I furiously ripped the brown paper around what appeared to be a box shape. Within it, there was a red box tied with green ribbons. As I opened the lid, there they were--brown leather boots. They were shiny and looked new. The leathery smell was strong. When I slid my fingers over the soles, they appeared slightly worn. But there was no note of any sort. Who sent this gift?
I stroked its leather skin, and an odd sensation overwhelmed me. A red mist surrounded me, and the sound of a shrieking scream pounded in my head. I hadn’t slept properly for a few days through tedious studies I had to do for the engineering examination scheduled for next week. I attributed this strange occurrence to my severe stress and tiredness.
I put the boots in the closet. It was seven at night, and I proceeded to cook my supper. But the door of the closet creaked open. I shut the door, making sure it was closed tight. Several minutes later, the damn closet opened again. This time I put a chair across the door. It was a fine summer evening, and I’d left the living room window partially open. There was a slight breeze drifting into the room. I thought the wind caused the door to open.
After eating and watching a documentary, an urge came upon me to wear the boots. When I went to the closet, they were no longer there. I thought I was going mad. I thought. But there they were, staring at me, nestled by the side of the couch.
I crouched down and squeezed my toes through them. A perfect fit, exactly my size--a size ten.
When I stood up, a surge of energy went through my legs. I seized a knife from the kitchen, stuffing it in my rain coat as it started to drizzle. There was a creamy fog that enveloped me as I walked to the nearby park. I didn’t know why I walked there. I strained my eyes to see what was ahead. A female form was a hundred yards away. I quickened my pace so I could be close to her. Why I did this, I didn’t know. Then there was the sticky blood on my hands and that terrified scream..,
I lay in bed wet with sweat, tossing and turning, frightened at the flood of blood that flowed form her sliced neck and the scream that rose in pitch and then vanished.
Was I going mad? I looked at my hands, there was no blood there, perfectly clean but there was a knocking sound five feet from the edge of the bed. The boots whimpered—sounded like muffled bark of a dog! They then moved a few inches. This must be a nightmare.
Then the phone blared. It was four in the morning. “Did you get the gift I sent you, Rod?” Aunt Martha said.
“Yes, Aunt. But why didn’t you leave a note so I’d know it came from you?”
“I’m eighty and getting senile, Rod, sorry. Did you like Uncle John’s boots?
“Yes they are nice but strange.”
“I don’t know how to tell you this.”
“Tell me what, Aunt.”
“The police just called me and said your departed uncle is suspected of murdering several women about six months before the tragic accident when he fell into the creek.”
My heart stopped for a moment. What the hell?
I swear I saw the fragment of a smile on the toe caps of the damn boots!