Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2129880-Shadows-in-the-Dark
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Supernatural · #2129880
Real Experience from My Past

Pressure on my shoulder and the gentle rustle of the covers woke me, but I found it wasn't my mom tucking me in.

Earlier in the evening, she and I had been arguing, and she'd bolted like she did every time important things came up. So, I thought this might be her way of looking in on me and apologizing for arguing, even if not to concede.

So, when the covers moved, my head moved towards the kind gesture. We'd fought before, always to make up. So even at the late hour, I didn't think it was too unusual. I must have dozed off and not heard her return.

But when I turned, it was not her that that stood there in the darkness. It was my grandmother. I didn't know this by her features or hair or skin color, but her silhouette. And that would have been fine with me, even better than my mother, except that night she'd been dead for close to 10 years.

The figure was the cookie-cutter shape of her, but it was completely black, like an ink blot of her. My room on the outside of this image of her was normal looking even in the low light. But when the room reached this figure, the room seemed erased out of existence instead of being blocked by the figure. It was as if the figure was blackness itself, devoid of any light at all. Staring into it was like staring into an abyss.

Although I had no idea what it was, there was no question of who it looked like. An older woman with shoulder length hair that rumpled out in waves on a broad frame. And, the one thing that assured me of who it was. My grandmother always stood with her right arm tucked behind her back making a triangle with her elbow out to her side. That outline is what I turned to see. A shadow in the very familiar and identifiable shape.

As the figure and I looked at each other, if that is what it could be called, I felt nothing on its part. It seemed benign, neither evil or good. And that was impossible because my grandmother was always loving, warm, and jovial even. It couldn't really be her and that was the moment that I knew it.

I tried to scream, but the air seemed to thick to get to my lungs. My ears were ringing with the sound of a runaway train beating the tracks to death that must have been my heartbeat. Then when I grabbed the covers, they looked more like they were still on the line than in my hands as I tried to pull them over my head.

My throat finally loosened and sound exploded. Distant but somehow deafening, I didn't even realize for a second that the scream I was hearing was me.

Then in a single second it took to crab-scuttle backward to the corner of the bed, scream, and pull the covers over me - I blinked. And, when I opened my eyes, it or she was gone.

A few moments later, my father turned the corner, almost falling into the other side of the door way, and slapped at the light switch until the light came on.

"What happened", his breath escaping him.

"Are you okay? Wh-at?"

He was bending forward now with his hands propped on his knees for support as his breathing slowed.

I still felt like my neck was full of concrete.

"I thought it was Mom," squeaked through as I licked the droplets forming on my lips made by the warm streams from my eyes.

"What? What the hell are you talking about?"

He slurred saying the words as he snapped up straight allowing me to see a familiar glint in his eyes. Knowing what was coming, and the thought of fighting or arguing with a second parent that evening, forced the words out before I could think.

"Sorry Daddy. Sorry. A nightmare, a really bad nightmare." I whispered in a voice loud enough for him to hear, but not bold enough to fan any flames.

As he started to leave, I managed a whisper loud enough for him to hear, "Dad? Moms not home yet?"

"No! Now, don't you think you've started enough shit tonight? Go the hell to sleep," he quipped as he stomped back to their room leaving me to stare at my now empty room - alone.


I was still awake later that night when my mom returned and when the sun came up the next day. I didn't say anything about what happened to her either. In fact, I never told anyone. And I still don't know if what I saw that night was real, dreamed, or some kind of manifestation of guilt from the argument.

I do know that it was real to me.

And I do know that darkness itself visits, you are drawn to look closer at the shadows you see in the dark.

© Copyright 2017 K.V. Foster (k.v.foster at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2129880-Shadows-in-the-Dark