The thing outside

Posted: October 26, 2011 by writingsprint in Fantasy, Photography, postaday2011, postaweek2011, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

MoonI had just given up on going to the gym when I heard a growling sound in front of the house. It started low, and at first I wasn’t even sure if I heard it. I stood in the space between the kitchen and the living room, in cotton shorts and shirt, staring at the front wall of the living room. My house was in the middle of nowhere. Land was cheap. I knew what the quiet was supposed to sound like, and the low rattle, breath dragged over a washboard, wasn’t it.

The growl moved from right to left across the yard. Grass softly whicked against legs. My heart pounded as the growl paused and I heard the wet sound of sniffing. I breathed shallow. No shred of skin in my body believed that it couldn’t hear if I moved or breathed. My ears were ringing. The front stoop was higher than the ground outside, and I couldn’t see it in the night blackened windows.

The sniffing died. The rattle grew again, and this time it was a full, rumbling growl. It paced outside. I gulped, and that was when it came at the door.

The front door jumped. I cried out and stumbled back into the dining room table. The chalkboard scratch of claws on the door made my blood run cold. The growl rose. The door banged again. I felt like my body was turning to water. The back door was sliding glass. The front windows were old and rickety. The phones had gone out during hurricane Irene, and wouldn’t be back up until next week.

It sounded like a man was growling. It sounded like a man was growling, and meant it. Claws dug into the door. I could hear wood chips and slivers falling on the porch.

I ran upstairs into the darkened third floor. I closed the bedroom door — it didn’t have a lock. I had to block it. The front door was oak, but all I could hear was chips tearing free. First, my dresser. I grunted and pushed with every ounce of strength I had, practically throwing it in front of the door. Next, a bookcase that was almost as tall as me. I thought I heard laughter. My bookcase vomited books all over the floor as it took its place next to the dresser. I was gasping for breath. Wheezing. I was tired, but what was I saving energy for if it got inside? Tomorrow?

The clawing stopped. I had one hand on the edge of the bed, one hand on a baseball bat. I stood still. My wheezes sounded like screaming in my ears. I held my breath, and they stopped too.

Where was it?

This post was inspired by Sunday Picture Press at Indigo Spider. Happy Halloween!

  1. Indigo Spider says:

    Eeekk, where was it?! Amazing descriptions, like “…breath dragged over a washboard…” and “Grass softly whicked against legs.” A short piece that built the tension well, I felt the urgency by the time s/he was on the bed w/the baseball bat. I sure as heck wouldn’t bother going to the gym either with whatever that thing is outside my door!


  2. writingsprint says:

    I forgot to mention, this is based on something that happened the other night. I was on my way to the gym, realized I was too late for class, and as I turned around to go upstairs, I heard someone growling in front of the house. Not a big deal — we live in the city, and someone might be messing around with his friends — but the growl rose and kept going, and the guy didn’t leave. I also didn’t hear anyone else with him. I stood staring at the door for what felt like a full minute, wondering if I needed to call the cops. It probably wasn’t that long. Eventually it stopped, and I heard him walk away. Weird, right?


  3. […] The Thing Outside by The Daily 400 […]


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