This week’s short story topic: A Good Reason to Be afraid of the Dark
- Killer whale
I felt like a fool cowered under my quilt like a scared five-year-old. Only I wasn’t five anymore; I was thirty-five. There was no bargain with mom to leave the lights on; no canned response from mom praising me at what a big girl I was and that I didn’t need the night light.
I took a deep breath. Mom was right, there was no need to check for monsters under the bed, I was tired, and my imagination was on overdrive. A dim light filled the room from the street lamp across the street. The objects in my room took on an eerie shape. The heap of laundry looked like a baby killer whale; my white t-shirts formed the white underbelly of the Orca. The white pants I dyed black due to a ketchup stain formed the top of the Orca. Then I heard it again, the heavy breathing from underneath the bed. I kicked off the covers and ran out of the house. I raced over to my neighbor’s house and pounded on the door.
“Someone is in my house, let me in,” I screamed.
She opened the door, pulled me in, and locked the door.
“We need to call the police,” she said. Her eyes were wide with fear.
“I heard heavy breathing underneath my bed. I’m not sure if I imagined it.”
“We are in danger,” she said, “There is a depraved janitor on the loose and he killed his entire family. It was on the evening news.”
She reached for the phone.
“Do you have a gun?” I asked.
“Upstairs in the nightstand.”
I took the steps two at a time. It turns out I had a good reason to be afraid of the dark after all.