Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, and I’m delighted to welcome a new author to the ranks. This is a piece by Bee Striker, entitled
A Not So Scary Short Story
Background music by Smartsound
It started as a trickle as she walked under the awning to avoid the rain. As she extended her hand to touch the drops, a rough hand grabbed it, forcing her to swing around. A pale face with dark eyes met her surprised stare. Before she could respond, the man released her with a quick turn and walked off.
The intense moment had gone straight through her entire body, and she felt something pull out of her…or in her. She couldn’t really tell. She shuddered. A quick look around made her realise nobody seemed to notice anything odd had just happened. Shaken, she headed home, quickly looked around, and locked her door.
The unsettled feeling did not leave as she readied for bed. She felt silly as she double checked the lock on her door, the windows, every room, and even under her bed before she climbed into bed. She tried to calm herself but sleep would not come.
“Please help me.” She sat up. What the hell was that? “Please…help…” The voice initially startled her but quickly grew faint. She flew out of bed and flicked on the light. She looked under the bed again, flung open her closet, and opened her bedroom door. She stared into the darkness in silence. Nothing.
She didn’t know how long she stood in her bedroom doorway. A cool draft reminded here she was barefoot. After a quick glance around the dark house, she crawled back into bed.
A man’s limp body lay with heavy chains anchoring his feet to the cement floor. A worn loincloth was his only covering. His damp hair stuck to his pale face. Each slight movement made him groan in pain. “help me..” He wasn’t sure if he actually voiced that or it was just in his head. He heard a door creak open and footsteps slowly descend the stairs. He turned away preparing himself for more pain.
She woke up with a start, bewildered at what she just saw. The face of the man was eerily familiar. A quick image of the man who had grabbed her earlier flashed before her eyes. It was him! Why did she just have a vision of him? Was it real, or just a dream? It sent a chill through her to the core.
The next morning she ran back to the awning where she first encountered the man. Eyes flitting back and forth, she saw no sign of him. Which direction had he gone when he walked away? She tried to think. Following what she thought was the direction, she headed down the street. At the end of the block she paused, not knowing which way to go. For no reason at all, she turned right, crossed the street, and headed down the sidewalk. The sidewalk started to decay as she continued walking.
Something made her pause in front of a small lot. Weeds dominated the landscape, almost drowning out the small shack. Weeds scratched her legs as she approached the building. She listened for any indication of life as she slowly walked up to the door. The screen door was ripped and the shabby door was ajar. The door creaked as she slowly pushed it open. A sparse room gave her an apathetic greeting. The worn couch sat quietly next to an old coffee table. She felt the lone beer bottle resting on the table. It was warm.
A groan made her alert to someone else in the house. She spun around towards the door. Nobody had entered behind her. Her ears almost perked up trying to listen. “Help me…” The helpless plea seemed to be calling from below. As she looked around the house, she noticed a small staircase around the corner. The stairs creaked as she cautiously descended.
The dank room surrounded her as the aroma attacked her senses. She forced her eyes to adjust to the darkness. A man lay almost motionless on the floor. A chain anchored his ankles to the floor. A worn loincloth was his only covering. He was facing the opposite wall as she slowly approached.
She saw his light skin shake slightly. As she turned him over and saw his pale face, she gasped.