We’re winding down to the end now so if you need to catch up…
Not just at the house, but in the front garden waiting at the gate for us.
I couldn’t read his expression and I didn’t much like his appearance for the second time that day, the third time that week. I no longer knew what to make of him. He first appeared to me a few years ago, just just before my grandma died. He has been around appearing at inconvenient times and tormenting me ever since, scaring me in watching my little sister and unnerving me in public.
And at that point I was confused because he’d saved my dad’s life – which is the one thing I did not expect from The Cold Man when he’d spent the last few years scaring me out of my pants. From nightmare to lifesaver.
Now he was definitely back at the point of being menacing and creepy. As dad and I passed him, he fell in behind us. It was all I could do not to scream at him to leave me and my family alone. I felt the blood drain from my face and my pulse start racing; the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I hated people walking right behind me but the fact that The Cold Man wasn’t even human made me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. I could feel his coldness behind me; he had never been so close to me as he was now and I was really f-ing scared!
Dad opened the door and the three of us went into the house. Mum was immediately on dad, rushing at him, giving him a big hug and asking if he was okay. He told her she was and then she gave me a big hug. Again, I told her I was all right; in reality I wasn’t because The Cold Man was still there, right behind me breathing down my neck – well, not literally anyway but it felt like it.
Lizzy appeared at the top of the stairs and peered over the bannister. She had her phone in her hand. I don’t know who she was talking to but it was probably ‘chell. It was about that time they became friends.
‘Is dad all right? Is Kelvin all right?’
In that split second The Cold Man disappeared from behind my back and appeared at the top of the stairs immediately behind Lizzy. He was so close to her, close enough to push her over if he wanted to. Would he? Until today he’d not interacted with anyone but less than 30 minutes ago, I’d witnessed him save Dad’s life. Was this his payment? Would he now kill Lizzy because he saved dad?
But like that, he was gone. Lizzy came bounding down the stairs and threw herself at dad and into his arms.
‘Lizzy, I’m fine really.’
‘After all the excitement, I’m sure you could do with something to eat?’ said mum. ‘Come on, dinner’s nearly ready and I’ve made spotted dick for afters.’
He appeared again while we were eating. We have a round table, one of those that folds out from four people to eight people. Dad sat to my left and Lizzy to my right with mum directly opposite me.
For some reason, The Cold Man didn’t want to leave us alone that day. He appeared as we sat down to eat dinner and he stuck to me and Lizzy. He stood motionless the whole time, like a statue. Lizzy got up to go to the toilet after dinner; mum went to serve pudding and dad went to start the washing up. That’s when I turned around to face him. I looked him in the eyes, even though he terrified me.
‘What do you want from us?’
He just fixed me with that unreadable stare. I knew that whatever he wanted it had to do with me and Lizzy.
‘Please, leave us alone,’ I muttered, feeling my pulse thump in my chest. Then, slowly and deliberately I turned my back on him. It was a confident gesture but I was not feeling confident, I was feeling terrified. I had seen enough of him for one lifetime but I knew that it was not over.
I would not see him for another six years – that was last week. I never did get my answer for what he wanted from us… but I think I know now.