Ben had to work today, and ended up leaving around 10:00 pm. He was tired and stressed from having to work in the kitchen at the local restaurant all night. Letting his arms sway a little more than normal, he walked home. The walk home usually wasn’t too eventful; he took the time to think to himself about things going on in his life. One time he saw a stray dog run across the street, so that was pretty exciting.
Tonight, things weren’t much different at first. Everything was pretty quiet. Ben could hear his footsteps as he walked on the sidewalk. As he neared the halfway-milestone on his walk home, he saw a figure wearing a grayish raincoat standing ahead of him by a bench. Just standing there. There was no one else around, no cars, no sound other than Ben’s footsteps… Why are they just standing there? As Ben neared the figure, he sped up his gait, wishing to pass it as soon and quickly as possible. He tried to walk as fast as he could without making it look like he was deliberately hurrying, and was soon several steps past the figure. After he was a good twenty or thirty feet from it, it hissed a loud “Pssssst…” Ben stopped in his tracks, startled by the sudden loud sound. He slowly turned to look over his shoulder to see what the figure wanted. It turned to face him and its face was illuminated by a street light. It was a man. An average height, average weight, average looking man. The man stood there for a few moments, then a somewhat disturbing smile crawled across his face. He stared at Ben like this for several minutes. Ben didn’t want to be rude and simply turn away, and wouldn’t be able to even if he tried, for he was too frightened by this smiling man. After seven or eight minutes of standing there staring at each other, the man winked. He winked at Ben. An icy tingle ran up the length of Ben’s spine, and he quickly turned around and resumed his walk home, much faster now than before. He looked over his shoulder several times along the way to make sure that creepy guy wasn’t following him.
He reached the house, unlocked and opened the door, entered, and locked it behind him. He then threw his keys onto the little end table by the front door and kicked off his shoes. As he entered the living room, he turned on the television and plopped himself down onto the couch. His cat Kirk jumped up onto the couch to join him. After about twenty-five minutes of mind-numbing cartoons and other late-night programs, Kirk perked up his ears, jumped off the couch, and ran into the dark of the hallway. A few more minutes went by, and there came a wet licking sound from the hallway.
“Kirk!” Ben yelled in an attempt to extinguish the noise. He figured Kirk was just licking one of his little cat toys or some barf or something. It was really quite annoying. The licking sound stopped for a few seconds, but then resumed. “HEY!” The sound stopped once again, for only a few seconds. And then it came again. At this point, it’d be easier to just get up and take the toy or clean up the barf. He got up off of the couch, and proceeded into the hallway, when a little shuffling sound emerged. There was a little red something on the floor. Ben bent down to examine it, and discovered it was a bit of a trail. He followed it a couple feet and saw Kirk’s little furry paw. “Kirk, what were you playing with?” he jokingly asked. He looked a little further and saw something which brought a stirring cold feeling within him. Kirk’s entire upper body was stripped of skin and there were bits of muscle missing. Blood was pooled on the floor around him. With wide eyes, Ben tried to take deep breaths and keep himself calm. This wasn’t real. It was the stress of the day, his tiredness causing hallucinations… Yeah, that’s it… That’s all it is… Not really thinking, Ben entered the nearby restroom to wash his hands and face. Some cold water on his face sounded pretty good right about now. He turned on the light but then caught his breath.
Standing there, raincoat covered partially in blood, was the man from the walk home. His fingertips were also covered in blood. Ben’s eyes roamed to the man’s face, where dried blood surrounded a stained, sneering smile. The man raised his hand and made a “come hither” motion with his finger. “Psssst…”