A little writing exercise this week as inspired by Chuck Wendig on his blog Terrible Minds. Hope you enjoy.
I hear the sound from the end of the hallway. I slouch in my desk chair so that no part of me can be seen. Because being in its site equates to engagement. I look around to make sure that I am fully tucked behind the shadow of the chair – just like when I slept in my parents’ home those many years ago and was protected from all the farm house’s evils, if only every part of me was covered under the down quilt.
The sound means the creature is searching for me; it wants things from me, things at this moment I do not want to give. I want to be left alone. I do not want to be bothered with its needs, for it requires so much of me to just keep it satiated. I close my eyes, like that of the 10-year-old me who thought that the irregular creatures that roamed the forest which abutted the farm’s border could not see me if my eyes were closed. Perhaps it will work on this being which now creeps down my hall.
The call comes again. The squeak and pip, it rips through my eardrum like a bullet barreling down my ear canal. It incites dread that races in circles around my brain, pinging back and forth between what I want to do and what may happen if I move, even breathe. I know the sound and the being to which it is attached. It only rouses further efforts in me to be a hidden statute in my giant desk chair, knees pulled up and hugged, breathing slowed to that of a hibernating bear.
There is a thump, a pause and then another thump. Another squeak and pip erupts behind, yet closer, its nonsensical vocalization. I don’t understand them. For years now I have been terrorized by its presence, its sound – in fact nearly a decade. Yet, its disruption of my life continues, just when I think I will be left at peace, it roars back, destroying the house – it slinks in mud on its form – seemingly sprayed like that of a wet dog from stem to stern of my home. Not neat prints or tracks to sweep and mop up in a flash when it decides to leave me alone, no, it leaves sticky goo of unknown origin on my walls, the dining room table, the bathroom sink, or worse, slimy rings of muck that will not leave my bathtub.
This haunting, however, I brought upon myself, I reflect as the stomps and shrill song of nonsense that this creature emits to bring its prey – the one it wants to entertain it or feed it or otherwise fulfill its desires – continues to bring dread hailing upon me.
I’m frozen; I can hear its breath. I hear it shuffling its crud-encrusted feet behind me. It smells like stinky slippers. I want to gag. It exhales; I hold my breath. It edges closer, its body heat right behind my chair.
Then the chair is pushed and rotated; I am exposed.
“Mom! There you are.”