To the Lucky Man in an Unlucky Room

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Author's note: In many previous works I've gotten comments saying that there is too much unneeded detail and filler in my stories. Being a receptor of criticism in both the bad AND good ways, this story is my response to that criticism. It's short and has more of a focal point on the spooks than character or plot development. Feel free to let me know how you felt about this story in the comments down bellow.

Submitted: June 28, 2016

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Submitted: June 28, 2016

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There came three spaced out knocks on the wooden door marked 13 of Jerod’s apartment. He was just brushing his teeth to prepare for his first night’s sleep in the newly rented out home. Mildly puzzled, Jerod ambled towards the door and opened it.

 

Greeting him at the floor with its legs kicked outward in front of it sitting down was a ventriloquist dummy. A shiny white clown with orange tufts of hair on either side of its head next to a glossy bald spot running down the middle. It had on a pastel red shirt with yellow outlines and pure white khaki shorts strapped with dark blue suspenders up to its wimpy shoulders.

Hesitantly, Jerod knelt down and picked the dummy up under its arms like a child. The face of the kitchen table was practically baron, so he propped him up on top of it. For a moment, he held his hands around his hips and stared blankly at the doll until his eyes perused over something noticeably different jutting out from its mouth.

He leaned in close and pulled out a small notecard, frightfully half thinking the mouth might slam down on his fingers and keep the ones it managed to nab.

 The card written eloquently over the thin blue lines read:

Dear new tenant of apartment room number 13

You’re a very lucky man living in a very unlucky room. Because of that, I’d like to help you out a tidbit. Wherever you moved from, this place can get pretty drab from time to time so meet Norman, the clown ventriloquist dummy. Despite of his title as dummy, I wouldn’t consider him as such if I were you. He’s quite a sensitive guy. May he make your stay in your new home...interesting.

With best intentions, a friend watching from afar

Jerod’s mild puzzlement only grew to stupid confusion now. He flicked the note into the garbage bin like an afterthought and left ‘Norman’ on the kitchen table.

****

 

He decidedly had to redo brushing his teeth all over again since whoever knocked on his door and left him ‘Norman’ had stopped him right in the midst of scrubbing his tongue. He was brushing the back of his molars when suddenly, the door to the bathroom slammed shut with an ice cold chill of wind cutting right into him like a blizzard.With no forethought, he went for the knob, but just has his fingers were about to touch it, it turned all the way around clockwise from the other side of the door.  

“Who’s out there?” he hollered. “Open this door! Get out of my apartment!”

The doorknob began shaking violently up and down. He threw his shoulder against it once, twice, three times before landing hard on the bathroom floor, his back hitting the bathtub’s outer wall. The wind had been knocked out of him, leaving him to cough, wheeze even. He wasn’t a football player or a body builder or even a reasonably fit young guy. He was Jerod Koonce, twenty year old stock boy at your local Family Dollar in town. And somebody must’ve been having a grand old time scaring the daylights out of him.

Silence reigned again as the doorknob stopped shaking, then very, very slowly it turned counterclockwise back to its neutral position. He cleared his throat.

“Hello?”

Nothing. Not even so much as a muffled footfall on the other side. Then there was creaking, cracking and snapping wood. His eyes widened in fear at the sight of the middle of the door pressing inward slowly; like respiration—it was like it was breathing in and out, a rising wooden chest full of terrible life it shouldn’t have at all. Jerod sat completely frozen against the tub. It seemed to go on forever. That noise, now sounding like it had its specific own path and pattern. Whoever was outside was etching something…leaving him another note to read.

(a friend watching from afar)

He shuddered at that thought, every hair on his body standing straight out and up.

 

The knob turned clockwise once more, creaking the bathroom door open just a peek; enough for Jerod to see outside when he leaned slightly, cautiously to the right. There was nothing there. Thankfully, Norman the freaky fucking clown dummy wasn’t sitting there flat on his ass with a glossy grin on his face either. But he was right. Somebody did carve a note into the door’s thin brown wood.

everythings eventual Jerod

 

What the hell did that even mean? He rightfully assumed whoever did it was still in the apartment, as he hadn’t heard the front door open or close. He pulled a Fiberware serrated edge kitchen knife from the countertop, and turned to see something that practically forced his fingers open to drop it soundlessly to the rug.

Norman the dummy was in the exact same place Jerod had left him—bottom right side of the kitchen table, sitting up with his legs dangling off the edge. The problem was that Norman’s left plastic, white-gloved hand was covered in sawdust. And as much as Jerod immediately denied the thought in his head, he found it nearly impossible out of fear to inch closer to the doll who just sat idly—patiently—for him to get a closer look at the sawdust and peeled off paint on that hand.

Like the note that came with it, Jerod threw the doll into the garbage, this time taking the bag out, tying it and adding it to the dank, putrid heap of trash in the dumpster behind the apartment building.


© Copyright 2017 karen oneal. All rights reserved.

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