pitch black ...
like ink ... or drowning in oil
only she could breathe
heart thrumming in her ears like tympani
it was all she could hear
she had awakened from dreaming
a good dream, too
(though it was now gone from memory)
laying on her left side
she had first felt the awful cold
not just a chill
but a horrid freezing
as if it was mid-winter and all the windows were open
but it was early July ...
her back to the bedroom door
she had rolled over slowly, eyes closed
though she could tell through closed lids
that the hall light was on
sensing that her mother was checking on her
she parted her lids very slightly
and froze in terror ...
as a gigantic black figure hulked in the doorway
icy cold waves of air emanating from it
in all directions
as if it was made of ice
perhaps she was still dreaming, she'd thought
and so cracked her lids a bit more
only to see
two rows of needle-like teeth
about where a mouth should be
but no eyes ...
no ANYthing else but blackness
and that horrid, bone-chilling cold breath.
for a while she'd stayed motionless
but when it didn't move
she'd resolved to make a plan and stick to it
so she counted to three in her head
quickly jumped out of bed on the other side
and RAN to the closet ...
slamming the door
and tying it shut with a belt
from the knob to the closet pole.
that was almost an hour ago, counting in her head
and all that time, silence ...
utter, dead silence ...
and that horrid freezing cold.
there was not a bit of light in the closet
so no matter how long she'd been there it was like ink
and the darkness and cold and awful silence
pressed in on her
heart beating louder ... breath getting shallower
and horrific images of those teeth dancing in her mind.
then, just when it seemed like
the silence would drive her insane
a sound came ...
a dry, sinister, rhythmic scraping sound ...
like claws of ice on a chalkboard
and growing MORE so by the second
as it crawled steadily across her bedroom floor
toward the closet ...
where she waited, terrified
Gregory R Barden