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The Thing In The Night

By M.D. LaBelle

16 Pages.  Copyright 2023 Casper Publishing   Docx Format

One of my earliest memories is of one dark night in particular, many years ago as a relatively happy small child of about five years old with curly, light-blonde hair and pale blue eyes that my mother had always said, “Sparkled in the moonlight.” 

When I woke up suddenly out of a sound sleep, I had opened my eyes slowly to see a tall, grey-haired man in his 50’s, with crazy eyes, staring at me in the moonlight.  He held a Bowie knife tightly to the base of my throat as I blinked the sleep out of my eyes.  After staring into those soulless orbs for what seemed like forever, he leaned down so I could feel the heat of his breath on my cheek.  He whispered next to my ear, “Don’t you dare move, or that will be the last thing you ever do.”

A second later, when his lips pressed against my ear, I didn’t speak, let alone breathe, because I knew that he meant what he said.  Unfortunately, when my father rushed in with his old trusty twelve gauge and cried out, “Get away from my son before I blow your head off.” I swallowed hard and felt the knife scrape a layer of skin off my throat by my Adam’s apple and then I peed myself.

While feeling the warmth spread across my legs and all over the white cotton sheets, I had begun to wonder if this would be my last day on earth.  Especially, when my father saw the craziness in the man’s eyes, and he decided to back up against the wall.

As he stared at the two of us, he demanded, “Don’t you hurt my son.  My wife has called the cops and they will be here any minute now.” before continuing to stare angrily at the man for the longest time.

Eventually, after what seemed like forever, I heard the sirens blaze outside my window, then the tall, grey-haired, crazy man decided it was time to leave out the back door.  When I heard the creak of the door and then gunshots, I knew that they had shot him dead right where he stood.  It wasn’t until years later, that I was told the man was an escaped patient from the mental asylum and he had already killed 20 plus children before he ended up in my bedroom that night. 

From then on, I have always feared the dark.  So, when I hear a soft scratching sound coming from the walk-in closet like a mouse clawing at the wall, I try to ignore it by keeping my eyes closed and laying perfectly still, because right now the only thing I wish for is that sleep will reclaim me.  However, when I hear it repeatedly, I am forced to admit that it is not a dream as the fog begins to clear from my brain.

“Maybe if I just roll over the other way, I won’t hear it.” I think to myself as I begin to wish whatever is creating the infernal noise would just disappear....

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