The Open Door
refusing to relinquish, longing to
destroy.
    Despite her pain, Ella’s mother never stopped
giving, caring, and loving. She gave even during her final moments,
in which Ella sat by her side, holding her hand, not wanting to let
go. Ever. Ella would often remember that day. In a soft comforting
voice, her mother said to her, “My beautiful daughter, Ella. I pray
. . . one day you will have a child of your own; so you can know
the love I have for you. The love that only a mother can have for
her child. You are my most precious gift, my dear Ella, and I will
never stop loving you.” Tears filled with life, love, happiness,
and sadness, gently glided down her mother’s face, as she took her
final breath. Her eyes closed one last time, her soft delicate hand
slowly relaxed in Ella’s. Unable to leave her mother’s side, Ella
rested her head on her mother’s chest, and cried herself to
sleep.
    An angel died that day, Ella thought
to herself. “God, I miss her.” Still lying on the sofa, Ella cried
herself to sleep—just as she did the day she said her final
goodbye—remembering how it felt to hold her mother’s hand.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR
     
    After shaking off the chilling events of the
morning, Cody called for a window replacement while he gathered his
thoughts.  Once composed, he called Scott, explaining what had
transpired.  Before Cody could finish explaining, Scott had
hung-up and drove directly to Cody's, pushing his '68 Plymouth to
its limits in order to make good time.
      A few minutes later, screeching tires
and the abrupt closing of a heavy car door alerted Cody.  
    Scott walked with purpose up to the front
entrance, staring intently at the bloody characters that had been
written with an ossified finger.  "This better not be a
joke, Cody."  
      "Seriously?  Look at me!
 Look at the screen door!"  
      "Alright, I'm sorry.  I just—I
can't believe you are experiencing the same things."  
      "Tell me about it," Cody said, as he
pointed to his door.  "I had the strangest dream.  Nice
at first, actually, but then—well—it got weird."
      "What?  What was weird about
it?"
      "The sky turned black, chaotic—it was
creepy as Hell.  
    Flowers wilted, everything turned shades of
grey.  Then out of nowhere, a man stood in the distance,
wearing a long coat and hat."
      "A hat?  What kind of hat?
 What did he look like?"  Scott asked anxiously.
 
      "I couldn't see his face, that's the
problem.  His hat—I believe it was—um—well—it looked like a
top hat. Maybe.  Like something out of the 1800's or
something."
      "Did he say anything?  Do
anything?"
      "No.  That's when I woke up to
the door slamming."
      Scott believed but didn't want to.
 The fact that Cody had seen the same man who haunted him, and
also experienced written messages, which now were threatening,
changed the dynamics. A new plan was needed. The more Scott
investigated, it seemed, the more bizarre and frequent the events.
 Scott started to believe that he was endangering his friend
by dragging him into his peculiar mess.  "I don't want you to
help anymore, Cody.  Somehow, by assisting me, this thing has
found you . . . it seeks you. It has threatened you for crying out
loud!"
      "My choice, Scott.  You didn't
make me—you may have manipulated a bit, but you didn't force
me."
      "It may be time to back off—both of
us.  This is something that can affect the physical world we
live in, and now, according to you, our dream world.  This
means it can dig around our heads, physically harm us—it knows
where we live, when and if we're home—do you see what this means?
It's no longer about seeking something to satisfy my curiosity:
it's now a matter of saving our own lives—trying to survive
whatever this thing has intended for us."
      "Yeah . . . I thought about that.
 It seems our only hope is to delve into the spiritual realm.
 I can't believe I'm admitting this but, how else can we
fight—defeat this

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