In the time it takes me to blink I decide that yes, I am still dreaming. Because sitting on the nightstand next to me in place of the key is a large kitchen knife. It is balanced on the very corner of the nightstand, almost teetering and ready to crash to the floor. As I look at it, I realize something else: It isn't just any random kitchen knife, its from the knife block sitting on my kitchen counter.
This doesn't make any sense I think to myself, but what tonight has. No reason to stop suspending my disbelief at this point and so I pick up the knife and head out of my bedroom towards the kitchen.
I flick on the light in the kitchen and jump, startled. There is a heavy looking chest sitting on the table. It wasn't there when I came back home with the key earlier. It's bound in iron and the wood is very old and hard as stone. There is a key hole in the front of it and a note sitting on top labeled For The Other One. How am I not surprised. I unfold the note and inside there are only a few scrawled words.
Follow The Clues it says. What clues? I wonder. I move absently to the counter and the knife block, replacing the kitchen knife in it. Set on the counter in front of the knife block is my television remote.
Follow The Clues? I wonder. I take the remote and move into the living room, flicking on a lamp. I swear I hear a hollow giggle and out of the corner of my eye catch a hint of movement behind the recliner chair in the corner. I head that way but stop when I see the Welcome mat from outside my front door sitting on the coffee table in the center of the room. This is getting ridiculous. I toss the remote onto the couch and check halfheartedly behind the recliner to find nothing before taking the Welcome mat to the front door.
Sitting in front of my door out in the hallway is a half empty (or half full?) glass of milk. I frown. A sound emanates from the bathroom behind me in my aparment, like someone brushing their teeth for just a moment and then the bathroom door slams shut from down the hall. I am hardly surprised at this point but thoroughly unnerved. It is then that I remember I left the milk in the bathroom when I left earlier that night.
I head for the bathroom. The light is on and I can see shadows moving under the door. People are whispering on the other side, they sound like children.
"Who's there?" I call out, my voice loud but there is an audible waver in it. As the words leave my lips the sounds inside the bathroom cease and the shadows freeze for a moment before retreating away from the door, I imagine towards the bathtub. I reach for the bathroom door, my hand clammy, and turn the knob. As I fling the door wide the bathroom light bursts with a startling pop, plunging the room into darkness.
Can this night get any stranger?