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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2246842
Henry buys more than he bargained for. Winner of SCREAMS!!! March 21 2021.
The Notebook

Henry bought the notebook at a yard sale. It came at the bottom of a box of odds and ends sold for a couple of bucks. A quick rummage through the contents had revealed a small porcelain figurine amongst the clutter of broken electrical plugs, matchbox holders and plumbing joints. The figurine alone was worth at least a tenner, so Henry was more than happy to pay the asking price for the box. He wasted little time in getting it home.

Once there, he removed the figure from its companions and examined it more closely. As he had expected, it was not Meissen porcelain, but it was a fair copy and was probably worth a good deal more than a few dollars. Henry was fairly sure that he could disguise the small chip in the base to push its value even higher. He placed the figure carefully on his mantel to wait until he could offer it to one of his usual outlets.

Then he returned to the box and made a thorough inspection of its contents, hoping for something else of value. The notebook was at the bottom, hidden by the assortment of useless bits and pieces above it. Henry removed it and flipped it open. There was a short note written on the first page but otherwise the pages were blank.

A cat yowled in the night.

It seemed a strange thing to write but Henry thought nothing of it, merely throwing the notebook on to the table and dropping the rest of the junk into the garbage.

He did not remember the odd words until much later, after he had gone to bed that night. Something woke him from a deep sleep and he lay there, waiting for it to come again. For a few minutes the dark remained silent and impassive but then, just as he was about to fall asleep, the noise came again.

A cat yowled from the darkness outside his window. The words in the notebook came immediately to Henry’s mind. It was an uncanny coincidence.

Henry slept no more that night and, in the morning, he went straight to the notebook and opened it at the first page. The original statement was gone but, in its place were the words:

From the next room came the sound of something large shuffling about.

All that day Henry worried about the words, wondering if they were to prove true. That night he could not sleep until, well after midnight, exhaustion crept up on him and he fell into a deep sleep. When he awoke, it was still as dark as the deepest pit in hell. With horror, he heard sounds coming from the spare room. It was as if a large creature was moving about, rubbing itself against floor and walls.

Henry lay awake all night, staring into the dark in terror. In the morning he hurried down to look in the notebook. New words greeted him.

Tonight I come for you.

Word count: 498
For SCREAMS!!! March 21 2021
Prompt: A notebook that does something a notebook cannot rightly do.

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