** My submission to the Magic Powers Contest hosted by Kaleb finn. Won first place. **47Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡWidqlNnVJF
47Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡwXji9KsrH0
** 3D Audio Version. Please wear your best pair of stereo headphones to experience the full immersive effects. **
47Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡeFSFaLdpkS
I am submitting this entry to you so that you may know what happened. In the beginning, when I noticed it almost seven days ago, I saw it as a gift. A gift that could improve my life in ways I never imagined. I’m an introvert. People scare me. The idea of interacting with people face to face sends me spiraling. The only thing worse is when they’re aggressive. That’s why, when it happened the first time, joy overtook me. I could repel people. Not repel in the sense that my appearance or attitude were repelling. Rather, it was more like a secret power. A power that took effect any time I thought the words: ‘get away from me’. That was it. That was all it took. I would imagine those words, and my aggressor would simply decide that they had better things to do. As I said, it was a gift.
I discovered this while at work. I’m a security guard who mans a truck access gate. The job was my escape from the soul-sucking realm of customer service, but every now and again, I still have to deal with people. Most times, all they have to do is flash their badge, and I open the gate. No one gets out of their car, and I can stay safe in my guard shack. But that day, I had one of those experiences. No badge, but that didn’t deter them. They insisted I let them through. When I informed them of the fact that I couldn’t let them in without a badge, they started cursing at me. I tried to maintain a professional demeanor, but those words flashed through my mind, and then the person stopped. It was odd, like they had suddenly forgotten what it was they were doing. Amazed, I watched as they turned back to their car and drove off. I’m not a person who believes in magical powers… well… I wasn’t, but something about how that person’s eyes lost their gleam really triggered the unexplainable in me. I needed to test the theory.
To my awe, I was right. My problems would just walk away whenever I thought of those tiny, little words. Angry people, weird people, or just anyone that I didn’t feel like talking to. All of them would lose interest and leave me alone… at least at first. It was getting close to the end of my shift. Darkness seeped in, and the outside lights of the guard shack had kicked on. The gate entrance faced the side of a singular private road, a blanket of trees setting the background beyond it. I don’t know when or how he came. I just raised my head, and there he was, standing outside the sliding window, wide eyes aimed at me. To say he unnerved me would, in essence, be a lie. He made my skin crawl.
There was no vehicle of any kind. Somehow, he managed to walk his way here without my noticing. Without the cameras noticing. He wore a silver, custom-tailored suit, and in one of his white-gloved hands, he grasped a leather briefcase. I needed no further proof that he wasn’t an employee, but that wasn’t what cemented me in my chair. It was the blank stare and rows of teeth smiling at me. I tried to convince myself that it was just the lack of light. That his eyes weren’t really black. That I just missed every time he blinked.
He knocked on the window with a slow, continuous tap… tap… tap…
I wanted nothing of it. I shut my eyes and thought the words. Those magical words that had saved me all day.
The knocking stopped.
Relief rushed through me. It had worked. I waited several moments before gaining enough courage to open my eyes. He was still there. Empty eyes bore into me, and that smile… that smile had grown wide enough to rip his face. I refused to move. The man reached into his suit pocket and produced a folded piece of paper. With a gentle motion, he set it between the crack of the window and frame, and then he left. He walked to the entrance’s end where it met the road and then disappeared down it to the right.
I waited until I was certain he was gone, and then I slid the window open and grabbed the piece of paper. With trembling hands, I unfolded it. My legs gave out when I read the inked words sketched on its surface.
“That does not belong to you. I will be claiming it soon.”
He knew. How did he know, and why had it not worked on him? What did he mean by ‘claiming it’? I wished I could say that I discovered the answers during this past week. I haven’t, and the only theory I can contemplate leaves me with a sinking feeling.
It only got worse. At midnight that night, I awoke to the sound of that familiar, slow rhythm knocking on my bedroom door.
Tap… tap… tap…
I pulled my covers up to just below my eyes, unable to take my gaze off the door. It lasted all night until the sun rose. I hadn’t slept a wink, but right when I thought it was safe, a little piece of folded paper slid under my door.
It didn’t end. This would be the pattern every night after, always at midnight.
Tap… tap… tap…
Another folded piece of paper.
“Five” then “Four” then “Three” then “Two”.
Last night it said “One”. I lay in bed tonight, writing this. As of now, the clock reads one minute to midnight. I do not know what will happen when it strikes twelve. If you are reading this, and you have not seen or heard from me… then you know what happened.ns188.8.131.52da2