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Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Short story By: Angie Blake
Horror


Janie, just turned 18 years old found her first apartment. What she didn't know is what she'd find inside!


Submitted:Sep 30, 2012    Reads: 290    Comments: 5    Likes: 3   


Janie was mentally and physically exhausted. It must've been, at least 90 degrees in her apartment right then. She'd worked eight hours and went to move her stuff out of her parents's
house earlier that evening. Her 18th birthday was just at the beginning of last week. It'd taken almost two weeks to find herself a little apartment in the small town. Janie was a lucky one though. There was an older apartment available in the north east part of town. It was a one bedroom. Janie knew it was a good deal and she decided to jump on it.

Her mother and father argued with her until they were blue in the face. How did she know she could afford rent for an apartment right now? Her job was only part time and the rent was going to be at least $400 a month. Her mother chimed in with "You are just too young. How are you going to be able to defend yourself against intruders? For cripes sake, you don't
even know how to cook Macaroni and Cheese, or how to use the washer and dryer? How are you going to take care of yourself?"

They didn't start accepting the fact that Janie was going to do what Janie had planned on doing regardless of what they said until Janie and her best friend Janelle started moving boxes
out of her room.

Her mother started crying. Her father just looked as sad as he could possibly muster. After all, their one and only child was moving out of their house and now he'd actually have to talk
to his wife instead of using Janie as a go-between.

"So you're really going to do this?" Her father asked her with sad eyes.

"Yes, Dad, I'm really going to do this!" Janie said still holding the box.

"Then go into my study and look in the first drawer of my desk. I've got something in there for you!" Janie put the box down and did what her father said.

Janie walked into his study and opened the top drawer. There was a small beautifully wrapped box in the top drawer. Janie took it down and held it to her heart for a minute.
Her eyes began to water as she tore open the wrapping paper. Inside the wrapping paper was a small box. Janie opened it. The opening revealed a sterling silver necklace with a small locket pendant. Janie opened the small locket. Two pictures were inside. One of them of her and one of them of her parents. Tears started to drop freely from her eyes.

"Oh honey, no matter what you do we will always love you. Please wear that every day to remind you how much we love you!"

Janie was unaware her mother and father were watching from the door.

"I will daddy," they both walked over and hugged Janie. Her father put the necklace around her neck and fastened the clasp.

They all finished moving all of her stuff. After a ton of arguing her mother insisted she take the Scooby Doo night light to put in her hallway.

She also insisted she took "Cuddles" the dog. Janie proceeded to protest but her mother just kept insisting until Janie finally just gave up. Janie sighed. She looked at Cuddles and shook her head. She laughed a little bit at herself. "This is my watch dog......Cuddles."

Cuddles was a little white poodle. Janie giggled. "Come on Cuddles! I will get you some dinner!"
Janie pulled the dog food out of the groceries her mother gave her to eat until she got paid. She fed Cuddles and pulled out a bottle of wine she'd gotten out of her parents's liquor cabinet. She poured herself a glass and took a sip. "Yummy." She said as she licked her lips. She walked over to the bathroom and put her hair in a pony tail. It'd be much easier to work this way, she thought.

Janie looked at herself in the mirror. It shouldn't be any problem finding her a husband now, she thought, now that she moved out of her parents's house. Janie was a skinny little thing with shoulder length blond hair. She had green eyes. Her figure shaped up very nicely the last couple of years. Her chest was nice and full. Her shape almost a perfect hour glass. Janie's father always said her smile was her best feature. He said no matter how he was feeling he always had to smile back at her.

Drops of sweat were pouring off Janie's forehead as she finished putting the groceries away. It was a little weird not hearing her mother say "Janie honey, this goes here. Not over there." It felt good to Janie to put the food where she wanted it to go. They'd given her the necessities in kitchen equipment and bathroom supplies until she was able to get paid.

She sat the fan up in the living room to cool the place down.

The apartment was starting to feel like home. Not like a strange place that Janie was going to go and spend the night or weekend at. She looked around. She loved the fact that the door opened into the living room. It was a spacious living room, too and she couldn't wait to be able to use it. Janie walked to the middle of the living room and started doing the Walter Houston dance in celebration of her own place. Man, it felt so good to be there without her parents. She could stay up as late as she wanted. She could cook, clean or do whatever it is she wanted to do. Janie was very pleased with herself, indeed.

The kitchen was adjacent to the living room. It had a small dining room adjacent to it. There was a long counter to separate the dining room and the kitchen area. Janie sat her chair in front of that. She started putting pots, pans, and silverware away. Janie giggled at herself. She noticed that everything she had set up was set up exactly as her parents's house.
Oh well, she thought, I'll make sure to go through this and put my own style into it.

Janie was on her third glass of wine and was feeling no pain. She opened the glass door to her balcony. It was getting dark now and she wanted the cool breeze to flow through. It would help keep her apartment cool tonight and then she'd close up everything in the morning. It would keep it cool all day long. Her dad taught her that one.

A yawn escaped from Janie's mouth. "Geez, now I can stay awake for as long as I want to and I am bushed. Time for bed!"

She heard her mother's voice come out of her mouth.

She made her way past the bathroom and down the hall turning off lights as she went. She plugged the Scooby Doo night light into the wall and turned it on. Even though she thought her mother was a bit insane she decided to oblige her and she was glad she did.

Janie pulled out her pony tail she'd put in and brushed her hair with the brush she'd always kept on her night stand. She put her nightgown on and crawled into bed. Her and her mother had put new sheets and blankets earlier. Janie was thankful she did.

She reached over and set her alarm clock for 9 am the next morning and faced it towards her. She fluffed up her pillow and called Cuddles up to lay next to her on the bed.

Janie fell fast asleep.

What is that noise? What the hell is that noise? Janie peered out from under the covers of her new bed in her new apartment. It was 3:15 in the morning."Now don't worry Janie, it's just the house settling. Don't worry." She could hear the conversation with her father now. They'd only had it for the past 18 years. Janie had been a jumpy kid and grew up to be a jumpy adult. The imaginary conversation had comforted her a little bit but she still wasn't willing to get out from under the covers, just yet.

Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!

A small squeal of horror came out of Janie's mouth. Her eyes were as big as saucers. "Hide under the covers! Save yourself! The bed is your safe territory! Nothing can get you on the bed!" She could remember the game her and her best friend used to play when they were little.The bed was always the safety spot. Janie was more than happy to oblige her best friend even though she wasn't here and it wasn't a game.

Now, what do I do? She thought to herself. If she were her Dad she would pick up a flashlight and a baseball bat and go check the house.
She didn't want to check the house.

Crackle! Crackle!
"Okay, Okay, I'll go and check the house!" Janie told no one. Janie stepped down out of the safety of her bed into the boiling lava on the floor. Another childhood game came to mind.
She nervously giggled at herself. Janie picked up the flashlight she'd left on her night stand. Her Dad had always told her that was the best place to have one, especially at night.
The baseball bat Dad left for her was right by her bed. He always said he could never understand why people kept them at the front door. If a person was going to rob you or kill you or both they'd already be in your house. "Therefore," he'd say, "You keep it next to your bed just to be safe."

"Come on Cuddles!" Janie patted her legs. Cuddles yipped and ran to her side.

The noise sounded like footsteps. Small footsteps made across her ceiling. Janie could imagine that it might have been a child, however, she was in an upstairs apartment. That was the freaky thing about the stupid noise. She had one tree around her house for shade and that was it. It was a big beautiful oak tree that stood right in front of her living room window. It wasn't as tall as the apartment building and although, Janie was only 18, she deduced that the tree was in the wrong spot to be making the noise anyways.

The night light shown some light in the hallway. Her mother had argued with her forever about that Scooby Doo night light. "It's the cutest little thing Janie, and you'll need it at night when you get up to go to the bathroom at two in the morning." Only old people got up to go to the bathroom at 2:00 in the morning. As ridiculous as the night light sounded then, is as comforting as it was now.

Tick..tick...tick...tick...tick was the new noise that Janie heard all over the house.
She froze in stride as she listened for the noise again.

Tick..tick..tick...tick...tick....It sounded like...Like...
NO it couldn't be, Janie thought and continued her quest down the hall armed with a flashlight and a baseball bat.

Janie clicked on the bathroom light.

Tick....tick...tick....tick...tick....the sound kept repeating itself.
The noise sounded as if it were getting louder. How could that be possible? Maybe it wasn't getting louder. Maybe it was because she was in the bathroom and any sound always echoed in bathrooms. Janie liked the sound of that logic and started to explore the bathroom. A small spider ran across the ceiling and she squished him with a piece of toilet paper.

Tick....tick...tick...tick...tick...tick...tick...tick...
Oh Christ! The noise was getting louder! Janie couldn't put her finger on where she had heard that noise before. She had heard it from somewhere and she tried to think but the thoughts of something weird going on in her house flooded through her mind and blinded any intellectual conclusions.

Tick....tick.....tick.....tick.....tick....tick....tick.........tick.......
After checking every corner and crevece Janie stood and stared at the shower. Every horror movie Janie ever watched had this awful shower scene in it.
If there was a guy gonna be in your house he'd be hiding in the shower for sure.If something was going to happen to you it would happen in the shower.
Janie's heart pounded. She just stood there frozen for a minute. She pulled the shower curtain and screamed.Nothing. One lonely spider crawled up the side.
'Geez' she said outloud, 'This place sure has a lot of spiders." She made a note to call the exterminator in the morning.

TICK..TICK..TICK..TICK..TICK..
The noise was so loud now that Janie felt as if whatever it was was right beside her. Janie noticed the noise was also faster. She turned around. She couldn't see anything. Not anything at all. Her heart felt like it was going to pound out of her chest.
"Oh I get it," Janie said aloud just to hear her own voice, "I must be in the middle of someone's stupid horror story. Good plot there guys," Janie said, the wine taking over her mentality a little bit, "A young, helpless eighteen year old girl spending her first night alone in her apartment. What better thing to do than to scare the crap out of her huh?"

TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.
CRUNCH. CRUNCH. CRUNCH.
The sounds acted as if they were right over Janie's head. Janie paused. She was kind of stunned. She figured if anyone was messing with her head that would stop them. But, no, nothing was stopping them. Janie crept into the kitchen and turned the light on. Her piggy cookie jar scooted off the counter and fell on the floor. It shattered into a million pieces. Janie started to cry. She couldn't help it. Goosebumps had attacked her arms and legs and she was scared to death. She wanted to pee her pants but didn't dare. Big girls just didn't pee their pants, her mom would've said. Janie put the bat and the flashlight down. She got out the broom and the dustpan and swept up all the broken pieces to the piggy cookie jar. She dumped it all into the garbage.

SCREEEEEECH!
Janie jumped.
She looked towards the living room. It was pitch black. Even the light from the kitchen didn't shine far enough so she could see the door.
"Hello? Who's there?" Janie called out and then scolded herself. She knew the burglar or whoever it is wasn't going to say 'hello' back but she didn't know what else to say.

KATHUD!
"Wh...Who....Who's there?" Janie stammered scared out of her mind.
Janie grabbed her flashlight and bat and headed to the living room. Slowly she tip toed around all the boxes. She could feel a cool breeze coming from the front of the living room.
She felt the wall and flipped on the light switch.
The door had pushed it's way open. Janie giggled a nervous giggle. She looked around. No one was in the house. Janie closed the door locking both locks. She made sure everything was secure and looked around some more. A shelf had fallen over and that's what must've made the 'kathud' noise that was so loud. She apologized silently to the people that lived downstairs. She tried to put the shelf back up on its side against the wall.


KATHUD!
It was knocked over again.
Janie jumped. She gulped. She saw plaster from the wall crumble and fall to the floor. A small two inch hole had been knocked out of the wall.
"What the hell is that?" Janie exclaimed as she tried to take a closer look. She bent down and peered into the small hole. She could see nothing. Nothing but darkness.
Janie felt something poke her in the eye. "Ouch!" She yelled as she tried to pull away from the wall. She tried to cover her eye with her hand but she couldn't. Something sticky still had ahold of her eye. She tried to pull away. She could feel the white skin around her eye being cut and pulled. Janie let out a scream of horror as whatever it was slowly ripped itself away from her eye.

Cuddles whined and cried. She hid behind Janie shaking so bad. Janie would've found that amusing some other time than today. "Some watch dog you are!"

Janie wailed. Blood was dripping out of her eye and falling on the carpet. Janie tried to cover her eye with a towel that was near by but it did no good. Blood was pouring out everywhere and the towel was drenched before Janie could even get it up to her eye.

Janie could see something poking out of the wall. What the hell was that? She could hear banging on the wall and she could see the little hole get larger and larger with each passing second. It looked as if a leg had poked it's way out of the wall. "Oh my God!" Janie yelled as she covered her mouth. It looked as if it was some kind of leg that belonged to a......
large, black, disgusting spider jumped out of the wall. It scared Janie half to death looking at her with those large black beady eyes. It's legs were going a mile a minute in place and they were making a tick tick tick tick noise as they were moving. It jumped at her from side to side looking at her hungrily.

Cuddles hid behind Janie's feet.

A cold chill ran down Janie's spine. She couldn't believe it. She just couldn't believe it. She'd never seen a spider so big in all of her life. Her face now covered in blood Janie reached over to grab the baseball bat. She swung it with all of her might. She hit the spider square on. It dinged the spider bad and flipped it over on its side. All eight of its legs were moving around a mile a minute. Janie swung the bat again and the spider flew across the room and landed splat onto the sliding glass door leading onto the balcony.

Janie wanted to squeal in delight but she didn't dare. A tick.tick.tick noise was coming from the hole in the wall. More plaster was falling off onto the floor. A huge hole was forming and Janie was petrified. She just stood there silent and scared. She didn't dare move. She was afraid if she did that spider in the wall would get her as quickly as she could breathe.
This time it was a large brown recluse that had its butt directly pointed towards Janie. A shot of something that looked like silly string came out of the spiders abdomen. Janie moved and it attatched itself directly to the front door.

The spider spun a web so quickly that Janie was absolutely amazed. He'd capture Janies father's recliner perfectly into the huge web. It was just hanging there in the air as if it were as light as it could be. It had taken all three of them to move that chair earlier. Janie just stood there stunned. She was so scared she was unable to move.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. TIck. TIck. TIck. TIck. TICk. TICk. TICk. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.TICK.
She could hear the spiders in the ceiling. More were climbing out of the walls. Their huge legs were coming towards Janie. Janie called for Cuddles. Cuddles ran barking into her arms. Janie got the door open. She could feel she'd been captured by a spider web that was forming on her legs. Her legs felt stiff and she could barely move. She screamed, "NOOOOO!" as the spiders engulfed her whole.

______________________________________________________

A week later Janie's mother turned the key in the apartment door. The scene that was before her was horrific and unbelievable. There were hundreds of dead spider corpses all over the living room. The wall had been torn to shreds and the ceiling fell on the floor. Everything in the front area of the apartment had been completely destroyed. Janie's mother looked at her father with tears in her eyes.

"My God, Janie, it's a miracle all by itself how you escaped from this place alive!" Her mother put her arm around her and gave her a big hug.

Janie reached over and shut the door in panic. She could still hear the tick tick tick of the spiders still inside the walls.

"I guess we now know why the apartment was so cheap," her dad said as they guided Janie and Cuddles to the car.

Her and Cuddles slid into the backseat of the car. Janie spotted a spider crawling on her father's shoulders. She screamed a piercing scream and hit the spider. It wiggled and dropped to the floor in the middle of the front seats of the car. Somewhere within the sounds of the moving vehicle Janie could hear the spider scrambeling to its feet again. She could hear the tick tick tick of its legs as it went crawling acrossed the carpeting of the car. Janie shivered.





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