It was a huge, dark, dingy room with lamps lit only at the corners. He looked around, trying to find a familiar face but found none. Watching people walk in and out of the room, made him feel more lonely and lost. He suddenly spotted a hefty man entering the room and recognized him at once.
It was him.
It was him, he knew it. He tried hard to scream but in vain. The man was already charging after him like a bull. As a reflex action, he began running franticly. He had no idea, what the man wanted from him. He ran up the stairs, two at a time.
Panting hard, he stopped at the third floor. He turned right and barged into a room.
Inside, a man far from human, sat on the sofa… singing a very familiar song
It gave him the creeps, it always did. The song sounded as spooky as the singer himself.
He ran to the balcony, screaming for help. The next thing, he was falling straight into a pool, a pool as dead as him.
And then “Kevin! Kevvv – inn!! Wake up!”
Kevin opened his eyes to see his History teacher, glaring at him through his bi-focal glasses. He squeezed Kevin’s ears ruthlessly.
Kevin could almost see steam come out of his nostrils.
He heard his friends, laughing at the back.
Things were happening too fast for him.
Everyone watched as though it were a play and he’s playing the main role!
Sweat dripped from the tip of his nose as Prof. Henry dragged him like a piece of rag.
He literally mopped the floor. His hair was in a mess.
His neck hurt, but Prof. Henry didn’t show any mercy.
Kevin didn’t protest but instead just watched, as all eyes followed him.
He didn’t want to believe this was happening to him.
“Kneel down” Henry yelled, once he reached the blackboard.
He still hadn’t yet woken up fully from his dream. He thought this was another cruel nightmare… but no… the school bell rang, as if answering his question, telling him you’re back to ‘reality’.
Henry was saying something but it had got eaten up by the shrilly bell.
He wondered if he was glad for the good timing of the bell.
Prof. Henry looked at his watch, thought for a moment and then looked up at the class.
“We shall disperse for lunch.” sounding disappointed.
“ And you follow me into my cabin. ” pointing at Kevin.
Just then there was a loud roar outside the classroom as children ran out, to their freedom, which Kevin truly envied. This was a common scene every lunch hour. But Kevin’s class still maintained pin drop silence, as Prof. Henry hadn’t yet left their class.
Kevin followed Henry to his cabin walking with his head down, trying hard to think… but he couldn’t.
He continued the ‘ashamed look’ as he watched his shoes walk into Henry’s cabinet.
“I am to call your parents today…” Henry said, as he closed the door behind Kevin.
“I’ve warned you, son… you leave me no option”. His voice was low and grave. He felt his coat and found a diary, which he carefully set on the table and went for the phone on his desk.
“Prof. … I’m sorrrie … “
Kevin said, before ‘twas too late
“I had a bad headache… I’m sorree…Please don’t call my parents
…It wo’ happen..” is all he could manage before he burst into tears.
Henry looked at him cry bitterly for a minute or two until he was satisfied and said, “Alright, this is your last warning”.
It had actually worked, Kevin thought, smiling inside.
“Go! …Before I change my mind” he blurted.
Henry then replaced the phone and watched Kevin as he scurried out of the room like a scared rat.
That day Kevin got back home with two things- humiliation and a project assignment. Both troubled his mind equally. He got to his room, threw his bag to one corner of the room and picked up a note he found on top of the pile of books; His mother usually kept them when she was away, it was to help Kevin have everything in order, which was difficult to see how it helped! This one told him to pack, as they were to leave early the next day. That’s when he realized that it was his birthday the next day and his dad had promised to take the whole family to The Hilltop Hotel for a week. He was a day short of being 13 years old. This lifted his spirits a little, as again all the highlights of the day ran through his head, like a tape, making him feel sick. He crept into his bed, put his head under the pillow as if hiding from the cruel world. Hiding from the humiliation.
Hiding from everyone.
Dozing off slowly into a very familiar dream…
He was in a large, well-decorated room. The ceiling stretched far beyond the line of sight. He looked around, only to see faces he didn’t recognize.
A deep feeling of loneliness filled him.
It was suddenly replaced by shock and horror, when he saw Prof. Henry coming out of a large door, which read ‘BAR AND RESTAURANT’ at the top. He was staring at Kevin with great large red eyes. It wasn’t Prof. Henry though, it was him.
Kevin stared in shock, transfixed.
It was him, with a deep scar on his left cheek.
Kevin opened his mouth to scream but couldn’t. He was choking.
The man was moving towards him, steadily, as though floating. Kevin stood there motionless. He was frozen to the ground. The man drew closer and closer by the second.
Just then, a lift opened up on the right corner of the room, close to a staircase. Kevin dashed for it, running wildly, pushing everything that came in his way. He risked looking back, only to see him smiling, almost laughing. Kevin felt sick to the stomach. The man seemed to be enjoying it.
When Kevin was just two feet away from the elevator it shut on his face. It seemed to be the end of the world.
He was trapped.
He turned back to see ‘the killer’, who was obviously happy to see his prey trapped.
Kevin couldn’t let himself be taken captive. He looked at the empty staircase (only a few feet away). It seemed miles to him now. But it was his only hope, his only hope of survival.
He dashed up the stairs, climbing 2 at a time.
On the third floor, he took a right and entered a room at random. He shut the door quickly and turned around to see ‘the killer’ sitting comfortably on a chair and smiling at him. He was singing ‘Happy Birthday to You… Happy birthday to you…May u have not any more… Pray that I let you u go…’ His head felt heavy. A lump collected in his throat. The next thing, he was falling from a height, into a pool.
Kevin got up screaming. He looked around, searching for the ugly beast.
He was happy to see a poster of Popeye showing off his muscles on the wall. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and began packing, feeling glad his mom didn’t hear him scream. While clearing his table, he came across a picture book. He remembered getting it for his 12th birthday along with a hologram, that he loved. But didn’t know from whom. He saw the last few pages and his jaw dropped open.
His dream came flooding back. It was his dream, in printed format! He trembled as he flipped through to the last page where a man with a prominent scar tries to push a boy down a building balcony. Realizing it was this picture book that gave him these horrifying dreams, he chucks it out the window.
After an hour of packing Kevin decided to do his project, which required newspaper articles of sort, so he went down to the shelf that contained old newspapers.
It was shut tight and just refused to open. Kevin struggled with both hands and finally managed.
He lifted the first sheet of paper and coughed at the dust. He could bet there’d be a thousand spiders in there, staring at him right now.
The thought of it gave him the creeps.
In a hurry to finish the job, he pulled the pile of newspapers and brought them to the floor. Something caught his eye.
He felt as though his heart would come out of his mouth.
He picked up the paper and read the headlines. The lines screamed at him from the paper.
13 YR OLD SCARED TO DEATH
He held the paper with both the hands, struggling to keep them steady. He began reading it to himself.
13 YR OLD SCARED TO DEATH
A 13-year-old boy, Ryan Booch of St.Thompson sc-
hool received severe injuries when he jumped out of his
chauffer-driven car, when his driver troubled him. Ped-
estrians spotted him close to Berkin’s square, at around
3pm when he was immediately rushed to a private hospital
where after an hour, was declared dead.
The doctor who operated on Ryan said, “He kept compl-
aining about Harris (the driver) through out. Ryan said that
the driver had ‘scared’ him to such an extent that he
had to jump off the car.”
Ryan was to be picked up early from school to
celebrate his 13th birthday, when the tragedy occurred.
Ryan’s mother said, “Ryan was always afraid of the dr-
iver. He sometimes even had nightmares of the driver,
trying to kill him. We never really took him seriously.”
The driver, Harris Ridwick is missing. The police
are on the search. He is described as 6feet tall with a be-
ard and a scar on his left cheek…
That night Kevin didn’t sleep, thinking it was his turn now.
The next morning when Kevin opened his eyes, he was alone in a room. He scrambled to his feet and looked around. On the table was a glass bowl that contained assorted chocolates and dry fruits but it hardly tempted Kevin. A bundle of tissue paper laid next to the bowl of goodies each bearing the name, ‘The Hilltop Hotel’ printed in dark green. It was the hotel where he was to celebrate his 13th birthday. He looked at his digital watch, which read 11:20am. But he didn’t remember being wished nor did he remember sleeping. When did he get here? Where were his parents?… Nothing made sense to him. His parents had gone out to buy a gift while he was asleep hardly knowing that he would never get to see it. They left him a note telling him to stay in the room and that they’ll be back soon. But when Kevin read it, it read ‘Come Downstairs to the Party Hall’. So he quickly changed into his new clothes and rushed downstairs, not noticing the handwriting. He reached down excited only to see a bellboy grinning. It was then that Kevin realized that it was all a mean joke.
Suddenly to his surprise, the bellboy charged after him and Kevin in a reflex action ran. He ran towards the lift. When it closed just in front of him, he took the stairs climbing 2 at a time. He turned right on the third floor, unconsciously following the sequence of the picture book. He entered a room and came face to face with another bellboy; this one seemed meaner and stronger. He was 6 feet tall and had a prominent scar on his left cheek, and to his horror he began singing the ugly song “Happy Birthday to you…Happy birthday to you…It’s the last one for you…”
He couldn’t take it anymore. Screaming, he ran to the balcony. He looked down and screaming for help, he lost balance when he saw the pool staring back.
The last thing he saw was ‘NO DIVING’. He stared at it, as it grew larger and larger. He thought it was the nightmare and would be over now.
He just started to smile when something hard slapped his face.
He fell head-on into the pool. He remained motionless.
After an hour he was found, floating face down.
The following day, in a town not far from Jefferson Hills, a letter awaited a small boy. A letter, not all would wish to get.
The boy was George. He was still in bed when his mother collected the mail. At least a dozen were in the name of George.
It was his 12th birthday today and his mother had a big party arranged for. The whole responsibility of organizing and conducting the party was on George’s mom as his father had a meeting according to him, he just couldn’t miss.
“Hey Birthday boy!… U’ve got mail” She yelled, hoping it would wake him.
Almost immediately he came rushing down. George was puny, looked more like a 9 or 10yr old. He was wide-awake although in his pajamas.
“It’s mine!..It’s mine! …” he yelled, snatching the envelope from his mother.
“Yes dear, It’s yours,” his mom says thinking what a brat he is.
“Can I open it, mommy?”
“Of course, dear… ” His mom said while scanning through the rest of the mail.
George roughly tore open the envelope without noticing that there was neither a stamp nor an Address on it.
It simply read.
He opened the card, which lay inside.
The card had only four lines.
Wish you a very Happy Birthday
and a wonderful year ahead .
Dream, till the dream comes true!!
He read these four lines twice trying to make sense. He looked for the sender’s name but found none. He was about to read it again, when something from the envelope fell on the lawn. It sparkled in the sunlight. He picked it up and stared at it for one whole long minute. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
It was a metallic hologram.
He held it up towards the sun, and watched as the numbers changed from 12 to 13, and 13 back to 12. The 12, was in a bright yellow and the 13 in red, a red bright as blood.
As though this wasn’t enough, to his surprise he found something else in the envelope. It was a picture book. He felt so lucky and thought it was one of the best things he has ever got. He quickly scanned through it and stopped at the last page. His mouth dropped open, in horror. It was a picture of a man wearing a white hat of a chef, brutally butchering a boy to death.
He felt a cold shiver go down his spinal cord.
He suddenly heard his mother yell, which made him jump.
“… dressed George, Uncle Sam will be home anytime, now”.
In one quick movement, he slipped the metal piece and the book in his pocket. And for a very strange reason, he never showed the hologram as well as the book to anyone.
He answered by running back and got dressed for his big day.
Inside, his mother made sure everything was arranged for and the house was spic and span. Once she was satisfied, she sat noisily on the sofa, her mind still racing. She picked up the newspaper and pretended to read. She scanned through it not really reading the contents until she spotted a ‘13’
13 YR OLD COMMITS SUICIDE ?
Kevin Clammer, a 13yr old boy of
St.Thomson pubic school in Jefferson Hills
committed suicide by jumping off the balc-
ony of a hotel, where he was to celebrate his
birthday. Ryan’s parents refuse to believe it
was a suicide but remember him repeatedly
complaining of bad dreams and sleepless nights.
Police have their own view, saying it’s a serial
killer who is obsessed with children of 12years
turning 13. Police have observed sim-
She lost her breath for a while. She put the paper away and prayed silently
She couldn’t stop thinking of the article, through out the party. She tried thinking of better things such as the food, which was exceptionally good. She had called a cook from outside to cater to the party, but he hadn’t appeared even till 7 in the evening. She was beginning to loose her mind when as if sent from heaven, a man roughly 6 feet tall appears at her doorstep asking if she knew anyone who needed a cook in the neighborhood. She took him in instantly and directed him. He managed most of it on his own and also had taken the initiative to make a dessert, which was splendid and out of the world. Everyone had praises for him. She had to agree as even George had shown an appetite that day. She was so impressed with him that she offered him a job, as a permanent cook and provided him with quarters to stay too, which he accepted readily and gratefully.
Tired, after the party, they went to bed early.
In the middle of the night, there was a loud scream. It woke everyone in the house. The shrilly scream reached the quarters, waking the cook. He got up smiling as if expecting it, as he removed a crushed sheet of paper from his pocket. He spread it out carefully and sat there for one whole long minute scratching the scar on his left cheek. He stared contently at the name on the paper before making a circle over it, just above it was the name ‘Kevin Clammer’, still visible through the scratches.
That was the night when George had had his first nightmare.