Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1301047-Behind-the-Grate-Mate
by SueVN
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #1301047
An imaginary playmate comes back to haunt.
IMPORTANT!  Author's Note: Must be all dialog, under 500 words.  Prompt:  Something eager and hungry lives within your walls, and at night you speak to it through the vent grilles and electrical outlets; it whispers back. What is said?

"I can't stand this one moment longer, Danny.  I've got to get out of here!"

"Whaaa?  Who said that?"

"Me.  Kinney.  Your imaginary playmate."

"What imaginary playmate?  I don't have an imaginary playmate!"

"Ah, well, you have just forgotten.  I was mostly around when you were four, after your parents moved and you were all alone.  Now, you're thirteen and lonely again.  So, here I am for a repeat performance."

"Are you nuts?  Where are you?"

"Behind the electrical outlet.  Bit tight, I must say.  Could you imagine me behind the intake for the furnace?  That would be much more comfortable."

"I don't even know what you look like!"

"Oh.  A lot like you.  Brown hair, blue eyes, a couple of years older so I could be the big brother you always wanted."

"You're kidding."

"No, actually, I'm not.  Now.  Just think of yourself at fifteen and behind that intake register.  Ahhhhhhh.  Whooo!  Oh, yes, that is much better. Thanks."

"I don't see you.  I'm going to get the flashlight."

"Good luck."

"I still can't see you.  Where are you?"

"Mostly in your head, Danny.  I just happen to need a projection point, which, when you were four, was not such a subject for discussion."

"Danny?  Are you still up?"

"Yeh, Mom.  I mean no.  I mean I was just going to bed."

"Do I need to come in?"

"No, no, just finished my homework.  Night!"

"Are you talking to someone?"

"No.  No way.  Must be the rainstorm."

"Okay.  Go to bed."

"Hey, Mom?"


"Did I have an imaginary playmate when I was little?"

"Kinney?  You don't remember?"


"He was your special buddy when you were four.  Had to set a place at the table for him.  Doctor said it was pretty normal for an only child in a new environment."

"I see."

"You sure you're okay, Danny?  What made you think of Kinney?"

"Oh, I dunno.  Some article for class about lonely kids."

"Alright, honey.  I'm tired.  I'll see you in the morning, okay?"

"Okay, Mom."


"Well, sort of.  So, I've been a little depressed lately.  Seem to be the odd kid out at school.  Girls hate me.  My dad won't visit me."

"I could be your friend again, but just at home."

"That's cool.  Will I even see you?"

"Maybe.  You saw me last time.  But it takes a lot of imagination and four year olds have more than thirteen year olds."

"What do I have to do?"

"Just visualize me at, say, your desk over there.  Stare at the desk real hard and let's see how it goes."

"All right.  I'm trying."

"Stop talking.  Concentrate."

"Oh - I see you.  But what's wrong with you?  What is that smell?"

"Blood, urine, a little dessication."


"I'm dead, Danny.  You thought I was an enemy soldier when you were four, and you stabbed me to death.  And now you've brought me back."

"This is awful!  How do I get rid of  you?"

"You don't, Danny.  You should have left me behind the grate.  And now, Danny, I'm free.  You may regret this." 

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