Ghosts of New Year
Have you seen it?
“What?” I said looking around.
The Past. The Present. The Future.
“I’ve seen two of them,” I replied and jumped behind the fridge. There was nobody there.
Such a shame. Such a shame.
The voice ricocheted around the room as though the last lonely echo fleeing a subterranean tunnel.
“John, is that you?”
I had no idea why I said it because I’d only ever known one John and he’d died in a car crash aged seven. There was just something about the voice that made me panic, set my heart all a jitter; it unnerved me.
I wish I could show you the future as I see it in colours and sound and cascades of gold. I can’t, though. No, not yet.
“Look whoever you are!” I growled in as fearsome a tone as I could muster. “Who are you? Where the hell are you? And get the **** out of my house!” I let rip a tirade of unprintable expletives and kicked at the dog who scarpered away into the street through a door I was sure I’d left locked.
You… Here… No… The voice rasped against my ear in ice-cold breaths.
That instant my New Year’s Eve celebrations ended; I feared for my life. My tough guy act dropped to the floor like a two tonne crystal paperweight that shattered my everything into a billion tiny shards. I searched a room I’d spent ten years in as though never having found the door, located it, and then fled.
I shot through the kitchen into the living room and out the same door Sparky had scrammed through. I hurdled the dead rose bush, slipped and skidded over the gravel and out into the bleak city street just as the cathedral bells chimed twelve and a double-decker bus blew its horn. I’d never forget the driver’s look as a half-naked man with a glass of unspilt claret still clutched in his hand splattered against his windscreen.
This is your future, came the words of the dead, but only then did I realise I spoke them.