The Invisible Man | By: Veronica | | Category: Short Story - Science Fiction Bookmark and Share

The Invisible Man

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"ELAINE, get down here immediately! You will be late for school if you don't hurry up!"

Elaine, promptly, fingered a brush through her silky auburn hair, took her cool mint lip-gloss, slipped on her favorite platforms and then briskly charged down the stairs, with an effervescent feeling in her body. On the way to school she met up with her boyfriend. As she saw Joe approaching her she smiled. Joe was the only one who seemed to be truly loyal to her these days. She could tell him absolutely anything and he would believe her. As Joe caressed Elaine's neck, contentment pervaded her soul. However, little was she aware that this contentment would not prolong.

After school that day, Elaine came home in complete and utter consternation to discern that something vile and unexpected had occurred. Elaine always in a paroxysm of excitement ran up the spiral staircase and discovered her room was torn to shreds. The beautiful Laura Ashley comforter her aunt had given her was dismantled from it's canopy bed. Her stash of money and other precious assets were strewn about in the heaping mess of her bedroom floor. Looking into the closet, she found all of her favorite and most expensive garments were matted to the hard and cold floor. Worst yet, she couldn't seem to remember where she had stashed her emergency kit. This was something Elaine hid somewhere safe, so that if something did happen she would have a mini-survival kit, consisting of clothes, food, jewelry, and old pictures she had from her birth parents. Since her parents died when she only nine she wanted to preserve the few vague memories she had left of them.

Whisking ominously, Elaine decided to forget about the emergency kit, grabbed some items out of her closet, and then made a mad dash to the bottom of the staircase. Without looking back Elaine lamented for her Aunt and Uncle. After about five minutes of calling out their names, Elaine, now quavering, gave up and resorted to the guesthouse where she could seek security. For awhile nothing happened. All she could think about was the strange mess in her bedroom. She had a premonition that something both evil and perilous was going to transpire, and of course, she was right. As Elaine cautiously moved away from the chair she was sitting in; she maneuvered back to the front entrance of the guesthouse. In a hurry she ran back to the main house, but was stopped immediately after she felt a hard and extensive blow to her back. As Elaine fell unconscious to the floor, she heard a man cry belligerently, and glanced up to see who this awful person was. Regaining her strength she examined the contour of the man's face. From what she could tell, he had dark, wavy hair worn slicked back from his face. His face was cold and vicious looking and his eyes were a steely gray. In remorse he said, "Miss I hope I didn't hurt you. I thought you were someone else." It was obvious that what this man said was a misleading, for the tone in his hoarse voice revealed a writhing attempt to restrain himself from indignantly proclaiming that he was not the least bit sorry. In contempt Elaine stared at him and said scornfully, "Well you should be I was injured because of you." She picked herself up and left him standing alone on the front boulevard of her house and meanwhile, hoped whoever this man was would go away.

Elaine sought refuge in her house. Without slowing down to notice her aunt and uncle's concerned countenance she fled to her bedroom for a second time. On the way up, her aunt inquired about Elaine's sudden trend in domineer. "Honey are, you all well? You look worn out and tired. Did something bad happen to you?" With no response Amelia became irritated. And after a short sigh Elaine told her what had happened. Elaine's aunt was curious but thought perhaps Elaine was making up a fictitious story about a villain and then told her she should not play these childish games.

"Your anecdotes about supernatural powers and invisible characters are getting to your head and will get you in so much trouble, if continued," said Amelia in a tone Elaine did not take a liking to. Even though Elaine had tried to explain, to her aunt, that she wasn't making things up, Amelia still wouldn't believe her. And on top of it she had no siblings that could listen to her. Growing up was not easy for Elaine. Most people thought she was very mature for her age, despite the fact that her aunt always scolded her for acting childish at times.

Later that afternoon Elaine reassembled her bedroom and before she knew it was back to normal. The very thought of what had occurred today still troubled her. Who would want to trash her bedroom? For that matter, what did she have that was of so much value to someone like that man? No one that frightening had ever encountered her before. For the eight years that Elaine lived here she never once questioned the neighborhood. It was the neighborhood that one could take a stroll down the street, well past evening hours quite often at night, and people would keep their windows ajar and nothing would happen. She couldn't understand why a man probably twice her age would want to hurt her. What had she ever done to him? And if so. . .what? This man was never seen before in the Lynnville area, thus no one else seemed to suspect anything harmful of his existence. Not yet of course, until that one day in July.

As usual every summer Elaine was allowed to throw a big party for her birthday. She could invite all her friends from school, her cousins, and anyone else she may have desired. Amelia and Donald, her uncle, were very keen on Elaine's freedom and fun. This was the one night where Elaine could do anything she usually could not do. Donald told her they were going out that night so she would be entertaining without adult supervision. It was great. The only thing her uncle had wanted from her in turn was help with the yard work, the next day. This would not be a problem she thought gleefully. While preparing for the party, she thought of all the fun that was in store for the night ahead. It was going to be a long and unforgettable night. It turned out she was precisely right. It was going to be a night that no one would ever forget.

The first person that arrived at the party was Joe, her most favorite person on this earth. She had so much burning passion for him in the short time she knew him. Secretly she always prayed that one day he would marry her. But there was a long road ahead of both of them -- a road that would be stifling their happiness together. "Elaine you remind me of a shimmering diamond on a plain golden band." Elaine smiled at him and replied, "Joe you always know the right things to say to a girl." Blushing from embarrassment he kissed her on the cheek.

A few minutes later a party of two of her best friends came over. Each of them had on an elegant dress with the finest shoes in town. Gabby, who was the more sophisticated one, flaunted her long blonde hair veiling her left eyelid and handed Elaine something wrapped in a decorative lacy cloth. When Elaine opened it she was stunned. Her best friend had lent her the emerald earrings that she had wanted to burrow for what seemed an eternity. She hugged Gabby and said, "Thank you, thank you. You're the bestest friend anyone could ever ask for!"

With that she turned to Shari and said, "I am so glad you could make it."

Shari was a little on the shy side so at first she didn't say anything, but then after a few seconds she said, "Well I am glad I could make it myself. It has been so long since I have found a good group of friends that I consider my true friends." Shari was a girl from a torn background. She moved around frequently in the course of her life and was prone to lingering sorrows and sufferings around her. When she was a little girl her mother had a miscarriage, shortly after that her parents divorced. She lived with her mom for about three years in Alabama and with custody battles she was always traveling from parent to parent. When she turned twelve something even more tragic happened to her. Her father, who had lived in Utah, died. They never discovered what of, but came to the conclusion that he died of natural causes. Shari is selfdom happy and remains haunted by her dreaded past.

All four teenagers made a pilgrimage to Elaine's kitchen and got dinner ready. As Elaine sat the place mats for everyone she glanced at the clock. It read seven o'clock. They had a long and intriguing night ahead of them. Once they were done eating, Elaine suggested that they retreat to the guesthouse, where they could lounge and talk for awhile. Elaine initiated the conversation by telling her friends and boyfriend what had happened several days earlier. "Something very scary happened to me," she started. "When I came home from school three days ago, on June 30th, everything in my bedroom was torn to shreds. Nothing was in its right place. Panicking, I called out to my aunt and uncle, but no one answered. Not sure what to do I raced out the front door and ran to the guesthouse. As I was leaving someone came up behind me and tried to hurt me." Gasping for air, a gape of horror captivated her face.

Concerned, Joe said, "Are you sure you're not making this up?"

"I'm positive," said Elaine, "I just want someone to believe me." As she proceeded with the story, she uttered, "And the weird thing was the man had a faint image. It was as though he vanished through thin air. I didn't hear footsteps or see a shadow. The next thing I knew he was gone." A cold shiver chilled her spine, and by this point in the story her adrenaline was racing and her heart was beating heavily.

Her friends looked at her as if she had lost her sanity. "Are you feeling well?" asked Gabby, "If not we can leave and come back another time when you are feeling up for company."

"No do not leave me. I feel fine." The party just got underway and Elaine wanted them to be there for it.

As the evening descended, Elaine began to feel peevish; everything was going wrong for her. She wanted this to be a fun party, but by eleven thirty, people were calling it a night. As Shari dove into a deep sleep, Gabby put her pajamas on and sprawled out on her ebony sleeping bag and she too, fell asleep. The only two that were awake were Elaine and Joe. The place was a hideous disaster but Elaine was too exhausted to move a muscle. Joe and Elaine talked for hours about everything that came to mind until Joe fell asleep. At three in the morning Elaine was aroused by an eerie sound, reverberating through the back hall of the guesthouse. Joe was snoring on the couch and just as she was about to wake him, she felt a hard, heavy breathing on her back. Before she turned around, it was too late. The person was gone. Joe woke up then and said, "What's going on? Its only a little after three in the morning, go back to sleep."

"Joe you wouldn't believe what just happened. Someone was here. . .the same person perhaps. . .and I think they will be back to harm me."

"Now Elaine I think you are just having delusions. Take a deep breath and try thinking about something more pleasant."

Just as the brim of her eyelids touched, Elaine saw a faint glimpse of the same man. The one who hurt her.

Opening her eyes she screamed and was consoled by her friends. "Elaine what's wrong? Shhh, its okay now."

"I was right! It's him -- the relentless stalker. I think he's following me."

"Relax Elaine. You probably just had a bad dream. There is no one out there."

Still trembling from seeing the sinister man, she went to get something to eat. On her way, she slid on the slippery, metallic floor of the narrow hallway. Being discreet she picked herself up, trying to keep a low profile from the sheer ghost haunting her. It was as though someone could read her mind and could penetrate her body, hearing her every word and knowing her every thought.

In a precarious position, Elaine snapped back on her two feet, picked up momentum and escaped from the horrifying corridor. She was nearly back to the living room segment of the guesthouse when she approached the same man again. This time he seemed less enraged and more indifferent and listless, but before Elaine could get a better look the man vanished into thin air. She was so close now to the ghost that she could feel the actual vibration of the spirit engulfing her soul. Something told her that this spirit was not as evil and as dangerous as she thought it was. Instead the spirit appeared to be just as traumatized as Elaine. A peaceful and easing silence remained within the two. For the rest of the night Elaine sat in the dim living room, astounded and too restless to sleep.

Last night was the night that changed her life forever. Elaine couldn't think straight, wasn't feeling healthy, and worst yet, none of her friends wanted to have anything to do with her and this entity she was obsessing over. Her boyfriend dumped her, claiming that she was incessantly lying to him. Elaine knew deep down that she disappointed her friends with these stories of this so called spirit haunting her, but she didn't know what else to do. Ultimately by telling the truth her friends refused to believe her, yet when she lied they became more agitated. She felt her friends looked at her differently now, and were only seeing her as a compulsive liar.

A great deal of time passed before Elaine saw the spirit again. Almost a year had passed and there was no sign of the ghost. And for awhile she was certain that she would never see the spirit again. But when she least expected it not a ghost, but a man disguised as the ghost came to her for the last time. This was Elaine's final chance to derive information from the man. Primarily she wanted to know why he followed her into the guesthouse. He told her that when he was a youth, he lived in this wealthy house, except the guesthouse was secluded from the main part of the house. Supposedly that was his bedroom where he spent the first twenty years of his life. He then told her the reason he followed her was because the guesthouse was his forsaken domain. At one time during the nineteen twenties the house was badly invaded, and his family was evicted for chronic debt problems. He told her the many fond memories he had of his childhood and how distraught he became when he learned that his family had nowhere to go. He was fortunate, however, considering he did apprenticeship work for his uncle as a factory worker, but to his dismay he never saw or heard from his flesh and blood again after he completed his term as an apprentice.

Elaine now knew the whole truth. She realized even though this man slightly hurt her; that he hurt her only because he thought that she was the one who took his home away from him. His mean streak subsided, however, after he realized that she was not the one who invaded his family, thus was not as reproachful and sinister as she perceived him to be. Instead he was an innocent and an afraid man reliving the past. He had a heart of gold and was very special. To Elaine he was more than just the invisible man he was more like a friend.
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