Saturday, April 2, 2011
Story-A-Day #142: Tom
The shadows scurried. There was no other way to explain it. She had climbed out of the shower and was toweling off, the remnants of the song she had been singing still drifting through her mind, when she noticed the movement.
It was quick and fleeting, a sudden dash across the yard outside the window. Her first impulse was to assume it was a peeping tom, some lowlife trying to sneak a peak at her.
She had noticed her neighbor skulking around back there before and assumed that this was more of the same.
She pulled the towel tighter around her torso and peered out through the blinds. Everything seemed to be as it should and just as she was about to turn away again, the black shape dashed from tree to shed.
She squinted more intently. There was something out there, but it was hard to tell what it was. It was too fast to track with her eyes, and too amorphous to clearly distinguish. She could just make out a wavering form behind the shed, dark tendrils extending fingerlike around the corner of the small building.
She banged an open palm against the window hoping the abrupt noise would be enough to scare off whatever was out there. The shimmering form froze and the imposing feeling of being watched quickly mounted. She took a step back as her discomfort grew and was about to turn to leave when the form revealed itself.
It was a shifting black mass, uniform in its make up, but hard to distinguish against the growing gloom of twilight. A pair of glowing red-gold eyes peered across the distance between them, sizing her up.
She took a few tentative steps backwards, finally running into the flimsy bathroom door,. The jarring impact caused her breath to seize momentarily in her chest.
The black shape flowed across the yard with a sudden burst of speed and filled the entire space of the window, its breath fogging up the small pane of glass. There were no discernible features to be seen.
The shape vanished as quickly as it had appeared. She ran into the bedroom where she hastily turned on all the lights and closed the blinds. It was a while before she was able to make her way back to the bathroom, and when she did, there was no sign of the creature – only a growing darkness that slowly filled the neighbor’s yard in an inky black darkness.
She returned to the bedroom and crawled under the sheets. It was something she hadn’t done since she was a child, but that night, she left the lights on, a comforting glow to ward off the things that go bump in the night.