I haven’t told anyone about what I have been experiencing, so I decided to start journaling everything that has happened so far. I guess my worst fear is that I will end up in an insane asylum, or worse – dead.
You see, I’ve been having these terrible headaches that last for days. I think there’s something embezzled in my brain that I can’t get out. Let me start from the beginning.
Being an aspiring writer who just graduated college, I decided that I needed to be alone for a while; to really decide what I wanted to write about, and to really get the inspiration I needed to create a great first piece of writing. I grew up in St. Charles, Missouri, so spending the summer post-graduation with my family just wasn’t giving me the chance to delve deeper into my writing potential. There would always be something going on, someone that wanted to hang out, someone who needed a babysitter. I knew if I wanted to be a successful writer, I had to find my own place.
That’s when I found this dainty little farm house out in the woods.
It’s in a little town just on the outskirts of Wentzville, Missouri. I liked the idea of not living too far from home (about 30 minutes), yet still living far enough away to have the stars shine brighter than the headlights on a car at midnight. I love being off the beaten path, away from the chaos of society. That’s why I chose to move to this tiny little farm house out in the woods.
I honestly loved it, everything was great – until it wasn’t.
It was a cool crisp fall morning. I had just finished brewing a hot cup of black coffee. I slipped on my maroon rain boots, and threw on an oversized grey knit sweater. This is perhaps one of my favorite morning rituals. I’ll wake up to my buzzing alarm clock around 7 a.m., head to the kitchen to make a hot cup of coffee (old school, coffee pot style), pour it into one of those oversized white coffee mugs that look like a soup bowl. Then I’ll go and sit out on the back porch. This morning was all the same as usual. My alarm clock buzzed at 7 a.m. sharp; I woke up, poured my coffee, and headed out back.
But suddenly everything felt different, everything seemed… still. Frozen in time. There were no birds chirping, no rustling of leaves. It was just…dead quiet.
You know how they say that everything goes calm during an eye of a hurricane? It felt like that, except the weather seemed content. I mean, it was overcast and foggy, but there definitely wasn’t a drop of rain in the forecast. I sat on my bench, pulled open my laptop, and began to write. I took a sip of my coffee and as I was typing, the words began to just flood my laptop. I hadn’t had this much clarity while writing in a long time. It was like a waterfall of words populated onto my screen before I even realized what I was writing about. I chalked it up to the caffeine rush and gleamed inside as I finished off the first chapter of my book.
Maybe this is what I needed all along, to be alone with my thoughts, to really become the writer I knew I could be. I looked up from my screen into the woods and took in a breath of fresh air. That’s when I noticed the onset of the dull pain behind my left ear. It almost felt like a bug bite at first. Hardly any pain at all, just a little pinch – almost as if a mosquito quickly bit you. Then it started to linger into this dull heavy ache. I know what you’re probably thinking right now. I’m in the country sitting outside, of course it is probably just a bug bite, hell, who can really sit outside and not get bug bites in the woods?
This was different though – my thoughts were starting to become something other than my own.
I shut my laptop and ran to the bathroom (coffee will do that to you). As I was washing my hands, the pain behind my left ear went from a dull ache to a heavy throbbing pain. I shuffled around the medicine cabinet hoping to have packed something, anything that would ease the pain. I found a white bottle with the words, “vil” almost completely rubbed off. Clearly this bottle was back from my drunken college days. I had my fingers crossed that the Advil wasn’t expired, and immediately popped 3 little brown pills into my mouth. I took two big gulps from the guzzling sink water, and decided to go back outside while I waited for the medicine to kick in. I opened my laptop to begin writing.
As I opened my word document, I noticed that the last thing I had written was “Chapter 4”. My first thought was that perhaps I had accidentally hit the “4” button. I clearly remembered ending at “Chapter 1” before I went to the bathroom.
I scrolled up on my word document and realized that three full chapters had been written. My heart began to beat, and my palms became sweaty.
Was this a sick joke someone was playing on me? Someone had been spying on me, and took my laptop while I was inside maybe?
I slammed my laptop shut, and ran off my front porch towards the woods. “HEY! I know you are out there! This isn’t funny! If I find you near my property again I WILL call the police!” I turned to go back in the house, I had to gather my thoughts before I could continue to write. I kicked off my rain boots and fell on the couch. Did I feel safe in this house, in the woods, all alone? I remembered that my dad had taught me to shoot a gun, but that was before I went off to college – four years ago; besides, I didn’t have a gun in this house anyway.
I lay looking up at the ceiling. The headache began to morph into a full-on thunder pounding kind of pain at this point. I must not have noticed how bad my head was hurting with the adrenaline rush of the intruder.
I glanced over to the window staring out to the back woods. As I peered out towards the woods, I thought I saw a black shadow with what looked to be red eyes. I immediately had this gut-wrenching feeling. But then reality took over, and I kept telling myself that this headache was clearly making me hallucinate.
And then I looked up above the window and saw the metal curtain rod that had been holding the green and white plaid curtains flowing to the floor. I pulled up the kitchen chair, grabbed the metal curtain rod off the hooks, and retreated to my bedroom. At least I had a weapon incase whoever got on my laptop came back. I pulled open my medicine cabinet to get more Advil. But the odd thing was that when I pulled out the bottle of Advil, it looked brand new. The “A” hadn’t been rubbed off.
I cracked open the bottle expecting to tear off the metal seal, except there wasn’t a metal seal. There wasn’t even cotton packed at the top of the bottle. In fact, it looked like half of the bottle had already been taken. I scuffled through the cabinet shelves for the old bottle of Advil, but to no avail, it was gone. All I could think about at this point was how badly my head hurt, so I didn’t pay much attention to the switch up of bottles. I popped three more little brown pills and went to lay down.
“BUZZZZZZ, BUZZZZ, BUZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!”
I woke up to the ringing alarm of my clock – 7 a.m. sharp. Did I fall asleep in the middle of the day, and not wake up until 7 a.m. the next day? My heart began racing. What was happening to me? Why did I sleep for over 18 hours? I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right. Had the person spying on me outside drugged me? Was I sick?
I sat up and put my feet on the cold hardwood floor. An intense, piercing pain split through my head. I squeezed both hands around my temples and began to squeeze. The pressure wasn’t helping, but I felt like if I were to let go, my head might explode. I ran to the bathroom and twisted open the Advil bottle. The bottle was completely full. I was in so much pain that I didn’t even care, I popped three little brown pills into my mouth and sloshed them down with two big gulps of water from the sink.
I headed into the kitchen to make my coffee. As I was grabbing the coffee pot, I notice a reflection in the glass. It looked like that same smoky black shadow I saw out in the woods the day before, with those piercing red eyes. I turned around as fast as I could, spilling coffee everywhere, but seeing nothing. My heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest. I tried to calm myself down. Ghosts aren’t real. I’m an adult. I’m hallucinating again from these headaches.
I poured a cup of the remaining coffee in my oversized mug, and sat out on the back porch. Should I call Mom? I contemplated letting her know what was going on, but decide against it. I didn’t want to worry her. She was never keen on the idea of me living alone, especially “in the god forsaken wilderness” as she called it. Perhaps I was just getting sick. That would explain the headaches and the hallucinations.
I grabbed my laptop and opened Word. In big bold letters, I read, “Chapter 11.” I scroll up and saw ten long chapters perfectly articulated. I felt a warm tear rolling down my check. What was happening? I needed to leave this place – someone, or something, was after me. Another piercing headache followed. I wanted to slam my head against the concrete. Anything to get this pain to go away.
That’s when I felt it. A squirming feeling inside my brain. It almost felt like a Pac Man game being played inside my head. Like a snake slithering around in my brain. I could feel everything, I could feel the different directions it was turning.
I ran inside to get more Advil, except when I grabbed the bottle, there was only one left. I took it.
So, I’m sitting here out on the back porch typing to you now. The journal entries help me feel as if I am sane. I’ve been losing track of time. I don’t remember writing my first book, but it’s finished. In fact, it’s currently the #1 bestseller right now. I still have these intense headaches. They haven’t gone away, they have gotten worse. I’ve become the writer I’ve always dreamt to be, but what’s going to happen when this thing inside my brain wants to take full control? Am I becoming the character in my book, or am I just plain going crazy?