Trying my hand at a spooky story for once!
When I woke up, I thought I was dead.
The world was never-ending darkness. There was no sound. No smell. And yet, a sense of dread settled so deeply within me that the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. The beating of my heart sounded like the rumbling of thunder in the utter stillness.
I pushed myself into a sitting position and took comfort in the one sense that I could use: touch. Solid ground was beneath me, and I knew at that moment that I had never appreciated it enough. The floor was cool and smooth, like concrete.
How did I get here? I remembered doing my rounds in the old farmhouse, making sure all of the animals were adequately warm on the chilly night. Then I’d gotten into bed, and now…
I shivered. Obviously, whoever had brought me here hadn’t even shown me the same care that I’d shown my animals. But who had brought me here? And why? Where was I?
I leapt to my feet in a sudden panic, needing to know. My eyes were adjusting to the darkness and I saw a wall not two feet in front of me. I spun. Another wall. And another. But the fourth…
I rushed to the glass window that looked out onto a moonless night. I couldn’t even see the sky and knew there must be heavy cloud cover. I couldn’t make out any defining features of the area around me.
But this window was the only way in or out of this room. I had to be able to open it. I closed my eyes, trying to settle my breathing. I was going to get out of here.
Terror seized my heart and I immediately opened my eyes. There had been a distinctive tap on the glass, but nothing was there. All the calm I’d just felt went, almost literally, out the window.
“Hello?” I tried, my voice raspy, dry, and trembling.
The tap came from the wall behind me this time and I spun around to face the solid concrete wall. Nothing there.
The window again. Still no sign of anyone outside. My heart thumped rapidly like it was about to burst from my chest. The inexplicable knock again sounded behind me, but I didn’t turn because I knew no one would be there. Then a knock came from the other wall, and then the other. I continued to stare out the window. Maybe, if I didn’t turn, they…it…whatever it was, would show itself.
The knocks continued to sound behind me, but not at the window. My heart thrummed my throat. “Please,” I choked out, not knowing what else to say. What else could I do? This strange room was obviously surrounded, and I didn’t want to face whatever or whoever it was. My imagination filled in the most terrible ideas. A serial killer. A monster. An alien.
The knocks surrounded me like they were coming from every wall at once. I had no doubt that whatever it was would come through the window any moment, but I couldn’t face it. I crumpled to the ground and curled up, hiding my face. The knocks seemed to press in on me like they were a living thing until the knocking was all I knew, like the thing was knocking on my very skull, trying to get into my head…
The window. Amid my utter panic, it occurred to me that I hadn’t even tried to open it. I was determined to try at least once; I couldn’t live with an eternity of this knocking. I opened my eyes and stood.
The knocking stopped.
My breath sounded as loud as the wind of a hurricane in the sudden silence. I stared at the window, hesitating. I didn’t know what was out there, but I knew it was something terrible.
Clenching my teeth, I reached forward with a trembling hand and touched the window. I pulled the glass upward, expecting to have to force it, but it slid easily without even a squeak. The frigid night air blew in and sent a shiver down my spine. It was almost worse that nothing had tried to stop me from opening the window.
I waited, standing there in the cold and hugging myself. I waited for the knocking to start up again, but it didn’t. Maybe whatever it was had gone away.
It seemed like hours before I mustered up the courage to go out the window. As quickly as I could, I squeezed out of the opening and landed in a heap on the grass below. I scrambled onto my feet and turned to look at my temporary prison, a square concrete box.
There was no one around it.
Without another thought, I booked it across the field I’d found myself in. I didn’t stop running until I came to a fence I recognized, and even then I kept up at a jog, huffing and puffing and looking back over my shoulder. Even though it didn’t make any sense, I still expected to hear that knock on thin air.
I made it home and found that it was unscathed with no sign of a break-in. The animals were all accounted for and asleep.
Maybe this was all just some insane dream.
As I reassured myself that everything was normal, my heartbeat began to slow. I couldn’t hope to go to sleep, so I sat in the kitchen on a stool and just stared at the wall, replaying the harrowing experience. If this was a dream, wouldn’t I be awake by now?
If it had been real…
I shuddered. At least I had escaped.
But then I heard something. It wasn’t a physical sound I could place, but in my head, clearer than any thought I’d ever had.
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