Playtime. Short Story.

London was pretty awesome, we went to the Doctor Who Experience, which was really good, then pretty much wandered around the city for the rest of the day, which was fun. Though there were some disturbing and strange parts, like the sex shop display full of gimp masks, or the male underwear shop that had very prominent anatomical parts on the window dummies and no, we were not looking for that kind of stuff specifically, that is one of the dangers of wandering with no real idea of where you are going. There was also a random man that came up to us and asked if we spoke english, the way he said it was strange, and the question itself surprised me and I opened my mouth to begin to answer the question and then stopped, before I overcame my surprise and confusion he moved on, he waited for a second then left. We assumed he was begging or something afterwards and going to give some story about why he needed money.
It’s the only thing that makes sense because if he was looking for directions or something he would have just said sorry, do you know where xyz is? like a normal person.

We got lunch in a nice place near the Olympia, ham and brie Panini, I love brie! The guy behind the counter asked if we were going to the doctor who experience and when we said yes, he said he thought so because of my t-shirt, which was amazing. My t-shirt wasn’t Doctor Who related at all, but still, it was nice to hear I had an amazing t-shirt! And yes, we were relieved going in that we were not the only adults only group there. Would have liked to get a something from the gift shop but there was nothing that could have been brought back on the plane without it getting destroyed. We only brought only one bag with us and that was only because my sister brought a hand bag type thing. I only went with what was in my pockets. I felt really suspicious the entire time going through.

Absolutely wrecked yesterday and still tired today, hopefully will be back to form soon.
Anyway, enough rambling, on with the show!


It was late and he was tired, but not tired enough to go to bed yet. The movie he was watching was almost over, it would only be a little while longer and as soon as it was over he would go to bed. As the credits began to roll he got up and turned off the lights. As he wandered through the house he realised how truly tired he was. Slowly he trudged up the stairs, only a little further and he’d be able to sleep. He paused at the bathroom door then went in, sighing. He should have brushed is teeth earlier in the night. He turned the tap and the sound of gurgling water filled the room. He picked up his brush and put some toothpaste on it.

He was almost finished brushing when he heard a noise, like someone walking, he paused, then turned off the tap, listening. There was nothing, he waited for a moment then turned the tap on again, finishing up and rinsing. As he reached for the tap he again heard a faint noise, turning it off he paused, listening. It was probably that movie or something, he was tired, it was late. He rubbed his eyes, then left the bathroom, it was only a short walk to his room, a few feet, but the entire time he felt nervous and exposed. He tried not to look around him, it was ridiculous. He wasn’t a child anymore, the night and dark shouldn’t frighten him. There was nothing in the house. What were the chances someone would pick the exact moment he was brushing his teeth to break in, and he would have heard breaking glass or something. All the doors were locked, he’d checked that before he started watching the movie, the house was just settling, that was all, it made those noises all the time and it was only freaking him out because he was tired.

He slipped under the covers, the harsh cold of the sheets waking him briefly, as it warmed he began to become sleepy again and started to drift off. He was almost asleep when he heard something again, there was definitely a noise. He sat up in bed, trying to listen to the noise above his frantic heartbeats. He took slow, deep breaths, trying to calm down. He reached over to the bedside locker and grabbed his phone, if anything happened he wanted to be able to ring for help immediately.

He sat up, and after a moments hesitation he got out of bed and carefully walked to his door, trying not to make noise. The room was dark, but there was enough light for him to see. He eased the door opened and stood by the crack, listening intently. There was no more noise but he was sure he heard something. After a seconds hesitation he opened the door and stepped into the hall, it would only take a second to search the house and he wasn’t feeling very tired anymore, he probably wouldn’t be able to sleep unless he checked.

He made his way through the house, after he reached the front door, he realised he had no weapon and, after quick look around, settled on an old walking stick because it was better than nothing. He kept a tight grip on his phone, ready to ring if he saw or heard someone.
Each room he entered he looked around quickly and turned on the light. He had called out a few times, telling them that if they just left now he wouldn’t call the police, but that he was ready to call. As each room was clear he became more nervous, convinced that the diminishing number of rooms held a higher chance of him finding someone. He pretended to talk into his phone, and called out again, “I just called the police, they’ll be here in a few moments. I’d advise you leave because I will press charges.” He wasn’t sure if that was how it worked, but either way, he sounded confident about it so if anyone heard him they’d hopefully just leave. He didn’t want to confront them, they could have a weapon, he just wanted them gone. He stood outside the last door, trying to stay calm, he took a breath then shoved the door open, brandishing the walking stick, he quickly reached over and flicked on the light, shouting all the while. They had to be in this room. He froze, mid scream, the room was empty. There was no where they could have hid, he had checked each room thoroughly.

He checked each window and door, making sure it was locked, then he slowly returned to bed, feeling slightly foolish, but more relaxed. At least he was sure now. He climbed into the covers and they were once again cold. He was dozing off again when he  thought he heard a noise. Damn house. He ignored it and drifted off to sleep.

He woke suddenly but seemingly without reason, he was warm, there were no noises. He lay where he was a for a moment, trying to listen. There was nothing. After a moment he turned over and sat up, it was darker than he had thought and after straining to see, he turned on his bedside lamp. Light flooded the room and he froze. A man was standing at the door. He was tall and thin, dressed in dark clothes, he skin pale, his eyes bright and glittering. “The hell are you doing here?” The man continued to stare. “Look, just leave all right? I’m tired, it’s been a long day.” he glanced over at the nightstand and couldn’t see his phone. Fuck. He hoped that being blasé about the situation might confuse the man or startle him into leaving, he quickly looked back, the man’s smile broadened, and he held up the phone. He shuddered, the stranger had been so close to him. There was nothing he could use for a weapon, there was a large glass sitting on the nightstand, he had a good aim, he grabbed and hurled the glass at the man. His aim was good, very good. The glass went straight at the mans head, it passed through and shattered against the door. “The fuck?” The man smiled, and crushed the phone in his hand, his grin elongated, looking as though it would split his skull open. The man stepped forward, his weapons were sharp and ready.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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