What Hides In The Shadows
It peeks through the window of 2663 North 106th Street, using the shadows that surround it as a cloak of invisibility. The only thing anyone would be able to see were its piercing green eyes. The rest of its body is a deep, brooding black. Its arms are long and thin, its torso gaunt and malnourished. Its fingers stretch out much longer than any humans, and it is able to absorb itself into shadows and move about them at will.
Having just recently completed its last haunting, it has moved onto this new suburban house. Doing its reconnaissance, it learns that the house is home to a young boy of about 6 years, as well as a mother and father. The boy’s bedroom is racecar themed, complete with a sports car bed frame upon which the child sleeps. Watching the young boy sleep peacefully invigorates it, gives it a feeling of purpose. It is its duty to disturb the peacefulness this family has attained in their home.
It decides to sneak through the basement, absorbing itself in the nighttime shadows, bypassing the side of the house completely. It walks through the nearly pitch black basement, observing the family’s storage area, and ascends the stairs, allowing them to creak underneath its black, slim feet. The shadow under the door allows it to slide underneath, now finding itself in the kitchen.
It walks through the kitchen and the living room, looking for the hallway that houses the bedrooms. When it finds it, it begins peering into each doorway, looking for its next victim to terrorize. The first door on the right is to a bathroom, which it ignores. A few feet up, on the left, is the parents room. It quietly enters the room and walks to the side of the bed that the wife is laying on. It takes its long, slender finger and brushes a loose strand of hair out of her face, which causes her to roll over.
It leans down over her and breathes a breath on her cheek, causing her to jump up in bed, startled. In the time it took for her to get up, it falls back into the shadows and closes its eyes, so the glowing green of them will not show. The wife looks around, knowing she felt something but not knowing if that feeling was real, or a dream. Not knowing if it was someone in her home, or a misplaced gust of wind from some unknown source. It revels in the shadow, silently laughing, for this is all a game to it.
The wife returns to sleep, and out it comes again, this time heading to its main target: the young boy. It slowly approaches the boys room and finds the door partially open. It peers in with its sharp green eyes and finds the boy sleeping soundly on his bed. With one of its thin, spindly fingers, it gently pushes the door open, which lets out a long, loud creak. The boy continues to sleep peacefully.
It walks over to the bed and looms over the boy, his warm breath just reaching the back of the boy’s neck. The boy rolls over and opens his eyes, and they lock onto its face. Its green eyes are sunken into its head, and instead of a nose there are simply two nostril holes. Its mouth is perhaps the most haunting feature of his face; a wide chasm filled with sharp, jagged teeth of various sizes and conditions, with some pearly white and others yellowed and cracked. It smiles a wide grin at the boy who then shuts his eyes and screams. It falls back into the shadows and slips into the shadow cast by the end of the boy’s bed.
The boy’s parents rush into the room, worried about their son, who tearfully declares a monster was just next to his bed. It listens as they comfort their child and tell him that there’s no such thing as monsters, which it gives a silent chuckle at the notion of. The boy insists that his parents check in his closet, which they do, of course finding nothing unusual. Once the boy is calmed down, thoroughly assured that he’d simply had a nightmare, his parents leave his room and partially close his door.
The boy stretches out, now feeling confident enough to go back to sleep. After the boy is back in his slumber, it removes itself from the shadow at the end of the bed, coming up just enough to see over the boys covers. It takes its thin arm and reaches it up and under the covers, using its fingers to tickle the bottom of the boy’s feet. It takes a few goes at it, with the boy shuffling his feet around at the unwelcome brushes against the soles of his feet, but he finally wakes up.
The boy sits back up, looking at the door of his bed, seeing nothing, but with the firm feeling that something was there. It suddenly opens its eyes and mouth, sending fear coursing through the innocent boy’s veins. The boy lets out a shriek as it rises up, holding its slender arms up to look predatory, only just falling back into the shadows when the parents rush back in.
For the next several nights, a similar course of events plays out in the poor boy’s room, until his parents finally let him stay with them for the night. It decides to take the opportunity to haunt the entire family. It uses the shadows to make its way to the attic. Once there, it walks to the space above the parents room and lays flat on its stomach. It uses one of its long, thin fingers to tap on the floor of the attic, directly above the parents bed.
It listens intently for movement in the bedroom below it, but hears nothing.
Tap…tap…tap. Just a bit louder this time.
Tap…tap…tap. Even louder yet.
This time, it hears the rustling of sheets below, and the voice of the husband ask something along the line of “what the hell is that?”
BOOM…BOOM…BOOM! It pounds on the attic floor with its fingers balled into fists, initiating a yelp from the wife in the bedroom below.
The husband cautiously climbs the attic stairs after letting them down from the hallway ceiling and peers into the attic with the aid of a flashlight. It maneuvers around the flashlight by silently dodging it and staying in the shadows. The family goes back to bed.
Four nights of peace later, the time for fun is over. It’s time to do what it came to do. It traverses the shadows into the parent’s room. It leans over the face of the wife and sticks its long, black, slimy tongue out, running it over her cheek. She wakes up horrified, but it covers her mouth with its hand, effectively silencing her. It brushes her hair gently with its other hand before opening its mouth, revealing its hideous teeth. It takes a large, crunching bite out of her neck and drops her back onto the bed.
Meanwhile, the husband wakes up and sees this creature on the other side of his bed, his wife lying there lifeless. Before he had a chance to react, out of the shadows it comes, effectively rendering him speechless. Its horrifying visage shook the man to his core. It would also be the last thing he ever saw as it jammed two of its long fingers through his eyes, through his brain, and out the back of his head. The man dropped to the ground, joining his wife in whatever awaited them in the afterlife.
It makes its way to the son’s room. It had kept its previous victim’s demises quiet, so the boy lays there sound asleep. It lurks in the shadows and moves through them to the head of the boy’s bed. It reaches its thin finger out and taps the racecar bed frame.
The boy rolls over, knowing he’d heard something but unsure of what. He groggily opens his eyes, only for them to meet the piercing green of its very own. The eyes slowly rise in the darkness, and a smile develops, revealing the hideous teeth it possesses inside its large mouth. Using the shadows, it grows to the size of the room, enveloping everything around the boy, who is frozen in fear.
It watches gleefully as the boy’s eyes well with tears and prepares his voice to scream. The boy opens his mouth and no more than a split second as the high pitched scream left his throat did it swarm the boy completely, effectively silencing him. The boy wrestles around in the shadows a bit, but to no avail. He is part of the shadows now.
It had accomplished its task. Now, it will move on to the next house he can find with a child. For this is what it does. It haunts. It is what every child fears is under their bed, or in their closet. And sooner or later, it really will be. Until that time, be wary of every shadow that surrounds you, it could be much more than that.
Categories: Nick Botic Original Story