Eduardo stretched his arms upward, yawning. He was exhausted. Of course I am, it's 3 fucking a.m. already, he surmised. Sitting in his study,he glanced around at his dark mahogany bureau, carpeted parquet floor, the comfy couch that sat in the corner, ever so inviting. With only his table lamp on, the space was cast with amorphous shadows, giving it an eerie atmosphere. But he liked it this way, only me and the world, that's what he thought during these ungodly hours trying to finish his work, or just reading a really gripping novel. No one else was awake, granting him freedom to do whatever he fancied. No one else...
Or so he thought.
Relaxing on his cushioned chair, he put his feet on the bureau and his hands behind his head. Grinning, he closed his eyes trying to just savour this quiet moment. His thoughts wandered off...
What was that? That thud?
Eduardo jolted and opened his eyes. Did I just hear something?
No of course not silly, it's just your mind playing tricks on you. Again.
Yeah... this ain't the first time huh? he chuckled.
Eduardo always had a crazy imagination. Since he was a child, he came up with wild stories of ghouls, trolls and genies and later during puberty it was psychos, murderers and maniacs. Teachers thought he had a morbid mind and stayed away. But at the end of the day, he was just like any other teenager, insecure, awkward, misunderstood. He merely had a quirky imagination.
And last time it gave him trouble was last fortnight, when he mistook a misplaced mannequin as a burglar (or professional assassin, his mind told him. Though the mind didn't give a reason as to why anyone would wanna get rid of him permanently) during his late night venture to get some instant noodles. Poor mannequin, it was battered countless times by a baseball bat and was barely recognizable at the end of its ordeal. These sort of 'incidents', as his cleaning lady called it, happened quite frequently, no thanks to his over active imagination and his fondness of late night instant noodles.
Oh yes, his dear imagination. It gave him hell during his teenage years, he was constantly being laughed at for his suspicions that Mr. Gomez (Physics teacher) was actually a spy, what with his glacial demeanour and cool shades. And not to forget, his odd short visits to Mrs. Prudence's (Art teacher) office. He always came out satisfied, with a smirk on his face. Like he discovered some top secret or something or busted some crime mastermind or.... Observant little Eduardo thought they were clandestine meetings to discuss government secrets. It turned out that he was actually -ahem- having an affair with dear old prim Mrs. Prudence. He realised later, not without some disgust, that that smirk, was lecherously so, not cos he saved the world or anything.
Eduardo dug into his thoughts, how did the principal found out about their affair? Oh yeah, he was caught red handed (Literally, he smeared red paint all over her -ooof, he was going for dirty that time!-) by the gym teacher. The gym teacher (can't remember his name) was decent enough to wait for them to finish climaxing, before running to
But who's having the last laugh now huh? He thought with pleasure. Now, his trouble causing visualization was his source of income. Equipped with his imagination, he went on to write dozens of novels, all with different extents of morbidness, all critically acclaimed best sellers. He didn't even have to go to college, he started with his first paperback right after graduation. Innocent and wide-eyed, he was rejected by a few unappreciative publications (Dumb asses, they were too near sighted to see my potential, thought that Malaysian readers weren't "ready" for my level of grotesque-ness yet..what the fuck was that supposed to mean?) but his story was snatched by one and the rest was history. Fresh and gruesomely interesting, his novels were widely published and promoted. Very soon, the big bucks came in.
Snapped back into reality, Eduardo was wondering whether it wasn't his imagination after all.
Oh my God! A burglar! A real one!
His mind swirled with scenarios of his death. He was, after all a writer.
Before he had time to react, the shadow at the corner of his eye moved swiftly towards him. Eduardo heard water dripping from the assailant's hat, its crash to the floor muffled by the carpet. For a second, just a second, his ears were tuned to those drips and the sound of the assailant's boots against the floor.
Eduardo turned around to face him, gasping in horror at the same time. It was not a face that stared back at him, but a thing with ghastly sunken grey eyes, sallow cheeks, with flesh slipping off its forehead and jaw, revealing more decaying flesh infested with fat pulsating worms, no nose was present, not even an orifice. It was a corpse. No, a zombie.
Its mouth pulled back into a malicious grin. Eduardo could smell its putrid stench getting stronger and stronger. He was frightened, but captivated at the same time, staring at the thing that resembled creatures he sometimes wrote about, only this time... it was real. It actually exists. Feeling nauseous and light headed, he tried to run but unsurprisingly his feet were rooted to the ground, just like in nightmares.
That's it. This must be a dream! I must have fell asleep! Come on.... wake up now...! he convinced himself fervently.
Barely inches away now... the figure reached out for Eduardo. He shut his eyes tightly, preparing to face his death. Tata world, tata Helena.... dear Helena..
Suddenly.... a thought came to him. His eyes opened.
'Wow! I have an idea for a new book!' he exclaimed to well, either himself or that thing reaching out for him.
Crouching behind the bureau, hidden within the shadows, a woman rolled her eyes and sighed, 'Eduardo, once a writer, always a writer....'
(To be continued......*)
*depends on mood