Belief

Cracks by ~Darkhippie21 via deviantART

Most of the time, we believe what we want to believe. We believe that we’ve been betrayed, loved, or ignored. We believe that we’ll get rich if we follow some superstition or experience a bout of bad luck if we break them. We will believe anything that will tickle our fancy, and we’ll hold it as truth no matter what happens. Sometimes, we even believe the most unlikely of things, and with the amount of energy that we’d put into it, we give rise to concrete manifestations of our belief, and ultimately, create self-fulfilling prophecies. Myri and Nikki are exactly like that; they have different personalities, but each hold on so stubbornly to what they believe that they were both proven right in the end.

Myri was a girl who was enamored by enchantments and superstition. Coming from a family that had roots in the countryside, her belief in the supernatural was so ingrained in her that she had trouble living in the city because of one superstition: never step on cracks for it brings bad luck. This superstition proved to be the easiest one to follow when she was in the country since there are not enough paved roads to walk on or even have cracks in them, so when she moved to the city for her college degree, she went nearly crazy trying to dodge the spider web of cracks littering the city streets.

Based on what her old aunt told her, cracks were considered an in-between place where a person can meet something supernatural or experience horrific things. In-between places are supposed to be avoided since they connect directly to the supernatural world. According to her aunt, that’s why most people hear footsteps on staircases when there’s really nobody climbing or descending them. It’s also the reason why children should sleep early for when the clock strikes twelve midnight, the entire world is plunged into in-between-ness where anything – goblins, ghosts, and even the Devil himself – can roam freely in. Simply put, in-between places are like cracks that make the supernatural world leak into the natural.

Because of this superstition about cracks, which she amazingly was able to follow even if she was already in the city, she actually reaped luck by finding a new friend — Nikki. While she was looking for her dorm room, Myri tried to avoid stepping on a crack on the marble flooring that she fell over a girl wearing a tank top. Myri’s things flew all over, including the form that stated her dorm room number. The girl she collided with helped pick up the papers, and smiled. “Hey, roomie! My name is Nikki,” the girl said. While the incident could be seen as unfortunate, Myri soon grew to like Nikki’s spunk that she thought that it was lucky of her to fall over her new found best friend.

Unlike Myri, Nikki was more fascinated with the physical world. She would only believe what she sees, hears, touches, tastes, and smells. When people compliment her for her amazing speed in running, she would usually shrug it off since she wants to touch a gold medal first before believing it. “I’d believe it when I see it” is what she always says to Myri when the two girls get together after class.

All her life, Myri lived in fear of superstitions, so having Nikki by her side was a great comfort; she needed to hear assuring words like “there’s no such thing as fairies to trick you into their world. If there are, why haven’t I seen one when I went on a camping trip in the forest?” However, Nikki’s favorite seems to be one about cracks: “Don’t be afraid of cracks. The only crack that you should be afraid off is if I crack your head open if you don’t stop that foolishness.” Every time she says things like those, Myri always heaved a sigh of relief and even a giggle or two.

One day, a holiday that meant no classes, Nikki asked Myri to come train with her. The plan was to jog around a newly established village. This village was an empty one. The houses are still spread far apart, just barely dotting the mildly sloping hills where they are built on, and the only thing that seemed to fill the emptiness are tall grasses and reeds that seem to have blanketed the wide real estate development. It was still empty enough that there weren’t cars to dodge even if they ran in the middle of the streets. While not athletic per se, Myri obliged since Nikki has teased her about her growing waistline the previous night, so before the crack of dawn, they started their jog.

Sweaty but energized, Nikki ran ahead of Myri. Her track training gave her the stamina that her friend didn’t seem to have. She was nearly at the top of a hill as dawn was breaking, when she heard Myri shout, “Ahhh!” That was her usual reaction when she broke a superstition, but this time, Nikki experienced a chill down her spine. The scream sounded surprised and desperate, laced with terror like when someone gets nightmares.

Nikki turned around instantly, but when she turned, Myri was nowhere to be found. She tried to look around and even in the bushes just to check if Myri was just playing a prank. After 15 minutes, she grew worried. She tried calling Myri’s cell phone, but it didn’t ring. She kept on dialing while looking at the ground, tracing circles on the pavement that had cracks. Then, to her surprise, she saw the aglet of Myri’s shoelace lodged in one of the larger cracks. Bewildered and almost panicking, she called for the police before calling Myri’s parents.

A few weeks have gone by and no news came about her missing friend. The police thought that she’s been abducted, but Nikki was sure that she would have known if her friend was forcibly taken; Myri was 5’10” and with her bulking up from 120 lbs to 140 lbs, she was not easy to carry, let alone be taken away struggling and wriggling. Myri’s parents who already went back to the country texted Nikki every now and then, checking if Nikki got any news while telling her that they miss Myri terribly.There was more speculation but no real progress in finding Myri.

It was almost hell for Nikki since she felt responsible for the disappearance of her friend. She blamed herself because if she had not teased Myri nor asked her to come jogging with her, she might still be spewing out superstitions left and right. Even if it irritated Nikki, it was much better sleeping alone in their dorm room.

The melancholy created a lot of sleepless nights for Nikki. Every night, she would look at their dorm room door, just waiting for a knock that could herald Myri’s return. One night, the night before her final exams,  instead of staring at the door, Nikki  sat at her study table as she fixed her eyes on the large pendulum clock that Myri’s mother sent before their midterms. “11:55,” Nikki read out loud. “Tick, tock, tick, tock,” seemed to have been the clock’s response to Nikki. She continued to stare until the clock chimed 12 midnight. She was nearly hypnotized by the bonging sound that the clock made when she heard something peculiar.

Bong!

Cccrrrggg… cccrrrggg… cccrrrggg…

Bong!

Cccrrrggg… cccrrrggg… cccrrrggg…

Bong!

Cccrrrggg… cccrrrggg… cccrrrggg…

Bong!

There was a rasping, scratching sound on the wall that had a wall to ceiling crack right beside the table. Nikki stood up and tried to listen carefully at the sound. She looked at the crack closely now, only a few millimeters lie between the crack and her eyelashes. Then, an even louder sound came out, “BRRRGGG!”

Bong!

A hand wearing Myri’s charm bracelet came out of the wall, trying to claw its entire body out of the wall.

Bong!

Another BRRRGGG came from the wall, and Myri’s head and left shoulder emerged from the widening crack.

BONG!

The sound of the chiming clock seemed to have awoken Nikki from disbelief. That’s my friend trying to get back into our room. I know that it’s crazy, but hell! I will help her get back! She thought to herself as she reached out her arm and grabbed Myri’s outstretched one.

Bong!

Nikki pulled.

Bong!

At that point, with both of Myri’s hands free, Nikki managed to pull her friend halfway out of the wall.

Bong!

Only Myri’s calves needed to be pulled out.

Bong!

As Nikki was thinking that the worst is over, Myri suddenly slipped back into the crack as two red arms with black claws came out pulling the rest of her body in.

Bong!

With the final chime of the clock, Nikki was alone in the room again, staring wide-eyed at the crack that seemed to shrink to an almost invisible hairline. She couldn’t say she cannot believe what just happened. She knew it was true because she saw, heard, and even touched Myri. She knew she exerted effort because she can smell and taste the sweat on her lips. Nevertheless, even if she believed, her friend was gone.

After that incident, she believed that Myri was right. Believing that stepping on cracks would be bad for her friend. She also believed that she was right; she’ll only believe things when she encountered them. Sadly, both of them were so stubborn that one was vindicated in a vicious and horrific way when the superstition came true, and the other one was also vindicated; she only believed her friend after experiencing that harrowing tug-o-war. Reading this story makes might make us wonder: should we believe in something so fervently, knowing that if it does happen, we will not like it, or should we wait until we are proven wrong when we know that the only thing that will change our mind can only come in a horrifying form?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s