by Ryan Hansen
Chapter 1 of my novel. Rex is visited by someone or something.
|A loud crash echoed through the still of the night and Rex awoke with a start. He didn’t dare move a muscle; and yet if he stayed in bed, whoever was in the house would surely find him. He held his breath so that it wouldn’t interfere with his ability to make out what had caused the noise.
“Hello?” he called out in a weak, shrill voice.
The air had grown still with a presence. Like that feeling you get when you know someone is following you in the night but you haven’t actually seen them stalking you. Rex pulled his blanket further and further towards his face in the hopes that it would shield him from harm. More than anything, the blanket only delayed the inevitable. If he couldn’t see the intruder, his death might be swift and unexpected. He preferred this scenario over one where he watched in horror as whatever wished to claim his life came toward him in agonizingly slow motion.
Now alert, he had visions of homicidal maniacs wandering through his home looking for a victim. Or worse, maybe it was some demonic creature from the depths that had come for a sacrifice. The thought sent a chill running up his spine.
Rex worked up the courage to visually search his room. He started with the closet door just to the right of his bed. It was slightly cracked, and for a moment Rex imagined its inky black opening leading to a dark dungeon full of goblins and monsters. This imagery caused his bravery to nearly vanish, and almost forced him to retreat behind his blanket shield once more. However, once his eyes had adjusted more to the black of night he was able to make out his favorite green shirt. It was the shirt his sister, Amadis, had given him for his 12th birthday; the one that made his green eyes glow almost supernaturally. Seeing the shirt convinced Rex that the closet was not full of goblins, so he continued on with his inspection.
His next stop was the one window that fed light into his small room. He could make out the primitive curtains that he had fashioned out of old bed sheets. He had chosen to use light blue sheets rather than the prissy curtains his sister had sewn, because he liked the way the light looked as it shone through the worn fabric. It gave him the feeling that he was living underwater .
Suddenly, a deep whisper came from the section of the room that Rex had not yet scouted. He felt his heart skip quite a few beats and instinctively jerked his head around, toward the source of the demonic sound.
There, in his doorway, he briefly saw the figure of a man, or what Rex assumed was a man. Before his brain had time to process what it was seeing, the figure had vanished. Next the low, guttural sound he had heard before once again pierced the air, this time from his closet doorway. The sound made every hair on his body stand on end and sent shivers of fear running to every part of him. There was no mistaking it; someone or something was creeping around his room. Rex was a hostage of the darkness and of his own fear. Desperate for any way out Rex used the only tool he had available, his voice .
“Who…” Rex’s throat was dry and and felt as though it was stuffed with cotton. He tried asking again. “Who’s there?”
There was an empty pause, and in the silence Rex could almost hear the fright that hung in the air. Rex saw a black mass move from his closet door. Slowly it began to take form. The creature was large and darker even than the black of night. The only part of it that Rex could identify was its eyes. They were an icy shade of blue that seemed to glow in the darkness, as if they were radioactive. Even worse than the glow was the complete lack of the features that make up human eyes. They had no iris, no pupils. They gave Rex the feeling that the creature behind them possessed no heart, sanity, or soul.
“Your destiny is said to be written in time… ” The creature’s voice came from inside Rex’s head, chilling him defenseless. The words crept into the dark corners of his mind and paralyzed every muscle in his body. “..but I watch you cower as I stand over your frail body and feeble mind. In this moment, as you lie trembling, contemplating your sanity, I receive a prophesy of my own. Your time will be short, and your destiny will end by my hand.”
Rex couldn’t respond, he felt as if he had been physically and mentally paralyzed. The creature made a sweeping motion and Rex thought it meant to end his life. He closed his eyes and prepared himself for a painful stab. His hands instinctively shielded his face from whatever horrible blow he was about to endure. He waited for the icy grip of death to come upon him and end this nightmare.
Rex soon realized that he had waited for a lifetime, frozen in terror as if turned to stone. He allowed one eye to open slowly. All that he found was an empty doorway. The creature had vanished. The terror inside his frozen body subsided. A wave of relief washed over him, although deep in the pit of his stomach he still felt a sense of dread.
As he lay still trying to sleep again, the words the creature had spoken were echoing through his mind. The appearance of the creature was an embodiment of feelings he had carried his whole life. Since his earliest memory, Rex had lived with a constant feeling of dread. He feared not only for himself, but for his father and sister. He didn’t know what he feared so much, he only knew that something terrible was in store for him. Rex could only hope that whatever was waiting for him in the future, whatever this creature spoke of, would come and go as swiftly as the creature had.