Written 11/02/2018


The Gate

You walk through the cemetery on your way back from visiting a family member's grave. The walk is rather lengthy, as the graveyard is large and the plot you were visiting is near the center. You come across a small wooden gate as you're making your way between the various headstones. It has no fencing coming off of it, and it doesn't seem to be blocking anything. It stands silently in the middle of an otherwise blank patch of grass.

The scene looks almost peaceful, with the hazel posts complementing the pretty blue and white morning glories winding around the wood, except for the fact that it's in the middle of a cemetery. You decide to walk through it. You unlatch the hook holding it shut and step through. A breeze rustles your hair, and you shiver slightly. Hurrying the rest of the way out of the cemetery, you neglect to shut and latch the little wooden gate. The wind gets stronger.

That night, you lay in bed, trying to sleep. You can't sleep. Instead, you listen to the persistent ticking of the alarm clock on your nightstand. tick, tick, tick, tick. As you listen longer, it gets louder in your ears, and a sinister feeling settles over your shoulders—the feeling of being watched. Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick. Unsettled, you roll from your stomach onto your back, and stare wide-eyed at the ceiling, eyes flicking nervously from side to side. TICK, TICK, TICK, TICK. creak…

You snap your head toward the door. It is cracked open, and you are positive you had shut it before you went to bed, three hours before. You know you should have closed that innocent-looking gate. The wind picks up suddenly, and you can hear it howling through the trees outside, battering the window frame and making it rattle. TICK, TICK, TICK, TICK. The door opens some more. creak…

Deciding to face your unreasonable fear, you get out of bed and investigate. Whipping open the door, you peer into the hallway. Nothing. You shake your head and close the bedroom do0r tightly, making sure you hear the tell-tale click. You slide back under the covers, trying to fall asleep, but you still can't. The strange feeling is still there, making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in tense anticipation. And suddenly you feel the bedframe tremble. You know that that gate should have been shut. tick, tick, tick, tick…