Hanging By A Hallucination
December 6, 2017
She secretly smiled to herself as she shook his blistered hand. As their hands parted, she had to confirm, “So,” she started, “I possess the power to shake someone with a fear so paramount that I can put them into an absolute state of shock?”
He acknowledged with a bored expression on his face, “Yes, you now have this ability.” She knew he couldn’t be trusted and so she had to ask again.
“You won’t go back on this deal?”
Growing more and more aggravated, he yelled, “Listen, I may have my flaws, but I treat every client with honesty.”
Mockingly she said, “Honesty?”
At this point he looked more intimidating than ever. “Keep questioning me, and I’ll show you what capabilities I have. Others are waiting. I am done here.” The man stood up from his ghastly gold throne, his claw-like hand outstretched and pointed for her to leave. “Now move.” He growled.
The woman gulped and suddenly she felt an intense fear down her throat and quickly backed away and hurried along through the immense, boiling room. As she ascended, she felt a cooling as she went out.
The man continued to the next person in line, as he pondered the woman’s request. He knew her type. He looked into her eyes, and he saw the deep down burning passion. He thought to himself, “Success is one of the things that makes people go insane. Too bad she fancies revenge.”
I glided down the carpeted stairs, gripping the oak wood railing. I could hear small thump sounds as my feet made contact with the carpet. Approaching the last step, I quietly grabbed my backpack from the side of the stairs and swiftly wrapped it around my back.
“Mabelle!” shouted my mom’s voice from the kitchen.
“Yes?” I groaned.
“Make sure you remind the Delgado’s and the Bennet’s about the party tonight.”
“Okay!” I rolled my eyes and was about to leave before my mother added,
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” I sighed and strolled towards my mom. She was in the breakfast nook, probably paying bills, since she had that stressed look in her eyes. I went to her and quickly brushed my lips on her cheek.
“Have a good day sweetie,” my mom called after me as I waved goodbye and walked out the door.
An instant flash of regret hit me, the gust of a cold breeze slapped my face. I shivered with each step I took. School wasn’t far, so the faster I walked the sooner I could get there.
It was fairly quiet, especially this neighborhood. But as I took each step, I realized I wasn’t the only one walking on the path to school. I shook my head, trying to shake that thought. I was being paranoid right? I continued and hurried along, until I heard the person I assume to be following me start to quicken their pace. I instantly panicked and my breathing intensified. Suddenly, a hand grabbed my shoulder.
“Mabelle! Jesus Christ! You walk fast!” A second later, a familiar face turned me around. It was only my BFF Sophia Delgado. After seeing her, I relaxed.
“Oh my god! I thought you were some kind of maniac chasing me!” I exclaimed.
“You crack me up.” she uttered. ”So I’m guessing you heard about the murder too, right?”
Murder?! What murder?
I choked, ”WHAT?! You’re kidding me, right?”
With a scared glance my way she replied, “I’m not. Yesterday, someone broke into this old lady’s house. She was found dead this morning.”
“Wow, I can’t believe that happen.” We both started to walk at a normal pace.
“Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.”
“It’s okay. I expected someone to rob her, but murder? Shocking.”
“Let’s just hope that was the only serious crime that happens around here,” she mumbled.
Sophia and I walked side by side up the stairs to our school, Lewton High. Plenty of kids wandered in the halls, someone occasionally bumping into someone else.
“Have you seen-” Sophia started but was soon cut off by a student who was doing a fundraiser.
“Excuse me, fellow students of Lewton High. We would like to invite everybody, including relatives and close friends to our surprisingly fun fundraiser!” She exclaimed. “This fundraiser-”
“Sorry but we’re busy, next time maybe?” I suggested. She beamed and waved, but I could tell that she was annoyed.
“Busy? Lying is really bad missy.” Sophia smirked.
“I’m not lying, my mother is hosting a dinner party, remember?”
Sophia started to panic. “My mom forgot to buy something from the store yesterday, ugh.” She groaned. “Now I will probably have to get something.”
I laughed, “Anyways, Kea should be here soon. But in the meantime, I need to get my stuff from my locker, see ya.”
“See you later, and if I don’t bring anything, could you tell your parents sorry?”
“No.” She glared at me. “I’m just kidding, I will.” She relaxed and went in the opposite direction.
I walked through the halls, squeezing past other mutually warm bodies. A swarm of athletes roamed the hall, and of course, they were bumping into each other. One boy bumped the other so forcefully that I had to dodge the sudden attack as I passed. I sighed as I unlocked my locker, grabbed my notebook, and other essentials. This was going to be a long day.
School passed uneventfully, As I walked back home in deep thought, I could see a new car in our driveway. I let out a heavy sigh and hoped that nobody came early to the dinner party. Reluctantly, I walked to the front door frustrated at the fact that I would have to interact with a family friend or worst, an actual relative. I gripped the door handle as hard as I could and flung open the door.
When I walked in, I saw my mother with a lady, their attention latched on to me.
“Sweetie! You’re home?” My mom spoke, her tone sounding nervous.
“Of course I am, unless I’m not your daughter. Hiding something?” I snickered.
The lady across from my mother muttered something, that I was unable to hear.
“This lovely lady next to me is my old high school friend. Mabelle, meet Angelica Lucado, Angelica meet Mabelle.” She put her hand out, indicating she wanted to shake my hand. As our hands met, I felt a jolt like shock. I knew she felt it too because she looked at me oddly.
“Nice to meet you, your mother tells me about you so much!” she boasted.
“Nice to meet you too, my mother told me nothing about you.” My mother glared at me. “Sorry if that came out rude.”
“That’s okay, I’m guessing Diane hasn’t told you about me moving here.” She stated.
“Such a shame that you had to move in our town when the murder around the block happened.” My mother looked down as she said it. “Oh, Angelica, the party should be starting soon. I should go start setting up the table. Mabelle, when you’re done with your homework, please come down and help.” I nodded my head and went up the stairs.
I walked down the hall of my house all the way to the end where my room was. Grabbing the handle, I opened the door, and without thinking, I headed in. But before I could react in time, a long slender figure was in the corner of my room, kneeled down as if it was trying to find something.
It had a sickening aura around it, spreading a dark breeze like a virus. It must of had its back turned, for it could not see me, so I prayed that it could not sense me. This figure did not have claws, or hands. In fact, it look like some distorted stick figure. But with an emerging growl, it whipped around. It had no eyes but I could feel it glaring into my soul.
I could feel the fear creeping within my soul. My eyes were starting to water for not even blinking since I was afraid that I would lose track of it. But I couldn’t handle it anymore. I wanted-needed, to blink. As my eyelids touched each other, the figure vanished right before me.
I dropped to the ground, holding myself. My breathing was short and heavy. I could not breath. I didn’t want to go in my room, my homework could always wait. My hand found the door knob and slammed it as hard as I could. I regained my whole self and waited a while to process what in the world happened just now.
Stumbling back up, my two arms found my stomach as I held it, feeling sick, like my lunch would come up. I carefully grabbed my backpack, being alert to see if any other paranormal experience would happen.
Dragging myself down the stairs, I looked to see my mom and her friend preparing dinner. I went to go tell my mom about what just happened, but my voice didn’t seem to find the words, I went blank. I went into a state of complete panic.
When I approached my mother, I grasped her left arm.
“Honey what’s wrong?” She asked. I could hear the concern in her voice.
“Cancel the dinner party.” I stammered.
“What? Cancel?!” She said in disbelief.
“Just do it. Please.” I was now begging her, pleading. She looked at me, then at Angelica, and back at me.
“Angelica, I have to do a rain check.” My mother said apologetically.
“Of course.” Angelica smiled angelically, putting the knife she was using to cut up vegetables.
“I’m so sorry. I’ll call you when I can.” My mother sighed.
“I get it,” Angelica grabbed her purse from the couch. “Just please call when you get a chance.” She gave me another smile before opening the door and leaving. I thought it was weird she did not look at all concerned. I mean I just asked my mother to cancel the dinner party and I am sure I looked like I saw, well you know what I saw. My mother then turned to me, disappointment in her eyes.
“What in world has gotten -” I interrupted my mother.
“Mom, I . . . I don’t know what I saw, but . . . but there was some sort of monster in my room. And this might sound crazy, but I saw something. I saw something and I swear this is not some phase. I felt it’s presence right under this roof.” She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. She tried to say something, but I could tell she was confused.
“Mabelle, did anything happen today, because as much as I want to believe you, I just can’t.”
“Mom, I’m serious. It was in the corner of my room. I don’t know if I was hallucinating, I mean I don’t know period!”
“If you’re that worried, we can go to the doctor and see what they would recommend.”
“But I hate the doctor, can’t you call them, it would make things simpler.”
“Fine, I’m only agreeing just because I have to call everyone and tell them to cancel.” She stomped all the way to the phone on the wall.
As I waited for my mom to come back, I wandered in the kitchen, looking at what my mom and Angelica were preparing for dinner. Assuming I would be seeing vegetables in the big purple plastic bowl, there was a white void. It seemed endless. I flipped the bowl over, seeing if anything came out, nothing did. I set the bowl back down on the counter top. Then I slowly, but steadily, started putting my hand into the bowl. As I reached the white void, I started to put my whole arm in. But as I continued putting my whole arm in, I felt a huge pain on my knuckles. Quickly taking my hand out, a small dark creature was on the top of my hand. Trying to shake it off, it latched even harder. I screamed in pain, I felt light headed. As I tried to pry the creature off of my hand, the creature then vanished into thin air.
I stared at my knuckles. They looked bruised. Patches of blue and purple surrounded them. Blood was oozing out of my pale skin. But as if time was rewinding, the blood went back into my skin, closing the space it came from, the bruises started losing their color, returning back to my skin color.
My hand was back to normal, as if nothing happened. I quickly turned over the bowl to glare into it again. All I saw was chopped up vegetables for a salad and an indentation of where my fist had been.
I heard footsteps behind me, I whipped my head just to see my mom.
“Honey, what the hell? I’m trying to consult with the doctor.” I can sense the frustration in her voice.
“Mom, I think I had another hallucination. Something was on my hand, I was bleeding.” I anxiously said.
“You’re lucky I just got done talking to them. They said they don’t know what’s happening if they don’t know the source. They recommended a therapist.”
“Therapist? So now I’m a lunatic?”
“You’re not, they are just going to send you to a therapist every week, or if necessary, when you have these episodes.”
“And that’s it? I can’t stop these ‘episodes’?” I said, emphasizing episodes.
“Listen, they’ll prescribe you medication if you really feel that you need it.”
“Fine, but in the meantime, what do I do if it keeps happening, do I ignore it?”
“Unfortunately yes. They said if you keep interacting with your hallucinations, you will be interacting with nothing.” I could hear the concern in her voice. “Just sleep on it.” I nodded in agreement.
Heading upstairs, I cautiously opened my door. Looking inside, there was nothing, or nothing I could see. I rapidly raced to my bed, tucking the sheets right over my shoulder. I shut my eyes as tight as I could, I didn’t want to see anything because I knew I would be wide awake. But as I drifted off to sleep, all I could hear was growling, screeching, and claw like footsteps.
In the morning, my mom took me to see the therapist the doctor recommended. Of course my mom was irritated with having to leave work to take me there. As I approached the small building, a familiar face appeared. It was Angelica.
“Oh wow, my first patient!” She exclaimed happily.
“Angelica, I am glad Mabelle was referred to you.” My mom said giving her a hug.
“Diane, I will take good care of Mabelle.” She turned to address me, “Mabelle, I heard that last night you were hallucinating”
“I have been. I can’t describe how terrifying they are. It’s as if I’m cursed.” She looked down on me with curiosity.
“Please, come with me. Diane, I’ll take it from here.” She waved bye to my mom as her other hand led me into her examining room.
There was a couch and a chair, accompanied by a small coffee table. The room was decorated with different posters, encouraging that therapist are safe.
“Please, sit or lay down. Whatever feels the most comfortable.” Her hand motioned to the old crusty couch.
I laid myself down so that my feet were resting on the arm rest, my head on the other.
“So, please inform me about these episodes.” She inquired.
“I don’t know what started or triggered it, but, it’s like dark figures are following me. It’s like, someone is haunting me.” She nodded her head as I spoke, writing down something, I couldn’t tell.
“And how do these thoughts make you feel?” She asked while chewing on the tip of her pen.
“It’s-It’s-It’s terrifying!” I stammered. “I don’t know what it is, it makes me frozen.”
“Frozen as in?”
“As in, I can’t speak, like I’m choking.”
“Hmm,” She hummed. “I can’t exactly see what the source is, it’s our first meeting. But can I ask you one more thing?” I nodded. “Tell me, what is your goal is in life and do you think hallucinations will prevent it?”
“Well, my goal is just to be normal and it’s definitely going to get into my way.”
“Understandable. I’ll contact the doctor immediately to see what medication they will prescribe you.” She walked up, her clipboard in hand, and put the clipboard on a hook. “For now, you can go.”
“But what am I going to do? Just keep letting these episodes happen?” I questioned.
“No, interact with them as much as you can.” I glared at her if she was crazy.
“What? Interact, what if they kill me.”
“They are hallucinations, I doubt any physical harm will do.” Getting more and more frustrated, I ignored her advice. With one more glance of her face, the door slowly creaked till it was closed.
I returned back to school the next day. I let out a heavy sigh and open the double doors that lead to the lunch room. I could feel all the eyes on me. Feeling already ill, I quickly looked around to see if I could find my friends. I pulled my backpack strap back onto my shoulders. Then I saw two heads, one ginger haired and black haired.
“Hey!” I shouted while quickly approaching them.
“Mabelle!” Kea, the ginger, beamed.
“You’re late.” Sophia said in irritation.
“I know, but I’ll tell you what happened.” I sat down on plastic grey bench that connected to the table.
“Oooh!~ Do tell!” Kea said. She was always one who loved gossip.
“Okay, I don’t know how to say this but, I’m having hallucinations.” I hesitated to say.
“WHAT?!” Kea and Sophia announced out loud.
“Yeah, but I rather not tell.” I said as I looked down embarrassed. But when I looked up to them, I didn’t see their familiar faces. Instead two horrifying faces looked back at me! —
Kea and Sophia were wearing masks, or it mirrored it. Their eyes were not there. Instead it was pitch black. The more you stared at it, the more you got lost. They both shared the feature of a big smile, spreading all the way to the apples of their cheeks. The only difference was that on Kea’s mask in big bold messy red print was the word ‘TRAITOR’. On Sophia’s the print read ‘NONBELIEVER’. My breathing intensified. I shook my head trying to shake it away. Go away! Go away!
Then a loud sound was heard outside from the school. Big grey clouds swarmed the area, yellow lightning adorning the clouds. As I looked at the outside scene to my two friends,. My head started to get hazy.
I then spotted a figure from the corner of my eye. A slender shadow with sharp claws was heading towards me. It’s horns were drooling with red. I could hear the drops of red go splat on the cafeteria floor. The hairs on my neck stood up, sending shivers down my spine. The more I looked at the figure, the more it got fuzzy. I felt the heaviness of my head drop, but I immediately picked it up.
To my surprise the nightmare ended. My two friends looked at me clueless and worried. I tried to relax, seeing I returned to reality. But before I could say anything, a raspy voice whispered,
“Don’t ever feel safe.” The voiced echoed.
I walked back into the uncomfortable grey room. I went from seeing my therapist from every week, to every two days. My hallucinations went from worst to traumatizing. I would see things, some I could identify and others I couldn’t. I layed down on the couch, waiting for Angelica. One hand was resting on my stomach while the other was holding a prescription bottle.
Angelica then walked in with a doctor by her side.
“I usually wouldn’t do this, but it seems you are getting sicker and sicker by the moment. Mabelle this doctor will consult with you doing different test. Is that okay?” Angelica asked.
“Yeah, it’s okay.” I stuttered.
“Okay, well doctor, do your thing. Mabelle if anything too extreme happens, yell my name very loud.” She commented. I chuckled to myself as Angelica left the room. The doctor then came and kneeled right by me.
“Hello Mabelle, I’m Dr. Ablenkungsmanöver-”
“Ablenkungsmanöver?” She furrowed her eyebrows.
“Yes, let’s just get to the point.” She groaned. “I’m going to do a few test, some of them will be easy while other will be harder. Understand?”
“What do you mean hard?” I asked.
“I might have to give you some shots, and you’ll have to give me feedback.”
“I mean I guess.” I was a little bit unsure. Dr. Ablekungsmanöver zipped open a black bag shuffling her hands into it a few times before finally pulling out a shot.
“This will be a slight pinch.” She whispered, biting her lip. As the needle got closer to my porcelain skin, my heartbeat went faster and faster. I felt a stab on my upper left arm. Looking back at her, the doctor was smiling. Smiling too much.
Suddenly the pain grew, my arm started to tremble. I started to tremble.
“Stop!” I yelled. “Stop! It hurts!” I winced in pain, but Dr. Ablenkungsmanöver just laughed.
“What is wrong with you?” I was agitated. I pulled my arm away from her.
“You don’t even have a clue, do you?” She rose up, facing the other way. “Do you really think you’re hallucinating?”
“What else would it be?” My elbows propped themselves up so I could see her.
“I’m the one who started all of this. I’m the entire cause.”
“How could you even do that? You’re jo-joking, right?”
“When did all of this happen? Tell me.”
“When that old lady died that morning, correct? Well guess what? I killed her, with my bare hands too.” She bragged. I backed up on the couch cushion. This lady, killed, murdered, disposed of a life.
“Why?” My eyes watered at the thought of a killer right in front of me.
“You’re asking the wrong person. Ask your mother.” She spat.
“Get out before I call Angelica.” I gulped. Dr Ablenkungsmanöver glared at me one more time before she stomped out. I slumped down on the wooden floor.
I heard the door unlock and I looked up to see Angelica bursting into the room.
“Mabelle! Are you okay? Dr. Ablenkungsmanöver just left saying you’re just crazy. What happened?” She said kneeling down to me.
“Angelica, that doctor is crazy, she stabbed me with a shot!” I bawled.
“Do you need me to report her, because I can Mabelle.”
“Don’t, but as long as that doctor stays away from me, I’ll be fine.” I reassured She beamed and hugged me. I returned the hug back as we just sat there, feeling everlasting.
I unlocked the door to my home, bursting with rage to tell my mom what happened. As I carelessly threw my backpack to the side, I fast walked towards my mom who was on the couch.
“Welcome back Honey, how was your session?” She asked putting down a bowl of chips down.
“You won’t believe what happened, Mom.” I said as I slumped on the couch. “This ‘doctor’ came by and I think she was crazy. She said everything that has happened to me was entirely real and you had something to do with it.”
“Are you sure this was a doctor?” I nodded.
“Just to clarify this has nothing to do with you, right?”
“Of course not, why would I do this to you.”
“I was just clarifying. No need to get nervous.” I chuckled.
“Now,” My mom started. “I’m pretty sure our favourite tv show is coming on, all episodes, ready to binge.”
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner! Is it, Legacy Warriors?”
“Yes, and if we run out of food, there’s another bag of chips on the counter.”
“Just play it already lady.” She hit me playfully as she turned on the boxy television and rolled the show. We both sat there, for a moment, nothing mattered.
Sophia, Kea, and I walked on the concrete sidewalk. Surprisingly, my hallucinations got better. Maybe the doctor wasn’t that crazy.
“I’ve only had 2 hallucinations today!” I cheered. Kea and Sophia looked at each other. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“We-” Kea elbowed her. She coughed. “We don’t think you’re having hallucinations Mabelle.” Sophia muttered. I stared at them in disbelief.
“Oh so I’m faking all of this?” I said with annoyance. What in the world, why would I be faking hallucinations.
“No, it’s just-” I interrupted Sophia.
“It’s just what Sophia?” I said with a harsh tone. We three had stopped now.
“What if something’s targeting you?” Kea whispered.
“I’m not following.” I said, crossing my arms.
“Mabelle, something is really off and I’m having a weird vibe coming from your therapist.” Sophia inclined.
“Angelica?! She’s helping me, why would she hurt me.”
“I said a weird vibe, not killing you. Jeez.” Sophia mumbled.
“If you’re so sure about your statement, let’s go. Let’s go confront her. She’s not far away.”
“Mabelle, that isn’t what I meant-” Sophia said shyly.
“You still said it.” I was agitated. Did common sense even run through her veins? I started fast walking, leaving behind my two friends.
“Wait up Mabelle!” Kea shouted, rushing by my side.
“Oh so you believe her too?”
“No! Let’s just stop arguing.” I looked at Kea funny. I shrugged her off and looked straight ahead.
We all walked in silence, and occasionally pulling off the backpack could be heard. As we halted in front of the building, I pushed the door open with so much force. I saw Angelica sitting in her chair, now sitting up.
“Mabelle! I didn’t know you were coming today?” Angelica said.
“I only came because these two psychos think you’re what caused my hallucinations.” I whined. “Please verify-” but before I could finish my sentence, the lights flickered.
“I’m so sick and tired of me faking being your friend.” Angelica’s face was covered with her bangs, her demeanor changed in a flash.
“A-Angelica-” I stuttered. I heard a shuffling, and someone falling on the ground. Kea fell and before I could call her she raced out.
“And are you going to escape, or witness going brain dead?” Angelica said, pointing towards Sophia.
“I knew it was you.” Sophia claimed.
“You didn’t.” Angelica argued. Meanwhile, I was backing up from Angelica.
“W-what is happening? Angelica-” She interrupted me before I could say anything.
“You want to know why?”
“What about Dr-”
“She was a puppet in my hand darling.” My heart crushed into pieces. Although I haven’t known Angelica for a long time, she was a therapist. I thought I could trust her. “Every time you came to me Mabelle, you gave me more ideas that I could mess with you.”
“Why, Angelica I trusted you!” I cried. Tears welled up and dropped.
“Why? Why? Because your mother made a fool out of me, thinking I went mad. Your mother ruined my life, period.” She stated. “Now she get’s to watch you go crazy, just like how my mother did, suffering from me.” she started walking closer to me. I was about to run for it before she grabbed my wrist. “Now I will make you brain dead, you’ll be stuck in my hell for the rest of your pathetic life.” She forced me to look at her, but before I could say anything, a clapping emerged from the shadows.
“Angelica, quite the show.” It smirked. It had a raspy voice, sounding as if they had smoked since age 12. “Too bad you’ll have to die for your mistakes.’
“What do you mean? I did everything you wanted!” Angelica dropped me and glared at the shadow. “I killed that old lady, I’m feeding you right now!”
“Poor, poor Angelica. You can’t tell the truth to your prisoner, and a witness.”
“What do you mean-” I then heard a loud bang, then a piercing high pitched sound. Covering my ears, I looked over to Angelica, grey smoke covered her face. As it cleared, half of her face had been shot off, exposing the mushy part of the brain. Blood was squirting everywhere.
I covered my mouth, at that moment, I wanted to sleep. I wanted to sleep and not worry about all of this. I wanted to sleep and never wake up.
My eyes drifted into darkness, as I closed them all I could see was the shadow’s presence surrounding Angelica’s body.