Perfect End to a Perfect Night. Short Story.

Scott walked with his head down and his hands in his pockets, it had been a long night and not nearly as fun as it was supposed to be. He’d struck out with Casey, who’d disappeared halfway through the night with some random guy, they had been flirting on and off for the past few weeks and the night that he was finally going to make a move she goes and hooks up with someone else. He shook his head, it was his own fault really, he should have bit the bullet and asked her out last week when they’d been in the library after everyone else left, it was the perfect moment. He had no one to blame but himself, if he had just manned up and asked her none of this would be happening. He let out a sigh, next time he’d ask her, after all the worst she could do was say no. A drunk couple stumbled passed him, they were laughing uproariously about something and hanging onto each other for balance and support, he smiled a little and continued walking, at least he wasn’t off his face like they were, he’d decided to limit himself to only a few drinks. The last few months had been heavy on the alcohol and he felt good giving it a bit of a break, and it would be nice to wake up with his memory in tact.

Scott walked a little faster, he had gone past the crowds of people and was now alone, he always hated this part of his walk home, it always felt creepy. Part of him wanted to listen to music, something happy and upbeat, but he knew that would be a bad idea. You never know who you might run into in places like this, easy enough place to mug people, no one else around, quiet enough, lots of little side streets to hide in or run through. It had been a while since he heard of anything really bad happening, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t.

He let himself into the house and made his way upstairs, in his room his stripped down to his boxers and got into bed, he lay there for a few minutes before getting up again, he threw on some pyjamas and went downstairs. In the kitchen he grabbed a can of beer and went into the sitting room, he wasn’t feeling all that sleepy and it’d be a while before the others were back.

He cracked open his third beer then looked at the time, he was surprised that the others weren’t back yet, maybe they’d gone somewhere else after, wouldn’t be the first time. He was halfway through his can when there was a heavy banging on the door. Scott sighed, at least he was still awake, he got up and went to the door, they were always forgetting their keys. He opened the front door and looked around, no one was there. He closed the door over, maybe it was just some drunk who realised they were at the wrong house and ran, that or some drunk teens playing stupid games. He went back to the sitting room, he jumped as there was a sudden knock on the window, he looked out but saw no one standing there. His head whipped around as there was another knock at the far window, again there was no one there. He sat, frozen on the couch as the knocking moved around the house, whatever it was was banging heavily on the windows and they seemed to be going in a full circle. It had to be the others fucking with him, it was too weird to be anything else. He could feel a thin coating of sweat on his forehead and upper lip, his heart thudded heavily, he took a slow breath. He just needed to stay calm, it’d be over in a second and they’d all come pouring in, laughing their asses off. The knocking made it to the front door, then it was at the window. Scott watched as the glass shook under the heavy pounding, but still he could see no one, not even a hand. Then, just as suddenly as it began, the knocking stopped. Scott waited, but there was only silence. Finally he started to relax a bit, he stood and moved closer to the window, who ever was fucking with him was doing a good job of it, they had him going. He cupped his hands around the glass and peered out into the garden, he had to admit it was a clever trick, but that’s all it was. He scanned the shadows, looking for whoever it was, but the garden appeared empty. What ever it was hit the glass again, Scott jumped back with a yelp, it felt like whoever was hitting the glass was aiming at his face. Scott turned and ran from the sitting room, the pounding stared again on the door, he could hear it shaking in its frame, he raced up the stairs and ran into his room, locking the door behind him. Below him there was a crack, then another, there was a loud bang, and then there was silence. His phone, he needed his phone, he reached for his jeans and pawed through them, it wasn’t there, Shit. He’d brought it downstairs, it was sitting on the arm of the sofa.

Scott listened intently, there was no one coming up the stairs, they always creaked terribly, whoever or what ever it was might just grab a few things and leave. There was a knock on the door, gentle, almost tender. Scott let out a strained high pitched sound, the door handle began to move back and forth slowly at first then with increasing speed, the banging returned, this time louder, harder. Then it all stopped. The handle slowly twisted, then there was a faint click and the door swung open, revealing an empty hallway. Scott scrambled backwards until his back hit the wall. He could feel something gently rubbing against his cheek, it almost felt like fingers, but they were abnormally hot. There was pain on his cheek, dull and throbbing, it grew in intensity, becoming white hot, he could hear his skin sizzling, smell it burning, the pain was all encompassing, there was nothing left in the world but that awful, incredible pain. His fingers ripped at his cheeks as he screamed, his nails tearing bloody gouges into his skin. When it was over Scott lay on the ground in a puddle of gore, his body a patchwork of gouges and burns, the door to his room closed with a gentle click.

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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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