If there was one thing I knew for sure it was that the moment our new neighbors moved in next to us, things in our quiet little suburb seemed to fall out of place. Now don’t get me wrong, the walls of my house didn’t start to bleed or anything, but, something just changed.
The first day the Smiths moved in, my mom made it her goal to make the new foreigners feel welcomed in our little covenant controlled community. My mom, although she was a flight attendant and was often out of town, liked to welcome any new comer to the neighborhood, which sadly involved her dragging me, her awkward seventeen year old daughter, to welcome any new family.
The Smiths, if I could describe them in a word, seemed very…. strained. The couple both had a set of dark circles under their eyes, and after flashing my mother and I with an exhausted smile, they introduced themselves and their baby, whose name seems to have escaped me. It’s understandable that having a screaming, pooping hellion roaming around one’s house would increase the levels of stress, but these people looked like they had been through an uphill battle. Several things betrayed the normality of them, like the bandage wrapped around the husbands hand, or how the wife seemed to cling just a little too close to her baby. After giving them a batch of slightly burned cookies and saying our goodbyes, my mother and I took the unbearable 20 second walk back to our home.
“Well,” My mother started, “They seemed like a nice couple.”
“I just hope that we won’t be able to hear that baby screaming at ungodly hours of the night,” I mumbled, instantly getting scolded about how I needed to be more friendly. Easy for my mom to say because she would be out of town most of the time and didn’t have to deal with whatever obnoxious family moved in next.
It was actually was a couple of weeks before anything strange started to happen. Between school and my mom heading out to catch her next flight, I didn’t really have time to add two and two together about what was going on. At first it was only little things, trash cans being knocked over, mail scattered out of our mailbox, keys being misplaced, and even finding my toothbrush knocked off the bathroom counter. But nothing that made me think something malicious was taking place.
One thing that did raise my suspicions was when I was home alone (nothing new to me) and had just returned from school. I walked into my kitchen and looked out the window over the sink, which, much to my dismay, looked right through the backyard and into the kitchen window of our new neighbor’s house. Whether they were home or out, the Smiths always had their blinds shut, but when I walked up to the sink to wash my hands, I saw what looked like someone parting the blinds and looking straight at me. Feeling slightly taken back, I quickly gave them a short wave and turned away. I mean, both of the couple’s cars were in the driveway, maybe one of them was looking out into their backyard for something. I didn’t realize that the eyes from behind the window kept watching me until I disappeared down the hallway to the bathroom.
Sitting at the kitchen table and dining on the cheapest Chinese take out I could order, I strained to finish my math homework. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard a crash from my garage, accompanied by my dog barking like an idiot.
“Kimbo!” I yelled, throwing open the garage door, looking accusingly into the dog run, trying to get a glimpse of the clumsy canine. However, Kimbo stood innocently in the center of the caged enclosure, but stared intensely at the once neatly stacked pile of wood. Walking into the cold room and flicking on the light, it looked as if someone had pulled out the bottom of the stand the wood had once sat on, leaving all of it to topple to the floor. I sighed and lazily nudged the wood into a makeshift pile, not feeling motivated enough to re-stack it all. But as I reached the back of the pile, which had the highest stack of wood on it, something shifted under the wood and moved deeper into the garage.
Jumping back out of surprise and fear I let out a yelp, nearly tripping over my makeshift pile. We’ve had mice and what not living in our garage before, but never something that big. Was it possible that a rat or even a possum had made it’s way into our house to escape the bite of the winter cold?
Not wanting to mess with any rabies infested rodent, I let Kimbo inside the house, but left the doggy door leading to outside of the garage open, in hope that what ever crawled in would crawl right back out.
Finishing my sub par dinner and settling down for bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about what was in the garage. I couldn’t shake the feeling that whatever was in the woodpile was something… more. It was like that unsettling feeling when you think you’ve left the oven on, you suspect that something is wrong, but still try to brush it off.
I tossed and turned all night, waking up at the sound of the heater turning on or hearing Kimbo shift in his sleep. But whenever I thought I was finally drifting to sleep, I could’ve sworn that there was something standing on my bed, close enough to me to where I could feel the added pressure… but never close enough to confirm that it wasn’t just my imagination.
After facing another sleep deprived day of school, I didn’t even have time to think about the events of the other night. Until I got home.
I was greeted with the smell of rotting food and a plethora of torn paper plates. The black trash can that normally resides in the corner of our kitchen was toppled over, it’s contents spilled across the once clean wood floor. This isn’t right.
Peeking my head out of our back door I noticed Kimbo lazing around on the grass, gnawing on a raw hide. Walking back over to the garbage heap I noticed the plastic bag looked like it went through a blender; long tears and holes were torn through the white plastic. Feeling unsettled I picked up the trash and did my best to sprint into the garage to dispose of the war zone. As I heaved the bag into the can, I saw something skitter in the corner of my eye. That’s right, something skittered, like a spider running from the judgement of a shoe heel.
Whipping around I caught a flash of pinkish grey flesh disappear behind a folding chair.
What the hell was that.
With every horror movie resurfacing in my mind I shakily grabbed the fire poker by the wood pile and inched closer to the chair. There was no was I was going to miss school and be sent to the ER to get a rabies vaccination just because some rat, or whatever that thing was, decided to call my garage its home. Clutching the iron poker I slowly moved the chair, getting ready to book it back into my house at any moment. Slowly, I inched the chair over, until suddenly the chair slipped and came crashing down to the floor, a sharp hiss rang out through the garage.
Where the chair once stood, crouched and cornered, sat what could only be described as what looked a hairless cat by first glance. Upon further investigation, I realized that I was wrong.
That… thing, had black beady eyes that popped out of it’s head that seemed to have no end, there was no neck to determine where the chest began and where the chin connected. A tail flicked behind it, hairless as well and had the texture of a rat’s scaly appendage, but attached at the end was a snaggled, dirty, curved claw that looked like it would be better suited on a velociraptor. But that wasn’t the worst part, no. The part that sent chills up my spine was when that thing hissed at me again, revealing rows of needle thin, sharp, and unorganized yellowing teeth. Like how a shark has extra rows of teeth, it had at least two rows of snapping teeth on the bottom part of it’s jaw. It lurched up on it’s spindly, long emaciated looking legs and it’s abdomen stood at least one foot off the ground. At first I thought it was just baring its teeth at me, telling me to back off, but then I realized that it was… smiling.
Grinning, skin stretched out to expose it’s slimy teeth and lizard like tongue. When it smiled, I knew. I knew that this wasn’t just some freak of nature, some mutated sewer rat that crawled out from the city. This thing knew what it was doing, it knew I was afraid, it had a some kind of thought pattern, because I have never seen any animal, crazed or afraid, with that kind of evil intent in it’s eyes.
I couldn’t help but let out a scream, stepping back and holding the fire poker with both hands. Trying to inch my way back to the door, but the creature wasn’t planning on letting me go.
It bolted towards me with unimaginable swiftness on it’s twig like legs, but as it leapt into the air I swung my foot out and sent it flying back, further into the garage. Without looking twice I slammed the door behind me and turned the small lock, frozen in place as I heard a shrill squeal through my only barricade, followed by a loud thump. That thing was throwing itself against the door, albeit it wasn’t doing much good, each thud reverberated in my bones.
I don’t know how long I stood there, pressed against the door with tears streaming down my face, but when it finally stopped, I ran to grab my cellphone off of the couch.
At this point, I didn’t care that I was in hysterics when I got my mom on the phone, trying to explain what happened through sobs and heaves. But by the time she had managed to hear the full story, she was instantly irritated, thinking that I had let my overactive imagination get the best of myself. But, none the less, she said that her flight had just landed back home, and would return in about an hour.
By the time she actually came back, I had locked myself and Kimbo in my room, huddled in a corner with my night stand blocking the door. She hesitated when she saw how scared I was, still shaking and as white as a sheet.
My mom made me go back into the garage with her, I was so close to just grabbing my car keys and going to my friend’s house, but if that thing was still I couldn’t just leave her in the house alone. She led me into the cold and disheveled room, poking through the pieces of wood and various other objects that lined the car less garage.
It was gone.
There wasn’t even a trace of the terror that nearly… nearly did what to me? That thing certainly wasn’t some friendly forest creature, but was it out to kill me?
My mother by this time was angry and tired, and told me to get some rest. That’s the cure for anything, isn’t it? Just go to bed and in the morning everything will be magically fixed. Before I had gone to bed, she told me this, “You can’t just let those little things freak you out like that. It’s always the little things.” She was referring to how stressed I was about school and finals, but I still wasn’t persuaded.
As if I need to say this, but, I didn’t sleep at all that night. I wasn’t going to risk letting whatever that was crawl into my room and attack me in my sleep.
But, the next morning my mom continued to tell me that I had just scared myself, and honestly, I believed her. That was the easy way out, to avoid conflict and just go to school like normal. And it worked, though I always had that incident in the back of my mind, I found myself too busy with finals at school and finishing projects. It really worked too, until school got out and I was left alone in the house for winter break. Mom promised me that she would be back by late Christmas Eve, saying that a last minute flight had come up and the other attendant couldn’t make it. As much as I wanted to beg and cry for her to stay, I just let her go, it wasn’t worth arguing over something like this with my mother when she had a predetermined ending in her mind.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared, but the first several days of break passed by without a hitch. I had Kimbo at my side 24/7, and made sure I was always within an arms length of the fire poker I had managed to hide from my mom. I may have been on edge, but really… nothing strange happened. It was like everything returned to normal.
I felt like I could finally relax, December 24th was here, and I had decided to just spend the rest of my afternoon watching cheesy Hallmark movies and eating popcorn. Before I knew it the sun was setting, even though it was only about six, one of the disadvantages of winter. It was perfect, I had a nice fire going, Kimbo was curled on the couch with me, and my mom was going to be home in a few hours.
Then I heard it. That sound that made all of the fear, and panic, suddenly resurface and settle into my gut. That skittering sound, getting louder, and closer, with each passing second.
But it wasn’t coming from the garage.
It was coming from the hallway beside me, next to the end of the couch.
The light from the TV and fire was enough to partially penetrate the darkness of the hallway. And I pray to whatever god is up there, that it hadn’t.
That thing was coming towards be, barely shrouded by the darkness, but the last time I had seen it move it was in a short and fast burst. No this, this was something else altogether. The thing pranced as if it was a puppet being controlled by a toddler, it’s twisted gait heaving itself up and down on spindly legs. It didn’t stop smiling, not even when I screamed louder than I ever have, throwing myself off of the couch and reaching for my fire poker.
Before my hands could even brush the cool iron of my closest weapon, I felt something latch onto my calf, what felt like hundreds of needles piercing my flesh and sinking in deeper to the soft muscle. Letting out a cry of agony and looking back, I saw that it had sunken it’s rancid teeth into the back of my leg. It was faster than I thought it could be. I felt paralyzed, frozen in time as I tried to reach for the poker, but to no avail.
In my panic, I didn’t hear the loud snarling and growls as Kimbo launched himself at the monster, sinking his own teeth into the hairless flesh of the beast.
It screeched, like a pig and a cat crying out in agony at the same time, as my dog got a hold of it, but it wasn’t to be beaten that easily. It’s tail lashed out, cutting Kimbo down along his side, and slipped out from between the canine’s jaws. Letting out a whine Kimbo backed off, but the creature skittered off to the nearest doorway; the basement.
As quickly as I could I pulled myself up and grabbed the fire poker. Words cannot describe how badly my leg burned, I never imagined the pain would be like this, and was always under the impression that adrenaline would cover up any injury. Not only that, but the bite was deep, and blood was already seeping through my pant leg. I knew that I couldn’t focus on that now though.
That monster had waited for me to let down my guard, it watched and waited since it last attacked me. I won’t let it win, I can’t let this thing hurt me, or my mom, or Kimbo. I had to kill it.
Wincing as I stood up, I turned every light on in the living room and kitchen, grabbing a can of oven spray, skipping over the knives. There was no way in hell I was going to get that close to that things just to cut it.
Shakily standing at the top of the stairs I let out I hushed whimper. It just had to be the goddamn basement. The one place that only had one exit. I flipped the light on at the top of the stairs and slowly made my descent, making sure not to let my leg give out from under me.
What a joke. A 5’5 teenage girl limping down the stairs with a fire poker and a can of oven cleaner, if I wasn’t ready to wet my pants I might have been laughing.
When I reached the bottom, I scanned the room. Couches lined one wall, facing a TV, and a pool table lied on the other side of the room, but the creature wasn’t there. I turned around and peered into the darker corner by the end of the couch, still shaking, and realized that when my mom came home she would kill me when she sees all of the blood on the carpet.
Then it hit me. This thing wasn’t just playing some sick and twisted game of hide and seek.
It wanted to kill me. Tear me apart, drive me insane, that’s why it let me think I was safe, it made this entire hunt more exciting. It was always waiting for me to let my guard down…
I turned suddenly hearing feverish tapping coming towards me from the laundry room, of course! The one place I hadn’t checked. I had barely lift up the poker when it came flying out at me, screaming, anger burning in it’s beady eyes darker than the moonless night sky, looking for compensation on the bloody teeth marks that were engraved into it’s back.
Out of reflex I swung the iron rod at it and found purchase in the thing’s side, sending it into a nearby wall. I couldn’t hold my ground down here, if I got cornered it would be game over.
Turning heel I began to sprint up the stairs, but almost immediately fell flat on my face when my leg gave out under me. I could hear the skittering getting closer, and I dropped the poker to grab the can of oven spray, hands shaking so violently I almost dropped the cool black cylinder down the stairs. As the monster reached my feet I unleashed a cloud of suffocating and stinging spray from the can, making sure to aim it right into it’s black unblinking eyes.
If it wasn’t angry before, it was furious at this point.
I took the opportunity to climb up the stairs as the beast screeched and whipped it’s head around, feeling the chemical blend seep into it’s sensitive flesh. As I finally reached the top I felt light headed and dizzy, most likely due to the wound in my leg that was still bleeding. I leaned on the counter in search of a new weapon. But this monster had no intention of giving me even a second to spare. It threw itself up the stairs, not trying to achieve speed or stealth, but instead was in such a murderous rage that it’s only goal was to reach me.
By the time I had reached the knife rack, I turned to see it barreling towards me, I held my right arm out in self defense as it jumped, but to no avail. I only succeeded in giving it a new piece of flesh to sink it’s stinking teeth into. I hadn’t noticed until now, but there was an intense stench of rotting eggs being emitted from the thing’s mouth.
I cried out as it bit down harder, hearing flesh splitting. I smashed it down onto the granite counter top, only making it bite down harder. I can’t say that I yelled or cried, but I let out the loudest, longest scream I could as I felt the bones in my arm begin to split and crack. I needed to stop it before I lost my entire arm.
I stumbled to the end of the counter, this hell-spawn wasn’t going to win, I won’t die from some ugly, foul, demented cat sized hairless mole.
Grabbing onto the monster with my left hand I finally smashed it down onto some glasses that littered the counter top. As it opened it’s wretched mouth to screech, I grabbed it with my uninjured left hand, summoning every ounce of strength to keep my death grip on the back of it’s head. Letting out a cry of anger and pain, I threw it’s ugly little face down into the blender next to the broken glass. Smashing my wounded hand into the power button, the whir of machinery and the symphony of cracking bones filled the air. It was still kicking it’s thin wiry legs, and lashing its tail which left thin slices on my stomach. The clawed appendage then dug into one of the teeth marks on my forearm and dug down. But before it could do anymore damage, the nightmarish and hellish creature went limp in my hand. By now the blender was smoking, I quickly unplugged in and painfully lifted the creature out of it’s tomb.
It’s entire head was gone, turned into a chunky mush at the bottom of the kitchen appliance. Only a glimmering section of spine and organs drooped out of the now dead nightmare, save for the collection of chipped teeth that jammed the blades.
I dug a kitchen knife into the remaining mass of flesh, not taking any chances and collapsed to the floor, holding my arm and letting sobs wreck my body. My arm seemed to hurt even more with each passing moment as that adrenaline wore off; I thought I could see a piece of white bone through one of the bite marks.
Who knows how long I stayed on the floor, but when my Mother finally came home, she screamed when she saw what had happened in her home. Kimbo, laying on his side with a long gash on his side, whimpering in pain, the still smoking blender that reeked of rotting eggs and had unidentifiable chunks of meat in it. And then there was me, her daughter curled up in the corner, dripping with blood and rocking back and forth.
By the time she had taken me to the hospital and Kimbo to the vet, the police had been called, finding my blood on the couch and down in the basement. But the real kicker is that, even after I told them what happened in excruciating detail, showing them my bite marks, they didn’t believe me. They told me that it was some, wild, mangy animal that had crawled out from the forest and found itself in my house. Whenever I asked them what kind of animal it was, they just brushed me off.
After that my mom decided to move us closer to the city and her work, getting intentionally further away from the forest. When we had left, the Smiths came over to wish us goodbye, and both of them looked like they finally gotten a full night’s rest. But, when Laura, I believe that was her name, saw the cast on my right and bandages around my calf, she seemed taken back. They asked me what happened and if I was okay, but when my mom told them her version of the story, which was that a wild animal had snuck into our house and attacked me, Laura broke into hysterics. She nearly ran back into her house, her husband telling us that, he was sorry about his wife, and chased after her.
We left without another word.
Years later, when I moved out to college and was living in a dorm, I had decided to procrastinate on studying and surf the internet. I tried my best to leave behind what happened, but the scars would always literally be there, and the Smiths still stuck out to me. I decided to Google the wife’s name, since that was the only one I remembered.
Surprisingly, even with such a generic last name, I found a news article about our old neighbors, and had to read it twice to believe it.
Laura and James Smith originally had twin daughters, and lived about five hours away from our neighborhood. The news report stated that Mrs. Smith had woken up in the middle of the night to hear her two daughters crying, so she decided to go check on them at an unusual hour of the night. When she arrived at their room, she had been horrified to find that someone, or something, was attacking one of her daughters.
The article didn’t touch on any gruesome details, but it was recorded that by the time Laura had taken a nearby lamp and hit the thing off of her daughter, it was too late. She was dead and completely torn apart. The report states that police were called onto the scene but hadn’t found any evidence of a break in, and the case went cold. If I can recall correctly, judging by the time the Smiths moved in next door to us, it had already been three months after their daughter was murdered.
A chill ran up my spine; it was like every puzzle piece fell into place.
The memory of walking into my kitchen that one day to find someone, something, looking at me from the Smith’s window was clear. It was the monster. It had followed the Smiths into their new home to assumably finish what it had started, but then it saw me.
It left them for someone more exciting to play with, and that had just happened to be me.
Whatever that thing was, a demon from hell, evil itself, it had planned to kill me that night, and if I hadn’t killed it there is no doubt in my mind that it would still be after me. And judging by how lucky I had been on that night, I get the feeling that it would’ve succeeded.
Just remember this; sometimes when strange things start to happen it may be a simple coincidence. But if it’s not, if things keep getting worse, and you can feel something off in your gut, know that it’s always the little things that sneak up on you in the end.
Credit To – AMXH