Story: Things That Go Bump in the Night

So there was a local Halloween competition to write  short story/poem up to 1000 words based on the title ‘Things That Go Bump in the Night’.  Here is my entry, didn’t win anything, but I thought I’d share it so that people can read it if they like.

See blow the cut to read, hope you enjoy it. 🙂

 

(Please note the CC licence at the bottom of the page)
TTGBN
Problems with the unexplained?
Noises at night keeping you awake?
Socks mysteriously missing?
For all these needs and more please fill in the help form below.

The web page had a plain black background, nothing except the text to give any indication as to what the page was for. Billy scrolled down the page, to where a rather generic website help form was located, except this one had drop down options of a different nature. There were two parts to fill out, one covered the issue: Vampires, Werewolves, Gnomes, Curses, Possessed Toys, Monsters Under the Bed, Other, there was a ‘further information’ box and then there was the usual location and email address sections to fill out. Billy bit his lip frowned at the form, trying to work exactly what he should say. He’d stumbled on to the site by chance after browsing forum after forum, trying to seek a solution to his problem. It could he thought, be some set up to send him spam and virus’, but he was running out of options.

He’d just hit send when the door flew open. “Billy! What are you doing? Its a school night, you should be in bed.” It was his mother she sounded tired.

Quickly he shut the browser down and hopped off the chair. “Can.. Can we leave the lights on mum?”

She smiled. “Of course sweetheart, but you know its just the pipes? The landlord will sort out a plumber soon.”

Billy just nodded, clutching his mother’s hand as she led him to his room. He no longer bothered to argue with her about the noises, she had convinced herself that they were perfectly ordinary. That maybe the neighbours liked to run their washing machine at night, or it was the radiators turning off. But he knew that wasn’t true, it didn’t sound like a washing machine, and why would radiators make a noise when they hadn’t even been on.

His mother wasn’t taking it seriously, but he was. Someone had to keep them safe. That’s why he made sure the hall light was always on, why he always checked the cupboards and under the beds with his super powerful torch every night and why he never went around bare foot in the house. He’d already done his rounds for the night so he was content to jump into the bed and allow his mother to tuck him in. You had to jump, otherwise something might grab you, his mother never jumped into her bed, but perhaps he reasoned that was because she was simply to big to be pulled under the bed.

His mother gave him a good night kiss and he snuggled under the covers, curling up into a ball wrapping his arms around his teddy. T-Rex was on the bedside table to stand guard, and snake was in front of the cupboard, the toy soldiers facing inwards, just under his bed and Batman, Robin and Spiderman stood guard on the window sill. He was safe for now.

He lay there for a long time, listening to the clock ticking. Tick-Tick, Tick-Tick it went. He strained his ears, trying to listen for the tell-tell sounds, the soft creaking, the low tapping. Instead he heard his mother doing the washing up before putting the tv on. He wouldn’t go to sleep until she did, it was important to make sure she got into bed safely.

There was a loud clang and he sat up sharply, eyes wide, realising that he had actually fallen asleep. The hall light was still on but the room seemed darker. Another clang and then a hiss. He clutched the duvet to his mouth, fingers turning white, panting. For a long time there was nothing. Slowly he reached out and grabbed the torch hidden under the pillow. He swept the powerful beam around the room. Nothing.

Clang! A pause, then. Clang clang clang clang! And silence or almost silence, he could still hear the TV, was his mother still up? Could she not hear this? Cautiously he crawled to the edge of the bed and illuminating the floor with his torch he grabbed his slippers. And then the world went mad.

He screamed as the house shook violently, books and toys falling off the shelves, all his guards being dislodged from their stations.

And then just as suddenly it stopped. That had never happened before. He waited, counting the seconds and then he leaped out of bed, he ran to his mother’s room, empty. Running to the living room movement in the kitchen caught his eye. He paused, and slowly walked forward, torch held aloft even though the lights were on. The kitchen was empty, except for a faint scent of flowers.

Frowning he slowly backed out, with a sensation that something felt different, the air seemed almost lighter. He smiled and turned off the torch, before hurrying to the living room, his mother was asleep on the couch.

“Mum! Mum! Its gone!”

“What do you mean its gone.” She grumbled, opening one eye to peer at him.

“The house shook and now its gone, we’re safe!”

“Of course dear.” Slowly she stood up, turned off the tv and picking him up she carried him back to his room, she still seemed to be half asleep, for she didn’t notice the mess “Now, please go to sleep, sweetheart.” To her surprise he was already asleep as she laid him on the bed

The next morning, Billy’s room was strangely back to the way it had been, and there was no mention on the news of any sort of earthquake. He did however have one email.

Thank you for your enquiry, I hope you are satisfied with the service you received.
From
Briar Icewand
Senior Problem Solver
TTGBN

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