Phase 1

Letting go has got to be one of the hardest things to do.  This isn’t your stereotypical story of me trying to let go of a past lover, a relative, or a friend.  Something can’t let go of me, and it’s not a past lover, a relative, or a friend.  In fact, I can’t say I’ve ever met him.  Or her?  Him, for arguments sake.  Not yet, at least.

He has got his long, bony fingers wrapped around my fragile arms to hold me back just long enough, so he can whisper his commands into my ear.  His long, straw-like hair slithers over my shoulder, running chills between the cracks in my spine.  Despite his clammy touch and his whispered words, I would come to imagine that his face would be emaciated as well, with his eyes sunken in beneath his wet cardboard forehead.  I believe that I think of this topic too much, what he looks like.  I should focus on why he’s doing this to me, of all people.  But it’s become so frequent, I’ve become numb.  Numb to everyone but him.  What is this freakish, disastrous bond between us.  What is it.

Fourth of October.  A perfect cold day for him.  He seems to like the cold days.  Fourth of October, 4 o’clock in the morning.  This was when he summoned me.  Summoned?  Should I call it that?  I sit up in my bed, and out of dizziness from the quick rise, I slide my back to the headboard and rub my weary, dry eyes.

I feel a quick pinch to my spine and I straighten.  I know he’s coming, oh I know he is.  I began to feel his invisible fingertips caress my arms.

“It’s freezing…” I said, young and child-like, “I’d like to go back to bed…”  My eyes became glossy as I felt him pull at the strings in my soul.  I felt his cold breath grab my ear, I couldn’t move.  I uncomfortably sat up in bed, my hands straining at my sides, palm on the sheets.

“Don’t go back to sleeeeep.” He whispered.  “There’s so much I want to knooow…”

“You’ve known me for…” I yawned, “three months.  Isn’t this when you’re supposed to move on and fuck someone else’s life?”  I could move again as I felt my shoulders fall and my legs shiver.

“But Roslyn…”  He spoke again, seeming farther away, “I want to learn more…”  I sighed and flipped on the light on my light stand, still knowing that I wouldn’t be able to see him, but it made me feel better.

“You know everything about me.” I exclaimed.  “But who are you?”  It was one of the first, serious questions I’ve ever asked him.  I was worried, so I tensed up.  Frightened by a sudden cold breath on my face, I leaned back a bit more.

“I can sense you’re afraid of me, Roslyn.” He said, “but don’t be.  I’m just like you.”  I wanted to yell “freak”, but I knew that’d just result in me getting…

“I mean what are you?” I asked, “no name?  No body?  How are you even doing this to me?”  I braced myself, for if he was to inflict any pain on me, I’d be ready.  I did ask some loaded questions.

“Name?” It spoke with no cold breath on me this time.

“Yeah.” I said, “A name.  Like Joe, Bob, Ricky-.” I stopped.  “Oh.” I said, “you’re a man right?”  There was no answer, so I continued.  “A name, like Cameron, Gordon, Denzel-.”

“Denzel.” His fingers wrapped around my neck.  “Denzel.”

I knew he wasn’t going to do anything, so I didn’t flinch when his cold fingers brushed away the hair from my shoulders, then slid around my neck.  I cleared my throat then said, “Denzel?  Really?”

“No.” He said, “but I like it…”

“Denzel?” I said, “that’s an odd name for something like you.”

 “Something?” Denzel spoke, “I’m just like you…”

“You keep telling yourself that…”

I’ve learned to not let this thing get to me.  I figured out two months ago that I’d just play along, and he’d eventually leave.  I feel like I have my own personal body guard.  But sometimes I wonder why my bodyguard hurts me.  Why does his gentle, yet eerie, words make me calm, but his touch make me cry?

I turned to my night stand, flipped off the lamp, and fell back to sleep.


A nice San Francisco morning.  The sun snuck its way between the cracks in the blinds and slithered onto my bare legs.  What?

I sat up in bed and look at my legs; they were turning blue!  I then let out a big sigh and could see my breath in front of my face, then it disappeared.  How did it get so cold?!  I took my blanket and wrapped it around my shoulders, stepping onto my chilly floor.  I then walked to the door and opened it.  Before I left the cold room, I turned and whispered, “Denzel?”  For a moment, I stood in the doorway.  I never did get a reply.

The kitchen was as warm as usual, just my bedroom seemed to be arctic.  I checked the thermostat on the wall and saw that it displayed a normal 72 degrees F.  I threw the blanket onto the couch next to the wall, for it was warm in the kitchen, and I walked to the counter to get something to eat.  My legs started regaining their color as I searched the cabinets for cereal.  I picked up the nearest Rice Crispy box and gave it a shake.  Half full, good!

After pouring myself some, I sat at the counter, leaned over my cereal, and began to eat my breakfast.  I was about half way done when the bowl fell onto my lap.  Rice Crispies and milk were slowly sliding down my tee shirt onto my shorts.  When the cold bowl hit my legs, I jumped back, knowing over the stool.  The cereal was all over the floor, me, the counter, and the stool.  After the glass bowl hit the ground with a smack, I cursed and walked to the oven.  From the oven handle, I pulled off the washcloth and began to pat the mess on my shirt.  Once I had most the milk off my shirt and it was just damp spots, I began working on cleaning the counter.  Just a few spills had landed on the counter, the most was on the floor.  I fell to my knees, leaned forward, like bowing in front of a king, and began to wipe up the floor.

I then gave out a sudden yell when I felt very cold fingers wrap around my forearm.  I stood up quickly then turned.  I grasped at the side of my shoulder where the fingers were.

I felt him.  I felt his trembling fingers…  His cold, skinny, frigid, death fingers.  I finally felt him.  He felt like ice.  Then within a moment, they were gone.  My hand felt as if they fell through his fingers then landed on my shoulder.

My eyes became wide then I said, “What do you want,” in a very stern, agitated voice.  I felt something warm seep over my fingers grasping my shoulder, and when I removed them, the liquid dripped from them onto my bare leg.  It was blood.  “What the hell?”  I turned my head and lifted my arm to see my shoulder.  Three lines, like claws, had been dragged across my shoulder, and they burned.  “What the hell, Denzel?”

“Don’t touch me…” He spoke eerily.

“That was no reason to scratch me, what the hell?” I brought my hand back up to my shoulder, only to lower it again, for it burned even more when I touched it.  It felt as if I had gotten branded and the burning would never stop.

I then felt Denzel’s two hands touch my forehead.  Out of reflex, I brought my hands up in front of my face- stopped- then lowered them.  I then asked, “what are you doing?”  My vision went black and then I saw a face of a young girl.  It’s me, sitting in darkness.  She brings her hand forward, then three, long, bloody slashes appear on her face.  I see her clothing get ripped to shreds until she is naked; her skin next.

“S-.” I stuttered, “Stop!”  I took my hands and swatted them in front of my forehead.  This vision stopped and I didn’t feel Denzel’s hands on my forehead anymore.  I didn’t have cuts on my forehead, so he must have moved his hands away from me just in time.  Everything was quiet.  Where is Denzel.  I could only rely on my hearing and my touch whenever his presence was near.  I could not see him, I could not smell him, and I could not taste him.  Yet, I can feel the room become colder, I can feel his breath on my face, I can feel his fingers wrap themselves around my body…  I can hear his soft voice…

I walked to the bathroom and began to aid to my shoulder, which was burning less now.  The wound was long, but luckily not much deeper than half a centimeter.  I took a roll of bandages and began to wrap it around my shoulder.  I then cut it off and finished the wrapping.  Before I left the bathroom, I glanced behind me at the trash bin, a third full with old, brown, bloody bandages.  I shut the door behind me.

Phase 2