I pried my eyes open. Was I dead?
“Oh silly, did you fall asleep on the couch?” Mom asked. I sat up and blinked a few times in confusion. I was on the couch, TV remote in hand and some show was playing on the screen. Wasn’t I behind the couch? Wasn’t I about to die?
Or maybe it was just a dream. Hah! I was freaked out over nothing! Yet, I still remembered the pain vividly. The fan digging into my face, there was blood and so much pain-
I reached up and brushed my hand over my face. Just to confirm that it was a dream…
There was no blood, no marks,
And yet it still hurt.
Huh, I thought as a deja-vu hit me, has this happened before?
[ * The End * ]
[Writing Editor: An anonymous contributor]