MUD PRINTS

by Jake

You wake up, your window blinds project the sunlight into your room. The rays of sunlight dance around your room like stripes as clouds cover the sun. You peel your sheets and blankets off and swing your feet around to the right side of your bed, facing an open door. You remember that you usually close your door before going to sleep, and distinctively remember shutting it the night prior. You take your phone off the charger and see the time, it is 10:13. You feel a cool breeze and hear the sounds of cars passing by and birds migrating south for the winter, you turn back around. You see your window wide open, you think… why would it be open? You turn back around facing the open door. You stand up and feel the chill of the cold morning floor on the bottoms of your feet. You walk to your dresser to put on socks, you open the top right drawer. It is empty, your socks must be in another drawer. You open drawer by drawer, all of them are empty. Where are all of your clothes? You turn around facing your window and walk towards your closet. You switch on your closet lights, but they aren’t working. You say to yourself, “The wind must’ve knocked out the power… again… shit..” You notice that your closet is full of papers. Literally, stacks on top of stacks of papers. You reach for a pile and start looking through. You notice that all of the pieces of paper say your address in big bold font followed by your name. You look around, in the back of your closet you see a jar. You walk in between the stacks of paper and pick up the jar, well you try to. The jar is covered in some sort of lubricant, it slips out of your hands and crashes onto the floor. The pieces shatter all over your floor, inside the jar is a variety of fishhooks. You are startled by the noise, your run out of your closet and shut the door. You feel your heart pounding out of your chest. You don’t know what to do. You start thinking, why fishhooks? Who did this? Did I do this? What happened last night? You are still looking around your room… the open window..your door is wide open.. And your eyes stop on your lightly colored wooden floor. You see dirt..? Mud? You get closer and your eyes focus on the markings. There are muddy footprints on the floor, probably from winter boots. You follow them from your window and out your door. You stop in your doorway. Your hallway is dark, cold, and no one is home. You check your little brothers room, the beds are made, but they are gone. Your parents room, the same. You follow the prints further into your house. They end at your basement door. The door knob is loosely hanging from your door, it looks to have been damaged. You take your phone out of your pocket. You unlock your phone and call your parents. You hear their phone ring back in their room. You turn on your flashlight. You pull at the damaged doorknob and the basement door flies open and hits the wall behind it. All of the basement lights are on, the mud prints continue down the steps and into the basement. You notice that all of the lights in your house are not working, except for your basement. You walk down the steps slowly. You feel each step underneath your feet, the wood of the steps cracking discreetly beneath your toes. You continue down the steps.. You begin to hear what sounds like a TV playing, you come to the bottom of the steps to see the news is on. The headline on the TV is as follows, “100,000 HOMES IN BALTIMORE AREA LOSE POWER.” The headline puts you at peace with your electricity issue, but then again, you remember that your basement lights are working… You turn around. The lights go off. You drop your phone. The basement door shuts. You feel a blatant jab into your back. Your heart stops pounding. It stops beating. You take your last breath. You stare into the light illuminating from the ceiling. Your entire life rewinds in your head. You see your past, you see a recollection of your best and worst times. You wake up. Your eyes are fluttering, you hear a loud constant beeping over your head. You look out the window and see a sign that says “BALTIMORE MEDICAL CENTER”. You see ambulances pulling in an out of the parking lot. You are stretched out on a bed. You are wrapped under white blankets and a baby blue hospital gown, tied around your back. Your eyes focus on the room. You see people in white coats rushing to your side. A family rushes into your hospital room. Not the family you remember, not your family. They run over to your side. You see a mother, father, and a young boy wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey. They are all hysterically crying and each tear drips down and glides off your white sheets. You sit up, you have a sharp pain in your back. The mother looks at you and struggles to say, “Lucas, you have been in a coma for 7 years, we thought you would never come back to us..” You put a confused look on your face. Your name isn’t Lucas, it’s Jaden. That isn’t your mom. Your mom has blonde hair, cut down to her shoulders and half-framed glasses. You think, maybe that was all fake, all a dream. Maybe this is your real family. You smile. You sit up further. You hug who you think is your brother. You stand up. You see a desk with a jar on it, surrounded by stacks of paper. Your heart starts pounding. You reach for a pile of paper, you look through the pile. All of the papers have your name printed on them, with your address. You pick up the jar, it slides out of your hands and crashes onto the floor. The pieces of glass scatter everywhere, your eyes focus on the broken jar. You see fishhooks, everywhere, all over the floor. You look up at the clock. It is still 10:13. The lights go off again. You are alone in the dark. Everything is gone.

(reposted from original blog)

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