I had no idea where I was going or why I was following the directions left for me on a napkin in a dive bar, but I continued on regardless. I shouldn’t have gone; it was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my recently ended life. That’s right, I’m a ghost, and this is the story of how I ended up here. My life was simple and boring, I was a run-of-the-mill student with average grades and virtually no personal life. I was a dancer, a writer, a musician – you know, one of those creative types that doesn’t thrive in social situations. You’d think after twenty-five years of life I’d have a little more to show for my “creativity.” Anyway, I promised a story.
After a particularly horrific break-up, I decided to pull myself out of my comfort zone and try a dating site. That was my first bad decision. I met a guy named Dave. He had only lived in town about a year and he was settled in and was looking to meet someone special. He was a surgeon by day, a late-night philosopher, and pretty damn attractive. We had a lot in common: he was an artist, he liked photography, and he was ready to settle down. Or at least this is what he told me. After about a month of conversing, he asked to see me in person. I reluctantly agreed to meet him at a shady local dive bar I usually avoided. Bad decision number two.
As I was headed to the bar, I received a text from Dave telling me that he had left a note with an address he wanted me to go to instead; the bar wasn’t exactly “his scene.” I wouldn’t normally go through with this kind of thing, but against my better judgement I went anyway. This is where I stop counting my mistakes: it’s all downhill from here. The address was a few blocks further; upon my arrival I knocked, and the door swung open from the force. There were no lights, not even light from outside filtered through the windows, and I could taste dust thick in the air. It seemed as though this house had been abandoned for years.
I cautiously walked into the pitch black darkness to search for Dave. I couldn’t see him, but a single lightbulb flickered on at the other end of the room. I remember thinking “this is how crappy horror movies start,” but I continued. I was nervous and called out for him. No answer, so I hesitantly walked toward the light. That’s when I saw it: a table covered with various metal tools with sharp edges and points. My heartrate increased and my breath grew shallow. I called out asking if anyone was there, my voice faltering with each syllable. Still no reply. I edged myself closer to the table, and my feet froze in place once I noticed traces of blood on a few of the tools. I couldn’t tell how fresh the blood was, but I was smart enough to know that I shouldn’t be there. I urged my feet to move, begged my eyes to turn away from the instruments. I needed to run but I couldn’t even move, I was paralyzed with fear.
I abandoned all hope with the echo of a step behind me. The next thing I know, there’s a ten-inch blade being forced through my abdomen. There was no pain, it was like a hot spoon fresh from the dishwasher, plunging into freezer-burned ice cream that had been in your freezer for as long as you could remember. I only felt the blade cold and wet like ice water as it tore through my insides. Still, it wasn’t nearly as cold as “Dave’s” eyes as the corners of his mouth twisted up into the most sadistic smile I’ve ever seen while he stood over my fallen figure. The sickening sound of his moaning in pleasure from killing his prey will forever resonate in my mind.
That’s my story, no “once upon a time” or “happily ever after,” but it’s realistic enough. Something similar could happen to you, no matter how smart you think you are. So, don’t follow a stranger’s directions sloppily written on a napkin in a dive bar on a bad side of town. You’ll find yourself as every horror movie cliché you could possibly recall, even if you saw it coming the whole time.