Todays short story is quite short, more flash fiction than short story really. Sorry about that! It was a busy day today but fridays and mondays short stories will be longer!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it regardless of length (that’s what she said. badum tsh. …I apologise for that. I’ll just go get my coat.)
On with the show!
It Comes to Her at Night. Short Story.
She lay under the covers, trying to slow her breathing, but it was getting warm, so very warm. The covers were thick and blocked out what little light had made it into her room. She knew calling out wouldn’t help, she had tried it before, each time her parents rushing, or as time passed, meandering in, to tell her that there’s nothing there, go back asleep. They didn’t see it, maybe they couldn’t, but there was something there. It was there every night. She had tried to get a nightlight, but that made it worse, it still came, it was better not being able to see. When it was shrouded in shadows she could pretend it was something else, some clothes on the back of a chair, strange shadows coming in the window. Lately that wasn’t working. She could hear it moving, breathing. It was there and it didn’t want to be ignored. Finally, the heat overcame her fear and she pushed up the top of the duvet slightly, to allow fresh, cool air entrance. With it came the smell of it, old and dusty, tinged with something else, something unpleasant.
It had been coming to her room as long as she could remember, but despite its nightly visit’s the fear didn’t diminish. It made it worse, knowing it was there, watching, plotting, planning. With enough air for the moment, she pulled the duvet back down, covering herself completely. She knew it wouldn’t protect her, not really, but she felt better with something between her and it.
There was nothing she could do to protect herself, she had tried, she had tried so hard. She covered the doors in holy water so it couldn’t cross, she tried salt, she had even considered attacking it, getting it before it could get her. She tried having sleep over’s, as many as possible, but it still came. The girls that came had nightmares, or at least, that’s what they said and never returned. Word spread quickly, no one would come to her house now, never mind sleep over. She herself had been ostracised, banned from sleepovers and birthdays, just in case it followed her and found a new home. She opened a little crack, allowing air in again, then froze, she could hear something moving across the floor, something that rustled and slithered. She could see its hand in the tiny crack, slowly, she pulled the duvet down tightly, removing it from view. It was old and white, wrinkled and stained. Tears began to run down her face, she cried silently, knowing nothing would help her. Her heart thudded wildly, filling her ears with noise, blocking out all other sound. She wouldn’t be able to hear it when it struck, there was nothing she could do. Her breathing quickened as she tried to calm herself.
Something pressed down on her shoulder, though the duvet was between them, her shoulder was suddenly cold, she knew it was its hand, reaching out, grabbing her. The duvet couldn’t’ protect her. She shut her eyes tightly, wishing to be safe, wishing for salvation, knowing it wouldn’t come. She was doomed, slowly, the duvet was pulled down, away from her head.