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John is not a particularly interesting man.

If asked to describe himself, John might say that he is an even-tempered man with a logical head on his shoulders. He might say that, but nobody asked, so he won't. One might think "A John who's uninteresting, why I'd say his name is probably John Smith!" It is not.

On Tuesdays, John Smythe dresses in his black slacks and his grey button-up shirt, he ties his Tuesday tie in a Windsor knot, he pulls up his mid-calf black dress socks and he ties his shoelaces in a neat little bow, his regular attire he dons when going to his generic office job in his generic office building. John brushes his teeth, admittedly, before getting dressed.

Although after getting dressed, John might eat an apple with his cream cheese-smeared bagel, or perhaps he'll have a banana. One never can quite tell with John.

John drives to work, he listens to talk radio during his trip. He listens to the local conspiracy loon call in to talk about the recent slaughterings all over the city, how similar they were, and how dissimilar they were to anything a human has ever done. He says good morning to Julie at the front desk upon his arrival, good morning to Oscar the janitor, good morning to Susan, Mary, Jeffery, Angelo, Richard, Charlie, Sharon, Rachel, Monique, Joshua. John arrives at his cubicle right on time, John works, John eats lunch, John says goodbye to Joshua in the cubicle directly next to his. He says goodbye to Monique as she locks to door to the Human Resources wing. He says goodbye to Rachel, Sharon, Charlie, Richard, Angelo, Jeffery, Mary, Susan, Oscar, Julie. John drives home, he listens to smooth jazz during his trip. John makes dinner for himself, debating wether or not to have a beer. Aw, what the hell. John worked hard today, he'll treat himself to a beer. John dresses down to his casual wear before eating, a white t-shirt and a pair of care-worn faded blue jeans. John sits on his couch watching tv, eating. The couch sits beneath John, sitting. Both are sitting in a mostly empty room, a mostly dark room, save for the blueish wash of the tv glow, occasionally flickering with varied hues and levels of brightness. John cleans up from his meal and goes to bed.

On Thursdays, John Smythe dresses in his black slacks and his grey button-up shirt, he ties his Thursday tie in a Windsor knot, he pulls up his mid-calf black dress socks and he ties his shoelaces in a neat little bow, his regular attire he dons when going to his generic office job in his generic office building. John brushes his teeth, admittedly, before getting dressed.

Although after getting dressed, John might eat an apple with his cream cheese-smeared bagel, or perhaps he'll have a banana. One never can quite tell with John.

John drives to work, he listens to talk radio during his trip. He listens to the local conspiracy loon call in to talk about the recent slaughterings all over the city, how similar they were, and how dissimilar they were to anything a human has ever done. He says good morning to Julie at the front desk upon his arrival, good morning to Oscar the janitor, good morning to Susan, Mary, Jeffery, Angelo, Richard, Charlie, Sharon, Rachel, Monique, Joshua. John arrives at his cubicle right on time, John works, John eats lunch, John says goodbye to Joshua in the cubicle directly next to his. He says goodbye to Monique as she locks to door to the Human Resources wing. He says goodbye to Rachel, Sharon, Charlie, Richard, Angelo, Jeffery, Mary, Susan, Oscar, Julie. John drives home, he listens to smooth jazz during his trip. John makes dinner for himself, debating wether or not to have a beer. Aw, what the hell. John worked hard today, he'll treat himself to a beer. John dresses down to his casual wear before eating, a white t-shirt and a pair of care-worn faded blue jeans. John sits on his couch watching tv, eating. The couch sits beneath John, sitting. Both are sitting in a mostly empty room, a mostly dark room, save for the blueish wash of the tv glow, occasionally flickering with varied hues and levels of brightness. John cleans up from his meal and goes to bed.

John is not a particularly interesting man.

Saturdays and Sundays are when John really cuts loose. Maybe, if he's got no chores to do, he'll read a book. Or maybe, if the weather is just right, he'll go for a walk in the wooded area behind his one-story house. This type of Saturday happened to be the latter.

If John were to walk directly out of his back door and into the woods, in about 9 minutes of reasonably paced walking (as he was wont to do), John would come across a wide dirt trail running perpendicular to the path he took to get there. John walked directly out of his back door, into the woods and out to the trail that ran perpendicular to the path he took to get there. If he was asked, he might say it only took him about 9 minutes of reasonably paced walking to reach the trail. But he wasn't asked, so there was no need to explain. John always stepped out from the overgrown weeds and onto the trail, turned right, and began his walk. John always turned right. "Right is right" John always thought to himself. He would smile as well because although he could not remember where he had learned the turn of phrase, it was just so darn funny to him. "Of course right is right," he'd think. "It can't be left." John stepped out onto the trail. He turned right and began walking. He only walked a few feet before he began to smell the burning and hear the yelling.

As he stopped walking and searched the trail ahead his gaze fell upon a group of what looked like three teenagers and one older looking fellow, maybe John's age, a little bit set apart from the group, among the trees. John didn't know if the man was with the teenagers. They certainly weren't acknowledging the man, or maybe they didn't see him at all. Maybe the man was there on his own business, separately, his own separate business. He was dressed in a dark trench coat which John thought was odd given the warm weather, while the kids were wearing brightly colored athletic wear. It didn't quite match. John just thought the man looked just close enough to be included in... whatever it is they were doing. The three teens were sitting directly on the trail, well, not exactly sitting. They were sitting on the seats of their mountain bikes, sure, but they were mostly standing to keep the bikes from falling over. They were passing something between them with large plumes of smoke coming from their faces. What John mistook for distraught yelling were actually shouts of camaraderie. John himself had no personal experience with... whatever they were doing and he wrestled with the idea of simply walking past and attempt to mind his own business. John, much like the man who John now noticed was partially obscured by foliage, was going completely unnoticed by the teens. John wondered for a moment if he would catch a contact high if he attempted to pass the kids. He didn't want to get in trouble at work, they had the annual substance screening in a few months, after all. Not worth the risk, John thought proudly. He resolved to turn around, go home and read a book.

Just before turning around John glanced at the man off to the side, who was barely visible now, as if he were sinking into the forest without actually moving. He was staring directly into John's eyes.


That night John had a nightmare. John had a nightmare and it was especially scary for John, because John normally didn't dream at all, not whatsoever. Needless to say, the star of that nights film was the man from the woods. John was lying in his bed, Dream John could see himself tossing and turning. Dream John floated above himself and watched his own brow furrow, his own head shake, his own sweat bead. Dream John saw something out of the corner of his dream-eye, and when he turned his dream-head, he was very dream-confused to see the man from the woods, standing in the doorway to his bedroom. Dream John was only able to see from the left ear to halfway across the right eye of the man, for he was partially standing behind the doorframe. Dream John recalled how in the woods, he was unable to see the man's face in it's entirety thanks to the dense foliage. He attributed this current view of the man, in his dream, to the incomplete memory. John is an even-tempered man with a logical head on his shoulders, after all. At the same time he felt a heavy lump of fear form in his throat. He also recalled how it became increasingly harder to see the man when they were in the woods, almost as if once the man knew he had been seen, John's ability to perceive the man's very existence withered. That he could not explain and not being able to explain things scared John. Just then he began to wonder how he was able to rationalize the dream he was experiencing and ponder the similarities to his real-life experience while within the dream, and also how can he-

The alarm went off. Dream John's eyes closed just as John's eyes opened.

feel the unease actually creeping up from the pit of his stomach as the half-faced man watched him sleep. John choked with a start as he seamlessly finished his supposed unconscious thought in his conscious mind. John didn't feel as if he had just woken up. He felt as if he'd been awake. The memory of the man standing in his doorway wasn't fluffy or hazy as dreams tended to be. It felt solid and heavy, like a lived memory. Like the memory of the teens and the man he had seen in the woods so, so briefly yesterday. John relieved himself in the bathroom and went to his kitchen to put a bagel into the toaster. After smearing it with cream cheese he grabbed an apple and headed to the couch, where he would sit upon it, and it would sit beneath him. John opened his mouth to bite into his bagel as he flipped on the news. His mouth was still open when the bagel hit the carpet, cheese side-down. A reporter was standing on the trail behind his house. She was speaking into the camera but John did not, or could not, hear what she was saying. Behind her were three bodies laid out on the trail, three bikes strewn amongst them. The bodies... They hardly looked like bodies, John thought. They were so ripped apart. Everything behind the woman was red. Everything behind the woman was red, as if a bomb filled with red paint had been detonated. The majority of what John could see behind her was blurred, pixelated for the viewers benefit. You could see the woman's eyes watering from the stench. Through the red, John could see brightly colored clothes. He swallowed hard and thought to himself that it looked a lot like athletic wear. John searched the scene on his television for... He wasn't quite sure. Then John realized; he was looking for a fourth body. A fourth body wearing a coat. When the ringing in his ears receded John heard the journalist say something about marijuana and opiates being found in the blood of what turned out to be three high-school friends. Officers believe this was a drug or drug money-motivated attack, John hears her say. Just as quickly as it began, the story ended and the reporter threw back to the anchors in the studio, leaving John feeling a bit sick and quite frankly, unsure of what to do next. No longer in a mood likely to be receptive to a story about a car wash fundraiser held by retirement home residents, John turned off his television.

John paced between the rooms of his house for a while. John threw up for a while, as well.

John didn't know what to do. He wasn't sure if his information regarding the Man was relevant and after his odd dream (and John never had dreams) he didn't know if he actually saw what he thinks he saw. Thirty minutes after he had seen the report, John had come to a resolution. He had decided. John had come to the conclusion that it was time to be brave. He would go to the scene and tell an officer what he thinks he saw. It was practically in his backyard after all. John showered, brushed his teeth, dressed and headed to the back door. With his hand on the knob, eyes wide, lips trembling, John remembered. He remembered the Man.

In this moment he couldn't have forgotten, it would have been impossible. A Man with a trench coat stood partially behind a tree, staring right into John's eyes.




Credited to SpoopCast 

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