I have lived in the same apartment for the last two years. This little two bedroom beach slum isn’t the grandest or sturdiest place but it is my home. I know the ins and outs; the cracks and crevices; the touchy burner and the cracking tiles; how the setting sun pulls shadows up the walls and the nightly hums and gurgles; almost as well as I know the material I’m studying.
I bike home. Walk up the cement stairs. Unlock the door well pressing the knob as it’s the only way to make it open. Throw my back pack on the couch. Grab something to eat from the kitchen. Then finally walk down the hallway to my room. This is my daily routine and–excluding the occasionally late night on campus–it doesn’t vary often.
It was a Friday a few weeks ago. I had just come off the tail end of midterm week and needed one thing more then I needed my next breath. A nap. I hopped off my bike, trotted up the stairs and forwent my habitual snack. Straight to my room to sleep. I walked down the hallway. Then stop, freezing in place. More out of confusion then uneasiness I turn my head–my brow raised–honestly I was a little taken back. There was a door where there wasn’t a door before. It was splinteringly-green with a black knob and gold hinges.
You’re smart so you can see where this is going and I know what you’re going to say, but what would you do? Honestly if you were in my shoes looking and this mysterious door invited you to open it, what would you have done? You would’ve done what I did, you would have opened it.
As I opened it all other space faded from my peripheral and I just saw the room which shouldn’t have existed. Well see doesn’t quite describe it. The room was absorbingly black. Any exterior light which touched it seemed to vanish from reality. There could have been a flash light in my face and I would have told you my eyes were shut. Though even a child can tell you darkness breeds monsters, I was solid in my stance.
The air inside was sour and tasted of iron. The floor was covered in a thin glassy water film and each of my steps caused more ripples then the previous. I placed my hand on the wall–cobble stone–and walked around the edge of the room. Extending my foot before each step searching for tripping hazards.
The room was long. If the universe had kept making sense–based on the door placement– I should had been standing in my refrigerator at this point. But coherence is something this room didn’t offer. As I made my way to the wall opposite of the door I stopped for a moment looking at the warmly glowing rectangle. I could faintly make out light bouncing of the subsiding liquid ripples of the floor.
I stood there mesmerized by the door in a way I didn’t quite understand. The yearn for the light as if I had been starved of it for eons. When I began to hear footsteps from the other side of the room I decided I best leave. I follow the rest of the wall and made my way out.
What felt only as minutes for me were hours for the rest of the world. When I emerged from the door it was much later. The time when twinkling stars cause more shadows then they killed and the central heating system began to creak the wood.
I took a long inhale of cool night air. I felt even more tired then when I came home. A full body exhaustion which shut the rest of the world from my mind. The door, the room, the chill in my spine–I convinced myself–were all symptoms of an over worked brain. There was nothing mysterious going on just the need to sleep.
I walked to my room as I hand always done before yet it felt different. My bed felt stiffer, my fan whirled louder and my eyes felt overly stimulated as well as impossibly drowsy. I closed them. Ready to enter dreamland. Then I felt something on my back. Like a pencil being pulled along my spine–slowly–one vertebrae a second.
My heart began to race, pumping adrenaline through my body, which only made it race faster. I open my eyes and rolled over. It was the kinda of moment where you looked to calm yourself, Of course it’s all in my head, you think, nothing there, I’ll just check so I can go back to sleep.
It wasn’t one of those moments.
Kneeling on the side of my bed was a woman. A layer of skin covered the upper half of her face yet you could see her eyes dart back and forth beneath it. Her hair was more pale then I felt. She waved a long sharpened nail at me. Her head began to shake violently back and forth. Almost as if she was experiencing a seizure. Her eyes were moving so fast they looked like bugs crawling under her skin. Then she let out the most stomach curling shriek.
I lied there. Frozen under my warm covers. Not knowing whether I should scream for help or take the Dr. Alan Grant approach to T-Rex’s. I did the latter. Her spasm became more violent and wholly consuming. I felt an unhallowness which–if I was a religious man–would have poisoned my very soul.
Quick as she was shaking she even more quickly stopped. A grin which threatened to rip the corner of her mouth appeared. In the most inhuman way–in a voice sounding of baby cries and smoker lung–she said ‘Thank you.’ She plunged her razor black nails into my throat.
I woke up. My sweat had seeped deep into the mattress and I felt a throat closing need for hydration. Until I realized the room was too dark and I wasn’t in my bed. I was laying in the shallow water of the room which shouldn’t be exist.
Happy Halloween to all my readers! This story had quite a few inspirations and I am happy at the way it turned out! Leave a comment of what frightens you and I will see you all next week!
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