Done Apart

By William Schumpert

Horror, Paranormal, Thriller, New adult fiction


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3 mins


Her surroundings were vast and empty- almost too dark, despite it being the middle of the day. “Strange” she thought to herself. Checking her watch it was indeed the middle of the day. But it felt so… cold. Jessica almost wrapped her arms to keep warm, but the chill was daunting nevertheless. Everyone else around her seemed to be just fine- all wearing loose attire and not having to wrap themselves for warmth. The only probability was sickness but she knew her health was in good condition. The questions continued to run in her mind. The uncertainty grew stronger as she found no means of reasoning in the lapse of her inner thoughts. It seemed that there was only one solution- she had to get out. For whatever reason her means of sanctuary was now a hostile environment. And the more she sat there the colder the air felt- she had to get out. And she had to leave as soon as possible. Even with the cold clinch of the dark air nearly paralyzing her she mustered all the strength she could to move away from the study desk. Nearly breathless it seemed that everything would have changed, that at least the atmosphere would have warmed up- surprisingly enough it seemed to become rather bitter- not necessarily colder but rather… empty. Damp and empty. Slowly she made her way out, only to find that the doorway was farther away than she remembered. The path was clear but the way was intricate. It was warm outside but it seemed bitter cold. It was bright as day but felt black as sin. It was indeed a mad surrounding as Jessica moved as fast as she could with as much strength as possible. Even with what momentum there was it didn't seem enough, and soon enough she felt that she was dragging her feet. Quickly her hand felt her forehead but it didn't feel hot. She didn't feel all the way sick, yet her exhaustion seemed to get the best of her. The door was so close as she stepped carefully but not too slow, not wanting to alarm others around her or make an unnecessary scene. And yet being under such tremendous pressure and even with all the struggle the questions kept running in her mind- it was back and forth with no end as they kept ringing-

Will it be all right?

Will I ever see him again?

Will I?

“What kind of a stupid question is that?”

“It's a yes or no question.”

“Yeah why?”

“Just wanted to know that's all…”

Shaking it off the best she could Jessica reached for the door. It was so close yet it seemed to be so far away- thankfully it wasn't as far as she presumed and took a deep breath as the knob slowly turned. For a moment she thought she heard a mummer, as if someone were nearby. But another glance proved there was no one there. But what of the clamoring from the hall? She swore she heard it… And the echoes… Where were they coming from? Where? Why?

“I told you for the last Goddamn time that I don't know!”

Opening the door felt like a breath of fresh air as its sweet aroma helped to ease her weary self. The sun was out and so bright- it seems she freed herself from a bitter cold confinement, being fully refreshed by her salvation. Feeling more energetic she made her way back to the car and drove home. On her way there a thought suddenly occurred- “I have to get some groceries “. She couldn't ignore something as important as the groceries. Besides getting out seemed to be for the better, especially in a more public area. So with that conclusion she made a quick turn and headed to the nearest store- don't want to be late after all.

“Why are you so late?”

“I told you Greg I had to get some extra groceries.”

“Are you all right?”

“Sorry- just had a bad day at work…”

Jessica began to recall those good memories once again- perhaps it was the bright sunshine or the gentle breeze. But for whatever the reason her confidence was returning, and at a fast pace. Yet even with the good memories she was reminded of her own actions during their relationship, and she realized that she needed to be not only stronger but wiser as well. Thankfully the drive was short and somewhat sweet, with a close parking spot to boot. Jessica already knew the groceries she needed- it was only a matter of time. After making her way inside she grabbed a nearby cart and made her way to the vegetable aisle-

“All veggies? We don't have time for some meat?”

There was a cool breeze surrounding her but that was expected in the frozen section, and it was a relaxing feel… For that moment it looked like there was a shadow. Only for that moment as it just seemed to vanish with no explanation. “Maybe I should have gone home to rest” she thought to herself as she decided to pick up the pace. Just a little more- next was the milk and butter. Not a problem since it was only one aisle away. Yet even as the flow of the day was picking up much better than expected there was an uneasy sensation growing inside of Jessica, a mixed emotion she couldn't put her finger on… There it was again! That shadow lurking around the corner- it wasn't as prolonged as a regular shadow but something uncanny about its approach. As if it were…

Following her. Little by little it seemed that Jessica was starting to become more doubtful as she began to move quicker, looking to make sure no one was following her. It looked as if no one was there but she never let her guard down. With what groceries she had Jessica made her way to the checkout with no hesitation. It was time to- She screamed in terror! Her groceries fell to the ground. And they fell.

“Thank you for letting me over” she told her friend Erica. “I honestly didn't know what else to do or where to go.” “Don't worry about it” she replied. “You know you're always welcome here- always.” Erica felt it was the only way she could comfort Jessica, wishing that there was more she could do.



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