Jan 29, 2013


By Ilsa Rashid

I thought I heard a dull scraping beneath the floorboards.
“Must be that rat again,” I thought to myself, and switched the channel to Star Movies. ‘Scream’ was about to begin. I crossed my legs on the couch and rested my legs on the cushion.
‘Nothing better than a good horror movie on a Saturday night,’ I smiled.

I was nearly asleep halfway through the movie.
‘Who takes two hours to open a closet door? Horror movies aren’t the same anymore,’ I yawned.

I heard the scraping sound again now, louder this time. It was more like a knocking sound now. Not only did it grow louder, I sensed it moving closer too.
The girl in the film crept towards the closet.
I inched towards the edge of the sofa.
The girl reached out for the knob on the door.
I bent to peek under the sofa.

And then we saw it.

Writhing in pain, silently, was a cat so black that its body blended against the black sofa. All that was visible were its eyes; wide, neon and still. Without a sound, as if choking on a bone, it became very stiff, like stone.

A wave of nausea and terror washed over me and trembling I ran out of the room, leaving the television switched on. With sweaty palms and a breath too fast, I entered the bathroom and threw up today’s lunch. But I wasn’t able to expel the image glued on to my mental screen: the pale green eyes, wide with fear. I reached for the tap, when the light bulb flickered. Flickered again. And went out.

After colliding into the sink, the tub and the door I managed to find the door knob. It wouldn’t open. I wiped my palms off my pants and tried again. I pulled. I pulled harder. It didn’t budge.
‘Breathe,’ I told myself, but to no avail. Air came to me in shorter gasps by the minute.
Frantically, I kicked the door. It smoothly opened wide.
‘Of course!’ I patted my self, laughing half heartedly.

Milky moonlight from through the windows lit the house. I stood tight against the wall opposite to my bed, with my own breath being the only sound in the room. And the rustle of the leaves outside. I shut my eyes and told myself I was being paranoid.

Swinging the door to my room open, I swiftly made my way to the kitchen. The door creaked shut behind me. I had trouble finding a candle but after a lot of tripping and stumbling, I lit one. As parched as I was, I dared not approach the fridge. As I tiptoed into the lounge, I fell back in my feet and screamed in horror. A giant, dark figure, in the shape of man lurched towards me. I collided against the wall, the candle fell from between my fingers and the monster disappeared. An embarrassingly long moment later, I lit the candle and began to walk towards my own shadow again.
‘At least I’m not alone,’ I shrugged, half hoping I was wrong.

I crawled up on the couch again, sensing the stiffness of the corpse that lay under me.
My mouth tasted like vomit. Now that my eyes had adjusted to the blue light that filled the room, I bent to set the candle on the table before me. The candle was still in my hands when the power returned and the television switched on along with the fan.

I sighed with relief and looked up at the television. The movie was ending. The girl held a candle in a dark room. She walked smoothly towards the camera, as if floating. Her face, white as snow, covered the entire screen. I watched my lips slightly apart, eyes wide open, candle wax dripping on hands as they shivered. Ten slender fingers appeared on the screen from behind her and circled around the nape of her neck.

Both of our candles fell.

Holding my breath, I brought my trembling hands to my neck and felt eight knuckles tightening around me. 


Asma Afzal said...

Woah. Scary :o

Najia Navaid said...

This is brilliant! :O

Ilsa said...

I did not know this existed here :o

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