Childhood fears ... or more? A SCREAMS!!! Entry
A door slammed, startling Laura. “Shit!” She grinned sheepishly, feeling chagrined at being alarmed in her family’s house. Hell, I grew up here! She walked down the hall to her bedroom.
As she pushed the door open with her foot, the room did seem smaller than she remembered. Of course, I was much younger then. Laura had left this room seven years ago. It had been both her bane and her sanctuary.
The room hadn't changed much. She ran her eyes over the lavender walls and the mauve curtains. The twin bed was still covered with the quilt that her mother had made for her 14th birthday. She listened in the silence; the room still echoed with remembered dreams, triumphs, heartbreaks ... and the closet.
She had always believed that something lived in the closet. Growing up, she remembered hearing noises coming from it, as if a voice was calling her. Sometimes, when she woke up during the night, she thought she could see the door slowly open. And, the dreams ...
The shadow on the wall was all she could see from under her covers. It was misshapen, like something had stepped on it but it continued to live. It moved slowly and now, she could hear a slobbering sound as it approached. She could feel its long, boney fingers begin to slide under the covers. Its touch was cold and wet and seemed to suck the warmth from her body …
She would wake up screaming.
Her father, her mother, and others had all inspected and rearranged the closet a million times trying to allay her fears. Finally, she had insisted that a lock be put on it. That had allowed her to survive until she left for college.
"I'm not afraid of you anymore," she said aloud, a small shiver running down her spine.
A knock on the door caused her to jump. Well, maybe just a little, she thought, the embarrassed grin returning.
"May I come in?"
He smiled. "Well hon, I'm off to bed and thought I'd check on you." With a wide grin, he asked, "Do I need to check the closet just in case the monsters are back?"
"Not tonight, Dad. I'm fine."
He gave her a hug. “Welcome home,” he murmured.
"I'll call if I need you," she warned as he closed the door.
Laura hoisted her suitcase onto the bed. It’s funny. The closet shaped much of my childhood and, indirectly, steered me into my profession. In college, she had been drawn to automation. She reasoned that without emotion, more logical and timely decisions could be made. She now worked for a robotics company and had borrowed a prototype of a personal protection system that she had been working on. She set it up on the nightstand and engaged it before she turned out the lights.
The crackling sound of an electrical discharge startled Laura awake. Sitting up, she turned on the light. A faint, acrid smoke hung in the air. Laura looked to the closet. There, halfway out, lay the remnants of – something dark and misshapen.
"Laura? Are you all right?" she heard her father yell from the hallway.
"I'm Okay, Dad. Come here. I have a surprise for you."
Word Limit: 1500
Word Count: 550