I am writing a horror story called "The Devil's Knoll" this is an except of a first draft.
|TWO NIGHTS BEFORE: 2 A.M.
I woke up and inched slowly across the bedroom floor. Who was there in the darkness watching me?
Only a hint of moonlight cut through a slice of the curtain that covers the window next to my bed. Shadows danced on the walls as my trusted night light had worn out, and needed a funeral to go up to heaven.
Only a couple more steps and I would be at my door. Holding tight to Teddy, who was wrapped snug in my blankie, and, has always been there for me in times of trouble, I trembled as I walked. He was there! In my bedroom he was with me, watching my every move!
I finally made my way to the door and slowly opened it. CREEK! It opened betraying me with it's sound. I had to stop and catch my breath. "Mommy? Daddy?" Tears were flooding down my cheeks.
Where are they? Usually they had heard me get up through the monitor they still kept in my room.
Ever so careful, I stretched out my toe into the lighted hallway, and, as soon as I thought it was safe, opened the door all the way. I could almost hear him breathing! He was still there, panting, like a dog!
I tiptoed down the hall quietly to my parents bedroom. Opening the door to a symphony of snores, I just stood there with those tears streaming down my face, clutching Teddy closer to me.
"Mommy? Daddy?" I said louder trying to get them to wake up. I heard a few snorts and then grunts as my father, with his hair disheveled and groggy eyes, peered over his pillow in my direction.
"Hey Tucker, what is going on? You should be in bed!" "Daddy, I'm scared. Someone is in my room with me. At first I thought it was you or Mommy, but then when you didn't answer me when I called your names, I got scared. Can I sleep with you tonight?"
Mommy and Daddy have been on a mission this past week to break me of the habit that I had just put my request in for. "Tucker, my big boy! You are too old to be sleeping with Mommy and Daddy! Why don't I go sit with you in your room until you fall back asleep?"
"Daddy the night light is broken." I said frowning, wiping all of the traces of my tears away. "That's OK I'll go to the kitchen and get another bulb." "Don't leave me here!" I whimpered a little embarrassed now as Mommy and Daddy proudly call me their big boy and big boys 'aren'ta sposed to be fraid of nuttin'!
Daddy placed his finger to his lips and whispered, "shh", as he pointed to the bed that still contained a comfortable, contented Mommy sleeping, oblivious to the fact that I am even awake and up. I looked back at Daddy and winked at him.
That seemed to be a secret man thing just like a secret handshake. Every time my Daddy wanted me to keep a secret he'd wink at me and place his fingers to his mouth while saying, "Shh!"
I placed my fingers to my mouth and whispered, "Shh" and tiptoed silently after Daddy into the hallway. We walked quietly to the stairs. After going down the stairs, we walked into the kitchen. Daddy threw on the light and it seemed to descend down upon us like angels must have when we prayed.
Daddy taught me how to pray, and, every morning we prayed at breakfast, then in silence at lunch, then at dinner time and then at bed time. Always giving a thank you at the end for everything in life that God has given us. I often wondered what God looked like. Mommy and Daddy says He looks just like us but only way bigger.
I broke into questions as Daddy rummaged through each drawer trying to find a bulb that fit the nightlight.
"Daddy? Do you think God can see us in the dark? Does he watch us?" My Daddy is the smartest man that I know on the planet!
Without looking back, he hesitated, thought, and, then replied, "God can see everything we do and think even in the dark because He doesn't want to see us get hurt or stumble on our path."
Pressing on I asked, "But why doesn't He look at us and talk to us where we can see and hear Him? What does he look like?"
"Found one!" Daddy proudly announced as he continued to answer my question, "He doesn't want us to be afraid of him. He wants to help us and in return He wants us to be faithful to Him. Faith is believing He's there even though you cannot see Him, or hear Him. Tucker, my big boy, soon you will understand everything about God that I know. I have a special school I will be signing you up for to go to."
"Wow! A special school just for me! Just for me to learn about God! I must be a big boy if I have two schools to go to now!" I thought as I stated one more desire, "Daddy, can I have some orange juice?"
Daddy got me a glass of orange juice out of the refrigerator and we went quietly back to my room..
Once there, Daddy proceeded to put the light bulb into the night light.
"There! Good as new!" He declared.
"Now, Tucker, my big boy, it's time to finish up that juice and hop back into bed. You got school in the morning and you need to be well rested." I pleaded with my eyes, I could still feel him, whoever he was, staring at me. Daddy seemed not to notice him. Why didn't he feel those creepy eyes staring?
Just then, as if Daddy noticed my apprehension, he placed his arms around me and hugged me. After I finished my juice, and, without saying a word, he lifted me up and put me into my bed.
He placed Teddy right next to me and covered the both of us nice and snug. With a kiss on the forehead he said to me, "Tucker, don't worry. I will be right here until you fall asleep. Do you think I would let my big boy do this alone? No, I wouldn't. We are a team and team members never leave the other alone."
I gave Daddy a grateful look and snuggled back into bed hugging Teddy tightly. I closed my eyes and heard Daddy sit in the rocking chair that was right next to my bed. He was true to his word; not leaving me alone. Now I could sleep feeling secure.
“BANG!” I was startled awake. The first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes to the blackness that engulfed my room was that the night light had gone out again.
I closed my eyes, still groggy, and heard the rocking chair rocking back and forth. That thing always creaked, wasn't there something Daddy could do about it? I mumbled, "Daddy the light is out can you fix it again?" "Shh my child we don't want to wake up Mommy, remember?" "No," I said half-asleep.
Wait! That wasn't Daddy! Daddy's voice had a deeper tone to it! I closed my eyes tight and started to tremble and cry.
“Creek. Crock. Creek. Crock,” squeaks the rocking chair.
"Go away!" I commanded to who ever took Daddy's place in the rocking chair. "Oh, my child," this person hissed, his voice was low and quiet, "you really don't mean that do you?" "Yes! Yes, sir I do!" I said, now my eyes were closed so tightly that they began to hurt. "Well, I'm not going to go away my child," he hissed.
Tears welled up in my eyes, "I want my Mommy and Daddy! Can you please go and get them? You are scaring me." I murmured ever so mindful of keeping my manners like Mommy and Daddy always told me to do when asking someone to do something for me.
“Oh, my child, but what would they say about their big boy, who not only woke them once, but twice in the same night? They would be disappointed. Don't you think?” He replied quickly.
After thinking about what he had just said, this man that was scaring me, I decided that he had made a valid point.
"Who are you?" I demanded. "I'm the one you can't hear, and now you hear. I'm the one that you can't see, but now you can see. Look here! I'm talking to you my child. Didn't you want to hear me and see me?"
Just then I smelled a nasty odor. So raunchy that I had to cover my nose and mouth. I could taste that vile stench. I didn't say anything as I trembled beneath the covers.
"You pray, you pray to the one you can't see or hear. I am he! You hear me my child? I am he! Tucker, I need you to look at me, to see me. You can hear me now look at me." this man enticed in a soothing, and still hissing voice.
Closing my eyes even tighter, which I thought wasn't possible to do I started to whine through my tears and sniffled, "No! Can you PLEASE go get my Mommy and Daddy?"
"Tucker, my child, look here! I have something you might want." he hissed. "No!" I said defiantly determined to not to come out from under the covers while this man was there. "Oh, but Tucker," his voice growing more impatient, "team members never leave one another alone. Isn't that right Teddy?"
Teddy? With my eyes closed I took a hand and searched frantically where Teddy had been when he and I were snugly covered up by Daddy. Teddy! OMG! Teddy! He had Teddy! All of a sudden my fear was replaced by concern for Teddy. Losing all my fear, and only thinking of Teddy I bolted straight up in bed and angrily looked at the man who now stared back at me.
He was an old man with crooked teeth. He smelled more foul than I had previously could smell under the covers. He had white hair and all these brown spots all over his face. On his head he wore a black hat. The coat he was wearing melded into the blackness of my room. The eyes, they were red and piercing.
As menacing as this man looked, I was so angry to see Teddy in his hands. This man had no business taking Teddy and I was afraid for Teddy. "Give me Teddy back!" I demanded.
"Give me him!" I scowled the meanest look I could give him, not letting him speak after my first demand.
"Relax, my boy. I won't harm Teddy. No, I won't. Remember what daddy said? God can see you in the dark and He doesn't want you to be harmed. Do you think He want's Teddy harmed? And if that is the case and I am the one you can't see and you can't hear when you pray, then wouldn't that mean I wouldn't hurt Teddy?" His words hissed.
I didn't trust him but daddy said God doesn't want us to be afraid of Him. This man is he! He that I can't see or hear. But why am I seeing and hearing him? And, why would he take Teddy on me? And, the smell, why would God smell so badly?
"Teddy, fell, and I picked him up for you. That is all my boy. But, if you want him back you have to trust me and follow me."
Follow him? Where? It's still dark and mommy and daddy said that all the people sleep when it's dark. I am afraid of the dark, but big boys 'aren'ta sposed to be fraid of nuttin'!, I reminded myself. I looked at Teddy and could see long bony fingers with the same brown spots embracing him in eerie fashion.
If I want Teddy back? Of course I want Teddy back! This man had no business having Teddy! Teddy was mine, my true friend and companion. Teddy knew all my secrets! I definitely want Teddy back!
I looked around to see if there was something I could hit this man with. He had no business taking my Teddy! As if this man could hear my thoughts, "Oh, but my boy you wouldn't want to harm God would you? What has God done to you?"
Just then I felt like my body was rising of the ground. I shuffled my feet to feel the floor. OMG! I kicked the top of my bed! How did this happen? Mommy and Daddy always told me that when this happened in movies it wasn't real. This couldn't happen in real life! This wasn't happening!
I squeezed my eyes shut again. Why was this happening? Big boys 'aren'ta sposed to be fraid of nuttin'! But I am scared! I'm scared, so much so I couldn't get any air down my throat to let out a scream so Daddy and Mommy could hear me.
And why weren't they running to my room? The monitor always betrayed me when I was sneaking something. Why not now? Why can't they hear me and save me?
Why hasn't Daddy fixed that chair?
And, give me Teddy back! I want Teddy and Blankie!
I was frozen in panic in mid air and there was no one to come and save me! But, team mates never leave the other behind!
If I wanted Teddy I had to lose the resolve to fight. I had wanted to destroy this person who now was standing towering over me, clutching Teddy with his long bony pointed fingers.
"You see my boy. You have no choice but to follow. You are in no position to fight back or win if you do. I promise you Teddy will come to no harm if you just obey me and follow me." He hissed.
As if he sensed my resolve to surrender, my body lowered to the ground. When my feet finally touched the ground I scrambled, with tears running down my face, to get my blankie. I couldn't go without my blankie! Teddy needed both me and blankie.
I resolved to follow this foul smelling man. And do as he says. To obey the one who is he whom I can't see nor hear. He had won!
Daddy always said: “The battle maybe lost but the war still has yet to be won.” This was my strength as I looked up at this giant.
I shrugged my shoulders, still sniffling, and murmured, "OK".
Just then the man went to the door and opened it. The light from the hallway flooded into my room and I could see Teddy more clearly with those long bony, white pointed fingers around him.
The man lifted his other hand, winked at me, motioned with that hand to follow him, and placed the finger to his mouth and said, "Shh. We don't want to wake up Mommy and Daddy now do we my boy?"
Oh, but I did!