Fri, Jun 14, 1:02 AM CDT

What Are You Afraid Of?

Writers Horror posted on May 21, 2024
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Entry for 2024 Writers Contest 'We interrupt this program to make the following announcement...' Maggie glanced up from the finishing touches she was putting on the cake she'd been baking all afternoon. She'd only turned on the radio for some background noise, something to make her forget that she was the only one home at the moment. On normal days, the thought didn't bother her much, but on stormy ones like today, the gloom cast eerie shadows along the edges of the walls and she found herself jumping at every creak this old house made. It was a beautiful place, a cherished inheritance from a grandmother who had begun to fade in her memory, but there were days... '...suspected serial killer Todd Wilkins recently escaped from police custody while he was being transported to face trial. He was last seen near Goswood Park and is described as a 6'5" male with a scar above his left eye. He is considered highly dangerous and the police are warning people in the area to avoid confrontation and to remain indoors where it is secure...' Goswood Park! That was less than a mile down the road from here. Maggie chewed her thumbnail nervously, tuning out the rest of the broadcast. This old house was also out of the way, the last house on a tree lined boulevard, situated at the end of a very long driveway, surrounded by a forested ravine. The sort of place that would be ideal for an escaped killer to hide out in... "Calm down, Maggie," she told herself, sternly, "You've read too many horror stories and thrillers. Even if he did escape near Goswood Park, there's no reason he'd come here, in particular. And even if he did, the police are looking for him and will catch him soon. As old as this house is, it has sturdy windows and doors, which you always keep locked. He's on the run; he doesn't have time to break into houses to look for victims and if he just wants shelter, it would be safer for him to break into somewhere obviously abandoned like the old warehouses by the lake." After that reasoning, Maggie felt a little better, but that only lasted for a few minutes, before other intrusive thoughts started to crowd in. "Oh, but what if he happens to stumble along this path? The warehouses might be ideal, but it's not like he knows the area well, so how would he know to head in that direction? What if he thinks it's better to break into a house to get food and supplies? And while it's true that this house is sturdy, none of the locks are strong enough to keep out anyone who's really determined and with it being so isolated out here, he won't even worry about making any noise..." Something crunched outside. Maggie jumped. Footsteps? They sounded too heavy to be an animal. A person? There shouldn't be any people around here. The conflicting urge to check the window to see who it was, and trying to find a place to hide, tore at her. Silence. Maybe she had imagined it. Another crunch, and loud creaking. A thump. Maggie's fingers clenched around the spatula she was holding, until her knuckles were white. What was that now? More creaking, then something cracked upstairs. Maggie's eyes widened. More creaking sounds on the floor above her, regular and heavy and unmistakably human. Her irrational fears had become true. Now it was only a matter of time before... A new sound trickled down from the ceiling above. The long, low creak of a door slowly opening, like the opener was trying to - unsuccessfully - go unheard. Followed by a slithering sound, like something heavy was being dragged across the floor. The dragging followed the heavy footsteps, but funnily enough, as the footsteps slowed, became more hesitant, the dragging sounded faster, louder. Suddenly, there was the sound of something lunging, the start of a scream that was cut off mid-breath, followed by a loud crash and an even louder silence. A silence that was broken a moment later by a wet crunching sound, and low, heavy breathing, breathing that did not sound like it came from human lungs. "Oh no," Maggie muttered staring up at the ceiling. This was going to be troublesome. Her unwelcome guest had gone and done exactly what she feared he would. He'd woken IT up.

Comments (1)



2:32PM | Tue, 21 May 2024

Oh wow, I did not expect that! Fantastic twist at the end :)


4:21PM | Tue, 21 May 2024

Thank you very much ;)

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