“A Year of Terror” – A Halloween-ish Horror Short Story Written by Stephen Kaplan

“A Year of Terror” – A Halloween-ish Horror Short Story Written by Stephen Kaplan

January 1st

It started with a knock. It was four in the morning and there was a knock on the door. Ordinarily something like that wouldn’t have even made me stir, never mind actually wake me up. There was something odd about this knock, it was much louder than a normal knock. Even weirder is that it was just a single knock. No rapid tapping, no door bell, no “shave and a haircut” knock, just one single house-shakingly loud knock.

I immediately sat up, feeling hungover from the night of partying and debauchery, thinking that maybe it was one of my friends who just needed a place to crash. I got out of bed, wrapped a robe around myself and proceeded to the door. When I opened it, to my surprise there was no one there. I looked around but the street was dead. The whole neighbourhood was dead in the chilly winter night.

Did I imagine the knock? Was it part of the dream I was having? Did I take too long to answer the door and they left? I swear, it wasn’t more than a minute from hearing the knock to getting to the door. Oh well. I decided to go back to sleep.

January 2nd

Another knock. At four in the morning yet again. This time I ran to the door and there was still nothing there! I’m not crazy. This time I wasn’t hungover either. I heard the knock clear as day. I didn’t even bother putting on a robe, I just answered the door in my underwear, which was quite unpleasant when I opened the door and let the cold breeze in. It wasn’t more than five seconds from knock to door opening this time, there is no way that someone could’ve just left that fast.

January 3rd

Maybe I am crazy. Three nights in a row I heard that same freaking knock at four in the morning. Whoever is doing it isn’t going to get away with this. I have a plan.

January 4th

My alarm woke me up at 3:58 AM. I got out of bed, put on a robe and walked over to the door and waited. 3:59, I was still waiting, hand above the doorknob, ready to pull the door open when I saw the damn prankster. 4 AM. Here we go. 4:01 and there was still no knock. Nothing. Pure silence. My hand started shaking above the doorknob as my arm grew tired of the position. 4:03 I finally lowered my arm. At 4:05 I gave up and went back to my bedroom.



January 29th

Whoever was pulling that prank gave up a few days later when I stopped getting out of bed. I thought it was finally done. But last night was far, far worse. Three knocks this time and then my bedroom door flew open.

I sat up straight and stared at the door. I hadn’t left it ajar, my house isn’t on a slant, and there is no wind draft. The door had been opened by someone or something with such force that the doorknob hit my wall, leaving a mark in it. I was terrified, but after a few moments things felt calm again and I somehow managed to fall back asleep.

I had even forgotten that it happened until I woke up and saw that my bedroom door was still open and that the doorknob had damaged my wall. I don’t know what caused this, but I sure hope it’s over.

February 17th

It’s not over. Whatever it is that’s doing stuff is learning how to do new tricks to terrify me. My bedroom door flew open again, but this time I noticed that the kitchen light was on when the door opened up. I stared out into the hallway, hesitant to leave my bedroom. I grabbed a hammer from my closet and proceeded towards the kitchen.

It wasn’t just as simple as turning off the light and heading back to my bedroom to go back to sleep. When I got to the entrance of the kitchen there was a thick, red substance dripping from the ceiling. I’ll be pretty blunt about it, it looked like blood. From where it was dripping it created a moderately sized puddle, but I couldn’t figure out where the source of the blood was coming from. However, the blood was also in a trail leading from the dining room table to the entrance of the kitchen.

Armed with my hammer I pressed forward towards the table. On it was a note that read:

This is only the beginning of my revenge.

I have no idea what that note meant, but when I turned around the blood was gone. The trail, the puddle, the dripping from the ceiling was all gone without a trace. I would’ve thought it was all a dream when I woke up, but I still had the note as proof that this was real and it was happening.

March 8th

The problem with being haunted by a vengeful entity is that you never know when they’re going to strike next. You also don’t know what they’re going to do next. After that note things went tame for a couple weeks. I thought it was over despite the note saying it was only the beginning, but then BAM! Dishes were being thrown across the room. Cupboard doors were opening and closing on their own. The lights were turning on and off at random intervals. It was chaos.

Why me? Why did this spirit – or whatever you want to call it – choose me? What did I do that they were taking revenge against me? I even looked up stuff about the note that I was left online to see if anyone else was having a similar problem, but apparently no one else is reporting about a spirit leaving them revenge notes or something.  Too bad, I was hoping for a haunted support group.

March 26th

Okay, I’m sick of this now! I don’t know how the spirit is managing to do this stuff, but it has got to stop. I got up, showered, etc. And when it came time to get dressed I opened up my closet door and a dead body fell out of my closet! Just…a body. A naked, pale, female body with a knife sticking out of her back collapsed onto my bedroom floor. No blood or anything. Judging by the paleness and the lack of blood I’d say she’s been dead for a while.

Is it the spirit of this woman that’s haunting me? For some reason I don’t think it is. I went to get a phone and I started dialling 9-1-1, not really knowing what I was going to say to them, but when I walked back into my room the body was gone. It was solid and real one minute and the next minute it just vanished as if it never existed in the first place.

I’m a little freaked out, but honestly I’m starting to feel numb about the whole situation. You’d think that seeing a dead, naked body fall out of my closet would do more than make me jump for a second. You’d think it would have some kind of psychological damage, something would make me freak out a little bit more. It would make me run out of the house screaming, flailing my arms about like a mad man. But nope, just a little spooked.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

May 12th

After the body incident, it seemed that the spirit was out of ideas. Then over a month later it decided that the best way to get revenge was to actually try to kill me. Well I guess that’s the next logical step if it can’t make me scared. So instead it decided to set fire to my curtains. The fire department claims that there was a gas leak and something must have sparked and that’s what set the curtains on fire, but I don’t believe that. It was no accident. Next time, I’m sure it’ll be my bedsheets that catch on fire while I’m sleeping. But let’s not give it any ideas.

The fire was put out on time with minimal damage, but next time I probably won’t be so lucky.

August 29th

Where does the spirit go? It does one thing and then takes a couple months’ vacation. Of course it all stopped right when I set up some video cameras to run all night. None of my friends believe me. They think I’m crazy, which maybe I am. I mean, I can’t find that note anywhere (not that it was much evidence of anything) and my cameras happened to malfunction right when this last one was happening. Things went crazy, my cameras didn’t capture anything and now my friends won’t talk to me until I go see a therapist or check myself into an insane asylum (is that still a politically correct term for the facility?).

Well I’ll still document it in here, maybe someone will read this and someone will believe me. It started at 9 AM. I opened my door and stepped out into the hallway only to step into a puddle. It was weird. The rest of the floor was dry, but my foot had stepped into a wet spot. I stepped forward with my other foot and where it was dry it suddenly became wet. Every step I took ended up being in some kind of liquid (I’m hoping it was water) despite the floor being dry both before and after the step.

I went to the bathroom and peed (you need to know these details). When I flushed the toilet, instead of water refilling the bowl it was blood. I went to wash my hands but blood came out of the tap. And forget about showering because, you guessed it, more blood. You know how Jesus turned water into wine? Well this entity turned my running water into blood.

I grabbed one of the cameras to document it, but couldn’t get it to turn on. Despite the fact that it had been plugged in all night and the battery was fully charged, the camera would not turn on. So I grabbed another camera and the same thing happened. In desperation I grabbed my phone, thinking I’d use its camera. The button to take a picture and the button to record video both wouldn’t activate. The camera app ran and I could see the blood through the lens, but I couldn’t document it.

I left the bathroom to see writing scratched into the wall in the living room. One part said Your end is nigh. Another part simply said 666. I know it’s cliché, I don’t even believe in Hell or demons or any of that shit, but what can I do or say when the world’s most evil number is scratched into my wall?

Remember how I seemed to be desensitised because a dead body dropping from my closet didn’t affect me? I was no longer feeling that way. This was officially starting to freak me out again. Blood started oozing from the ceiling, running along every wall and I ran out of my house and started knocking loudly on one of my neighbours’ door. I needed somebody else to see it so that people would know I’m not crazy. I needed someone else to witness this spectacle. As I banged on the door louder and louder I could still see the blood oozing down the walls through my window.

So when my neighbour answered, I grabbed him by the collar and dragged him into my house so he could see…nothing. Fucking nothing. It was gone. Of course it was gone. It’s trying to make me look like a nut.

The scratches on the wall were gone, the blood was gone, the puddles around my feet were gone. Water was running from my taps again and even the toilet that was filled with blood had reverted back to water. It was all gone because my neighbour was there.

“You need help,” he said to me as he removed my clenched fist from his collar. He dusted off his collar and left my house, slamming my door shut. I sighed and decided I would take a shower. Blood. Just like that everything was back.

I decided to just get dressed and leave my house. I went shopping for several hours and everything was back to normal when I got home. It was as if it had never happened at all.

Except it did. I swear to God it did. I’m not crazy.

October 17th

A video has surfaced on the Internet. That’s not a big headline but it might be a clue as to what’s going on. The thing is, I’m pretty sure the spirit (or demon, maybe?) is the one that put it on the front page of the Internet because it wanted me to see it. It’s a video of me dated back to January 1st of this year at around one in the morning.

I was highly intoxicated. I’m not proud of the video or what I saw, but perhaps this whole “revenge” thing has to do with the fact that I drove……while under the influence of alcohol. It was not a great video for me to watch, I don’t even remember doing it. Why did my friends allow me to drive? Or, a better question, why were they laughing and encouraging it?

The video shows me getting into a car, crashing into a few things (mailboxes, bushes, etc.) and then driving off into the distance.

I decided to do a bit more research into it and I found an obituary from January 4th about a guy named Larry Schilling who was killed by a drunk driver on New Year’s Day. It didn’t say much else about the guy or who killed him. Did I kill him? Is he getting revenge on me for cutting his life short? None of my friends said anything. Nobody seems to know who the guy is, but I bet he’s the one causing all of this chaos. This is his revenge. But why just on me? My friends encouraged me to drive drunk according to the video, so why not get revenge on them, too? Maybe they’ll be next once he’s done with me.

November 20th

He won’t be done with me until I’m dead. That’s it, that’s the message I’m getting with this. I’m seeing things. But not, like, imaginary things. Dark shadows move across the walls when I’m sitting still. Every night before I go to sleep I see large ominous silhouettes along my wall when there’s moonlight shining through my window.

What’s more is that I hear voices. Whispers in the darkness. When things should be silent that’s when the voices are the loudest. I don’t know what they’re saying, but it definitely sounds like there’s more than one.

I tried doing more research but I can’t seem to find anybody else who might have been with Larry that I might have also killed. So is Larry echoing his own voice or has he made friends in the afterlife who he’s using to torture me?

Books fly off my shelves. He’s broken my TVs. He likes to pull my body off of my bed every once in a while when I’m sleeping. I tried staying in a motel, but he followed me. Of course when I asked for the security guy to look through his footage, the cameras malfunctioned so there was no physical evidence of any of this happening. After a couple nights I just went back home, because it made no difference.

I ended up being fired from my job because my performance had decreased “sevenfold”. No one will talk to me anymore, not even my parents. Whenever they do talk to me it’s always very condescending, like even they think I’m crazy. But I’m not. I don’t know how much longer I can take this.

At this point he’s just toying with me because he likes to see me struggle. He likes seeing my world falling apart. I might’ve taken him out of this world quickly, but he’s not exactly reciprocating that. He wants my end to be long, painful and torturous.

December ???

I don’t know what day it is, but it must be some time in December because this hospital has Christmas decorations up. And maybe one or two Chanukah decorations, but who’s counting? If you’re reading this, you’re probably confused as to what I mean by “hospital”. Well, don’t worry because I was just as confused as you are.

You see, the last thing I remembered was falling asleep a day or two after my last entry and then I woke up in the hospital. I have bandages wrapped around my head. The doctors say that my skull is fractured. I say this must be the work of Larry Schilling, but of course I can’t tell the doctors that.

How did I get here? Well apparently my dad felt bad about how the last conversation we had went, so he called to try to make up for it. I didn’t answer. You see, I was unconscious; in a coma of sorts. He called several more times before making a trip over and that’s when he saw my body lying there, head bashed in, blood slowly oozing out. He thought that maybe I tried to kill myself.

For the record, I didn’t.

I woke up a couple days ago and they had me on suicide watch. But after figuring that I seemed pretty stable, they moved me into a less invasive ward, where they don’t come in “just to check on you” every three minutes. However, I would have preferred that they do, because it was keeping Larry at bay. Now that I’m in this ward, the shadows and voices are back. But of course I’m the only one seeing and hearing them. I can’t say anything to the doctors either because they’ll think I’m crazy. And I know I say this a lot, but honestly, I’m not.

December ???+1 Day

I finally know what the voices are saying. Your end is nigh, your end is nigh, your end is nigh. Over and over and over again. It’s like Larry is from the 16th century or something. Maybe he just likes being dramatic. Seriously, who says “nigh” anymore? The sad thing is, I think my end is nigh. I feel like I was only able to decrypt what they were saying because in the next day or so, Larry is going to finish me off. A part of me wants him to move on to my other so-called “friends” so that they’ll see I wasn’t crazy or making it up, but another part of me isn’t that cruel. Even after all of this.

If you’re reading this and this was the last entry, it’s because I’m gone. Larry has finished me off.

I’m sorry to everyone for causing you all such distress. I’m sorry to my friends for being argumentative and for making them have to put up with me. I’m sorry to my parents for being a moocher for a good quarter of a century before I finally moved out and then for being fairly neglectful towards them the past few years. I started thinking that since I moved out and was able to live on my own and afford things on my own that I was too good for them and that was wrong. I always needed them. I’m sorry to my co-workers for having to put up with my crap and pick up the slack. I’m sorry to everyone who had to interact with me.

But most of all, I’m sorry to Larry Schilling and his friends and family. I may have been the one to kill him and tear his relatives’ lives apart. In his obituary it mentioned that he had two daughters, so I’m especially sorry to the two of you for making it so that you have to grow up without your dad. I made the worst, most stupid mistake possible and I can never make up for it. But just take some solace in knowing that your dad is going to kill me very shortly.

I don’t know what else to say except…my end is nigh.

Did you like the story? Did you hate the story? Did you think it was okay? Let me know in the comments below. If you did happen to like it, don’t forget to hit that like button. Also feel free to share it with your friends and possibly subscribe to this blog, it’ll help me out a lot and I’ll greatly appreciate it.


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