A Wonderful Day

📅 Published on September 23, 2021

“A Wonderful Day”

Written by Christopher Gideon
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 11 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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Mr. Vanhin had a wonderful day.  He woke up at 5 am, said his morning prayers, and cooked himself a full breakfast, complete with fried eggs, sausages, and bacon.  At 10 am, after a short nap in his favorite armchair, he grabbed his cane, put on his fleece hat, wool mittens, and a cashmere overcoat, and opened his front door.  He walked two miles east to the church where his wife was buried.  He sat in the snow at her grave, talking to her for an hour, before leaving a single yellow marguerite daisy atop her tombstone, taking the one he’d left the previous day and saying goodbye for the afternoon.

He stopped at his favorite pub along the way home for a Reuben sandwich.  The chef already had the sandwich prepared for him by the time he walked through the door.  He ate his lunch leisurely, left a generous £3 tip, and finished his walk home.

When he got home, he hung his coat, hat, and mittens up to dry, started a fire in the fireplace, and took a nap in his second-favorite armchair, enjoying the warmth of the flames.  He woke up at 5 pm, made himself some beans for dinner, and, after washing the dishes, he said his evening prayers and went to bed.

A wonderful day indeed.

* * * * * *

Mr. Vanhin had a wonderful day.  He woke up at 5 am, said his morning prayers, and cooked himself a full breakfast, complete with fried eggs, sausages, and bacon.  At 10 am, after a short nap in his favorite armchair, he grabbed his cane, put on his fleece hat, wool mittens, and a cashmere overcoat and opened his front door.

Something was wrong.  Something was different.  Mr. Vanhin had grown up in Sterfbed.  It was a quiet little town, with cobblestone streets and chiseled brick houses and tiny little markets to buy fresh vegetables and meats.  Nothing was ever different.  But he’d gone on this walk every day for almost ten years now, he knew it very well, and something was different.

He fumbled for his glasses.  Slipping them on with a trembling hand, he squinted and examined the landscape more closely.  It didn’t take him long to see what was wrong.  There was something new: a tower.  It was the tallest building in town, just slightly taller than the church steeple.  But it had never been there before, he was sure of it!

Mr. Vanhin huffed and hobbled out into the snow.  He wasn’t going to let this interfere with his daily routine.  He walked two miles east to the church where his wife was buried.  He sat in the snow at her grave, talking to her for an hour (mostly about the tower), before leaving a single yellow marguerite daisy atop her tombstone, taking the one he’d left the previous day, and saying goodbye for the afternoon.

He stopped at his favorite pub along the way home for a Reuben sandwich.  The chef already had the sandwich prepared for him by the time he walked through the door.

“You okay, Ernest?”  the chef asked as he handed the plate over.  “You look like you’ve got something on your mind.”

“No, no, not at all,”  Mr. Vanhin asserted.

The chef raised an eyebrow and leaned his greasy hands on the counter in front of him.  “You sure?”  he pressed.

“I…well, I suppose…well, it’s a silly question, but…have you ever seen a tower, just on the north side of Sterfbed?”

The chef cocked his head curiously and looked out the south-facing window.  “Nah, I can’t say I have,”  he admitted.  “Why, have you?”

“No, no, don’t be absurd!”  Mr. Vanhin forced a chuckle.  “We’ve never had a tower here; why should I see one now?  Ridiculous!  Now, leave an old man to eat his lunch in peace, would you?”  He ate his lunch in a hurry, forgetting to leave a tip as he left, and finished his walk home.

When he got home, he started a fire in the fireplace and sat down in his second-favorite armchair, still in his hat and coat, and took a nap.  He woke up at 5 pm, made himself some beans for dinner, and, leaving his dirty dishes on the table, he said his evening prayers and went to bed.

A…curious day…but a wonderful day, nevertheless.

A wonderful day indeed.

* * * * * *

Mr. Vanhin had a wonderful day.  He woke up at 8 am, said his morning prayers, and cooked himself a full breakfast, complete with fried eggs and beans.  At 9 am, he grabbed his cane, put on his fleece hat, wool mittens, and a cashmere overcoat, and opened his front door.

There it was.  Off to his left, on the north side of Sterfbed, standing boldly against the sky, was the tower.  It was taunting him.  Mocking him.

“Ata can wait,”  he grumbled.  He’d seen her at the same time every day since the day she was buried.  She could wait a few hours longer than usual today while he investigated the tower.  He needed to prove to himself that it was real.

He walked north instead of east this time.  The old school building was up this way; he used to follow this same pavement every weekday morning when he was younger.  Today, it had been converted into a family resource centre; vaccines for children, special ed care, Sunday School and the like.  As he passed the old building, he saw all the windows lined with strings of colorful Christmas lights.  Only one office light was on…the building was mostly empty.

As he neared the mysterious tower, he walked past the first house he had bought on his own.  He was only 17 years old at the time, and had worked hard for the money: £1,500 cash, paid on the spot.  The whole block had since been torn down and replaced with an apartment complex, leasing for £899/month.  It didn’t seem like anyone wanted to take that offer…the place always seemed barren.

Just a few blocks away from his destination, Mr. Vanhin saw the factory he had spent his whole life working at.  He started on the telephone assembly line, but by the time he retired at 65, he’d become CEO of the company.  With the rise of cell phones in the early 2000s, the next CEO only lasted two years before the company went out of business…the building now sat abandoned, slowly being destroyed by nature and vandals alike.

Finally, after almost two hours of walking through the slushy snow, Mr. Vanhin found himself at the foot of the tower.  This used to be the site of a hospital; he was sure of it.  But now, not only was the hospital gone, but all the homes around it were gone as well.  It was all overgrown fields.  He admitted he hadn’t been here since his knee replacement seven years ago, but that was a lot of change, even for seven years.

Mr. Vanhin took a closer look at the tower itself.  There was no way it had just been constructed the previous day, even if it was possible to build a tower overnight.  The stone was cracked and old and had clearly been worn down by years of rain and wind.  Some spots were covered in ivy.  Windows were broken up and down its face as if vandals had already hit this place too.  It was hard to tell what the tower was supposed to be, exactly, but it reminded Mr. Vanhin of a clocktower he’d seen on holiday in Germany…just without the clock.

Mr. Vanhin hobbled over to the front doors.  They looked like they were made of solid oak, adorned with spirals along the edges.  A curved cement archway covered the entrance, with the words “Fegefeuer Tower”  carved in ornate lettering across the front.  He took off his mittens and ran his hand along the iron door handles.  They were cold to the touch, and the rough surfaces served as a testament to the years of weather they had endured.

And, as he found out by giving them a gentle push, the doors were unlocked.

He peeked inside.  It was dark and looked to be sheathed in a thick coat of dust.

“Hello?”  Mr. Vanhin called.  His voice echoed for an uncomfortably long time.  Curious, he entered the building and shut the door behind him.  As he did, dozens of oil lamps scattered across the walls lit up on their own, all at once, illuminating the inside of the tower.

Now that he could see the interior, Mr. Vanhin realized how much this resembled an old hotel.  The floors were checkered with white and black tile, now cracked and covered in dust.  There was a reception desk across from the entrance, with a little bell still resting on the front, waiting to be rung for service.  Cobwebs stretched from every side of the desk with the floor or wall closest to it.  Behind the desk was a shelf of little cubbies, each with a number underneath.

Off to the sides of the desk were sweeping marble staircases that rose to the second floor.  Mr. Vanhin climbed up the one on the right, every <clack> from his cane echoing like a firework in the night.  At the top of the stairs, the marble floor transitioned to soft red carpeting decorated with golden swirls.  The walls were covered in peeling yellow wallpaper, only being held up in places by brass plaques engraved with directions nailed into the walls.

As he faced the plaque labeled “Staircase to Floors 2-8”, a loud mechanical sound suddenly pulled him back to reality.  It started with a loud <Clang!> but was followed by a constant whirring.  Mr. Vanhin spun around to face the center of the landing.  Where he was sure there had been a plain yellow wall before, there was now a metal gate guarding an empty shaft: a lift!  He watched in amazement as the brightly lit car came into view behind the gate.

Someone was in it.

Mr. Vanhin almost greeted the figure, but its jarring appearance startled him into silence.  It was shorter than he was and cloaked in a thin black cloak from top to bottom.  He couldn’t see any facial features under the hood, only shadows.

The diamond-shaped holes between bars on the gate condensed as it slid open.  The figure stood perfectly still for a few moments.  Mr. Vanhin slowly began inching towards the grand staircase down towards the lobby, hoping the figure wouldn’t see him.  He barely made it three steps before the figure suddenly popped out of the car and flew towards him with unbelievable speed.  He shouted feebly, closed his eyes, and threw his cane in the air.

He felt an icy cold gust of wind pierce through him, pushing him off balance.  He opened his eyes just in time to see his collision with the marble staircase.  He tumbled all the way down to the bottom before stopping cold on the dusty tile floor.

He stood up as quickly as his weak knees would allow him and limped towards the front door.

But the front door was gone.  Not locked, gone.  It was just a plain white wall now, directly across from the reception desk.  Even the windows had disappeared.  Mr. Vanhin quickly looked up the staircase and was somewhat relieved to see no sign of the shadowy figure.

Instead, though, there was someone else standing behind the reception desk: a young man wearing a scarlet vest over a white dress shirt, with dark slacks to complete the look.

“Wha – what is happening, hmm?”  Mr. Vanhin demanded.  “Answer me!”

The receptionist suddenly jumped to life, like he was an animatronic theme park attraction that only spoke when the “information”  button was pressed.

“Hello, Mr. Vanhin!”  he said with an obnoxiously cheerful face.  “We’ve been expecting you!  It’s a wonderful day, isn’t it?”

“A wonderful d – Expecting me?  Who are you?  I don’t know you, young man!  Explain yourself this instant!”

The receptionist chuckled.  “Oh, Mr. Vanhin, you’re always such a laugh!”

“Stop this, right now!”  the old man screamed.

The receptionist closed his eyes and burst into laughter, somehow cackling without moving anything except his jaw.  As the sound of the laughter grew more intense, Mr. Vanhin yelled in anger, shoving the little bell off the desk.

“I’ll find my own way out, thank you!”  Mr. Vanhin shouted over the ruckus.  He started walking up the stairs again, but he took one last look at the receptionist.

He had opened his eyes again; they were glowing a radiant red, too bright to even look into.  More disturbing, though, was the fact that the receptionist’s body hadn’t moved, but his head was slowly following his progress up the stairs.  It was almost facing completely backwards.

Mr. Vanhin staggered over to the lift and allowed himself to fall onto the wall.  He felt the entire car shake, but a collapsing lift was the least of his worries at the moment.  He punched his fist onto the button with the big number 8 on it, which seemed to be the top floor.  The gate jerked a bit as it slid closed.  The moment it latched, the car lurched to life, carrying its occupant upwards very slowly.

He clutched his chest and took a few deep breaths.  My old heart isn’t built for this kind of thing, he thought.  Got to…calm down a bit.  The metallic, oily smell in the shaft was oddly soothing; it brought back memories of working at the telephone factory.  Mr. Vanhin watched as giant floor numbers slowly sank past him.

4…5…6…7…

The elevator stopped at the eighth floor much more gently than it had started.  The crisscrossing metal gate squeaked open.

While the first floor looked like something out of the 1930s, the eighth floor was much more modern…in fact, if it weren’t for the dust and cobwebs and laws of physics as he understood them, Mr. Vanhin could have believed that this level was actually built the previous day.  The room signs were made of murky red acrylic, the carpet was a cool blue, with thin lines of neon pink, green, and yellow swerving up and down it.

Mr. Vanhin forced himself to his feet and carefully hopped off the lift.  He winced; bruises were already forming on his arms, legs, and back from his tumble down the stairs.  Once he was into the hallway, he rested a hand on the wall and took a few more deep breaths.

The temporary silence was interrupted by a quiet <shush> coming from a room just down the hall.  He grabbed his glasses from his pocket and slid them on.  Room 88, just ahead of him, was open a crack.

“Eh?”  Mr. Vanhin called.  “Who’s there?  I’m not afraid!”

The door slowly creaked open the rest of the way, but the inside of the room was still obscured by darkness.  A soft, growling voice, deeper than anything he’d ever heard, rumbled out from across the threshold.  “Then why do you run?”

Mr. Vanhin was taken aback by the sound of the voice.  He felt his heart, which hadn’t calmed down much at all, beat even faster now.  Still, he answered back, “Because I…well, I just want to go home!”

“What is waiting for you at home?”  the deep voice asked.

Mr. Vanhin suddenly realized that all the other hotel room doors were slowly opening too.  Glowing white eyes were peering out from each one, not attached to any bodies.

He cleared his throat.  “My…my life, of course!  My bed, my fire, my…my favorite armchair…”

“And your wife?”

“Buried.  Down the street from my house.  I bring her a flower every day.”  Mr. Vanhin patted his overcoat, where the marguerite daisy stayed securely in the pocket of the coat’s lining.

The voice rumbled in disgust or possibly in frustration.  “You have nothing.  You cling to the last remnant of a life the rest of the world has left behind.”

Mr. Vanhin felt a tear roll down his cheek.  “I…I love my life.  You can’t take it from me!”

“You live in the past…”  the voice growled.  “Return to it.”

All the other hotel room doors suddenly slammed shut all at once, causing a massive burst of wind to knock Mr. Vanhin off balance.  At the same time, the dark, hooded figure from the lift shot out of Room 88.  In less than a second, it had cleared the length of the hallway and was on Mr. Vanhin.

He closed his eyes.

He felt his whole body go cold and numb.  A wind was blowing down the hallway, making it feel like he was choking on air.  He felt himself fall backwards and hit the carpet…

…with a soft <shwish> sound and a little bounce.

Mr. Vanhin opened his eyes.  He was in a hotel room.  He had landed on the king-sized bed, topped with a fluffy white comforter neatly folded around the corners of the mattress.  The room also wasn’t dark and dusty like he expected; the curtain was open, and warm, clean-feeling sunlight was flooding the room.  Not a speck of dust or cobweb in sight.

“What?”  he sputtered, sitting up.  He found himself pleasantly surprised; not only were his bruises gone, but his joints no longer hurt at all!  They felt better than they had before the fall, and, quite frankly, in years.

“What was that, dear?”  came a voice from the bathroom, a voice so familiar it brought Mr. Vanhin to tears.

“Ata?”  he crooned as his voice cracked.

Mrs. Vanhin came out of the bathroom with a washcloth in her hand and looked at Mr. Vanhin with bright eyes.  “Good, you’re awake!  I’ve been waiting for a while, but I didn’t want to wake you up.  You needed your sleep, and you looked so peaceful!”

Mr. Vanhin stared in awe.  She was just as beautiful as he remembered her, and it had been so long since he’d heard her voice.

She hung her washcloth on the bathroom doorknob and rushed over to her husband with more energy than she’d had for a long time even before her death.  “Don’t just lay there, darling!  You need to get up!  We’ve got a busy day ahead of us!”

“I…I don’t…Ata?”

“At least you’ve already got your coat on!  Come on, let’s get going!”

“Am I…”  Mr. Vanhin’s voice trailed off.

“Whatever you were going to say, you can ask me on the way!”  she said in a cheery voice.

Mrs. Vanhin grabbed her husband’s hand and pulled him to his feet.  For the first time in longer than he could remember, he felt no stiffness.

“Let’s go!”  she exclaimed.

“W – wait, wait!”  Mr. Vanhin stuffed his hand inside his coat and pulled out the flower.  He was amazed that it hadn’t been crushed at all in all the excitement.  In fact, it almost seemed fresher than it had that morning.

Mrs. Vanhin put her hands over her mouth and gasped.  “Yellow marguerite daisy, my favorite!  You remembered!”

“I give you one every day,”  he told her.

“I know, darling.  Thank you.”

He gazed lovingly into her eyes.  For a moment, he thought he saw them flicker red…but that was his imagination, it must have been.  Nothing bad would happen anymore.  Nothing bad would happen ever again.  He held her soft, delicate hand warmly in his own rough, calloused one as they walked together out the door and into the brilliant white light.

A wonderful day indeed.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Christopher Gideon
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Christopher Gideon


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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