avatarMichael John Scott


Fiction | Terror | Horror | Short Story

Things That Go Bump In the Night

What dares to travel in the light of the moon?

Picture by Author and Dall-E-3

I have come to naught. After these many years of living, I have come to naught. The balm of sleep had not soothed me for many a long night. Instead, I sit in my book chamber, looking for a dark adventure to chase. I took down a copy of Hawthorne, a writer of greatness if indeed there was one.

As I began to read, my ears perceived an odd sound. A bell? A bell in the night, nay, the wee hours, when things go bump in the night. I rose and placed my copy of The Minister’s Black Veil on my desk. It was then I noticed my pipe had gone out.

My eyes searched for the small bag of Perique when they landed on an object, nay, a creature, perched upon my copy of Daemonologie. Were my senses asleep even if my body was not?

As I studied the creature, still as a statue, I noted its eyes. They were large, unusually so, and of a color I had not heretofore seen. A reddish black, I suppose. That would be the best I can do.

Its ears were also large, like a rabbit's, with curious points on the ends. It was about the size of a small housecat and black, with a stripe of red running down its chest. Its tail stretched beyond the stacks and to the very floor upon which I stood.

In the dim confines of a room overladen with the logic of dreams, the silent beast perched, an enigma wrapped in shadow. It sat motionless, a sentinel from the threshold of imagination, its long ears draping down to obscure its feet, blending the familiar with the uncanny.

As I stood there, my gaze affixed upon this silent guardian, a chill did run through my very soul, for its eyes, like twin orbs of the darkest onyx, pierced the gloom with an otherworldly stare. No breath did it seem to draw, yet the air around it stirred with an unseen tempest, whispering of forgotten lore and forbidden knowledge.

My heart, caught in the vice of fear and fascination, dared me to draw nigh, yet my limbs were as stone, rooted to the earth as if by some arcane spell. The silence, once a solace, now seemed a sinister prelude to some dread event, as if the very room awaited with bated breath for the creature to unveil its purpose.

Fear filled me, a palpable dread that seemed to cloak me in its cold embrace. The shadows of the chamber, once mere specters of the night, now teemed with unspeakable horrors, each corner a hiding place for my mind's macabre fantasies.

My breath became shallow, each inhalation a struggle against the weight of my terror. The silence was no longer empty but charged with the anticipation of a nightmare yet to reveal itself. I dared not move, for to stir might invite the attention of whatever unseen entity shared this cursed room with me.

The very air felt thick with malice as if the darkness itself whispered my name with a malevolence that promised despair and doom. I knew not what to do. It was the wee hours, and the night was wet and cold. All sorts prowled the streets, but would he be safer here, with this specter, this… demon?

A persistent knocking echoed through my chamber, rousing me from the depths of my dream. I found myself entangled in the linens, a prisoner of my own slumber.

“Poe! Poe, you drunken fool, wake up! There is much to be done. Your rent is again past due,” shouted his landlord.

The floor met me with an unceremonious thud, dispelling the last vestiges of the night’s phantasms. I lay there for a moment, disoriented, the boundaries between dream and reality blurred by the suddenness of my awakening.

It had been, after all, only things that go bump in the night.

About the Author: Professor Mike is a writer and editor. He is also a teacher. He loves to read, particularly the writings of the late great Edgar Allen Poe. This is the first time he has experimented with a version of 19th Century English. He hopes it doesn’t suck.

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