Estimated reading time — 12 minutes
I’ve always had a fear of the dark, but until I was fourteen or fifteen it was a childish fear. I had just became old enough to work and my parents said they would hire me to work at our horse farm and they would pay minimum wage. I was satisfied with the deal and accepted. I didn’t expect two things. One, I would have to work… a lot. Instead of having general work hours. I had to work late and my shift started immediately after school every day of the week. Everyone else who worked for my parents worked part-time and their shifts didn’t start until two hours after school. Two… well I’ll wait to tell you the rest. I started my first week fine. I took the horses around to the fenced field to graze and get some exercise. Except one horse. He was a lean Thoroughbred that was once used for racing called Flash. He was brown with black mane except for a singular white streak near the front of his head. Sadly, the jockey had died in a racing accident. Everyday that I set out for work, I’d plop a blue and white jockey uniform on, set a helmet on my dirty blonde hair, put Flash’s gear on, and mount him. I’d pull on the reins and ride Flash around the town. We live in a small town in Kentucky and it takes about five minutes to ride around town. I make sure to say hi to the neighbors every time we ride. I’d get back to my house just in time to get undressed and back into my usual T-shirt and jeans, take Flash’s saddle off, and let him graze before I had to start my duties. During all of this, I still had to do chores and homework. My second week of work was the day that school had just started. I didn’t have enough time to ride Flash since I had so much schoolwork to complete. The second week was when I started my late night shifts. The second week was the week that caused me to truly fear the dark.
The first night was the start of everything. I had finished my homework and my normal shift and I sat on the couch watching stupid Youtube videos. I don’t remember what the video was. Probably some top ten or a gaming video or something stupid. It was about thirteen or fourteen minutes long. I had been resting a lot and I had my long legs resting on the opposite arm of the couch. I was about three quarters of the way through the video when Flash let out a primal scream that made me take my earbuds out. My mom was staring out of the window and for a moment the house was silent. “Well get going.” My mom said and looked at me.
I got out to the entrance way of our house and put my shoes on. I grabbed my flashlight and walked into the slightly cold air. My flashlight was dim when I turned it on and I could barely see past the edge of the yard. I took five steps past the door before I heard something in the bushes. I felt my heart beat faster and looked towards the sound. There was only a few branches shuffling when I looked over. I shook it off and continued walking. Not saying a word the entire time. I kept walking until I made it to the stable. The main door had been opened but when I went in nothing was there. Flash restlessly kicked the stall door. I walked over to his stall and patted his head. “Shhhh. Easy, easy boy.” I said and he started to calm down. “‘At a boy.” I turned around and scooped some feed out of the bag and put it in his bowl. I pulled out my phone and opened the record keeping app, but someone had already opened it. The record said, “I see you, Justin.” I dropped the phone in fear and when I picked it up, a small crack appeared in the corner of the screen and the message was gone. “Crap.” I whispered to myself and I began to type my report to see if it still worked. The letters popped up one by one as I typed them. I let out a sigh of relief. I finished the report and only thought about the message. As soon as I was finished, I turned my phone off and put it in my pocket. I turned my flashlight on and calmly walked back to the house without any other distractions. For the rest of the night all I could think about was that message. I see you.
Ok, so I know last night wasn’t too eventful, but if you look on the grand scheme of things, it’s extremely terrifying. I did some research on my phone type having problems, but I found nothing. I tried doing research on the app… again nothing. I did see a story about someone having their account stolen and the other person writing a message, so I assumed someone was messing with me. So I made a new account and thought that this would solve the problem. As soon as I was done, I heard Flash let out yet another primal scream of terror. I put my phone in my pocket and stood up before my mom could say anything. I walked out into the entrance way grabbed a flashlight and threw my shoes on. I flicked the flashlight on and walked out the door.
I walked up to the stable and the door was wide open. I rolled my eyes, thinking it was another worker who forgot to close the door. I looked inside and saw nothing. Even Flash was still. I closed the door and turned around. As soon as I turned around the door creaked open. I turned back around and tried to close the door again, but some force was pushing it back open. Suddenly, the door was pulled closed and I fell forward into the door. I tried to stand but I was too dizzy and fell backwards onto the ground. When I got up, the door was opened again. I growled angrily and stomped to the door. I felt a freezing breeze come from the stable and Flash started to freak out. I ran in and looked into Flash’s stall. There was hay on the ground and Flash was backed up to the wall. I did my best to calm him down and it eventually worked. I fed him and did the report again from my separate account. When I opened it up, I almost dropped my phone again. “I will win Justin Falcor, if it kills me.” The message said.
“Who is this?” I typed back and it took a moment for the person to respond but soon the the keys on my keyboard started pushing themselves. One by one the words showed up.
“Your worst nightmare.” It responded. I turned my phone off and booked it to the house. I quickly closed the door behind me and stopped to catch my breath.
“What’s wrong?” My mom asked. She was sitting out in the living room with my dad beside her on the couch.
“Nothing… Dad, I think the door is broken.” I said.
“Ok, we’ll have to fix it.” He replied.
Tonight was the worst night that I had experienced at my house. Key words here are at, my, and house. It started out normal, I was doing more research on the problems my phone has been having. This time, instead of being interrupted by a scream of terror, I was interrupted with silence. An extremely long awkward silence. I slowly closed out of my phone and slid it into my pocket. I sat for three minutes waiting for Flash to scream, but nothing came. I got up and slowly walked to the entrance way. “Where are you going?” My mom asked.
“I’m going to check on the horses, it’s too quiet.” I answered and walked to the entrance way and put my shoes on and grabbed my flashlight.
“Ok, just be safe and don’t take too long.” She said and I looked over to the clock. The time was 9:47. I walked out to the stable flashing my flashlight in front of me. I walked up to the doors and grabbed the handle. I don’t know why I stopped, but I did. I didn’t know what would lie beyond that door. I pulled open the door slowly and looked inside. Every horse was sleeping inside of it’s stall except for Flash, whose head was, lifelessly, sticking out of the stall. I walked closer and saw his glossy eyes staring ahead in fear. I walked up and touched his head. Suddenly it fell to the ground without the body attached. I jumped back and suddenly started to hear the crunch of teeth on bones. I looked towards the sound and I saw what it was. A dark creature with freakishly long front legs and shorter hind legs was hunched over a pile of dismembered flesh. It looked up at me. Its eyes were bright white but that was the only thing you could see on it’s dark face. I stared into its bright eyes. I felt my fear growing. Suddenly all of the darkness surrounding me started to close in on me. Soon, there was only darkness. I woke up and Flash was screaming in terror. I got up and he calmed down almost like he was worried for me. I gave him some food and dashed out of the stable and into my house.
“Where were you? What took you so long?” My mom asked and I looked at the clock. It was 10:36.
“Have I been out that long?” I thought. “I must have fallen asleep.” I said to my mom. She checked to see if I was lying and sent me off to bed. I didn’t sleep that night because I was too scared of the other things inside my dark room with me.
Around 3:00 to 3:30, I decided to go out to find Flash. Last night, I must have forgotten to close the stable door… or something else opened it. Anyways, Flash ran out the door because something scared him. My dad found out when our pregnant horse started to scream. My dad knew it was me and told me to go find him. I took my bike and rode out to the edge of town. There was an old abandoned store at the edge and the man who took it in as a house stood outside in the front yard. “Have you seen a brown horse with black hair and a white streak on the front of his head?” I called to him. He just stood, lifelessly staring at me. I rode closer on my bike and saw that he had a hat over his head. “Hello.” I said and tapped his shoulder and it suddenly fell off. There was no blood or anything inside the arm, it was completely hollow. I tore his hat off but his hat wasn’t the only thing that came off. His hollow head fell off its shoulders and the rest of his body shattered. What was once a friendly neighbor, was now in pieces. I jumped on my bike and sped away as fast as I could. I kept riding in the same direction until I rode straight into the woods.
The woods was my favorite place to go sledding because there was a giant hill that was absolutely perfect for sledding. I rode right down the hill and kept following the trail. As I was riding, I hit a root and sped off into a different trail that was very unused and neglected. I followed it and came to an old abandoned log cabin. It was huge and seemed like a large mansion. I parked my bike outside and walked into the cabin. The door was unlocked so I opened it.
The living room was huge. It had some dusty candle lamps in it and lots of spiderwebs. The most prominent feature of the living room was the large pile of deer carcases in the center. There were a lot of legs, legless and headless bodies, all of which were half chewed. I looked through the corpses and didn’t see Flash there. I walked around the pile of carcasses and grabbed the candle from the lamp and looked around for a box of matches. I opened a drawer that was next to the lamp and saw a small box of matches and put it in my pocket. I put the candle in as well. I opened the door next to the lamp and walked into the room. It was a hallway leading to a large double door. The door was jammed but not locked. I backed up and rammed into the door. It didn’t budge so I did it again. This time I heard a loud bang from a chair that was propped up on the handle. I caught a glimpse of the creatures eyes as it prowled in the darkness of a shadow. The sun shone through the library windows. I didn’t have to look at the creature, but I felt its eyes staring at me. It growled and I noticed it take a step forward. The tip of its finger hit the beam of sun and it sizzled. The monster cried out in pain and I ran out of the library, out of the hallway, to the other side of the lamp, and up a staircase. I ran to the closest door and flung it open. There was a huge dusty bed and a large closet in the far corner. I dashed to the closet and threw open the doors. A shell of a body fell out. I picked it up and threw it across the room. It shattered into pieces. I sat down in the closet and closed the door behind me. I turned my phone on and saw the clock change to 4:00. “I have two hours to rest and then I will have to escape.” I thought. I waited for about ten minutes before I drifted off to sleep.
I woke up to the sound of stomping and shuffling. There was a very quiet growl underneath the noises. The noises came from the room across the hallway. I knew that the creature was searching for me. I pulled out my phone and looked at the clock. It was 6:07 and it was getting dark. Although, it was very dark in the woods and especially in the cabin. I heard the growls intensify and the creature started to move. It walked to the room behind me and started to look around for me. I tried my best not to make any noise but if this hiding place failed for the man who was in here, it would fail for me too. I heard the creature scream in rage. The monster ran over to the room I was in and slammed down the door. It started to slam it’s way through the stuff in the room. Suddenly, I heard it stop. I knew it was looking at the closet. I heard the quiet noises of the creaking floorboards as it stepped closer. It had only touched the handle when there was the sound of a horse coming from outside the window. The creature paused and looked outside for a moment. Then it looked back and growled. I heard the creature run off to the sounds. I slowly made my way out of the closet and across the floor, to the window. I looked out and saw the monster run off after the sounds. There was a roof right under the window and I decided to exit that way. I walked closer to the window and felt my foot hit something. I bent over and picked up a small Swiss Army Knife from the shards of the man who was in the closet. I put the knife in my pocket and lifted the window up. I crawled out and stood on the edge.
I looked over and found a crowbar that was used for peeling off old tiles. I grabbed it and slipped it into my back jean pocket. It weighed down my pants but I could manage. I walked to the edge of the roof. It was about six feet off the ground so I decided to take the jump. I jumped to the ground and the crowbar fell out of my pocket. I felt the pain from the jump surging through my legs. I picked up the crowbar and walked to find my bike. I walked for almost half a minute before the creature grabbed my ankle and drug me to the ground. I turned and looked at the pitch black hand that grabbed my ankle. I took out the Swiss Army Knife and slashed the hand. It jumped back in pain. I made sure I didn’t see the creatures eyes but I stared at its arm. Dark blood dribbled onto the ground. All signs of plant life, on that part of the ground, were killed. The creature screamed at me in rage and ran to go chase whatever it was earlier. I looked up and turned around. I tried to walk to my bike but I heard something behind me. I closed my eyes and spun around. I started swinging my knife around but I didn’t make any connection to anything. I heard Flash cry out in fear. I opened my eyes and saw the horse. I closed my knife and hugged him. “I missed you Flash!” I exclaimed and he whinnied in response. “Come on, let’s go home.” I said and we walked a few paces forward, when my phone buzzed. I stopped and Flash walked a few paces forward before stopping to wait for me.
“Why didn’t you free me?” The message said. It was from 606-747-6402. I closed my phone and looked at Flash. He seemed slightly impatient.
“I don’t know why I think this, but I think the creature was once your jockey.” I said to Flash.
“Yes.” the unknown person said.
“I think you’re the reason he’s stuck here.” I continued and reached for my crowbar.
“Yes. Do it.” The unknown number replied. I pulled the crowbar out of my pocket and hid it by my side. I walked up to Flash and put my mouth to his ear.
“I’m sorry, Flash.” I said and blacked out. When I woke up, Flash was on the ground with a crowbar sticking out of his side. Blood coating his body. The earth split and a blast of light exploded from it. The creature jumped out from behind me and dragged me to the ground. It screamed in anger as some unknown force pulled it into the crack. It helplessly tried to grab my foot. Its eyes now had blue irises and pupils. Suddenly it started to become more and more human until it was a Caucasian man with dark brown hair and prominent features. He was wearing a red and white jockey uniform with no helmet. He screamed angrily as he was pulled into the ground. The last thing that was above the ground was his hand. When the ground closed, a blast of light covered the world. When it dissipated everything was normal except for Flash who was still dead. I paused a moment before getting up and running away. It was dark so I accidentally tripped over my bike. I picked it up and turned the lights on. I pedaled, as fast as I could, away from the woods, to my house.
After those days, I refused to go to sleep without a night light, but then I grew up. I got a wife and children. Also, the pregnant horse had its child. It had dark brown skin and black mane with a single streak of white hair in the front of its head. It’s name is Bolt. Lastly, I gave the dark spirit a name and wrote some facts about it. I call it the Jockey… it comes from the dark.
CREDIT : Jacob Baum (Edited By: Madison Harlow)