The Closet -A short story- Ashlee Earle
In my basement bedroom, I laid in cold sweat sheltered underneath my comforter; though it had felt more like a lead sheet holding me firmly in place. My room was dark except for the slight glow that escaped between the panels on my window blinds. My breathing was slight and my eyes shifted nervously about the room. The feeling was very edgy. Although I had just woken up, my eyes had already started adjusting to the lack of light. Soon dark lumps and shapes slowly turned into my shelves and dressers, however my open closet had still resembled a black hole, and no matter how hard I had tried to look elsewhere in my room, my eyes always seemed to rest on the pure blackness that had resided within.
It was deathly quiet; the only other noise that I could hear other than my shallow breathing was the warm ticking sound coming from my parent’s antique grandfather clock, one room over. My room was the only bedroom in the basement, the other bedrooms were located on the top floor of the house, two flights above me.
My limbs were stiff with fear. Once again I found my eyes fixated on the closet. Why had it bothered me so much? I forced myself to look away when suddenly I heard it again; the blood curdling screams that had initially woken me up! It filled my room entirely, I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. It seemed to bounce of the walls and vibrate my floor. I flung myself upright on my bed. Immediately the screaming stopped. I slowly brought the comforter to my chest, my shaking hands wrapped ever so tightly around the soft fabric. I could feel my heart in my throat and my ears were ringing. Silence along with the familiar ticking occupied my room once again.
What in the world could have produced such a horrendous noise was completely beyond my comprehension. I hoped that perhaps someone upstairs had heard and I anticipated on the sound of thudding footsteps rushing down the stairs.. but the house remained silent. Over and over I could hear the screams replay in my head. I was too scared to move; I didn’t even want to blink.
I had been sitting upright for what seemed like an eternity, my hands still clutching the comforter at my chest. I heaved my first deep breath and slowly lowered myself back down to my pillow and brought my blanket up to my quivering chin. Again my eyes locked onto the closet. Had the screams emanated from there? I had a small closet, not even large enough to fit all of my clothes. Even so I suppose it was possible that someone could fit inside.
My thoughts were interrupted by a heavy shuffling noise in the corner of my room, followed immediately by the sound of a flat note being played on piano. I didn’t want to, but my eyes deceived me and I looked over to the electric piano plugged into the outlet at the corner of my room. A lump formed in my throat. No one was there. My piano stood alone, the white keys softly reflecting the little light that did come from my window. The shuffling began again, this time moving across my floor, staggering in its sound. As it neared my bed it turned into a deafening scraping on my floor boards. Once at the foot of my bed the noise stopped for a moment. Whatever was in my room was staring at me, completely unseen by me. The scrapping continued, veering away from my bed right into my closet. Though I could not see, I could hear my hangers clank against each other and then settle. After a few seconds the door slowly closed, inch by inch. My eyes followed the door’s movement. Once it came within an inch of the frame it slammed shut.
I was overwhelmed with fear, my heart racing and I could do nothing but stare at the door. That door was all that separated me from whatever was on the other side. I wanted to get up and run, run out of my room, run out of the basement, run out of my house and liberate myself from this terror. But I couldn’t.
Suddenly breaking the silence, the closet door swung open with such force that the knob of the door burst through the drywall, sending a puff of dust into the air.
My parents told me that they had been calling me for some time the next morning and figuring that perhaps I had slept in they left me be. However it grew near lunch time when they found me crouched in the corner with a horrified expression, clutching the sides of the grandfather clock with my ear pressed against the polished wood, whispering quietly to nothing.