My Best Friend (Short Story)

Posted in Short Story with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2017 by Lilliandra Winters

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By Lilliandra Winters

I have a best friend.

You may not think that’s a magnificent thing, but for me it’s rather odd. I never had friends growing up. I’ve always been a bit weird. I tried as hard as I could to make friends, but I never fit in with anyone. Any time I tried too hard, it backfired hard and usually in my face. It left me with a lot of… scars.

For awhile I even stopped being me. I pretended to be whatever people wanted me to be just so we could be friends; just so I could feel what it was like to have a friend. It typically didn’t work, but there were moments in my life where I had a friend… kind of. I can still see their faces clearly in my mind when I close my eyes, but they either used me, didn’t really care or… I dunno. Sometimes it was just a joke. I was bullied, picked on. I was so utterly alone.

I was desperate to be loved.

Desperation can do several things to a person. It can make you stupid, which it did for me. It can also make you bitter. Yeah, bitter. It can make you build up walls high enough and thick enough that it doesn’t matter what they fucking do. Fuck them. Before you get ahead of me, this isn’t some school shooting or revenge story. Just listen.

With my armor of not giving a single fuck, I was finally left alone. I preferred it that way. If people weren’t going to understand me, then they didn’t deserve my time. I would like to say I had better things to do, but that isn’t true. I would hide in my house and play video games, read or listen to music. If you pretend long enough, then it becomes the truth… right?

One day, my life changed. I met her at my stupid, part-time retail job. She pointed at the gaming shirt I was wearing and told me she loved that game. I just kind of stared at her awkwardly and nodded.

‘Cool,’ I said and she walked away.

Right, whatever. I went about my life and didn’t put stock into it. However, the next time we worked together, she asked me what other games I played. Standing in an aisle, at first I looked around thinking she was talking to someone else, but I was the only one there. She had this “yeah, you” look on her face.

I stammered out an answer of my favorite games and what I was currently playing. She had heard of most of them and wanted to play a few. She asked my opinions on a few others and before I realized it we were working and talking at the same time. I even remember smiling. After my shift, I scolded myself.

We don’t make friends and we certainly don’t get our hopes up.

This continued, however, every time we worked together. She would seek me out and we would chat as much as we could get away with. She coaxed my number out of me for texting and connected on social media. I did everything I could to keep that hope at bay, but I started thinking about her when we weren’t talking. I’d share stupid stuff to her that I knew would make her laugh. It was awkward and annoying but it felt so good.

The day she invited me to her house was a shock. I just stared at her and she laughed at the look on my face. Pizza and beers. I could even crash there so I didn’t have to drive home. Before I could think about it my stupid mouth flew open and accepted. My mind swirled about what she could possibly be up to. Was it a prank? What did she have to gain? Maybe hurting people was just amusing?

I showed up, of course. I even brought a bag of overnight stuff, but I left it in the car. She was renting a nice house in the suburb which I found odd but she assured me she got an amazing deal on it. I mean, you can’t beat a nice quiet place… right? It wasn’t what I expected. I expected some trick, but it wasn’t. It was pizza, beer and video games. All night. I even stayed the night in the guest room. It was the best night of my life. I woke up and she made breakfast and coffee and we laughed like we’d known each other forever.

I was this utter whirlwind of emotions. I didn’t want to accept her as a friend, but how could I not? We loved a lot of the same stuff, she loved talking to me about things she loved that I didn’t understand and would do her best to explain it to me in a way that made sense and didn’t make me feel dumb. We spent so much time together, we were practically inseparable. Other people at work even warmed up to me a bit, but I kept them at a distance. She was my best friend… the sister I never had and always wanted. She defended me, stood up for me and loved me for who I really was.

Shut up, we are getting close to the point of the story.

This goes on for months. She invites me over one night and when I show up, I can see that she’s upset. She doesn’t open up about it and I don’t press, but as the night goes on, I finally make her tell me what’s going on. She was near tears and told me that bills were adding up and her raise wasn’t as much as she had hoped on top of the rent going up. She was going to have to move in with family across the country.

I was crushed. I had finally found her and now she was going to leave me. I couldn’t let that happen.

“Well, what if I moved in? …Yeah, this house… hush.”

She was shocked and gave me the biggest hug. I didn’t have much to offer in pay, but it was enough to cover everything. Plus, I needed to get the hell out of my parents’ house. I was sure as shit too old to be living there still, but it’s expensive to be on your own. So, I moved in quickly. Don’t call me an idiot. She wasn’t a stranger. I knew you wouldn’t understand.

We’ve been living together for months and it’s been perfect. We adapted to each other pretty quickly. We had our separate spaces and our hang out spaces. I never got tired of her presence, but she would be exhausted from being around people all day at work and needed breaks to recharge. I was never offended. There was nothing to be offended about. People need what they need. You gotta take care of yourself first.

Where was I? Right!

Plus, we didn’t have room in the living room for all my retro gaming stuff, so we put it in the basement. Uh? Yes, this basement. Stop interrupting me. So, we’d lived together happily for months.

It was bliss… but then something weird happened.

It was as normal a night as any, but my stomach was terribly upset so it kept waking me up. I drank some Pepto and came down for some milk and crackers, hoping it would settle but I heard weird noises coming from the basement. I thought maybe she had brought home a guy or something, but then I got paranoid and went down to check on her.

I pushed the door open and my brain couldn’t process what I was seeing. I’ve never seen so much red at once. The blood covered everything. I stumbled backwards and slipped in it. It was so thick and sticky. Hitting the floor was a jolt to the senses and combined with the smell of copper and rancid meat, I threw up, adding to the noxious mixture of odors and gore, but that is when it caught my eye. A glimpse of movement and a wet smacking noise I couldn’t identify right away. It reminded me of the noises I make when I get amazing ribs. I was shivering from the vomit and I could feel the sweat beading as I squinted to see what was happening behind the bar.

She finally stood up and… I can’t even think about it again without shuddering. She was covered in blood and chunks of meat. Her mouth opened impossibly large, filled with rows of the sharpest teeth I’ve ever seen. Her jaw was unhinged down to her chest, slowly moving back up to adjust back to normal. Her stomach was stretched as if she were suddenly 9 months pregnant with twins.

I gawked, her nakedness was the last thing I noticed, well that and her eyes were a haunting yellow before they returned to their traditional blue. If my jaw could have hit the floor, it would have, which seems an odd thing to say given what I saw. Anyway, our location at least made sense. We were surrounded by grandparents whose hearing wasn’t great. Her? Oh she stood there looking normal, well mostly normal. Tears streaming down her face. She never wanted me to see that.

Why are you laughing?

Ohhhh, you think I’ve made this all up.

Hey, don’t laugh to hard… you’ve drank a LOT and I don’t want you puking. You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to, but I assure you this is 100% true. What do you mean, did I kill her? Look at me, do you think I could have taken her on? Did I escape? Ha ha…. HA HA HA HA HA HA… escape? Oh, that’s good.

Hey did you figure out my name yet? Where you know me from?…. No? You used to bully me in school, you were pretty fucking awful…

Anyway, to answer your question, I didn’t escape. She’s my best friend, my sister. She didn’t want to hurt me, she was just afraid of what I’d think if I knew the truth… You stopped laughing…

She should have known that I’d never run… I love her… by the way… don’t look behind you.

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Apocalypse (Short Story)

Posted in Short Story with tags , , , , , , on November 17, 2017 by Xander Woolf

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By Xander Woolf

The day the portal opened, everything changed. The tragedy at the King of Prussia Mall was just the beginning of our end. Hundreds of thousands of people died that day. The marble floors are eternally stained with their blood.

I was there that day, shopping at Uncanny! with my best friend. I was looking for the latest issue of Faith as well as a few more Pop Figures to decorate my desk at work. I remember it all so vividly. The screams still keep me up at night.

I was sorting through the comics. I had the one I wanted under my arm, but I was looking to see if anything else caught my eye. My face was turned downwards and I had no line of sight to the doorway. I quickly glanced behind me to ensure that Mara was still on the other side of the store. She was reading the back of a new board game intently, no doubt trying to determine if it was worth $50.

That’s when I heard the first scream. The heat drained from my face as screams multiplied and amplified. I ran over to Mara as my brain swam with the possibilities of what could be happening outside the store. Terrorist attack, active shooter, someone committing a public suicide. The possibilities were endless.

Before my mind could race much longer, though, I got my answer.

The creature that crawled into the store was the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen in my life. She had to stand at least eight feet tall. The skin of her humanoid torso was a translucent blue. Her hair was jet black and hung down past her navel. Her eyes were three times the size of a human’s eyes and completely black. Her mouth was impossibly large with what looked like hundreds of sharp teeth. There were pincers where her hands should have been.

Her torso gave way to one of my worst nightmares, the body of a black widow spider. She was as long as she was wide and took up the entire entrance to the store.

I stood as still as I could as the creature crept forward. She grabbed the closest person to her, an unfortunate employee who hadn’t hid well enough, and crushed his body in an instant before feasting on his head. Mara reached for my wrist and pulled me into a dressing room left over from when the space was a clothing store. We looked at each other, wide-eyed, as she placed a finger at her mouth to warn me not to make any noise.

The screams were muffled in this dark space, but they still rang in my ears. We heard crash after crash in the store beyond the door and we knew the spider lady was destroying the place looking for everyone and anyone who might be in there.

I pulled out my phone and sent a frantic text to 9-1-1, detailing, “Attack at KoP mall, send help.” I didn’t receive a bounce back message, so I could only assume it went through.
I could have sworn I heard gun shots at one point, but couldn’t be sure.

It was hours before the screaming stopped.

I looked at my phone to find that it was nearly midnight. Mara and I looked at each other and nodded. We couldn’t stay here forever. We’d make a run for the car and get as far away as possible. We both pushed ourselves up off the bench; my body was stiff from keeping still for so long. Mara made sure I stayed behind her as she carefully opened the door and peaked out. Once she determined the coast was clear, we crept out of the room to see the destruction laid before us.

I clasped my hand over my mouth to keep myself from screaming.

Blood had sprayed everywhere. I forced down a gag at the smell of sticky iron. At our feet laid the half-eaten bodies of people Mara and I had gotten to know over the years of coming to this store. Mara pulled me along with her as tears started to stream down my face. We exited the store to find half eaten bodies everywhere. The scene was more gruesome than I could have ever imagined. There was more red than I ever wanted to see again.

We proceeded through the mall slowly, so we wouldn’t make too much noise. Our shoes stuck to the ground with every step. We passed two demon spider lady corpses. They were both slumped on the ground, riddled with bullet holes.

We made it out of the mall without drawing any attention to ourselves and began to run once we hit the parking lot. I fumbled for my car keys and dropped them as I tripped over some uneven ground. I hit the ground hard and immediately started feeling around for them in the dark.

As my hand landed on my keys, I looked up to see a demon spider lady staring right at me from back where we’d just come. She looked just like the one in the comic store, but she was covered in blood.

I grasped the keys and forced myself up. I broke into a run once more and caught up to Mara, who was almost at the car. We jumped in and I turned the key as hard as I could.

Without looking, I backed up out of the spot. The car smashed into something large, but it didn’t sound like another car. I didn’t dare to look as I put the car in gear and sped away.

We got back to our apartment without any incident. We packed only essentials. Mara grabbed the bow and arrows that she always said she’d teach me how to use. I grabbed every blade – decorative or not – that we kept in the house. We packed the car and never looked back.

Today we’re still in hiding, but the majority of the human race has been enslaved by the demons.

Sea of Love (Short Story)

Posted in Short Story with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2017 by Lilliandra Winters

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By Lilliandra Winters

It didn’t immediately occur to me what was happening.

I stood there staring at him for what seemed like days but were only seconds. In that time, I could feel my very soul stir in such a way as I’d never known. His eyes so bright, full of joy; a smile that could light up a room; a laugh like a warm blanket.

You’d think my heart would flutter, but my soul moved first, not because I was falling in love with him, but because he was slowly draining the life from me.

I could feel my soul rip and tear apart, shifting into where his fingers met my skin. I wanted to scream, to cry, but I was in some sort of trance that kept the motions of us dancing happily on the dance floor. Couples around us giggled and twirled as my life drained away.

His visage never changed; not even a devious glimmer danced across his expression. What felt like hours took only moments and I crumpled at his feet.

I could hear the panicked cries and shouts. Someone begged for 911 as he knelt next to my form, holding me tightly, weeping. His act of confusion and distraught was perfect. Were I not dying on the floor, I would have bought it. I heard someone scream, “Heart attack!” and I want to laugh.

I’d only wanted to find my soul mate, to give someone my heart, but this was more than I bargained for.

The world slowed. I slowed.

His fingertips continued to drain what was left of me, but as the noise around me quieted something else grows much louder. A hum, almost, maybe a chatter. I could see everything around me fade until I could see me. The thought of floating above my body came to mind, but this was different. I was looking down at myself, but then I started to move. Some bystander with medical knowledge was attempting to help, a doctor maybe? I moved back to give him room from my body? I don’t understand.

He looked up to me and shook his head slowly, looking distraught and sympathetic. His fingers moved from my neck and he checked his watch. I turned and began walking to the bathroom. How could I be moving? Wait, this was the Men’s room. As I turned, I looked into the mirror. There, staring back at me was him, my date, my killer.

He smirked. Now we can be together forever and I can live longer. His voice came from everywhere and nowhere.

I try to speak but I have no mouth. Confusion takes over.

Shhhh, I know you have so many questions but I promise you, you will understand. We are one now, we all are. Don’t worry, you’ll never be lonely again.

His lips never moved, were these his thoughts? What was happening?

Just as he turned to walk away, that hum continued to build louder and louder until I realized it was a sea of voices trapped with me, all speaking, screaming, sobbing at the same time.

He walked down the street to hail a cab, away from my dead body. I screamed as loud as I could… with no noise. There was no one to hear me except the sea of voices.

Left 4 Dead 1 & 2

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2017 by Lilliandra Winters

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Dev/Pub: Valve
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox360
Released: November 17th 2008 & November 17th 2009

Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 are by far two of the best games out there, in my opinion. I’m shocked I haven’t reviewed it as of yet. I’ve played the hell out of this game and just have some achievements to work on.

727f9a52112d14ec1d07dd712fe2d9b0f36e306b_hqNow here we will talk about that line of what people consider horror. Horror purists will say that it isn’t a horror game if you can fight back. They prefer game in which you can’t fight back, like Outlast, and will argue that if you can fight it is action and not truly horror no matter what you are fighting. I say, fuck that. If a zombie, demon or crazy lost wife in some backwater hillbilly mansion is trying to rip your intestines from your body, it’s horror.

Now, back to the game. Each episode has a movie poster and you are starring as one of four characters. In the first game it’s Bill, Francis, Louis and Zoey. In the second it’s Coach, Ellis, Nick and Rochelle. I will point out that in the second game you (at least on PC) you have access to all of the episodes from the first game and it’s characters. However you can only play the characters appropriate to the mission, meaning you can’t play L4D characters in L4D2 episodes and vice versa.

left2b42bdead2b22bmonsterSo the story, it’s the zombie apocalypse, you’ve met 3 strangers and have banded together to try and make it out alive. This is a FPS survival horror game. You are equipped with a pistol that has infinite ammo and you can pick up various weapons you find. The weapon list isn’t long but can be entertaining. You have machine guns, rifles, machetes, frying pans, grenades, Molotov cocktails and more. However, any gun that isn’t a pistol has a limited ammo supply.  You have first aid kits, pain pills, adrenaline shots and even defibrillators to keep your character going. All this with a variety of dead things to attempt to kill you. From your normal zombies that run to your specials. Tank, Smoker, Boomer, Jockey, Spitter, Hunter, Charger and the damned Witch that will ruin your day fast. All of them horrible and deadly in their own right but when these bitches gang up on you while the normal zombies keep coming, it’s down right infuriating.

Now this is a game without end, sorry for spoilers but it’s literally about surviving. This isn’t looking for the cure or the reason it’s just surviving which is one of the reasons that I love it so much. It’s you verses them, that’s it. Get you and your friends out. I’m sure that doesn’t sound exciting to everyone but they add so much to such simplicity. It’s hard to get everyone out alive when a smoker has your buddy dangling off the edge of a building, strangling them while you’ve got a zombie hoard at your back that the AI or your friends is trying to deal with. It’s constant team work or cursing at the AI for being stupid. You always have a full party of 4 with you and if it isn’t your friend it’s the computer.

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Bottom line, it’s an amazing game that immerses you. I always get caught up in it and

find myself yelling, laughing and dying often. Oh and if you thought that the game was over once you did all the episodes, you are mistaken. After that, you get to go into verses matches. Play maps as the survivors or the special zombies mentioned above. Great for up to 8 people. Trash talking strongly encouraged.

What do you think? Have you played it and loved it, hated it? Interested? It’s available on Steam.

Huge Left 4 Dead Fan? There is a Fan Movie Left 4 Dead – The MovieI’ll review that soon.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/112665788

 

The Urn (Short Story)

Posted in Short Story with tags , , , , , , , on October 25, 2017 by Xander Woolf

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By Xander Woolf

The unusual stillness of the night set in me an eerie calm. My bedroom was dark but for the moon beams that flowed in through the curtainless window. I could not sleep. In fact, I sat upright in a hard wooden chair next to the closed window. My vision was fixed on a single red star in the sky. I could not look away until, several hours later, my cat knocked a book off of my desk, jarring me out of my trance.

I placed the book back on the desk and gave Salem a gentle pat on the head. My room was fairly mundane but tonight it felt ethereal, almost magical. The air felt so delightful on my skin that I decided to pull off my pajamas and crawl into bed naked. I fell into a dream-filled sleep almost immediately.

The cave in which I found myself was damp and dreary. I descended into the depths without so much as a second thought. My eyes strained to see in the darkness, but my feet were sure of each step they took. I could hear waves crashing on a distant shore. The stench of saltwater was so strong, it stung my nostrils. I did not know where I was, but I did know I was meant to be here. I was destined to find whatever lay below the surface.

I walked along for what felt like minutes, but could have been hours based on the ache in my legs. The air changed from humid and warm to crisp and chilly. As I descended, the sound of waves was replaced by a low snarl that could have been breathing or snoring. I shivered with excitement.

After the last few steps, I found myself in a massive cavern, lit by torches of blue fire. I continued forward, still unsure of where the snarling came from. It echoed off the walls, filling my ears at an alarming volume, but no creature was to be seen. It was at its loudest near the middle of the cavern, where there stood a pedestal holding a single clay urn decorated with foreign symbols. The urn was smooth to the touch, but seemed to vibrate beneath my fingertips.

A warmth ran up my arm and I was overtaken by the urge to break the urn open to see what was inside. Out of nowhere, there were whispers in my ear. The language was unknown to me, but I knew the whispers coaxed me on. I felt calm as I picked it up. The cavern grew deathly silent as I lifted the urn over my head, anticipating my next move. Without a second thought, I threw the urn to the ground.

The shatter was deafening. My world began to shake. The air grew hot. A deep and menacing laugh filled the cavern as the ground began to open beneath my feet. I lost my footing and began to fall, the first inkling of terror entering my chest.

I awoke in my bed with a start. I looked down at my naked form to see that I was covered in mud. Salem began to growl and hiss. My eye was drawn to the corner of my bedroom. A dark figure loomed there, unmoving. My heart jumped into my throat as I cowered against the headboard.

“What are you?” I managed to whisper. The shadows moved with it as it glided forward.

“I am death,” it whispered back. It’s voice was not a voice so much as it was a rumble that I could feel in my bones. “I am destruction.”

It stopped at the edge of my bed.

“With your body,” it continued, “I will finally destroy this world.”

I let out a piercing scream as slime-coated black tentacles reached out and encircled my body.

The Mummy (Movie)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2017 by thiathebard

Written by: Bridget Cannon

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Written and Directed by: David Koepp and Alex Kurtzman
Starring:  Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella and Annabelle Wallis

What was it about?

War profiteer and soldier Nick Morton (Cruise) is looking for artifacts to sell on the black market while being stationed in the Middle East. His antics lead his commanding officer to him, and a site of a hidden tomb. Jenny Halsey (Wallis) is a Doctor working with the US military and demands to examine the site. Within the tomb, an ancient mummy has been buried in an odd fashion. Halsey convinces the military to help her transport the Mummy back to London with her. During the flight strange things begin to happen and an evil is set loose.

What did I think?

I really wanted to like The Mummy. It is the first in a number of horror movies that Universal Studios is remaking. The Dark Universe will be bringing all of these remade monsters together with a cool team trying to track, study and contain them. That idea is really promising and, frankly, exciting to me. The Mummy just did not deliver.

I did not care about the main character. At all. Nick Morton is a terrible person at the start of the movie, he is still terrible in the middle of the movie and he is just boring by the end of it. I didn’t care if he was safe or if he reached his goals. Which is a shame because if you are going to have a character set up a big franchise, who viewers will probably be stuck with later, it is a good idea to make them at least a little interesting. Not even necessarily likable, but at least give the man some layers to his personality.

Other characters had potential. I could see Jenny Halsey being more interesting as a recurring bit character, without Nick’s blandness holding her back, in future movies. Doctor Jekyll, yes THAT Doctor Jekyll, was very well played by Russell Crowe. His character and the organization he heads are both saving graces for the story.

The Mummy herself (Boutella) was a fascinating character. I enjoyed her effects. I just didn’t understand her and Nick at all. Her story seemed to take a backseat to his shenanigans a lot of the time instead of showcasing a great villain. They had no chemistry. In short, The Mummy was pushed back in her own movie for a boring man to just make poor life choices. Can we finally stop Hollywood from believing that we want our heroes to be wrecking balls who don’t seem to care about anyone around them except for sexual purposes? 

Seriously, though. Why was Nick so important again? We had a cool organization and an awesome Mummy to play with. Honestly, Hollywood, we could have had it all.

I also was a little… okay more than a little… off put by a few big mistakes about Egyptian mythology in the movie. There are fact checkers in Hollywood. Did The Mummy even have one? It was difficult to take a universe seriously when the building blocks are not there. Particularly when misinformation keeps being thrown at the audience.

The Mummy is also just not a strong horror movie. The themes were there, but it just did not deliver. Again, because I think that too much of the focus was on the wrong character. It was like the movie was reaching for something great, but then Nick would come on screen and it would just give up. The scenes that focused on the Mummy were good. I even jumped at one of the jump scares. However, one jump scare does not a horror movie make.

Would I recommend it?

It kills me to say this because I want the larger project of the Dark Universe to succeed, but no. There were a few laughs. A couple scares. Even with a fascinating premise, The Mummy just fell flat in the end.

I will say this, though. I think there is great potential for the greater universe that is being created. If they can tighten up their storytelling and focus more on the monsters, the rest of these films could be a fun ride for horror fans. Just not The Mummy

Mother Knows Best (Short Story)

Posted in Short Story with tags , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2017 by Lilliandra Winters

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By Lilliandra Winters

You know it sucks when your own parents don’t believe you.

I can’t even tell you when it started. That stir in sleep that would tempt me to roll over, opening my eyes for just a moment just before falling back asleep… was that movement? In my closet? No.. no no no, I’m just tired. It’s the cat. I grumble and pull that warm pillow to my face and my blanket up over my shoulders and I drift off.

***

As I stare out the window in class the next day, the memory sneaks up on me. I shake it off because it’s absurd. The cat wasn’t in my room… Isn’t ALLOWED in my room at night. Bastard always attacks my feet while I’m sleeping.

I mean, I love the cat but sleep is the most precious thing to me. It escapes me so often that when I do finally sleep… Sweet bliss.

Of course, if the cat bugs at my door long enough, Mom just let’s her in. I have no idea why she loves to sleep with me. Maybe she hates me, she causes my parents no trouble. Nope, it couldn’t have been the cat. It was probably just the remnants of whatever twisted dream I was having.

***

Again, I am stirred from sleep, but can’t tell you why.

I roll over to my left side, the side that makes it so easy to fall back asleep…

What the hell was that?

I’m startled. I spied it. There was more pronounced movement, but I couldn’t tell you what the hell moved.

I’m being stupid. I’ve thought about it several times today; I’m just feeding a tired mind. Nothing is there. You need to sleep. Go back to sleep. With that, I close my eyes and drift off, but it isn’t easy.

***

After a week of these nightly disturbances, I find myself somewhere between anger and fear. I’ve laid awake after catching that first glimpse, waiting to see another, but it’s only ever the one. I was awake for hours and saw nothing. The movement is always different, never in the same location, never the same thing. Not that I even know what IT is.

Saturday comes and I’m too tired for this bullshit. I’m so tired that it took me days come to the conclusion that I should just leave the light on. So simple. So that’s what I do; I leave the light on in my closet. Because simply closing the door at this point is no longer an option. If I close the door, that doesn’t mean the motion doesn’t happen, it just means I can’t see it and that seems far worse.

I don’t remember falling asleep, but I stir and hear the pop of my light bulb going out. I’m already facing the closet, I fell asleep on my left side this time.

THERE!

The movement! What the hell is that?! I want to get up and throw the lights on, but terror sets in and I can’t move. This movement was no more profound than the last but here I lay stuck in my bed. I have no idea why I am scared shitless. Maybe it’s just rats or some shit. Or how about an overactive imagination?

Teachers loved to write that on anything I added creativity to at school. “Shows promise, but let’s reign in that overactive imagination.” I could feel myself relax enough to actively eye roll at the thought. The distraction helped and soon I drifted off.

I’ve examined my closet every single day. Nothing is amiss or out of place. I bring it up to my parents at dinner one night. They don’t even look up from their plates.

“Can’t be rodents. Not in THIS house.” It must be my overactive imagination.

I roll my eyes again, not that they saw it. She drones on about how I’m so imaginative at school, at home, with the cat. She wishes she could direct it in a more productive way. I promise them it’s real, but mother knows best. Dad replaces the bulb in my closet and I’m expected to go back to sleep as if nothing was out of place.

I do one last check of the closet before I’m off to bed. I flip the lightswitch off and something cold and soft grasps my hand. I squeak in terror and spin on my heels to look in the closet only to see nothing different.

I know I felt it.. Something… someone grabbed my hand.

I look at my right hand and it appears just the same; however, I can feel the lingering sensation of whatever it was. The skin on the back of my neck is so tight it hurts. I can feel my back clenched as I step back from the closet door.

I shiver unintentionally and climb onto my bed backwards. I don’t even change into my pajamas, I just stare at the door, curled up at my pillows with my back against the wall. I am NOT crazy and I am NOT imagining it. SOMETHING is going on.

Of course, if I told any one of my friends, they’d just assume I’d finally lost it. It doesn’t matter. No sleep for me. It’s just me and that fucking closet. My body is weak with exhaustion but my heart is thumping in my chest. I’ve got this.

***

I jolt awake but there is so much fuzz, I can’t make my way through it. My senses are overrun. Too long with no sleep means I’m fighting to remain conscious. Something is happening. What is happening?

I look at the closet door and it looks fine, but I’m hearing a thudding noise coming from the door leading to the hallway. I shuffle my feet under the blankets. Damn it! Mom must have let the cat in my room. I can feel her pawing through the blankets. I kick at her a bit, trying to focus. What the hell is that noise?

I rub my face with my hand and it feels like it wipes some of the fuzz away. There’s a THUNK THUNK at the door. I slowly part my fingers and look in that general direction.

I know that sound.

It’s the cat; she claws at the bottom of the door when she wants to be let into my room. I feel it again. Tap tap at my feet. I freeze. My breath is caught hard and painful in my chest. I’m trembling and trying not to cry. I don’t want to look. Oh God, I don’t want to look.

My eyes move from the door to the end of my bed. I can’t tell what’s there, but it sure as hell isn’t a cat. Without thought, I yank my legs up against my body. There is a pause in the air before this dark thing reaches itself up onto my bed. It has short stubby arms. Its body is no longer than a large cat. Its dark matted hair hangs in front of its face and, as it climbs up my bed, the hair shifts, revealing glowing red eyes and an impossibly wide smile.

I try to suck in air to scream, but I can’t. I can only feel hot pain spread across my chest.

Mom was right. Mom told me the cat never bothered either of them when they slept.

It grabs my body, pulling itself up along my shivering useless form. I can smell the hot garbage of its breath before I can feel it brush across the skin of my face. The weight of it on top of me feels no heavier than a medium sized dog, but I can hear its mouth moving with wet sloppy noises. It lays pressed against me, breathing forever before it finally mutters in the most deep demonic tone I’ve ever heard.

Meow.”