Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
“HURRICANE WARNING – A hurricane is expected within 48 hours. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately”.
I never really took those warnings seriously. In the tropics, a little category 2 Hurricane is no big deal. When I first moved here, I made sure to head to higher ground and heed the warnings given to me by the local TV station, but after returning home with minimal damage to the surrounding area, I realized it was just a waste of time. Better to just board up the windows and wait it out.
So Hurricane Gloria rolled in one August afternoon. It started out the typical way, the wind slowly began to pick up and all the last-minute shoppers raided the local supermarkets looking for batteries, generators, water bottles, and food stuffs. I was content with my candles, flashlights and the canned soup that I was usually able to cook up on my gas stove.
The wind picked up a little faster than usual, I guessed that Gloria was going to pack quiet a punch rather quickly, which was fine since those kind of storms had a tendency to roll by faster. I was hoping to get back to work as soon as possible, since all the stores were closing before she came in.
So I stayed home watching the news as it began to get dark and the wind really began to pick up. The quiet whistle slowly started to turn into a roar and the wind whipped by the bending palms. As expected, the power went out after a few hours of this. I was already prepared with flashlight in hand, and began lighting the candles in my living room. It was around 8 o’clock, and still too early to sleep, so I made myself some soup and decided to catch up on some reading via flashlight.
By the time I searched all the boxes for my old books, cooked up my soup and ate, the streets outside were already flooded. Since my home is elevated, I was not too concerned, but to venture out into the night would mean trudging in water up to my knees. Thankfully I had all I needed in this tiny little house.
I decided to sit in my favorite chair and get to reading. I must have fallen asleep because I was awoken, book in lap and flashlight dead on the floor, by the roaring of the wind and an odd sound coming from outside. I was a bit startled, because the wind was beginning to sound dangerously loud, more than I had expected. It also sounded like something was banging into the outer walls. It was circling my house, banging into each wall and then coming around again.
I was worried at this point, thinking that maybe I should have listened to the reports and got to higher ground. If my house takes too much damage, I would have to dredge through the deep flooding to my neighbor Alice’s house, which was nearly 15 yards away. The old lady lived by herself, and has seen her fair share of Hurricanes, so I knew she would be sticking this one out as well.
The banging would continue, stop for a while, and then continue in the same pattern again, always accompanied by a scratching sound. All of a sudden it banged hard against the window. I nearly died from fright it was so loud, and I heard a crack. It did not sound as if the glass shattered, but quite possibly put a crack into it.
Fearful that something was caught in the wind and causing damage, I decided to open the front door to see if I could peer out and see if anything had gotten caught up on my house, likely fallen branches or something similar. Since the flashlight was dead, I just decided to use my cell phone for light until I could find more batteries.
I went to the door and braced myself since I knew the wind was heavy. It blew the door right open, but I was able to get a handle on it. I looked to my left towards the window, and could see a large crack down the center. Though it was cracked, the window was still boarded well enough that I felt it would hold. I went to turn to my right, to see if anything else was damaged, when I see a large, black, hairy thing clinging to the corner of the house on the far side. I was only able to get a quick glimpse of it, because as I turned and looked, it rolled along the side of my house out of view. I wondered if this was what was causing the entire ruckus out there. It was about the size of a small to medium animal, but I thought it could not have weighed very much because it was high above the ground near my roof. The wind had to have carried it to that high of a spot, because there was no way any animal or heavy object could cling to the side of the house like that, at least none that I have ever seen.
I must admit, when I saw it I got a little freaked out, but put it out of my mind because weird things are always flying about in the heavy wind. It could have been old man Seamus’ wigs, all wet and tangled in mud for all I know.
I went and sat back down in my chair. It was almost 1:00am now, but I could not get back to sleep. I just lay there, listening to the roar outside. The banging started up again. I listened as it started at the front of the house, moved around to the side, scratching and banging its way along, and to the back of the house. Then a huge CRASH; something smashed through the back bathroom window. I must have forgotten to board up that window, since it is small and slightly protected by high bushes.
I get up, walking in the direction of the noise, using my cell phone for light. I can hear the whistling of the wind through the open window. The door is open about 6 inches, so I push it open, and see something lying on the floor in the dark. I notice that I am stepping in murky water; the thing is dripping wet and it created a pool of water on the floor. It is half-way behind the shower curtain which had gotten ripped off but I can see dark, feathery and matted looking hair poking out. Is it some kind of animal?
I was afraid to get close to it, and with my cell phone, the only way I could get enough light would be to stand next to it, so I decided I would try to find batteries for the flashlight instead. I run into the living room, pick the flashlight up off the floor, pull the AA batteries out of my TV remote, and stuff it into the back of the flashlight. I turn it on and inch my way back to the bathroom.
I turn my flashlight towards the thing, and see nothing but broken glass, the torn shower curtain lying besides sticks and mud. It was just gone. At this point my heart sinks into my chest and I begin to feel very afraid. It was definitely not old man Seamus’ wigs, because if it moved then it is alive. I try to calm myself by thinking “maybe it was a raccoon or something, and it crawled back out the window”?
I decide that this is all too much for me, so I make the decision to go to my room, lock the door, and do not come out until daybreak—no matter what. The darkness is probably just playing tricks on me, and I will probably find Seamus’ wigs tucked behind the toilet tomorrow, likely carried there by the wind and the puddle of water that filled the bathroom floor.
As I make my way towards my bedroom I notice that my bedroom door was closed. I do not remember closing it, but I suppose I just forgot with all the freight. I open the door and look around the dark room. I don’t see anything out of place, until I see it. A large floor-length mirror stands across from the open door I am standing in, and behind the door I see the figure of…this thing – It was standing in a crouched position looking at me through the crack in the door. I spin around and can see its hideous eye, a huge oversized muddy-red bloodshot eye staring at me, opened wide like a predator that had just spotted its prey.
I immediately ran for the only other room with a door, the bathroom, and I slam it and lock it. Within moments I heard it barreling after me, and it began pounding on the door. I know the door will not hold, and I can hear the wood beginning to crack. I turn, and see the open window. I knew at that moment, my only chance is to make a run for it.
I managed to pull myself up on the window and clumsily fall out, sinking into the water that is nearly up to my hips now. It is muddy and full of debris but I am slowly able to pull myself through it in the direction of my closest neighbor. Alice might be an old woman, but she is tough, and since she lives on her own, I know she keeps a shotgun with her. If I could only get there, I know I would be safe.
I am almost a quarter of the way there when I see my front door fly open. The wind had significantly died down, so I know that it was pushed open from the inside. I do not stop to see what comes out, because I am pulling through the water with all my might. Moments later I hear a splash, and I know it is coming after me.
I am nearly there; the house is only about 12 feet from me when I look back. It is under the water, only a few feet behind. I can see a big black blob through the murky water, and it is gaining on me. I start screaming for Alice, but I am not sure if she could hear me since the wind is still rather noisy.
Then I feel something wrap around my ankle. I don’t have time to think, I just pull away from it, continuing on. As I yank my foot away I feel tremendous pain and a moment later I see blood coming up from the depths. I keep moving, yelling for Alice, when I see her looking out of the small window on her front door.
Soon, I am near her front porch, and she opens the door for me. I am crying and push past her, collapsing inside of her doorway. She looks shocked to see me, wet and covered in mud. I try to tell her what I saw between my sobs, and I could tell she did not know what to make of my story. She looks outside and tells me there is nothing out there. I try to convince her that some THING was chasing me, and though she doesn’t believe me, she goes to get her shotgun at my constant requests.
With the door closed and locked, I look through the little window. The wind is still strong, but I can tell the storm is almost over. “Oh my goodness” Alice says, “what happened to your leg”? I had forgotten all about it. I look down and see a huge tear in my leg, a round row of puncture marks, which is wide but not deep and bleeding badly. It looks almost like a bite. “Let me clean that up for you” she says.
She goes to get her first aid kit and starts to clean it up. “Hmm,” she says “what in the world is this”? Out of my leg she pulls out a large white object, like the size of a penny. She goes to the sink and washes it. “Well, look at that. Looks almost like a shark tooth. These storms really do carry in some strange stuff”.
Credit To – B. Paige