Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
Arthur Willow lie awake listening to the rustling noise in his closet. He was fourteen, much too old to believe in the clichéd thought of a monster in a closet.
Yet as he tried to force himself asleep for yet another time this month, the rustling grew louder than it had before. Whenever this noise occurred he justified it as a rogue toy, or a raccoon stuck in the wall.
There was no point in checking the closet, he had before and there was always nothing there. So the sound continued on into the night, until as per usual, Arthur finally shut his heavy eyelids.
“Arthur, breakfast!” His mother’s voice echoed up from the kitchen.
Arthur rubbed his eyes, rolled out from the warmth of the covers, and started his routine. He opened the door to the closet, glanced around at old toys, a pile of clothes he outgrew, and a rather large bunny his grandparents had given him for Easter. He never found anything during this routine, and that gave him some comfort.
“How did you sleep, Honey?” Arthur’s mom asked as she plopped two pancakes out of the frying pan, onto his plate. Arthur was always impressed with how strong she was after his dad passed away.
“Wonderful.” Arthur lied.
His mother gave him a worried look, patted his messy hair, and started cleaning dishes. Arthur finished breakfast and put on his coat.
The freezing air nipped at his cheeks as his shovel sank into the driveway snow. Neighbor children ran up and down the block pelting each other with snowballs, and making snow angels.
Arthur watched the snowflakes fall briefly, then returned to the warmth of his home.
Arthur removed his coat, sat on the couch and began to read. The noise had become more frequent, silent nights were becoming rare. Sleep deprivation had caught up to him, and Arthur took a much needed nap.
He awoke to gunshots. Arthur’s eyelids flew open, and he sat straight up. Through panicked breaths his eyes raced around the room and saw cowboys on television in a shoot-out. Mary, his little sister, had turned on the T.V. while she in the cushy recliner holding a doll.
“Mary, you should have let me rest.”
“I sowwie.” Mary looked genuinely sad.
She was only three, so it was near impossible to be upset with her. Arthur’s mother walked into the room and the rest of the evening was spent in the living room with his family. Before his father passed away having a good relationship with his family was not as important, now they relied much more on each other.
Everyone said goodnight and Arthur returned to his room. He uneasily laid down under the covers and waited. Just as Arthur was on the edge of sleep, it began. Arthur was starting to believe he was going insane. Once again he forced himself to sleep.
He awoke to his closet slamming. At first it didn’t register with Arthur. He rolled over and looked at the clock, it was 5 a.m. When his sleepiness drifted away he sat up staring at the closet door. Using the sliver of morning sunlight available Arthur could see that the floor in front of the closet was damp. He quickly flung open the closet door, threw the pile of clothes out of the closet, scattered toys, and chucked the rabbit. There was nothing.
Arthur replaced the contents of his closet and returned to bed. He laid in bed wide awake until breakfast.
At breakfast he sat down and his mother gave him waffles. “Some neighbor children built the cutest little snowman in our yard.” His mother said while she handed him syrup.
“I’ll take a look at it when I go to shovel snow.” Arthur replied.
The snowman outside was small and poorly made. It had classic twigs for arms and rocks for eyes. A scarf was loosely wrapped around its neck. The scarf seemed familiar to Arthur. It was blue with small rubber ducks scattered all over it. It was exactly like a scarf Arthur wore as a child. In fact it was Arthur’s scarf.
Arthur ran back inside and searched for his sister. “Mary?” Arthur jogged upstairs and checked his sister’s room. Mary sat on the floor coloring from the light of the window.
“Mary, did you build a snowman outside using my scarf?”
“Tury did et.” Mary replied without looking up from her coloring activity.
“Who’s Terry?” Arthur analyzed Mary trying to figure out if this was some sort of joke.
“My friend.” Mary seemed completely serious.
“When do you see, Terry?” Arthur asked feeling his heart sink.
“Night. He watches us.” Mary kept coloring away as if this conversation was normal.
Arthur lie awake that night. No matter how much sleep gripped him, he wanted to stay awake and watch. He forced his breathing to become very slow, to appear to be sleeping. Around 3 a.m. Arthur heard something very strange. The sound of shifting floorboards, he deduced, and then the door opened.
To Arthur’s shock, the rabbit plopped out of the closet and remained motionless. Arthur couldn’t believe it, the rabbit was alive? This made absolutely no sense. It had most likely been purchased at a Wal-Mart by his grandparents. How was an Easter toy alive?
While Arthur’s eyes were fixed on the rabbit, the door slid open more. A small boy slowly stepped out of the closet. He stood there seemingly staring at Arthur. Arthur became so terrified, but kept his determination and remained still.
The child had dark brown hair, and murky gray skin. His eyes remained fixated on Arthur, unblinking. Arthur stared in horror as he realized the boy’s eyes had no pupils or color. They were completely white.
For minutes, which felt like hours to Arthur, the disfigured child stood in the moonlight watching Arthur. The horror of the situation had overtaken him, and he laid in bed paralyzed by his gaze. After around twenty minutes, the intensity of the situation had become too much and Arthur began to cry. The small child almost appeared to be startled by the sound. He slowly walked across the room, appearing to study Arthur.
Arthur remained completely still as the child approached. The child’s cheeks were sunken and his white eyes were glazed over. The child stopped getting closer when their noses almost touched and Arthur could feel his breath.
Then the child shrieked.
Terry’s scream made Arthur’s stomach churn, and he leapt backward on the bed in terror. Suddenly Terry ran out of Arthur’s room and down the hall. Arthur remained frozen with his back to the wall staring at the entrance of the room. While processing what had happened, he reflected back to what Mary had told him.
Had he ran into Mary’s room?
The overwhelming fear of this creature was stifled for the welfare of his sister. Arthur grabbed his battered baseball bat and headed down the hall.
He half whispered, half yelled “Mary?..” while he slowly walked with his bat up checking every corner. Finally he made it to Mary’s bedroom. Her window was open, and cold air was rushing into the room. Arthur turned the lights on, and searched the room. Mary was gone.
The police were called to the Willow family home that night. Arthur never spoke to his mother or the cops about what happened. The police said they found two sets of small footsteps side by side in the snow leading to the woods before they disappeared. They searched the neighborhood, and woods long into the night to no avail.
Early that morning Arthur once again searched the closet. He recalled back to the noise of the floorboards shifting, then he started putting pressure on the floor. The boards gave in a little, and Arthur managed to pull out a few.
Beneath the floor, Arthur found an odd crawlspace. This must be where Terry had been hiding, right under the rabbit, beneath the floor. Inside he found some of his old toys and various drawings. The drawings consisted of what Arthur could tell was Terry and Mary. Arthur became sick when he saw that Mary had gray skin, and white eyes.
The last picture had Terry and Mary on a distinct hill in what appeared to be the woods. Arthur stared at the hill and realized, he had seen that place before. When he was younger, he played in the woods and more specifically on that hill.
Arthur grabbed his coat and boots, then sprinted out the door into the cold morning air. He rushed through the woods dodging rocks and limbs. Off in the distance he saw the hill from his childhood. As he approached, he began to make out the figure of Mary laying in the snow.
“Mary!” Arthur yelled as he dropped to his knees beside of her body. Her skin was gray and frost bitten, her hair slightly covering her white eyes. “Mary… wake up..” He gingerly picked her up and checked for a pulse. There was none.
“Mary you can’t die, you’re my sister..” Arthur said with tears running down his face.
Mary slowly turned her head and screamed.
Credit To – Zolast