Creature

Kelly laid in bed waiting for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. 3:14 in the morning, this has got to be a new record. That’s when she heard it, the familiar rumble that three weeks ago had sent her husband, half-dressed through the house. First, she thought it was a burglar, then it was a raccoon outside, and now she had no idea what it was.

She heard something hit the hardwood floor downstairs. Kelly looked over at her husband who was still asleep and nudged him.

Chris rubbed his face and grumbled, “What?”

“I heard another noise downstairs.”

“God, Kel. There’s nothing downstairs; there’s no one outside. It’s just us, Sybil, and miles of farm around us. Go back to sleep.”

Chris rolled over, Kelly sat there listening. It must have been Sybil, their white Persian. Undoubtedly, she was downstairs on the kitchen island knocking over a glass. The noise Kelly heard was the cup hitting the floor. The thought of the unknown, made her heart race. She looked across the room at their bedroom door; it was still closed. Kelly couldn’t fall asleep unless her door was locked, and she often checked it multiple times during the night when she got up to pee.

Creeeeak…

The hardwood floor in the hall outside their bedroom groaned under the weight of something; Kelly assumed it was Sybil. Soon, she would hear the familiar cry of their cat and her claws scraping against the door as she begged to enter. Kelly waited but heard nothing. The house was quiet again. She tried to go back to sleep but something was nagging at her, she had the strangest sensation that something was watching her. She looked around the room; everything was as it should be except for their closet door. As she slid out of bed to close it, she looked down and saw Sybil in her cat bed, asleep.

***

Chris was already on his way to work by the time Kelly stepped into the shower. The hot water tried in vain to revive her, but the night had been too long, her weariness too deep and set into the bags that had formed under her eyes. There was a loud clamoring over the running water that sounded like the entire wall was about to be ripped from the studs. Kelly turned the water off and jumped out, hair still soapy and grabbed a towel from the rack so fast that she didn’t see the writing on the foggy mirror that read, “when you hear the drums, run.” She opened the door and peered out of it, then dared to open it a little wider.

“There’s nothing there,” she told herself, feeling stupid. She dried her hair and went to the closet to get something to wear. The door was ajar, and there was something stuck behind it. She reached down and moved a shoe that got in the way of the door opening. That’s when she saw it; everything was thrown all over, even the shelves were ripped from walls.

Kelly stepped over the mounds of clothing and into the closet to turn on the light. The door immediately slammed shut behind her. Kelly’s hand groped along the wall in the dark for the light switch. She flicked it up and down, then up and down again, but it wouldn’t come on.

The faint sound of drums filled her ears, the rhythm slow at first but as it got faster, the sound increased in intensity. The back of the closet fell away, leaving only a ball of light in its place. Kelly screamed and tried to move but she was unable to and all the while the drumming, insistent and unyielding. A shape appeared, she could barely make it out, a hand reaching for her through the light. Kelly fainted, when she came to Chris was standing over her.

“What are you doing?”

“The closet,” Kelly mumbled out of breath and groggy not completely sure of where she was.

“What about it?”

Kelly looked around her; she was lying on the floor of the closet, red shoe in hand, ready to fight. Everything looked normal except for her, the shelves were in place, their clothes exactly as Chris had left them that morning. Chris helped her up off the floor and downstairs for some tea to calm her nerves. The closet door closed on its own behind them.


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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Asha Rajan says:

    I really like the eeriness of that last line — it’s a nice way to set up a continuation of the story too! You had some good imagery here and it was easy to visualise the setting. The pacing was a little erratic for me. It felt like you really wanted to explain some details, and that slowed the pace of the action down. Breaking up the first and last section with dialogue was a good strategy. That helped to keep the narrative moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Writer says:

      Thanks! That happens a lot when I edit. I never know what to keep and what to throw out. It’s a lot easier to do when I have a few months away from a piece.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Imaginings says:

    I was so sure the character was going to be murdered like most of the other stories. Such an interesting twist that she survives. I’d like to see a bit more of her self-doubt about the crazy situation afterwards and how she handles it and how her husband reacts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Writer says:

      Thanks! I blame the word count. lol

      Like

  3. anusrini20 says:

    I really liked the way you built up the setting and the characters, but I felt I needed more time with the story to understand it better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MM Schreier says:

    Weird sounds in the night are always a great horror trope.

    A lot of successful horror stories are vague in the details of what is happening and why. The unknown is scary, right? To me this piece felt like a fragment of something larger though. I don’t need all the answers, but it felt unresolved at the end.

    My favorite part was when she looked down and realize the cat was asleep. Gave me the shivers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Writer says:

      You don’t know how many times that has happened to me. And you’re right it is just a snippet of a much larger story. It’s a part of a historical horror novel I was working on and then scrapped a few years ago. When we got the prompts for this week, I remembered that section of my story and thought it might work with a quick edit. Which then of course turned into me rewriting half of it.

      Like

  5. I liked the image of red shoe in hand ready to fight. Nice story and I am glad she survived. I get the feeling she might not be so lucky if there is another episode.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I liked little bits like this: There was a loud clamoring over the running water that sounded like the entire wall was about to be ripped from the studs. It reminded me of the wobbling pipes in an old house when it finally heats up from ice cold to scalding hot 🙂

    FYI there were a few “she was” “she looked” and other extraneous words of the same type that could be cut in favor of more active, strong verbs to ramp up the creep 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Writer says:

      Thanks! I will keep that in mind for my next story.

      Like

  7. innatejames says:

    The paragraph that describes Kelly’s actions in the shower was the strongest for me. We got what she was sensing; we were placed in her mind, so it was easy for me to put myself in her situation. Other parts of the story, the first paragraph, for instance, was in the author’s voice. Phrases like “And that’s when she heard it” or “that’s when she saw it” sound like someone telling a story not a description of a scene. It’s a “gotcha.” Instead, I wanted to know what she thought the sound sounded like, how she reacted to it, how she’s reacted to it in the past, what Chris thought it was. There were also some wordy, static sentences. The sentence that starts “As she slid out of bed…” for instance. “She looked down” can be inferred. “Saw…in the cat bed” isn’t a description the reader can visualize. “As she slid out of bed to close it, she saw Sybil twisted into a knot in her little pink bed.” Or something like that might be better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Writer says:

      Thank you!!!

      Like

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