The Burning Man

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Hi, my name is Sydnie and I’m going to tell you a little something about myself. When I was very young I used to ask my mom some very strange questions.. i.e. “why is the little boy crying?” Or “why does the scary man watch me sleep?” Obviously these questions concerned my mother but, she was also a firm believer in the paranormal. She began to teach me about what I was experiencing as I grew older but, as we were eating dinner one day, things changed.

I started to hold my head, complaining that “they” were too loud. After a few minutes of trying to calm me down, I questioned my family on how they couldn’t hear the sirens. “It sounds like a fire truck is right in our front yard! How can you not hear it?” I exclaimed. Clearly distraught I ran downstairs and locked myself in my room and refused to speak to anyone.

A few months went by with no more “incidents” and my mother had stopped teaching me about the world of the paranormal insisting that I wait until I was older. Shortly after my 11th birthday, we had to move out of our home and into an apartment in town. Our first night at the new place was going well, until it happened.

I was sitting in the living room with my brother and I started to hear the siren again. I called to my mother and begged her to bring me back to the old house insisting i needed something from one of the boxes that was still there with the rest of our stuff. She reluctantly agreed to bring me, so we loaded into the truck and started to make our way there.

As we got closer, the sirens got louder. My head was pounding and the pain was so intense I started to cry. My mother asked me what was wrong and I lied, saying I was just sad to move out of the only home I’d ever lived in. We rode in silence until, finally, we had pulled into the driveway. My mom turned to me and started to speak “I’ll wait right here while yo-” she stopped talking and her eyes widened with fear. I turned around just in time to see the house burst into flames. Within 10 minutes fire truck after fire truck filled our yard and my headache returned.

A few years passed and I found myself on a plane to Georgia with some of my belongings. I had to decided to move to a city on the outskirts of Atlanta with my father. 4 months later I found who I thought was the love of my life. Within a year, I moved in with him and we were engaged.

Being so close to the city had rekindled my “gift” and I was constantly hearing sirens that nobody else could. My fiancé bought a white noise machine hoping it would help me sleep at night but, when it was on, they only became louder. One night as we were sleeping, I had a terrible dream of the man who used to watch me sleep when I was a child. He told me horrible things about the world and how he had bestowed the “gift” on me to help protect me from them. He was badly burned, and covered in blood.

I woke up in a cold sweat and bolted upright in bed, waking my fiancé. He tried to hold me and calm me down but i couldn’t hear him over the sound of the ambulance. I ran out of our condo and towards the main street our community was on. Through the gate I went and i found myself standing on the sidewalk. My fiancé had run out after me and was shouting for me to go back inside. I ran from him, to the park across the street before turning and yelling to him “no! Don’t you see? Whenever I hear them something bad happens!”

It was at that moment I realized he was staring behind me, fear showing all over his body. I turned and saw it. The “man” from my dream that night was standing in the middle of the field. His burns were gone, but he was covered in blood. Bodies laid on the ground at his feet. He screamed at us and charged at me. I was frozen in place, my legs unable to move, unable to turn and run. The man stopped 2 feet away from me and seemed as if he recognized me. “Sy…. sydnie…”. I didn’t know what to do, the ambulance still clear in my head, my body finally unfroze, and I started to run back towards my fiancé. Halfway across the 5 lane street, the siren turned into a car horn and suddenly I found myself lying on the ground. My body was broken, I was in too much pain to scream. The blood covered man disappeared, and I blacked out from the blood loss with the faint sound of an ambulance siren ringing in my head.

A few hours later I woke up in the hospital. My friends and family all outside my room speaking with the doctor. As my head started to clear I, once again, heard the fire truck. I started to panic, calling the doctor to evacuate the hospital. As he rushed in to calm me down, the man appeared next to my bed. The doctor stopped in his tracks and I heard one of my friends scream. The man reeked of gasoline and he held a lighter in his hand. I started to cry and I looked at this “thing” that stood next to where I laid. “WHO ARE YOU?! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!” I yelled.

Between sobs, the man spoke. “A-all I wanted… To protect… I-i… I failed..” with one last sob the man began to scream and before anyone could stop him, he flicked the lighter and set himself ablaze. Everything in the room quickly began to catch, engulfing the room in flames. Still screaming the man ran towards my hospital bed and flung himself on top of me. My bandages caught fire and I could feel my body burning and starting to shut down. As I died, I heard only one thing. Not the screaming of everyone in the hospital, or the constant apologies from the burning man, no. Everything began to turn black and all I could hear, were the sirens.