Kiara Muniz is an aspiring writer born in New York. She is currently studying to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing at Full Sail University and currently resides in Florida.
The Man in the Blue House
Lauren had told her mother about the strange neighbor that lived in the blue house down the street, the one she thought was spying on her. Her mother’s only response was to schedule another appointment with her therapist, Angela. Lauren tried to explain to Angela how she would often see the man out of the corner of her eye and have a sinking feeling she was never quite alone.
“Lauren,” Angela said, softly. “Have you been taking your medication?”
Lauren pulled at the ends of her hair to calm herself down and said, “Yes, I have. I mean I forget every once and a while but I’ve gotten better with it. But that’s not what this is about. I promise this isn’t all in my head. I’m scared.”
“I know you are, sweetie. That’s why we’re going to raise your dosage to see if we can get this man to go away. But you need to take the medicine so it can get better.”
“Angela, you don’t understand. This time I think it’s real.”
“Just like how you thought the voices from your backyard stole your cat. When in reality Fluffy probably just ran away or got lost. It’s common for people with psychosis to see or hear things that aren’t there,” Angela replied, resting a hand of Lauren’s arm. “Just remember it’s not real.”
Despite what Angela said Lauren could still feel his gaze on her as she walked home, making her feel anxious. She made her way into an open store and hid behind a display hoping to see for sure if it was all in her mind or not. A few minutes passed and she had actually begun to believe it was all, in fact, a delusion when the man came into view. It was him, the man from the blue house and he was peeking into the store as if he was trying to find her. The man searched desperately for a while until some people started to stare at him suspiciously, he quickly regained his composure and walked away.
Lauren knew that no matter what she said her mother and Angela wouldn’t believe her, not unless she had proof. She wouldn’t let his man make her seem any crazier than she already was. The moment she got home she had begun to prepare to get her answers and her proof.
Lauren had figured the best way to go about breaking in was to wait until it got dark so she would be less noticeable, she had even worn all black just like they do in the movies, to help further conceal her. When it became dark enough she exited her house and made her way over to her neighbor’s house, searching for a possible way in. The windows were out of the question since they were too high up, leaving her only option as the door. She tried the backdoor and to her surprise, it was unlocked.
The house was dark except for the small glow of light that seemed to be coming from the kitchen. She made her way inside and found the man checking on something in the oven while humming an eerie song. He looked up from this work and smiled at her.
“I thought you might stop by tonight, Lauren. Take a seat,” he said, gesturing to the bar stool opposite the counter. “I take it you had no problem letting yourself in. So, what can I help you with?”
Lauren took the seat furthest from him and asked, “Have you been following me?”
“I’m fairly certain you know the answer to that already,” he replied
“What do you mean silly? I love you and we’re meant to be together. I know everything about you.”
“What do you mean?” Lauren asked, pulling at her hair.
“I know what you like and what you don’t. I even know about Fluffy and how the voices took him away, but I actually believe you,” he said, walking towards her and grabbing her hands. “They don’t know you like I do. Come let me show you.”
He led her into the dark living room and seated her on the couch, before turning on the lights. When the light filled the room Lauren was met with a wall full of pictures of her along with a number of things she had thought she lost. Old sweaters and t-shirts of hers were pinned to the wall along with what seemed like a few pairs of her underwear.
“You really should lock your windows at night. There’s a lot of creeps out there. You’re just lucky you have me watching over you and protecting you,” he said, tucking a piece of her hair behind her ear.
“Yeah, I’m going to get right on that,” she said, feeling rather calm despite the situation which was probably a side effect of her upped medication.
A dinging from the kitchen broke the man’s attention and he rushed to the kitchen muttering how he had made her favorite dessert. The second the man was gone Lauren pulled out her phone and snapped a few quick pictures of the shrine, finally having the proof she needed to convince her mother and Angela. She got up ready to make her escape when something white at the foot of the wall made her stop in her tracks. She fell to the floor as tears welled in her eyes and her hands went to hair in a subconscious attempt to calm herself and make sense of everything.
“I’m not crazy,” she said, sobbing.
There laying among all her stolen stuff was a taxidermied cat with a name tag that clearly said Fluffy. As she sat there on the floor in the blue house she realized she had been right about the man the same way she had been right about the voice.