09 Sep Dread
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Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
“Dread- a strong feeling of fear about something that will or might happen” (Webster’s Dictionary)
What was that noise?
I groggily shuffle out of bed, fumbling my way to the light switch. After my eyes adjust to the blinding flood of light from the hanging lamp in my bedroom, I scan the space.
It sounded vaguely like a giggle, but it was so quiet, it could’ve just been the wind.
Living out in the country- with the nearest neighbor 3 miles away- has left me overly sensitive to every sound I hear out here.
I’m just about to turn off the light and go back to bed when I hear it: an unmistakable thud.
It came from downstairs.
Cursing myself for never buying a gun, I slowly descend the stairs, clutching my broom for dear life.
After the age it takes me to get to the ground level, I turn on the kitchen light and look around.
I don’t have any pets. What could have made the thud sound I heard? I think back to the faint giggle I heard just before I fell asleep. At this point, my heart is pounding and I’m starting to feel light headed.
I look toward the den, steeling myself against the oppressive empty blackness inside. I creep closer, and then turn on the switch I know is to the left of the doorway. Light floods the room.
I shakily patrol the rest of my house in similar fashion, skulking up to rooms, mustering all the courage I can before turning on the lights, and being greeted by the same lack of any threat or explanation for the noises I heard. Several times, I could’ve sworn I saw something flit by in the corner of my vision, but I would turn and nothing would be there.
I decide to give up on my search. Clearly I’ve been watching too many horror movies.
Pitch-black darkness. To be honest I’m not even sure whether or not I screamed when the power went out.
Something occurs to me: I didn’t notice it when the power blew out, but now that I think about it, I am almost sure I heard a faint giggling right when the lights went dark. I’m now shaking and my palms are starting to sweat, making the broom slip around in my fingers.
I force myself to search the rooms again, taking several violent swings at looming shadows that turned out to be household objects. At one point, I knock over a chair. I don’t remember it being there before. I scan the room, finding nothing, and move on to look over the rest of the rooms in my small dwelling, save for the garage.
I steal toward my garage, firmly gripping the broom, and take a look at the breaker box. Everything looks the way it’s supposed to, with no broken switches or wires.
Now that I think about it, it is awfully windy tonight. The thud could easily have come from outside, and the giggling I heard could’ve been wind rushing through something, like the chimney. The blackout was probably due to the wind knocking over a power line. Slowly, my heartbeat starts to crawl back down to normal levels, and my breathing gets less shallow.
I breathe a sigh of relief, curse myself for making a big deal out of nothing, and head back upstairs to my room.
Tomorrow I’ll have to call the electric company.
I settle into bed, appreciating that no one was around to see me poking about my house like a child who expects to find monsters under the bed.
Suddenly the lights pop back on, flooding my vision.
“You really shouldn’t live out here by yourself.” The voice whispers into my ear.
A fresh wave of dizziness sets my head spinning, heart pounding.
I turn towards the voice’s origin.
And I don’t even get a chance to scream.
Credit To – Toxic Dreams
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