My Friend Was Murdered. Her Diary Is Disturbing. – By MattsOutrageous
Monday, July 9th, 2018
Uh… Dear diary? I guess? I don’t really know how I’m supposed to start this thing. The therapist recommended I acquire some kind of journal to help catalogue my thoughts. It’s supposed to keep me grounded and in the present if I start to have another panic attack.
So, here we are. It’s Monday the 9th and I’m supposed to be at work right now. Except I’m not. I moved house today to a new-build condo in a quiet suburban street. I had something of a mental breakdown earlier on this year that left me hyperventilating on the wrong side of the guard rail on the Golden Gate bridge – it took two agonising hours of talking to a police officer to convince me not to embrace the void and to choose life instead. I was then immediately whisked away to a hospital to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. The next day, I went home and immediately listed my apartment for sale. There were too many memories left there that I didn’t want to keep and I needed a fresh start.
My new place is exactly what the doctor ordered . It’s a modern two-up two-down (I think that’s what it’s called) townhouse. It really has all the things a growing millennial needs: USB ports in every outlet, high-speed Wi-Fi, good cell reception… I’m in love with the place. There’s an open plan kitchen and living area towards the back with these amazing floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. These lead on to a cute little deck and a tiny patch of grass I’m told is called a ‘lawn’. I wouldn’t know, I’ve only ever lived in apartments. Towards the front there’s a spare room which, until I have more money, is going to remain unfurnished. It will probably just end up as a storage closet for the stuff I couldn’t leave behind me when I moved, but definitely don’t have a need for. Heading upstairs (which is honestly more of a mezzanine), there’s my bedroom and bathroom. The bedroom sits at the back of the house—above the deck—and the bathroom takes up the front. The whole place is wide open, spacious, and it lets the light in, it feels like my soul is taking a big breath of fresh air.
I have a neighbor, and I’d assume that their house is a mirror image of mine. I’ve not met them yet, but I hope that I bump into them soon. A little human contact couldn’t go far amiss in my new life.
I guess I should go and unpack some more of my stuff. It should help to ease my anxieties about my new place if everything is in some kind of order.
Do you say goodbye to a diary? I have absolutely no idea. There needs to be a guide about diary etiquette online somewhere…
So it’s like… 10.30pm ish. I’ve just got back to my room after a frantic search around the house for my breaker box. Can you believe it? 12 hours in the house and I get a power cut. I fell asleep with the landing light on and I guess the sudden absence of light woke me up. I jumped out of bed and initially thought I was blind. Suburbia is REALLY dark at night. My eyes eventually adjusted enough to penetrate the darkness. I fumbled my way down the stairs into the kitchen and grabbed the flashlight off of the fridge. It’s one of those cheap magnetic ones, I received it as a gift in a stocking one Christmas. I flicked it on and scanned the kitchen for the breaker box. It wasn’t in the kitchen or the living room. It was in the spare bedroom, behind 4 boxes of my junk. I moved the boxes and lifted the lid to the breaker switches, but nothing had tripped… I was just thinking about which number I’d need to dial to get some kind of idea of the situation when there was a dull thud followed by a sharp click. Confused and out of sorts in unfamiliar surroundings I held my breath for about 5 seconds and then I heard the hum of the fridge. The power was back on.
I emerged from the spare room into the partially illuminated kitchen and approached the fridge to reattach the flashlight. I thought I caught a glimpse of something in the corner of my eye just as I was about to turn and head for the stairs. It looked like there was a figure out on the deck. I rushed for the outdoor light switch. It was one of those really bright halogen security lights. They’re usually activated by proximity, but need to be reset in the event of a power cut. There was a burst of light onto the deck and the lawn behind it. There wasn’t a trace of anything. No figure, no footsteps, not even any poop from an animal. Whatever shadow I thought I had seen evaporated like mist.
I think I’m losing it again. Already.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2018
Hello, Diary. I apologise for my minor outburst last night. The internet tells me that what I experienced was a rolling blackout and I guess my mind was just playing tricks on me. Today is my first day back at work after a week off, so I’m stressed and honestly a little anxious about that. I work as a graphical artist for a bank. I produce their advertisements and customer-facing posters and emails. It’s really fun work, but there are tight deadlines and I’m constantly trying to please everyone. Hopefully my first day back isn’t quite so intense.
With a bit of luck, I won’t have to endure another power cut tonight.
Diary, there’s a footprint on my deck. Not a set or a trail of footprints, just one enormous, muddy boot print right outside the sliding doors. If I were to put my foot where the print sits and close the doors, my toe would be pressed right against them. Someone was STOOD at my door. I didn’t catch it last night because it was dark and the deck is stained a deep chestnut colour. I don’t know what to do. I’ve called the police, but they completely dismissed me. “I’m sorry ma’am, there’s nothing we can do without an intruder actually present.”
I called my friend, Matt, to stay over for the night. He said he’ll crash on the couch, which makes me feel a little more secure. I think if I can spend one night in the house without a disturbance, I’ll feel better. At the end of the day, it was one boot print. It might have been there before I even moved in for all I know. I’ll have forgotten all about it in the morning.
Wish me luck, diary. I’m turning in for the night.
Wednesday, July 11th, 2018
Good morning, diary! I slept like a log last night. No nightmares featuring big-footed, muddy intruders inexplicably appearing on my deck. I found Matt sat at my breakfast bar upon my arrival to the kitchen. He claims he didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary last night aside from some creaking in the house. With it being a new-build, I’m willing to put this down to the house ‘settling’ or me turning over in my sleep.
I’m feeling incredibly positive today. I’m falling in love with the new house, I’m starting to feel safe and I’ve just had breakfast and coffee before work for the first time in years. I’ll be late home from work tonight, I’ve been invited for drinks with some colleagues as a sort of ‘welcome back’ celebration. It’ll be nice to get out of my head for a while, even if it is aided by alcohol.
Thursday, July 12th, 2018
The back door was open this morning. I came downstairs to get a glass of water and some painkillers to alleviate the headache I had as a result of last night’s antics; a thoroughly deserved headache I might add. I felt the cool morning air raise goose pimples on my neck and make the hairs on my arm stand on end before I reached the bottom of the stairs and located the source of the chill as I rounded the corner. I don’t remember much of last night after getting home, but I’m fairly confident I didn’t touch the door. I’m not a smoker and I haven’t owned a pet for years, so there was no logical reason for me to have opened the back door last night at all, let alone leave it wide open.
I’m going to the hardware store immediately to pick up new, heavy-duty locks and I’ve got a locksmith arriving later on this afternoon to install them. I have an appointment scheduled with a security company later on this week to get an alarm system installed with a remote panic button. This situation is slowly deteriorating into something that I can’t explain away as month-old footprints and strange sleeping behaviours.
I’m going to go around to the neighbor and see if they’ve heard or experienced anything similar. I’d definitely feel better if I have a nearby friendly face that I can turn to for support. I can’t keep calling Matt every time I make a stupid mistake when I’ve had one too many daiquiris.
I don’t think anybody lives next door. I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell (which still worked, surprisingly) and received no answer. After some observation, the house was absolutely spotless externally and internally… I’m not sure that it was ever inhabited. Every window on the ground floor is covered with a pair of heavy blackout curtains except for one: the front room. Peering through the window, I could make out a solitary wooden chair in the middle of the room, facing the window. I saw no evidence of any other furniture, past or present. There were no indentations on the carpet, no empty boxes, no discoloration on the walls. It looked as if the house had remained untouched since it was built earlier this year. I don’t feel comfortable about this at all; something just doesn’t feel right. I’m going to ask some of the other people in the neighborhood about the house and see if they can shine some light on this for me.
In the meantime, I’m going to invest in a safety chain for my front door. I don’t feel safe anymore.
Friday, July 13th, 2018
Friday the 13th. One of only two unlucky days this year. I’d like to say that I don’t believe in superstition, especially as my therapist believes that it doesn’t have positive effects on my mental health. However, today has been extremely negative for me.
My declining attention at work has caused them to put me on a short stress leave. My supervisor believes that I may have returned to work a little too soon and so, I’ve been told to take this Saturday and the entirety of next week off to get my shit together. I think I’m just going to spend the entire time in bed. I don’t have the energy for anything else.
My locksmith hasn’t been able to get out to my house yet either. It’s apparently ‘break ins season’, whatever that means, and he’s been snowed under with lock changes. I’ve bought and attached a safety chain to my door. It’s funny, I don’t even know what I’m trying to keep out at this point. I just want to feel comfortable in my new home.
It happened again. There’s no way this is a coincidence. Two power cuts in five days in a new-build? I can’t rationally explain this away. I wasn’t even asleep this time. I was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and fantasizing about The Golden Gate Bridge when my thoughts were rudely interrupted by a sharp click and a dull thud from outside. I was plunged into almost complete darkness and started to panic. My heart started pounding like it was attempting to crack open my sternum and escape my chest. My breathing became shallow and rapid like oxygen was suddenly in short supply and I needed every molecule that was available to me.
I sat bolt upright, no longer in my stupor, but suddenly very alert. I listened hard for any sound that might seem out of the ordinary. I couldn’t hear anything over the sound of my own breathing and the constant pounding drumbeat in my chest. I swung my legs over the edge of the bed and gingerly dropped my feet onto the carpet.
I had recently relocated the flashlight to my bedside drawer and I hastily retrieved it. After a few seconds of fumbling around with shaky hands, I found the ‘on’ switch and the darkness gave way to an orange glow that now felt familiar and offered a tiny scrap of comfort for my jangled nerves.
There was a creak from downstairs.
I entered the landing and listened with bated breath. I wasn’t sure if I was preparing to run or to club an assailant with my tiny flashlight, but I was prepared for something.
No sounds. I crept down the stairs, one at a time listening for the faintest sound. After 5 minutes of silence, I was satisfied that my kitchen was free of intruders. I approached the back door and gave the latch a solid tug. It was locked tight.
I headed to the front door and ensured the safety chain was still secure. My Final stop was to check the spare room for the breakers. I’d left the boxes out of the way from last time. If I’m honest, I haven’t had the energy to rearrange or unpack them. Unsurprisingly, the switches were all up. In my complete panic, I had dialled 911. Feeling my cheeks flush a little with embarrassment, and regretting having been so hasty, I retired to the couch to await the arrival of the police and thought of what I would tell them to convince them I wasn’t either crazy or wasting their time.
The police arrived with a knock at the door. I approached cautiously and opened a tiny crack, through which I could check that they were actually police. When I was sure I carefully slid back the safety chain and eased the door open for them to come in and search the house for intruders. They seemed distracted with something else, and as if they had better things to be doing, which they probably did. Their search was basic, checking under beds, in wardrobes, with just a cursory glance into the bathroom. I was left with a copy of a police report and the instructions to dial 911 again if I felt unsafe.
Sleep came for me there on the couch around 2am and I awoke with a start just now at 5.35. I’m tired and I need coffee.
Fuck this house, diary.
Saturday, July 14th, 2018
It’s around 4pm now and I’m too tired to function. Still no word from the locksmith or the security company… I’m not sure this police report will protect me if push comes to shove.
I spent the past few hours on the phone making plans to get out of here. I have an Airbnb from tomorrow and 5 apartment viewings this week. I’ll have to rent this place out and write off my plans of my dream home.
I’m going to pack everything I need and get an early night. I’m leaving very early tomorrow as I have a pretty decent drive to make.
On the move again. I hope this isn’t going to be a reoccurring theme for me.
Sunday, July 15th, 2018
Hi there… Diary.
I did not move out this morning. I found myself unable to leave my bed and unavailable to answer the phone.
I made some mistakes this week, diary.
I think it was good that I bought a security chain for the door. It’s smart, cheap and simple. Double checking doors and windows is also a great plan when one fears an intruder.
The security system would have proven to be overpriced and ineffective, had it arrived before my departure. The new fancy deadbolt would have appeared to have been of little use also. These things only serve to keep intruders out.
My first mistake was checking in on the house next door. I forgot to lock my door… Or maybe it didn’t occur to me as necessary. I was only feet away, right? What could possibly happen?
My second mistake was falling asleep on the sofa yesterday morning. It was careless. I was exhausted from my ordeal and, after seeing off the police officers, I’d neglected to reset the chain on the door.
My final mistake was being so loud on my phone throughout the day on Saturday. Anybody could have heard my plans to leave… And so quickly too. It was almost like I was fleeing. That would have been smart.
You see… I was right in my Friday panic. There was a reason to be scared. He was hiding behind the shower curtain. The police didn’t see the muddy print on the floor, nor did they see the sprinkles of dirt on the bath mat. They didn’t even turn the light on.
When I left for coffee, my uninvited house guest crept under my bed and waited. When I retired to bed early, he waited for my breathing to become slow and deep. He then emerged, slowly and silently. He rose up beside the bed like a ghoul and produced a blade. A beautiful thing, obsessively cleaned and meticulously maintained. The blade was pressed against my throat for a brief second before it glided across and all my blood spilled out.
I gasped for breath. I tried to scream. Nothing came out. With my eyes wide and my hands clasping at my throat, trying in vain to staunch the crimson flow. I’d imagine my last thought was a wish that I’d spent a little extra cash and got that Airbnb one night earlier. My life faded and I collapsed, motionless, on top of my duvet.
The man then reached under my mattress, produced my diary and proceeded to fill in my final day. Wouldn’t it be such a shame if I’d ended the week on a Saturday?
N.B. If you are reading this, maybe check behind your shower curtain before locking yourself in for the night. 😉