Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Shadow Down the Street: Autumn


The small bedroom was cold. White moonlight filtered in through two drapes which were left slightly agape. The bedroom was that of a young boy; army men and trains littered the room. Brad lay, squeezing his eyes shut, pretending to be asleep.

                                                Tap. Tap. Tap.

                The noise. He had heard it once before – almost like nails on chalkboard – at his window. A dark figure blocked out a portion of the fey moonlight. Brad could see his breath in translucent plumes. “Open the window, Bradley,” whined a hollow voice from the other side of the glass. Brad's heart stopped. He had awoken from a nightmare to the intense feeling of dread - of being watched. Brad was gripped with terror; he could not scream or cry for help. He could not even move. He heard what sounded like hands toying with the locking mechanism, feeling around the door for an opening, the way rodents seek dark places.

                Brad thought he could hear whatever it was breathing, or panting – it sounded hungry. “You don’t need to let me in, Bradley.” Said the whisper soft voice. He did not know if what it was had eyes, but he felt them, of this he was sure, on him – penetrating him. It knew he was inside. It wasn't talking out loud - it was talking to him, through the window, like there wasn't anything there at all. It felt like he was slowly drowning in some unseen river. “And what did he mean; I don't have to let it in? Don't you have to invite evil things into your house?”  And then he had a clear and resounding idea: what if that is a load of shit. What if all that was between him and death was a thin piece of glass?

                A dog howled somewhere in the night, breaking the long moments of silent terror. Brad felt whatever it was leave. He felt its dead gaze lift, and the room began to warm. Bradley had felt this way before, in moments before fully waking from dreams, in the shadows of his room and under his bed – in his nightmares. It was evil, and it knew his name.

                Brad would lay there for the long hours to come, til the sun rose, all the while trying to convince himself he'd had a nightmare, that he had hallucinated the entire thing - he'd rather be crazy than have... whatever it was coming to his window in the middle of the night. At some point before noon sleep took him, leaving him with no dreams. He slept through the rest of the house waking up, doing their daily routine; the alarms, the clang of pots and pans, the showers, and the goodbyes. He even slept through the sirens of an ambulance which came barreling down Fig Street, and the growing throng of noise coming from the house on the corner.

                The woman who lived in the house was kept to herself. She was a large women who wore the type of gown that is the trademark of the morbidly obese; the muumuu. She lived there alone, aside from her basset hound Frank. She never said hello to the neighbors, never watered her lawn, and never had decorations at Halloween or Christmas. And she never would. She was dead.

                The Mailman who had only known her in passing conversation noticed her door left ajar, and went inside to see if she was okay. Typically her mutt would have caused a commotion, even at the slightest noise - but he was nowhere to be found. "Hello? Is anyone home? I saw you're door open - I wanted to see if everything was alright. Is there anyone home?" No answer. Her house was plainly decorated, if you can call doilies and porcelain figurines decorations, but Henry - the Mailman - felt that the house was somehow soured, the vice on his stomach - or more precisely his sack - grew tighter. Even before he found her body he knew something was wrong. He found her in the backyard, crumpled amongst the weeds of what used to be a flower garden. The hound, though, her constant companion, was gone.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great story! Loved the line about not knowing if it has eyes but still fealing it!

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  2. GAH, you make me want to write again. :D Been busy with my band as of late, so yeah...

    Huh, mebbe I'll post somethin'...or not. We'll see.

    Still, good short~!

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  3. Wow, so short but still a great story. Made only more creepy by just having read a poem about something behind the curtains.

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  4. Nice dude, off to write some poetry. Cheers for the inspiration.

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  5. Ohhh creepy! I would punch him in the face, but being in that situation, very scary. Last line was powerful! :D

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  6. love short but intense stories like that, you have a new follower sir! :]

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  7. Chills. The visualisation is incredible.

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  8. Oh shit man, tingles. Love it, horror is my least favorite genre, but this was great

    from one fellow writer to another: Bravo sir.

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  9. I read your stories in the morning. Otherwise I stay up creeped out. and its hard to creep me out broski

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  10. Still pumping out the goods I see!,
    great stories!!

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  11. lol aww man way to leave me hangin. i loves me a good scary story =D and i love your background to ads to the effect now you just need some ambiet background music hehe

    computerfixins.blogspot.com

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  12. Sleep paralysis or night terrors?
    Quality writing!
    +followed

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  13. Short, but amazing story! Thanks :)

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