Vanishing Act (Part 2)

📅 Published on July 10, 2020

“Vanishing Act (Part 2)”

Written by Craig Groshek
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Jason Hill

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: YouTube (feat. Jason Hill)

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 7 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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This is the 2nd in a multi-part series. If you haven’t already, please read the 1st part here

Part II

To this day, I don’t know what came over me, but as the cops entered the room, I was overwhelmed with the idea that they meant me harm, and I broke into a sprint, heading toward the fire doors on the opposite side of the gym.

“Dad! Dad!” Pete called out to me. “Where are you going? Dad!”

The next minute or so was an absolute blur. I realized on some level that Jacob was crying and Pete was frantically calling out to me. I heard the police telling me to stop, saying they only wanted to speak to me, and that I “wasn’t in trouble”. It all blended together into a murky fog, however, as my fight or flight reflex kicked into overdrive. The feeling that I had done something wrong was overwhelming.

The next thing I knew, I was hurtling through the exit doors, without a coat, into the frigid winter air. I’m not sure where I had planned on going, as I hadn’t even thought to grab the keys to my SUV, but none of that mattered, because a few seconds later, I heard the deafening bleating of a minivan’s horn, moments before it smashed into me. It was all the driver could do, and I suppose I ought to be grateful for that, as it’s not every day you see a sweaty gentleman burst from the fire doors of a gymnasium after dark, and sprint across the parking lot with abandon.

I didn’t feel a thing.

Just as the vehicle’s collision with my body seemed inevitable, I felt the pavement shift beneath my feet, and an intense buzzing, like the drone of a million cicadas, overtook me. The scene about me seemed to rotate, pan and tilt all at once, and in that moment I experienced things in ways I never had before. I heard colors, smelled sounds, and tasted the numbers and letters on all the license plates spinning around me. The tinnitus-like howl rose again in the distance, and with it, I caught sight of something gargantuan looming on the horizon, which seemed to stretch out in all directions, where once there had been buildings. Before I had a chance to make sense of what I was seeing, that sinking feeling returned, alongside the quickly rising crescendo of the tinnitus.

All at once, for just a fraction of a second, everything went dark, and I found myself hovering in a void – and I was not alone. Flanking me on all sides were a number of entities with indistinguishable features, and yet, somehow, I found them familiar. Whoever they were, they were not afraid of me. Instead, they looked upon me with curiosity. I returned their gaze, realizing that in spite of their lack of eyes, they were far from sightless. I peered at them for what felt like an eternity, but which was, in all likelihood, only the briefest of moments.

The next thing I knew, I was back in the parking lot, expecting to see a Chrysler minivan inches from putting me into traction, or worse.

But that’s not what happened.

The vehicle which was previously blaring its horn and skidding across an inch and a half of packed-down snow and ice was no longer on a collision course with me, but had already passed by… and was now losing control. Other than myself, there didn’t seem to be any other witnesses.

Spinning around, I watched helplessly as the minivan swerved left and then right, as if still trying to avoid me, and then smash into a row of neighboring automobiles, only to straighten out and plow through a landscaped divider, up and over a curb, across a sidewalk… and into one of the busiest streets in town. It finally rolled to a stop with its back end still covering a portion of the sidewalk. It had narrowly avoided mowing down a college-aged couple on their way back from a beer run.

When I realized that no one had been injured, I took a deep breath and sighed in relief. Behind me, two police officers had burst through the YMCA’s fire exit doors and caught up to me, no longer asking, but telling me to stop where I was. Close behind them were my sons and a cluster of looky-loos. An unbearable sense of dread once again settled upon me, but before I could do anything drastic this time, everyone’s attention was drawn to Business 22, the commercial avenue the totaled minivan had come to rest on. Someone was honking again. I mean, really laying on their horn. The unmistakable sound of a big-rig semi-trailer’s final warning echoed through the frosty night air.

Then, with an explosion of glass and metal, accompanied by the banshee shrieks of innocent bystanders, an 18-wheeler obliterated the minivan and its passengers.

I had no time to process anything. Before the dust had even settled, my oldest son came running up to me and threw his arms around me. A moment later, Jake did the same. He was shivering. Out of fear or from the cold, I couldn’t tell, but I saw neither of my boys had taken the time to put their jackets on. Fortunately, the three of us were uninjured, though the same couldn’t be said for the occupants of the vehicle which had just been destroyed in a freak chain-reaction.

What the hell just happened? I thought, just as two out-of-breath police officers caught up to me, one of them calling for medical assistance in response to the crash I had inadvertently caused.

“Mr. Schilling,” the taller one said, “you almost got yourself killed, and for nothing. There’s no need to run. We just wanted to ask a few questions about what happened inside…” He paused for a moment, then added something that made my blood run cold. “We’d like to review some footage with you.”

The footage.

No, I thought. I destroyed the footage.

“One of the parents caught something unusual on camera,” the cop continued, but I was hardly listening, holding on tighter to my boys by the minute. “We would appreciate it if you would come down to the station to go over it together, and see if you can help us make sense of it. It shouldn’t take long.”

And just like that, the feeling was back, the oppressive, dark chill running up and down my spine, screaming at me to run, that this was all wrong. Everything about it was wrong. But running away only made things worse.

I looked into my boys’ eyes with resignation and spoke to them. “Kids, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I don’t know what’s happening. I need help.”

“It’s okay, Dad,” Peter said. “Let’s just go home. You’ll feel better there. I don’t want to be here anymore, and neither does Jake.”

“I can’t,” I replied. “Not yet. I need to call your mom and tell her to come and get you. I think I’m going to go with the officers. They say they have some questions to ask me, and that it’ll only take a little bit.”

“No, Dad! Don’t!” Peter protested, suddenly frantic. “I overheard the other moms. They saw you too!”

“Saw me what?” I asked.

“You know what, Dad,” he said, motioning toward the gym. “They saw… it.”

I swallowed hard. Jake squeezed me harder, and spoke for the first time since the incident.

“I’m scared, daddy,” he said weakly, burying his face in my chest. “I don’t want you to go.”

I was about to respond when a third officer came walking briskly from the front lobby doors, similarly winded.

“You’re going to want to see this, Mike,” he said to the taller cop who’d been speaking to me before.

“What is it, Dan?”

“The YMCA’s got security cameras in the parking lot, and they got the crash on film. You’re not going to believe this.”

Both of the officers looked at me, and my breath caught in my throat. Mike addressed me again.

“Mr. Schilling,” he said, “I’d like to ask you one more time to please come with us. Now.”

This wasn’t going to end well.

I looked at my kids, both of them pleading with me not to go. I felt terrible, but what choice did I have?

I pulled out my mobile phone, called my wife, and told her there’d be an accident, but the boys and I were fine, but that she needed to come to the police station to pick them up, as the officers wanted to ask me some questions. I left it at that.

The sound of sirens wailing in the distance put the events of the evening into a grave perspective. As I took a seat in a police cruiser alongside my boys, and was escorted to the station downtown, I noticed a formidable crowd had gathered around the site of the minivan crash, and kept growing. Along the way, Jacob started crying again, and Peter looked like he was about to.

I had no idea what everyone had seen on the footage they were referring to, and just how much trouble I was in now, if any, but I had a bad feeling about all this. And I felt like it was only going to get worse.

As I watched the ambulance lights fade more and more the further we got from the YMCA, odd visions popped into my head. In them, I hadn’t avoided the minivan at all, and I saw in vivid detail as my body was rolled under its front wheels and crushed. In my mind’s eye, I saw it all: the driver screaming and leaping from their vehicle, my children crying out in torment as they arrived outside only to find my battered corpse lying crushed in the snow. And I saw the driver of the semi-truck passing by without incident, and the police officers shaking their heads, trying to figure out why I’d run in the first place. I saw the ambulances arrive, not on account of the injury or death of strangers, but to retrieve my body. I saw my wife coming to identify my body, my children in their Sunday best, laying flowers on my casket, and my kids growing up – and my wife growing older – without me. I witnessed my sons make friends, get married, and have kids of their own, occasionally stopping by my headstone to put out fresh flowers.

I saw my wife go on alone, become depressed in my absence, and then, to my horror, take her own life. At the sound of the gunshot, I snapped violently from my reverie, shaking my head as if doing so would rid my mind of the dreadful images I’d just seen.

What does this mean? I screamed internally. Why is this happening to me?

I was an absolute wreck by the time we arrived at the police station, and it didn’t help matters much when my wife got there, with dozens of questions of her own, stressed to the point of a panic attack over everyone’s well-being. Though I tried as hard as I could, I simply couldn’t get the images of the fate I’d avoided out of my mind. And even though the events had never come to pass in actuality, the visions of my wife’s suicide seemed as real as any other memories I have, if not more so. And I began to wonder if I had really died, and if I simply didn’t know it, or hadn’t accepted it yet. Maybe this was Hell, or limbo. It certainly wasn’t Heaven. Whatever it was, I was not where I’d once been, and though the world around me looked much the same, I knew instinctively I’d been transported someplace else entirely. How else could I explain what was happening?

For the time being, I resigned myself to speaking with the officers, and seeing what the footage contained. They wanted answers, and so did I. And I certainly wouldn’t get any if I went into hiding, hoping the problem would go away.

With a hug and a kiss, I bid my wife and kids farewell, and told them I’d see them soon, and allowed the officers to escort me into the station.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: YouTube (feat. Jason Hill)


Written by Craig Groshek
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by Jason Hill

🔔 More stories from author: Craig Groshek


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: This is part 1 of a multiple-part story.  Part 2 will be linked when it becomes available.

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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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