Honestly when I started writing this story I had a hard time finding anything to say. I didn’t have all of the usual suspects to work with like a narrative, characters, or even a concept that I wanted to expand on. My only motivation to write anything was to try and get back on the metaphorical Creative Horse and get back at to that Creative Grind. I think it worked…I think. I can’t be totally sure though. I guess we’ll see won’t we.
P.S. Sometimes you can’t make these things up. Other times you don’t have too.
It walks there between two walls on the carpet. The sound that it makes rolls under the door like vapor. Feeling its way across the impossible mess of childhood, through the countless objects defaced and made smooth by the dark of the night, and into the ear of the boy sleeping closest too the door. This boy does not dream anymore, because the sounds turn them bad. Instead he sleeps in the dark, nestled like a crayfish in its vertical mound burrowing deeper and deeper still until nothing can be heard.
On most nights the mother would pile both him and his brother into her bed. There they would compact into a single mass until the sun came up. However, tonight is like those other nights. The nights where the mother cannot afford to sleep with restless children, so she puts them away at the far end of the hallway.
When she had put them away in their room, the mother had left the bedroom door open. She always did this so that the boys could see the white sheen of her doorframe from their room if they ever woke in the middle of the night and needed to find her. Yet sometime after he had fallen asleep the door had managed to pull itself shut, as most bedroom doors have the tendency to do. Cordoning the children from the night beyond the door and the things that it always brought with it.
He can hear it now,
(The crunch of foot against fiber beyond the door).
And he stirs.
The boy ignores the urge to wake by pulling the comforter up and around his head. It is a thoughtless act. He can feel the way it moves inch by inch through the meat of his brain towards the pit in which he hides. It finds him and when he comes to he comes too slowly, pulled up from the pit by the shoulder blades. He is tugged ever so gently to the surface like a small fish on a hook.
At first there is confusion. Small prisms of light bleed through the comforter from the window that runs along the wall behind his bed. The yellow glow of halogen figures its way through the pores of the fabric to speckle his shoulder and his chin. His hot breaths are reflected back into his face by the blanket that rests on it and his knees are nearly pulled to his chest. All that he has to do is remove the blanket from his face to escape the wet heat, but he doesn’t. Instead he pulls his knees to his chest and breathes deep. The boy lies there like that for what can only be a very long time.
He listens to it walk. He listens until he can’t be sure whether he is still hearing it or if it has stopped and its sounds are instead perpetuated through silence. Whatever is beyond the door refuses to tire or slow. There is no change in direction, or distance. It just walks there. It comes every night. And when the sun rises in the morning and everyone wakes to start their day, they see them there. Tracks that lead up the hallway and down where each step is perfectly imprinted on the last. Nothing enters or exits that space. It simply walks there. A presence made of nothing certain.