The hand arrived without warning. It was somewhat human-like in appearance but its skin looked like snow and rotting flesh. It had nails... No, colossal claws which were oh-so-sharp. They were like gigantic needles used to sew the world together. It was a great big horrific thing and my house sat in its palm. I know this is true. It was like God, in that most could not see it and that I truly do believe it could destroy me. Also, I prayed to it.
It showed up on Tuesday, June sixth. I went off to work in the morning. When I returned home, there it was. A gigantic hand wrapped tightly around my shitty yellow house. I felt uneasy looking at it, but I was not surprised. It seemed as natural as if it should be there as my own hands should be at the end of my wrists. I think now that was its influence. Even more strangely, no one else took any notice of it. It seemed to be entirely beyond their seeing, beyond what could be accepted as truth. Its large thumb blocked my doorway. As I approached, it moved slightly, allowing me entry, only to shift back into place once I had closed the door again.
I was uneasy that evening. If I had an urge to contact the police or anyone else the hand silenced it in my mind without me knowing. I tried to turn on the TV in my bedroom but there was nothing but static. I attempted to watch some videos on my laptop only to find no available Wi-Fi. Upon journeying to my kitchen for a late night snack I found all the food was missing. Even then the power of the creature (if you can call it that) was too strong. I did not know the terror that I was faced with. I shrugged away these small oddities and went to sleep.
My alarm clock went off at seven the following morning. I turned it off and quickly got dressed with a lot of time to spare due to a lack of breakfast. I intended to get to work early and fill out some paperwork I had gotten behind in. When I went to leave the doorway was not only blocked by the monstrosity but the thumb had actually torn through the oak door and was now scratching with its gigantic talon against my ceiling. I tried to push past it but one touch of its skin and I fell to the floor, convulsing, as a painful electric buzz ran through my body.
I picked myself up from the ground and returned almost mindlessly to my bed. The bedroom door was open. It slammed shut without me so much as touching it as soon as I had entered. I collapsed face first into my mattress. I understood then. The fear filled me and I accepted reluctantly in that moment that I would soon be dead. I didn’t move from that spot until well past sunset. I walked from room to room looking for an escape. I checked and double-checked my phone for service but I was without any means of contacting the outside world. Days passed and there was no change. I still had tap water to live off of. Even it tasted very bitter and was difficult to keep down.
I was in Hell in that house within the hand. I don’t know how much time passed. I grew thin. I grew insane. There were points where the only thing which was real to me was the hand. I worshiped it. I built altars of rat bones to it. My body was dying. I could feel it with every breath. I was being absorbed into the hand. I would sometimes crawl on all fours down to the cold, damp basement and sit for hours in total darkness. There I could barely feel its playful fingers picking apart my mind.
I went down into the darkness so many times. Each and every time I was prepared to die there and end my misery. Eventually, when I had survived long past the capabilities of any human, I concluded I would never die. At least not in that house. This was inescapable and insufferable. I accepted that any semblance of happiness or normality I had ever experienced was now over. The hand had won. I think that’s what it had been trying to do, destroy me.
Even briefly before I made my escape I could not even have dreamed of doing so. One night I found myself unable to sleep in my bedroom. The hand was projecting visions in my mind. I can’t bring myself to reveal the specifics. My captor’s strength was too powerful in this part of the house. I took my comforter and flashlight and walked down to the basement trying to get some sleep even if it meant shivering for hours on a cold concrete floor. I made my way down the creaky basement steps and found myself in an almost empty dust-filled room.
There was one object in that room which remained from my mother. It was a large chest of drawers which had been painted white by a family friend before my grandmother was even born. I was an only child and my mother left it as well as the rest of her house for me in the will. The paint was chipped badly now. It looked as if a lite breeze could knock it to pieces. Still, it was one of my mother’s only valued possessions. I had taken special care to keep it since making the home my own. It had stayed in that exact same spot for four years before the hand arrived. It just so happens that on the night I’m telling you about it, I turned to face the chest of drawers and pointed the beam of my flashlight in its direction. In that split second I noticed a dim glint of metal in the space between the antique and the floor which it sat on.
I did something which I had not done in a long time: I allowed myself to hope. I hoped that I knew the shape and color. I hoped that the can still held its intended contents. I hoped that my mother’s leftover supply of kerosene would be enough. All that hope filled me with energy and compelled to me to jump forward like a crazed animal. The chest of drawers fell to the ground as I slammed into it. As would be expected, it broke into many pieces. There on the ground was a black metal can now coated in rust. The label was yellow and barely legible. After a moment of intense scrutiny, I knew for certain that the can indeed read kerosene. I shook it to check if it had been emptied. It was almost full. I dashed upstairs and grabbed a box of matches from a drawer in the kitchen.
I ran from room to room, throwing the liquid on most every flammable surface. Finally, when I was convinced the house would surely burn, I poured the remainder of the bottle over my head. I felt so alive despite the cold and the destruction I was bringing about to myself. I reached into the pocket of my sweatpants and took out the box of matches. There were about a dozen matches. The first few I went to light slipped from my fingers and sunk into and beneath the wooden floor as if it did not exist at all. I knew that the hand was fighting back. I concentrated as much as I could to keep the matches in my grip and light them as quickly as possible. This only led to five or six more simply snapping between my digits.
Eventually, I looked at the box in my left hand and I saw only one small, wooden match remaining. “Fuck,” I said aloud before taking a deep breath and closing my eyes as I ran the final match calmly against the box’s strike pad. I felt the heat in my hand and quickly bent down to set the carpet afire. It burned and so did I. The house fill with smoke, blazed, and crumbled. The fire consumed much of my flesh. Somehow I was still awake and alive when a wall came crashing down in a small room to my left. I saw daylight and freedom.
Rising with a force of will I wasn’t aware I possessed I stumbled my way out of the nightmare. My body collapsed onto the hot pavement outside. The flames which were consuming my flesh were immediately extinguished by a harsh wind. I could hear the house falling into itself behind me. Still I couldn't bring myself to look back. The agony of what happened was too fresh in my mind.
They have me in a small hospital room. It smells like detergent and death. Maybe that’s me. I try not to look at myself much. It’s not a pretty sight. There’s a calendar on my wall by the window. It says Wednesday, June the seventh. It has been less than a day since I first saw the hand. The doctors say my body is so starved it’s uncertain whether I can recover. The burns don’t exactly help my chances, but I don’t really care about any of this. Not really. What I care about is what’s outside the window. The hands. There are so many of them. Almost everywhere has one I think. No one sees though. That is, unless they want to be seen.
Written by Gomez Capulet