Final Destination

DIAL THE NUMBER. STATE YOUR DESTINATION. CLOSE YOUR EYES.

That’s all the note said. Written on a scrap piece of paper tucked under an old, black cell phone.

John had used the phone once since he found it. “Home,” he had told the operator. He was surprised to open his eyes and find himself on the porch of his childhood house.

He planned to go a little farther this time.

“Operator. Please state your destination.”

“Wherever my wife is.”

There was a click. John took one last look at the headstone in front of him and closed his eyes.

Every Four Hours

The door rattles gently in its frame. I stretch out my fingers and wrap them around the worn hilt of my blade.

As always, I take a deep, painful breath.

The door explodes open and I swing forward. I slay nothing but air. The shadow creature flows out and latches onto the ceiling above me. They’re learning.

I stab upwards into the dark, my blade slicing straight through black and hitting stone. Silent, the creature slowly fades into an icy nothingness.

I slump back into my chair.

As always, I take a deep, painful breath.

I reset my watch, and wait.

Hector

My Millie bounces past the well-dressed man and onto the sitting chair. Mother watches from the arch leading to the food room.

“You know why I’m here?” asks the well-dressed man.

My Millie looks up at me. The well-dressed man turns and stares, then shares a long glance with Mother, who now has water coming out of her eyes again.

“Is Hector here right now?”

Mother leaves the room.

“How many invisible friends have you met before, doctor?” my Millie asks.

“None, Millie,” replies the doctor man.

My Millie smiles and waves me over. “Hector will be pleased.”

Oh, I am.