Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Story (part II)


(continued from part I)

If it wasn’t Donald, that left only one person. Dad.

Douglas’ dad was the kind of man who thought he was funnier than he truly was. And scaring his own two sons was hilarious to him. In fact, he thought a little fright built character. It was why Douglas didn’t get in trouble every time he tormented Donald.

It was also why Douglas poked his head out from under the covers.

“Dad? If that’s you,” Douglas said, “you scared me. Okay? You can stop now.”

Douglas paused a moment. “Dad?”

Nooooo dad. The voice sounded stronger. Closer. I’ll see you soo-oon.

Douglas didn’t know what was under his bed. He didn’t care. At that moment he knew one thing, and one thing only. He had to escape.

The window was closest, but it was also two stories down to the ground. Even if Douglas made it to the window before the thing under his bed caught him, he couldn’t be sure he’d actually jump from so high up. He was not a fan of heights.

In his mind he could picture little Donald sitting up on a tree branch, unafraid of heights, laughing down at Douglas who frantically called up for help as bony, clawed hands reached up from the ground, grasping at Douglas’ legs.

Shaking the image from his head, Douglas looked for another way out. It was too far to the door to make it safely out of the room. Somehow he knew that if he stood up on his bed to try and get a running start, the monster would know and attack before his feet left the cushion of the mattress.

It was hopeless.

Heh, heh, heh, the voice chuckled. The bed shook, just a little, with each short laugh.

Douglas hung his head. He didn’t mean to cry, but it was all he could do. The tears dripped from his eyes, rolled down his cheeks, and fell – plit, plit, plit – on his pillow.

And then it hit him. He knew just how to escape.

Douglas slipped silently out from underneath his covers. He grabbed his pillow in one hand and scooted on his bottom to the foot of the bed. He could hear the thing underneath shifting around, following the sound of his movements.

Taking a deep breath, Douglas dropped the pillow beside the bed. As soon as it hit the ground with an airy pluff, Douglas shot from the foot of the bed. In two quick bounds Douglas was at the door, nimbly twisting the doorknob, bursting into the brightly lit hallway. He slammed the door shut behind him, sinking down to the ground with his back against the sealed off room.

When he looked up he saw both of his parents staring down at him.

“Honey?” mom said. “What’s going on?”

Douglas could not speak. He continued to gasp for the breath he lost in his dash to safety.

But from out of the corner of his eye he noticed Donald standing still in his doorway. In one hand he held his battered, brown stuffed bear. On his face was plastered a smile that stretched from ear to ear. Slowly – very slowly – Donald raised his other hand up to his face. He put his index finger in front of his grinning lips and whispered very softly, shhhhhh.

The End.

Copyright 2008 Josh Shaver

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Halloween Story (part I)


Douglas Grayson was convinced the voice came from under his bed. The voice was no louder than a whisper, but he was sure he heard something.

Sooon, the voice had said. I’ll see you soon.

Douglas sat with his back against the headboard, clutching the covers tight against his chest. His heart was beating quick and loud and his breath was caught somewhere between his lungs and open mouth.

It was late and dark. Douglas’ eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness and he was able to make out his desk, the chest of drawers, his closet, and the T.V. Everything in its place, just as it should be.

Turning his ear to listen once more, Douglas sought the sound that had awoken him from what he remembered to be quite the cheery dream. There were puppies and ice cream and no school. Even his little brother Donald was nowhere to be seen. It was the kind of dream no one would want to leave.

But that voice – that sneaky, slick hiss – pulled him out of wonderland. And into darkness.

And into fear and frantic eyes searching a still room.

Douglas listened. Nothing. No sound but that of the wind outside tapping gently against the side of the house.

Maybe it was all in his imagination, Douglas thought. His mother had warned him about watching scary movies right before bed. Of course scary movies had never bothered him before. Tonight he was even able to convince Donald that Chuck vs. the Zombies was totally appropriate for a five year old, and not in the least bit terrifying or frightening.

It didn’t take but five minutes and one slow-moving, hideously disfigured, moaning zombie to send Donald silently screaming from the sofa.

Donald had not said a word in the six months since Douglas had popped out from inside his closet one night as he was just about to fall asleep. Wearing a blood-red clown’s nose and sharp, hairy wolf man claws, Douglas had simply scared the voice right out of his little brother.

Could little Donald be out for revenge? He was small enough, Douglas thought. He could have slipped under the bed as I was sleeping. He had given Douglas an eerie twitch of a smile as he padded in his pajama-clad feet off to bed that night.

“Donny?” Douglas whispered. “Is that you?”

The room was silent. Nothing moved. Nothing answered back.

Douglas relaxed. His white-knuckle grip on the sheets loosened. He took a deep breath. Moving to the side of his bed, Douglas dropped his head into the space between his bed and the floor.

Ssssoooon, the voice spat from deep underneath the bed.

Douglas jerked his head up and slammed his back against the headboard. He threw the bedcovers over his head, hugging his knees tightly between shaking arms.

Definitely not Donald.

(to be continued)

Copyright 2008 Josh Shaver